Psalms 20:7 Where is my trust?

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.  Psalm 20:7 NIV

In-God-we-trust-motto

What would chariots and horses be in today’s world?

Ships, planes, trains, space travel, cell phones, internet.  Not sure which would be considered as the chariot.  Maybe all of them.  The chariots and horses were seen and greatly admired.  They gave power to take over kingdoms.  The incredible power of man’s ability to create mind blowing machines and electronic marvels would blow away previous generation.  Maybe the horses could also represent God creating  man’s ability to reason and build  the vast financial, military, scientific structures of today.

It is easy to trust what can be seen.  But…

We trust in the name of the Lord our God.

Invisible yet more powerful than what is seen.  Pull trust away from what can be seen to the almighty unseen that is more real and powerful. The verse does not say don’t use chariots or horses.  Use them,  but put your trust and faith in the one that made you, the world, the horses, and  the materials to make chariots.  The one who designed the abilities of the horses.  The one who knows and can intervene in the natural world as He sees fit.  Trust Him.

It is a wonder what man can do.  After all, it was God who gave man the understanding and ability to understand, dream and discover.  Let’s not allow our eyes and heart to place hope and trust in what is seen.  Put your trust in the one that made your eye to see. Trust in God.

Romans 1:16 Power & salvation for all (*)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

power to transform

Three words to define: Power, Salvation, Believes

 

Power – God’s supernatural power that overcomes the effect of sin.  His power overcomes the chain of lies from Satan.  His power breaks  the curse and bondage of sinful choices. It is beyond any self-achievement.  Beyond any therapy.  Beyond any vacation.  It is supernatural Power from God that can  save, heal, set free.

 

Salvation – Greek word  “sōtēria”  (so ta RE a)  deliverance, preservation, safety, salvation. Not only in heaven…but also on Earth today!  It is active salvation.  Active deliverance, preservation, and guidance.  In your everyday life, do you need salvation? Are you effected by shame from peers?  Are there destructive habits trying to regain control of your life?  You need salvation.

Romans 6:20-23  When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!  But now you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Believes – It is more than knowledge – it is walking through the day trusting God is saving you.  Believing God is watching over you like James 1:17 ”  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning“.  God directs paths for the righteous.  Knowing this, believing this, thanking Him for this, resting on the promise. Allowing God is actively saving you from sin.

If your faith is not transforming  your life

If your faith is not transforming  your life  then you have to ask yourself  “Have I put my trust in Christ or have I accepted Him as my savior…daily”  Right now ask Jesus to come into your heart and promise to follow Him because you need His Power and His Salvation, daily.   Both of these elements are outside man abilities.  Don’t be ashamed of the Gospel

I NOT ASHAMED

I will stand my ground with lightnside because of  Christ.  I will go against the standard of this life and allow the power of God to rescue me from my sin and I will daily grow in my believing.  I will keep this truth in my daily walk.  The gospel is believing in Christ’s POWER and daily SALVATION.

Psalms 19:1-6. Hearing Creation Worship

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m not very good at golf!

 
But I love to play. One reason,  nature is all around me, and it screams “How Marvelous is the Great Creator, Our GOD “.  While I am in the trees trying to find my golf ball I see, smell, and observe the Glory and Wonder of  what God has made.
Maybe that is part of the draw for fishing, hunting, gardening, planting flowers.  They speak and shout to God their praise.  I think we could use more time away from social media, tv, and other entertainment and just gaze at creation and listen.

nature

Take some time to reflect on creation and nature and listen as David did in Psalms 19:1-6

The heavens declare the glory of God; 

the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 

They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. 

In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.  It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.

Psalm 19:1‭-‬6 NIV

I love to observe trees.

 

They are. Majestic,  provide shelter,  beauty, warmth, and oxygen. GOD said one time…”Let there be trees”…and year after year God’s power goes forth and sustains trees.  And the trees GIVE back their praise.  Even when I play poorly at golf, hearing God’s creation worship places a lightnside my heart.

Psalms 15 Dwelling and doing

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?

