“Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Ecclesiastes 8:11 KJV. There are many people who mistakenly think that God doesn’t take notice of the things happening in this world. They question how God could allow these evil things and not bring judgment upon them. But may we as God’s children realize that nothing has escaped God’s all-seeing eyes. The fact that He does not judge immediately, as men deserve, is more evidence of His patience and long suffering! Thank God, He is not willing that any perish but that all come to repentance. Each of us can be thankful that we did not receive the judgment that we deserved. Even when it seems that evil people are getting by, we can be certain that God is a just God and there will come a time of reckoning and judgment. As one writer said, “The wheels of God grind slow, but they grind exceedingly fine”. So let us have the faith to know, that God has not forgotten! He is still a just and holy God. And let us pray that His mercy will continue upon this wayward generation.
“God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:9 KJV. What profound words these are, ‘God is faithful!’ Certainly every child of God should rejoice that we experience His great faithfulness each day of our lives. But let’s notice here, what Paul is specifically thankful for. He is thanking God the He has been faithful to call us to personal spiritual fellowship. Thank God we were not called to religion or superficial belief as so many settle for today. In His faithfulness, God called us to personal fellowship with His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He called us to fellowship because nothing else could prepare us for eternal life with Him. He called us to fellowship because it was His desire and our greatest need! May we realize that true Christianity is not a system of beliefs. Rather it is a miraculous work of God in the soul of man, to bring us into personal, daily relationship with Jesus. Thank God it brings such a change in our hearts that we can no longer be satisfied without Jesus. He becomes our Pearl of great price! He is our Satisfying Portion! May we never accept the false idea that we can be out of fellowship and still be right with God. We were called by God Himself to daily fellowship with Jesus.
“And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful…” Luke 10:41-42 KJV. Martha was upset because she was cooking and serving while her sister Mary sat at Jesus feet listening to His wonderful words of life. While it’s true that those domestic tasks were needful and important things, He was expressing to her that there is one thing more important and of utmost need. And that ‘one thing’ is always time with Jesus! We should understand, that of all the needful things for us to do each day, there is nothing so important, nothing so needful for our eternal souls as taking time with Jesus. He longs for our fellowship and knows that our lives cannot be complete, we cannot be prepared for the day, without personal time with Him. It is sad that so many people in religion regard this as unnecessary. They have no time for Jesus other than a few minutes on Sunday morning. But that is one of the differences between religion and true salvation. Salvation brings us to a personal relationship where we recognize our need for daily fellowship with Jesus. And it changes our hearts to where we desire to spend time with Him.
“Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before Me? because he humbleth himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days…” 1 Kings 21:29 KJV. Ahab had been one of the most wicked kings in Israel’s history. But there came a time in his life when this proud, idolatrous king finally humbled himself before God. And when he did, God had mercy on him. One of the most tragic things about so much of modern religion is that people are offered religion that does not require humility. They can ‘believe’ a few things and get a suave on their conscience even while they are filled with pride. They are not humbled by their sin against God nor the offer of His grace and mercy to them. Even the thought of suffering eternally does not humble them because in their pride they imagine that they are too good to deserve that. But God’s Word is very clear that God will only look to the broken and contrite heart. Apart from true humility we have absolutely no hope. And today, our only hope for revival and spiritual awakening begins with humility. 2 Chronicles 7:14 reminds us “If My people will humble themselves…” Let us pray that souls will get away from the pride of man’s religion and humble themselves before God before it is eternally too late. Humble thyself to walk with God.
“And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” 1 Kings 20:28 KJV. The idolatrous nations who came against Israel always had ‘gods’ for specific places and situations. At this time they believed Israel’s God was like theirs in this regard. They thought His power was limited to the hills. But soon they discovered that He is also the God of the valleys! Many today, even professing believers, think similar things. They believe God is a ‘fair weather’ God. That it’s fine to trust Him when things are good but when challenges come they rely on themselves. But may we realize that our God is the only True and Living God and there is none like Him! He is the God of the good times and the bad. He is God when we’re on the sunlit mountain and when we pass through the dark valley. How thankful that we have an all time, everywhere God! He’s not just our God on Sunday or at church. He is God all the time in everything we ever face. What a wonderful God He is!
