Friday, December 17, 2010

Rebellion Against God

 9For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.
 10Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee. 

 Rebellion Against God

Our world is in rebellion against God! Do we hear world leaders speaking words of faithfulness to God? Do we even hear our peers around us speak of faithfulness to God? What motivates our world today? Sadly, the love of money and greed for more is more evident than a true concern for man. We see unparalleled wickedness, matched with a growing hatred toward God.

Even as teens, we must admit that the prevailing attitude toward life is: I am going to make all of the money I can and enjoy the life of the rich.

How should we, as Christian teens react to the world in which we live?

David was plagued on every side by enemies, especially King Saul. Yet, did we ever see David raise his arm against Saul? When Saul was just a few feet from him, David could easily have taken his life, yet he did not. Why? David understood that the lives of all men are in the hands of God. It was God who would, and did, ordain the exact time when David would become king.

As we observe the world around us, let us not become discouraged. Let us walk in faith and confidence in our God who rules all. Even those who are in rebellion against God will be dealt with in God's time.

Until then, let us pray that God would use us for His honor and glory, that by His grace, more and more of those who are presently in rebellion against God, would come to know Him as their true Lord and Savior.

Oh that God would bring all men to Him!

God Bless You,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

As for Me

 7But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
 8Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. 

 As for Me

 There is no doubt about it! As we read verses 7 and 8 from Psalm 5, shown above, David knew that there was no righteousness in himself. All of his help and strength were found in the Lord. How, then, did he come before God? 

But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple. 

How do we come before God? Do we come in humility and Godly fear, worshiping our God who is pure righteousness and holiness? Or, do we come with expectations--maybe even demands--that God would grant us our desires and petitions before Him?
 
In the end, each person must answer these questions for themselves. It does not matter how our pastors, our friends, our parents, our families, etc. answer them. 

As for me, how do I come before God?

What a wonderful example of David. In pondering these same questions he said, 

Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.

David understood that our lives must be lived in the righteousness of God. The answers lie in God, and not in the things of this world. Only in Christ will we live lives of peace, joy, and contentment.

As Christian teens, let us, today, join David and plea with the Lord to lead us in His righteousness, and to make His way straight before us.

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

God Abhors Sin

 5The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
 6Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

 God Abhors Sin

How can we possibly express the true relationship between God and sin. At best, our words are paltry in their expression. According to our verses today from Psalm 5, God hates all workers of iniquity, He will destroy those who speak falsehood, and He abhors bloody and deceitful man. 

We have such a light view of sin, that we cannot comprehend a God who is so perfect that not a speck of sin could ever stand before Him. We all agree that ax murderers are sinners, but what about the sweet little old ladies who have cookies for all of the neighborhood children? 

We have, therefore, created this middle ground. Of course, we are not perfect like God, we all understand that; but, then, neither are we all as evil as that ax murderer. We live in the civilized middle ground. That works well for us, does it not? We can live our lives feeling pretty good about mankind and especially, ourselves. Surely, God who created us understands. It's kind of that, "I'm Ok, you're OK" attitude.

That is where the real problem lies. God is perfect; His perfection does not allow even a speck of sin, including the middle ground we have created. Compared to others, we might look pretty good, but compared to God, no man can stand before Him.

Do we need Christ? Yes! Amazingly, Christ's blood is sufficient to pay for the sin of man, both in that middle ground we have created, as well as for that ax murderer. By the grace of God, He created a solution to our hopeless separation from Him through the payment bought by Christ who shed His own perfect blood in payment for our sin. When God looks at His children, He sees them through the perfect blood of Christ which washes away their sin.

Let us remember, then, that it is never us, or anything within us that gives us the ability or intelligence to accept Christ's payment for our sin. Our salvation is all of God, and none of us. Christ is All!

As Christian teens, let us take time to think about what that really means in our daily lives. Are we living in a manner pleasing to Christ who gave so much to save us? Remember, there is no middle ground; God abhors sin, yet there is Christ!

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Perfection!

 4For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. 

Perfection!

Perfection! We really do not understand it! We are people who are corrupted by sin, living in a world that is a constant evidence of the results of sin, both in nature as well as politically. How, then, do we understand God? We face this question often, as Christian teens, but it is not a question just for teens. All of our lives we will continue to see our inadequacy in trying to understand God.

God is perfection; no evil lives in God. Is God pleased with man's sin? Is God pleased when His children sin? Why did God create  a world that had the capacity to fall into sin? These are the deep things of God that we will never truly understand until we leave this life and enter into the glory He has provided for His children.

