Idolatry . . .

As the first Commandment requires the inward worship of love, desire, joy, hope, and admiration, so the second requires the outward worship of prayer and praise and solemn attendance on God’s Word. It concerns the ordinances of worship, or in other words, the way in which God will be worshipped. The second commandment says to us,

“You shall not make for yourself an idol, you shall not worship them or serve them.”

Matthew Henry points out the fact that, “God forbids us to worship even Him by images, and that our worship must be governed by the power of Faith, not by the power of imagination. Those who truly love God will make it their constant care to keep His Commandments.”

Those Commandments sum up our attitude toward God, in the first four, and our attitude toward our fellow man, in the final six.

Jesus condensed them into two ~ You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength and mind, (the first four) and your neighbour as yourself (the final six).

Reverence for God is the basis of the Ten Commandments. Halley’s Bible says that, “Jesus indicated that He considered it the elemental quality in man’s approach to God, and made it the first petition in the Lord’s Prayer.” Hallowed be Thy Name ~ Matthew 6:9-13.

I have dwelt quite a bit upon this subject of Idolatry, because it is a very serious thing to turn our backs on God and serve other things. For that is all they are. Habakkuk 2:18,19 says, “What profit is the idol when its maker has carved it? It is a speechless thing overlaid with gold and silver and there is no breath in it at all.”

Idolatry is absolutely forbidden. Yet we continue to worship movie stars and musicians and models and TV personalities. We worship and immortalise sportsmen and women, bushrangers, and members of the underworld. We worship Jesus’ beautiful mother, Mary (she would be horrified) saints, religious leaders, and in some nations, their political leaders.

God demands our attention to Him as the One and Only God who delivered the Hebrews out of slavery, and ultimately, through Jesus, delivered all mankind from eternal death.

I don’t want to serve death, I would prefer to serve The Living God.

Salvation 7

SOME SCRIPTURES PERTAINING TO THIS ARTICLE ~

Exodus 20:4-6

Habakkuk 2:18-20

Matthew 6:9-13

Matthew 22:37-40

Ephesians 5:5

Colossians 3:5

No other gods . . .

DAY 1

The very first statement God made even before He began to give Moses the Commandments, was ~ I am the Lord your God.

God delivered the Hebrews from Egypt and looked after them with miracle after miracle in the wilderness. He demanded and deserved their worship. Today, many of us who may not be of the seed of Abraham physically, are certainly joined in covenant with him in the Spirit, by the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Old Testament call for obedience by keeping the Commandments, was summarised by Jesus in Matthew 22:36-40 when He said to Love your neighbour as yourself which pretty much sums up the last six of the Commandments.

The first four are in reference to God and what He expects of us, if we profess Him to be our God, and our Lord and Saviour. The first Commandment concerns the object of our worship, Jehovah, and Him only ~ You shall have no other gods before Me.

Matthew Henry says of this first command, “The sin against this Commandment which we are most in danger of, is giving glory and honour to any creature, which is due to God only . . . whatever is esteemed or loved, feared or served, delighted in or depended upon, more than God, we do in effect make a god. In the last words,  before me, it is intimated that ~

1. We cannot have any other god but He will certainly know it.
2. That it is a sin that dares Him to His face, which He cannot, He will not, overlook.

Halley’s Bible says, “In founding the Hebrew Nation, God’s ultimate object was to bring Christ into the world.” And also that, “His immediate object was to establish, in a world of idolatry, as a background to the coming of Christ, the idea that there is One, True, Living God.”

Much of my life has been fraught with many other gods that I have come to realize took the place of My Father in Heaven. Since beginning my walk with Him through reading His word I have come to a place in my life where I no longer want anything at all to stand between me and God.

Salvation 4

DAY 2
Exodus 20:3 ~
“You must not have any other god but Me.”                                                            Deuteronomy 32:47 ~
“These instructions are not empty words-they are your life!”

