Psalm 128:1 Blessed In Fear And Obedience

Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him. Psalm 128:1

Fear and obedience are two things that many people do not see associated with blessings. Yet the psalmist says that the one who fears and the one who is obedient is blessed.

Fear is often associated with being scared, not respect. There are many people in the world who fear God, because they fear that He will not accept them because of their past sins. Christians often fall into this same type of fear of God. They fear God no longer loves them because they fell back into some sin again. The weight of judgement against them weighs heavily on their minds.

This is not the fear the psalmist was talking about. Fear, here, is the respect and reverence for God. It is allowing God to be God and absolutely ruler over one’s life.

Obedience is seen as something that one must do, not a privilege to do. Throughout the world, many people obey the laws, only because they have to. The rules are obeyed only out of fear of getting caught. This also is often seen in the church. The heart is not in the obedience.

When a believer realizes what Jesus has done for him and how much God loves him, he will want to obey God. It will be a choice, not a requirement.

When you obey God out of fear, you are constantly on the outlook for when God is going to strike you. In that way, there is no real peace or loving relationship with God.

The blessings in fearing and obeying God is found in the relationship that is built up through the obedience. The level of trust in God is built up as you fear and obey Him. Knowing that there is peace between you and God rises when you know you are living for God with the right mindset.

Having that right relationship with God removes fear of judgement or reprimand. You will know the grace and mercy God has for you. In the midst of trouble in this life, you will still have God’s peace and love in your life. What better blessing can there be than that?

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will know God’s mercy for you; that you will have the proper fear and respect for God; that God will strengthen you in your obedience to Him; and that you will know all the blessings God has for you.

Psalm 123:1 Where To Look

I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven. Psalm 123:1

As a person goes through life, he usually has some people he looks up to. These are people who have meant something special in his life. Usually they have done something above and beyond that impacted his life in some great way or another.

The people looked up to may be parents, a teacher, a co-worker, a close friend, a pastor, a mentor, and the list can go on. The world often tries to look up to those who are popular and in the limelight. Many different movie, television, music, and sports stars are looked up to by many people. They are often seen as the perfect example of what one wants to be like.

Although people may have good traits to desire and look up to, they are still human and have faults.

The psalmist, in this verse, says that he looks up to the one enthroned in heaven. God is the one who is enthroned in heaven.

Since God is the one who is enthroned in heaven, He is the one who is above all and in control. It is the king who sits on the throne. It is the king who has the final word of control in any and every situation. He has absolute power.

How can this help you today?

Knowing that God is on the throne, helps you to know that no matter how the situation looks, He is still in control.

Later in this psalm, it is written that they will look to God until He shows His mercy on them. You, too, are to look to God until He shows His mercy on you.

Those in the world can guide you and help you to a point, but all of their work will only be for temporary goals and many may fall short. God’s work is for eternity and will never fail.

Keep your eyes focused on God and allow Him to guide you through the perils and challenges of this life. His goal is to make you more like Jesus everyday and to bring you into heaven to be with Him for eternity. It is not just a temporary fix for a few days, it is an eternal fix. Look up to God today.

I pray today that you will keep your eyes on Jesus; that you will trust God to guide you; that you will know the mercy of God in your life; and that you will know Jesus is the King.

Psalm 120:7 Seeking Peace, Finding War

I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war. Psalm 120:7

All over the world most people desire to have peace instead of war. Battles are being fought daily in many different nations. People fight others for many different reasons, even though there are many who would love to have peace.

Believers should be seeking peace also, even though they are in the midst of a battle for their lives. The peace that should be sought out, is not the peace that the world thinks of. This peace is the peace that comes between them and God. It is an inner peace that overcomes everything.

As the believer seeks to present that peace to those in the world, the devil rises up in opposition and seeks to make war with him. The peace that the believer is trying to make is peace between God and man. The world does not accept God and does not want that type of peace. This is where the war is brought about.

In order for a believer to present God’s type of peace, he must show love, compassion, and mercy to those in the world. Not every believer shows these attributes of God to the world.

It is common to hear Christians bashing non-believers, condemning them to hell, and showing hatred. The words that many speak are not the true words of God. Yes, God hates the sin, but He does love the sinner.

As Jesus walked on the earth, He spoke of the peace of God and showed love, mercy and compassion. Yet, the world made war with Him and crucified Him. You will have it no differently.

As you go through your days, you need to be showing the world the peace that God can and will offer. Show the peace that comes through knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior. While there will be some who will accept the message you bring, there will be some who will make war with you.

Do not give up when there is war against you. Put on the armor of God and stand your ground, not seeking to fight and condemn, but fight to show God’s true love to this fallen world. You are in a battle for your soul and the souls of other people.

Are you seeking peace?

Or just seeking to fight in a war?

I pray today that you will know the peace of God; that you will present God’s peace to the world; that God will strengthen you in the battles that will come; and that you will be an example of God’s love to the world.

Hebrews 4:16 Approaching God

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

After pointing out that Jesus is the high priest of all believers, he tells the readers to go to God’s throne of grace with confidence. The reason that a believer can go with confidence is that Jesus was human just like every other person. He had to deal with temptations to sin, yet He never did sin. He understands the struggles and challenges, yet always chose the right path.

Many people are afraid to go to God, especially when they have been doing something wrong. They fear the punishment and anger of God. It is often expected that God will strike back and punish a person for every little sin done wrong. This becomes even more so when the sin is one that a person has done over and over again after repenting of it each time.

