Tag Archives: Self examination

You Are A Temple!

Psalm 48

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.

Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

These two verses also make up an old gospel chorus which I have recorded for you.  Hope it’s OK!

Is there any doubt in your mind that God is greatly to be praised!  He is the  creator of all  that you see, hear, smell,  touch and taste.  What an amazing imagination He has to develop all of the different kinds of species in every category.  It’s overwhelming  to think about!

He’s beautiful for situations!  What a wonderful use of words here.  We can be assured that God is aware of our  situations, and will  come to our rescue if we need Him to.  It may  not be when we think He should come, but He is never late.  if a situation goes on longer than you’d like, He has a purpose for that.  Just  trust Him.

God is known in her palaces for a refuge.

For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together.

They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away.

Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail.

Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.

Again David talks about God is known as the refuge.  Then he makes an interesting observation – he says that all the kings came together and they passed by God’s palace and when they saw it they marveled. But they also were trouble and they took off right away because fear came on them.

When we are protected by the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), and God is our place of refuge, the enemy will have a much harder time getting to us.  In fact, often he will turn and run before he attacks us. But this takes a very strong commitment – one that I know I have not made. It takes a daily prayer life – not just for yourself but interceding for others. It takes a daily time of worship.  I am the temple of God (2 Cor 6:19). so I should be a place of worship. It takes a time of being still and hearing from God, asking him to speak to you. If we can do these things then the enemy will have a tough time breaking us down.

Don’t get me wrong. The enemy still will come and he will do everything he can to discourage us and test our faith. But this is only strengthening our faith when he does that. You see the devil is not too smart. He hasn’t figured out yet that when he tries our faith and get us a corner, that it actually grows our faith, and it makes it harder for him to come against us the next time. I hope you always remember that lesson.

As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah.

We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.

10 According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness.

Here we see David talking about seeing the Lord and seeing his house. God will establish it forever. This was the promise to David that his seed would be the seed of the Messiah, and that it would be established forever. This is my hope – that my children will all serve the Lord, and my grandchildren and their children.  The Lord God can establish that.

David talks about the loving-kindness of the Lord in the midst of the temple. Remember, you are the Temple of the Holy Ghost.  Do you have God’s love and kindness dwelling within you? Do you allow it to minister to others as you come across their path? We need to be loving everyone around us and letting them know about God. That’s the reason we’re here on this Earth! Paul says we have the ministry of reconciliation, reconciling people to God (2 Cor 5:11-21). Because, as Christians, we have been reconciled, we need to bring others along with us. Your love and kindness of God reaches out to the Lost

11 Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments.

12 Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof.

13 Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following.

14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death

David says we should rejoice and be glad because of God’s judgments. God is a righteous judge, judging according to whether they are right by His law and He is impartial. He is not a respecter of persons. If you sin it’s the same as if somebody else does. And a small sin (well there’s no such thing as a small sin) is disobedience,.and disobedience is the root of sin. And we only disobey because we think we can get away with it, and that’s Pride. Pride has no place in a Christian’s life.

Now David says that we should mark our territory basically, and then tell our children about it. What this says to me is that our children should know our testimony. No matter how difficult it is to tell it, they need to know what God has done in our life. How he has saved me, taking me out of the drug culture, help me stop drinking and smoking, and is now delivering me from cancer

My God is an awesome God and he will be my God forever and ever. He will never leave me or forsake me and he will guide me on to the end. I’m so glad I have God as my guide. He’s the one that gives me directions every day. I’m doing my best to follow the path that He leads me on. Are you allowing God to be your guide?

Pure As Gold

Philippians 4:8 Part 4

Finally, brethren,

whatsoever things are true,

whatsoever things are honest,

whatsoever things are just,

whatsoever things are pure,

whatsoever things are lovely,

whatsoever things are of good report;

if there be any virtue,

and if there be any praise,

think on these things.

 

Pure means not mixed or adulterated with any other substance or material and it can also mean uncontaminated.  We talk about the fact that God will refine us as pure gold (Is 48:10) as we go through the trials and tests of this life.  Here’s the question.  What would be the things that Paul does not want in our minds?

The answer to me is obvious. There are so many unpure things that we can dwell on. I can think of sexual objects, greed, gossip, achievement, power, the list goes on and on and on. To think of things that are pure we need to make sure that our mind is focused where it’s supposed to be

The only pure things that I can think of are the Word of God, the Praises of God, Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit themselves. These things need to be the focus of our lives on a minute by minute basis.  We all know that is we sit down and read the newspaper or watch TV, plenty of negative things will bombard us, and steal our focus away.  I am not trying to suggest that we bury our heads in the sand and ignore the world.  We need to be that light and salt that Jesus talked about (Matt 5:13-16).