Who may live on your holy mountain?

person-on-the-mountain-top_1160-904

Psalm 15:1-5 NIV

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? [2] The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; [3] whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; [4] who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; [5] who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken.

When reading this chapter there seems to be a lot one must do or be in order to dwell with God in His presence.  But after reading it through a few times, my conclusion is no man can do the things required in verses 2-5 by themselves.  They need God’s presence and power to become a righteous and kind person.

 

verses 2-5 are depended on verse 1

So I believe the actions of verses 2-5 are depended on verse 1.  It is God’s presence and the desire to live on His foundation that enables one to live as required.  Prayer and Bible study will place you in the tent on God’s mountain and give you lightnside.

 

So where do you live?  What is your foundation you base life and instruction on?  Where do you dwell in quiet times?  Make it Psalms 15:1  and the final sentence will be you “Whoever does these things will never be shaken“.

Proverbs 14:4 opportunity vs security

Without oxen a stable stays clean,  but you need a strong ox for a large harvest. NLT

 

oxen

5 questions come to mind in this verse.

What does the oxen represent?   What good does the oxen bring?  Can the oxen make things messy?  What does the harvest represent? What does the clean vs not so clean stable say about life?

opportunity vs security

One thought that I have spoken over and over to others and repeated it to myself  is this: opportunity and security do not go hand in hand.  Opportunity requires hard, messy, and challenging work.  Security may be a  clean tidy life but also an unchallenged life .

Do you feel God is leading you somewhere?

Do you desire a new direction in life?

Do you feel a calling or prompting to do something for your church or maybe a new job direction and it scares you?  Your life seems nice and neat and you know following a dream or challenge will disrupt it.  You are right! Following a calling or a project will require faith and stretching of abilities.  It includes dealing  fear, trust, sleepless nights, and learning new methods of working into new unknown ventures.  It’s messy but wonderful.  Opportunity is not neat and tidy but rather a little scary and requires faith in GOD as He empowers and leads. It can be messy but a wonderful and exciting kind of mess.

 

You can live a simple, safe life without a real challenge.  Your life will be neat and tidy,  but you will not experience  possible achievements.  Opportunity and security do not go hand in hand.  You have one or the other.  So why not push away from tidy and simple life into something bigger than you and step out in faith  for direction.  Genesis 12:1  The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.”  It was messy in Abrams life but He had a calling and repeated promises from GOD.  Abraham life was messy and filled with wrong choices but in the end he birthed the nation of Israel.

 

Many men and women in the  Bible and all around the world  took the messy challenge of a harvest in what ever form it represents  and found reward and blessing. 

No one owes you a living.

If there is one lesson that kids need to learn it is this.  No one owes you a living. No one owes you reward.  You must study,  make mistakes, challenge life,  get back up and press on in life.  It’s messy, hard but also can be very fulfilling.

Be a messy  achiever following a calling or business endeavor rather than a safe, clean secure life without reward of a financial or spiritual blessing. You will find fear, faith, wisdom, mistakes, excitement,  weariness but all with lightnside.

Romans 1:16 Not Ashamed. Part 2

Romans 1:16-17
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew,then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

The opposite of “not ashamed” is feeling ashamed or shamed.

Definition –  embarrassed or guilty because of one’s actions, characteristics, or associations .  (you should be ashamed of yourself)  reluctant to do something through fear of embarrassment or humiliation. ( “I’m ashamed to say I lost my temper.”)
Ashamed or not ashamed must have a point of focus that determines the behavior.
It depends on where you place your focus in life,  acceptance from peers now or a future goal.

1. You see people out jogging that look out of shape – not ashamed because? – They want to get in shape.

2. You see some wear a particular sports team image because? Not ashamed of the Team.

3. You see some NOT wearing a sports logo anymore because? Ashamed..

4. You begin to push away  from entertainment and begin to good study habits.  You are  made fun of by close friends but you are not ashamed because? You have decided to achieve a future goal in life.

 
Ashamed or not ashamed is determined if the desire for the future goal is stronger than  the shaming pressure  received in the present day.

 
Shaming – a verb meaning the action of trying to make someone ashamed.

Paul – A high standing Jew fighting against followers of Christ until Jesus met him on the way to Damascus. Transformed his life and put him on a mission to promote Jesus.   He had been imprisoned in Philippi (Acts 16:23, 24), chased out of Thessalonica (Acts 17:10), smuggled out of Berea (Acts 17:14), laughed at in Athens (Acts 17:32), regarded as a fool in Corinth (1 Cor. 1:18, 23), and stoned in Galatia (Acts 14:19). But he is not ashamed…why?

Jesus – the world shamed Jesus His whole life

“Your not God.”  “You have a demon.”  The whole religious organization condemning and shaming Him.  Rejected everywhere.  One of his followers even  betrays him.  Beaten, humiliated, crucified, carried men’s sin, endured hatred.
Hebrews 12:2  looking unto Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, disregarding  the shame, and has set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

What was set before Christ?  What allowed Him to not be affected by the shaming of others.   Joy of the victory over death – to bring salvation to followers of Christ. To defeat the death sentence of those bound by sin.

The focus of something in the future gave strength to Paul and Jesus to push off the effects of social and satanic shaming.  Back to Romans 1:16-17 I am not ashamed ( Paul’s focus point is the gospel) because it is the  power of God that brings salvation (future action) to everyone who believes.

What are you ashamed of?  Do you need others approval?

If you are a Christian and are following GOD, you will feel others try to shame you and your walk with Christ.  Focus on the future.  Focus on ministry, family.  Focus in the only hope for peace, and real life…the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Be bold, strong and receive your self worth through repentance and following Christ.

Let your lightnside reflect outside.  Like the old song says “Hide it under a bushel? NO! I’M GONNA LET IT SHINE.

Psalms 12  Discouraged & Hope

Ever have those “all is lost” feelings?

When feelings of depression feed a dark view of our life.  When the issues of a difficult situation repeat over and over in your mind.  The energy to bounce out of bed becomes turning over for more escape through sleep.

David is having this feeling.  Probably it is many days in a difficult situation and weariness overcomes him as he write “no one is faithful anymore”. “All who are loyal have vanished”. “Everyone lies to their neighbor”.  Tired, discouraged and unrealistic thoughts paint doom and gloom.
I have been there in moments of tired battle during a time of struggle or challenge.  I remember thinking all is lost.  There is no way of blessing or goodness ahead.  I do believe this feeling is a common feeling to man.  It may be beneficial in a way.  Because in these moments there becomes a deeper seeking of help and guidience from GOD.  A calling out to GOD in the dark times of our life when we can only thinking words like “everyone”, “always”, and “hopeless”.

Suddenly a surprising thing happened.  A word from GOD

A verse read in the Bible suddenly awakens and becomes alive in your life.  That word becomes lightnside!  Suddenly a promise becomes a beacon and a life vest.  Psalms 12:6  call these words as precious as gold or silver.  Not just the raw material but words tested by situations and pressure.  Promises that have been purified from the ages and can be trusted.

John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life. 

Hebrews 13:5 I will never leave you or forsake you.

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christʼs power may rest on me.

If you are in a “everyone”, “all is lost” time of your life.

Seek the precious words and promises of GOD.  The day is coming.  The end of the dark tunnel is coming.  Allow God’s words and presence to soak in your mind and heart. You will discover a new lightnside.

Psalms 14 Fool says NO GOD…but

Before Psalms 14 before you continue.

how-could-humans-have-evolved-2
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God”.

I do not think this is the rational thoughts of an atheist,  but rather a lost man trying to convince in his heart that God does not exist.  Or maybe he radically hopes against all outward  evidence that God does not exist. The description of the person in verse one is someone doing evil.  Their thoughts are corrupt and they choose to believe there is no God watching. They want to believe no God see their plans and actions.  They attempt to make themselves believe this by repeating “there is no God, there is no God.”

What about creation and life? Who made them?

Of course to look at the creation of the world and animals one would naturally see a divine grand designer.  The heavens declare His glory.  All men are created to seek the presence of someone greater than man.  But the fool continues to say in his heart “there is no God, there is no God.”

