WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ANOINTING OIL?
The significance of the anointing oil lies in its pointing us to Jesus' finished work at the cross. In the same way olive fruits have to be crushed in order for the oil to flow out, Christ was crushed at different points in His passion so that we may enjoy wholeness in every area of our lives, and that God’s blessings may freely flow towards us. Interestingly, when olives are pressed for oil in Israel, they go through three rounds of pressing. The first press gives you extra virgin olive oil, which is used in the Jewish temple for lighting. The oil from the second press is used for making medicine (or for healing), while the oil from the third press is used for making soap (cleansing).
In the same way, our Lord Jesus was also pressed three times to provide for us a perfect salvation that includes deliverance from all powers of darkness, divine healing for our bodies and complete forgiveness of all our sins. His "pressings" began at Gethsemane (meaning "olive press") in a time of darkness, both literally and spiritually. He said to those who had come to arrest Him that night, "…this is your hour, and the power of darkness" (Luke 22:53). The Bible says He was "in agony" (Luke 22:44) as He contemplated what awaited Him from then on to the cross. It was a very dark time for our Lord. He was pressed so that we can be called "out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9), and to walk in this light.
Jesus' crushing continued at the scourging post where He was scourged violently by the Roman soldiers. He took lash after brutal lash, bearing every stripe until His skin was torn and His bones exposed (Psalm 22:17, 129:3), all to purchase our healing and health. The prophet Isaiah tells us that "by His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). As the olive is crushed or pressed a third time to yield its cleansing virtue, Jesus' crushing climaxed with His being nailed at the cross. He was crushed under the judgment of a righteous and holy God because He was carrying our sins and being punished for them. He shed His blood at Calvary to wash away all our sins, making us whiter than snow.
So when you use the anointing oil, reflect on how Christ was crushed to bring you out of darkness into His glorious light, heal your body of all diseases and give you total forgiveness of sins. Expect then, to see the benefits of His sacrifice exploding in your life as you use the oil!
WHERE CAN I GET THE ANOINTING OIL? OR CAN I PREPARE MY OWN? IF SO, HOW DO I GO ABOUT DOING IT? What words of prayer should I pray over the olive oil to bless it?
Understand that the anointing oil is simply a channel for believers today to release their faith in the finished work of Christ. As such, there is no need to obtain any special oil. Normal olive oil can become anointing oil once it has been consecrated, or prayed over and set apart.
As a king and priest in Christ (Revelation 1:6), a "royal priesthood" (1 Peter 2:9), you can pray over the oil and set it apart to be holy. Here’s a prayer you may wish to use for blessing and sanctifying your oil:
"In the name of Jesus, I set this oil apart to be holy anointing oil.
Jesus, I thank You for going to the cross and bearing all our sins on Your own body. This holy anointing oil speaks of the perfection of Your finished work. I thank You that whatever this oil touches, the fullness of Your grace, power and healing virtue will flow.
May it turn darkness into light, lack into abundance, sickness into healing. May it release Your restoration, prosperity and fruitfulness into every situation.
I pray that wherever this oil is applied, it will bring glory and praise to Your name. Amen."
HOW WE CAN DEFEAT DECEPTION
Deu 11:18 Therefore you shall lay up these My words in your [minds and] hearts and in your [entire] being, and bind them for a sign upon your hands and as forehead bands between your eyes.
Deu 11:19 And you shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you rise up.
Deu 11:20 And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and on your gates,
Deu 11:21 That your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.
In Deuteronomy 11:18-21 God told the people to write His Words on the doors of their housesm on their gates, on their foreheads, and on their hands. They were to let the Word permeate their entire being, whether they were sitting, lying down, or walking around. Why did God say to do all of this? Because He was aware that knowing the Word keeps a person from having a deceived heart. This is what Jesus taught in John 8:31-32 when He said, "If you abide in My Word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance to them], you are truly My disciples. And you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free."
