Thursday, June 30, 2011

Foot of Pride

10O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.
 11Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me.
 12There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.

 Foot of Pride

The imagery used by David in Psalm 36 is so descriptive of life, especially in our teens. We think of difficulties that come from without: illness, death, persecution or troubles from the ungodly, but how often do we pray for help from the difficulties that come from our own hand (or foot in this case)? How much easier would it be for us to live for Christ without our own foot of pride?

If all of life were perfect, but we still lived in our bodies corrupted by sin, we would continue to struggle constantly with the challenge of living lives that glorify God. That very foot of pride is what causes the workers of iniquity to fall, casting them down so that they are not able to rise. Though we may be a Christian, however, we must still live in bodies corrupted by the sins and temptations of this world.

If we take a serious look at our own lives, examining them from the very depths of our own hearts, we must conclude that the sin of pride is at the root of the sins which so easily beset us and draw us away from Christ.

However, let us not leave this Psalm on a note of despair, but let us remember the lessons we have already learned from Psalm 36. 

God's mercy is in the heavens, and His faithfulness reaches unto the clouds. God is so excellent in His loving kindness that we can safely put our trust under the shadow of His wings, where we are satisfied and can drink from the rivers of God's pleasures. With Christ is the fountain of life, and in His light we see light. 

May God truly take the foot of pride out or our hearts and lives, so that we may bask in the sunshine of His grace. If we could truly master this in our teen years, how much would the rest of our lives be affected? How much more could we do for the Lord? 

What an amazing God we serve!

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Abundantly Satisfied

 7How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
 8They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.
 9For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

 Abundantly Satisfied

How many Christian teens can truthfully say that they are abundantly satisfied with life? Probably none of us would really say that, would we? As a matter of fact, life seems to be so filled with unexpected difficulties that we often tend to go from one crises to another. How, then, could David say such a thing?

As Christian teens, I fear we do not spend enough time meditating upon the things of the Lord, nor do we spend enough time laying all of our difficulties at the feet of Jesus. Was David's life more simple than ours? Was it easier for him to live for God than it is for us? 

Not many of us will ever live the role of the president or king of a nation, and most of us have not had to live several years of our lives hiding from an enemy who is determined to keep us from taking over his position as king. Yet, this is exactly the life that David lived, and he still wrote: The children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house.

Could it be that our eyes are focused on the wrong thing? 

This world has nothing to offer our thirsty souls, but in Christ is the fountain of light, and in His light we see light. Yes, there is light to see; it is a perfect, holy, and pure light that leads us to our dear Savior who purchased our souls so that we would not have to live in a world consumed with darkness, but rather could bask in the heavenly light of God our Father.

What happens when we become focused upon God? We shall be abundantly satisfied! Is it really that simple? Yes, actually, it is!

What a kind and loving God we serve!

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

No Fear!

1The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
 2For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.
 3The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.
 4He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.
 5Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.
 6Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. 

No Fear!

Is it good to have fear? As a teen, our modern day hero is often painted as one who has no fear, but is that necessarily a good thing? I often wondered little children ever make it to the age of four; it seems as though their lack of fear continually propels them right into the paths of danger.

Fear in and of itself is neither good nor bad; it is the object of that fear that makes all of the difference. Verses 1 through 4 of Psalm 36 describe one who has no fear of God; he is consumed by wickedness and deceit.

Apart from the grace of God, that is exactly where each of us finds ourselves! Apart from the fear of God, man is led by the foolishness of his own heart, and is consumed by wickedness and evil desires. One only has to just look around to know that this is true! Man was not so very different in the days of David than he is today. But, David did not end Psalm 36 with verse 4; he continued:

5Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.
 6Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast.


God's mercy reaches down into the very depths of the hearts of men, and reveals His righteousness and truth. By the grace of God, fear is born: fear of God. Man's heart is filled with the knowledge of God's truth; his way is lit by the light of righteousness. 

What an amazing God we serve; He certainly could have left us in the depths of our depravity and despair, but through the death of His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, God opened the gateway to Himself. Through the blood of Christ, the debt of our sin has been paid, and our hearts are filled with the righteousness of God.

