“O Lord my God. If I have done this and there is guilt on my hands—-if I have done evil to o him who is at peace with me or without cause have robbed my foe—-then let my enemy pursue and overtake me; let him trample my life to the ground and make me sleep in the dust.” (Psalm7:3-5)
Beloved God is the Savior, the refuge of the psalmist. Salvation is the most basic work that God does, revealing more clearly to us what God is than anything else that God does. Salvation involves deliverance from momentary troubles as here, but it involves so much more.
Guilty people must relate to God as the accused with he Judge. If we are guilty of sin, we must expect justice from God. Its end is death. Only total trust in God and His Son Jesus for salvation can change this relationship. Clear enough?
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, You have always dealt justly with us, even when we were not so squeaking clean with You. Your judgment and that of Jesus has always been tendered with mercy and grace when appropriate, and fair even in judgment. We sincerely seek You in our lives this and every day, in faith and trust, expecting the same from You. It is in Jesus’ name that we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Faith is believing what the unbeliever can’t see.”
“Now we know that God ‘s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.” (Romans2:2)
As the Creator-Lord who brought us into existence, God holds us accountable unto Himself for what we do with our lives. Every person must answer to God, who judges us all. The One who judges us is also known to us as the Heavenly Father, who expresses His deep and abiding interest in us. That loving nature of God will not be compromised or manipulated. He who is Father to us will also as Judge over us. Sometimes this judgment is exercised in he end of time, or in eternity. At other times, His judgment may be exercised on us in this life.
How and when God sits in judgment upon us is His business and not ours, for He is the sovereign Lord of us all. He may withhold His judgment, or delay His judgment when He wishes, when He sees that it is in our best interest as He seeks to accomplish His purposes in us. Hiss judgment may be tempered in mercy if we have responded to Him in faith. But no one deserves whatever mercy He may show, for we are without excuse in our sins.
“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.” (Revelation7:9)
Beloved, the gospel is for everyone. Some reject it, some are curious but not yet committed, and some have accepted it as the will of God and are totally committed to it and spreading the Word to others.
This very wondrous apocalyptic picture describing the vision of heavenly worshipers before the throne of God gives us a deep abiding sense of gratitude and praise. Although the worshipers are from every nation, tribe, language, and people, they are not wearing the typical clothes of the various lands. Their white robes identify them as belonging to God. God desires that men, women, and children from every nation belong to Him. But the contemporary churches must be faithful to the missionary vision for God’s plan to be carried out.
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. Listen then to what t the parable of the sower means. When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hear he word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the need that fell on good soil is the man who hear the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Matthew 13:18–23)
By drawing upon well attested conditions that are observable in Jordan and Israel even today, Jesus used a parable to teach a master lesson on four responses to evangelism and missions. The seed is the same in each planting situation—-the message of God’s kingdom. The hearers represented by the various types of soil, are different.The “hard-hearted” are the pathways along the sides and through the fields who have been walked on so much, they are almost like asphalt. Hearers, like the soil, have heart and rejected the message so often they have become “gospel-hearted,” and cannot hear the beauty of life giving hope. The “emotional responders,” in the Holy Land fields sometimes lie in the midst of rocky soil and a seed can fall into a little dirt, and will spring up, but growing roots cannot penetrate the rock. It will quickly wither and die. So many people make spur of the moment emotional decisions which fade because they have made no personal commitment.
Those who are not willing to “pay the price,” find their seeds landing in the thorns and briers that grow up in the wheat fields and squeeze out small wheat. Many people are attracted to Jesus but are unwilling to pay the cost of following Him. The “faithful disciples” have been prepared by God for the fourth type of hearer. They have three characteristics a) they hear the word willingly; b) they understand it and respond to it in true commitment and faith; and c) with the power of God within, they are changed and produce fruit, that is, they enlist other followers of Jesus. This promise of response encourages the witness, the pastor, and the missionary.