“And he (Elijah) said…”and I, even I only, am left…” (But then God said) “Yet I have left Me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal…” ”1 Kings 19:14 &18 KJV. In this passage the prophet Elijah had come to a very low place in his life. He had stood boldly for God and trusted Him in extraordinary circumstances. And of course God was always faithful. But now he felt alone. Now he looked around, as the Psalmist described, and it looked like there was no one to help him. He truly felt like he was all alone. This has always been a strategy of satan against God’s children. In some way or another he tries to make us feel alone. We can be in a crowded place and feel alone. There are believers who come week after week to church and yet they feel alone. But as Elijah soon discovered, God’s children are never alone! God has assured us that He still has a remnant. He has a people, a spiritual family in this world. And even more, we have the promise of God that He will be with us. Jesus said to those who trust Him, “I will never leave you or forsake you. I will be with you always, even to the end of the earth”. Let us rejoice with the songwriter: “I’ve heard the voice of my Savior, Telling me still to fight on, He promised never to leave me, Never to leave me alone.”
“And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23 KJV. For most people in religion, these sound like very hard words. Many today foolishly deny that they are meant for all believers. But consider the goodness of Christ in giving us these words. He is telling us that we were created to walk in fellowship with Him. Any other pursuit in life will end in misery and ultimately destruction. For a person to ‘deny himself’ means to deny our human tendency towards sin, selfishness and misery. It is to deny that self pleasing attitude within us which will lead us on the broad way to eternal destruction. But to come after Christ and follow Him means to live as we were intended to live! It is to live in joy and peace. It is to live with contentment in our hearts and to enjoy this great salvation that Christ has provided for us. Thank God, that He Who knows the hearts of all men, knows we need to hear and understand these words. So let us come after Him and follow with gladness in our hearts. Let us do as the songwriter said, “I will follow Him with rejoicing!”
“The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.” Psalm 146:10 KJV. These words assure our hearts of the Sovereign reign of God over all of this world and universe. Many people misunderstood and therefore fear because they see and hear of things happening that seem to be out of control. To them it looks as if evil has the upper hand. They lose hope because in their eyes evil men are in control. They forget that God has made man with only a certain degree of freedom in which to make his own choices. And when those choices are evil, there will be consequences. Both men and nations will reap what they sow. But let us never think that any of this is beyond God’s Sovereign rule. He has such infinite power, wisdom and foreknowledge that He can still work all of these things for His glory and for the good of those who love Him. How could we have rest in our soul or real peace as God’s children if we were not certain that our God reigns? We ought to thank God for this knowledge! That He Who created and sustains this world, does forever reign over it. And that same Sovereign God is the One Who loves us, guides us and watches over our lives.
“The LORD preserveth the strangers; He relieveth the fatherless and widow: But the way of the wicked He turneth upside down.” Psalm 146:9 KJV. The strangers, fatherless and widows are those who are special recipients of God’s mercy and compassion. Spiritually they represent the helpless condition of the sinner. When we lived in a life of sin, we were strangers and aliens from the family of God. We were without knowledge of our Heavenly Father and the relationship He wanted with us. By our own sin and rebellion we had become orphaned and separated from the God Who loved us. But thank God He had compassion on us! He preserved our life. He kept us until we could be brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. But for those who persist in sin and refuse to turn from their wickedness, we can be sure that God will turn their lives upside down. He does this in His great mercy to humble them so they can recognize their need and turn to Him. One day, every child of God will thank Him that He allowed circumstances to turn our lives upside down to where we could see spiritual realities. Because only then could we begin to see our need of a Saviour. And thank God in His great mercy He relieved us from the terrible emptiness of spiritual orphanage and made us His beloved children.
“…The LORD loveth the righteous:” Psalm 146:8 KJV. We should know that God loves all souls. Probably the most well known words in all the Bible are “for God so loved the world…” And thank God He loved us while we were yet in our sins. He loved us when we were so unworthy of His love. But let us also realize that God has a special love for the righteous. He loves that we have chosen to serve and follow Him. He loves that we choose to obey and honor Him. And He loves that we choose to do what is right and walk in paths of righteousness. He loves to see us trusting in and clothed with the righteousness of Christ. He knows, as souls who were created free, that we could be going our own selfish and sinful way like most do. But He loves that we freely chose Him. He loves that we believe Him and trust Him. He loves that we take time to spend with Him in His Word and personal prayer and devotion. As a Father, He loves for His righteous children to express our love for Him. And He loves that we desire to come and publicly worship Him with His family. He loves that we are not ashamed of Him before others. What a joy is ours to be able to rest in and enjoy this special love that God has for us.