If we do not really care enough about the Word of God to abide in it, we are going to be in for trouble in these last days in which we live. Religious fluff is not going to be enough to get us through. Living off of someone else's word is not going to be enough. Living off of your pastor's word is not going to be enough. We have to be deeply serious about learning the Word. When we know the Word, God will protect us and keep us. If we do not know the Word, we will be sucked up into deception. It is simply like this, deception happens when we believe a lie, and Satan lies to us continually. Without a thorough knowledge of God's Word, we do not even recognize the lies. We take lies as truth. We have no way of discerning the difference.
Some people deceive themselves by reasoning that is contrary to God's Truth. Before I learned how to surrender to the will of God, He sometimes impressed me to give something away that I wanted to keep, or to do something I did not want to do. I learned from making mistakes that it was very easy to deceive myself when God asked for something I did not want to release.
We make all kinds of excuses to keep us from doing what God asks of us. Sometimes we pretend, "Well, it must not have been God dealing with me about that. It probably was just my imagination or the devil trying to make me miserable by asking for what is special to me." We can quickly become "spiritually deaf" to the voice of God when He says something we really do not want to hear.
A deceived heart will not do for leaders or for anyone who intends to be victorious in life. We should be diligent to root out any areas of our lives where wer are susceptible to deception. We need to live openly and honestly, abiding in the light of God's Truth as He reveals it in His Word.
Know that you are loved, valued, and appreciated, by God and by me.
SEEK GOD'S PRESENCE, NOT HIS PRESENTS
Deu 8:3 And He humbled you and allowed you to hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you recognize and personally know that man does not live by bread only, but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.
The Israelites wandered around and around the wilderness, going through the same struggles time and time again. God said HE allowed this to teach them the truth of Deuteronomy 8:3: that man does not live by bread alone (worldly things) but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (His Promises). God met their basic necessities in the wilderness, but they were a long way from having their desires fulfilled. God wanted them to have an abundant life, but first they needed to learn to obey Him at all times.
Sooner or later God has to teach us that our true life is in Him, not in anything the world has to offer. It would be great if HE could simply tell us that truth and we could believe it, turn our backs on the world, and totally trust Him. But even then, would we really believe Him wholeheartedly? It does not happen that way though. God deals with us and allows us to go through tests and trials so we can learn by experience that doing things His way is the best way. God knows that if we will not serve and worship Him in the hard times of life (the valleys), we will not consistently serve and worship Him in the good times (the mountaintops). HE wants to bless us with the desires of our hearts, but He demands first place in our lives at all times, and HE deserves that.
There is a fine line between serving God because of what HE can do for us and serving Him because of Who He is. We can easily be deceived into seeking His hand (His presents) and not seeking His face (His Presence) in our lives. We need to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all the other things will be added unto us (see Matthew 6:33).
Are you in a valley today? Worship God! Are you on top of the mountain? Worship God! Are all of your needs met? Worship God! Are you in want or need? Worship God! When all things become the same to you in the light of His Glory, He is free to give you all things. Seek His Presence, not His presents. Keep God first in your life, and you will be amazed at what He will do for you. After all, you are the apple of His eye and He loves to bless you! Know that you are loved, valued, and appreciated, by God and by me.
I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES & THEY STILL HAPPEN EVERY DAY- Psalm 103
GOD'S MIRACLE POWER IS READY
Sooner or later, tragedy will strike the life of every human being. The phone will ring, or there will be a knock on the door, and in a moment of time, the calm, peaceful life we have will become a raging storm. We will then face a crisis only the miracle power of God will see us through.
David knew the miracle power of God.
Psa 103:1 [A Psalm] of David. BLESS (AFFECTIONATELY, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name!
MIRACLE AFTER MIRACLE & THEY STILL HAPPEN TODAY- Psalm 103
In the beginning, God separated day from night, flung the glittering stars into space, and set the sun ablaze. HE formed the earth and all that was in it, and then HE breathed into a handful of dirt and made a living soul. Those were miracles.
Not until Abraham was one hundred and Sarah was ninety did God miraculously bless them with a son. For Moses, God performed miracles as HE led the children of Israel out of bondage from Egypt. For Joshua, HE held the sun. For Daniel, HE muzzled the mouths of the lions. For the three Hebrew children, HE walked in the fiery furnace. Those were miracles.
For us, HE sent a Redeemer, His Son, Jesus of Nazareth,, born of a virgin. That was a miracle.
