October 15, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO SEND HELP FROM HEAVEN

Psalm 57:3 He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

David had just cried out for help. David had just acknowledged the position of God as the “most high”. David had just proclaimed that God performs all things. so what did God do?

1.) “HE SHALL SEND FROM HEAVEN”
That is where our help comes from. God sends help from heaven. God has an innumerable, heavenly hosts at His command. God has endless resources. God has sufficient grace, perfect strength, and unlimited power at His disposal. What do you need God to send from heaven today? If it is a need, and if it is according to His will, He will send help from heaven.

God can send safety as you travel. God can send patience as you deal with others. God can send supernatural strength when you are weary. God can send healing when you are afflicted. God can send wisdom when you are unsure of a decision. God can send conviction to a wayward family member. God can send forgiveness when you have blown it.

Heaven does not change. Heaven is not controlled by culture or individuals. Heaven does not go through a recession, or a Great Depression. Heaven is not in debt to a country or an individual. Heaven is unchanged by what happens here on earth, or anywhere else for that matter. God is the one that sends, and Heaven is where God sends from. The only limitations on the help that comes from God, is the amount of resources in Heaven. And by the way, Heaven is full of unlimited resources.

October 13, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO PERFORM ALL THINGS

Psalm 57:2 I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.

The word “cry” means to call out. That is exactly what we are to do to God.

Notice some things about this verse:

1.) MAN’S PROBLEM
“Cry” is a word that implies DESPERATION. We cry out because we are desperate for help. We would just speak if things were normal, but we cry out when things are desperate. It means an emergency. It means extra important.
“Cry” is a word that implies DANGER. When a person is in a dangerous situation, they do not whisper for help. They “cry” out for help.
“Cry” is a word that implies DISTANCE. you don’t cry out when somebody is close. You “cry” out when you need somebody that is far away.
“Cry is a word that implies DEPENDENCE. This word means that I cannot fix this by myself, I need your help. It means that I am in danger unless someone comes to help me.

2.) GOD’S POSITION
“Most high”. That is where God is by the way. He is the “most high”. He is not just “as high” as anyone else. He is “higher than” anyone else. You and I might as well acknowledge this now. God is higher than us. He always has been and always will be. God is not equal with anybody. God is over everybody.

3.) GOD’S PERFORMANCE
We serve a God “that performeth all things for me”. It does not say that God performeth all things “with me”. It says that God performance all things “for me”. God does not need my help, your help, or anyone else’s help. God does it, end of story.

So let me tell you how this scenario works. Man faces a problem. Man then acknowledges the position of God, that God is above everyone and everything else. Man comes to God for help, and God performs. Let me make it even simpler:

MAN NEEDS A MIRACLE
MAN ASKS GOD FOR A MIRACLE
GOD PERFORMS A MIRACLE

He is Able!

October 12, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO GIVE US HELP FROM TROUBLE

Psalm 60:10 Wilt not thou, O God, which hadst cast us off? and thou, O God, which didst not go out with our armies?11 Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. 12 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

“VAIN IS THE HELP OF MAN”
I have experienced this over the years. I have even had good people, with good motives, try to give good help in certain situations. The problem is that there are just some things that only God can help. There have even been times that I wanted so desperately to provide miraculous help to others, but my attempts were vain.

We find here, in verse ten, individuals that had experienced what life is without the help of God. “O God, which didst not go out with our armies”. They had experienced how a battle goes without God’s help. You know when God is not fighting for you. An individual can easily sense when God is not in charge. That is why they immediately said to God, “Give us help from trouble”. God loves it when we ask Him for help. They had experienced battle without God and they did not want to experience that anymore. You and I should not want to experience that either. We should not desire to go to or through any battle without God being in charge. At his best, man is still man. The best we can accomplish is still vain when compared to what God can do.

In closing, notice the important lesson that was learned that we need to learn here in verse twelve: “through God we shall do valiantly”, “he it is that shall tread down our enemies”. “Through God” is our only hope. “Through God” is our only chance. If we do it without Him, we will fail. If we do it “through Him”, we will be victorious. God conquers our enemies, and God wins our battles.

Let me put it this way, “vain is the help of man, victorious is the help of God”. Don’t expect your friends and family to help you win your battles. They are not made to do that. That is God‘s job, let Him do His job. He is able to give us help from our trouble.

October 11, 2018

Once again, I feel it to be beneficial to you to be able to read this devotional written by Dr. Johnnie Pope. As always, he gives unique insight and thought provoking perspective to the Word of God. Enjoy!

“ALL OF IT”

Text: Mark 12:28-34

Mark 12:30: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

III. LOVE WITH PREOCCUPATION
We are to love the Lord with all our mind. The word mind comes to us from the Greek word “dianoia” meaning “deep thought, the faculty of the imagination.” This is the New Testament addition, not mentioned in the Old Testament. Our Lord seems to be the one who added this way of loving Him with everything we have.
The Bible says in Proverbs 23:7a, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”. The imagination is powerful. In Jeremiah 9:14a, the prophet laments that the people have disobeyed God, “…But have walked after the imagination of their own heart…”. This was the epicenter of the beginning of the end of civilization of the Antediluvian world as shown to us in Genesis 6:5, “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” If we love the Lord with all our mind or imagination, could we not do the opposite of those who lived before the flood and by God’s grace serve the Lord continually and have an imagination thinking righteously continually?