Overwhelmed with dread

I love verses 5-6.  The same man in verse one who repeats “there is no God” is overwhelmed with dread. The fool must acknowledge “God is with the righteous and God is the refuge when the poor are attacked.  God intervenes against their evil plans.  The evil men are overwhelmed with dread because “There is a God, There is a God“.  And He watches over the world and He is with the righteous.

The fool one day will kneel before God

So the fool runs back to his own place of hiding and begins again “there is no God, there is no God.”The fool has no lightnside.  I really believe he has a dread of God in his mind and to keep ahead of dread and guilt must repeat in his heart “there is no God”,  until the fool stands before Almighty God and will kneel.

Proverbs 11:3-4 Honesty and Judgement.

 

honesty

Honesty guides good people; dishonesty destroys treacherous people. Riches won’t help on the day of judgment, but right living can save you from death. 

There will be a judgement for all people. No one can escape it. We must prepare for it. How? By following a guide. A standard of living that has the judgement in mind.

Judgement?

When is judgement? It comes after you die. When will I die? Unknown. Anytime or years away. Some teach once you say a prayer to Christ to save you then you can live anyway you want without any fear of eternity.  The key is the question “are you really a Christian?” Has there been a transformation in your life that has caused a life change?  Does the sin you do (which we all do) cause you discomfort and you are troubled by it?  If not then there may have not been a change in your heart.  When you prayed you just spoke words and did not really mean it in your spirit.

Christ is not a life insurance policy.  He is a way of life.  Christ also teaches us to have a healthy fear of God (Luke 12:4-5)

The bible teaches everyone will stand before God and give an account for their lives.(Romans 14:10)

Even at the end of the Lords prayer there is a warning about forgiving others that we should all take seriously. (Matthew 6:13-15)

Live right.  Live honest.  Forgive others. Keep lightnside.

Romans 1:16 (For) I am Not Ashamed of the Gospel

The word “for” at the beginning connects this verse to the previous.  The previous verse was a mind blower because Paul confesses He has radically changed from a proud, radical, racist to loving everyone.  See the blog post.

Now Paul adds the words “I am not ashamed of the Gospel“. Interesting words to quote before the purpose and power are described. Why would the word ashamed even be mentioned?

Not-Ashamed-Web

In my study I found some interesting responses.  The most compelling was the conflict of the Gospel to our own righteousness.  In Paul’s case there would have been a huge issue with the gospel as he was before his meeting with Christ.  Paul’s intelligence and religious actions were everything.  It gave him status, self righteousness,  reason to judge others.  The gospel message of faith in Christ is the only way of salvation and hope would have sent Paul in a rage of religious responses.  But the new Paul,  the one who is eager to share the message of the Gospel is not ashamed of it’s message.

Timothy Keller writes the following:

In every age, it is possible to be “ashamed of the gospel” (Romans 1: 16), instead of eager to share it. The word translated “ashamed” also means “offended.” How is the gospel offensive?

The gospel, by telling us that our salvation is free and undeserved, is really insulting! It tells us that we are such spiritual failures that the only way to gain salvation is for it to be a complete gift. This offends moral and religious people who think their decency gives them an advantage over less moral people.

The gospel is also really insulting by telling us that Jesus died for us. It tells us that we are so wicked that only the death of the Son of God could save us. This offends the modern cult of self-expression and the popular belief in the innate goodness of humanity.

The gospel, by telling us that trying to be good and spiritual isn’t enough, thereby insists that no “good” person will be saved, but only those who come to God through Jesus. This offends the modern notion that any nice person anywhere can find God “in his own way.” We don’t like losing our autonomy.

The gospel tells us that our salvation was accomplished by Jesus’ suffering and serving (not conquering and destroying), and that following him means to suffer and serve with him. This offends people who want salvation to be an easy life; it also offends people who want their lives to be safe and comfortable.

 

I also am not ashamed of the gospel.  I hope you are not ashamed as well and that the gospel has placed a lightnside your life.