Month: September 2015

The Secret Place

Posted on

Psalm 91

1     He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High

Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

2     I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;

My God, in Him I will trust.”

14   “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;

I will set him on high, because he has known My name.

15   He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble;

I will deliver him and honor him.

16   With long life I will satisfy him,

And show him My salvation.”

Today I am giving you the “book-ends” of Psalm 91. In years past I read verse 1 and asked God what His secret place was. I wanted to know where and what that secret place was so that I could enjoy living in His protective shadow. As New Testament believers in Jesus Christ, we find the secret place of the Most High through the sacrifice of the Savior. With our sins eternally forgiven and with us enjoying the imputed righteousness of Jesus, we live in the secret place of the Most High. We live, as it were, in His eternal presence already.   Those who don’t know God’s forgiveness through Christ live hoping to get where we are. They strive with more religion and more good thoughts but never really attain the secret place, the glorious presence of God.

We can say with the Psalmist, “the Lord is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Him I will trust” because we are trusting in Him. We have found Him able to forgive and to restore and we live rejoicing in this glorious relationship with God, our Abba Father. In all ways, our Abba Father is worthy of our trust.

The last three verses have always been special to me because the speaker has changed. No longer is the Psalmist writing but God is speaking directly to me. (Note the quotation marks.) So in this paragraph God is responding to my actions of setting my love upon Him. Because I have set my love upon God He will deliver me; because I know His name, God has set me on high. When I call on Him He will answer me. He will be with me in trouble, He will deliver me and honor me, He will satisfy me with long life and He will show me His salvation. What a great way for God to confirm His care for me. Now these verses can become special to you.

I have greatly enjoyed the Creation study. The biblical study of Creation throughout the Bible is challenging to the cultural teachings of evolution. At some point we who call ourselves Bible believing Christians have to come to grips with God’s teaching and decide what we are going to follow.

Continue to pray one for another. We who have the Lord in us are people of His love. Whom does He want you to love for His sake this week?

Have a great day in the Lord, PS

God wants us to pay attention to how much life we have left

Posted on

Psalm 90

Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
3 You turn man to destruction,
And say, “Return, O children of men.”
4 For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it is past,
And like a watch in the night.
5 You carry them away like a flood;
They are like a sleep.
In the morning they are like grass which grows up:
6 In the morning it flourishes and grows up;
In the evening it is cut down and withers.
7 For we have been consumed by Your anger,
And by Your wrath we are terrified.
8 You have set our iniquities before You,
Our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.
9 For all our days have passed away in Your wrath;
We finish our years like a sigh.
10 The days of our lives are seventy years;
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
11 Who knows the power of Your anger?
For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
12 So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

This is another Psalm worthy of our meditation. (It continues past verse 12 to 17, take time to read it all.)

As you read 1-11 you will see the greatness of God. God wants us to know that He is God. He often had His prophets (Moses wrote this Psalm) describe His wisdom and His might. The purposes of God are above our comprehension.

Here we see God even aware of our sins. How wonderful to see God’s greatness and how shameful for us to realize His total awareness even of our sin. We must be aware of this and seek, as Joseph did, to flee from our sin, to ever push away from temptation. Christ came and died because of our sin, for our reconciliation with God. Sin must never be taken lightly nor passed over but confessed and repented of.

But I want you to look at verse 12. All that comes before it seems to point to its message. God wants us to number our days so we will apply our hearts to wisdom. How many days have you lived? How many do you have left to live? If I live as long as my parents, I am 2/3 finished with my life and have 1/3 left. What am I doing to apply God’s wisdom to this 1/3 of my life? We tend to apply our hearts to worldly wisdom better than to godly wisdom.

So here is the question: what wisdom does God want you to apply to the remaining days of your life?

I am on my way back from taking my parents to Virginia. We will be back around dinner time. The trip went well and was very good for my mom.

Sunday I plan to bring part 2 of the message on Creation from the rest of the Bible. This has been a fascinating study. This is a message that our children really need to hear and to digest.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

What would You rather do?

