April 24, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO BIND OUR WOUNDS

PSALM 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

As we have discussed in the past, it is a wonderful promise that God can heal a broken heart. Hearts do not brake like other things do. Hearts break but keep working. Hearts are fractured but keep feeling. Hearts are shattered, but the pieces are still in place. When a person brakes an arm, people notice. If they break a foot, a shoulder, or a hip, it is visible. But a heart can break, and no one might notice. There are broken hearts in church every Sunday morning that most people there would never notice. God does, however, and God can heal those broken hearts.

Sometimes, however, hearts that were broken and even healed by God can leave deep seeded wounds. Just because the heart is healed, doesn’t mean the mind is. I counsel all the time with people facing lasting, nagging issues, from things done to them years ago. God says that He can “bind up their wounds”. THIS WORD “binding” means to wrap or mend. Think about that statement:

1. The wound first needs to be cleaned and free from infection
* This means the PURE NATURE OF GOD

2. The wound needs to be wrapped in protectant material to prevent outside infection from coming in
* This means the PROTECTIVE NATURE OF GOD

3. Wounds do not heal overnight. It takes time.
* This means the PATIENT NATURE OF GOD

4. Certain activities must be avoided not to agitate the wound
* This means the PRUDENT NATURE OF GOD

5. Healing a heart, and binding wounds that will take a while to heal is a sign of
someone that greatly cares
* This means the PATERNAL NATURE OF GOD

GOD LOVES US. THAT IS WHY HE HAS PROMISED TO HEAL OUR BROKEN HEARTS AND TO BIND UP OUR WOUNDS. HE IS OUR FATHER. THAT IS WHY IT IS PERSONAL WITH GOD. HE WILL NOT ALWAYS STOP US FROM BEING WOUNDED, BUT NO ONE CAN STOP HIM FROM HEALING THE WOUNDS.

April 23, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO GATHER TOGETHER THE OUTCASTS

Psalm 147:1 Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.
2 The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.

The “outcasts” mentioned in this passage refers to the scattering of the tribes of Israel. You may have heard of the twelve tribes of Israel or the ten tribes of Israel. We can get into that another day. Although these individuals had been uprooted from their land, God had promised to one day build up and gather together these people. There are many similarities between us believers “today”, and Israel from “yesterday”. Israel was God’s “chosen” people, we are God’s “called” people. They were promised that Christ would “come”, we have been promised that Christ will “come again”. They journeyed to a “promised land”, and we are journeying to a “promised home”. There is also a similarity between us and the “outcasts of Israel”. What does it mean to be “outcasts”?

1. IT MEANS YOU COULD NOT DEFEAT THE ENEMY
No one wants to live in captivity. No one wants to be “cast” out of your home and country. The problem with Israel is that they had rebelled against God too many times. God was the one winning the battles, meeting the needs, and providing protection. When God took that protection away, Israel had no chance to protect itself. That is the way it us with us also. Without God’s protection against Satan, we would have no chance.

2. IT MEANS YOU ARE IN A STRANGE LAND
Being an outcast means that you are in a different environment than what you are comfortable in. It means that most everyone around you might speak a different language, have different priorities, and may not appreciate the things that are important to you. If you are not careful, you can begin to become like your surroundings. You can begin to change. Does this world ever feel like that to you?

3. IT MEANS YOU ARE IN A TEMPORARY HOME
Being an outcast means that while you learn to be content with where you are, where you are, is not where you really want to be. It is not really “home”. No matter how you fix up the place, it is not the same. It can get frustrating being in a temporary home. May I remind you that, “this world is not my home, I’m just passing through”. This world should not feel like home. We should feel out of place. This is temporary.

4. IT MEANS WE WILL ALWAYS HAVE HOPE TO GO BACK HOME
We do not have a hope, we have a “promise”. Just as God gathered the outcast of Israel, He will gather us one day. As God built up Jerusalem, God is building us a heavenly home. As we are scattered in a strange land right now, Jesus is coming again to gather all of us “outcasts”. We will finally be “home”. That is why verse one says, “1 Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.”