A life of no fear, especially no fear of God, is a horrifying thing. Let us pray that, by the grace of God, our hearts will be filled with the fear of God, and that our lives will be spent in loving and serving Him all of the days He has granted to us on this earth! A person who fears God: now that is a true hero!

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Teen Answers

I've grown up in a christian home since I was born. And my dad is actually a pastor. But my friend is a pastors kid too. She thinks her parents hate her. And she hates them. And she has not so great a life. She wants to kill herself. I try my best to tell her what I can. I remember everything Ive ever heard about this sorta thing. But she doesn't seem to listen. Is there anything I can do to make her realize that she is needed here? I'm showing her as much love and patience as I can. But I need help.

I received this email about a month ago. What has happened to our world? What has happened to our Christian homes?

I am not a trained professional in terms of psychological issues, and feel totally inadequate to even begin to answer such an email. I do know, however, that Solomon told us in Ecclesiastes that, "There is nothing new under the sun." Does that mean that even in Solomon's day, peopled faced these same issues? Yes, I do believe that is true!

Where do we find hope? Where do we look to find our reason for living? Unfortunately, even in Christian circles, we have been so duped by the world, that we find ourselves rushing after the things of this world. However, the things of this world will not satisfy the longing of our hearts; they only bring emptiness, hopelessness, and despair.

Do you think the Psalmist understood this when he penned these words?

 1How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!
 2My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.
 3Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. 

Where do we go to find words of comfort for this dear Christian teen and her friend? As the Psalmist has suggested, our only hope and trust lies in the Lord Jesus Christ; the longings of our soul can only be satisfied in Him, not in the things of this world. Can it be so simple?

 10   Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand,
      And His arm shall rule for Him; 
      Behold, His reward is with Him, 
      And His work before Him. 
       11  He will feed His flock like a shepherd;   
      He will gather the lambs with His arm, 
      And carry them in His bosom, 
      And gently lead those who are with young. 
     
  (Isaiah 40:10-11, New King James Version)

I do believe that the lack of peace and joy that we see even in Christian circles today is a result of going to the wrong place to find our comfort and joy. Christ loves His children; He will feed His flock like a shepherd, and He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom.

Let us all pray for this dear Christian teen as she ministers to her friend that both will be so filled with the love of Christ so that they will feel His arms of comfort surrounding them and holding them up during this dark time.

Thank you for your email. May Christ give you strength and wisdom in the days ahead.

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, June 20, 2011

Thy Righteousness

 22This thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me.
 23Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord.
 24Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.
 25Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.
 26Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me.
 27Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
 28And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long. 

Thy Righteousness

Whatever happened to black and white? In a world swirling with every idea imaginable, black and white no longer seem to exist; everything has become gray. There is no right or wrong answer, as truth has been replaced with situational ethics. I'm OK; you're OK. What may be right for me may be wrong for you, and that's OK. But, is it really OK?

David understood that there is only one true righteousness, and that is God's righteousness! He said, Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness.

As Christian teens, we must be careful that we do not get caught up in the world's web of deceit. God's righteousness is the way, the truth, and the light. There is no shadow of turning with God; white is white! 

When we hear the great ideas espoused by man, we must always look at them through the eyes of Scripture. David faced great opposition and false accusations by people of the world; his greatest enemies were often those of his own household. In the face of such opposition, he said, my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.

By the grace of God, let us be found, daily, in God's Word, reading and studying the truths He has revealed to us in His Word. Let us equip ourselves with God's righteousness, so that we can discern the lies and deceitfulness of those who oppose God. 

We may be accused before this world of all manner of evil, but the only court that truly matters is the Court of Heaven: Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness.

Right now, in the days of your youth, establish God as your only Guide for discerning right from wrong.

God Bless You,
Linda

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Deceit

 19Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.
 20For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.
 21Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.
Psalm 35:19-21, King James Version


Deceit

We live in a world filled with deceit, so much so that it is often very difficult to tell the difference between the truth and lies. It seems that David, though still in his youth, was caught in a deceitful web woven skillfully by his enemies. What had he done wrong? Nothing!