Posted on

Psalm 84:10-11

10 For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

I just love the this verse puts life’s priorities in the right place. A day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a day with God and His people than a thousand days doing other things. This is the cry of every follower of Jesus Christ. The thrill of being with
God’s people together with God outshines the thrills of life.

But David goes a step further. He would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God than to live in comfort with the wicked. A doorkeeper stands and greets people serving them by opening the door to let them in! We call these people “greeters” and “ushers.” David considered this a higher calling then the highest place of the godless.

He continues: The Lord is our strength and our shield, He gives us grace and glory. We cannot get these things living with the wicked, no, they only come from being with Him! No wonder being a doorkeeper is better then a tent dweller.

As a result of dwelling with God, we come to realize that He doesn’t withhold good from those who walk uprightly with Him. No wonder a day in His courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.

I have posted yesterday’s sermon on the church website. http://www.graceforlifebc.com I started on a series from Isaiah 44:24 on Creation from the rest of the Bible. Some evolutionists discredit Genesis 1-3. I want you to see that we don’t need Genesis 1-3 to be Creationists. This study will confirm your confidence in the Word of God and in God as your Creator.

We had a great day in the Lord’s house yesterday with His people.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

God our Creator throughout the Bible – Isaiah 44:24

Posted on

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/139175078″>God our Creator throughout the Bible – Isaiah 44:24</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user3461934″>Pastor Steve Schroeder</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

God the Creator

Posted on

Isaiah 44

24   Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,

And He who formed you from the womb:

“I am the Lord, who makes all things,

Who stretches out the heavens all alone,

Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;

Sunday morning I will be taking this text.  Since Charles Darwin’s development of evolution of the species God has been put in the back seat.  Every zoo, every museum, and almost every biology class teaches evolution as scientific fact. The most intelligent people in the world have fully embraced evolution and have called the biblical account utter foolishness.  I have a problem with this.  Isaiah has a problem with this.  Isaiah had a message from God Himself who said that he made all things, that He stretched out the heavens all alone and that He spread abroad the earth by Himself.  Isaiah said that God was not an evolutionist.

There is a major attack against Genesis 1-3 as an unreliable portion of Scripture.  I will be showing you that the creation by the Creator is throughout the Bible.  When we establish the authority of the Bible as having come from God to man, when we establish that the writers of the Bible knew that they were getting their messages from God Himself, and when we then study the messages that God sent, we will see that God is not an evolutionist but a creationist.  In fact, God makes it very clear that He created all things and says this throughout His book.

As Bible-believing Christians we need to take back the origin of man from the secular biologist and boldly wave the flag of creation by a Creator God.  Biologist study evidences of what God did.  If we see God as the Creator of all then we must not deny the evidence but we must put the evidence in the creation bus.  When we look at scientific evidence from a Creator viewpoint we see more proof of creation not less.  But, we have to begin with knowing that God, by Himself, stretched out the heavens and spread out the earth.

The biblical evidence is compelling and powerful.  I will be standing without apology and without doubt on this evidence for the next few Sundays.  This is a very important series for if we believe in a Creator God who formed man in His image then we will believe in the Fall of man, the Flood by God, the separation of man from God and the work of Jesus Christ to reconcile fallen man to the image that he was created to bear.

It is Friday and it is a busy day for many of us. Pray for one another as we go about our work. Pastor Bill has two services today, one at Spring Meadow and one at Sunrise Assisted Living. I have one at the Devonshire, in Lisle. (I think they changed the name to Brookdale but I am not sure.) I am having lunch with an old friend, Dr. Martin. We appreciate your prayers for all of this activity.

Tonight is RU. We have had three new people promise they will come tonight. Pray that Satan would be defeated in their lives and that the Word of God will bring them hope.

There are cities in Iraq that are today falling to ISIS control. Pray for Christians in those cities who are facing death even today. We cannot imagine this pressure and persecution happening in civilized countries but it is. Hold up Iraqi brothers and sisters and their children before the Lord.

See you Sunday.

Have a great day in the Lord, PS

Are you enjoying God’s abundance?

Posted on

Psalm 81:7–16

7 You called in trouble, and I delivered you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah

8 “Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you! O Israel, if you will listen to Me!