When we really think about our world, its sin, and then God's miraculous provision to satisfy the penalty for sin, we must fall down before Him, speechless. It did not have to be this way, you know. God could have destroyed this world with one word, and created a new, perfect world. Yet, He did not.

Our perfect, holy God created a world with the capacity to sin, along with the solution for that sin, all before speaking His first words, "Let there be light." That is truly perfection beyond what we can comprehend.

The next time we are tempted to chide God for events we do not understand, let us take time to pause and meditate upon our perfect God, who sent His perfect Son to take on the penalty for our sin which separated us from God, making a pathway for us to God. 

Amazing love, how can it be, that thou my God didst die for me!

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, December 13, 2010

Look Up!

 3My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. 

 Look Up! 

 What is it about mornings that seems to set the mood for the entire day. If we "get up on the wrong side of the bed" it seems as though we have problems all day. How did the Psalmist avoid that feeling?

He prayed in the morning. Not only that but look what he said.

In the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

Maybe on those bad days we are looking in the wrong direction! Do we look at ourselves? Are we consumed with the stresses of life? Are we worried about our circumstances? According to the Psalmist we should look up in the morning.

Do you think our day would go differently if we took the time to look up to God in the morning and cast all of our worries and cares on Him, knowing that He will come to our aid? How often do we not enjoy the blessings of the Christian life just because we do not access those blessings?

What a good reminder for all of God's children to live in the blessings and joy of the Lord instead of being consumed by the depressing circumstances of this life. As we were reminded yesterday, we can say to God, "Hearken", and expect that He will answer.

During the stresses of life that seem so overwhelming in our teens, let us learn to take a little time in the morning and look up to our Lord, knowing He will be there.

How amazing is that? 

God Bless You,

Linda

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hearken!

 1Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.
 2Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. 

 Hearken!

 Where do we go for help? What do we do when our friends no longer speak to us, our parents are upset with us, and we did not pass our science test? 

We can try to make up with our friends, try to make our parents understand our point of view, and study harder for the next test, but do we first go to the Lord? 

We may pray later, but usually that is after we have exhausted all other attempts to get our life back in order. After all, God is not going to talk to our friends or our parents, and He is certainly not going to retake our test. 

David understood the correct order when He implored God to give ear to his words. He even emboldened his requests with the word, "hearken." He is saying, "Listen, God; I need you. Consider what I am saying and listen to my helpless cry.

How often do we think of prayer as a last resort? "I cannot do anything to help you, but at least I can pray." We should say, "I will pray for you, and then see if there are other ways I may help." Prayer is what we need first and foremost.

Not only do we need prayer, but as children of God, we can go to God boldly and say, "Hearken!" We have the right to expect God to not only hear, but also come to our aid.

I must admit, that it is easy to take that right for granted, but we must consider where we would be without that help! We must also consider the hopelessness of the lost, and pray that God would open their eyes to the truth. What a great lesson to learn while still in the teen years; He is God, and He is available to us.

What an awesome God we have!

God Bless You,

Linda

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Peace!

8I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. 

 Peace

 This is perhaps, my most quoted verse of the Bible; I especially like its wording in the King James Version. 

How often are we kept awake by the worries of this life? Maybe we are afraid no one will like us; maybe our best friend just quit speaking to us; or maybe a family member has just received word of a terminal illness. These, and many more worries can easily keep us awake at night.

But, look what David experienced; his was not just a matter of the worries of this life. He spent many years of his life running from an enemy who wanted nothing more than to David's death. Even in our day, throughout the world there are many teens who are in constant fear for their lives, through persecution, epidemics, or even natural disasters. As teens, these events are so often far removed from us that we do not even think about them.

Even so, David testified to us: I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep. Why? For thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

Our peace, or lack of it, does not rest upon the things of this life, or on others. God grants to His children a peace that passes all understanding.

Go today, and rest in the Lord who is the only one who can truly grant us life, safety, and peace.

God Bless You,

Linda

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gladness in My Heart!

 6There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.
 7Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. 
 (Psalm 4:6-7, King James Version)

Gladness in My Heart

Who will show us any good?  Have you ever felt that way? No matter where you look, you just cannot seem to see anything good. The news is bad, the weather is bad, you seem to have no friends, you even hate your life! Even Christian teens share feelings such as this; this is not an attitude that is common just to those of the world.