April 21, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO ORDAIN POWER

Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

Let me point out the Greek word for the word “ordained”:

* “Tasso”: to arrange in an orderly manner, i.e. assign or dispose, appoint, determine, ordain, set.

We sometimes become confused about this subject. We think if the powers that be are ordained of God, then why are so many ungodly things done by those in power? Why is the whole power system so messed up if God is in control? Why do I need to subject myself to authority if I feel that the authority is untrustworthy?

First let me cover the topic of “let every soul be subject unto the higher powers”. In context of this verse, it is referring to those in spiritual power. The point in this passage is not focused on the worth of the ruler, the point is on the submission of the believer. The Bible says “submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God”.

* Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

You see, if we cannot learn to submit to authority that we can see, what makes us think we will submit to a God that we cannot see. “For there is no power but of God”. Notice this verse:

* Jeremiah 10: 6 Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might. 7 Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee.

God has ordained the principle of authority, and it is our job to submit to that authority by submitting to God. We might not desire to submit to a certain general, boss, employer, or government official, but because God ordained authority, we submit to God Himself by submitting to those in authority over us. However, God did tell us:

* Ephesians 5: 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

So, we are told to be subject to the higher powers, and then we are told that the church is subject to Christ. It seems confusing.

Let me explain. If you remember, God ordained marriage also. Just like God set up authority and ordained it, God set up marriage and ordained it. Now let me ask you, how is marriage doing in America? Not so good. You see God ordained it, appointed it, and set it up, but mankind has blown it. Just because God ordained authority does not mean God is pleased with every person in authority. God ordained the position. It was God’s right to ordain authority. It is our responsibility to submit to authority. The rest God will take care of. Because God ordained authority, He has power over it. When we submit to authority, we are submitting to God. God will take care of it from there.

April 20, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO CORRECT MY PATH

Jeremiah 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. 24 O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.

“The way of man is not in himself”
It is just not in us. As much as we think it is, it just isn’t. We tend to be know it all’s. We think we know how to do just about everything. We think we have things figured out and all our ducks in a row. We have our own plan, our own purpose, and our own prerogative. Then, just about when we think we have it all figured out, things fall apart. We thought we figured parenting out, then we receive news of something disappointing that our child has done. We think we have marriage figured out, but we realize that our mate is not as fulfilled as we thought. We think we have our future planned just right, and then the doctor gives us the news. And I could go on with the scenarios. As verse twenty-three says, we do not know how to “direct our steps”. We just get too distracted in life. Our flesh can take over at any moment that we let down our guard. Our flesh wants our steps to go one direction, and the Holy Spirit wants our steps to go another direction. You and I just need to admit it. We cannot figure out this thing of life, and steps, and decisions, without God’s help. David acknowledges this to God, “O Lord, I know”.

“O Lord, correct me”
What a wonderful prayer. The first prayer, the beginning of verse twenty-three, David admits his own inability. The second prayer, verse twenty-four, David asks for God’s direction. In fact, that would be a great prayer to pray the moment you and I wake up in the morning. “O Lord, I know that I am capable of nothing without you, and, Lord, please direct me and correct me today.” Just take a month and pray that throughout the day. I don’t know if you do (I actually do), but I need corrected quite a bit. We all do. David is saying that we cannot possibly know all the steps we should take but God does. We cannot possibly fix all our missteps, but God can.

David does have a specific request however. David ask that God would correct him out of patience, not anger. David acknowledges that if God let Himself display His anger, David would be reduced to nothing. It makes me think of this verse:

* Habakkuk 3: 2 O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.

April 19, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO HELP ME WITHDRAW WHEN I AM WEARY

Luke 5:15 But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. 16 And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.

WE SEE THE PUBLICITY

“The more went there a fame abroad of him”

Word has spread. People were coming from everywhere. Many of them just wanted to see a miracle, a sign, a wonder, or just a show. When God begins to do a work, word will spread, and people will show up to see it. However, there will always be some of those that hang out as long as it is exciting or entertaining, but when it begins to require something from them, they move on. I see it all the time, not just in our church, but in other ministries as well. Nobody wants to put the work in, but they all want to enjoy the show.

