On The Journey-Gimel

Deal bountifully with Your servant,
That I may live and keep Your word.

Open my eyes, that I may see
Wondrous things from Your law.

I am a stranger in the earth;
Do not hide Your commandments from me.

My soul breaks with longing
For Your judgments at all times.

You rebuke the proud—the cursed,
Who stray from Your commandments.

Remove from me reproach and contempt,
For I have kept Your testimonies.

Princes also sit and speak against me,
But Your servant meditates on Your statutes.

Your testimonies also are my delight
And my counselors. Psalm 119:17-24 NKJV

Gimel– (The “G” sounds like an “H”) the third letter of the Hebrew alphabet and the third segment of this acrostic poem, written by the Psalmist to express their desire to really know God and obey, in spite of those who ridiculed them.

In this segment, we see the Psalmist seeking God’s generosity in pouring out understanding of His laws. The Psalmist realizes that without knowing and understanding how God wants us to live that our lives are cut short and we do not accomplish all that God has planned for us.

Do we understand that if we do not obey God’s commandments, we will not receive all He plans for us? Are our souls disturbed when we do the wrong things enough to instantly repent and seek God’s guidance? Are we overly concerned about what people say about us–those who ridicule us for our belief in God and in keeping His commandment of love?

There are many who sit in high places as well as low places (hierarchy of either class or authority) who ridicule Believers on a regular basis. Some of them claim to be atheists and others are simply born to be obnoxious. What they haven’t learned yet is they are entitled to not believe just as we are entitled to believe–without all the vitriol constantly launched in our direction. Many claim to want to “open our eyes” to their truths so we won’t believe, but the truth of the matter is–they have no truth–other than what has been contrived in the minds of those who are influenced by the enemy–and they are many!

However, for those of us who are steadfast in our belief and faith in a living God, we have no reason to be concerned about the enemy’s attempt to ridicule us. We can stare them down, smile, remind them God loves them and keep going. We do not have to argue our faith–we simply need to live it!

The Psalmist has observed what happens to those who turn away from God and they are determined not to suffer the same fate. The testimonies of God is what we witness–what happens to other people–either those who stand firm in their faith or those who turn aside.

It is not that difficult then to understand what is happening in our world today. We see the results of a land in which many have turned aside from obeying God and all other authority in the land. If we choose to refute and live in opposition to God’s Word, we have no choice but receive what we deserve. If those who obey are blessed, then those who don’t are cursed. If we delight in obeying God’s Word, then those who don’t are bitter.

Where are we on this journey in life? Are we seeking God’s counsel or we just living by the seat of our pants–with no understanding or direction?

The path to happiness and abundant joy is accessible–we simply have to choose to follow the way God has determined for us.

 

 

Where Are You, God?

“Do not hold against us the sins of past generations; may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are desperate need. Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of Your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name’s sake. Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” (Psalm 79:8-10 NIV)

Not only are other nations questioning where our God is–those who claim to Believe are asking the same question. Of course the naysayers ask the question to belittle and ridicule Believers, but when Believers ask the question–we know the nation is truly in trouble. Why?

If Believers are asking God, “Where are You?” they have not understood just how close God is to those who Believe. It’s not a source of amazement for the unbelieving to ask the question, for they do not have access to Him through right relationship to know the answer to the question, but certainly–Believers–who understand God’s Word and are in right relationship with Him, should never ask this question. We know where He is–He dwells within us.

However the real problem is not in knowing where God is–since He is omnipresent–He is everywhere at the same time, but in knowing that He gives “all people free will” and will not force us to do anything. Therefore, anything we do–without specific direction from God is subject to failing or creating disaster.

Many people are asking, “Where is God when mentally disabled or challenged people shoot others?” God is right there in the midst of the shooting, but He will not force anyone to do what is right. So, the gunmen–in every situation–act without benefit of God’s instruction and they are prey of the enemy who hates all of us and when he can influence the minds of others to do evil–since they don’t believe in God anyway, they do evil.

But we must understand–in order to do evil–we must have a mindset that “desires to do evil” or the enemy would not have any power over us. People have to submit to the devil’s influence just like they have to submit to God’s influence. It is a free will choice we make when we choose to be influenced by any source.

So, now the question should not be, “where is God?” but rather where are we in a relationship with Him? Do we truly Believe or are we just religious, operating in rituals of out traditions that hold no true meaning of anything? I’m sure, when we stand before Him on the day we are judged, we’re going to discover that God will have more respect for the naysayers than those of us who claim to Believe, but never had a relationship with Him. He’s told us that He would rather we be–hot or cold–and not lukewarm because lukewarm, wishy-washy people make Him ill (Revelation 3:16 paraphrased).

