Some time back I sold the farm and…

Some time back I sold the farm and moved to town. I traded ten acres for a subdivision; plowed dirt for concrete and asphalt. A wise man once told me, “Children grow far better in plowed dirt than concrete.” I believe he was on the right track. Big cities have always been the center of sordid behavior and compromised values. Whether Rome of old, Paris of recent or New York of present; I’ll take small town living anytime. The trouble is big city living isn’t staying in the big cities! There was a day when small town folks had time to loiter and lounge. Today they post “no loitering” signs and the only thing you get from a lounge is a hangover and a headache. When is the last time you simply paused to think, meditate and pray. No, we are in too big a hurry; late for this, tardy for that! We may sing “take time to be holy”, but few of us do. This is Just-A-Minute.

#farm-rural, #just-a-minute, #meditate, #pray, #small-town

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Psalm 143 What If The Spirit Is Not Willing?

This Psalm of David tells us what to expect of life before death! Living for God in a hostile world is not easy but requires trust in God and a strong faith in His Word.

Verses 1-2 give the plea;

Verses 3-8 detail the spiritual struggle within;

Verses 9-12 ask for spiritual awakening.

Verses 1-2: “Prayer” is speaking to God, “supplication” is to ask of God. “Prayer and supplication” are often connected in Scripture (1 Kings 8:37-40; Philippians 4:6). Without repentance and forgiveness, no human would be acceptable to God. No one is acceptable to God who: says they are (Luke 18:9-14); thinks they obey (Matthew 7:21-23); confesses no sin (1 John 1:8-10); works wickedness (Psalm 101:3-4); hold to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:15).

Verses 3-8: Enemies, in persecuting our souls, may make us feel “crushed,” surrounded in darkness, lifeless and overwhelmed. Reading and meditating on the Word of God helps us “remember” God’s help in the past. “Meditate” is the focus on God’s “Works,” “musing” is thinking through His Way, spreading out one’s hands is to show God we hold nothing back from our obedience. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). When we feel our spirit fail, an alarming thought is that God would turn away from us, thus Jesus cried out from the cross: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46). Jesus was taking our place on the cross (1 Peter 3:18). If we will remember God’s “lovingkindness,” then our “trust” in Him who has shown us “the way in which I should walk” will “lift up my soul to You.”

Verses 9-12: David asks God to “deliver” him from enemies, “teach” him to do God’s will, and “lead” all the way into “the land of uprightness.” God’s “Spirit is good,” so Christians should “Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). A soul delivered from trouble is a soul “revived.” God is merciful to His Servants – anyone may become a “servant of God.” Daniel was spared in a den of lions because he was a “servant of the living God” (Daniel 6:20).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #faith, #god, #meditate, #obedience, #revive, #servant, #supplication

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Psalm 119:97-104 Mem What “I Have” From The Word

It is fitting that the greatest tribute to the Word of God is IN the Word of God, itself, and is in the longest chapter of the Word of God! This Psalm has no author’s name, historical incident, or other distraction from its theme. It is divided into 22 sections (one for every letter in the Hebrew alphabet), each consisting of 8 lines, each line beginning with the alphabet letter of that section (aleph is the first letter of each line under the aleph section, for instance). The chapter uses some 8-10 different words to describe the Word of God, each bringing something extra to the total picture of the Word of Truth. In order to savor the depth and richness of teaching in this Psalm, we will examine each portion as if it were its own chapter.

Psalm 119:97-104 Mem                         What “I Have” From The Word

Verse 97 expresses total devotion to God’s Word;

Verses 98-102 give advantages from learning God’s Word;

Verses 103-104 show the blessings keep coming.

Verse 97: The love of our life cannot be shunted aside.  “Oh, how I love” (the extent of love); God’s “law” (words showing the right way)—object of love; it has become our “meditation” (main thought)—evidence of love. The “love of the truth” saves our soul (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).

Verses 98-102: (Verse 98) God’s “commandments” (words to obey) “make me wiser than my enemies” because obeying God shows a greater grasp of what life should be. (Verse 99) “Meditating” (thinking through) upon God’s “testimonies” (words witnessing God’s character) gives more “understanding” (practical explanation) than “all my teachers.” Jesus had it (Luke 2:41-47). Teachers may convey information; God’s Word explains how that impacts our own hearts. (Verse 100) God’s “precepts” (instructions to govern conduct) can guide us better than “ancients” (older people) can with their experiences. We may learn from others’ mistakes, but God’s Word can help us see those mistakes coming up in our lives. (Verse 101) To “keep” (obey) God’s “word” (expressions of His Will), we steer clear away from “every evil way.” “I have restrained” shows that it is a personal decision of will to avoid sin, hence, John wrote: “We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him” (1 John 5:18). (Verse 102) God’s “judgments” (decisions about right and wrong) are so impressive, that one who loves them would not want to depart from them. “Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:1-2).