DAY 3
Psalm 115:1-8 ~
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name goes all the glory for Your unfailing love and faithfulness.
Why let the nations say, Where is their God?
Our God is in the heavens, and He does as He wishes.
Their idols are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands.
They have mouths but cannot speak, and eyes but cannot see.
They have ears but cannot hear, and noses but cannot smell.
They have hands but cannot feel, and feet but cannot walk, and throats but cannot make a sound.
And those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them.”

DAY 4
Isaiah 43:11 ~
“I, yes I, am the Lord, and there is no other saviour.”

DAY 5
Matthew 22:37-40 ~
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.
This is the first and greatest commandment.
A second is equally important: Love your neighbour as yourself.
The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

DAY 6
1 Corinthians 8:5-6 ~
“There may be so-called gods in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship many gods and many lords.
But for us, there is one God, the Father, by whom all things were created, and for whom we live. And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created, and through whom we live.”

DAY 7
2 Corinthians 6:16 ~
”And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be My people.”

Salvation is knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as your saviour. When we die we live on forever. We either live forever in darkness separated from God the Father of Light, or we live forever in His Kingdom of light and wonder and everlasting joy.

Our decision for Christ or against Christ determines our destination. This is not to scare you, but to bring you to a place of deep thought about who you are and what you truly believe. Do you think there should be more to this life than you feel you are getting? If so, please click here.

Finding My Purpose in Life . . .

DAY 1

I’ve always struggled with what my purpose in life is meant to be. Not that I thought much about it while I was raising my children, but in later years I certainly have wondered what on earth I am called to do for God.

In April 2005 I committed to reading a book that changed my whole perspective on quite a few things. “The Purpose Driven Life”, by Rick Warren, showed me these five important things :

I was Planned for God’s Pleasure ~

I was Formed for God’s Family ~

I was Created to Become Like Christ ~

I was Shaped for Serving God ~

I was Made for a Mission.

Now for a person who never was developed in the social aspects of life, and who is very crowd averse, some of these have been very challenging. I’ve always found it hard to meet people and build friendships. So, I have come to a few realizations about who I am and what, I believe, God wants of me.

The very first thing He wants is my WHOLE HEART ~ That’s His Pleasure.                     Then He can begin to show me what He wants for the duration of my life.

He also wants me to WORSHIP with other believers, and get to know them. A big challenge for some of us ~ That’s His Family.

He wants me to READ HIS WORD and learn to emulate His Son. I really enjoy reading my Bible ~ That’s Becoming Like Christ.

He wants me to use the ABILITIES He has given me to help others. This is my way of doing that, by encouraging those around me to look to God ~ by publishing articles about God’s Word on this website, by regularly committing to the Inspirational Calendar I produce each year, to mention a few ~ That’s Serving God.

He wants me to pursue my DESTINY ~ That’s finding my Mission.

So my mission is to ~

Surrender my will to God’s Will ~

Continue to Worship God in Spirit and in Truth ~

Keep reading His Word daily ~

Develop my talents and abilities to use for His Glory.

Jesus Daisies

DAY 2
Psalm 63:3-4 ~ “Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise You!
I will praise You as long as I live, lifting up my hands to You in prayer.”

DAY 3
Psalm 149:4 ~ “For the Lord delights in His people; He crowns the humble with victory.”

DAY 4
Romans 12:10-18 ~ “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honouring each other.
Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them, pray that God will bless them.
Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.
Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honourable.
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”

DAY 5
Ephesians 3:14-19 ~ “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the creator of everything in heaven and on earth.
I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.
Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”

WANT MORE? ~ Read all of chapter 1

DAY 6
Philippians 1:6 ~ “And I am certain that God, Who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

DAY 7
1 John 1:5 ~ “This is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another.”

 

Reading God’s Word Regularly . . .

DAY 1

When I decided to tackle reading the entire Bible I was doubtful as to whether I would be able to stick with it. Instead of working from some already drawn up table of someone else’s I did my own. Yep, I counted the chapters in each book, and worked out how many I had to read per weekday to complete my task in one year. After all the work it took, I decided I was definitely going to succeed. As it turned out there was a bit of a break in the middle, but I ended up doing the first read in about 18 months. And with it has come so much more understanding of the big picture that God has for mankind.