I find that when I’m focused on the Lord the difficult things in life will take care of themselves as God guides and directs me. When I’m focused on Him, my mind isn’t cluttered by all kinds of bad thoughts, and believe me I have those. I need to do all I can to keep those thoughts out of my mind and the best way to do that is to fill my mind with something else – the Word of God.

The Bible gives us hints on how to accomplish this.  It tells us to pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17).  Now this doesn’t mean I go around praying all the time, ignoring everyone I meet.  It means having that attitude of prayer so that we can take situations to God in prayer as they ae brought tour attention.  And believe me, those satiations come up much more than you might think if we are looking for them.  It also says “In everything give thanks (1 Thess 5:18).  Have that attitude of gratitude all the time.  And lastly “In all they ways acknowledge Him” (Prov 3:6).  These three simple steps can help each of us keep our minds on things that are pure.

 

Tomorrow, we will discuss how to keep our minds on things that are lovely

Just Be Just

Philippians 4:8 Part 3

Finally, brethren,

whatsoever things are true,

whatsoever things are honest,

whatsoever things are just,

whatsoever things are pure,

whatsoever things are lovely,

whatsoever things are of good report;

if there be any virtue,

and if there be any praise,

think on these things.

When I look at the word just the first thing I think of is justice. Justice to me means that people get what they truly deserve. And it should be just according to the laws that are in place. I think about our country lately where I think we have seen a lot of wrong justice and it reminds of Habakkuk 1:2-4 where the prophet is asking God why He allows the injustice that is going on.  Habakkuk ends up saying that wrong judgment proceeds.  It seems wrong judgment proceeds quite a bit in America today.

But then I looked up the word just and I was really surprised at what it said.  The definition said ”based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair”. To use this definition, we have to define what is moral. And in our society today morality is changing. Things that used to be immoral are becoming moral. So how do you decide what is morally right and fair? That’s a discussion for another blog most likely.

There are some other words used for the meaning of just, and the ones that really caught my mind were unbiased and unprejudiced. Now I have to admit that I have some biases in my life. There are some groups of people that I’m more afraid of than others and I really have no reason to be that way. I think it’s because I haven’t had enough interaction with that particular people group and so they scare me a little bit. That is something that I need to work on and I need God to help me. I think most of us have biases of some kind in our life that we need to put aside if we are going to be just.

Paul’s admonition here to think on things that are just is not as easy as it appears on the surface. This is one that I really struggle with. I pray that God will help me to be more open-minded.  I look at the attributes of love in 1st Corinthians 13, where Paul writes that charity envieth not, vaunteth not itself and is not puffed up. I cannot place myself above others in any sense of the word. If I truly love with Christian love, I need to look at all people as equals.  Actually, we studied earlier in Philippians 2 that I ought to esteem others more highly than myself.  And with no envy at all.

One more reason we should pay particular attention to this thinking justly.  I love Micah 6:8, because it t us what the Lord requires of us.  What are those things?  To do justly, love mercy and walk humbly before our God.  If being just is in this list, it must be important!

To think about things that are just is a tall order, especially for me.  Maybe you have this mastered, and if you do, thank God He has helped you in this area.  I would appreciate your prayers.

 

Honestly?

Philippians 4:8 Part 3

Finally, brethren,

whatsoever things are true,

whatsoever things are honest,

whatsoever things are just,

whatsoever things are pure,

whatsoever things are lovely,

whatsoever things are of good report;

if there be any virtue,

and if there be any praise,

think on these things.

I looked up honest in the dictionary and the first thing it says it’s free of deceit. So let’s change the wording a little bit. What so ever things are free of deceit.

Have you ever talked to somebody about a certain situation only to find out later they did not tell you the whole truth only, a partial truth?   Children are really good at this.  When you confronted them about it, they said “Well, you didn’t ask me about that!”  But you did ask them about the situation, not just about that particular aspect. I would call that being deceitful on their part.

There are a lot of ways that we can be deceitful. Withholding things that would be relevant to a conversation is deceitful. Saying something that would throw somebody off track is deceitful. Giving somebody a false hope that you might do something when in actuality you have no intention of doing that thing is deceitful. I think we’ve all been caught up in that one. We’re asked if we want to go to a particular meeting.  We say maybe and we know deep within our hearts we really don’t want to be in a meeting with that particular leader. But we tell that person we will try to make it. That’s deceitful.

