Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Heavens Declare

 1The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
 2Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
 3There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
 4Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
 5Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
 6His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. 


The Heavens Declare

Man has gone to great ends in our time to present a world in which there is no God. Yet, Psalms 19 quickly refutes man's efforts with these words from David, "The heavens declare the glory of God."

Is there a God? One only has to look around to receive a resounding, "Yes!" Where is the evidence? Look up! The sky above is filled with stars and planets set upon their courses by God, who created them in all of their intricacies and set them upon their preordained paths.

But, that is not all! Look around you. As day follows day, and night follows night, we see a world of intricate order, marvelous in its depth and beauty. Who established the laws of nature? Did they come about by accident? Who established the balance of nature? Did it just happen by chance?

No man is excluded from God's revelation of himself in this world He has created; there is no speech nor language that does not understand. Educated man may attempt to explain away God's amazing work of creation, but, in their heart of hearts, no one can gaze upon even a simple rose without understanding that this rose is a marvelous creation of God.

This is our God! He has created and dressed this world in all of its beauty, as a dwelling place for man. Yet, this is only the beginning! When man shook his angry fist in the face of God, God provided a path back to Him through his only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

May God lift our hearts to him this day, that we will not be so overcome by the "ordinary-ness" of life that we do not see Him in all of his power and glory. As a teen, choose you this day who you will serve: the god of this world, or the God of all life and creation!

The heavens declare the glory of God, and so must we!

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It Is God!

 46The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.
 47It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.
 48He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.
 49Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.
 50Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore. 

It Is God!

The battle was done, the people were subdued, and David was avenged. Did David march around the city proclaiming his greatness among the people? No! David looked to the heavens and said, "It is God! It is God who delivered me, it is God who subdued my enemies, and it is God, alone, who is exalted."

The amazing thing to note in the words of David, is that in all things, whether small or great, the praise and honor always went to God, alone. What a lesson for us. We are so prone to seeking honor and glory for ourselves that we forget to whom all honor and glory truly belongs.

Was David unique? Is it really possible for us to actually believe that God, who rules infinity actually looks down upon earth and cares about each of us? Yes, God delivered David, but David was the king. What if we are just an ordinary teen, like the millions of other ordinary teens who live in our world today? Does God really care about all of the sorry details of our lives?

Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.

Though we may not actually be a direct physical descendant of David, as a Christian teen, we are definitely David's spiritual descendant. Just as God delivered and showed mercy to David, so does God deliver and show mercy to David's seed for evermore! 

As we go about the duties of this day, let us stop and take a moment to praise God for His working and moving in all of the details of our lives. As we ponder the many honors and blessings that He has poured out upon us, let us remember that it is not us, but rather, it is God, alone, who deserves all of the honor, and the glory, and the praise.

This, dear Christian teen, is the God we serve!

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, March 28, 2011

You Have Made Me!

 43Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.
 44As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.
 45The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places. 

You Have Made Me!

David did not come from a long line of kings, yet he understood that he was not a self made man! As he looked over the kingdom he ruled, he declared, "You have made me the head of the nations." (Psalm 18:43b, New King James Version)

In a sense of utter disbelief, he marveled at the kingdom given to him by God. Strangers whom he would never personally meet bowed down in fear and obedience before him. Yet, David never bathed himself in self-glory, so common to kings of other nations, but bowed before God in humility and awe.

As Christian teens, God has given a "kingdom" to each of you, his servants; you each have a purpose to fulfill that can be accomplished by no other. How do you view your own little "kingdom?" How do you view your triumphs and successes? 

Truly, we have an amazing God; He brings us into this life fully equipped to fulfill the purpose He has ordained for us before time began. How, then, can we take any personal  glory for the things that have been granted to us by God? 
 
What a gentle reminder that our lives are gifts given to us by God. Our goals and purposes are not to be our own, but, rather, they are to be the fulfillment of a life ordained by God. To Him, alone, belongs the glory and honor for our triumphs and successes. 

He has equipped us, and He, alone, sustains us and keeps us on the right path.

Oh, Lord God, you have made me!

To God be the glory!

God Bless You,
Linda

Saturday, March 26, 2011

None to Save Them

 37I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.
 38I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.
 39For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.
 40Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.
 41They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.
 42Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets. 

None to Save Them

Equipped with the power of God, David's army was an unstoppable force. He pursued his enemies until they were consumed; God subdued those that rose up against him. Though they cried to the Lord, Himself, there was none to save them, for the even the Lord did not answer their cries for help.

What a sobering thought, and one we must be careful to note. There can come a time in the rebellious life of man when the Lord will no longer hear and answer his cries for help.

Even as Christians, I fear we are too quick to presume upon God. We believe that when we are finally ready to obey, He will be standing there waiting for us. Knowing our weakness, He will understand and say "Well done."