IV. LOVE THE LORD WITH POWER
We are to love the Lord with all our strength. The Greek word for strength is “ischus” which means “force, ability, might or power.” This is where “all of it” eventually must end up, i.e., exercising loving our Lord with all the power of our being. Any casual observer of a life may tell where one’s heart is. Allow me to illustrate.
A hard working boy from the Midwest grows up, married and he and his wife had one daughter and adopted another daughter. He loved his girls, and was successful in business. However, no one took the place his wife and daughters held in his heart.

And so he began to imagine–he imagined a better amusement park. He used his talents in cartoon drawing to help him imagine a place that could become what he would call “the happiest place on earth.” And thus, the idea of Disney Land and later Disney World were created. Walt Disney was quoted, “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing–that it was all started by a mouse.” I submit to you it was not started by a mouse; it was started by the love for two girls, Diane and Sharon.
Think of what great expectations await the Christian who is so in love with the Savior that his or her love drives them to imagine things that have never been done–missions that have never been accomplished–evangelistic enterprises that have never been tried. In D. L. Moody’s youth he heard a man who was about to die say, “It is yet to be seen what God can do with one man totally surrendered to God.” Moody said, “By the grace of God, I’ll be that man!” After a lifetime of phenomenal service for his Lord and personally witnessing over two and a half million people come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, Dwight L. Moody lay on his deathbed. And as he was soon to die, he was overheard saying, “It is yet to be seen what God can do with one man totally, wholly surrendered to God.” Just imagine! Would you be that man? Would you be that woman? It will require, “all of it!”

-Pastor Pope-

October 10, 2018

Once again, I feel it to be beneficial to you to be able to read this devotional written by Dr. Johnnie Pope. As always, he gives unique insight and thought provoking perspective to the Word of God. Enjoy!

“ALL OF IT”

Text: Mark 12:28-34

Mark 12:30: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

II. LOVE WITH PERSONALITY
We are to love the Lord our God with all our soul. The word “soul” comes to us from the Greek word “psuche” meaning “breath, i.e. the vital force that animates the body and shows itself in breathing.” This is evidenced in Genesis 2:7, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Basically, this is the personality of the individual. Everyone has their own unique personality. The Bible says in I Corinthians 15:45, “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” Christ, the last Adam, through His death, burial and resurrection, has the power to make us alive by the Holy Spirit. And through the captured heart of the believer, the personality is now dominated by a new nature.
Too many times we get judgmental because someone else does not love the Lord in the way we love the Lord with the personality that the Lord gave us. The sanguine personality shows love in a very emotional way and is apt to show outbursts of ecstasy, which often energizes others to join in full commitment to the Lord. The phlegmatic personality is more laid back and expresses love in a quiet and consistent work ethic for God’s glory. The choleric personality is one that often takes the initiative in projects, expressing love by effective leadership. The melancholy personality expresses love in artistic venues of music or creative teaching that is often honed in a lonely atmosphere. Most would conjecture that everyone is at least a combination of two of these personality types with dominance in one. All personality types are needed. I Corinthians 12:18 reminds us, “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.”

October 9, 2018

Once again, I feel it to be beneficial to you to be able to read this devotional written by Dr. Johnnie Pope. As always, he gives unique insight and thought provoking perspective to the Word of God. Enjoy!

“ALL OF IT”

Text: Mark 12:28-34

Mark 12:30: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

The Great Commandment comprising a unique completeness of loving God is found in Deuteronomy 6, Matthew 22, Luke 10 and here in our text of Mark 12. To emphasize this doctrine is not only important, is it essential. Without this essential life-giving driving force of love, what we believe is not believable to an unbelieving world.
When I was a teen struggling with the totally dedicated Christian life, a preschooler taught me in three words what was required. Her dad asked her, “Honey, how much do you love your Daddy?” She replied, “All of it!” And that says it all. Let’s break down the four ways that Christ declares the way we may love God with “all of it.”

I. LOVE WITH PURPOSE
We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart. The word “heart” comes to us from the Greek word “kardia” meaning “the thoughts and feelings of the mind.” This must be the starting point of our relationship with God. The ancient plea of Proverbs 23:26 is, “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” Then we see the promise of a spiritual heart transplant in Ezekiel 11:19b: “…I will take the stony heart out of their flesh…” and culminating in Jeremiah 24:7a: “And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God….” How thankful we are for the permanence of this transaction as seen in Psalm 108:1a: “O God, my heart is fixed….” Daniel 1:8a says, “But Daniel purposed in his heart….” II Corinthians 9:7a: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart….” This is the decision-making mechanism.
Did you know there is a danger of throwing your heart away? Proverbs 62:10b: “…if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.” In the covenant of marriage, your heart is freely given with determination and permanence in mind. Song of Solomon 8:6: “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death….” The promise of how Judah returns to God is told in Jeremiah 24:7b: “…they shall return unto me with their whole heart.” The Psalmist said in Psalm 119:10a, “With my whole heart have I sought thee….” And this is the way we are to always love God–with our whole heart.