Thursday, December 24, 2020

THANKS BE TO GOD FOR HIS INDESCRIBABLE GIFT!!!

                        

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!  
                      (2 Corinthians 9:15)

How would you describe 2 Corinthians 9:15 - Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (NIV)? 

1) This is the Gift of gifts! 

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).

2) We deserved death but He gave us life while we were still in sin. 

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). 

What Should Be Our Response?

Seems our only option is to simply say “Thank you!” and receive the gift graciously with Praise and Worship. This is actually the most proper response, especially when it is God’s indescribable gifts for you. 

All who came to Jesus worship: 

a) The Wise Men

Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him." (Matthew 2:2)"On coming to the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh " (Matthew 2:11 - note: worship before gifts)

b) The Angels

"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace to men." (Luke 2:13)

c) The Shepherds

"The shepherds returned, glorifying God for all the things they had heard and seen." (Luke 2:20)

d) Simeon The Godly Man 

"... Simeon, who was a righteous and devout... Took Him in his arms and praised God..." (Luke 2:25-33)

e) The Prophetess Anna

"... She gave thanks to God..." (Luke 2:36-38)

We must remember Jesus not as a baby, but as our One and only LORD and SAVIOR - the greatest gift God has given to men. He gave His life for us. 

He suffered and died... His LOVE, His GRACE, His GLORY... The most precious gift men have ever received - SALVATION! 

As we celebrate this year's Christmas, let us in return reserve the best gift for our Lord -WORSHIP. Right now join me in simple praise and worship from your heart and spirit... JESUS IS THE REASON for the season!





Thursday, November 26, 2020

THE IRRATIONAL COMMANDS: REJOICE ALWAYS, PRAY WITHOUT CEASING & IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS!

 

Our text, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: "Rejoice always; Pray without ceasing; in everything Give Thanks; for this is God's Will for you in Christ Jesus." If Paul had only said, "Rejoice a lot, pray often, and try to be thankful," perhaps we could say, "Okay, we'll try to do that!" But no one honestly can say, "I rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks!"  

So what do we do with these seemingly irrational and impossible commands? Firstly, all of God's commandments in the Bible are beyond our ability to obey in the flesh, so we must rely on His indwelling Holy Spirit to help us. And Paul gave us the guaranteed solution in Galatians 5:16 - "I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh."

I love the Amplified translation: "But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts]. (Galatians 5:16)

Secondly, walking in the Spirit simply mean to intentionally and conscientiously:

1) Minds The Thing of the Spirit - "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace." (Romans 8:5-6).

2) Yield to Him:
- "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Romans 8:14).
- "Likewise the Spirit also helps us in our weaknesses." (Romans 8:26 NIV).
- "That he would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man." (Ephesians 3:16).

With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can now walk victoriously base on the following practical spiritual mindset: 
1) REJOICE ALWAYS:
Not only rejoicing in happy things, but in sorrows also. The Christian can rejoice always because their joy isn’t based in circumstances, but in God. Circumstances change, but God doesn’t.
2) PRAY WITHOUT CEASING:
Christians are to pray continually. We can’t bow our heads, close our eyes, and fold our hands without ceasing, but those are customs of prayer, not prayer itself. Prayer is communication with God, and we can live each minute of the day in a constant, flowing, conversation with God.
3) IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS:
We don’t give thanks for everything, but in everything. We recognize God’s sovereign hand is in charge, and not blind fate or chance.
4) FOR THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS FOR YOU:
After each one of these exhortations – rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks – we are told to do this because it is the will of God. The thought isn’t “this is God’s will, so you must do it.” The thought is rather “this is God’s will, so you can do it.” It isn’t easy to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks, but we can do it because it is God’s will.






Tuesday, October 27, 2020

THE PSALM 84 WORSHIPPER (PART 3)

Psalm 27 is about king David's passion for God's dwelling place. It was probably written when he was exiled from home and being hunted by king Saul and his men. The Psalm does reveal that David was in great danger from violent evildoers (v2) who were lying about him (v12) and wanting to kill him (v2 & v12), and Saul and his men qualified. David was confident (v3), courageous (v14) and unafraid (v1).

