“One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts,” Psalm 145:4.
Do you have family stories you love telling when everyone gets together? Several times a year, when extended families have an opportunity to spend a few hours or days together, nostalgic sentiments take over and the stories begin to flow.
“Do you remember when . . . .”
“I’ll never forget the time . . . .”
“I recall the time I got this scar . . . .”
The stories are always about significant life events, and most of the details remain the same, with a little embellishment, of course. Sadly, however, it seems many of these stories do not last more than a few generations before they are forgotten. We do not forget them because we are too busy, necessarily, or because we do not like stories; we forget them because most of the stories are not life-giving or life-transforming.
In Psalm 145, David declared that the stories of the unsearchable greatness of God will never pass away or cease to be told. This will not happen because we have great memories or simply like to tell stories; God’s mighty acts will continue to be told forever because they are life-giving and life-transforming stories. The story of what God has done throughout history never gets old because the God of the story never changes and the theme of the story, from the first man to the last man, is the same. God loves mankind and moves Heaven and earth to provide a pardon for us in His Son, Jesus Christ. We will never stop telling the story of salvation because there has not been a better story ever written.
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you tell God’s story today?
Category Archives: Inspirational
1 Samuel 6:19—7:2
“And he smote the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the Lord had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter,” 1 Samuel 6:19.
Jesus sent out seventy disciples throughout the region to represent Him and the kingdom of God. When the disciples returned, they were rejoicing because they experienced great power, even over demons. When Jesus heard them bragging about their newfound power, He rebuked them and told them to only rejoice in God, that He had written their names down in Heaven (Luke 10:17-20).
When the ark of the covenant was returned to Israel by the Philistines, it appears that at least seventy men were gloating in the experience of power that accompanied the return of the ark of God. Immediately, God struck these men down because they were boasting in an experience instead of God.
It is easy to enjoy the experience of victory that accompanies Jesus Christ and is available to every child of God. We should rejoice in that victory, but as soon as we allow that victory—that Christ won—to lift us up in pride and begin to gloat over our enemies, we have forgotten who is responsible for the victory. Never forget that, without God, we would know nothing but defeat. When we are tempted to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think and allow ourselves to gloat in our salvation, we step into God’s place and begin to steal His glory.
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you humbly give God all the glory today?
BY: William Andrew Dillard
USTA WASERS ABOUND
A sobering insight is given to those with hearing ears in 2 Peter 2:20-21, “ For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” Anyway one may stack it up, it is a most serious thing to turn away from the truth presented in the Holy Word after having received and understood it.
Still, the world of ustawasers sees no decline in population. It is appalling to note that most cults report the major number of proselytes they make come from a Baptist background. Once I had some legal work completed by a rotund, jolly fellow who upon learning of my religious standing roared, “I usta to be a Baptist!” Curiously, I asked what he was now. He replied, “Now, I am a ———. I “usta” to worry about living correctly, but now I don’t have to do that anymore. I let my priest take care of that.” Believe it or not, he was serious!
Having conducted more revival meetings than most ministers in a time when such was popular, I have personally witnessed to numerous wayward, backslidden and truth rejecting people who gave an intelligent testimony of their personal salvation, but whose common chorus was “I usta.” Sadly, they “usta” to be a Baptist, or they “usta” be a faithful church member; they “usta” read the Bible, engage in private prayer, etc. What a choir they would make, all singing “I usta!”
What happens to folks who become ustawasers? Perhaps they never did achieve a good comprehension of the faith once delivered to the saints. Regardless, once exposed to the ultimate truth of the Bible, they succumb to the temptation to follow the ways of men out of desire, or out of escape mode from ridicule. The amazing thing about most of them is that they tout their former state with seeming pride. “O, yes, I usta be…..” They have forgotten, perhaps wilfully, that we must ALL stand before the Creator God of the universe and give account of ALL the deeds done in the body whether they be good or bad. To me that is most sober! There will be no acceptable explanation for having turned from the Holy Commandment delivered from God Himself to us for our belief, understanding, and code of conduct. The only ustawaser I want to be noted for is that I “usta” be a subject for a devil’s hell, but Jesus saved me by grace through faith, and praise His name, I am not that anymore! This is the kind of Christian I am, and I hope it is true for you as well!
“Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord,” Psalm 150:6.
What kind of worship does God deserve? What quality of worship would do justice to the infinite excellencies of our sovereign God? As you mull over the answer to these questions in your mind, consider this: the quality of our worship is directly proportionate to the value we place on the objects of our worship.
My favorite NBA basketball team did not do well this year. They barely finished the regular season with a five hundred winning percentage. Consequently, I did not take my family to a game, and we did not watch them on TV as much as usual because there was not much that excited us about them. A few years ago, however, they made the playoffs and won the National Championship, and we could not cheer loudly enough! What was the difference? The quality of our cheers was determined by the value we placed on the team. The same is true in our worship of God.
So, let us go back and answer the first question. What kind of worship does God deserve? The psalmist decrees that, because of the mighty deeds and excellent nature of our God, He deserves the best quality of worship, played on every kind of instrument, accompanied with physical postures and movements from everything in Heaven and earth that is capable of praising Him, including you! It is noteworthy that the book of Psalms—a collection of worship songs—concludes with a final command for every creature, “Praise ye the Lord.”
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you praise the Lord today?
Numbers 4:15-20; 7:6-9
“But unto the sons of Kohath he gave none: because the service of the sanctuary belonging unto them was that they should bear upon their shoulders,” Numbers 7:9.
I would love to have a front yard with all grass and no weeds. There are multiple ways I can prevent people from seeing the weeds in my yard. One way would be to get down on my hands and knees and dig up the weeds, then spray a herbicide to kill the remnants. Another way to prevent people from seeing the weeds would be to simply mow the yard so that all the grass and weeds are the same height. Which way do you think would be best? Mowing the weeds and grass to the same height would be the easiest way to hide the weeds, but would that really take care of the problem? No, it would just be a matter of time before the weeds crept up again. The best way to take care of it is also the most cumbersome way. That is usually the case in most jobs.
God gave specific handling instructions for the most holy things of the Tabernacle, including the ark of the covenant. For these things to be moved, they had to be wrapped up and carried on men’s shoulders. That was the best way to transport the objects because that was God’s way.
When it comes to displaying God’s glory in this world, there are no shortcuts. You may be able to trick others into thinking that you are holy by conforming to an appearance of holiness, but you will never trick God. We either do things God’s way or our way. Today, choose God’s way.
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you choose God’s way today?
“So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands,” Psalm 78:72.
This morning I read where a highly recruited high school football player was denied an invitation to a prominent NCAA team. He was not denied because the recruiters decided he did not have enough talent, nor was he denied because he had committed a serious crime. He was denied because of how he had mishandled a certain social media network. The university that was recruiting him determined that he would not be a benefit to its team—despite his extreme talent—because of his absence of character and integrity.
King David showed the opposite of this story. He did not have extreme leadership talent that had been tested in the arena of politics. The only experience he had was shepherding sheep; yet, God selected him to be the leader of His people. What was so great about David that made God choose Him? It was his character and integrity, developed by humbly watching sheep.
I am not sure what you or others might think of your own abilities, but history shows that God would rather have an unlearned peasant with integrity in His service, than a skilled workman who lacks character. God chooses the foolish things of the world to do His work so that no one will boast in anyone but God. (Read 1 Corinthians 1:26-31.)
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you pursue after God’s heart today?
“Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be thou my helper,” Psalm 30:10.
I will never forget the overwhelming feeling of helplessness as I held our firstborn son in my arms for the first time. At first, I was not thinking about how awesome fatherhood is or how blessed I was to have a son. No, my very first thought was, I do not know what I am doing, and I have no idea how to be a dad! Since then, God has blessed us with three more children, and each day we are reminded that we are walking in uncharted territory, desperately dependent upon God to be patient with us, to protect us from ourselves and to intervene when we make mistakes.
As David sang this song at the dedication of his home, the verse that rings out the loudest is verse 10, in which David cried out, “Have mercy on me.” History tells us that David did not always make the best decisions, and his erroneous choices caused much hurt to himself and others. David was familiar with pain and understood the importance of God’s mercy.