9 There shall be no foreign god among you; Nor shall you worship any foreign god.

10 I am the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

11 “But My people would not heed My voice, And Israel would have none of Me.

12 So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, To walk in their own counsels.

13 “Oh, that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways!

14 I would soon subdue their enemies, And turn My hand against their adversaries.

15 The haters of the Lord would pretend submission to Him, But their fate would endure forever.

16 He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat; And with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.”

Throughout time God has desired to feed and to satisfy His people. In the Garden of Eden God completely satisfied the needs of Adam and Eve.   They did not do anything to obtain God’s favor, no, it was God’s desire to care for them.

When God formed the nation of Israel, it was His desire to care for them. Over and over God met their needs and defeated their enemies even when they were not seeking Him. When chastening them, God had a plan for His people’s future and was going to keep them until His time of their return to the Land.

In this Psalm, we see God testing His people. They failed the test but God met their needs anyway. When they opened their mouths to Him, He filled their mouths and their bellies. I really like verse 16 where God tells them that He desired to feed them with the finest of wheat and with honey from the rock to their satisfaction. When I go to God, I ask Him to meet my needs to satisfaction. He is able and He even desires to do so.

Have you enjoyed God’s abundance? He is waiting to give it to you. It is not a matter of whether you deserve it, you don’t. But God, in His grace, desires to care for you. Turn to Him, open your mouth in need, and wait for Him to fill it to satisfaction.

Pray for Nancy Hall. Her eyes need healing. She is going to an ophthalmologist and hopes for some helpful treatment. Let’s take her to the Lord and ask the great Healer to raise her up.

 

Our school students are in full swing with homework, performances, parades, games and church. Pray for them to seek the Lord, be healthy, and keep up with their work.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

Seeking and enjoying the shining face of our Lord

Posted on

Psalm 80

1     Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock;

You who dwell between the cherubim, shine forth!

2     Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh,

Stir up Your strength,

And come and save us!

7     Restore us, O God of hosts;

Cause Your face to shine,

And we shall be saved!

14   Return, we beseech You, O God of hosts;

Look down from heaven and see,

And visit this vine

16   It is burned with fire, it is cut down;

They perish at the rebuke of Your countenance.

19   Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;

Cause Your face to shine,

And we shall be saved!

My friends, we need the face of God shining upon our lives.  From the face of God comes the light of His countenance which leads the righteous and rebukes the unrighteous.  Moses saw the shining glory of God.  Jesus showed three disciples the shining of His glory.  John, in Revelation 1, saw the glory of Jesus. Isaiah, recorded in Isaiah 6, saw the Lord high and lifted up in His glory.  When Solomon finished the Temple, the glory of God filled it and brought great rejoicing to the people.

Oh for us to live in the conscious awareness of the face of our Lord Jesus Christ.  When we sin, we grieve His Spirit and He can hide His face from us. Psalm 27: 8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. 9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

Living in the shining face of the Lord is living by faith in His grace, walking submitted to His word, and ever rejoicing in His will.  When we walk away from God we also lose the glory of His face in our lives.  If this confuses you I challenge you to ask God to make this concept clear to you.  In prayer, seek God’s face, not God’s hand.  In worship, rejoice in the shining face of God upon you that He, by His grace, Has saved you and has caused His face to shine upon you.  The shining face of God dispels darkness and fear and shows us the way to go.  What else does the shining face of God do for you?

Once again, I am thankful for our church and for our Sunday service.  What a joy to be together with you Sunday morning rejoicing in our God and exalting Him in His word.  The fact of God’s being is thrilling to us and will always lead us to greater understanding of all of life.

Our church dinner was a blessed time of fellowship as well.  I am ever thankful for our church and for the body of believers God has brought together to enjoy Him.

Yesterday was a good day for our family. Stefani marched in the Labor Day parade in Naperville and we enjoyed a shady spot along Mill Street.  Later in the day some neighborhood kids came over and enjoyed the pool, Bobbi grilled dinner for a bunch of people, and we just enjoyed our day together.  I trust yours was as blessed.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS