Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Exalt His Name

 1I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
 2My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
 3O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
 4I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
 5They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
 6This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
 7The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. 

Exalt His Name

It was the worst of times for David! He had been hiding from King Saul, who was seeking his life, by living in the camp of Achash, king of Gath, but he had been found out! What would happen to him now? Surely by fleeing for his life from one enemy, he had waltzed right into the arms of death by another enemy. Would God help him?

 10And David arose and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.
 11And the servants of Achish said unto him, Is not this David the king of the land? did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?
 12And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish the king of Gath.
 13And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard.
 14Then said Achish unto his servants, Lo, ye see the man is mad: wherefore then have ye brought him to me?
 15Have I need of mad men, that ye have brought this fellow to play the mad man in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house? 

One could say that David, by his own ingenuity saved himself from the king of Gath, but is that correct? Who put the thoughts in David's mind to feign madness, and who moved in the heart of the king to be deceived by David's ploy? 

God is actively involved in the lives of his children today, just as he was in the life of David. We will never understand completely the ways God has worked on our behalf in this life, unless God allows us a glimpse into our past when we enter his everlasting arms of rest. However, be assured that God never forgets His children, though we may often forget Him!

May we, this day, boast in the Lord, and may the humble hear and be glad. God saves us, defends us, and keeps us all the days of this life until He safely brings us home to live with Him forever!

As a teen, there are very few guarantees in this life, but you may exalt His name, for this is one guarantee that will never fail.

What an amazing God we serve!

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, May 30, 2011

Eye of the Lord

 18Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
 19To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
 20Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.
 21For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.
 22Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee. 

Eye of the Lord

The eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him. As Christian teens, we do not need to fear the eye of the Lord, but rather, should be comforted by His constant presence in our lives. How does God work on behalf of His children? He delivers our souls from death and keeps us alive in famine; indeed, He is our help and our shield.

This is not true for the wicked; if they truly understood the eye of the Lord, they would walk in fear, knowing that they are helpless against the powers of the Almighty God.

As Christians, I fear we take God far too much for granted. We live and move in this world as though everything hinges on our own actions and our own decisions. If we actually stop and think about dangers or evils that could occur, we shrug and go on, knowing that God will come to our aid.

Is it really that simple? Is there nothing we owe to this God we love?  

For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

Though nothing we could ever do could earn or pay for the salvation God has granted to us, God does demand our perfect allegiance to Him, and rightly so. The Israelites certainly took God for granted, and soon found themselves mixing their worship of God with the worship of the gods of the nations around them.

Are you guilty of doing the same thing? It is important that, now in your teen years, you maintain those personal times with God when you meditate upon His Word and upon God, Himself. In those times, you need to search your own heart, looking for evidence of mingling your faith in God with the things of this world. 

Satan is so subtle in his attack upon Christians. If he cannot win their souls, then he seeks to do the next best thing best thing. He seeks to destroy their total faith and trust in God by diluting it with the things of this world.

May our hearts and our lives find all of their contentment and peace by resting in God, alone. May we say with the psalmist,  For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.

Let us go, today, remembering that the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear Him. He is our peace our joy, and our contentment; He is all we need!

God Bless You,
Linda

Saturday, May 28, 2011

He Looks, He Sees

 13The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.
 14From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.
 15He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.
 16There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.
 17An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. 

He Looks, He Sees

There are some who believe that after God created the world, He simply left it to its own devices. This, however, is certainly not what the Bible teaches us. God, who created this world, has a vested interest in the people He created.

It even goes deeper than this, however. God, our Creator, knows us even better that we know ourselves. He, who fashioned our hearts, considers all of our works and sees us as we truly are! There is good news and bad news in this thought. Well, at least it is bad news for the wicked.

As teens, what impresses us? We love big things, do we not? We love to see lofty mountains, huge towers, grand armies, great power and great wealth, and we especially love our heroes. Do these things impress God? If He sees wickedness in our hearts, will He overlook it because we are a king or a great person by the world's standards?

Psalm 33 tells us, there is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. God is not impressed by the simple things that move mere men. God looks on the heart, and not on the outward appearance.

There lies the good news. The Christian understands that God sees all; He is not mocked, and He is not fooled by outward shows of great strength or great love. God looks from heaven upon the hearts and souls of men, and sees His children. In His great love and affection for them, He guards them, keeps them, and protects them. They are not in this world by chance, but placed here by His almighty design.

By God's grace, let us remember, as we go about the duties of this day, who it is we serve. He looks, and He sees all of the hearts and intents of man upon this earth. As Christian teens, let us live above the foolishness of this world, and seek to truly please the God we love.

God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, May 27, 2011

Blessed is the Nation

 10The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.
 11The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
 12Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. 

Blessed is the Nation

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD. In the great advancements of the 21st century, it is easy for us to forget the basic truths of what truly makes a nation great. For example, we look at the great technology and natural wealth of the United States and say, "We are great because of our intelligence, our great laws, our freedoms, and our love for our fellow man." But, is that truly why the United States has become the nation it is today?

According to the Word of God, the United States is blessed by the Lord because it was founded upon Christian principles, by men who loved God. One has to wonder, as we see the Biblical foundations of this country crack and splinter, how long God's favor will rest upon this land. As a country, we rest in our great might and power, and have forgotten that our great armies will not save us! 

As Christian teens, it is so important that you understand these truths, for you are the future of your country! How will you and your children view the relationship between your country and God?

Psalm 33 reminds us that, The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. Make no mistake, if the United States does not return to its First Love, it will not remain the great world power that it has become. Whether God chooses to reduce its power through natural disasters, such as the horrific tornadoes which have been pummeling the land, or whether He chooses to allow an enemy power to destroy it through nuclear devastation, He is the One who controls the future of America.

As Christians, we must diligently pray for our countries, remembering the words of Psalm 33: Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD! 

Then, on a personal note, let us also remember, Blessed is the person whose God is the LORD! Again and again, the Bible commands us to return to Him, our First Love. No plans that we make can truly be blessed apart from the Lord; and no true evil can overtake us if our hearts are resting upon God, alone. 

This, dear Christian teen, is the God we serve. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Upon what foundation will you build your own life?

What an amazing God we serve!

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Word of the Lord

 6By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
 7He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.
 8Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
 9For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. 

Word of the Lord

He spoke, and it was done! Who can understand the Word of the Lord? Who can imagine the power of our God? God spoke, and the heavens were made; He spoke and the world was created? We know this, so why is it so hard for us to trust Him?

Life gets in the way, does it not? As teens, we are so busy living that we forget to stop and ponder this busy life we live! We get so entangled in the everyday problems and details of life, that we forget who created this world, just by His words alone. This same God who spoke the world into existence is the God we serve.

Yet, it is so hard for us to trust the details of our lives to this same God. God not only created this world and all of mankind by His words alone, He provided a solution to man who fell into sin which eternally separated Him from God, his Creator. There is even more! After providing payment for our sins through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, He still did not leave us to our own devices.

For those who have taken refuge in God's almighty arms, He is there day after day to provide guidance to keep us from falling into the pits of destruction which exist everywhere we go. When the tornadoes storm through our land or when hurricanes reap devastation, God is right there beside us protecting and guarding us from all evil. When enemies threaten to destroy and conquer our land, God watches and keeps His children in His arms of protection.

Is there anything in our lives that we cannot trust to God? No! This is the amazing God we serve! As the psalmist encourages us, let us look to this great God and stand in awe! By the word of the Lord, He is the One who created us, He is the One who has saved us, and He is the One who keeps us until the day we are brought to live with Him forever!

Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Goodness!

 1Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
 2Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.
 3Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.
 4For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.
 5He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. 

Goodness!

The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. No matter what devastation man can pour upon this earth, and no matter how evil and corrupt man becomes, he will never be able to destroy the evidence of the goodness of the LORD upon this earth. Now, that is truly a good thing!

Upon reading a Psalm such as Psalm 33, it is amazing how small man really becomes. As Christian teens, it is easy to become overcome by the wickedness and evil of mankind; though we know God rules over all, it seems as there is no hope for this world. Evil marches on, while the goodness of man seems to disintegrate to nothingness!

Yet, the Psalmist reminds us of a truth which should bring joy to our hearts and gladness to our souls. The earth, seemingly uninhibited by the wickedness of man, is full of the goodness of the LORD. As the months roll by, and another beautiful spring has blossomed forth in abundance, nothing could be more evident.

        11  For lo, the winter is past,   
      The rain is over and gone. 
       12  The flowers appear on the earth;   
      The time of singing has come, 
      And the voice of the turtledove 
      Is heard in our land. 

Just as the creatures are filled with songs of praises for the Lord, so let us lift up our hearts and voices to the Lord. As the psalmist admonishes us, let us rejoice in the LORD, for praise from the upright is beautiful in His sight.

As we go about the duties of this day, may we be reminded, that though the wickedness of man may increase each day, yet the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth . . . . the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.

Now that should put a spring in our steps, and a song in our hearts!

It is this truth which gets us up each morning and guides us throughout each day, and it is this truth which leads us to the very throne of grace, where we praise and thank our wonderful Savior!

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Horse and Mule

 8I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
 9Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
 10Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.
 11Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart. 

Horse and Mule

I do not have a horse and mule, but I do have a dog, so I can certainly appreciate the illustration given by David in Psalm 32, verse 9. My dog is very obedient, as long as I have a treat handy, but when he realizes he is not going to get anything for his obedience, he may or may not obey my commands. He does not have the ability to think through the commands and realize that I have his best interests in mind.

How often do we do the same thing to God? How often do we fight against His commands, even though we know He has our best interests in mind? In doing so, we are just like the wicked who do not know the Lord. They do not know the joy of trusting in Christ, and instead are consumed by sorrow upon sorrow.

Even though we know this is true, why do we rush so quickly to the things of the world? We look for the pleasures of this world to bring us happiness and contentment, but instead only find despair and anguish. Oh, we may find happiness for a time, but the things of this world only bring emptiness and discontentment over the long haul.

It does not need to be so for the Christian; in Christ all of God's mercies abound! In Christ we truly can find peace, joy, and contentment, not just for now, but for all eternity! Rightly so, David exhorts us, Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart. What a great lesson to learn while still in the days of your youth!

Let us remember the lesson of the horse and mule, and by the grace of God may we avail ourselves of all the the mercies of Christ that will truly bring peace and contentment.

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, May 23, 2011

You!

 3When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
 4For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
 5I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
 6For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
 7Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.

You!

In the first few verses of this Psalm, David is relating, from personal experience, his own entanglement with sin. Like us, his first thought was to hide his sin, or to just go on with life as though nothing had happened. It did not work for him, and it does not work for us as well. Instead of peace, he felt God's heavy hand upon him.

But, what happened next? Finally, in desperation, David acknowledged his sin unto God. It is important that we realize, no matter what our sin, and no matter who we sin against, all of our sins are ultimately against God, himself. How did God respond? God forgave the iniquity of his sin.

As Christian teens, how do we deal with the continual avalanche of sin that seems to so easily beset us? We certainly will not find help from anyone on this earth; our only true help comes from God. That is exactly what David expressed in verse 7 of Psalm 32.

 7 You are my hiding place;
         You shall preserve me from trouble; 
         You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.  Selah 

We have access to God, himself, through the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our hiding place, He preserves us from trouble, and He surrounds us with songs of deliverance. Could it be that we, as Christians, do not experience the true joy of Christ because we do not avail ourselves of God's help? Are we so busy trying to work through the difficulties of life on our own that we forget the most basic tenet of our faith, i.e. we cannot succeed without the Lord? 

Let us join David today and cry out to God, You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.

God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, May 20, 2011

Blessed is He

 1Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
 2Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. 

Blessed is He

Psalm 32, a Psalm of David, begins with a summary of the entire Psalm.

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Forgiveness of sins--how can it be that it is possible for man to receive forgiveness for his sins before a righteous and holy God who cannot even look upon sin? 

From conception, we are cursed with the weight of sin which causes a total separation from God, our Creator. Night and day we struggle in a world consumed by wickedness and idolatry. Born to hate God, there seems to be no hope. Our separation from God is the source of the daily struggles and griefs we face, as teens.

Yet, there is hope; there is forgiveness of sin. God has provided a way for our sin to be covered.
Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

Even though Christ had not yet come, the Psalmist already understood that God would provide a way for sinful man to come to Him. That way was accomplished through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, God's own perfect, sinless Son. 

Apart from Christ, there is no hope! In Christ, all of the blessings of fellowship with God are provided, and man can experience true freedom from the guilt of his sin.

That is truly a love we cannot comprehend; God could have destroyed all of mankind, and created a new race of people, but, instead, He chose to provide a way of escape from the sin which eternally condemns our souls. Through the death and resurrection of Christ, the penalty for sin has been paid, and our hope of spending eternity in the presence of God has been fulfilled.

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Go to Christ, the Savior. Plead your sin and unworthiness before Him, and accept His payment of sin made on your behalf. As a Christian teen, you, too, will be included in those blessed by God. How amazing is that?

Blessed is he!

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cut Off!

 21Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.
 22For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.
 23O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
 24Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD. 

Cut Off!

I am cut off from before thine eyes! Can you imagine a worse scenario? Yet, that is where the writer of Psalm 31 found himself. We do not have to be very old to know exactly how he felt. Even as a teen, we all have those days when not one thing can possibly seem to go right, and our prayers for help seem to bounce off the ceiling.

However, we never really are cut off from the Lord, are we? Our hearts can seem to grow ever so cold toward the Lord, but when we read the Bible and meditate upon the grace and goodness of God, we recognize that He has never left. He is always there and is always ready to answer us in our times of trouble.

Sometimes we do not recognize the works of God on our behalf because they do not come in the form we are expecting. How often do we pray with the answer we expect God to give already planned out? When He does not answer exactly in the manner we are expecting, we think He has not heard our prayer. Yet, when we look back over our lives, we realize He always answered our prayers, and His answers were better than what we anticipated. As a teen, you may not have seen that happen, but you will!

No wonder the Psalmist proclaimed, O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

Let us, as the Psalmist asserts, Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

There is no god like unto our God, who loves us who are unlovable, saves us through the sacrifice of His only Son, and keeps us, not only through out all of the days of this life, but for all eternity!

No, as Christian teens we are not, and never will be cut off!

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow!

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thy Goodness

 19Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
 20Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. 

Thy Goodness

 How good is the goodness of God? The psalmist proclaimed: Oh how great is thy goodness. For the Christian, the goodness of God is a pearl of great price which is hidden in the sight of all men, preserved only for the saints of God. Thy goodness . . . which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men.

As Christian teens, we are called by God to serve Him right where He has placed us; it is right for every single Christian teen to understand that his daily life is his own personal mission field. You do not have to wait until you reach adulthood to be a missionary for Christ! What a marvelous God we have; He knows that carnal man is not prone to seek God in the middle of His Sanctuary, so God places His own people right in the middle of carnal man!

In earlier decades in my country, there did not seem to be such a great division between the morals of God's people and the morals of the nation. That, however, is certainly no longer the case. It seems as though the nation in which I live cannot cast off the chains and restrictions of the Bible fast enough.

Where does that leave the true people of God? God's people are called to live obediently to the commands of God, regardless of the laws and statutes of the lands in which they live. As a nation runs after the gods of this world, their own laws quickly abandon any semblance of the laws of God. The change is subtle at first, but soon it is apparent that one cannot serve two masters; to serve God, faithfully, demands that the laws of the nations be abandoned in favor of the commandments of God.

Following the natural course of events, that disparity will eventually place God's children in danger; persecution is inevitable. Nothing is more true than in the teen years when to be different, is totally unacceptable. Rather than fear, we must remember this God we serve. How does God protect His children? He hides them in plain sight!

Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.

Let us remember that we serve the God of the Old Testament as well as the God of the New Testament. As we read of His marvelous works among the nation of Israel, we must remember that He works among His children today in the same way. Read the Bible, especially the Old Testament, and say to yourself, "This is my God; he works on my behalf in the same way!"

By the grace of God, let us lift up our weak hands, and quell our feeble knees, and walk in the strength and power of our God. Let us pray for grace to leave the things of this world behind, and dedicate ourselves to His service right where He has placed us! Pray that, as a teen, you will serve Christ and not the passions of this world!

Oh how great is Thy goodness, oh God!

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Slander of Many

 9Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.
 10For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
 11I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.
 12I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.
 13For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life. 
 14But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God.
 15My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
 16Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies' sake.
 17Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.
 18Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous. 