His enemies spoke of peace, but there was no thought of peace in their minds. This certainly has a familiar ring to it, does it not? In the world in which we live, how does one even hope to discern the truth. As a matter of fact, in the world of politics, we do not even expect the politicians to be telling us the truth.

As a teen, it is sometimes hard to even know who your true friends are. Sadly, few people take the time to delve into matters and discern the real truth. David found himself in much the same situation. After all, who will people believe? Will they believe the king, or a supposedly renegade rebel seeking to usurp the king's throne? Though any who knew David personally knew of his Godly character, people were so ready to believe all manner of evil spoken against him.

David went to the only One who would hear his cause and judge in an upright manner:  God! There is certainly a lesson for us here. In David's case, and truthfully in ours as well, his only hope was in God.

Is it so very different today? How quickly our friends and even family members can turn against us, but God knows the truth? As a Christian teen, what is the most important thing to us? Are we most anxious to clear our good name, or are we most anxious to seek God's resolution in the matter? Could it be that God will be more glorified if our name is not immediately cleared?

That is a sobering thought, is it not? It is not easy to take a broader approach to life and understand that God's plans are superior to our own. His plans take in the eternal scope of all matters.

Let us pray, that by God's grace, in this world filled with deceit, we will live our lives in a God-centered manner; seeking to glorify His name above our own!

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thanks for the Adversity

15But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not:
 16With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.
 17Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.
 18I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people. 
Psalm 35:15-18, KJV


Thanks for the Adversity


Things were not going well for David; his enemies not only rejoiced in his adversity, but they gathered together and mocked him. None of us handle adversity well, but it is even harder when we learn that we are being mocked by our enemies, especially when some of these very enemies used to be our best friends. David is so perplexed by God's lack of answers that he finally cried out, Lord how long wilt thou look on?

Then, David said the strangest thing. I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people. In other words, he said to God, "Thanks for the adversity!" David may have been perplexed that the Lord had not seemed to answer his prayers, but his faith was as strong as it had ever been. He was still thanking and praising God.

How well do we handle adversity? How well do we handle being the underdog--the one whom everyone is talking about behind our back? How well do we tolerate lies being spread about us?

We do not handle it well at all, do we? We work quickly to set the record straight, justifying our actions before anyone who will listen. If we even remember to go to God in prayer, we are way too busy asking Him what He thinks He is doing to us, to even think of thanking Him.

It is at times like these that our faith is tested. We love and praise the Lord when everything is going great, but how do we respond to God when nothing is going right? How do we respond to God when it seems as though our prayers bounce right off the ceiling? 

We certainly do not enjoy the bad times, but by God's grace, let us remember that it is during these times that our faith grows the most. By the grace of God, next time we are faced with the ridicule of former friends, may we remember to look to God and say, "Thanks for the adversity!"

God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Humbled Soul

11False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.
 12They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.
 13But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
 14I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.
Psalm 35:11-14, KJV

A Humbled Soul

Liars! We have all faced times when liars have spread false rumors about us. Why is it that, no matter who we are and how we live, there are always people who will lie about us behind our backs, and there are always people who are ready and willing to believe those lies? In our very natures, we seem to relish making ourselves look good by putting someone else down.

In the middle of David's darkest hours, the rumors were spreading like wildfire! This man who had been a confident of King Saul has now seemingly turned out to be a traitor--or so the tale was spread. Did David retaliate? Is that not our first thought? First, we move quickly to defend ourselves, and secondly, we list the ways we can get even with the person who has done such terrible things to us.

How did David respond?

But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.

When David's enemies were down, he did not use the occasion to trample them under his feet, but rather, he was prostrate before God, in sackcloth and ashes. He humbled his soul with fasting, and God responded by hearing his prayers. 

Not only was David humbled, but he behaved toward them as though they were his friends or brothers, and not as though they were his enemies. In a lifetime of service for Christ, the hardest attribute or characteristic to develop is true humility.