Verses 103-104: (Verse 103) To know, understand, and obey God’s Word, is to know, understand, and accept the sweetest flavor that can be given to a life. It’s sweeter to a soul than honey is to the mouth! (Verse 104) It is through (and only through) God’s “precepts” (words that point out, highlight, the right way) we gain “understanding” (a grasp of life, breath, all things), and that no “false way” is for good. One cannot love God’s Word without hating everything that would adversely affect that love.

Thought: By thoroughly immersing oneself into the Word of God (the Bible), one has more: understanding than one’s enemies, teachers, or elders; control over sin(s); and the greatest happiness life can give. Nothing known to mankind offers better.

 All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #faith, #god, #hate-every-false-way, #love, #meditate, #obedience, #refrain-from-sin, #teaching

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Psalm 119:73-80 Yod “Keeping Faith Through Affliction”

It is fitting that the greatest tribute to the Word of God is IN the Word of God, itself, and is in the longest chapter of the Word of God! This Psalm has no author’s name, historical incident, or other distraction from its theme. It is divided into 22 sections (one for every letter in the Hebrew alphabet), each consisting of 8 lines, each line beginning with the alphabet letter of that section (aleph is the first letter of each line under the aleph section, for instance). The chapter uses some 8-10 different words to describe the Word of God, each bringing something extra to the total picture of the Word of Truth. In order to savor the depth and richness of teaching in this Psalm, we will examine each portion as if it were its own chapter.

Psalm 119:73-80 Yod                   “Keeping Faith Through Affliction”

Vs. 73-74 confess the faith that God knows me;

Vs. 75-77 attribute to God good qualities that show through His ways;

Vs. 78 shows why the believer does not turn to unbelievers in troublesome times;

Vs. 79-80 state the faith of a believer who remains faithful throughout all.

Verses 73-74: (Verse 73) Begins with a quotation from Job 10:18: “Your hands have made me and fashioned me,” but Job added, “An intricate unity.” Every human is complex in working, but it works as a unity. The only thing missing from a person is the “understanding” to connect with, and use, God’s “commandments” (words showing what should and shouldn’t be done). (Verse 74) All who “fear God” are “glad” to know there’s another who has “hoped” in God’s “word” (communication of His way).

Verses 75-77: (Verse 75) “I know” (certainty based upon experience) the evidence proves that Jehovah’s “judgments” (decisions) are the standard of “right.” Abraham asked the question: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25) God’s character is without a wrong. When “affliction” occurs, we know God wants us to emerge with a yield of “the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11). “God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone” (James 1:13). (Verse 76) Afflictions are times to see God’s “merciful kindness” (attempts to help) as “comfort,” according to His “word” (what He actually has said). He is the “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).  (Verse 77) Affliction can help us see God’s “tender mercies” (reminders of His love for us) “that I may live” (still have purpose, knowing God cares for me). Through it all, we see God’s “law” (words guiding the straight path) is the only thing that brings “delight” (satisfaction at progress).

Verse 78: “The proud” have not triumphed by their wrongful mistreatment “with falsehood,” for the believer has survived their false attacks, seeing truth in God’s Word and ways. After the affliction and false attacks, experience gives even more reason to “meditate” (give slow, thoughtful consideration of) God’s “precepts” (what God has emphasized or pointed out).

Verses 79-80: (Verse 79) The believer who endures with faith becomes an encouragement to all others who “fear God.” Everyone who “knows God” has combined “testimonies” (words pointing beyond to God) with experiences. “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21). (Verse 80) Our prayer should be to survive, knowing “the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5). We must never be “ashamed” of God’s “statutes” (words outlining proper actions), for we need them to remain in “the way,” for Jesus said: “where I go you know, and the way you know” (John 14:4).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#affliction, #bible, #bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #faithfulness, #god, #life, #meditate, #obedience, #tender-mercies, #truth, #understanding, #wisdom

My alone time with God? It varies accord…

My alone time with God? It varies according to my farming schedule. Off season, it’s early morning.

In the field it’s tractor time that provides for my time alone to pray and meditate. On the tractor I also listen to Christian talk radio. It provides an opportunity to get a handle on contemporary religious thought. Since some form of Calvinism permeates almost all of Christian talk radio along with numerous other fallacies, it’s not recommended to those who have trouble sorting truth from error.

In the truck hauling grain, I have a giant print Bible to read while waiting to be loaded or unloaded. The giant print helps me to read better in many of the poorly lit situations I find myself in. If I’m down in the shop watching the corn dryer I bring it in there too. Watching the dryer is much like watching paint dry. . .well, until something goes wrong!

#meditate, #prayer, #quiet-time

My spot to be alone with God is my libra…

My spot to be alone with God is my library/office. Since I’m a late night person, I find the distractions of the day are usually gone during that time of the evening. Because of that quiet atmosphere, I can better meditate on God’s word and communicate with Him in prayer.

#atmosphere, #communicate, #library, #meditate, #night, #office, #prayer, #spot

I grow the most spiritually when I medit…

I grow the most spiritually when I meditate in the Scriptures without being rushed, following the context so that I get the gist of what is being said, rather than just picking verses out of context.

#meditate