JESUS' MINISTRY OF MIRACLES
Jesus had a ministry of miracles; turning water into wine, healing the sick and afflicted, feeding the five thousand, and raising the dead. Those were wondrous miracles. But the most important miracle of all was when HE died to pay our sin debt, was buried, and on the third day rose from the dead. That was a glorious, victorious miracle. Because of that miracle, our sins are forgiven and forgotten.
Psa 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
EXPERIENCE A MIRACLE TODAY
We do not have to understand miracles to experience one. Man has a twofold nature- physical and spiritual. If we are willing to experience only what our mind can understand, we will never experience a miracle. The God of the natural is the God of the supernatural. The God who enforces the law of gravity enforces the law of miracles. Nothing is impossible with God.
Luk 1:37 For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.
Jesus said, "Whatsoever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them" (Mark 11:24). HE also said, "If you ask anything in My Name, I wll do it" (John 14:14).
When you need a miracle in your life, remember that miracles happen when you obey the Word. So believe the verses of the Bible we have looked at tonight, let them take deep root in your heart. Then expect your miracle knowing that God will never let you down. It's in that place of expectancy, that miracles do happen!
Know that you are loved, valued, and appreciated, by God and by me.
Psalm 23 is a psalm of trust. Within the six verses there is a development of the single theme of the first verse: David has no fear or concern, for the Lord is his Shepherd. This psalm of trust presents David in two ways. On the one hand, he is the “sheep” whose Shepherd is the Lord. At the same time, one of the most common descriptions of kingship in the ancient world is that of shepherd. In this sense, David as king was shepherd over the flock of Israel. This means that Ps. 23 is also a royal psalm. Even though the word “king” does not appear in it, this psalm is a description of what it means to be a good ruler. Moreover, the psalm prophetically speaks of Jesus. He is the Good Shepherd whose flock trusts in Him (John 10) and the King whose perfect rule will be established (Luke 23:2, 3; Rev. 17:14). The psalm has two movements: (1) a description of the Lord as Shepherd caring for the psalmist’s every need (vv. 1–4); (2) a description of the Lord as Shepherd extending His mercy to all (vv. 5, 6).
23:1 The Lord is my shepherd: The word pictures David uses for God come from his own life and experience. He had been a shepherd in his youth (1 Sam. 16:19).
23:2 Any disturbance or intruder scares sheep. They are very fearful animals and cannot lie down unless they feel totally secure. green pastures: David uses eloquent language to express his view of the abundant care God gives to His people. still waters: Sheep are afraid of fastflowing streams. God’s provision of still waters has a soothing effect and calms the sheep.
23:3 He restores my soul: God refreshes His people with His quiet voice and gentle touch. For this reason, the sheep know the Shepherd and are known by Him (John 10:14). For His name’s sake: The loving actions of the Shepherd proceed from His nature.
23:4 The valley of the shadow of death can refer to any distressing time in our lives. The awareness of our own mortality often comes with sickness, trials, and hardship. But the Lord, our Protector, can lead us through these dark and difficult valleys to eternal life with Him. There is no need to fear death’s power (1 Cor. 15:25–27). You are with me: The Good Shepherd is with us even in what seem the most difficult and troubling situations. Your rod and Your staff: Ancient shepherds used the rod and staff to rescue, protect, and guide the sheep. Thus, they become symbols of the Good Shepherd’s loving care over His flock. The sheep are not alone, their Shepherd is standing over them, guiding them into safety—just as the Lord stands over us and protects us.
23:5 a table before me: God’s provision is so luxurious, it is as though He has prepared a banquet. anoint: Typically an honored guest in the ancient Middle East was anointed with olive oil that contained perfumes. My cup: God’s provision is as abundant as the wine offered to a guest by a generous host. The lavish treatment of the guest is indicative of the loving care of God for His people.
23:6 The use of both mercy and goodness to describe God’s loyal love intensifies the meaning of the two words. What is described in v. 5 is God’s overabundant mercy—love that is in no way deserved. The Hebrew verb follow describes an animal in pursuit. When the Lord is our Shepherd, instead of being stalked by wild beasts we are pursued by the loving care of the Lord. the house of the Lord forever: God’s promise for the Israelites was not just for the enjoyment of this life in the land of promise (see 6:1–3); it was also for the full enjoyment of the life to come in His blessed presence (16:9–11; 17:15; 49:15).
