The Vanity of Life

Psalm 39 is such a great tool to keep things in perspective...God's perspective. Is our prayer like the Psalmist's "Let me know how transient I am" in total humilty? Or do we find ourself boasting in our strength, wisdom, or riches (Jeremiah 9:23-24)? We must not lose focus of the shortness and meekness of our own lives. We must "in humility consider others better than" ourselves (Philippians 2:3-4) and seize every day as an opportunity to glorify God in all that we do.

Key to Success?

Joshua 1:8 "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." Often times the world (and its great deceiver satan) can trick us into thinking that success and prosperity lies within ourselves and our work. The reality is that ultimate success and prosperity lies not in the things of this world, but in our relationship with God. Our guide to such a relationship is found in the Scriptures alone. I know I must remain disciplined in order to keep God's Word before me every day. It is not easy and sometimes I fail to do it in the way that I hope or planned. We must not let Satan discourage or use guilt of our past failing to prevent us from staying in His Word or renewing our devotional efforts. The Bible is more readily available with the widest variety of tools and media forms than ever before..do we take advantage of that, or do we take it for granted? Psalm 19:14 "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."

Life


The creation of life is so amazing. Our God reveals himself so clearly in all of creation, but especially in the creation of human life.

Jeremiah 1:5a "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart"

Psalm 139:13-14 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

Look at a description of what takes place in just the first 8 weeks of human life (taken from National Right to Life Website)...how amazing!
  • Day 1: fertilization: all human chromosomes are present; unique human life begins.Click photo to enlarge.
  • Day 6: embryo begins implantation in the uterus.
  • Day 22: heart begins to beat with the child's own blood, often a different type than the mothers'.
  • Week 3: By the end of third week the child's backbone spinal column and nervous system are forming. The liver, kidneys and intestines begin to take shape.
  • Week 4: By the end of week four the child is ten thousand times larger than the fertilized egg.
  • Week 5: Eyes, legs, and hands begin to develop.
  • Week 6: Brain waves are detectable; mouth and lips are present; fingernails are forming.
  • Week 7: Eyelids, and toes form, nose distinct. The baby is kicking and swimming.
  • Week 8: Every organ is in place, bones begin to replace cartilage, and fingerprints begin to form. By the 8th week the baby can begin to hear.

Romans 1:20 "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. "

Let's not forget or take for granted how God has revealed Himself so clearly!

The ultrasound is of a new baby at almost 5 weeks old...

Deliverance



Have you ever noticed that across the Psalms there is an overwhelming amount of prayers and songs to God about deliverance from evil, wicked people, enemies, etc.?

In Psalms 11, 12, 13, 43, 44, 70, 71, & 73 I noticed this theme over and over and it can be found in many more Psalms as well.

Listen to how the oppressor is referred to..."wicked," "loves violence," "speak falsehood," "flattering lips," "double heart," "strut about," "vileness is exalted," "exalted over me," "adversaries,""ungodly nation," "deceitful," "unjust," "those who hate us," "delight in my hurt," and "set their mouth against the heavens" to name a few...

When you read through those descriptions, what comes to mind in your own life? Has the Lord allowed an oppressor to remain in your life? A person, a situation, a struggle, a sin, a temptation, or suffering?

Our struggles with oppressors or oppressive situations will likely pale in comparison to the situation of David and other psalmists. It is important to look at how they responded to their situations. Listen to some of their prayers, entreaties, and statements...
  • "For you are the God of my strength" (Psalm 43:2)
  • "Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him" (Psalm 43:5)
  • "All this has come upon us, but we have not forgotten You" (Psalm 44:17)
  • "Our heart has not turned back, our steps have not deviated from your way" (Psalm 44:18)
  • "For your sake we are killed all day long" (Psalm 44:22)
  • "'Let God be magnified' But I am afflicted and needy; Hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord do not delay." (Psalm 70:4-5)
  • "For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth" (Psalm 71:5)
  • "But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works." (Psalm 73:28)

We may not always know WHY we or others encounter situations of suffering. Scripture reveals over and over though that the Lord often uses it to:

  • Comfort us so that we may comfort others (2 Cor 1)
  • For the salvation of others (2 Cor 1)
  • To not trust in ourselves (2 Cor 1)
  • Produce a weight of eternal glory (2 Cor 4:17)
  • To keep us humble (2 Cor 12:7)
God is sovereign. He is in control. He is our only ultimate source of hope and help through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross. Are you seeking His deliverance from the evil one? from oppressors? from oppressive situations? from suffering?

Or are you trying to get through life and tough situations on your own?

Missing Church - Good reasons?


Great response to the question..."What are appropriate reasons for missing church?" on gotquestions.org

It is a helpful discussion for both regular, irregular, and seldom-ever churchgoers. This is a touchy subject for many (becuase of inner conviction?), but is well handled in a way that points to Biblical answers.

Other relevant and helpful responses to questions:

Hebrews 10:24-25
"24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

The American Holocaust

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