Now I’m not saying that we should tell the truth if it’s going to hurt someone. This is a very tricky area and we have to be careful not to hurt our fellow Christians.  Truth can be told in love if God wants us to tell it.  But in our thought life, we have to stay away from thoughts that are deceitful because they will come out of our mouth eventually.

So, when you are going about your daily routines, consider the thoughts that are in your mind that might be deceitful. What are you withholding from somebody else that they really should know about? Are there activities in your life that are contrary to the way you act when you’re around your church members?  For years, I deceived people all the time because I had secret sin in my life and nobody knew about it except me and God.  I actually figured God didn’t mind since He didn’t expose me. But eventually it was found out, and it caused real damage with my wife. I really don’t want to be in that position again.

Honest also can mean sincere, candid, frank and open. It differs from being true in the fact that this talks more about the way we present it instead of whether it’s true or not. To be honest we must be sincere.  Honesty has to be shared in a loving relationship. And if we don’t approach it in the spirit of meekness and a heart of love, we are probably going to do it wrong.

Tomorrow we will talk about thinking on those things that are just.

Is Your Spirit Beautiful?

Psalm 45

My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.

Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.

And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.

Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.

As I read this psalm, I was trying to figure out who the author was and who he was writing about. So I turned to some of the commentaries and every one of them said that this is actually a Messianic psalm. David is the writer and he’s envisioning the future, when the Messiah has come. So since all the commentaries are much wiser than I am, I have to believe that they are right.

David saying that he’s ready to write and that his tongue is actually like pen is almost prophetic!  Right now I’m dictating this into my cell phone and I will transfer it and correct it when I put it into my blog. My tongue is my pen! David would have no idea that this would be possible back in his day.

Then he starts talking about the Messiah that comes. I get the feeling that he’s talking about the Messiah coming back to earth riding on His white horse in Revelations chapter 19. He is fairer than the children of men, grace is on his lips and He is blessed forever. We know that as Jesus walked this earth he spoke of grace at every turn. The Sermon on the Mount is loaded with the grace of God. In He rides triumphantly,  His sword is girded on his side. We know that He comes in truth and righteousness.  The army that follows Him is mighty indeed and will destroy many of the nations of the earth. This return of Christ is commonly called the marriage supper of the Lamb. It is a supper for the birds..

Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.

Kings’ daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.

David sees that his throne is forever and forever, and he talks again about God’s righteousness. We have talked a lot about righteousness here. It’s so important that we are living righteously this weekend.in these last days.  Now I understand that my own righteousness is as filthy rags and I must rely on the righteousness of Christ so that I can stand before almighty God.  But we do have a choice to live a good life or a bad life on this Earth. We do have a choice to live in sin or to live free from sin. We do have a choice, with every word that comes out of our mouth, to edify people or tear people down. We must concentrate on doing what is right and what is true. That is what God expects of us

10 Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house;

11 So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.

12 And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour.

13 The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.

14 She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.

15 With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king’s palace.

16 Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.

17 I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever

This portion is actually talking about a marriage and the bride in that marriage.  It may seem out of place in the context but we can glean some things from this portion of scripture. I like what he says in verse 10.  Again we go back to the saying “incline your ear”. It’s important that we listened to people. I am a terrible listener.  I’m always trying to think of what I’m going to say next instead of listening to the person right in front of me. It’s something I have to work on every time I’m with other people and I don’t work on it enough. Listening is one of the most difficult things in the art of conversation. I pray that I can learn to incline my ear to those around me

He goes on describing the nature of the queen or the young lady.  She’s very beautiful she is there with a gift to entreat the favor of the king. In verse 14 it talks about her being brought into the king. She is as presentable as can be and her beauty is beyond compare. We need to do our best to be presentable before God. I’m not talking about our external looks. God is only concerned about that as far as we don’t offend other people. What I’m talking about is the beauty of our spirit. Are we emanating good feeling to other people or when people see us coming down the street do they cringe and say oh God please keep them away from me. Our nature must be one that people want to be around and that the king can rejoice when we are brought in.  Look at verse 15.  With gladness and rejoicing the lady will enter into the king’s palace. I definitely want the king to be rejoicing when I walk into the palace!

The last thing he says is that he will make her name to be remembered in all generations and all people shall praise her forever and ever. This is often called The Legacy. We hear them talking about presidential Legacy all the time.  What will they leave behind? But you will have a legacy as well. Will it be a legacy of serving the Lord?  What will people say about you when it’s time to write a eulogy and have a funeral service? That’s something to think about. If it’s not positive then perhaps it’s time for a change.