Do you think the Psalmist ever felt that way? David experienced the same things in this life that we do. Psalm 4 is such a wonderful encouragement to Christians. Even when everything in this life seems to be falling apart, we are reminded that gladness and joy do not come from within, from our circumstances, or from another person. It is not the job of other people to make us happy! Gladness and joy are gifts from the Lord!

Thou hast put gladness in my heart.

But, there is even more! Even though we know it is not true, we can think of nothing that will bring us more happiness than to gain a large amount of money. Maybe we will win the lottery, or a long lost uncle has left us with 2 million dollars! Think of what we could do with 2 million dollars (tax free of course). 

Did David share this sentiment with us? Yes, he did.

Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.

Think of it! The Lord has put such gladness in our hearts, that our joy is even more than if we received news that we were going to receive 2 million dollars! Why? The joy of the Lord is an eternal joy; it will not vanish at the end of this life.

Go today, as a Christian teen, and live in the joy of the Lord! 

God Bless You,

Linda

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Stand in Awe!

4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.
5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

Psalm 4:4-5, King James Version

Stand in Awe!

As we continue this study on First Love from the book of the Psalms, David commands us to stand in awe, and sin not. How do those two commands fit together? As a Christian teen, can you think of anything more that will keep you from sin than meditating upon God and all that He has done for his children? We use the word, "awesome" rather flippantly today, but in reality, there is only God is truly awesome.

Let us stand before our God in awe, not publicly, but privately upon our own bed, and put our trust in Him! With all of the world's glitz and power displayed before us, it is easy to forget the God we serve.

God calls us to righteousness.

Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.

By the grace of God, may we set aside the appeal of the world and stand in awe as we gaze upon our God. We are set apart; set apart to stand in righteousness. How? By putting our trust in the LORD and not in the things of this world.



It all sounds rather easy, does it not? However, even as a teen, you know that is not true. The world constantly tugs at our emotions, pushing us to be like the world. Yet, even as we become like the world, does it bring us more friends, or more happiness? Not at all! Even as a Christian teen, you are called to be set apart.


Stand in awe and reflect upon the LORD!

What a great and majestic God we serve. He does not forget his children, no matter how unimportant they may seem in this world.

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Set Apart!


2 O ye children of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? How long will you love vanity, and seek after leasing?

3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.
Psalm 4:2-3, King James Version

Set Apart!


As Christians we are set apart to serve the Lord, and yet we often find ourselves entrapped in the muck of this world. What picture does the Psalmist paint? The children of men love vanity, which is a life filled with emptiness or worthlessness. Even more, they seek after leasing (the New King James translates that word as falsehood). That does describe our world today, does it not? Men are caught up in the meaningless world of greed, lying when necessary to accomplish their purpose.




Where does that leave us, as Christian teens? We face the same temptations, and often find ourselves in the same place. That should not be! The Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself. We are set apart as children of God, purchased by the blood of Christ. Our lives are not meaningless! Rather, God has a specific plan for each of His children, unique to each one. Just because we are teens and have not reached the status of adulthood, we are not excused!

How do we find that purpose for our life? We call upon the LORD! The LORD will hear when I call unto him.

What an amazing God we have. He saves us, He keeps us, and He sets us apart that we may live a life of service for Him. Our life has changed from one of meaninglessness to one of fulfillment and joy. Oh, we may not feel that way every day when we wake up, but we know it is true.

Today, let us call upon the Lord and seek His wisdom and guidance that each day might be lived unto His glory alone.

The LORD will hear when I call unto him.

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hear My Prayer

Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
Psalm 4:1, King James Version


Hear My Prayer


Do you hear that sense of longing as David begins this Psalm? Sometimes it seems as though we only remember the Lord when we are in trouble; and yet, does God ever get tired of our inconsistency and turn us away? No! As a teen - as a matter of fact all of our lives - that is a great comfort!

God did not turn David away, and He does not turn His children away today either. I love the words of David: Thou has enlarged me when I was in distress. I get the sense of God enlarging us with His comfort and grace. In distress the world seems so small, and the Lord seems so distant, but now God fills our awareness with His love.

Now, David can say with confidence: Have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. Does God answer the prayers of His saints today? Does God answer the prayers of Christian teens? Yes! As David found in his day, we know that in our day, God is our very help in the time of trouble.

Go today in the confidence of the Lord, knowing that when you cry out: Hear My Prayer, He does!

God Bless You,
Linda