David responded with a humbled soul. As Christian teens, let us pray that as we walk through the journey of life, God will help us to live as David did--even more, to live as Christ did--with a humbled soul, remembering that any goodness we display in this life is due to the greater goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf. We are nothing apart from Him!

God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Joyful in the Lord

9And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
 10All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him? 
Psalm 35:9-10, KJV


Joyful in the Lord

What does it mean to be joyful in the Lord? I think sometimes we have the impression that Christian teens should always go about with a smile on their face, praising the Lord for His goodness. While there is nothing wrong with that, it would be unnatural to maintain that type of a demeanor 24/7. All Christians go through difficult times of grief, sorrow, discouragement, and other problems. Even Christ himself did not smile and praise God every minute of every day He lived on this earth.

However, maintaining a joyful spirit even through troubling times is quite possible. The psalmist explains that when his soul is joyful in the Lord he rejoices in his salvation. Now that is quite a different thing, is it not? In other words, the Christian has a peace, whether in good times or bad times because he knows where his true home lies. He knows that God has granted him life--eternal life--that no man can take away.

This passion was so strong in David, that even though he was being hunted like an animal by King Saul, he could still say:

All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?

Christian teens do not follow the Lord in a blind stupor, but rather follow the Lord in the quietness and confidence of a Savior who has provided a complete and full salvation. The good days and the bad days will come, but God will never leave nor forsake them.

So, this day, let us be joyful in the Lord. Let us take some time to quietly meditate upon all of the great blessings granted to us by our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one who saves us, who keeps us, and who will bring us home to live with Him forever!

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, June 6, 2011

Vengeance

4Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.
 5Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.
 6Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.
 7For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.
 8Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall. 
Psalm 35:4-8, KJV

Vengeance

How is a Christian teen to feel about their enemies? We are told to turn the other cheek, but does that mean we have no recourse against the evil that others can do to us? I cannot think of a more perfect example than that of David, especially during the years Saul was seeking his life.

It is most probably during this time that David penned the words of Psalm 35. Spending months fleeing for his life, David must have reached a point of total desperation. Yet, when Saul's life was in David's hands, he refused to reach out his hand against him because he was God's anointed king. That did not mean, however, that David was not exasperated by his circumstances.

In all of his struggles, David never forgot that the lives of his enemies were in God's hands. It was totally within his rights to plead that God would deal with them. Look at the pleas David made to God.

Let them be confounded and put to shame.
Let them be turned back and brought to confusion.
Let them be as chaff in the wind.
Let the angel of the Lord chase them.
Let their way be dark and slippery.
Let the angel of the Lord persecute them.
Let destruction come upon him.
Let his net that he hath hid catch himself.

He understood that it was not his right to seek vengeance against Saul, and he never forgot that it was God who would fight those battles for him.

May we, by God's grace, be reminded that it is not our duty to fight against our enemies, but rather we should pray that God would deal with them as they deserve. God's judgment upon them is so much greater than anything we could ever do. We know that this is totally opposite of what the world teaches us, but we are called, as Christian teens to live as Christ lived and not as the world lives.

Our duty is to love and serve God wherever He has called us to be, and to remember that everything happens according to God's plan. Who knows whether our actions of placing our enemies in God's hands, and living faithfully before God in their presence will ultimately bring about their own salvation?

God is still on the throne,
And He will remember His own!

God Bless You,
Linda

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Plead My Cause

1Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.
 2Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
 3Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.
Psalm 35:1-3, KJV

Plead My Cause

Do you sense a note of desperation in David's words from Psalm 35? How many times must David have felt that despair when Saul's troops were closing in upon him? He had done nothing wrong, yet nothing he did to alleviate the problem seemed to help. 

Did David have the confidence that God really would hear him and come to his aid? It seems easy for us because we have the entire Word of God; we know what happened next, but David did not! Just the fact that David wrote, "Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation," shows some of the misgivings he may have had. It seems as though he asking God to remind him, in the very depths of his soul, that God was his salvation.

It is not easy, as a teen, when we are in the middle of great difficulties--difficulties that seem to have no good solution--to maintain that great confidence in God that David so often expressed. It is easy in the difficult times, to lack faith that God really will help. Just because God helps others, does not always mean that He will help us--or so our discouraged souls may whisper to us.