A DWELLING PLACE-
WISDOM FOUND IN PSALM 84
LONG TO BE WITH GOD
Being in God's house on Sunday is refreshing. Entering the place where other believers have come to worship and sing praises renews our spiritual walk and refocuses our thoughts on God. But we do not have to be in a building to dwell in worship with the Lord. This psalm addresses dwelling with God anytime, anywhere. The psalmist says that his soul longs for the courts of the Lord (v. 2).
David longed to build a temple for the Lord to dwell in, but God allowed Solomon to build it. God promised to dwell with the people of Israel if they would keep His laws. After Solomon prepared the temple with a special place for the ark of the covenant, the ark was placed inside. The Shekinah Glory of God filled the temple, and the priests could not continue with the service (1 Kings 6-8). Solomon said,
I have surely built You an exalted house,
And a place for You to dwell in forever (1 Kings 8:13).
PURSUE GOD'S PRESENCE
To experience God's Presence, we need to pursue Him and His will all the time.
Blessed is hte man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage (Psalm 84:5).
We can talk to God anytime- in church, in prayer, and in the Word. If we pursue Him, He will give us the strength necessary to get through troubled times. When our life hits a dry spot, God will "make it a spring" (v. 6).
A DOORKEEPER'S JOY
The psalmist made no apologies. He wrote,
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness (v. 10).
In effect, he told Satan that he was not interested in serving him. The doorkeeper was a lowly servant, but even this position in God's house would be a place of honor.
The psalmist calls God a "sun and shield" (v. 11). The sun warms and causes fields to grow, and the shield protects. God is the great Provider and Protector. HE promises to bless those who trust Him, withholding "no good thing" (vv. 11, 12).
WE ARE GOD'S DWELLING PLACE
With the birth of Jesus, "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory" (John 1:14). Jesus promised to prepare a dwelling place for us with the Lord. "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2). In order for us to go there, we must first have Jesus dwelling in our heart. "Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God" (1 John 4:15).
Don't just dwell with God on a Sunday morning pilgrimage. Every day seek His Presence through prayer and Bible study. Find the time to celebrate the joy of being a Christian and let the Savior know how thankful you are for what He has done for you. Does Jesus dwell in your heart? When was the last time you longed to dwell wiht the Lord? Are you willing to be a doorkeeper?
WORD OF THE DAY- STREAMS IN THE DESERT
WISDOM FOUND IN PSALM 63
THIRST FOR GOD
If you were driven into exile in the dry, barren desert, what would you want most? Home? Spouse? Children? Television? The house of God?
David was going through one of those rough times in his turbulent life when he fled Jerusalem and headed for the wilderness. He walked across the northern edge of Judea to the area of the Dead Sea, a depressing place that feels as hot as hell itself. Away from the comforts of his magnificent palace and his family, what did David miss most? The place of prayer, the place of power, the place of praise- God’s house.
David began by saying, “O God, You are my God” (Psalm 63:1). Early each morning, David had communion with God. With a strong desire to have this time with God, he continued,
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
His body and his soul craved for fellowship with the Lord. Man can live longer without food than he can without water. To the woman at the well Jesus said, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst” (John 4:13-14). Only Jesus can satisfy man’s soul and quench the thirst for a spirit-filled life.
GOD’S POWER TO HIS PEOPLE
David longed to see God.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary
To see Your power and Your glory. (v. 2).
There is power in His Name, His Gospel, and His Blood. His power cleanses our sin-stained lives and washes us whiter than snow. God intended for the church to be power on parade to lay hands on the sick and they shall recover, to cast out demons, and to reign in this life through Jesus Christ. Christians have to seize life and recognize the power of living in God’s presence. God did not want us hiding from life but enjoying it. “This is the life,” a common phrase uttered by golfers, fishermen, and sports fans while enjoying their favorite activities, is a phrase we should say about living for Christ. David recognized that life is dear, but God’s presence, His love, and His anointing are better than life.
Because Your lovingkindness
Is better than life
My lips shall praise You (v. 3).