Slander of Many

Can a more bleak picture be painted than that given to us by the psalmist in verses 9 - 13, of Psalm 31? The writer was so overcome with grief that even his bones were consumed, those that saw him ran in the opposite direction, and he was forgotten as though he were dead. But, it gets worse! He not only heard the slander of many, but in their fear, his enemies were plotting his murder.

Do you think it was time to throw in the towel? As a teen, if you have ever even been close to experiencing what the psalmist declared, you know what a demoralizing and depressing state he was in. The easiest thing to do at that point is to give up, but look at Psalm 31:14-15.

But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.

What a testimony! We are such creatures of this world that, unfortunately, it is often necessary for God to allow us to be swallowed up in the depths of despair so that we would turn to Him. It seems as though no lesson is more important for us to learn, and re-learn! How often do we need to come to the point in our lives when we truly understand the psalmist's words: my times are in thy hand?

What does it matter how the world views us? Why should their slander, and even their death threats alarm us? In the end, the words of verse 18 will come to pass!

Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

The wicked may seem to have the preeminence for a time, but in God's perfect timing the lying lips will, indeed, be put to silence. That seems to be one of the hardest lesson to learn, as a Christian teen. Being impetuous by nature, it is certainly not easy to wait for God's timing.

As we go about the duties of this day, let us pray that God will give us the grace to ignore the slander of many, but rather to set our hearts and affections on things above and not on the things of this earth.

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lying Vanities

 6I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.
 7I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
 8And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room. 

Lying Vanities

What does the psalmist mean by the phrase, "lying vanities"? The New King James Version translates Psalm 31:6 in this way: I have hated those who regard useless idols; but I trust in the LORD. We see two contrasts. First we see those who trust in the things of this world, which really are lying vanities or useless idols, and second we see those who trust in the Lord.

Is there no middle ground? Cannot one trust in both the world and the Lord? As Christian teens, we certainly do try, do we not? It is so very hard for us to let go of the things of the world which we can see, to trust in the Lord, whom we cannot see.

What made the difference for the writer? How did he come to the conclusions he did? He said, thou hast considered my trouble thou hast known my soul in adversities; and hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy.

The very things which made the difference in the psalmist's life were the troubles and adversities which came into his life. Is that not the way it really is? Life seems to rumble on at its own hectic pace until we stumble into the paths of adversity; it is amazing how quickly our perspective on life changes. When facing the jaws of death, it really does not matter what color of a car we drive, does it? It no longer matters if we are loved or hated, rich or poor, or popular or not. 

God allows adversity to come into our lives, because He loves us! He knows how important it is, in our Christian walk, to keep all of life in perspective, and to understand that when everything falls apart, God keeps our feet on a wide path, or in a large room! We are not going to fall off the precipice of life, because God is always there guiding our feet.

Let us pray that, as Christian teens, our lives will not be consumed by lying vanities, but rather, will be solidly built upon God, our Rock, who will never leave us nor forsake us. 

When all is said and done, may our trust be in the Lord.

God Bless You,
Linda

Sunday, May 15, 2011

In Thee

1In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
 2Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.
 3For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.
 4Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.
 5Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth. 

In Thee

Where do we go in desperate times? We are told that, when a person is in a life or death situation, seconds matter; in other words, calling the right person may make the difference between life and death. The psalmist unabashedly exclaims, In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust. There was no doubt in the writer's mind that the One to turn to for help was the Lord.

As Christian teens, how confident are we in God's help to save us? Do we truly understand that our life is in the hands of God. We are so confident in what the world has to offer, especially in times of emergency that we often only think of going to the Lord after we have exhausted all other avenues of help. As a matter of fact, we often treat prayer as the least help we can offer to others, overlooking it for more visible forms of help.

Do we wonder why God allows Christians to go through deep valleys of suffering or despair? Perhaps He is helping us to understand that He is our help, our fortress, and our rock; unfortunately, we often have to exhaust all other avenues of help before we come to that realization. 

The writer of Psalm 31 had certainly reached this point; there was no doubt in his mind when he declared, Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength. Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

He was ready to commit himself to the Lord, even unto the point of death. Are we? Doing so, requires us to reach beyond the confines of this world and see the bigger picture. This world is such an insignificant speck in the perspective of eternity. 

Where is our help? Who is our rock? Can we declare, with the psalmist, In Thee do I put my trust?

