A Cry For Help

closed eyed man holding his face using both of his hands

“Incline Your ear, O Lord, and answer me…” Psalm 86:1

 

These are uncertain days for our country, indeed, for the world. God’s creation is moaning and groaning, wreathing with the pain of sickness and death. People are staying in their homes, keeping away from each other trying to stop the spread of this evil called Coronavirus. This could be called World War 111—the war that we have been dreading for a long time now. However, it could be said that we never expected to be facing an unseen and unknown enemy. It is hard enough to fight an enemy that you know and see, but this is unprecedented. How do we fight it? Let us turn to the Psalms for some Godly wisdom.

The Psalmist—mostly David who had sinned greatly in the sight of the Lord, and had enemies (some he did not know) cries out to God for help and forgiveness, in repentance. Here is where we find ourselves today. We are in a fight for our lives! We need to assess where we have been and where we want to be going. Today is the day of salvation. Do you not see it?

Psalm 86 is a Psalm of supplication for help against enemies. This virus, although it cannot be seen, is our enemy. It is against everyone—the young, old, rich, poor, no matter what nationality, or party you belong to, or color, or creed—we are all in this together. And there is only one way to fight it and win this war—TOGETHER.

David writes, “All nations you have made shall come and bow down before you, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.” (Psalm 86:9) God is faithful. He is, was, and ever shall be. “I am the Alpha and the Omega” says the Lord God, “who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8) The only way to win this war is to come together as one—united we stand, divided we fall. Put away prejudices and haughty ideas and humble yourselves before the Lord. I say again, today is the day of salvation!

Jeremiah writes: “Call to me and I will answer you and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” (33:3) The Psalmist writes, “In the day of trouble I call on you, for you will answer me.” (Psalm 86:7) Remember God loves you. He knew you before you were born; He knew you before you were in the womb. (Jeremiah 1:5) He will never forsake you nor leave you. (Hebrews 13:5) So therefore, when you humble yourself and bow your knee to honor His Holy name, “Steadfast love and faithfulness WILL meet; righteousness and peace WILL kiss each other. Faithfulness WILL spring up from the ground, and righteousness WILL look down from the sky. The Lord WILL give what is good and our land WILL increase.” (Psalm 85:1-10)

Together—you, me, and the Lord—we will win this war and defeat the enemy. With the Lord’s help we will kick ole-sloo-foot in the butt and send him yelping back to his cave. Amen? Amen.

Father, I know—I feel, that You are about to reveal Yourself to me, and all who believe, in a great and mighty way. May we recognize each other when that Great Day comes. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

Further reading:

Psalm 85   Psalm 86   Habakkuk 3:2

I Will

“Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.” Psalm 85:10

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The way I see it, the Lord had no choice but to allow evil to enter His land. We were an accident waiting to happen. The whole world was spinning out of control and things kept going faster and faster. We walk fast, talk fast, and technology allows us to do several things at once (multitasking)—faster. Until suddenly God put the brakes on and stopped His world.

Now Evil roams God’s world seeking to devour ALL the people. And, for a time, he will be allowed to do so, but not forever.

All of this has forced us to slow down and take a look around us. Those whose eyes are open will be able to see the blessings that they have been given. Blessings such as family—children and grandchildren; homes– we have been offered the chance to love and be loved. We now can take time to absorb all of this and much, much more. Take time to be His!

Looking back you should be able to see the handwriting on the wall. As they say, “Hindsight is revealing.” But what must we do now? All the clues were there:-our civilization as become rich with many, many resources at our fingertips, which have become god to too many people. And, if we read our Bible, we know that doesn’t work—at least, not for long.

This has separated families—we barely speak to each other anymore. Now, since in some places you are forced, under law, to stay in your homes, you must speak to each other. If you are to survive, you must talk to and interact with each other. At the end of this time—and THERE WILL BE AN END—you will have come to know and love each other, recognizing the great gift you are to each other.

