Hope for today: Gracious is the Lord

Hope

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple; when I was brought low, He saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling;
I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.
Psalm 116:5-9

Hope for today: God’s love

hopeAnd so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because He first loved us.

1 John 4:16-19

 

 

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Honor human life

 

exodus-20-13“You shall not murder.
Exodus 20:13 NIV

In this command, God speaks to the sacredness of life and our responsibility to be mindful that every man is an image bearer of God. 

“Whoever sheds the blood of man,
    by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in His own image.” Genesis 9:6

In early years, this text was translated to say “Thy shall not kill.” Most modern translators agree that the correct translation is murder. It is important because The Jews were allowed to defend themselves (Exodus 22:2) and accidental death was addressed separately as well (Exodus 21:12-14).

The Word of God:

 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:15

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:8-10

So I expect that some are you are expecting a great discourse on abortion or the senseless violence that we see in our nation every day…and rightfully so, BUT if you are expecting this, you already know truth. Sssooo…let me ask another question. Have you ever murdered someone with your mouth (gossip)? Or in your heart (anger, hate, jealousy)? 

“After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.” Jeremiah 31:19

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” James 4:7-10

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Honor your dad and mom

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Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Exodus 20:12

Remember, one of the Pharisee tested Jesus by asking:

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.”
We have looked discussed the first and greatest command. Today, we begin to look at the second greatest command. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40

The Lord begins with the foundation of loving our parents and authority. God expects His children to love others and that it be proven out in how we respect and treat one another. My, my, my…as God has granted knowledge and the life expectancy to extend, it seems that as a society as we have become so self-centered and focused that for some this commandment has been put to the side.

Isn’t it something how we know the application of this verse so well when we are the parents and we relate it to our children…”children are to honor their parents.” But as our parents age and have greater needs, for some, it slips by us that God has commanded that children are to honor and respect our parents.

My granddad use to say as he aged – “once a man, twice a child.” He was speaking of his own recognition that he was aging and his need for help. My aunt loved, honored, and respected him so much that she brought him into her home and cared for him until the age of 96. She was able to do this in his old age because she loved, honored, and respected him in the early years and all the years between. We can’t all bring our parents home but we can all love, honor, respect and watch over their care and spend time in fellowship with them no matter where they reside.  It should be a lifetime of love, honor, and respect demonstrated with action.

It is one of those times that we will let the Scriptures speak to show us how seriously God took this command in the Old Testament:

Exodus 21:15, 17, “Anyone who attacks their father or mother is to be put to death. “Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.”

Leviticus 19:3, 32, “‘Each of you must respect your mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God….“‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.

Deuterontomy 27:16, “Cursed is anyone who dishonors their father or mother.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

Proverbs 1:8, “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”

Proverbs 16:31, “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.

Proverbs 20:20, “If someone curses their father or mother, their lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.”

Proverbs 23:22, “Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.”

Proverbs 30:17, “The eye that mocks a father and despises a mother’s instructions
will be plucked out by ravens of the valley and eaten by vultures.”

From the lips of Jesus:

For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
    their teachings are merely human rules.’” Matthew 15:4-9

“You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— 12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.” Mark 7:9-12

And Paul:

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”  Ephesians 6:1-3

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. Whatever a man sows, he will reap in return.”
Galatians 6:7

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Loving God with ALL

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20 And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. Exodus 20:1-7

37 And He [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. Matthew 22:37-38

The Lord begins the Ten Commandments by reminding the people that He is God and that He has the authority to give these commandments. In fact, He repeats “the Lord your God” five times (vs. 3, 5, 7, 10, 12). These commandments were to help the Israelites know and understand how they were to love God with ALL…just some thoughts:

