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Posts Tagged ‘DAYS OF PRAISE’

10805593_755431754506399_4028516016922208000_n (1)Creation and the New Year

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“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

It is appropriate for Christians to begin the New Year by referring back to the beginning of the very first year. The first verse of God’s Word is also its most important verse, since it is the foundation on which everything else is built. Even God’s great work of salvation is irrelevant and futile without His prior work of creation, for only the Creator of all things could ever become the Savior of all things.10888564_751269284922646_6825617842839580224_n

If a person really believes Genesis 1:1, he or she should have no difficulty believing anything else inthe Bible. The very first object of saving faith (Hebrews 10:39) is the fact of special creation by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3).

The verse is comprehensive and scientific, viewing space (“the heavens”) and matter (“the earth”) as functioning in a framework of time (“in the beginning”). This space/matter/time “continuum” (as scientists call it) has not existed eternally, nor is it still being created, both of which heresies are standard beliefs of all forms of evolutionary pantheism (including most of the world’s religions and philosophies, ancient or modern). It was created—and even completed in the past.

This foundation of all foundations is, clearly, the only sure foundation upon which one should build a life, or an organization, or anything. A firm renewal of one’s commitment to special creation, as literally recorded by divine revelation in the inerrant Word of God, is thus the proper way to begin a New Year, or a new home, or a new career, or a new family, or any phase of a Christian life. This is the time to confess and forsake all doubts and trust God’s Word! In the beginning of the first year, God created all things. At the beginning of this year, we should resolve to believe and obey all things in His Word. HMM

http://www.icr.org/article/8421

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DAYS OF PRAISE

 

September 11, 2014
Great Is the Lord
“For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.” (1 Chronicles 16:25-26)

This testimony is in the heart of a great hymn of thanksgiving (1 Chronicles 16:7-36) composed by David when the Ark of the Lord was brought back to Jerusalem. It is a testimony of the unique greatness of the God of Israel, with recurring expressions of gratitude for His deliverances and blessings.

This God of Israel was no mere tribal-god or nature-god, such as Dagon, the fish-god of the Philistines from whose hands the Ark had been delivered. All such “gods” of the peoples of the earth—whether wooden images in a shrine, astrological emblems in the heavens, or mental constructs of evolutionary humanistic philosophers—are nothing but idols (that is, literally, “good for nothing,” “vanities”).

It is Jehovah God who is not only in the heavens but who made the heavens! It is their Creator who one day will let the sea roar” and “the fields rejoice,” when “the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because he cometh to judge the earth” (vv. 32-33).

As Creator and Savior, all His people are exhorted also to “shew forth from day to day his salvation. Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations” (vv. 23-24). Because of His power, the world itself “shall be stable [that is, ‘permanently established’], that it be not moved” (v. 30). This “God of our salvation” (v. 35), and the wonderful heavens and earth He created, will be forever. The psalm ends with the exhortation: “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. . . . Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever” (vv. 34-36).

Now, if Israel needed such an exhortation, our modern science-worshiping world needs it still more urgently. HMM

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To God Be the Glory
“Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.” (Psalm 115:1)

One of the great words of the Bible is the word “glory,” and it should be evident that glory belongs to God, not man. Indeed, the very “heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1). Not only do the heavens declare His glory, but “his glory [is] above the heavens” (113:4), and “the glory of the LORD shall endure for ever” (104:31). In heaven the mighty hosts of angels “give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name” (29:2).

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 It is thus singularly inappropriate for God’s servants on Earth to seek glory for themselves. “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

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This Old Testament exhortation is echoed in the New. “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; . . . That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:27, 29-31).10365913_661204740616025_5603482130155957850_n

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As our text reminds us, God manifests His glory to us today in both mercy and truth, mercifully saving us in Christ, who is Himself God’s truth (John 14:6). Thus, in Christ “mercy and truth are met together” (Psalm 85:10), and we shall “praise thy name for thy lovingkindness [same word as ‘mercy’] and for thy truth” (Psalm 138:2). HMMicr-home2

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She Shall Be Praised
“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)

 Proverbs 31 is identified as “the words of King Lemuel” (v. 1). Since it is divided into two distinct parts, some have proposed that it has two different authors. The first part (vv. 1–9) consists of “the prophecy that his mother taught him” (v. 1), while the second part (vv. 10–31) describes “a virtuous woman” (v. 10). Perhaps it is better to understand the woman as Lemuel’s mother, for “her children rise up and call her blessed” (v. 28).

