Friday, June 28, 2019

Will I Hear?

Will I Hear?

 Psalm 85:8 KJV
I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints:

The Lord is encouraging us to listen to His Word and His heart when He says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

The soul that hears the Lord and receives the words of comfort from His lips is truly blessed. The divine whispers of God cannot be compared to the complaints, protests, and grievances of this sinful world. When our ears listen to the voice of God and dismiss the voices from without, we are more inclined to hear what truth teaches. To have our eyes closed to exterior things and matters of this world and have our eyes fixed on Christ brings true contentment, rest, and peace. 

The Lord gives understanding to the hearer and His Words are strength and life to those that listen. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:6). We are to write the Words of God on our heart (Proverbs 3:3) and meditate (Psalms 63:6) on them earnestly. The temptation will surely come, and we will need His strength to overcome. We need to walk before the Lord by faith that we may be defended against the attacks of evil.

Are you listening and attentive to the truth of the Word of God? Is there a longing for knowledge and wisdom to live your life on His behalf?  In the still of the night, does He hear your prayer or do the clamorous voices of this world drown out, His sweet voice?

Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee (Psalm 143:8).

Lord, I want to hear Your Word and heed what it is saying.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Our Substitute

Our Substitute
Isaiah 53:4-5 KJV
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

The name Isaiah means Salvation of the Lord. Isaiah 53 is prophecy, a vision given to Isaiah 700 years before Jesus came. There have been many visions in the Bible, but none surpass the vision God gave Isaiah depicting the cross and all that would follow.

He left His Father’s throne above, So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love, And bled for Adam’s helpless race.
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free!  For, O my God it found out me!

The Pharisees accused Jesus of being a blasphemer claiming to be equal with God and that God killed Him for His blasphemies. Surely, He didn’t die for His own sin, for His own iniquities, or His own transgressions? It was our griefs, our sorrows, that He suffered and died for. He took our place and is our substitution for sin. 

Long my imprisoned spirit lay, Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray–– I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
Amazing love, How can it be That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

     “And Can It Be, That I Should Gain?”  by Charles Wesley

We as Christians are so deeply moved by the amazing realities of this prophecy. The details revealed hundreds of years before they came to pass point to Christ and no other. We know that there is salvation in no other name but Jesus (Philippians 2:9-10). One day when we enter into eternity, there’ll be no more sin, for He took away the sin that belonged to us and put it on Himself.

Lord, thank You for such amazing love, that You died for me.





Friday, June 14, 2019

Forgive Them

 Forgive Them

                                               Luke 23:34
. . . Father, forgive them . . .

On December 7, 1941, Mitsuo Fuchida of the Imperial Japanese Naval Air Force led a mission of surprise to destroy the United States’ Pacific Fleet on the islands of Hawaii. Mitsuo, with 179 fighter planes behind him cried, “Tora, Tora, Tora!” as they attacked the mighty fleet of American ships. In less than two hours, over 3,077 American Navy personnel lost their lives or were missing and 150 planes were destroyed.

Mitsuo would live through two narrow escapes. An emergency appendectomy put him in the ship’s hospital where he was ordered to stay. Disobeying this order, Mitsuo walked out of the ship’s hospital to the top deck. The Battle of Midway was unfolding before his eyes. Within seconds, the enemy planes blew a hole in the hospital side of the ship. All were lost. On August 5, 1945, Mitsuo left Hiroshima for a military conference. Several hours after his departure, America dropped the atomic bomb on this city. Devastation and bitterness filled Mitsuo’s heart.

After the war, Mitsuo was handed a tract that read, “I Was a Prisoner of Japan.” The pamphlet was written about a man named Jake DeShazer, who in the revenge of what had happened at Pearl Harbor, participated in an attack on Tokyo. He was captured in battle, put into a prisoner of war camp and brutally mistreated. He began to hate everything and everyone Japanese. While in captivity, he was given a Bible. As he read the Bible, he realized that Jesus Christ was his only hope. Jake DeShazer had gone from hating the Japanese to becoming a missionary in Japan. 

Mitsuo, now filled with hatred for America would experience God’s amazing Grace. He was given a Bible and soon would trust in Christ. Through the providence of God, Jake DeShazer and Mitsuo Fuchida would meet. They lovingly forgave one another, as God in Christ had forgiven them and became friends (Ephesians 4:32). Only God can mend the heart of man and create in him the joy and peace of forgiveness.

Lord, forgive me as I forgive them.

Friday, June 7, 2019

God's Purpose

God’s Purpose 
Ruth 4:1-10

God’s plan for Ruth and Boaz is in full bloom. A public sale is being held in the marketplace at the gate of the city of Bethlehem. Is the property that belonged to Naomi and Ruth going to the highest bidder? According to the law, lost property could be redeemed by a near kinsman or relative, providing that he could meet the demands of the debt. The widow too could be redeemed if the near relative was able and willing to take her as his wife. These two things were on the action block––Naomi’s property and Ruth’s widowhood––were up for sale and in need of a redeemer. 

What a long night, it must have been for poor Ruth waiting for the one who would redeem her. Imagine the fears, the questions that came to her mind, and the overwhelming debt that was on her. Boaz met Ruth’s nearer Kinsman face to face and asked, “Can you redeem Ruth, and will you do so?” The nearer kinsman said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance.” He was unwilling or unable to redeem her––how Ruth’s heart must have sung out in joy to know that the one that loved her would redeem her. Boaz called a public meeting and counted out the money to pay the debt, receiving the title to the property and immediately wedding bells were ringing for the poor servant girl, Ruth.

The love story of Ruth is a wonderful picture of Christ and His redemptive purpose. As Christians, we have so many fears about life and death that our hearts become overwhelmed at times. What about the debt we owe to God for our great sin? Who is our “nearer kinsman?” Who will pay the debt we owe for the countless sins charged to our account? Only Jesus Christ can fulfill all the requirements as our kinsman-redeemer in His finished work on the Cross. The debt is paid, all our sin is forgiven. Oh, praise His glorious name!

Lord, Your gift of salvation is wondrous.