  • There are to be no other “g”ods…that would be no one or nothing loved, treasured or valued greater that the Lord whether it was a hand-carved idol or the image of creation or something on earth. No false gods, period. There is an entire listing that is appropriate for today…possessions, money, intellect, self, status, etc. the list of what is treasured more than the One True and Living God is far greater than I could list here.
  • The Israelites were not to bow down to them or serve them, nor are we. In 1 John 5:21, the Lord speaks, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” I believe this important to understand in this day and time when the enemy has sown the lie that we can love and worship Jesus and an idol. The enemy really doesn’t care which idol we choose as long as it is one that keeps us from loving the Lord with ALL. The Lord speaks to say, No other gods for I Am the Lord your God and I am jealous for you (Exodus 34:14). Please note, not “of you” but “for you.” I love you so much that I will not share you with an idol who cannot be compared to Me and can do nothing for you. God is our Creator, Deliverer, Rescuer, Redeemer and Savior! Surely, He deserves an exclusive relationship!
  • In verse 5b, the Lord is not saying that the children will punished for their parents sins (Ezekiel 18:4) but that the sins of the parents will impact the lives of their children. This will cause the children to sin and be punished. On the other hand, the right relationship with God, serving no other god, loving God with ALL will lead the children into blessings (John 14:23; John 3:36; 1 Timothy 4:8). Choices have consequences…we should make choices with the view of blessing our children instead of passing on the spirit of disobedience and rebellion.
  • The Lord is Great and greatly to be praised (Psalm 145:3). God is Great and greatly to be honored. We are to honor the Name of the Lord in all we say and do. The Name of the Lord encompasses His total being, His character and nature. The Israelites were to bring honor to His Name rather than throwing His Name around loosely in any kind of way: cursing, swearing, absent-minded invoking of this Name, promises made in His Name and then not kept. Jesus taught the disciples to begin prayer by hallowing the Name of the Lord (Matthew 6:9). Philippians tells us the honor that is due:  Philippians 2:9-11, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” 

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The commandment of love

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36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40

As we read the Words above, the veil is opened and we see the Old Testament being fulfilled in the New Testament. We gain further understanding of the principle, “the Old Testament is the New Testament prophesied and the New Testament is the Old Testament fulfilled.”

Now, please…no one take offense or get upset…but just in case, I thought this graphic which places the Ten Commandments in such simplicity would help us.

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  1. 37 And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.
    Commandments 1 -4.
  2. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Commandments 5-10.

We were created for right relationship with God and man…it is a relationship of love that puts God’s glory on display! Right relationship with God will always bear the fruit of right relationship with others.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:7-12

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16

Romans 13:8-10
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

1-john-4-7

 

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Wisdom Wednesday

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Blessings today! It is Wisdom Wednesday and the Lord continues to speak in regards to His commands. I pray you will be blessed and encouraged by the following Scriptures and quotes. Blessed is the Name of the Lord!

the-commandments-1 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:2-4the-commandments-2

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. Ecclesiastes 12:13the-commandments-4Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them. Psalm 119:129
the-commandments-5

And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the very commandment you have heard from the beginning, that you must walk in love. 2 John 1:6

the-commandments-6I delight to do your will, O my God;
    Your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8the-commandments-7“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17the-commandments-9“For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:18-19

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but My Words will not pass away

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As we have stated before, the ceremonial/sacrificial system was fulfilled by Jesus:

“First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). 9 Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. 10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

11 Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. 12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” Hebrews 10:8-12

Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!

God remains the same, yesterday, today, and forever…the moral law remains intact. Man’s intellect, wisdom, self-will, self-interest expressed in rebellion will never change this truth.

 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Matthew 24:35

A careful reading of the New Testament will help those who want to discount the Old Testament to know that nine of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament. The exception is the Sabbath Day but the principle regarding rest remains intact, we will discuss later.

We are saved by grace through faith into a new and abundant life. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” No longer enslaved to sin but set free to live for Christ as a display of His glory. It is our blessing to be reminded of at least a couple of things Jesus spoke in regards to the commandments:

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15

“Whoever has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.” John 14:21

“Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.” John 14:23-24

“If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.” John 15:10

and from John:

“By this we can be sure that we have come to know Him: if we keep His commandments.”
1 John 2:3

For the [true] love of God is this: that we do His commands [keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and teaching]. And these orders of His are not irksome (burdensome, oppressive, or grievous). 1 John 5:3

“And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the very commandment you have heard from the beginning, that you must walk in love.” 2 John 1:6

 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12

The Ten Commandments helps us to see and know the character and nature of the True and Living God and His great love, grace, and mercy. The Commandments will also show us His expectations of just how we live out the new lives He has given us! It is our privilege, the overflow of our love is our obedience.

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You, God, are my

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You, God, are my God,
    earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
    my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
    where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary
    and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
    my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
    and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
    with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;
    I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
    I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
    your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:1-8

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.1 John 3:16-18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:18-19

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Wisdom Wednesday

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Blessings today! It is Wisdom Wednesday! Today we will look at some Scriptures and quotes regarding the big “O” word, OBEDIENCE! I pray you will be blessed and encouraged in the Lord!
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way

to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

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Obedience 1
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Obedience 2

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1

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Obedience 3
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Obedience 4

We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him. Acts 5:32

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Obedience 5
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Obedience 6

Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
who walk in obedience to him. Psalm 128:1

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Obedience 7
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Obedience 8

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10

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Obedience 9
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Obedience 10
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Obedience 11

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

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Obedience 12
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Obedience 13

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. 2 John 6

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Obedience 14

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