Instead of us raising the question as to where God is, we should raise the question–where are we? I can imagine with all of the stupid things occurring in the world, that God is asking the question, “Where are my children who claim to know me?” Why would God ask this question? Because if we are His children, we would know how important communication with Him is and our obedience to Him. We cannot pattern ourselves after the world and the worldly way of doing things; He has called us to a standard of Excellence because He is Excellent in all His Ways and if we truly belong to Him, doing things His way should not be a burden to any.

Where are you, in your relationship with God? God is right here–waiting to embrace us in right relationship with Him.

Why Jesus said, “Blessed Are You When People Insult You!”

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” (Matthew 5:11 NIV)

In this passage of scripture, which is notably called, The Sermon on the Mount, crowds of people had been following Jesus, listening to His proclamation of Good News, and paying attention to His healing the sick. He went upon the mountain side and sat down and when His disciples came to Him, He taught them. Notice all that is said, before He gets to our scripture reference for today.

Matthew 5:3-10–Commonly referred to as the Beatitudes (What our attitude should be):

vs.3 Blessed are the poor IN SPIRIT, for theirs (strength is in Jesus) is the kingdom of heaven.

vs.4 Blessed are those who mourn (grieve over the loss of a loved one) for they WILL BE COMFORTED.

vs.5 Blessed are the meek (those who have no need to bring attention to themselves) for they will INHERIT the earth.

vs.6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for RIGHTEOUSNESS (doing what is right before God), for they will be filled.

vs.7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be SHOWN mercy (new mercies every day).

vs.8 Blessed are the pure in heart (have a heart for God), they WILL SEE GOD.

vs.9 Blessed are the PEACEMAKERS, for they will be called children of God.

vs.10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of RIGHTEOUSNESS, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

I have detailed explanations of these blessings in myBook.to/IAMALLTHAT 

All these Jesus said to those who follow Him and all these are still relevant today for all who follow Him.

The references to righteousness is for those in right standing with God, not because of their own righteousness, because we no no righteousness of ourselves. These are the people who know what God has said and endeavor to obey Him in all things. When they miss the mark, they are quick to repent–turning away from the thing(s) they did which did not please God. We who choose to come to God (the disciples came to Him) and listen and obey are blessed no matter what our individual circumstances are.

Knowing how other people–who don’t know Him would treat those who follow Him–the blessings He confers are to encourage us when we are belittled, and ridiculed because of our faith in Him. And then He goes on to say in vs. 12 “Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” In other words, those who have been speaking God’s Word to nations long before we came on the scene were ridiculed, and killed because they spoke what God spoke to them.

Beloved, there is so much more that Jesus said, and I encourage all who don’t know Him to get to know Him through His Word. For those of us who know, we must simply keep saying what God said–knowing that one plants the seed of righteousness and direction to Jesus, another waters, and we wait to see God’s increase.

Stand Firm!

“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God” (Philippians 1:27,28 NIV).

In Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, he encouraged believers to stand firm in the knowledge that no matter who preached the Gospel or what happened; their faith would all work for the good of those who love Jesus.

The message is still relevant today–no matter what happens in the world, we should always conduct ourselves in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Christ (nothing done that we need be ashamed of). With the turmoil and chaos in the world–immorality and total negation of God’s Word, we who know the truth must stand firm–even in the midst of ridicule and scorn from those who have no clue. We know and we must stand firm in our belief–Jesus came, died, was buried, and rose again–that we might have eternal life.

Stand firm in your convictions of faith and don’t be moved by the scorners because we know what their end will be. Don’t allow the liars to convince you that your belief in God is misplaced. They do not know Him, have no clue as to what His plan for humanity is, and they certainly do not understand the influence they follow–the father of liars.

Don’t be afraid of what the enemy attempts to do for he has no power over you as long as you remember that “no weapon formed against shall prosper” and that “we can do all things through Christ Jesus!” If the Lord reigns in your life, let Him lead you in all things and let no one cause you a moment of doubt. “For he who doubts is double-minded and shall receive nothing from God.” But “no good thing shall be withheld from those who love the Lord.” 

Let the unbelieving go their way, if they will not hear and adhere to Truth. Their end has already been established and their behavior should in no way affect what you do. Stand firm, united by Holy Spirit, promoting the Gospel until the day He returns, without fear or doubt, knowing our mansions await us!