PRAISE GOD ALWAYS
David, in the dry and barren desert of his life, chose to praise God. Remove God’s light, and we are in the shadow of death. Remove His love, and life becomes bitter and cold. Remove His hope, and life is absolute depression. Praise is not dependent on our feelings and our circumstances. We are to praise Him because that is what we are supposed to do.
When we are in the desert of our days, we need to remember that we are God’s house in prayer and praise. We are the house of God. So don’t let the enemy stifle your praise. Don’t let the enemy stifle your prayers. Don’t let the enemy or circumstances prevent you from doing what you know in your heart that you need to do. From there we can be filled with His love, His power, and our souls “shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness” (v. 5).
Please know that you are loved, valued, and appreciated, by God and by me. Let God touch your heart and your life today. He wants to bless you and enrich your life.
WORD OF THE DAY- A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD
WISDOM FOUND IN PSALMS 46
GOD- A MIGHTY FORTRESS
Everyone needs a fortress, a place of refuge, to survive the storms of life. Martin Luther, a leader in Reformation, wrote the powerful words, "A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing." Psalm 46 describes God as "our refuge and strength" (v. 1). He is a stronghold, a massive shelter encircled by a wall to keep out the enemy.
Three and a half centuries after David's time, the Assyrian army had placed Jerusalem under siege and cut off its water supply. Leaving the city in the heat of the Middle East and without water, the Assyrians thought their victory would be swift. What they had not realized was that the Israelites were protected in God's refuge.
FEARLESS IN GOD'S REFUGE
Hezekiah led the men digging a tunnel 1,777 feet long, passing to the Gihon Spring in the Kidron Valley. The clear cool water of the spring flowed inside the walls of Jerusalem (see 2 Chron 32). Then Hezikiah completely covered the spring to keep the enemy from finding it.
As the Assyrians stood in the sweltering heat every day, they kept waiting for the children of God to surrender. Inside the walls, the people did not panic or fear. God's refuge would stand, though the earth moves, and the mountain falls to the seas (v. 2). Inside the fortress, God provided for the Israelites' needs by supplying them with a river (v. 4).
GOD NEVER FAILS
Some people trust in wealth, but money cannot buy happiness. Some people trust in knowledge, but the smartest minds cannot agree on the simpliest of things. Some trust the military for protection, but there is no perfect peace. Some trust the company they work for to provide long-term security, but there is no such security. None of those things can be a "bulwark never failing."
God is our refuge and strength (v. 1). When we search for answers, He will provide them. When we need shelter, HE will provide it. When we need protection, HE will provide it.
The believer has "a very present help in trouble" (v. 1). Standing at the crest of Calvary is the Lamb of God wiht His nail-pierced hands extended. HE is our Rock and our Fortress (Psalms 18:2; 31:3; 71:3). HE will provide for us a refuge in the storms of life.
Martin Luther ended his famous song with "Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; the body they may kill; God's truth abideth still; His kingdom is forever." When we feel as though life is falling on top of us, we need to run to God's refuge. Inside we will find safety, security, and love in HIS shelter that will survive any storm.
WORD OF THE DAY- RELAX- GOD IS IN CHARGE
WISDOM FOUND IN PSALMS 37
Anxiety and aspirin fill our stress-controlled lives. Psalm 37 tells us to relax! God is in charge. We are commanded to fret not but to trust in the Lord, delight in Him, and commit ourselves to Him. How simple. Our worry and anxiety should vanish. Unfortunately, worry kills more people than hard work.
Worry is interest paid on trouble before it happens. Sometimes we worry about injustices over which we have no control. David tells us not to fret and not to be envious of the workers of iniquity (v. 1). We get aggravated when evil people seem to prosper. We may even become angry at drug pushers, crooked politicians, and the powerful who laugh at the law- while we get parking tickets. God says when we see the wicked prosper, we should pity them. They are like grass and will be cut down (v. 2). Why worry about the ungodly who have no future? We must remember that the meek will inherit the earth (v. 11; Matt 5:5).
