O taste and see!

Psalm 34.8

I will bless the Lord at all times;
    His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
    let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
    and let us exalt His name together!

I sought the Lord, and He answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to Him are radiant,
    and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
    and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
    around those who fear Him, and delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Psalm 34:1-8

The song is true, “When I think about the Lord and all He has done for me, my soul shouts Hallelujah! Thank you, Lord, for saving me!”

When I think about the Lord and Who I know Him to be as revealed in His precious Word, my soul shouts Hallelujah, so very thankful that He has chosen me! I mean, it is just absolutely amazing that the Holy, Righteous, Pure, Perfect, Supreme, Most High, Sovereign, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent God who is Truth, Wisdom, and Glory included you and I in His plans.

Love, compassion, and grace so great and pure that despite our sin and rebellion that He is Savior, Redeemer, Deliverer, Immanuel – God with us, and ! Yes, absolutely amazing!

Surely, He is sweeter than the honeycomb and more precious than silver or gold! Surely, the greatest Treasure that any man can ever have is God, Himself. He is the True Bread that satisfies all hunger and the Living Water that satisfies all thirst!

Day by day He teaches me as I “taste and see” to delight myself in Him…everything and everyone else pales in comparison, including myself. The steadfast love of God is better than life (Psalm 63:3) and all it offers. Yes,I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth (Psalm 34:1)” because He is worthy of my love, devotion, and praise. Glory to His Holy Name! 

Psalm 34.1a

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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The grace of discipline…

Hebrews 12.2

Like many, our Sunday School lesson was about Jonah and God’s protective love.

From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said:
“In my distress I called to the Lord,

    and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
    and you listened to my cry.
You hurled me into the depths,
    into the very heart of the seas,
    and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
    swept over me.
I said, ‘I have been banished
    from your sight;
yet I will look again
    toward your holy temple.’
The engulfing waters threatened me,
    the deep surrounded me;
    seaweed was wrapped around my head.
To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
    the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God,
    brought my life up from the pit.
“When my life was ebbing away,

    I remembered you, Lord,
and my prayer rose to you,
    to your holy temple.
“Those who cling to worthless idols

    turn away from God’s love for them.
But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
    will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
    I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”
10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

One of the attributes of God that I really love is His refusal to leave us the way are once we become His children. His love for us is too great! Just very thankful that He does not leave us the way He found us but draws so closer and closer in…from glory to glory to glory! So thankful that He has told us, Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose (Philippians 2:12-13).”

One practical point spoke of God’s ultimate goal in discipline is to redeem us and bring our hearts back to Him. Another one was “no situation is completely hopeless for God’s children.” Some believers have a distorted view and cannot recall a time when God disciplined them but the Scriptures below would tell us different. “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you (Romans 12:3).”

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,

    and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”Hebrews 12.5-6
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
Hebrews 12:4-13

God’s discipline should not be run from or denied. It is not meant to disable us but to heal us and cause us to take on His image as a display of His glory to a dying world. He is an indicator that we are indeed His children!
Bless His Holy Name!

Hebrews 12.7

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Hope for today: approach the Throne

Hope

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to the confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time. Hebrews 4:14-16

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Hope for today: declared righteous

Hope

For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath. 10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life! 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have now received this reconciliation through Him. Romans 5:6-11

 

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They left everything and followed Him

Luke 5.11

So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed Him.
Luke 5:11

Everything?

Everything!

What did you leave… or are you still trying to hold to the old life?

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).”

19“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
24“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Matthew 6:19-24

17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:17-24

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:1-17

2-Corinthians_5-17

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Fishing for people

Luke 5.10

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid;
from now on you will fish for people.”
Luke 5:10b

SSssssoooo, there was purpose behind this great miracle Jesus just performed…SSssssooo, the purpose was greater than just Peter’s livelihood…SSssssoooo, Jesus was about His Father’s business…SSssssoooo,

I was blessed to have lunch today with a very dear friend. What we thought would be two hours was five. We talked about so many things with Jesus right in the midst. One thing we discussed was the spirit of fear that keeps many believers in our own Holy huddles instead of fishing for people.

I am blessed as I read today’s verse and hear the Lord saying…”Don’t be afraid.” I believe if we seek our Lord’s face and ask His help, we can hear Him telling us these very same words, “Don’t be afraid.”  “Don’t be afraid…fish.” Selah.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Fish…Selah!

Matthew 28
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Acts 1
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

2 Corinthains 5:20
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

Philippians 2
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life.

2 Corinthians 3
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Isaiah 61:3
…”and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

2 Corinthians
But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.

Matthew 22
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 5:13
“You are the salt of the earth….”

Matthew 5
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Revelation 12
11 They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”

FISH!
If we don’t, who will?

Matthew 4.19

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But because You said so…7

Luke 5.6

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.  Luke 5:4-7

The Word speaks for itself. Peter is obedient and God pours out a blessing so big that there was not enough room to receive it.