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Prosperity

 6And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.
 7LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.
 8I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication.
 9What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?
 10Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper.
 11Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
 12To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever. 

Prosperity

Prosperity! The world has a beautiful ring to it, does it not? Nothing can make us feel more invincible, especially if we achieved that prosperity ourselves through our own diligent efforts. From your perspective as a teen, is that not what life is all about? 

As a Christian, however, what happens to our confidence in our own prosperity when it seems as though God hides His face from us?

That is exactly what the psalmist is picturing for us in Psalm 30. He stands before God, and asks, what profit is there if I fall now? Who will praise you--the dust? Why, then, have you turned the joy of my prosperity into mourning?

That is just the way life seems, does it not? We cry out to God in our righteous indignation and call Him into account for what He has done to us! You have to see the humor in the situation. We are puffed up in our own arrogance when we consider the great things we have done with our life, but when adversity comes, whose fault is it? God's!

Does God not want us to be happy? Oh, but God wants so much more for us! True peace, joy, and happiness does not come by looking at the great things we have accomplished in this life. True peace, joy, and happiness comes when we look to God. God does not want us to settle for second best, as there is so much more to be found in Him!

The psalmist came to the same conclusion in verse 12.

To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

In the end, David, the psalmist, was no longer singing his own praises, but rather, basked in the joy and praise of the Lord. In the Lord, he found the true Source of joy and happiness, not only just in this life, but for all eternity!

As a Christian teen, let us sing praises to the Lord. He saves us, He keeps us, and He brings us safely into His arms where we live in true joy and peace for all eternity. It all seems too simple to be true; what an amazing God we serve!

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Joy Cometh in the Morning

 4Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
 5For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. 

Joy Cometh in the Morning

Does God get angry? Yes, He does. Is His anger righteous; of course. One has only to step out the door each morning, and observe the life of the people of the world to understand God's right to be angry! Unfortunately, we often do not even get out the door before this is true! We have a tendency to overlook sin, even categorizing it so that some sin is really not all that bad--even justified.  After all, we are not as bad as that other person, right?

We do not understand the utter holiness and purity of our God who knows no sin, indeed, who cannot even look upon sin! Is there no hope for us, who are so polluted and immersed in sin? Yes! Through the Lord Jesus Christ, and His death upon the cross, Jesus has literally purchased a people for Himself. Simply by going to Him, acknowledging our own unworthiness, and pleading for His hope and salvation, we are changed from people of the world to saints of God!

How amazing is that? Let us do as the psalmist encourages us to do, and sing unto the LORD, and give thanks as we remember His holiness. What an opportunity to come to Christ while still a teen, with your whole life stretching out before you!

In perspective, God's anger at sin endures for only a moment; in the light of eternity, this world, from the beginning to the end of time only endures for a moment! Life is, at its best, a mixed blessing; one does not have to live long to experience sickness, catastrophes, and discouragement. Even those things we consider blessings, such as old age, are just a mixture of good days and bad days, with bad days occurring more and more frequently in our latter years. As a teen, one hardly thinks of such things; after all, it will be years before it happens to you!

As Christian teens, however, we are reminded by the psalmist that weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. What a beautiful thought! Let us, by the grace of God, lift up our hearts and minds to the heavens, and live in the joy of Christ. In Christ we have a joy with no bitterness or emptiness attached, but rather, the unadulterated, pure, and holy joy of God!

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow!

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lift Me Up!

 1I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.
 2O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.
 3O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. 

Lift Me Up!

David never forgot his First Love; he never forgot the source of his success and victories.

I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. 

That did not mean that David never suffered defeat, or that he never faced his imminent death time after time. But, He always sensed God's presence and ultimate victory.

It is easy, even as Christians, to become so immersed in the world in which we live, and in the everyday occurrences of life, to lose that sense of God's presence in our lives. How many times do the sufferings and trials of our lives seem to swallow us up so that we seem to have nowhere to turn for help. 

Yes, God has given us families, and often the dearest of friends, but there are times in life when even our families and friends do not seem to help us overcome the difficulties of life. That is where David found himself again and again, until he remembered the Lord! When he turned his face to God he could say, I will praise and honor you, Oh God, for you lift me up!