This morning I turned to Psalm 85, and realized that even though it was written centuries ago, in another time and place, it applies to us now. Turn to Psalm 85 now and read through it slowly and meditatively, asking the Holy Spirit to give you understanding and wisdom. I believe that you, just as I, will find encouragement and hope in the words of the Psalmist. And perhaps, you will fall on your knees and ask God to forgive you and our land, after which, He WILL restore you and give you peace. Note how many times God says, through the pen of the Psalmist, “I will.”

 

Father, I pray for the restoration of the world. Great evil has been allowed to come into it because of our complacency and selfishness. Yet, You call us to confess and repent of our sins. You are calling us to “Believe.” If we do, You promise to forgive and restore us to your peace. Even so, Lord Jesus, may Your will be done. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

Besides Psalm 85 read the following:

Haggai 2:9   Zechariah 9:10/2:5   Isaiah 46:13   John 1:14

(I am hoping you will take the time to read God’s Word—it will be rewarding)

Almost Time

agriculture brown country countryside

“…Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest.” John 4:35

My Dad knew when it was time to ready the field, plant the seed, and harvest. He knew the signs of each season. The thing, however, that he could not predict was the weather. There could be too much rain or not enough rain. Too much sun or not enough sun. All of which could throw off his schedule. Even at those times he had someone to alert him when bad weather was coming—the weatherman. Only if he did not heed the warnings, would he fall into disaster.

The world is in great disorder and chaos at the moment of this writing. In order to fight the “Evil” that is lurking everything has come to a halt. They have given “evil” a name—it is called “Coronavirus or Covid 19.”

Recalling the steps that brought us to this point you can see the subtlety in which evil was working. You can see the acuteness, the penetration of minds and the delicacy of discrimination. There was great revelry in all corners of the world. There was lively and noisy festivities; large crowds gathered together; no consideration to others. Our government was battling it out on a daily basis, seemingly without concern of each other’s feelings. No one was doing the job that they were called to do. As this world spun out of control, there was only one way to stop it—unleash evil!!

Today we have been forced to pay attention to each other—to supply each other’s needs. Businesses have shut their doors, schools are closed; in some cities no one is allowed out unless for food or medication; we are in a state of disaster. However, in the midst of all this, “the fields…are ready for harvest.” (John 4:35)

There has never been a time when people were more ready to be introduced to the salvation of the Lord. Paul wrote to the Christians (the believers) of Thessalonica telling them that the fields are ready for harvest. It was time to witness to the unbelievers, telling them that no matter what they had done, no matter what horrible sin, if they turned to the Lord He would receive them and forgive them. For you see, things are going to get worse and many will succumb to fear and be lost—only the Lord can save you now.

I may sound like an evangelist or a fundamentalist, but what I am saying is true. Only those who are children of God will be saved. And the only way to become children of God is to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) It is a misnomer that every living human being is a child of God. Just being born does not make you a child of God! Come to the Lord before it is too late. So, “put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.” (I Thessalonians 5:8b) “Put on the whole armor of God…” (Ephesians 6:10-20)

Dear Lord, may whoever reads what I have written be compelled to read Your word and seek Your face. It is harvest time. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

ALERT

closed eyed man holding his face using both of his hands

Hello Church,

I feel that something very significant needs to be said, even though, we may not want to hear it. I think everyone is able to acknowledge its existence. We need to get our heads out of the sand…we are not Ostriches.

Whether we like it or not we are in a battle—a spiritual battle. Paul writes in Ephesians, “…our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12 MEV) Indeed, Satan has taken a foothold on all of creation.

One thing is very evident, we need to gather together in prayer to the One who holds the keys to heaven. Surely you can see the battle taking place. The question is which side are you going to be on? To not acknowledge the gravity of the situation is to be on the side of evil. All you need to do is look around you. People are shooting each other; they are coming together in mobs because of their frustration; our government is divided and would rather be seen as right than do the job they were elected to do, they fight like a bunch of children who haven’t grown up yet; and maybe worst of all, Satan has infiltrated the church causing divisions within them. Divided we fall, but united we stand.