So many fish that Peter’s net broke

So many fish that they filled his boat

So many fish that he called his partners, James & John and filled their boat also

So many fish that both boats began to sink.

Peter found out that God’s way is the only way.  If Peter had not been obedient, had he not surrendered, Peter would have missed his blessing.

Selah!

Obedience slide.001Obedience 13Obedience 12

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But because You said so…4

4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Luke 5:4

Jesus finishes His teaching and says to Peter, “put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Now you really have to picture Peter and Andrew here. They have fished all night long, tired, weary with nothing to show for their labor and must be disappointed for they haven’t caught a thing, not one fish.

They are cleaning, drying, and mending their nets from the soil and filthiness of the sea before going home…and Jesus shows up. You know about this, you’re at work and just finished putting everything away, and the boss comes and says before you go – “could you?”

And here comes Jesus, put yourself in Peter and Andrew’s place – before you go home, go out in the deep and put down your nets for a catch.

 The last thing we want when we are exhausted after a long day’s work, much less night’s work, is someone telling us anything more than see you tomorrow, much less how to do our jobs. And get this – Jesus, this carpenter, tells these career fishermen just the opposite of how they know to do it. Jesus says deep water, it should be shallow and besides that, it’s day. Everyone knows the best fishing takes place at night.

 Now – Peter isn’t talking to the boss man, his best friend, his spouse – he’s talking to THE Man, this is Jesus, the Omniscient  One5. I Am – the First and the Last, The Beginning and the End, The Creator. He created the fish, knows everything about fish, how many there are, where they are, what size they are. There is nothing he doesn’t know!

He knows all there is to know about everything, the all of life is in Him – He is Jehovah God! “For in him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;all things have been created through him and for him (Colossians 1:16).”

The lesson for me is the fact that this is equally true when the Lord is speaking to me as it was when He was speaking to Peter and Andrew. 🙂 We will see Peter and Andrew’s response on tomorrow but the greater question is what will be mine …and yours?

Blessings today!

But because You said so…2

Luke 5.5b

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,
the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God.
Luke 5:1

     The story begins with Jesus standing by the Lake Gennersaret (Sea of Galilee). He has preached in the synagogues in Galilee and there are great crowds following him wherever He goes. The NIV translation says the people were crowding around Him and listening to Word of God with the KJV saying that the crowd pressed upon Him.

Pressing reminds me of a toddler who is walking and has a natural curiosity, trying to talk, and their favorite question is “what you doing?” The child wants to know, wants to see and he comes and presses upon you until you pick him up and allow him to see just what is on that counter and what you are doing with it. This toddler just has to know and will have no satisfaction until you lift him up and he’s in the midst of what’s taking place.

This is the the way this crowd is- pressing in, wanting to know, to hear, to experience what Jesus has to say. It is with good reason for Matthew 7:28-29 tells us that “the crowds were amazed at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.” It reminds of John 7:45-46, when the chief priests and Pharisees sent the guards out to bring Jesus in and they returned empty handed. “Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring him in?” “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards replied.”

Jesus is the Living Word of God! No one could, can, or will ever speak His Word, the Word of God, like He did or does by His Spirit. The people couldn’t get enough and so they are pressing in, crowding around Him, and listening to what Jesus has to say.

Every blood bought child of God should have that same heart and desire. We should be like the Psalmist in chapter 119, ‘Your Word is my delight, I will not neglect your Word, it is more precious than silver or gold, I meditate on it day and night.’

It causes me to ask God to reveal truth to me about my own delight, is it truly for Him therefore His Word or does my taste lie with someone or something else? What does my life demonstrate that I am pressing for, is it the Word or the world and what it offers? How I spend my time will help me to know. What is my mind focused upon, the Word of God or your own words, thoughts or ideas, or in this season the media? What is my meditation- the cares, trials, and happenings of the world or Truth as revealed in the Holy Word of God?

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night (Psalm 1:2).”

Our blessings, our hope, our encouragement and our being a display of God’s glory will always be found in pressing for Jesus and His Holy Word.  In order to press, we have to be resolved, determined, minds fixed, purposeful and intentional about pressing for the living, breathing Word of God?

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).”

O heavenly Father, the Author and Finisher of my faith. I look to you, cause my desire to be for You as my greatest Treasurer. Help me to be just like that toddler- seeking, pressing, to know and experience You and Your Holy Word! You are my life, hope, joy, and peace…and I am thankful for it!
In Jesus Name,
Amen

Psalm 37.4

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But because You said so…1

Luke 5.1-11

Blessings today! All praise the Holy and Righteous God who is Great and greatly to be praised! Today, we begin looking at Luke 5:1-11, seeking the Lord’s face, asking Him to open His words to our heart and our hearts to His Word. “Show me Your ways, oh Lord, teach me Your paths, Guide me in your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long (Psalm 25:4-5).” In Jesus Name, Amen!

Today, we read the Word of God, and then we will take little bites and chew day by day!
Blessings to you for including BHM in your day and taking this journey with me.

Luke 5:1-11

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

Psalm 25.4-5

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