 “Many daughters have done virtuously” (v. 29, same word as in v. 10). Recognizing that the only other woman described as “virtuous” in the Bible was Ruth (Ruth 3:11) gives us more complete insight into such a woman’s character. The woman described in Proverbs 31 is one who has achieved in all its fullness the glories of her womanhood, both in the home as wife and mother and in her community. Not only do her children bless her, but her husband has absolute confidence in her (v. 11), appreciates the bounty which she brings (v. 12), has the freedom to be an effective leader in the community (v. 23), and praises her virtue to others (v. 28).

 Without question, the key to her accomplishments is found in our text. Her fear of the Lord blossoms into such inner beauty and diligence that, by wisdom and devotion, she so trains her children and so lovingly provides for her husband’s needs that when they leave the home which she has fashioned and have occasion to speak of her, their words will be blessing and praise.

 On this day when so many of us remember and are thankful for our godly wives and/or mothers, let us rekindle our own fear of the Lord and by so doing develop similar qualities and habits. JDMicr-home2

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When Christ Is Welcome
“Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.” (Psalm 118:26)

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This is the climactic verse of Psalm 118, one of the great Messianic psalms. It was fulfilled, at least in a preliminary way, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a small donkey just one week before His resurrection, thereby acknowledging that He was fulfilling Zechariah’s prophecy: “. . . behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding . . . upon a colt the foal of an ass” (Zechariah 9:9).

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As He rode into the city, many “took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord” (John 12:13). Many Christians even today still commemorate that occasion on what they call Palm Sunday, one week before Easter.

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But most of the people—now as well as then—doubted and soon repudiated Him altogether, crying out for Him to be put to death. He knew, of course, that this is what would happen, and He had already said: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, . . . ! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: . . . Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Luke 13:34-35).

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The prophecy applied especially to the nation as a whole, but the principle certainly applies also to individuals. When anyone sees in his mind’s eye the Lord Jesus coming, if he will welcome Him gladly rather than turn Him away, then Christ will indeed come into his heart, “having salvation” and bringing “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8), and he can say with deep thanks: “Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD.” HMM

DAYS OF PRAISE-

April 13, 2014

http://www.icr.org/article/7957/

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The Jewels of the Lord

 

 

“And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” (Malachi 3:17)

 

The jewels of the Lord are not rubies and diamonds, but rather are “they that feared the LORD” and who “spake often one to another.” Instead of being mounted in a crown or other adornment as precious stones would be, these jewels will be listed in a very special book. “A book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name” (v.16). What a blessing it would be if, when we get to heaven, we should find our names written in that special book of God’s memories! God does take note of our times of spiritual fellowship with other believers—especially, no doubt, when they occur during times of stress and worldly opposition.

 

This word (Hebrew cegullah) is not the usual word for “jewels,” more commonly being rendered “peculiar treasures.” For example, Psalm 135:4 says that “the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.” The word suggests treasure carefully guarded in a safe place. The word is translated simply “special” in Deuteronomy 7:6, “a special people unto himself.”

 

Note in particular Exodus 19:5-6: “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.”

 

Peter uses the same language in writing to prepare Christians for imminent times of persecution. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9). HMM

http://www.icr.org/article/7518/

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July 30, 2013
What We Have Now in Christ
“That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:15)

The one who is trusting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord has many wonderful possessions which cannot be seen with our physical eyes but which are as real and permanent as if we were already in heaven. Many of these (only a few of which can be listed here) are noted by the present tense of the verb “have” (Greek echo).

 

First of all, as our text indicates (and these are the words of Christ!), we who believe in Him have—right now—eternal life. Our sins have been taken care of by the sacrificial death of Christ, “in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7; see also Colossians 1:14). Our sins will be remembered against us no more, because we have already been eternally redeemed. Then, also, in spite of all our sins and failures, “being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

 

One of the great resources we now have, but use so seldom, is the capacity to “think God’s thoughts after Him.” “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).

 

Having the mind of Christ should keep us from sin. Nevertheless, “if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). Not only do we have an advocate defending us, but we have a priest as our mediator. “We have a great high priest, . . . Jesus the Son of God” (Hebrews 4:14).

 

Finally, we already “have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1). And all this is only the beginning! “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard . . . the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). HMM

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