We cannot fully understand the New Testament without reading  and understanding all that came before throughout the Old Testament.

You don’t have to do it in the same space of time, especially if you work full time, but the important thing is that you do read something. Choose a book and read whatever you feel you can handle. Be realistic. Or you will make it too big a task. I found it quite difficult at first, but then all of a sudden some days I got so engrossed I found I had gone way beyond my five chapters! I have learnt so much and now have started all over again several times since. It has become my daily routine. At the present time of posting this I am reading the New Testament in my newly acquired Amplified Bible, one chapter at a time. There are 260 chapters in the NT, and 260 weekdays in a year. So, one a day gets you through the whole NT in one year.

I have learnt that I must treasure God’s Word in my heart ~

To meditate on it and delight in it ~

To run after it and it will enlarge my heart (how cool is that!) ~

That it will revive me ~

It will teach me good discernment and knowledge ~

That it should be better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces ~

That His Word stands firm in heaven ~

That it makes me wiser than my enemies ~

That it is sweeter than honey to my mouth ~

It gives understanding ~

His Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path ~

It is the joy of my heart (the Word is Jesus, and the joy of the Lord is my strength) ~

It is my hiding place and my shield ~

It gives light ~

It is pure ~

And the sum of His Word is truth.

His Word is not just about truth, it IS truth.

John 1 1-3

All of the above is in Psalm 119. My suggestion is that you take time this week to read it. It is very long, so perhaps divide it into parts and read a portion each day. May Holy Spirit give you revelation as you read.

Suggested reading per day ~

DAY 2
Psalm 119:1-32

DAY 3
Psalm 119:33-64

DAY 4
Psalm 119:65-96

DAY 5
Psalm 119:97-128

DAY 6
Psalm 119:129-160

DAY 7
Psalm 119:161-176

Rejoice! . . .

DAY 1

Sometimes, the only way I know to get me through the day is to make this confession before I get out of bed : “Good morning, Lord. This is the day that You have made, I WILL rejoice and be glad in it. Thankyou for helping me to do what I have to do today.”

Just as deciding to walk with Jesus is a choice, and of course many things in life are a choice, so too is the decision to rejoice.

For those of us who have a melancholy disposition this choice is an absolute. Some mornings I feel so down that the only way I can get out of bed is to make the decision to, and choose to rejoice in the Lord. David obviously had serious bouts of depression, and he came up out of them every time by praising God. He cried, “But Thou, O Lord, art a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head.” I don’t know if anyone has ever praised God as David did.

I love this, “I will bless the Lord who has counselled me, indeed my mind instructs me in the night.” Every night as I go to bed I drift off to sleep with praise music going and am usually asleep long before it finishes. It ministers to me as I sleep. One night, every time I turned over I heard in my head, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from where comes my help.” That was long after my music had stopped. That does not happen to me often, but it blessed me so much I got up in the morning and knew that the Lord was watching over me and helping me each day.

That was a reason to rejoice!

But, as I have said, it is a decision, and if for no other reason than the fact that my name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life, because I have chosen to walk with God and His wonderful Son Jesus.

And finally, Paul tells us in Philippians 4:4-8 to “Rejoice in the Lord always”. He goes on to say to be anxious for nothing, to pray and be thankful, and that the peace of God will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 118 24

DAY 2
1 Chronicles 16:10 ~ “Exult in His Holy Name; rejoice, you who worship the Lord.”

DAY 3
Psalm 3:3 ~ “But You, O Lord, are a shield around me; You are my glory, the One Who holds my head high.”

Psalm 5:11 ~ “But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread Your protection over them, that all who love Your Name may be filled with joy.”

DAY 4
Psalm 16:7 ~ “I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me.”

Psalm 118:24 ~ “This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

DAY 5
Psalm 121:1-2 ~ “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made Heaven and Earth.”

Proverbs 17:22 ~ “A happy heart is good medicine, and a joyful mind causes healing.”

DAY 6
Philippians 4:4,8 ~ “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again-rejoice!
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

DAY 7
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ~ “Always be joyful. Never stop praying.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

Forgiveness . . .

