The Sacred Writings!

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SCRIPTURE – 2 Timothy 3:14-17   You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

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OBSERVATION – God says not just to learn His sacred writings, but to keep living them out for the rest of our lives.  We aren’t to be swayed by false teaching, led astray from the truth we learned when we were younger. And if we are swayed, we’re to study the Word and return to truth; this guards us against error.  This adherence to the plumb line of truth will give us true wisdom which—when mixed with belief in these writings—is a sure guide in our way to eternal life, for our souls and for another world. God’s writings teach us what’s true, reproves us for what’s amiss, corrects where we’re wrong, and directs us to what’s good.  Christians are God’s people, and He uses His word to finish our development so we can carry out our duties of service for Him. We absolutely cannot be finished in this way using other writings.

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APPLICATION – I am seeing anew that God is “finishing” me. I will open The Sacred Writings daily to seek the kind of wisdom that will guide me on my way, for the sake of my soul and how I will enter the world to come. I will take time when I read: looking for things I need to learn, receiving admonishment with humility, receiving and implementing correction, and excitedly finding ways to be good to others.

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PRAYER – Oh, Father, how powerful You are—through Your Word!  I do pray that I will continue in the right things I’ve learned. Guard me against error that could divert my walk. As I study Your Word, show me wonderful benefits for my life: things I will grow by learning, changing, fixing, and doing. Amen.

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Psalm 139, American-style

  • Dear God, You’ve examined me and know everything about me.
  • You’re cognizant of every single thing I do.
  • My thoughts are disjointed or forgotten, but from heaven You know how they ultimately connect.
  • You inspect the directions I take.
  • You know what I’m going through when all alone.
  • You know very well who I really am inside.
  • Before I say a word, you know where it came from, why I say it, and what I really mean.
  • Whichever way I go, You’ve always got one hand gripping my shoulder.
  • You never let me out of Your line of sight.
  • I have no idea how much You actually know about me.
  • You know more about me than I do.
  • This is just too much for me to even understand.
  • If I’m ever so foolish as to want to escape from the awe of knowing You, I couldn’t shake that awe if I tried.
  • If I ever wanted to disown my dependence on You, I couldn’t.
  • At every turn, You’ll be there to meet me.
  • As deep as I should dig to hide myself, You see it all.
  • Even those who reject You are under Your scrutiny and judgment.
  • When I get to heaven, though it’s huge, You’ll meet me.
  • Should I take the fastest transport to the farthest place, Your hand will still stop me from leaving You.
  • Attempts to hide secret haunts of sin under the cover of night are just as futile.
  • When You divided light and darkness, that was for us, not for You: to You it’s all the same.
  • Of course You have me covered—because I’m merely the creature; You’re the Creator!
  • I’m astonished at the human body; it’s a great marvel.
  • The numerous compositions that make us function are admirable.
  • And You made us to harmonize together, and be temples of Your Holy Spirit.
  • Because I’m human, I see this very well—though I can hardly describe it.
  • Even my conception in my parents’ bedroom wasn’t hidden from you.
  • Even before that, You saw who I would be and planned every day I will live.
  • In mercy You fashioned me, I was born, and I’m still alive.
  • I value Your thoughts, Lord, though I can’t fathom them.
  • You have vast reach regarding me, working for my good beyond what I could ever plan.
  • Your knowledge is beyond measurement.
  • When I wake up, I remember I’m cared for and protected.
  • Each day I also renew my commitment to stick with You.
  • Deal with evil people, Lord.
  • You evil people can’t debauch me: God would intervene.
  • I hate them because they speak against You, or show You contempt by making your name a by-word, or by using it as hypocrites.
  • I hate to see such affronts put on You.
  • If anyone makes himself Your enemy, he is my enemy also.
  • Examine me, Lord. I don’t want to live in fear.
  • Show me any corrupt inclination and root it out.
  • Help me become more pleasing to You.
  • Help me never to miss, turn from, or tire of Your Way.
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Eternal Rewards for Christians

 