It is true that God is long suffering, but it is also true that there are examples in the Bible, such as Psalm 18, when God turns His back upon the wickedness of man and refuses to hear his cries for help.

How can this be? It always goes back to the same issue: the heart attitude. Did the wicked want to turn from their wicked ways and serve the Lord, or did they only want God to save them from the hands of David's army?

When we go through difficult times and it seems as though God has turned a deaf ear to our cries, perhaps we should examine our heart attitude before the Lord. Perhaps it is time that we need to return to our First Love. As a Christian teen, do we simply want relief from our difficulties, or do we see our wayward hearts and desire to live for God with all of our heart, with all of our soul, and with all of our mind.

The wicked reached the point where there was none to save them--not even God. As Christians, God holds our very souls in His hands for all eternity, but let us be careful to note that true peace, joy, and happiness are fruits of faithful service to God: not just the outward service that men see, but the inward service of a heart devoted to God, alone.

 33O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
 34For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
 35Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
 36For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Who is God?

31For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?
32It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
33He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.
34He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
35Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.
36Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.
(Psalm 18:31-36, King James Version)

Who is God?

For who is God save the Lord? The answer: no one! There is no one like the Lord our God. Only God can arm us with strength, make our way perfect, make our feet like the feet of deer, set us upon high places, and arm us with every tool necessary to accomplish our intended purpose. Only God has freely given us the shield of His salvation, and holds us up by His right hand. Any true greatness we achieve in this life is done so at the hand of God.

Why then, are we so quick to look to other places for our strength, our happiness, our joy, and our peace? There is no strength, happiness, joy, or peace found in any other name in all of the heavens above and the earth beneath.

We Christians, today, are a motley crew, often pushing and shoving harder than those of the world to achieve -- what? What are we trying to achieve in this life?

As a Christian teen, what will we do with our life?

Let us awake from the sleep of apathy and indifference that Satan has so shrewdly set in our paths, and let us take up the banner of Christ. He is our God; it is Him we serve, and that is why we are here! By his grace, let us, with David, take up the cross God has given to us, and follow him! For who is God?

Our God is God, and there is no other!

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Light My Candle

 28For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
 29For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.
 30As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. 

Light My Candle

I spent many years seeking to find happiness in others, until I realized how foolish I was being. Others could not make me happy! Though I found great joy in their presence, I was placing too great of an expectation upon them. Then, I discovered the truth expressed by the psalmist in Psalm 18: God will light my candle.

Where do we seek joy, peace, and contentment? We certainly will not find them in others, and we certainly will not find them in ourselves. God, the Author and Finisher of our faith, provides us with joy and peace that will never pass away.

How many books have been written about man's struggle to find purpose in this life? Solomon, as expressed in the book of Ecclesiastes, spent years searching for the meaning of life. He amassed great wealth, providing himself with all of the ways known to man to bring happiness and purpose into his life. In the end, he concluded: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13, KJV)

I love these verses penned by David; when he wrote, For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness, he could hardly contain himself. As He pondered the depth and height of God's great love and mercy, he proclaimed, For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.

It has been a long time since I have felt like leaping over a wall, and yet, caught up in David's excitement, I almost believe I could! [As a teen, you may laugh, but your day is coming! Leap over those walls while you still can!]

Where do we find joy, peace, and happiness in this life? God!

Where do we find purpose for our lives? God!

Where do we gain the strength to live this life? God!

 30 As for God, His way is perfect;
         The word of the LORD is proven; 
         He is a shield to all who trust in Him

This is the God we serve! By the grace of God, may we proclaim with David, "He will light my candle!"

Go today, and by the grace of God, leap over a wall!

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Save the Afflicted

 25With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;
 26With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.
 27For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks. 

Save the Afflicted

As a teen, do you ever feel like life just seems to be turned upside down? In the fast paced race of life, the good are quickly losing ground, while the evil are trampling over the masses. Where does that leave us? Is there no hope?
David reminds us in Psalm 18, that as Christians, we need to keep our focus on God who constantly watches over His children while keeping the wicked at bay.

 God is not troubled by the devious nature of wickedness which abounds in the hearts and lives of the ungodly. He is God; nothing that man can think or do can thwart His plans. With the merciful, God is merciful; with the upright, God is upright; with the pure, God is pure, and with the devious, God is shrewd. He saves and keeps His children through all of the afflictions they must endure in this life, while bringing down the proud and wicked who would raise their angry fists in His face.

Let us join David in praise as we ponder our God who laughs at the affairs of men who in their foolishness dare to think they can oppose Him, and who will save the afflicted. And, let us, by His grace, turn the focus of our lives upon His service, that in the days of our youth we may set our eyes upon Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith!

