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

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.”

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.”

Out of the Mouths of Babes . . .

GLORY TO GOD 2

A couple of years ago my two grandsons Levi and Archie (who were at the time 8 and 5) were building a cubby in the lounge room with their mates Felicity and Silas.

At its entrance they placed one of my paintings that Levi had chosen as his own (pictured above) and then wrote three pages of rules that must be met before entering the lounge room.

When their mum, Heidi, walked in to bring them dinner Felicity and Levi hurried out of the cubby and Felicity demanded of her, “Did you give glory to God before you entered this room?” To which mum said, “Uhhh…I think so…” And Levi  replied, “Was it in the highest? ‘Cause it can’t just be any glory ya know!”

In the gospels Jesus tells us that we must come to Him as little children. Just as a child has faith in the promises of his/her parents and does not doubt that they will do what they say, so we are to come to God in the same way.

Levi is so right. It is not just any glory that we bring to God. ‘Glory to God in the highest!’ (Luke 2:14) was sung out by the angels at Jesus’ birth. In verse 13 it says that a multitude of the heavenly host were praising God. It was a rip roaring party of the ages that sang of the coming, finally, of the Saviour that God had promised for hundreds of years. As the heavenly host were praising God for this wonderful event, they had no qualms as to what baby Jesus was called to do as He grew and developed into a man.

They would not have been celebrating the awful death He was to die but the eternal life that he was to obtain for the world. From Adam and Eve to the very last soul that will be born here on this earth before He (Jesus) returns in all His Glory.

God’s love for us is so great that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son, just as Abraham was willing to do, because God had already promised him that he would be the father of many nations, and that could not come to pass if his heir was killed. Abraham knew his God so well that he was confident that God would raise his son again even if the sacrifice had gone ahead. This act of faith is what is called a foreshadowing of what was to come.

God needed to test Abraham’s faith to see if there was a man willing to give his only son for Him (God) Because of Abraham’s response, God was willing to sacrifice His Only Son to redeem mankind. And, although He died on a cross, He was raised to life again by God, just as Abraham had known He would have done to his son, Isaac.

In several places throughout the gospels Jesus tells His disciples to have faith in God and they can move mountains. In other words, the mountain of sin in our lives can be forgiven, the mountain of debt can be worn down, the mountain of sickness, disease, infirmity can be demolished and therefore healed.

Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that HE IS, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

The whole story of Salvation is tied up in His Glory.

It is a Glorious Heaven that was momentarily tainted by Satan’s rebellion and therefore the need to exile him forever to a place that disallows return.

It is a Glorious Heaven that celebrated His coming to redeem the world’s loss because of that rebellion and mankind’s fall.

It is a Glorious Heaven that we will live in forever with Jesus when we accept the sacrifice He made for us and His Glorious Resurrection.

Heaven is Light and Life and Purity and Love and Holiness and Glory beyond our wildest imagination.

Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the Glory that is to be revealed to us.”

Levi is so right . . . It’s not just any Glory. God’s Glory encompasses the entire universe, God’s amazing Love, Mercy and Grace, with a depth so profound it is inexpressible.

Far beyond what we could ever ask or think or imagine, is what God has for us (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Joy immeasurable, forever.

When we confess with our mouths Jesus as Lord, and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, we shall be saved. For with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in Salvation ~ Romans 10:9,10

And verse 11 says that whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.

I’m certainly not!

Without Jesus in my life, I could never have made it this far.

There is a link at the top of this page if you would like to pray the prayer of Salvation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Day of Salvation . . .

I feel a real heaviness lately for the world and the direction in which we are heading.

Not regarding wars and rumours of wars around the globe. Not regarding even the hunger that millions suffer from. Not even regarding the injustices upon women and children.

Don’t get me wrong, I grieve for those incomprehensible wrongs.

But the most insidious behaviour of my fellow man for me, is the absolute degradation of our attitude toward God.

Which of course, is why all the above atrocities are happening in the world today. I find it puzzling, that whether we’ve been taught about God or not as we were growing up, that we can believe the evolution story, or that there is no God at all.

Who caused the ‘big bang’? Something had to. The Gospel of John 1:1-3 says this ~ “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”

I definitely believe in the ‘big bang’, because when God’s  powerful voice spoke the words “Let there be light” (Gen 1:3)  the resounding noise that would have taken place, considering the speed of light, would have been enormous. A HUGE bang! And that’s an understatement!

I have been raised my entire life, learning about God, so it has been easier for me than many who were not. But, I want to ask you several questions ~ You’ve been born into this world, feel happiness, joy, pain, rejection, and some of us insufferable pain and loss.

Why do you think you are here? Do you really think there is nothing after this life? If so, don’t you feel cheated? Do you think just spending your life working, working, working, for a home and children, and grandchildren, and being a good person, then dying, is enough?

These are all interesting questions. But being ’good’ is not enough. You can be as good as you like and spend your entire life helping others, but if you do not believe in God the Father and His Son Jesus and the sacrifice that was made for you at Calvary, then life, and all your achievements are in vain.

If you do not recognize that there is a higher power than yourself and that His great love redeemed you from eternal death, then life is worthless.

H jN 14,6

I’m not scientific at all, but I do know that the laws of gravity and all the rest that keep our vast solar system and all the rest in place are quite intricate and therefore MUST be controlled by more than BANG! and whoops, everything just fell into place! And stays in place!!!

Wow, what a coincidence. That was lucky!

God is real. God is good. He is wise beyond measure. His wisdom is ~ Pure ~ Peaceable ~ Gentle ~ Reasonable ~ Full of mercy and good fruits ~ Unwavering ~ and, Without  hypocrisy (James 3:17)

There are some people in the world who treat others abominably. They abuse, ridicule, steal, but how about considering that others should be treated how you would like to be treated. We reap what we sow. In other words, you treat others badly, then it will come back to you.

However, if you treat others well, you will reap what you’ve sown.

There are others out there who gossip and bad-mouth and slander others, for what reason, is beyond me. The advent of Face Book and other such media, has made it easy for the otherwise reserved ones to destroy with words those he/she does not like. Sometimes to the loss of their lives.

Again, if you speak well of others, or don’t speak at all if you really can’t say something nice, you will also reap what you sow.

While children around the world are starving and/or being abducted and sold into the sex slave industry; while nations are murdering their citizens by the thousands just because they don’t believe the same doctrine as their slayers; while the powers that be are all plotting against each other to be the reigning supremacy; we are back-biting, revelling in luxury (compared to some around the world) and in general, just couldn’t care less about the bigger picture.

And the big picture is this ~

God is real. Jesus did come (God in the flesh) and suffer and die for us. He has always had a plan, and a part of this plan, is Jesus’ return to earth. He is coming back, and we need to be ready. Some call this event Armageddon. Well whatever we call it, it will happen, when Jesus Our Lord will return to sort us all out.

So the big question is this ~

Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour?

Check out Genesis 1:3 ~ Matthew 22:37-40 ~ John 1:1-3 ~ John 3:16 ~ John 14:6 ~ James 3:17

There is a link at the top of this page to pray the PRAYER OF SALVATION.