Fellowship With Him

Monday, January 06, 2014, 8:45 a.m. – I woke several times in the night and in the early morning. Each time that I woke up, the same song was going through my head – “Songs in the Night” – how appropriate! Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 2-5 prayerfully, asking the Lord to show me which Psalm he wanted me to focus on today. He stopped me at Psalm 5 (NIV).

Listen to my words, Lord,
consider my lament.
Hear my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly.

Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!

What an awesome privilege we have, as followers of Jesus Christ, to sit at his table each day, to fellowship with him, to lay our requests before him, and to listen to him speaking his words to our hearts! We are able to come daily into his presence because Jesus Christ was our perfect Lamb sacrifice who died for our sins, and who made the way possible for us to come boldly before the throne of grace. Amen! May we never take this for granted! Not only do we have the privilege to come into God’s presence each day, and even throughout the night, to talk with him and him with us, but we have the promise and the hope that he hears us and that he will answer all those who call on him in truth (Ps. 145:18-19; 1 Pet. 3:12; Jas. 1:6:4:2-3). So we wait expectantly, because we believe that he hears us; because we ask according to his will (1 John 5:14-15).

Our individual requests to God may be as distinctive as we are, and as unique as our specific circumstances might be. Yet, if we are asking with the right motives (Jas. 4:1-10), he will hear us and he will answer. The answer still may not be what we had hoped for, but it will always be what is best for us. Sometimes the answer will be “wait a while longer,” or it may be “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in your weakness.” Yet, it will be the Lord speaking to our hearts, and we should find comfort and hope in that alone. The Psalmist David understood this. God did not always deliver him from his troubles, but he delivered him through them. In other words, David was comforted in the fellowship he had with his Lord, and in the times spent with him in prayer and in song, and in worship of God; and in the knowledge that God was with him, that God knew what was going on in David’s life, that God cared about David’s struggles and the oppression he was going through from his enemies, and that God would carry him through and would bring him safely into God’s eternal kingdom. God was everything to David, and David knew that his Lord would sustain him all things, and that he would give him all he needed to make it through each day.

They Cannot Stand

For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
with you, evil people are not welcome.
The arrogant cannot stand
in your presence.
You hate all who do wrong;
you destroy those who tell lies.
The bloodthirsty and deceitful
you, Lord, detest.

While it is true that God hates all wickedness, and that the wicked are not welcome and will not be able to stand before God in his presence, and even that he hates all wrong doing, and that ultimately he will destroy those who make a practice of telling lies, and all those who are thirsty for the blood of the innocent, and all those who practice deceit, still God allows the wicked to dwell among the righteous for a time, and he will even allow evil to reign on the earth for a short and predetermined period of time, as well as he will even use them as his divine instruments of judgment on the earth, and against his wayward people.

So, when David prayed for relief from his enemies, and even for God to judge the wicked, he knew he was praying according to God’s will, yet he also submitted to God’s perfect timing. The Bible says that God is not slow in keeping his promises, though, but he is patient, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (See 2 Peter 3). I, for one, am very thankful for his patience and his mercy, and that he didn’t give up on me, but he was patient with me for me to surrender my all to him. Yet, a time is coming when he will judge this earth and the people on the earth, and when he does, you may die and all your chances for repentance may be gone, so don’t wait. Whatever you may be holding on to in this life is not worth it, and you can’t take it with you. Surrender your all to Christ today, and enjoy his sweet fellowship, comfort, joy and peace everlasting.

By Your Great Love

But I, by your great love,
can come into your house;
in reverence I bow down
toward your holy temple.
Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness
because of my enemies—
make your way straight before me…

Truly it is only by God’s great love and grace that any of us are able to come into his presence, to be made righteous before him, and to be given the hope of eternal life with God in glory. Not one of us deserves salvation and eternal life, and there is nothing any one of us can do to earn such a great salvation. It is offered to us as a free gift by God’s grace. Yet, in order to receive this gift of salvation, we must, by faith, surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, let his Spirit transform our hearts away from living for self and sin toward walking in Christ’s righteousness and holiness, and we must put on our new lives in Christ Jesus, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (See Eph. 4:17-24).

Jesus said that if anyone wants to come after him, he or she must deny his self-life, die daily to sin and self and follow him in obedience. He said if we want to hold on to our old lives of living for self and sin, we will lose them for eternity, but if we willing die to what once bound us, we will gain eternal life with God in glory (See Lu. 9:23-25). You may ask then, “Where is grace?” This is grace! Titus 2:11-14 (NIV) says this about God’s grace:

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

If our understanding of grace is a free ride into heaven by God’s grace and that faith is a mere acknowledgement or acceptance of such, then we have not understood God’s grace. True divine grace delivers us out of bondage to sin. It is the work of the Spirit of God, and truly this is not anything we can accomplish in our own flesh, yet we must cooperate fully with that work. That is the meaning of faith. It is submission to God in allowing the Spirit of God to change us and to make us into new creatures in Christ Jesus, and in allowing his Spirit to live out his life through us. We don’t become puppets on a string when we receive Christ as Savior and Lord of our lives. We must willingly yield to his control over our lives day by day (See Lu. 9:23-25; Gal. 5:16; Eph. 5:2; 1 John 1:6-7; 2 John 1:6; Rom. 6; etc.).

Be Glad and Rejoice

But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

David was up against great enemies, many of whom were breathing murderous threats against him, which is the background of many of the Psalms, which often were his cries for mercy and for deliverance from his foes. Many believers in Jesus Christ today are being faced with similar circumstances. There are thousands upon thousands of followers of Christ throughout the world who are either being severely persecuted for their faith and testimony for Jesus Christ and/or they are being martyred for their stand for Jesus Christ and the gospel of salvation. I believe with my whole heart that multitudes are suffering such persecution at the hands of the U.S./New World Order, and that this is coming to the U.S.A., too, and to other western countries where this is not yet present.

Yet, we should respond to these trying times by taking refuge in the Lord and by singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs in praise and adoration of our Lord, and for the joy of knowing that many people will come to Jesus Christ through these trials; and that Christ’s adulterous church will be revived and will be restored to fellowship with their Lord. Amen! We should also respond in joy, knowing that God loves us, and that nothing will come into our lives but what he has allowed it, and he has allowed it for a specific purpose – to strengthen, encourage, counsel, and mature us, and to make us holy, ready to meet our Lord. So, when we come up against these difficulties, and they will come, we should call out to our Lord in prayer, trust in his love and his tender mercies, believe him to work it all out for good in our lives, and praise and thank him for his many blessings to us.

Songs in the Night / An Original Work / December 18, 2013

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God,
And the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84

Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.

I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!

Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.

I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!

Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.

Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!