Friday, July 26, 2013

A Plea for Revival


“Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand,
 the son of man you have raised up for yourself
 Then we will not turn away from you; revive us,
and we will call on your name.”
Psalm 80:17-18 (NIV)

This is a passage of a song (Psalm) of Asaph.

“Let your hand rest. . . “When we give a person approval or comfort, we literally or figuratively pat them on the back. When we receive guidance or comfort from another person, they figuratively, sometimes literally, take us by the hand or place theirs around ours. I remember a time when our son came home unexpectedly, put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Mom, I had a wreck.” This was his first, and only, car wreck. His physical act was one of calming me.When people feel led to enter into full-time Christian work, they have a commissioning service where pastors and other dignitaries lay hands on the called person.

”. . .on the man at your right hand. . “  Our Bibles state the fact that Jesus sits at God’s right hand. Might Asaph be asking God to give approval of Jesus? Why would He suggest this?

” . . . the son of man you have raised up for yourself.”  This passage points to the Son of Man, Jesus the Christ.

”Then we will not turn away from you. . .” Although Asaph commits Israel to something lofty that the nation cannot stay with, He speaks what he sees as necessary for the people’s strengthening as a nation and as a people of God.

” . . . revive us. . .” Asaph asks God to renew Israel’s zeal for Himself—to breathe life back into the people. When we look at our world, what do we see? People around us are going out into eternity without a relationship with the Lord Jesus. We, as Christians, need to get down on our knees and pray for God to pour out His Spirit on each of us and on our world in order to bring all His children to Him.

”. . . and we will call on your name.” Asaph commits his fellow countrymen to pray for guidance, with thanksgiving. As I reflect on this, we are to follow this promise made to God. He gives us opportunity to come to him at least daily.

Do you remember your parents telling us we could talk to them about anything? God is our heavenly Father; we can talk to him about anything—good or bad. Several years ago, the church I was a part of lost a pastor. The conference superintendent asked us to pray for the former pastor and his family as much as we talked about them to one another. Those words have stayed with me ever since.

Our church is holding  old fashioned tent revival services this weekend. There will be a series of messages from "John Wesley" and we will have those old fashioned hand fans. Tonight,after the service, there will be an ice cream social. Tomorrow afternoon will be a children's day (VBS). After the second service on Sunday, there will be an all-church picnic.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

God Restores Our Lives

“Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, 
 you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth.”
 Psalm 71:20 (NIV)

The psalmist realizes great messages in this verse. First, God allows us to see troubles in our surroundings and even in our lives. Most of the issues the psalmist faced were bitter. In spite of the the ills encountered by the psalmist, he knows God will revive his life.

In 21st Century life, we also have issues that can tend to overwhelm us: loss of loved ones, unemployment, homelessness, catastrophic illness, and whatever defeats us. But, God is still on His Throne; He does what it takes to get our attention.

 Then God shows us the way through the issue or resolves it right before our eyes. Sometimes, we feel defeated by circumstances that come into our lives. We wonder what the outcome will be. When we have Jesus watching over us, we should turn to Him and give the particulars over to His care and be confident that He is able to take care of every part of the issue.



Monday, July 22, 2013

God Remedies Broken Spirits


“The righteous cry out and the Lord hears them;
 he delivers them from all their trouble.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Ps 34:17-18 (NIV)

”The righteous cry out. . .” Yes, those who follow God do have times when they will cry out to Him. Just because we are Christians does not exempt us from having times of need. It rains on the just as well as the unjust. Matthew 5:45b
” . . . and the Lord hears them . . .” God hears the cries of His children. 2 Chronicles 7:14 gives us a promise that after we sincerely turn to Him, He will hear our prayers and heal our land.
“. . . . he delivers them from all their trouble.” God takes our problems and our troubles from us. In Matthew 6:13, Jesus asks the Father to ‘deliver us from evil.’
”The Lord is close to the brokenhearted . . .” God is right beside us as we go through each day. The prophet Isaiah foretells Jesus’ ministry in Isaiah 61:1.

”. . .and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Jesus Christ rescues those who are adrift in the world. Those who suffer from mental and physical illness, those who have lost their homes, and those caught in abusive situations all need a touch from the Lord.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

God Saves According to His Word

I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to you word.
 Turn my heart from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
Psalm 119:25, 37 (NIV)

Some days we have times when nothing seems to go as it should. Each day gets harder than the day before. We have to do things that seem right but we don’t feel we can. When we are young in the Lord, people tell us it’s due to our humanity. As we grow in our knowledge of God and his ways. We discover that He allows certain events into our lives in order to foster our growth.

The psalmist may have had a protracted time of feeling low. In what ways could we experience a season of sadness?
*An illness—either our own or that of a family member.
*An extended period of unemployment
*Grief over a loved one’s passing 

Sometimes, we get off track and do things that we wouldn't normally do, activities that are out of character for us. God watches as we do these crazy things. In all these instances  these scenarios, we finally come to our senses and seek God and ask Him to save us as His word tells us.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...