Today, as we seek to build our homes and dedicate them to God’s honor and glory, may we never forget to daily cry out for God’s mercy. As long as we are in the flesh, we will make mistakes that cause hurt and pain to us and to others. We need a God who is patient with us and who will intervene on our behalf because of His steadfast love.
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you cry out for God’s mercy today?
“Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold,” Deuteronomy 17:17.
Long before the nation of Israel requested and received its first king, God prescribed the qualifications for the king. God told the people of Israel that once they had occupied the Promised Land and had begun to enjoy living there, they would desire a king to rule over them. God allowed for that provision, but with a few caveats. Their king must be an Israelite, he must not acquire too many horses, he must not lead the nation back to a dependence on Egypt, he must not have more than one wife and he must not become too obsessed with wealth.
At first glance, these seem to be odd qualifications, don’t they? Upon further inspection, however, we can see that the negative kingly qualities God spoke against are the same qualities that existed in every king of the surrounding nations. What did God want for the leaders of His people? He wanted them to be distinct from the world so that the light of His glory could shine more brightly.
How did David stack up against the other kings? He started humble but ultimately caved in to the temptations of power, prominence and wealth. He was still a man after God’s own heart, but imagine how much greater God’s glory would have shined had David been able to resist the temptations of lust, money and power.
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you resist the temptations of this world so that God’s glory can shine through you today?
IT’S STILL ALL ABOUT ME!
Author - William Andrew Dillard
The Kind of Christian I Am!
Some folks believe that trusting Jesus, and becoming His disciple is surrendering life and its potential to a static life of religion. Oh, how the devil delights in spreading that lie! The truth is that in Christ, nothing is lost but the condemnation of sin, and the new life in Him is continuous gain upon gain. Joyfully, in Christ, life is still all about me, but in a much better way! Think with me about this.
Why did God leave heaven and become a man? It was to fulfill the types and promises of the Old Testament, and to pay the penalty of sins on behalf of mankind. He did this for me! You see, it really is all about me!
Why did He provide an everlasting salvation for all who repent of sins and trust Him as the personal Savior, especially me? Oh, yes, it is all about me!
Why did He create the living organism known as His body, the church? He did it that I might learn of Him, grow in grace and knowledge. Yes, it is all about me!
Did He not promise His dear children new life, and a new, incorruptible body, even me? Oh, yes! It is about me!
Does He not give us the opportunity to mature in the faith once delivered to the saints? Will that not qualify us to rule and reign with Him in the age that is about to happen? Does this include me? Indeed! It is all about me!
He will show me how an entire universe may be destroyed and return to the unseen state? I will see how creation is done. Because once resurrected I will ever be with the Lord, I will have a bird’s eye view of the creation of new heavens and a new earth! Hallelujah, it is all about me!
Who then will get to live in the New Jerusalem on the new earth, but his disciples of every age? That includes me! It is indeed all about me! Who then has the joy of studying, praying, coalescing the rightly divided Word that takes one from mountaintop to mountaintop? Among others, it is I! Thank the Lord it really is about me!
Dear reader this is for you, too, because of God’s love. I claim all these blessings for myself within the constraints of the Blessed Word of God because that is the kind of Christian I am!
1 Samuel 16:3-13
“But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart,” 1 Samuel 16:7.
When it was God’s timing for Israel to have a godly king, He sent Samuel to a man named Jesse to find and anoint the man God wanted to govern His people. To begin the search for the next king, Samuel started with Jesse’s son, Eliab, and Samuel thought, Surely he is the Lord’s anointed. According to Samuel’s own standards of kingship, Eliab must have fit the description. Immediately, however, God made it clear that Eliab had been rejected by Him. Jesse began bringing out his other sons, one after another, but each son was denied kingship by God. Finally, Samuel asked Jesse if all his sons were present, to which Jesse responded that his youngest son—David—was out keeping the sheep. When Jesse had David brought in to stand before Samuel, it became obvious that God had chosen him to be king.
What had they missed? Why were they off target so many times before David? It was not only because they were searching for a king that met their own human standards, but it was also because they had an inability to peer into the hearts of Jesse’s sons. The kind of people God uses to accomplish His will are people whose hearts are committed to His will. These may not be the best or the brightest according to worldly standards, but they are people who are chasing after God’s heart, like David
(1 Sam. 13:14).
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you chase after God’s heart today?