DAY 1

As I have already said, I was brought up in mainstream church, so I have always understood that if I bring my sins to God, He is faithful to forgive them. But many people feel that they are so unworthy to come to Him, even to ask forgiveness, that they miss the amazing blessings that God wants to bestow upon them.

Psalm 118:5 says, “From my distress I called upon the Lord ; the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place.” For me, a large place is somewhere I am free, forgiven, able to move and grow in Him.

God is so good. He could have thrown mankind into the pit with Satan after we sinned. But we are made in His image, we have a spirit fashioned after His, with His breath of life in us, and He did not want mankind, His ultimate work, to be lost.

This is amazing mercy and grace.

He loves me so much that He set in place a plan to forgive me and save me from eternal death. God forgave me for my sin of pride and idolatry (the original sin) He is the God of gods and the Lord of lords. He is great and He is mighty. He is awesome and just and loving, and praised by all creation.

He is worthy to be praised!

Psalm 116 is worth a read. Verses 7,8 say, “Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For You have rescued my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.” David then asks in verse 12, “What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me? ”

His answer in verse 13 blows my mind.

“I shall lift up the cup of Salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.”

It doesn’t matter what sin I have committed in my life, God will forgive that sin, if I come to Him genuinely sorry and repentant. He knows my heart and how honest or not I am to receive His mercy and grace. Jesus, as He was dying, forgave those who betrayed Him, condemned Him and nailed Him to the cross. Don’t you think He is willing to forgive you too?

Jesus, as He was dying, forgave those who betrayed Him, condemned Him and nailed Him to the cross. Don’t you think He is willing to forgive you too?

1 John 1 9

Amplified Bible: To confess is to agree with God, to admit that we are sinners in need of His mercy. If we confess our sins to God, He will cleanse us. Forgiveness and cleansing are guaranteed because God is faithful to His promises. Those promises are legitimated because God is just. He can maintain His perfect character and yet forgive us because of the perfect and righteous sacrifice of Jesus, His own Son.

DAY 2
Psalm 103:1-5 ~ “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits;
who pardons all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases;
who redeems your life from the pit; who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”

DAY 3
Psalm 118:5 ~ “From my distress I called upon the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me in a large place.”

DAY 4
Matthew 6:14,15 ~ “For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”

DAY 5
Romans 4:7,8 ~ “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered.
Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.”

DAY 6
Colossians 1:13,14 ~ “For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

DAY 7
Colossians 2:13,14 ~ “And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,
having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”

Repentance . . .

Some people say that I am too hard on myself. But it is only me and God who really know who I am, what I’m thinking, what sin is in my life, and what I am or am not doing about it. I believe I need to be my greatest critic, with God’s help. Not condemnation, but coming to God daily and keeping myself pure. God cannot look upon sin.

Instead of continuing on a course that excludes God, and walking toward destruction, I need to recognize who God is and ask Him for His forgiveness for my sins.

To repent means to be reformed, actually turning around and going in a new direction.

Back in the garden of Eden original sin marred man’s relationship with God. Sin entered man’s soul and he was now too unclean to commune with God.

John 3 16 (3)

All the outrageous ceremonies that the Hebrews went through to atone for their sins in the natural, were all they could do, because they had no saviour to stand in the gap between them and God. That’s why God formulated a plan to send His only Son to stand in that gap for us. It needed to be someone who was free from sin, and because of that could outstrip the devil at his own game.

Because of what Jesus did for me, I respond with recognition of this great act of love and repent for my sins that He died for, and accept and receive the Lord Jesus, once again into my life.

In his book, The World Aflame, Rick Joyner says that “All sin must be confessed to God and we must repent. The church has to be cleansed. Have I forgiven everybody? Unforgiveness separates us from God. We must obey the Holy Spirit.”

And not just one time, but as a Christian, a way of life.

So, repentance is, to recognise that I am born with sin (inherent from Adam and Eve) and therefore a sinner. I admit to my sins and ask God’s forgiveness.

And really, it’s this daily act of contrition that carries me much more easily through my life and my walk with God.