2 Cor. 4:17 – 5:10

For momentary, light affliction

Loving God and others, Giving rather than taking, Resisting temptation and sin, Humbling ourselves, Doing work for God, Enduring through trials
is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, are earning rewards to be given to us later that will far outweigh anything we went through
while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. We do these things because we’re looking past this physical, temporary life and thinking about God and eternity
For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. When we die, God will give us new bodies that will never die
For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, This earthly life is hard, and we struggle with sin. We can hardly wait till we can start fresh, with a new body, in heaven.
inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. Since we’ll be changed in the twinkling of an eye, our soul will never be in limbo and God will cover us with righteous robes
For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, It’s a burden, being alive on earth
because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Because—while we’re not looking forward to the process of dying, we do want immortality
Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, The One who made us in the first place, and who is molding us—preparing us for heaven—is God
who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. And God gave us His Spirit as a down payment toward the glory He’ll give us when we get to heaven
Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight—we are of good courage, I say, So we’re hanging in there (knowing we aren’t fully with God right now, we see Him by faith), we’re relying on God to carry us through troubles, enemies, and even death
and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. And we’d rather be in heaven.
Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. Since we hope to be with God someday, we diligently cooperate with how He is working it out in us, rather than being a disappointment to Him
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, We’re motivated to please God because what we do here will have an impact for eternity. Every Christian is accountable to the Lord, who will evaluate the good things* we did as a Christian—and reward us accordingly.
according to what he has done, whether good or bad. *The Bema Seat judgment does not include sins, because they were dealt with at the cross by our Savior’s death. This judgment will differentiate things we did: whether eternally valuable, or useless. It’s good to enjoy wholesome activities, but we can also glorify God in them; we would do well to spend most of our time and energy with what has eternal value.
1 Cor 3:8,12-14  each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.  ..… if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Matt. 6:18-21  “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

 

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Things We Learn About God from Psalm 89

Loving

Kind

The Lord

Eternal

Faithful to His promises, constantly reliable

In the heavens

Made an unconditional “royal grant” promise to a chosen person (David) that one of his descendents will be King over all generations*

Does wonders

Praise goes to Him from the heavens

Faithfulness among the angels

Nothing in the skies compares to  Him

Even angels are not like Him

A God greatly feared among the angels

Awesome above all

God over a host of angels

None is like Him

Rules and stills the sea and waves

Conquered Egypt to free His chosen people

Scatters His enemies by His strength

Owns the heavens

Owns the earth

Founded the entire world and all it contains

Even the mountains shout for joy at His name

Strong

Mighty

Exalted

Righteous

Just and Fair

King on a throne

Truthful

People are blessed who praise Him

His countenance gives light

People rejoice in His name

People are exalted by God’s righteousness

By His favor, He gives people strength

The King belongs to God

He has spoken to people

He found, helped, anointed, established, strengthened, protected, and exalted David His chosen king, the highest of all earthly kings*

He gave David firstborn status/privileges *

Will give Israel the land between the Red Sea and the Euphrates River

The Father

The rock of salvation

God promised that—If David’s descendents forsake God’s commandments—He would punish them

But He will never break His promise to David’s family overall: some descendents will live forever*

As sure as the sun and moon are in the sky, God will keep His promise of an eternal kingdom*

David’s descendents would rebel and be disciplined by God—through broken-down walls and strongholds

To some, it appeared God had rejected David’s dynasty: they were subject to plunder, reproach, shame, lack of victory in war, and loss of splendor and kingship

The Psalmist ends with, “Blessed be the Lord forever!*

*The Son of David is Jesus, Eternal Savior, Lord, and King

 

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Warning to the Wicked

Psalm 50:16-23  
16 But to the wicked God says, “What right have you to tell of My statutes To hypocritical teachers, God says, “You have no right to teach My Word. You have usurped authority from My true shepherds and receive undue honor from saints.
And to take My covenant in your mouth? You have no right to say You are in covenant with Me. It is absurd, and a great affront to Me, to hear you preaching My Word while not obeying it yourself.
17 “For you hate discipline You love to feed your pride by telling others what to do; but when you are corrected, you summarily dismiss it.
And you cast My words behind you. You disregard any of My rules you are resolved not to be ruled by. And you take it a step further, teaching others that your rules are more important than Mine.
When you see a thief, you are pleased with him, and you associate with adulterers. You chastise only those who dare to cross you. But you overlook sins of anyone who might come in handy or profit you later.
19 “You let your mouth loose in evil Your arrogant tone and dogmatic opinions are far from an example of My love and grace.
And your tongue frames deceit. And you are calculated liars. One lie begets another, and one fraud requires another to cover it.
20 “You sit and speak against your brother; You slander, abuse, misrepresent, censure, and judge people—as if you were their master to whom they stand or fall.
You slander your own mother’s son. You forget that these people are just as good as you are; they are on the same level as you. You should be loving, vindicating, and standing up for them if they get hurt. Instead, you abuse them yourself. You should be, in love, covering a multitude of sins and hoping all things—but in reality you sit on your judge’s bench, falsely and unjustly charging, deriding, and backbiting those you should be respecting and showing kindness to.
21 “These things you have done and I kept silence; For years, I’ve sat quietly while you’ve carried on like this, letting you alone to take your course. I hate it, but I am patient, giving time for repentance—so that if you never stop this behavior, you will have no excuse. My patience is all the more wonderful because some sinners make such ill use of it!
You thought that I was just like you; Mistaking my silence for agreement, you began to think your behavior represents Mine. You think I’m like you: denying things previously stated, not keeping your word, disregarding sin when convenient. And the longer you go on, the harder your heart gets. ……. No. You are wrong. I am not at all like you.
I will reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes. The day is coming when I will convince you of what you’ve been doing, and your mouth will be stopped: you won’t find a single word to defend yourself. What confusion you’ll have when I set your sins in order before your eyes!   You covered it up and would not listen to your conscience. You will have shame and terror when I lay it all out for you to finally face.
“Now consider this, you who forget God, Or I will tear  you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver. Do pay attention to this warning today, you who have gone your merry way without truly acknowledging Me and My Words. If you disregard what I’m telling you, be warned: I’ll rip you apart and nobody will be able to help you.
23 “He who offers a sacrifice of thanks-giving honors Me; But there is GOOD NEWS! Anyone who stops the madness and acknowledges Me and all the wonderful things that I have done—with true thankfulness—is giving me honor.
And to him who orders his way  aright
I shall show the salvation of God.”
Yes, anyone who heeds this warning, sees his terrible error, and changes his ways—that person I will show the way to the Savior, who took the deserved punishment on behalf of sinners. To that repentant sinner I will show the salvation of God.
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These Birds Have Flown