TRUST THE LORD
“Trust in the Lord” (v. 3) is the next instructions. Things we trust will be tested severely. We trust in wealth, and then a recession comes. We trust in friends, and then they become a Judas. We trust in our health, and then the doctor says “cancer.” Things and circumstances change, but God never changes.
DELIGHT IN THE LORD
Delight yourself also in the Lord
And He shall give you the desires of your heart (v. 4).
To delight means to encourage ourselves in the Lord. David found encouragement by reviewing the victories God had given him. He looked back at the spiritual altars he had set up each time that the Lord had been there with him and had given him the victory. That’s what we need to do. Remember a time when God gave us a miracle, then praise Him for that and ask Him to do it again.
When God sees us giving praise at a dark moment, HE says to the angels, “Look at that one. She’s praising Me even though her doctor told her she has cancer. That man just lost his job, and yet he is praising Me. Hurry angels, take healing and comfort to those and pour out blessings they cannot contain.”
COMMIT YOUR WAY TO GOD
The final step is to:
Commit your way to the Lord
Trust also in Him
And HE shall bring it to pass (v. 5).
If we are carrying a heavy burden, it is because we have not asked God to lighten the load. Sometimes we count blessings. What we need to do is count our burdens, take them to the Lord, and leave them there!
Notice the progression: fret not, trust, delight, and commit. These are intertwined and inseparable. What are we worried about? We need to count our burdens, giving them to the Lord, and praise Him for His blessings. HE is waiting to pour blessings on us if only we will ask Him.
Please remember, you are loved, valued, and appreciated, by God and by me.
WORD OF THE DAY- THE STRONGHOLD OF TRUST
WISDOM FOUND IN PSALMS 31
All relationships are built on trust. We trust our spouse, our friends, our coworkers, and our family members. If we do not trust them, our relationships wither and die, choked by suspicion, jealousy, and fear.
THE FOLLY OF FALSE FOUNDATIONS
Some people place their trust in money. Paul wrote, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17). Why are riches “uncertain”? Because billionaires are one stock market crash away from being broke. Money can buy a bed of gold, but only God can give us rest. Money can buy the best physicians, but only God can give us health.
Some people place their trust in education. Education without God only produces intellectual barbarians. Hitler’s Nazis were well educated, and yet they threw Jewish children alive into the blazing ovens of Auschwitz. They had obtained scholarly degrees, but they were educated heathens with hearts of stone. Public schools in America have thrown the Bible out the back door and brought condoms in the front. Without much imagination, we can see where public schools are heading. Without God, they will produce human beings with little moral fortitude.
GOD IS TRUSTWORTHY
When life gets tough, we need to trust someone. “In You, O Lord, I put my trust,” David says (v. 1). When we are going through one of life’s storms, the Great Physician has a prescription:
Trust in the Lord with all of your heart
And lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).
HE knows the burdens we carry and the tears we shed. He suffered a broken heart and even had a dear friend betray Him. HE is the Healer of broken hearts, broken dreams, and broken lives. Trust Him. HE never fails.
Trust must be complete or its not trust. A farmer went to the county fair and saw a sign that read “Airplane rides for $50.” He told the pilot that the price was too high. The pilot said, “I’ll make you a deal. If you trust me enough to ride without screaming, the ride is free. If you scream, you pay double.” The farmer agreed to the deal. The pilot took off and took the plane through a series of aerobatic maneuvers. After the plane landed, the pilot said to the farmer, “I’m amazed; you didn’t scream once.” The farmer replied, “I almost screamed on the barrel roll when my wife fell out.”
God asks for one thing of man- that man should trust Him. He does not ask that man understand Him or explain Him or vindicate Him, just that man trust Him. I love the song that simply says to “trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey.”
THE DESTRUCTIVE RESULT OF UNBELIEF
The opposite of trust is unbelief. What does God think of people who will not trust Him? “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Rev, 21:8). Unbelief releases fear, doubt, and suspicion. Unbelief binds the hands of God and releases the demons of hell.
The woman who doubts her husband’s love and loyalty does not sing for joy. Her face is haggard, her heart is broken and her eyes are flooded with tears. That’s emotional. The person filled with self-doubt is not a picture of joy. He is withdrawn, fearful of other people, angry and seething with resentment. That’s emotional.
THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD BUILDS TRUST
Trust is not emotional. It is based on knowledge. We know that God is faithful, and trust is born in faithfulness. When David was facing great trials, he remembered the faithfulness of God in times past (v.15). When the lion roared against David’s sheep, God came. When the bear appeared, God came through. When Goliath mocked Israel, God gave David victory. When Saul tried to murder him, God saved him. So when Absalom was trying to destroy him, David knew that God was faithful and would come through again.
THE FAITHFUL LOVE OF GOD
A pesky old dog lived next to Charles H. Spurgeon. This dog always gets into his flower beds. One day Spurgeon saw the dog in his flowers and he threw a stick at him to scare him away. But the silly dog retrieved the stick and, with this tail wagging, brought the stick back to Spurgeon. The dog was in complete surrender. Spurgeon said, “What could I do but love the rascal?”
When we surrender to God, putting our trust in Him, He will love us back too. No matter what our crisis, what our crime, what our sin, or what our heartache, if we put our trust in Him, the heart of God will melt.
Our relationship with God is based on trust. We are saved by trusting in Jesus. We are healed by trusting in His Word. We are delivered by trusting in the power of His Name. We are forgiven by trusting in the power of His Blood. We have hope for the future because we trust He is all-powerful and sovereign.
When we are facing a crisis, we need to remember how many times God has come through for us. I make a point of looking back at the spiritual altars I have made along the way for each time that God has been there for me. When you do that, it bolsters your spirit and gives you great encouragement much in the same way it did David. It gives you renewed strength to trust God again knowing that HE has never let you down before and will not now.
God is faithful. He paid our debt at Calvary. He conquered death and the grave. And HE is coming again with great power and great glory.
Please remember always, you are loved, valued, and appreciated, by God and by me.
PSALMS TO SOOTHE- THE SHEPHERDS SONG
A LOOK AT PSALM 23
GOD THE SHEPHERD
David spent his younger years leading sheep to greener pastures and keeping them safe from danger. For David, using the shepherd as an illustration was perfectly natural. “The Lord is my Shepherd” (v. 1) was David’s way of saying “the Lord provides for me and protects me from harm.
In writing “The Lord is,” David was referring to God who was, the God who is, and the God who always will be. As we face life’s difficulties, we need to know that “God is.” When cancer comes, He is Jehovah-rapha, the healer. When worry consumes us, He is Jehovah-shalom, the peacemaker. When satan attacks us with false accusations, He is Jehovah-nissi, the spiritual warrior.
THE SHEPHERD WALKS WITH THE SHEEP
Unlike the Philistine gods of wood, stone, or brass, David describes God as a personal savior in calling Him “my shepherd” (v.1). And unlike cold, lifeless objects, the Shepherd walks the field with His sheep, taking care of their needs. Whatever the circumstances, David had learned to want for nothing (v.1). When the lion roared against David, God protected him. When the bear came to devour David, God shielded him. When Goliath laughed at the young boy and his stones, God gave him power. Whatever trials we face, God helps us to find rest and refreshment, leading us to “green pastures” and “still waters” (v.2).
When we stray, God pulls us back into the flock, giving us another chance at a relationship with Him (v.3). There is nothing we can do that is too bad for God to forgive.
THE SHEPHERD PROTECTS
David had no fear as he walked “through the valley of the shadow of death” (v.4). He knew that God would be with him and protect him.
“Anoint my head with oil” (v.5) could refer to the anointing of David, but it also could refer to the oil shepherds used to put on the cuts that sheep would get from the rock and brambles in the fields. The oil kept out parasites and infections. When we find ourselves cut and bruised, we can let Jesus pour His anointing oil on us to protect us.
THE SHEPHERD IS ETERNAL
David was confident that God’s goodness and mercy would “follow me all the days of my life” (v. 6). Jesus also used the shepherd analogy when He said, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
We need to ask ourselves, “Do I know the Good Shepherd, and am I known by Him?” (See John 10:14-15). We can have the confidence that David had knowing that we will spend eternity in heaven living in the green pastures with the Good Shepherd taking care of our every need. I pray that this blessed you my dear friends. Know that you are loved, valued, and appreciated, by God and by me.
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