This, dear Christian, is the God we serve; He leads us through this valley of darkness, and will bring us into the glorious light of His kingdom where we will live with Him forever!

Amen, so come quickly, Lord Jesus!

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, March 21, 2011

Upright Before Him

 20The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.
 21For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.
 22For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.
 23I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity.
 24Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight. 

Upright Before Him

Has there ever been a time of such diversity in the world? Has there ever been such a time of such diversity in the church? How then, is one to understand how to walk uprightly before God, when that "upright" walk is described in so many different ways?

In the decade of my twenties, I did a lot of moving. What an eye opener! Growing up in a small, conservative town had sheltered me from the wide diversity of life beyond the portals of my little world. 

My greatest surprise was in the diversity among the churches; oh, I knew there were tons of churches claiming the name of Christ, but I am talking about the diversity among just the denomination of which I was a part. What would be considered a great sin in one locale, would be quite acceptable in another. 

How is one to know what really pleases God? That really is the issue, you know! It does not matter how pleasing we are to men; it only matters how we stand before our holy and righteous God.

David understood!

For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.
For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.

How did David know he was living uprightly? Surely, no matter what he did, some people would approve and some would find fault. David understood that the only one he needed to please was God, Himself.

I was also upright before him.

In this day of wide diversity even among the church of God, I challenge you, from this day forward, to turn your face to God, and walk in a manner that is upright before him! That is the secret of the Christian life. It is not for us to worry about pleasing the fickle world in which we live, but, let us bow before our holy and righteous God and seek to please Him.

Let us bow before our God in humility, meditate upon His righteousness, call upon His infinite love, and cast ourselves before Him. 

God, in His infinite love and mercy, reaches down to his needy children, sets them upon a high plain, and leads them in the way they are to go! 

By His grace and mercy alone, let us walk in a manner that is upright before Him!

God Bless You,
Linda

Sunday, March 20, 2011

He Delighted in Me!

16 He sent from above, he took me,he drew me out of many waters.
17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.
18 They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.
19 He brought me forth also into a large place; He delivered me, because he delighted in me.

Psalm 18:16-19, King James Version


He Delighted in Me



Have you ever asked, "Why? Why does God take care of me? Why does He put up with my tendency to hop from one escapade to another?"

I have a little dog named Chico. Some may ask why I would put up with a dog in my house, much less spend money for toys to entertain him. After all, he barks at my friends when they come to visit, sometimes he wets on my carpets, and he shreds Kleenex or other "delights" he finds in the garbage.

The answer is easy for me; he delights me. No one else demonstrates the excitement that he does when I walk in the door, and no one else follows me about from room to room simply because he cannot stand to be separated from me.

God delights in us! How amazing is that? The Lord God of Hosts, the Creator of the universe delights in us! He desires nothing but the best for us, His children, lavishing us with spiritual graces to enable us to successfully live in this corrupt world, while preparing mansions in heaven for us where we will live with Him forever. Yes, in Christ, there is a "happily ever after!"

In our passage today from Psalm 18, David expressed this confidence as God again rescued him from his enemies, saying, "He delighted in me."

Go today in the confidence of God. Do you struggle with self esteem? Struggle no more; God looks down from heaven and delights in you!

Oh, how I love Jesus,
Because He first loved me!

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

God Answers!

 7Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.
 8There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.
 9He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.
 10And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.
 11He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
 12At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.
 13The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.
 14Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.
 15Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. 
 
God Answers!

If you will remember, in verse 6 of Psalm 18, David cried out to God.

In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God.

Does God hear His children when they cry out to Him? Anyone who has any doubt should read Psalm 18, verses 7-15! Spurgeon in his book, Treasuries of David stated, There was no great space between the cry and its answer. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, but is swift to rescue his afflicted.

Who is this God we serve? God is not mere man as we are. It is nothing for God to rock the earth and bow the heavens, which are held in the palms of His hands. Who can hide before His eyes? Is there a darkness so dark, or a secret place so secret that God cannot find us? Who can stand before the day of the Lord, when His brightness discharges all of the artillery of heaven?

 12At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.
 13The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.
 14Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.
 15Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.

As teens, does God hear our prayers? Did he hear the prayer of David? Oh, yes! God answers. Dear Christian teen, this is our God. Is He a God of love? Yes! Is He a God who comes to the aid of His children? Yes! Is His power and greatness enough to protect and keep us in our darkest hour? Yes!

Let us pray for grace and strength to live the Christian life in the power and strength of the Lord. He is not slack concerning His promises; let us not be slack in our faith and trust in Him no matter what our circumstances may be.

Go to God today--cry out to Him in the middle of your troubles knowing that, indeed, God answers! Make this a pattern of your life now, while you are still in the days of your youth!

God Bless You,
Linda