It is good for you to learn, while still in the days of your youth, that no person, place, or thing can give you peace, joy, or happiness. These are only found in the source of all peace, joy, and happiness, our Lord Jesus Christ. By the grace of God, you turn your hearts and minds to Him today, and say,

"You, Oh God, are my life, my hope and my strength; you, oh God, lift me up!"

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, May 9, 2011

King Forever!

 10The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.
 11The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace. 

King Forever!

Who is this Lord we serve? He is King forever! But, He is not a King who is distant from His people; He rules, He guides, He loves, and He keeps them forever. 

Where does our King reign? He reigns in the lives and hearts of His people. When the floods sweep over the land, He sits upon the flood! He gives strength to his people and blesses His people with peace.

In a time when floods are literally sweeping over large areas of land in my country, that is quite a statement to make. Has God forgotten His children? No! As children of God we are not exempt from the catastrophes that sweep over our land, but we are assured that God is right there with us. Though we may be beat down by adversity, we are not overcome, for our God reigns now and forever! What an important lesson to learn as a Christian teen!

David, a man who was not unaccustomed to adversity and hardship, speaks volumes in Psalm 29. It is from personal experience that he says, The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace. 

Ultimately, David is speaking of eternal peace. Though beat down on every side, he experienced the peace of God through all of his troubles, but today, David is with God in heaven! It is good for us to remember, especially when hardships overcome our very desire to live, that God will grant us peace right here where we live, but even more, our future with God is assured forever!

We go to God today for peace and comfort, realizing that this peace and comfort is not only everything we need for our circumstances of this very day, but that our God is King forever. No matter what this earth brings, we have a faithful Lord and Savior who is preparing an eternal place for us right now!

How amazing is that?

God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, May 6, 2011

Voice of the Lord

 3The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.
 4The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
 5The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.
 6He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
 7The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.
 8The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.
 9The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory. 

The Voice of the Lord

The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. . . . and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.

We are first introduced to the voice of the Lord in Genesis 1: Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.  And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.  God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. 

Each day progresses with, Then God said. The results were this phenomenal place we call planet Earth. This same God who spoke this world into existence, continues to speak daily events that are occurring all over this entire planet.

The voice of the Lord speaks, and the hurricanes foam over the seas and the thunderstorms crash and roll over the earth. The voice of the Lord speaks and the lilies blossom in the fields, and the birds sing their lovely melodies. Is this presuming too much? Is God truly that active in the momentary events of this world?

Yes, He is! Not only is God actively involved in the momentary events of this world, but He is also actively involved in the daily events in our own personal lives. Man has achieved much, especially in the last 200 years, but nothing that man has ever done or ever will do will circumvent the plans of God. Yet, He still cares when the struggles of life wreak havoc in the lives of His children.

Let us remember, in the daily busyness of life, to return to our First Love, the Lord Jesus Christ. As we observe life seeming to spin out of control all around us, let us remember that the voice of the Lord holds everything in place, and moves all things along His predetermined path.

Be assured, that as a Christian teen, God knows and cares about you. When life seems to be impossibly out of control, and circumstances seem to be utterly hopeless, the voice of the Lord is not hindered by our own limitations. Go to God; He speaks and all of the Earth listens and yields to His commands.

Yes, the voice of the Lord is powerful and full of majesty. May all of His children fall down before Him and speak of His glory. Let us go, today, in the glory of the Lord, assured that He is living and actively involved in even the innermost details of our lives.

What an amazing God we have!

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Give unto the Lord

 1Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
 2Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

Give unto the Lord

What do we owe the Lord? We owe everything to the Lord! Everything we are and everything we ever hope to be, belongs to the Lord; all of the good we have ever done or ever will do is a result of His grace and goodness to us.

How different would our lives be if we began every day with that thought? How much pain and grief could we avoid if we actually took time at the start of each day meditating upon God's goodness to us, and praising and glorifying His holy name? What a great pattern to set for yourself while still a teen!

Why every day? Is it not enough to praise and worship God on the Lord's Day? Like children, we are prone to forget, as the duties of this life surmount everything else. As a matter of fact, we tend to wake up in the morning feeling the pressing needs of the day upon us before we even step out of bed. 

