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

The Ten Commandments . . .

DAY 1

The Ten Commandments comprise barely 300 words, yet lie at the very core of Western civilization.

They also make up our legal system and parliamentary structures, but even as Christians many of us could not name all of them.

They were given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai, which can be found in Exodus 20:1-17, and also in Deuteronomy 5:6-21, where they are repeated in the introduction to the Jewish laws.

They are :

1. I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before Me ~

2. You shall not make for yourself an idol, you shall not worship them or serve them ~

3. You shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain ~

4. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy ~

5. Honour your father and your mother ~

6. You shall not murder

7. You shall not commit adultery ~

8. You shall not steal ~

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour ~

10. You shall not covet your neighbour’s goods or his or her spouse.

There is not one of the above commandments that the world honours anymore.

We idolize performers, sporting personalities, money and many other things. We use God’s Precious Name very lightly and in some cases along with other questionable phrases. We play sport, sleep in, go out for coffee, or go to work, on the one day set aside for us by God to come together and worship Him and rest. We no longer respect our parents for the fact that that’s who they are, that they make mistakes too. Every time we gossip and malign and hate someone, we commit the sin of murder in our hearts, and some actually carry it out. The same goes for lusting after someone other than our partner. We may not actually commit the offence but what is in our hearts defines us, therefore laying the foundation to perhaps act on those desires. We are always looking for the quickest way to make a fortune, and some justify theft and dishonestly thrive by it, and wallow in their riches. And as for our neighbours, Jesus called us to Love one another as He loved us.

That’s it in a nutshell. Jesus is coming back soon, and like a thief in the night He will snatch His bride away and we need to be ready. When that happens I want to be doing all God has asked of me.

Guilt and shame hold us back from becoming who God wants each of us to be. Repentance and forgiveness set us free to move on in God.

If we have any problem at all with any of God’s commandments, now is the time to seek help from Him if we are truly serious about seeking His Will for our lives.

If you love ME

DAY 2
Psalm 19:7-11 ~
“The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living.
Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the Lord are true, each one is fair.
They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb.
They are a warning for Your servant (that’s you and me), a great reward for those who obey them.”

DAY 3
Psalm 119:1-2 ~
“Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord.
Joyful are those who obey His laws and search for Him with all their hearts.”

DAY 4
Psalm 119:32 ~
“I will pursue Your commands, for You expand my understanding.”

DAY 5
John 14:15 ~
“If you love Me, obey My commandments.”

DAY 6
1 John 2:3-6 ~
“And we can be sure that we know Him if we obey His commandments.
If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth.
But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love Him. That is how we know we are living in Him.
Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.”

DAY 7
Revelation 3:3 ~
“Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.”

Holy Spirit : My Peace, Hope, and Joy . . .

Day 1

I used to be quite a bad-tempered person, particularly in my teenage/young adult years. I’ve slammed doors into the wall so hard, kicked things, or the wall, thrown things so ferociously, that I either made a hole or broke a window. I couldn’t tell you when I realized that my temper had gone, all I know is that when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and received His Peace, Hope and Joy on the inside through baptism in water and the Holy Spirit, I became a new creature.

Having been raised a Catholic, there came a time I really did believe and say the creed from my heart. Then a little while later I got prayed over to receive Jesus into my heart and receive the Holy Spirit. I had never heard anyone speak in tongues before so I respectfully declined that part of the process.

Then, 12-18 months later, 8 months pregnant with my third child, sitting on the end of my bed reading a book on the Holy Spirit by Kenneth Hagin, I got baptised in the Holy Spirit, and spoke in tongues!

God is so good. He knows the perfect time for each of us to take our next step with Him.

When you decide to ask Jesus to come and live in your heart, take the next step as well, and even if you were baptised as a baby, make the commitment to be baptised in water as a born-again new creation and receive the Holy Spirit along with it.

Each of us, as adults, must make our own personal decision for Christ some time in our lives.

Baptism is the outward witness of the commitment to Jesus that has been made. Going down under the water we die with Him, and then are raised to new life as we come up again.

The day I was baptised was the most exciting day of my Christian life.

What I’m saying is : Holy Spirit gives me power from on high to stick with it when things are tough, and not give up. He brings a peace, hope and joy into my life, even in really bad times, that keeps my faith strong. It’s not by my might that I live each day, but by the power of the Spirit of God.

66

DAY 2
Psalm 4:8 ~ “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, do make me to dwell in safety.”

DAY 3
John 14:25-27 ~ But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

DAY 4
Acts 1:8 ~ “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Acts 2:3,4 ~ “And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.”

DAY 5
Romans 8:9-11 ~ “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.”

DAY 6
Romans 15:13 ~ “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

DAY 7
Titus 3:4-7 ~ “But when the kindness of God our Saviour and His love for mankind appeared,
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour,
that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

WANT MORE ? ~ Try all of Romans chapter 15.