The secret of David's public confidence was his private obedience: he took time to fellowship with the Lord and get directions from Him. David knew that the most important part of his life was the part that only God could see, and this was one priority he would not negotiate. ONE THING (v5)- David was living in the wilderness of Judea, away from the sanctuary of the Lord, but he was still able to enter into fellowship with his God. God's house was but a tent (v5-v6), for the temple had not yet been built, but it was still referred to as "God's temple" (see 1 Samuel 1:9; 33).

                      King David's passion for God's presence:                         
                                       a) kept him safe in the days of trouble (v5)                                     
b) God's dwelling was his shelter (v5)
c) set him high upon a Rock - of his salvation (v5)
(an extract from Be Worshipful by Warren W. Wiersbe


Our dwelling (or abiding) with God can be expressed in many ways: communicating through prayers, finding Him in His Word, experiencing Him through praise and worship, in fact anywhere if we learn how to "Practice The Presence of God" (See previous posts). The Psalms which are literally "songs" and singing them are one of the key into His presence (dwelling, secret place).
Let's look at some of King David's passion for God's dwelling place in the Psalms:
* Psalm 26:8 - I love the house where you live, O LORD, the place where your glory dwells.
* Psalm 42:1 to 4 - As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, "Where is your God?" These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.
* Psalm 43:3 to 4 - Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.
* Psalm 52:8 - But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever.
* Psalm 55:14 - But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship a we walked with the throng at the house of God.
* Psalm 61:3 & 4 - For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
* Psalm 84:1 & 2 - How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
* Psalm 84:10 - Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
* Psalm 91: 1 & 2 - He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say [b] of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
* Psalm 92:13 & 14 - The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God.
* Psalm 135:1 & 2 - 
Praise the LORD. Praise the name of the LORD; praise him, you servants of the LORD, you who minister in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God.

May this song inspire you to renew that passion for
His Dwelling Place:


Friday, September 25, 2020

THE PSALM 84 WORSHIPPER (PART 2)

 

"For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God 
than dwell in the tents of wickedness" 
(Psalm 84:10)


THE DOORKEEPER

According to the inscription, this psalm is associated with "the sons of Korah," who were Levites assigned to guard the threshold of the sanctuary (1 Chronicles 9:19), an important and honorable office. Their ancestor rebelled against God and Moses and was slain by the LORD (see Numbers 16 - note "tents of wickedness" in Psalm 84:10 and Numbers 16:26) but continued to serve at the sanctuary. The psalmist didn't aspire to a high office ("gatekeeper" in 1 Chronicles 9:19 is not the same word as "doorkeeper" in Psalm 84:10) but was willing to "sit at the threshold" of the temple, just to be close to the LORD.



Have you ever wondered why he was willing to be a doorkeeper? Some interesting insights for your thoughts:

1) He holds the key to God's presence (to unlock the threshold of an "open-heaven") 

The prophet Isaiah likens the presence of God among His people to a city, concerning which he says: "You will call your walls Salvation and Your gates Praise" (Isaiah 60:18 ). The only way through those walls of Salvation is by the gates of Praise. Unless we learn to approach God with praise, we have no access into His presence. The "Door-Keeper" has the "master key or Master's key" to unlock many other doors in the temple in to His glorious Presence!

2) Jesus is The Door (John 10:7-9) 

In the sense that Christ is a Door, the psalmist may well be content to be a doorkeeper, and though in God's house there be many mansions, yet seeing all of them are glorious, even the door keeper's place is not without its glory when one is passionate and hungry (God chaser) for His Presence - just to encounter Jesus

3) Miracles does happen at the gate (Acts 3:1-10 

Whenever Jesus is presence, there will be miracles, healings, restoration.... Be A God Chaser - a passionate Worshipper. As a doorkeeper, you hold the key to God's Presence!

Be blessed! - TPWC.

Monday, August 31, 2020

THE PSALM 84 WORSHIPPER (PART 1)




"How lovely is Your tabernacle, O LORD of hosts! 
My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the LORD; 
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God" 
Psalm 84:1-2  (NKJV)

Psalm 84 expresses the thoughts of a Worshipper who wants to go to Jerusalem for a feast [there are three annual feast - Exodus 23:17; 34:23] but cannot. His great desire was not to go to Jerusalem solely to observe a holy day. Instead, he wanted to go to the temple to meet God. "Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young" (verse 3). In other word, God's Living house is to his soul what a nest is to a swallow - a place of rest and security and satisfaction. The psalmist even envies the priests. "Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will still be praising You" (verse 4). Outsiders were not allowed to live there, and they were limited in where they cold go inside. Only the priests could enter the Holy of holies.