WE SEE THE PRESSURE

“Came together to hear, and to be healed”

That is a lot of pressure. There is pressure on your time, pressure on your emotions, and pressure on your mind. It drains your energy to minister to people. That is not a bad thing. Jesus was there to minister. He desired to help people. As a pastor, I desire to try to help advise, counsel, support, and minister to people. That is what we are in this for, but it does drain you. The constant demand on time is a part of pastoring I am still trying to figure out. I want to do all these things, and I want to help everyone that needs my help, but I just do not have enough time in the day. You can begin to feel guilty when you cannot help or please everyone.

WE SEE THE PRIVACY

“He withdrew Himself”

That is what must be done in our lives my friend. We have to notice when we are wearing down, and we must withdraw to be alone with God. If Jesus had to do it, we sure do. Jesus did not withdraw just to mess around, do nothing, and get a sun tan. Jesus withdrew to spend time with the Father and get His spirit renewed. Withdrawing our self will only help if we use the time wisely. We will come back just as tired and just as weary if we don’t get alone with God.

WE SEE THE PRAYING

“And prayed”

There is the key. Dear friend may I encourage you today. If you are wound tight, worn down, and weary from the pressures of life, why don’t you withdraw from “things” at some point today, get alone with God, and pray. Take the time to do it. Get out of your routine. Get away from the same old humdrum schedule. Have special prayer, specific prayer, supplicating prayer, stirring prayer, and strengthening prayer. You know you need it. You know it will not take place unless you make yourself do it. It is time. It is overdue. It is imperative! Yes, sometimes people need you, but you need God. Take your lunch time, your tv time, your exercise time, or your personal time and do it.

April 18, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO HELP ME GET THE WORD OUT

Psalm 71:18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.

“Old and gray headed”

Isn’t it funny that those two things go together? It doesn’t always. I was in a store the other day and there was a man there that had to be near 100 years old. I was amazed because his hair was black as could be. I mean it was deep black. Of course, as I got closer, (because I was so mesmerized I had to investigate) I realized that his scalp was black also. His eyebrows were white, but his hair was dark black. Hmmm! Something a little funny going on. LoL

“Until I have shewed”

David says here that before he gets old and gray headed (or black color headed), he wants to show his generation the power of God. Now I know what you are thinking. God’s power is evident everywhere, why would we need to show people that? Well, let me illustrate:

I recently took my family on an airboat ride on the Withlacoochee River near Inverness, FL. If you have never been on an airboat, it is pretty cool. They are unique because they are built to be able to run on water and even land if there is not too much weight on it. It can run in shallow water where most boats cannot. It does not have an engine submerged in the water. Its power comes from a large fan built on the back of the boat. That way it does not injure mammals, amphibians, or wildlife that swim near the surface of the water, and they can go places that most boats cannot go. Anyway, on our trip we saw a great variety of wildlife. We also got up close and personal to a good number of alligators. It was amazing though that our guide would spot a gator on a bank or floating in marsh much quicker than any of us would see it. In fact, he would have to let everyone know it was there or we probably would have never noticed. I mean, the gators were right in front of us. They were laying there the whole time in front of our face, but we would not have seen them without our guide. You see, He was used to looking for them. He knew where to look, how to look, and what to look for. He saw them every day. But for us to see them, our guide had to point them out.

That is what you and I must do. We have seen the power of God. We know where to look, how to look, and what to look for. We see the power of God every day in our life, but the world cannot see it. It is right in front of their face, but they are unaware. They need us to point it out to them. They need us to educate them on it. They need us to help them see it. My youngest son got so excited when he would see a gator. He thought it was so incredible. That is exactly the reaction the first time an unsaved person sees the power of God. They should see it in our church, they should see it in our family, and they should see it in our life. They will miss it if we don’t show them.

* Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?