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I love my firstborn,

Emily Grace—

With two little kids,

She keeps quite a pace!

Staying in touch

Can be a rat race,

And it takes many hours

To drive to her place.

= – =

Things aren’t the same

Since they moved away,

And jobs and obligations

Forced us to stay;

Mostly my moods are

Droopy and gray:

I miss all four of them

Every. Single. Day.

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Plus, to double this trouble,

Lily is gone too:

The daily silence pierces—

I’m very sad and blue.

She’s busy with her husband,

And a ministry or two:

There’s not much overlapping

In the many things we do.

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I miss our late-night visits,

And silly hanging out,

Her wisdom and candor,

And all that she’s about.

And my new son-in-law

Isn’t directly on my route:

All the kids are busy,

So, yeah, I tend to pout.

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Since I quit my office job,

It’s become increasingly hard:

So I organized the garage,

Started working in the yard;

Sending things to the grandkids,

Visiting, and crafting cards.

But with time alone, I tend to cry;

I must keep up my guard.

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How do I cope with

This big empty nest?

What is my agenda?

What do I do next?

Instigate some luncheons?

Make myself a pest?

I suppose that’s okay,

But likely not God’s best.

= – =

So I’m trying to be more active,

Taking care of my body:

It’s gotten pretty shabby,

Sore, and sick, and sorry.

And I’m studying and writing—

Lest  I fall to folly—

And I’m reaching out to others

Who are also melancholy.

= – =

I’ve finally come to realize

I can’t go where the girls went.

I’ve resolved to get over

This sinful discontent.

So I pray in the meantime

For a more positive bent,

New ministry of my own,

And time to be well spent.

= – =

And to cherish the days

When I do hear from the kids,

Making the most of the time

With a smile, a hug, and a kiss.

These birds have flown—

They were made for this—

May God bless and keep them:

They’re not mine—they are His!

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The Battle Rages On!

My EYES have seen the wretchedness

Of all my awful acts.

There are TIMES when I deceive myself,

But THEN I must face facts:

It’s a STRUGGLE of the flesh;

I must do MORE than just react!

The BATTLE rages on!

 

Yes, IN our flesh we justify

ANGER, disputes, and strife,

With JEALOUSY and enmity,

DISSENSIONS, factions, fights.

But if we LIVE by the Spirit,

That should NEVER be our life!

The BATTLE rages on!

 

NOR are we immoral,

Or CAROUSING or impure;

And we DON’T have things we idolize

MORE than GOD, that’s for sure.

For SEDUCERS, drunks, or pagans

Will NOT see heaven’s door.

The BATTLE rages on!

 

RATHER let us walk instead

In the SPIRIT of the Lord,

Who DEMONSTRATES the greater things

Like LOVE, joy, and patient words.

And TRY some kindness and loyalty,

Being GOOD, and self-controlled!

The BATTLE rages on!

 

Let’s RESTORE each other from error,

BEARING one another’s load,

In HUMILITY and wise discussion

Of the SAVIOR who paid what we owed.

God’s not MOCKED, don’t trample His Savior:

Yes, we’ll REAP just what we sowed.

The BATTLE rages on!

 

 

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