Have you noticed, too, that when we are in the middle of troublesome times, Satan is most often actively accusing us? It is easy to look back over our lives and feel great despair over decisions that turned out to be disastrous. Satan loves to take every opportunity he can to remind us of what fatal decisions those happened to be.

As Christian teens, we must be reminded that our Lord paid the price for the sins we have committed; we are not to wallow in despair over past mistakes, but rather look to the future to see what great things God can and will do with our lives.

Oh, that we had the same confidence shown by David when He said, Plead my cause, O Lord. Let us, by the grace of God, go to Christ for help and then go on, as we know that David did. Those were times of great worry and concern for David, but we know the rest of the story. We know that God did save David from his enemies, and make him to be one of the greatest kings in the history of Israel.

God will do the same for His children today. The time will come when we will look back upon our difficult days and see that God's hand was always upon us, lifting us up, and carrying us through the hardest times. 

What an amazing God we serve. The God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David, is the same God we serve today!

God Bless You,
Linda

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Lord Redeems

19Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
 20He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
 21Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
 22The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.
Psalm 34:19-22, KJV

The Lord Redeems


David summarizes Psalm 34 in a few simple words: The Lord redeems the soul of His servants (NKJV). Due to their familiarity, it is easy to take these words for granted, but they are the very essence of our faith. 

Do Christian teens face afflictions? Yes! Are Christian teens undone by these afflictions? No! Even in the depths of our darkest hours, we are comforted in the hope we have in the Lord Jesus Christ. Even if our afflictions lead to death, the Lord delivers us! How can that be true? 

Death is not the end; it is only the end of life on this earth as we know it. Our greatest delivery of all comes when God takes us from this world and brings us into His courts above, where afflictions and despair will be banished forever. We tend to view death as a tragedy, and indeed it is for those left behind to grieve. However, death for the Christian is never a tragedy at any age!

This certainly helps us to put our priorities in order; our goal in this life is not to heap all of the treasures and glory upon ourselves that we are able to heap in the time we have. Our goal is to honor and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and to diligently serve Him all of our days, that we may advance His kingdom on this earth. This charge is not just to pastors and missionaries; it is to all of God's children!

With the psalmist, let us take a moment to ponder the state of the wicked. 

Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.

Whether or not the wicked understand their true state on this earth, they will understand it at the end of time when they will face the ultimate desolation: complete separation from God for all eternity. The very God they despise is the only One who truly grants them any blessings during their time on this earth.

God has placed upon His children the duty to warn the wicked of their true state, that they may turn to Christ while they can. In doing so, we pray that they will truly understand the final words of Psalm 34.

The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

The Lord redeems! Go in that confidence, and by God's grace, pray that your testimony, as a Christian teen, will be a light in the darkness to the lost who live all around you.

God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Lord is Near!

15The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
 16The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
 17The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
 18The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Psalm 34:15-18, KJV


The Lord is Near!

There is no greater comfort for the Christian teen than to know that the Lord is near; there is no place on this earth beneath or even in the heavens above where we are out of God's realm. His eyes are upon the righteous, His ears are open to their cries, and His face is against those who do evil.

Why, then, do we spend so much time in fear? For two nights I have been having trouble sleeping; I wake up in the middle of the night and begin to worry. I know how futile my actions are, and I know that I am exhibiting a lack of trust in God, big time! How God must weary of my constantly going before Him confessing my sin of worrying over things that are completely in His control. I know I weary myself!

Yet, never is there a time when God does not hear and answer my prayers. Each time, God fills my heart with His wonderful peace. That is exactly the point that David is making in Psalm 34.

When the righteous cry out to God, He hears them and delivers them from all of their troubles. It sounds like a fairy tale--almost too good to be true. Is there a catch? Yes, actually, there is. The Bible tells us:

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

God requires a broken, humble heart, and a contrite spirit. Being the foolish creatures that we are, we need to be reminded again and again that all of our successes are due to God's faithfulness on our behalf. There is not one thing in us that would cause us to be worthy of the love and affection that God has lavished upon us. There is not one thing in us that makes us worthy of Christ's dying to pay the debt of our sins. Yet He did!