Instead of approaching in fear, you are told to approach with confidence. You are to boldly go before God’s throne of grace. God has grace greater than any person can imagine. He does not want to punish a person. His desire is to set things right. If He didn’t want to set things right, God would never have sent Jesus to die on the cross for you.

When you go to God you can expect Him to have mercy and grace to help you. The first thing He will do is remove that sin. The next thing He will do is guide you in how to live for Him. He will show you the way to keep from falling back into that sin…if you allow Him to.

Every person has a need, and is not the need of things, it is the need of removal of sin and to overcome temptation of sin in his life.

The only way to have the removal and overcoming is to go to God’s throne of grace. Seek out Jesus and follow Him. Jesus will always give you what you need the most.

Will you trust His love? Or will you stay away in fear?

I pray today that you will know the love God has for you; that you will be bold in approaching God; that you will trust in God’s grace and mercy for you; and that you will lean on God’s grace to help you in every area of your life.

1 Timothy 1:15-16 The Worst Sinner

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:15-16

Paul realized how great of a sinner he was. He called himself the worst sinner. This could be debated as to if he was the worst or if someone else had been worse than him. Regardless of how much a person has sinned, he is a sinner and among the worst.

One must see how bad being a sinner really is. Once that can be seen, it can also be seen how great God’s patience and mercy is.

There are believers, who have been in the church for their whole life or many years, who forget the sin side of their life. If they grew up in the church, they don’t think of their “small” sins (such as telling a lie, cheating on a test, etc.) as that great. Or if they were saved later, but have been a believer for many years, they forget who they had been.

Sin is still sin. It is still against God. When Jesus has saved you, you are saved from your sins. The mercy is just as great for you who has sinned little and for the one who has sinned a lot. Jesus has the same patience for both of you.

If God has patience with you, you, also, should have patience with others that are growing in the Lord Jesus.

How do you see yourself? Are you a great Christian believer? Or are you the worst sinner being saved by grace?

Regardless of whether you told a lie or you murdered a thousand people, you were a sinner. If you are believing in Jesus today, you are being saved.

Do not forget who you were. Remember that at one time you were also against Jesus. Show that example to others so that they may know they may be saved also.

I pray today that you will know how bad all sin is; that you will know the grace, mercy and patience God has for you; that God will help you turn from all sin; and that you will be a light in this world of His love, grace, mercy, and patience.

Romans 14:19 Working To Build Up

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification.” Romans 14:19

During the time of Paul there was a lot of food being sold as food that had been sacrificed to some god. The devoted Israelites would refuse to eat the food that had been sacrificed since it was not meat offered to God. In the verses prior to this one, he talks about how all meat or anything else can be clean but to not do anything to cause someone to fall. Now he states that one should strive to do what builds others up.

Over time there have been people in the church who stand very strongly against certain things or acts that are in reality neutral with the Bible. One example was in playing cards. For many years, most churches were against cards because of the common place of gambling that was associated with playing them.

Paul is stating here that if someone is against playing cards, then do not do it around that person, even if you do not feel it is a wrong act to do. You are to strive to build the person up, not condemn them or try to change them.

This is not a free license to sin. When there is direct sin in a person’s life, it is another believer’s responsibility to warn them about it.

The best choice to do with every person is to point them to Jesus and show them His love, grace and mercy. It is possible God is still working in their lives to change them, but it will take time and it is one thing at a time. Do not fight against the person, but build them up in Jesus.

Too often, people push their freedom and do it anyways, causing hurt, pain, and confusion. Be the example of love around them. If they do not do something, don’t do it around them, even though you may have the freedom to do so.

It is important that you are living your own life in the way God has revealed to you. Be the light in this world. Be willing to sacrifice your rights to build someone else up.

I pray today that God will guide you in how to live your life; that you will not enforce your freedom on to someone else; that you will build others up; and that you will strive to live at peace with others while living for God.

Romans 12:1 A Living Sacrifice

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1

Paul had just talked about how God’s mercy brings salvation to both the Israelites and the Gentiles. Since this is the case, believers are to keep God’s great mercy in mind and offer their bodies as a living sacrifice. This is called true and proper worship.

In the Old Testament times, worship of God was done by sacrificing an animal on an altar. An animal was chosen that was without any defects and laid upon the altar. It was then killed and burned as a sacrifice of worship to God.

When Jesus died on the cross, He became the saving sacrifice for all time and all people. Unlike the sacrifices in the Old Testament for covering of sins, His sacrifice does not need to be repeated by anyone ever again. Yet, there needs to be sacrifices of worship to God.

Paul is stating that you should offer your body as a living sacrifice. You do not have to physically die on the altar, but your body must be sacrificed.

Sacrificing your body is doing God’s will with your physical abilities despite what you or your body wants to do. It is going the extra mile to help someone out, or to tell someone about Jesus. It is loosing that extra sleep in order to build someone else up in Jesus. It is denying sinful acts to live a testimony of who Jesus is. It is refusing to live in sin. It is going out of your way to be a witness to others.

Doing God’s desire is the greatest form of worship a person can give God. Speaking praises to God is good, but if the heart is not in it, and there is no action to back it up, it becomes meaningless. Jesus said that if you really love Him you would obey Him. This is the meaning of a living sacrifice–to obey God and do what He desires, even at the cost of your physical being.

Are you really worshiping God today? Or are you just speaking words of worship?

Are you worshiping God? Or are you worshiping yourself?

I pray today that you will know the mercy God has for you; that you will offer your body as a living sacrifice to God; that you will obey God’s desires for your life; and that you will be His witness everywhere you go.