Yet, we are called to give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name, and to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Who is this Lord that He should demand so much? He is God; by Him do all things exist. He holds the key to everything that has and will happen from eternity past, to the present, and to the days to come until this world ceases to exist. 

Yes, let us give unto the Lord the honor and glory that He alone rightly commands. Let us look to Him for all of the needs of this day as well as the needs of all of the days to come, and let us worship Him in the beauty of holiness!

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Lord is My Strength!

 6Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.
 7The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
 8The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.
 9Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever. 

The Lord is My Strength!

Psalm 28 carries a theme and pattern often found in the Psalms of David. The Psalmist expresses discouragement and fear, then looks to God and finds hope and strength. Sometimes it seems as though one Psalm is in many ways a carbon copy of another Psalm. Why is that?

One only has to stop for a moment and think through one's own life to find the answer. How often have we rejoiced in the Lord during a time of great blessing, only to find ourselves back in the fields of despair when life seems to unravel again? As we ponder this pattern that is all too prevalent in our own lives, we begin to understand David more and more. And, we begin to understand how a Christian can be surrounded by hopelessness and yet, find themselves filled with peace and joy. As a teen, you may not have years of experience upon which to draw, but you can certainly see this pattern beginning to emerge in your own life.

The truth that each child of God has learned is: the Lord is my strength! Oh, we enter the decade of our twenties with high hopes for the great things we will accomplish with our lives, but by our thirties we begin to realize that we do not accomplish anything by ourselves. We see God working through the events of our lives in ways we could never have imagined. (As a teen, you will just have to trust me that this is true!) We also learn that we can hardly control ourselves, much less the events of life which surround us each day.

Realizing the secret of his own success, David declared, The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. 

Was this a secret unique to him alone? No! God arms all of His children with His strength; it is to Him that all of God's people look in both the good times and in the bad.

The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed. Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.

That prayer, offered by David, includes Christians today! How amazing is that? David, the King of Israel, prayed a prayer that includes you, a teenager in the 21st century!

Go today, and with David proclaim, "The Lord is my strength . . . my heart trusted in him, and I am helped!"

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Insulated!

 3Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.
 4Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.
 5Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up. 

Insulated!

Does there ever come a time in the Christian life when we are insulated from the devices of the wicked? Do we ever reach that state of spiritual maturity where we do not need to be afraid of the temptations of the world?

If we ever reach the point where we believe we are beyond falling, we are truly in trouble! No matter how great our love for Christ, no matter how long we have been a Christian, our sin natures are such that sin always lies right at the door of our hearts, ready to spring upon our unsuspecting souls.

Like us, David faced the same dilemma, and thus we hear him cry: Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity. How, then, are we to be insulated from these temptations?

Those of this world do not regard the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands. They do not understand that this world belongs to God, and that the day will come when He will destroy the wicked, and not allow them to rise again! 

Let us pray, as Christian teens, that each day, we may set forth upon our duties in the strength and power of the Lord. We may not have the ability to fight the devices of the wicked, but God does! Our strength, both now and forever, lies in the hands of the Lord. He is the only one who can insulate us from the wickedness of the world that surrounds us on every side.

What an amazing God we have!

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hope!

 1Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.
 2Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle. 

Hope!

Even in the middle of the greatest of times, it seems as though we are only a breath away from despair, for such is the world in which we live. One day's rejoicing in the Lord may lead to the next in which He seems to be silent to our cries for help. 

It is good to have the perspective of years; one can look back and see the faithful hand of God evident in every step we have taken. As we ponder God's help and goodness through the years, we have every reason to hope; we have every reason to believe that God will, again, hear our prayers and reach down and pick us up. 

But what of those who are still in the days of their youth with few years of experience to buoy them up? Where do they find their hope? That is one of the beauty of having the Word of God at our disposal. We can read of the experiences of God's people in the Old Testament and see His faithful hand guiding them through their struggles. We can be encouraged by the New Testament writers, many of whom had the privilege of walking with the Lord, and we have the beautiful testimonies of the psalmists who recount God's faithfulness again and again.

Let us then, as Christian teens, like the psalmist, find our hope and trust to be resting in the arms of the Lord. When we cry unto God with our hands lifted to him, let us know and believe that our hope is not in vain. Truly the Lord hears and answers our prayers, for He is God and there is none other like Him.

God Bless You,
Linda