Psalms 32:3 – When I kept silence, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
This verse is in the context of Psalms 32:5 – when David held on to his sin, and didn’t acknowledge it to God – it started to have a very real effect on his body. Sin really can affect us health-wise – it can give us both physical and mental ailments.
And yet groaning is not the same as confession. We can complain because of the effects of our sin, or we can get to the heart of the matter and acknowledge our sin before God and get healed!
Don’t complain – confess! Don’t keep silent – bring your sin before God and get it sorted! Don’t wait for tomorrow – do it today!!
Luke 18:12 – I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get.’
The Pharisees were the uber-spiritual people of their day. Whatever it was that God wanted, they always wanted to go one further!
On the outside, it appeared as righteousness – but the issue was that they had replaced the grace of God for their salvation with the efforts of their own hands. God ‘owed’ them because of all they had done. Here, in Luke 18:12, we see the ‘Pharisee’ singing the 18:12 overture! He fasts twice a week and gives tithes of all he gets. However, in his pursuit of these things – he neglects the more important matters of justice, love and mercy.
When we get our eyes of how much our heavenly Father loves us and His grace toward us, we can start to try to earn our way to heaven through our own efforts. We can start singing our own ‘1812 Overture’!!
Fall once again on the mercy and love of your heavenly Father toward you today! He’s not looking for repayment – He’s simply looking for you to accept what He has given!
Genesis 32:16 – He delivered them into the hands of his servants, every herd by itself, and said to his servants, "Pass over before me, and put a space between herd and herd."
Jacob was looking to re-establish his relationship with his brother Esau. Esau was understandably angry with Jacob, as his brother had taken his birthright and his blessing!
But Jacob was smart in his approach. He sent herds of animals as a gift to Esau ahead of his arrival. Not all at once, but in small instalments – he put a space between each ‘gift’.
It’s hard to be nasty to a person who is blessing you. When that blessing comes little bit by little bit, it can help to restore a relationship that could be easily damaged with one big huge blessing hit.
There’s some wisdom in this when it comes to us restoring relationships that have been broken. Don’t try to do it all at once. Little bit by little bit does the trick.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 – For this is the will of God: your sanctification, that you abstain from sexual immorality, that each one of you know how to possess himself of his own vessel in sanctification and honor,
As people, we have been created by God as sexual beings – and it is the will of God that these desires find their fulfilment in the sanctity of marriage.
Yet the desires we have inwardly can burn in ways that have an evil expression, and which will bring destruction and devastation to our lives should they be followed through. This verse acknowledges these desires and gives us a command – that we should ‘know who to possess ourselves’.
The image is of a wild horse that needs to be bridled. Left to it’s own devices it will surely bolt and end up in places that are not good for it. But our job is to ‘possess’ the horse, to ‘own’ it and to bring it under control.
This is not an impossible task – although there are many who have suffered defeat in these areas and have given up hope that they could ever ‘possess themselves’ and exercise control over their own flesh. The Lord, through Paul, gives us this command knowing that we CAN know how to bridle our desires, and make our body obey us! If God says that it’s possible – then it really is possible!
Although this verse speaks specifically of sexual sin, there are numerous ways the desires of our flesh can manifest. Our job is to identify these and work, with the grace and power of the Spirit of God, to bring them under control.
Exodus 8:9-10 – “Moses said to Pharaoh, "I give you the honor of setting the time that I should pray for you, and for your servants, and for your people, that the frogs be destroyed from you and your houses, and remain in the river only. He said, "Tomorrow."”
Pharaoh has been undergoing some rough times because of his unwillingness to let the people of Israel go. Right now, he’s face to face with the one man who can solve his problems and remove his difficulties – Moses.
Moses asks him ‘when would you like me to pray for you – to see these curses removed from your midst?’. Pharaoh replies – “do it tomorrow”.
Those with hard hearts don’t want to see God move now – they’re happy to wait until tomorrow. But TODAY is the day of salvation! Right now is when God wants to move! Today, you have the opportunity to come before God and ask anything that you need. Don’t leave it till tomorrow – do it today!
Romans 5:8 – But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
I can scarcely believe the goodness of God toward me. That while I was a sinner, deserving nothing but His wrath and anger for the sin in my life – instead of condemning me, He saved me. He reached out and opened my eyes to His greatness.
If we had been a righteous when God found us then it could be perhaps seen that God owed us something, but the truth is that He owed us nothing. He believed in us when we didn’t believe in Him. He loved us when we didn’t love Him. He drew us when we were pushing Him away.
What’s more, this great love that began the good work in our lives is surely going to finish it! Thank God for His incredible mercy and grace towards us. It’s so much more than we deserve!
Psalms 15:1-2 – “Lord, who shall dwell in your sanctuary? Who shall live on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly does what is right, and speaks truth in his heart”
The one who will dwell in the sanctuary and live on the holy hill of God is the one:
1) who walks blamelessly. In Genesis 17:1, God calls Abraham to walk blamelessly before him, and he will withhold no good thing from those who walk blamelessly (Psalms 84:11).
2) who does what is right. It’s not enough just to have the intention to do what is right, we must actually do it.
3) Speaks truth in his heart. God desires truth in the inmost parts (Psalms 51:6) – and seeing as our hearts are now the dwelling places of the Spirit of God – they must be places of truth. We speak truth in our heart. Our internal dialogue must be one of truth and not of lies or falsehood.
When we walk blamelessly, do what is right, and speak truth in our heart we will find ourselves ‘dwelling’ in God’s sanctuary and ‘living’ on His holy hill!