If you would like to pray the prayer of Salvation, and give your heart to Jesus Christ, there is a link at the top of this page.

Also, for an explanation of how to use this devotional, see my earlier blog : Walking with God . . .

 

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.

 

God of the Weary . . .

Day 1

There are times in my life when I feel so weary that everything is too much. I don’t mean to the point of despair, but just that the everyday walk through life is just a drag.

I’m not a social being, an out-there do as much as I can in one day person. Those people make me tired, and a little envious at times wishing that I could be more like them. But I believe God makes us and moulds our lives as He has planned. For many reasons throughout my life I have been a solitary person and I believe that is exactly what God intended. He does want me to be part of a church and socialise with other Christians, but we cannot all be the same, it would be boring. God’s purpose for my life requires a certain amount of solitary time.

Matthew 5:3 says “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew Henry says of this verse : “Those who are ‘weary and heavy-laden’, are the poor in spirit, and they shall find rest with Christ.”

My daily strength is in knowing that God walks with me and goes before me always.

I get to know Him more and more each day through reading His Word, even if it is only one verse that has captured my interest and that may apply to where I’m at with life. I spend a lot of time reading books written by outstanding men and women of God. They inform me and encourage me in my walk with Him.

Walking with Jesus has changed my life. I know I would not be here now if it was not for God’s intervention in my life.

All of the scriptures below have helped me often. However, recently, through reading one of these books, I learned something in regards to Matthew 11:28-30. When oxen worked they were usually doubly yoked. A strong or lead ox would take the larger side and the younger, weaker ox the opposite side. As they worked, the weaker ox would plough or track with the stronger ox, which bore the main part of the load.

When we are yoked with Christ, the burden is light because He is pulling the weight and making the way as the strong one. How beautiful is that!

Ps 118 24 (2)

Day 2

Psalm 68:19-20 ~ “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, the God who is our salvation.
God is to us a God of deliverances; and to God the Lord belong escapes from death.”

Day 3

Psalm 94:19 ~ “When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.”

Day 4

Isaiah 40:28-31 ~ “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”

Day 5

Jeremiah 31:25 ~ “For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes.”

Day 6

Matthew 5:3 ~ “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 11:28-30 ~ “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.
For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.”

Day 7

Galatians 6:9 ~ “And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.”

Gethsemane . . .

He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if You are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your Will to be done, not Mine.” Then an angel from Heaven appeared and strengthened Him. He prayed more fervently, and He was in such agony of spirit that His sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood ~ Luke 22:41-44

In the Gospel of Mark, chapter 14, verse 34, Jesus says, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.”

I have been meditating upon this for some time and I want to throw out to you a few thoughts.

Firstly, that Jesus while He was here on this earth was fully human and fully divine. In His humanity He experienced everything we do. Everything that afflicts our mortal bodies. The temptations in the wilderness, which He overcame with the Word of God. All the grief and loss and sickness that He saw around Him and was gracious enough to help and heal.

Secondly, in His humanity He would have experienced fear, and since He died for all our sicknesses and diseases and afflictions as well as our sins, fear would have been in that list.

So, in the garden, I believe He was experiencing such an horrendous fear of what was before Him, that His blood began to be shed at that point, even before His arrest. After all, that is why He came, to bear all our sins and sicknesses and all the rest of our afflictions. I think the fear was so great because He was about to take the whole world upon Himself that it became the world’s fears as well, and after His arrest and when He was tortured and mocked and scourged He was suffering all our illnesses and on the cross He bore our sins.

It’s very difficult for me to write what is in my head about this, because it so profoundly moves me.

Jesus’ whole life on this earth was our redemption. From the moment He got up and proclaimed:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has anointed Me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favour has come.” Isaiah 61:1-2

This statement covers it all ~ fears, illnesses, and sin. Jesus bore it all for us while we were yet sinners. He loved us to death. I don’t know whether it’s scientifically possible for someone to experience such grief and fear that they sweat drops of blood, but I am very certain that Jesus did, not only because that is what the Word tells us, but because that is who He was. Our redeemer, our saviour, our freedom fighter and our healer.

He overcame temptation in the wilderness, and lived to fight many more days here on earth to accomplish that which He was sent to do.

He overcame fear in the garden of Gethsemane and went to the cross anyway, and gained freedom for us from that fear.

He had to have experienced all of humanity to be able to free us from tyranny and know and understand all the struggles we have as human beings here on this earth.

He shed drops of blood as He prayed about His fear and therefore understands your fears today. Whatever they may be, sit down somewhere quiet and give them all over to the one who understands and cares for you. Because He’s been through it too.

Jesus Grass

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you ~ 1 Peter 5:7