Today, we have the privilege to fellowship with God without going through a priest. Do we have a desire and a hunger to worship Him? Does our hearts cry out for the living God. Or are we happy for an excuse to be somewhere else from God's house? The important thing is that we have a heart devoted to the LORD, a spiritual "appetite" that cries out for nourishing fellowship with the LORD. How easy it is for us to take for granted the privilege of worshipping "the living God," [see also Psalm 115:1-8] a privilege purchased for us on the cross.

May we pray and hunger like David, "As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God" (Psalm 42:1-2).
Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6).

Be inspired and blessed with this song:

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

PRAISE THE LORD FOREVERMORE!


Key Verses: "Blessed be the name of The Lord from this time forth and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to it's going down the Lord's name is to be praised" (Verse 2-3).

The psalm opens and closes with "Praise The Lord" and give us three wonderful reasons for praising The Lord:
1) God's Name Is the Greatest! (Verses 1-3)

2) God's Throne Is The Highest (Verses 4-6)

3) God's Love Is The Kindest (Verses 7-9)

As His beloved children we have the responsibilities to praise Him:
A) We Are To Praise Him
It is a tragic when we forget to praise The Lord. God deserves our praise, for He does so much for us.

B ) Praise All Day Long
"From the rising of the sun to its going down" (Verses 3). Praise Him when we rise up in the morning. Praise Him when we are retiring at the end of the day. Praise Him during the day for the good things that happen and for the difficult things. Give thanks for seeing us through each and every situation.

C) Praise Him All Over The World
As suggested by the Psalmist's reference to the journey of the sun from the east to the west that our praise to Him should encompass the whole world.

We should never run out of reasons to praise The Lord. Is praise part of our daily walk with The Lord? Make it a habit to Praise The Lord Forevermore!
Prayer, Praise, and Promises - Warren W. Wiersbe



God has attached responsibility to our privilege. We never run out of reasons to praise the Lord. Our praise to Him should encompass the whole day and the whole world. Is praise part of our daily walk with the Lord? Let everything that has breath praise the Lord - PRAISE THE LORD! (Psalm 150:6).



The Value of Praise:

Praise is the greatest work God’s children can ever do. It is the loftiest expression the saints can ever show. The highest manifestation of spiritual life is seen in men praising God - Watchman Nee.
Be inspired and be blessed.
#Psalm #Devotional #PraiseTheLord #GiveThanks #EastToTheWest

Sunday, June 28, 2020

GATEWAYS INTO HIS PRESENCE


"Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; 
Give thanks to Him and praise His name" 
(Psalm 100:4)



How important it is for each of us to know the way into God's presence! How do we come into His courts? The psalmist points out the way that God has ordained: We enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise. It is only as we come to God with thanksgiving and with praise that we have access into His presence.

The prophet Isaiah likens the presence of God among His people to a city, concerning which he says, "You will call your walls Salvation and Your gates Praise" (Isaiah 60:18). The only way through those walls of Salvation is by the gates of Praise. Unless we learn to approach God with praise, we have no access into His presence.



Confronted with this requirement, we are sometimes tempted to look around us at our situation and ask: "But what do I have to thank God for? What do I have to praise Him for?" There may be nothing in our immediate circumstances that appears to give us cause to thank or praise God. It is just here that the psalmist comes to our help. He gives us three reasons to thank and praise that is not affected by our circumstances (see verse 5):

1) The Lord is good
2) His love endures forever
3) His faithfulness continues through all generation.

All three are eternal, unchanging facts. If we truly believe them, then we have no alternative but to praise God for them - CONTINUALLY!

