Sunday, November 29, 2015

Saturday, November 14, 2015

THE FEAR OF GOD IS THE KEY TO PEACE


As I was listening to the words of the prophet Isaiah this morning, the first part of chapter 59 spoke anew to my heart.  He is making the point that God will not listen to the prayers of His people, because they insist on continuing in their sin and pursuing what is evil.   

Isaiah 59:1–8 “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity….

I couldn’t help but see the similarities between Israel then and America now. No, we are not a Christian nation, as our President proudly declares; but our nation was founded on Christian principles and with an overall healthy respect for the LORD and His word.  How far we have drifted from those principles and our reverence for God Almighty!

Our hands are defiled with blood—not only from violence against one another, but especially from the murder of millions of innocent babies at the hands of abortionists.  Our fingers are stained with sin as evidenced by much of the art, literature, music, advertising and entertainment forms we produce.  Lies are accepted and even expected in our relationships with others; a man’s word no longer carries the weight of respect it once did.  It is no longer surprising to hear filthy language; to take the Lord’s name in vain is part of accepted conversation.

Very few stand up for true justice or are willing to stand for the truth anymore.  They would much rather say or do whatever necessary to promote their sinful personal agendas.  Lawyers in general are more concerned about winning and judges more interested in moving forward their own agendas than in seeking righteous judgment.  Much time is spent in planning how to manipulate the facts towards their own sinful purposes.

….Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace….

As I read through this section of verses, I was reminded of these verses in Proverbs.

Proverbs 6:16–19 “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

We have no excuse for our actions.  Through His inspired, holy word God has made His will abundantly clear as to the moral principles that should govern our lives.  All of God’s paths are associated with being straight, and crooked paths are associated with wickedness and evil.

Proverbs 4:25–27 “Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”

Luke 3:4–5 “As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth….”

Proverbs 2:12–15 “To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:”

The Apostle Paul seems to reference this section of scripture in Isaiah in his letter to the Romans.

Romans 3:12–17 “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known….”

In the very next verse in Romans, Paul identifies the root cause of such actions.

Romans 3:18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

To act in direct rebellion to the will and command of God as revealed in His word testifies to the fact that you have no fear of God.  Churches today love to teach about God as our Father without the necessary balancing truth—that God is also our Judge.  They love to teach about how to love one another without the necessary balancing truth of identifying and avoiding sin in our lives.  Without a healthy fear of the LORD, one will never be encouraged to make wise choices—choices that align with His will in the face of cultural pressures that urge us to do otherwise.

Job 28:28 “And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.”

Psalms 111:10–112:1 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments….Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.”

Proverbs 16:6 “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.”

This section of verses in Isaiah closes with a powerful truth that is stated at least two other times in his writings.

Isaiah 48:22 “There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.”

Isaiah 57:21 “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.”

May your heart be tender to the truth of His word!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

GOD'S GRACE

I thought I would share a poem the Lord gave me a couple of years ago.


GOD’S GRACE

Before God spoke a word
Creating heaven and earth
He had a plan in place
To bless us with His grace

He knew that we were sure
To yield to Satan's lure
So He had a plan in place
To bless us with His grace

Redemption was His plan
To send The Perfect Man
Who on the cross would make
A sacrifice of grace

That Man--His only Son
The holy, sinless One
Who suffered in our place
God's precious gift of grace

To heaven He has gone
Preparing there a home
For those who have in faith
Received His saving grace

And one day soon He'll call
His children one and all
To gather in one place
Around the throne of grace

No sorrow, tears or pain
Eternal joy will reign
The blessing of His grace
Because He had a plan in place