As a teen, you hear all about the secret to success; right here in these few verses from Psalm 34, you are given the real secret to success. Learning this lesson now will put you light years ahead of your non-Christian peers. 

That, dear Christian, is the Gospel. That knowledge is what gives us the ability to get up day after day and live this life to the honor and glory of God. He saves us and keeps us. Truly, the Lord is near, every minute of every day.

What an amazing God we have. He was near to David, and he is near to us.

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Good Life

 11Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
 12What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
 13Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
 14Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
Psalm 34:11-14, King James Version (KJV)

The Good Life

When all is said and done, we are all seeking for the same thing: the good life! Now, our definition of what the good life really is may be different, but it is good for us to realize that the Bible does not remain silent on this subject. Furthermore, it is not wrong for us to seek a good life filled with many days. As a teen, I am sure you have thought quite a bit about what you need to do to have the kind of life you want to have.

David, though he became king, was still a man with passions much like ours today. His formula for success was rather simple: Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

What does the world tell us? The person described above is certainly not your typical hero, or main character in a story or movie. As a matter of fact, we would probably consider that person rather boring. The main character today must have at least a little bit of spice added to their personality. Some arrogance and self-love is certainly considered to be a plus.

Is all this a result of our having evolved from the people of David's time? Do we know so much more now than was known at the time of David that we can safely ignore his advice? That advice was OK for the good old world, but hardly applies to us today!

Now, I know I am speaking to Christian teens who may think such questions are rather redundant. Of course, the advice given in the Bible as penned by David in Psalm 34, is completely applicable to us in this 21st century world. But, stop and think about those questions for just a minute. The temptations of this world are so subtle, that we often find ourselves drawn into the snares of the world without even realizing it. 

What is our formula for the good life? Notice, David said nothing about money, but you may ask, how can one have the good life without riches? That is a perfect example of the attitudes of the world permeating our own ideas. 

It would be good for us to stop and ponder the words of David from Psalm 34.

 12What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
 13Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
 14Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

According to David, that is how we display the fear of the Lord! Go, then, and by the grace of God, live this day according to God's wisdom, and not the wisdom of the world, and may you have the good life!

God Bless You,
Linda





Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Taste and See!

 8O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
 9O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
 10The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing. 


Taste and See!

It is easy to be utterly captivated by the things that the world has to offer. As a teen, the opportunities seem to be endless. However, the Psalmist writes of things the world cannot know when he says, O taste and see that the LORD is good . . . they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.

As Christian teens, all the delights of our God are right at our fingertips, and yet, how much time do we spend in discontentment, chasing after the delights of this world? 

The world we live in is a fearful place; there seem to be dangers on every side. Man in his greed, thinks nothing of stepping on anyone who stands in his way. His lies and enticements seem almost impossible to resist. Yet, there are even greater dangers totally out of the control of mere man.

Natural disasters seem to persist on all sides. The year 2011 has been one of devastation. We have seen major earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and tornadoes, with a staggering world-wide death toll. How is one to have peace in the light of such things?

Hunger exists in all parts of this great world; people will give all that they possess for a bite of food. Even the animal kingdom is affected by the natural catastrophes that have and will continue to occur. The Psalmist reminds us, however, the young lions do lack and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.

Is that really true? Yes! Our God, our Creator, understands us in ways we do not even understand ourselves. He feeds and keeps us physically, He protects us from dangers that exist all around, but even more importantly, He fills the needs of our souls! He provides what no man can! He fills our hearts and souls with the delight of fellowship with Him.

That fellowship is continually threatened by the world in which we live (including ourselves), but just think of what is yet to come! God not only saves and keeps His children, but He will safely bring them home to be with Him forever! We cannot even begin to imagine the joy that awaits us there. The world in which we live is filled with emptiness and false hopes, but there is no lack in the things of the Lord.

Oh taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

God Bless You,
Linda