Perhaps this could be one of the reasons and secrets why the psalmist desired to be a doorkeeper (Psalm 84:10) and that King David was steadfast in his heart to declare: “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1).
Be inspired and be blessed!
#Psalm #Devotional #Thanksgiving #Praise #GodIsGood #HisLoveEnduresForever #GodIsFaithful

Thursday, May 28, 2020

BEING THANKFUL & BLESSED


Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; 
for his steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 118:1

Blessings always flow from The Spirit of Gratitude! So let us pursue a steadfast heart full of thanks. What are some of the benefits of being thankful:

    * Gratitude keeps us continually aware that the Lord is good -  "Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." (Psalm 136:1)

    * It motivates us to look for His purpose in our circumstances -  "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)

    * Thanksgiving helps bring our wills into submission to God -  "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

    * It reminds us of our continual dependence upon the Lord -  "Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgivingmeanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ. " (Colossains 4:2-3)

    * Thankfulness is an essential ingredient for joy - You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

    * A grateful attitude strengthens our witness to pre-believers -  "Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks." (Ephesians 5:1-4)



    * Thanks focuses our attention on Him rather than our circumstances - "He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!" (Psalm 107:29-31)

    * Gratitude gives us eternal perspective - We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, because You have taken Your great power and reigned."(Revelation 11:17)

    * When we're wearied by our circumstances, thanksgiving energizes us - "For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgivingfor it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer." (1 Timothy 4:4-5)

    * The Spirit of Thanksgiving with prayer and supplication squash anxiety into peace, which passes all understanding. - Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.(Philippians 4:6-7)  

    * Thanksgiving is the key to unlock His presence - Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. (Psalm 100:4)

    * The Joy of the LORD is your strength in all circumstances.  “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)

    * You begin the day right when you give thanks to the Lord for it - "This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24)


Thursday, April 30, 2020

HOW TO COUNT IT ALL JOY?


    The first thought upon reading these verses is that steadfastness  had better be worth it. Be joyful in the midst of your pain, trial 
                 and crisis, because it will give way to steadfastness?                    Really? If it is true, how do you count it all joy?

In order to understand what James is saying, let’s put three definitions underneath all of this: 
                              1) JOY 
“Joy” is not a feeling of happiness. The Bible refers to joy as contentment in Christ. (John 16:33; Hebrews 12:2).  It is "The Joy of The Lord" - your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). That's why Paul is able to encourage us to "Rejoice in the Lord, always! (Philippians 4:4)... Rejoice in the Lord - not in your circumstances. 

2) FAITH 
“Faith” is believing that the promises of God that we cannot yet see or feel as reality will  come true, because He said so. (Hebrew 11:1,6).  James said, "Knowing that the testing of your faith, produces patience (steadfastness) - that means our faith is tested through trails, not produced by trials. Trials reveal what faith we do have or not have. So if trials does not produce faith, what does? Romans 10:17 tells us that our "faith comes bt hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." Supernaturally, faith is built in us as we hear, understand, trust and obey in God's Word.                                                                    
3) STEADFASTNESS/PATIENCE 

When trials are received with faith. It produces steadfastness/patience. On the contary if difficulties are received in unbelief and compliants, then trials can produce bitterness and discouragement. That is why James exhorted us to count it all joy. Counting it all joy is faith's response to a time of trial.                                                        .       
Now, we can rephrase what James is telling us, and ask how it is possible to live out these words. He is saying, “Seek to be joyful in Christ above anything else, and you will find that, even in trials, He will prove Himself and make His promises real to you again.”

Therefore, the idea that “joy is a choice” is possible when faith and steadfastness come in. If God does the miracle of changing our hearts, and if He gives us the gift of faith, we will have the eyes to see where all of our pain is going. To know that whatever suffering we endure really is working for our good (Romans 8:28). To see that Jesus shows Himself to us more profoundly in our trials, and that this changes everything. To place our confidence in Him; really believing it doesn’t matter even if everything is imperfect here, because this world is not our home. Our hope is not in the things of this world. James goes on to write that the one without faith will be “like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.” Only if our hearts remain steadfast will we be able to rest joyfully even when our world is caving in. Only in eyes of faith in our God Who is in control can we “choose joy” in our suffering and pain. 

PRAYER: Lord in "Your Light, we see light." (Psalm 36:9b). When Your Light comes, darkness leave. We may not understand the darkness of our trials and testing, but we know can stand on the solid ground of Your unfailing and eternal Word that You are God Almighty and You are in control. Therefore, with our faith anchoring upon Your Word we choose to count it all joy in our trials and out of this testing, it will produce steadfastness to knowing You deeper. In Jesus' Name, Amen!