The word Satan is not heard in very many churches today. We need to be aware of his presence. Do not give him room to work his wiles. He will charm you and court you and con you, but DO NOT fall for it. More is needed than to sit in the pew on Sunday. We need—I’ll say it once again—to gather together in prayer. We need to stop being ashamed of being seen praying in public. We need to teach our children the power of prayer at an early age. What a shame, for some that has already been lost.

Do not be afraid and do not be discouraged. Put on the full armor of God—live according to the truth; make sure your heart is right with God; spread peace not unrest; stand firm in your faith; guard your mind with the Word of God and in your hand carry the mightiest sword of all the Holy Bible. Then wrap it all together by praying in the Spirit for yourself, your family, and the world.

Remember these words spoken to Solomon conditioning him against the evil that is to come and giving him the prescription for surviving…God said,” If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 MEV)

GET BEHIND ME, SATAN!

Thank you for listening…now let’s get busy and do something about this!

 

II Chronicles 7:14   II Chronicles 6: 26-42

Set Free

white birds flying

“…do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence” Galatians 5:13

 

The little boy and the old man say, “I can do anything I want!” That is a true statement, in a sense. Then, again, it is not. The word “anything” covers a wide spectrum. First, we must ask ourselves some questions; will it hurt anyone? Will what I do cause anyone to do something that will hurt someone else? And most importantly, is it in the will of God?

Paul in his letter to the Philippians writes: “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think on these things.” (4:8) In other words, we are free to do “anything” that brings peace and contentment to ourselves and others.

Freedom is a special gift not set apart from the law. It is a fulfillment of the law. It enables you and me to live in harmony with God and one another. Now there is a prerequisite to the totality of freedom, which is, one who does not know God cannot experience it. To be a totally free human being one must set their mind on the things of the Lord. This is what Paul means when he told the Corinthians,” When I was a child, I spoke like a child. When I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways” (I Cor. 13:11)

Freedom is a privilege shared by those who know the Lord and live in peace with one another. The law, whether man-made or handed down by God on tablets from Mt. Sinai, is desperately needed just as a corral for sheep. Without them we would wander off in all directions resulting in a chaotic world. Even so from time to time one does wander, but God will always bring them back.

Call upon Jesus and He will set you free-free to be the one He created you to be. He will fill you with the strength, power, and love of the Holy Spirit. It may not change your circumstances, but within you will find joy once again. The words of Paul; “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstance; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (I Thess. 5:16-18)

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with all of you.” (2 Thess. 3:16)

Dear Lord, help me to find peace in this chaotic world. Help me to be an instrument of your peace. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

 

LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH

Words: Sy Miller and Jill Jackson

United Methodist Hymnal

United Methodist Publishing House 1989

 

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me

Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.

With God our creator, children all are we.

Let us walk with each other in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me; let this be the moment now.

With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow;

To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally.

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

 

Romans 8:2   John 8:36   Romans 3:27   Galatians 2:19   I Cor. 15:45   2 Cor. 3:5, 6

Forget About It

“For I am about to do something new.” Isaiah 43:19

two people standing near seashore

 

“Look I am doing a new thing,” shouts the Lord to Isaiah and the people of Israel. “Do you not see it?” (Isaiah 43:18-19)

Relationships are key to leading a full and rewarding life, but they must be right relationships. Also, some relationships are down-right destructive to your character and your spirit.

A young, not-so innocent, young lady fell in love. She got married and began what she thought was going to be a story-book life. However, a few years and two children later, it started to turn sour. She wanted to hold onto this relationship—for better or for worse, after all, she had made a vow on her wedding day. Two more children came along and life grew more and more tense. She was living in a hell she had not signed up for. Oh, she was not a woman of perfection, and probably if she were honest, added flame to the raging fire. Did God have a reason to allow this to happen?

Sometimes our eyes are blinded to everything but what we see right in front of us. Circumstances are so dire that they are always at the forefront of our lives. It is true God has a plan for your life. Jeremiah writes: “…I know the plans I have for you…They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (29:11) Look to the Lord—call upon Him and He will answer you.

God does not want us to be in relationships that do not honor Him. Jesus, who was God born to us, gave up His life so that we could live a resourceful, righteous, re-committed life for Him. You and I must be in relationship with Him above all other relationships. He will lead us into right relationships that will honor Him. Even as we fought to hang onto one that brought harm to us, God will bring us back and set our feet on the straight and narrow path that leads us home.

So our Lord and Savior leads us, His Holy Spirit guides us to the beautiful life He has promised. Put your blinders on, look straight ahead—do not look back. For this is the day the Lord has made and you must be glad in it—(paraphrased Psalm 118:24) for He is doing a new thing…do you not see it? (Isaiah 43:18-19)

Dear Lord, I want to have friends in my life that You want me to have. Help me to release the people You are leading me away from. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

“Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.” Jeremiah 33:3

Isaiah 43:18   Psalm 32:8   Proverbs 4:25

Hearing Visions

The year 2020 reminds me of vision. When a person has 2020 vision they are able to see clearly. Therefore, I believe the New Year 2020 is the year of vision. Those who open their heart and hear the Word of the Lord will have 2020 vision. This is the year that great things will happen for those who open their eyes and ears to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Will that someone be you?

 

The following meditation is entitled “Hearing Visions.”

 

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“Blessed is the man…his delight is in the law of the Lord…”

Psalm 1:1, 2

 

As I look out through the windows of our Florida room, I see God’s creation in all its glory. There is water, wild life, flowers, and trees. The trees stand straight and strong at the edge of the water, where they have been for many years. They provide shade, sustenance for birds and bees, and a place for squirrels and birds to nest and rest. But, without the water that feeds its roots and the sun that provides the vitamins it needs, that tree would not be able to stand.

The same is true of you and me. We need strength to give us life. Oh, yes, we need bread, vegetables, water, etc. to provide our bodies sustenance, but living on just what we put into our mouths gives us only survival. We need the Word of God to give us life abundantly.

In the Old Testament we read about the Hebrews who were running wild at the foot of Mt. Sinai where Moses left them under the charge of Aaron so he could go up the mountain to confer with God. When he returned he found them out of control—they had collected all the gold jewelry, threw it into the fire and made for themselves a golden idol. They refused to worship the Lord and went in anarchy—they were not paying attention to laws set down by God and they were in a state of confusion and chaos. (Exodus 32:25ff)

The Psalmist tells us that a man is blessed when he puts his delight in the Lord and meditates upon it day and night. (Psalm 1:2) Paul told the Roman church that without a preacher who depends upon the Lord and speaks truth to the people, they cannot hear the Word. (Romans 10:14) And the Wisdom of Solomon tells us: “Where there is no vision the people perish, but happy is he who keeps the teaching.” (Proverbs 29:18 MEV)

Now having said all this, look at our world today. Is there confusion and chaos? Are our leaders looking to God for answers on how they should lead the people in the land of the free and the home of the brave? Are our preachers preaching the Word? Are they being held accountable for what they do and say?

You see “seeing visions” isn’t about dreams or daydreaming. “Seeing visions” is about hearing the Word and living in the truth of it. Without such a vision you will be thrown into a life of complete confusion. The people in Moses’ time longed for something that they refused to accept and tried to make it for themselves, in doing so, they caused themselves great suffering. The same will happen to you when you do not, refuse to, or cannot, hear the vision of a life abundant that God has planned for you.

Read God’s Holy Word—seek a Bible preaching church—put into practice what you see and hear.

 

Dear Lord, this world is in great turmoil—we long for Your peace. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

Proverbs 29:18   John 13:17   I Samuel 3:1   Amos 8:11   James 1:25