Month: November 2015

Only go to the One who can help

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Psalm 123

1     Unto You I lift up my eyes,

O You who dwell in the heavens.

2     Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,

As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,

So our eyes look to the Lord our

God,

Until He has mercy on us.

3     Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us!

For we are exceedingly filled with contempt.

4     Our soul is exceedingly filled

With the scorn of those who are at ease,

With the contempt of the proud.

Let’s look at the end of this Psalm to understand the beginning.

“For we are exceedingly filled with contempt.  Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorn of those who are at ease, with the contempt of the proud.”  As if life is not hard enough on its own, there are those times when the contempt of the proud fills us and makes us miserable.  It was not his own contempt, his own depression, that brought down this Psalmist but the contempt of others.  When those around us think too highly of themselves they can attack us and make us feel weakened and in need of greater mercy.

During these episodes of life there is only one place to go.  There is only one God who can make the difference.  He is the God who dwells in the heavens.  He is above all of this mess and all of these messy people.  To Him we look.

Now look at the picture drawn for us here and learn from it.  The eyes of a male slave look to his master.  The eyes of a woman slave look to her mistress.  If you were owned by a master, you were his or her slave, and in the process of life you had a need, to whom could you go to ask for help?  If you asked another slave you would not be asking someone who could help.  If you asked the master next door he or she would feel no compulsion to help you.  But if you asked the one who owned you they would be the only ones from whom you would have any hope of help.  This illustration is used to make it clear to us that there is only One place to go for help in time of our greatest need.

As a slave can only look to his or to her owner “so” our eyes can only look to our God for help in our time of need, especially when others look at us with contempt.  We have a terrible habit of calling a friend as our first line of defense.  When problems arise we tend to call someone else before going to the only One who can make a difference.  Let’s change that habit and begin a new habit of crying out to God first and begging Him for His mercy to be poured out upon us.  For when God pours out His mercy upon us we are helped indeed.

I hope you understood and enjoyed the point of yesterday’s message.  When God is carrying us, which He is all the time, we are at peace.  Security results from trusting Him to be our Keeper.  Psalm 121 is a beautiful parallel to Isaiah 46:3-4.  May all of us learn to relax in the carrying arms of God almighty.

On Sunday nights I am hosting an open discussion of the Sunday morning’s message.  We have done this for two weeks now and it has been a great time for those involved.  We are using Google Hangout for those away who want to check in with a question or be a part of the conversation. 

This coming Saturday night and Sunday afternoon is the Naperville Men’s Glee Club Christmas concert.  Saturday night the concert is at Saints Margret and Mary Catholic church in Naperville.  Sunday’s concert is at Knox Presbyterian church also in Naperville.  The Saturday night concert is a more serious concert while the Sunday afternoon concert will have more for children’s involvement with some lighter moments in it.  The cost of tickets is $15 for adults and $12 for children and seniors.  Call or email me for tickets.  Check out concert details at http://www.nmgc.org

Have a great day in the Lord, PS

Does going to Church make you Glad?

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Psalm 122

1 I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.”

2 Our feet have been standing

Within your gates, O Jerusalem!

3 Jerusalem is built

As a city that is compact together,

4 Where the tribes go up,

The tribes of the Lord,

To the Testimony of Israel,

To give thanks to the name of the Lord.

 

The Psalmist so loved the house of the Lord that he thought the city of Jerusalem was built as a place where the tribes would come to give thanks to the Lord. Going to the house of the Lord, for them, was going to a place of sacrifices for atonement of sin and place of worship of God. When Ezra rebuilt the Temple he read the Law of God in Jerusalem for the first time in perhaps 80 or more years.

 

The house of God was called by Jesus a house of prayer for all nations. Not that it wasn’t a place of worship and of the Word but it was to primarily be a place of prayer. It appears to us today that churches have become places of great programs, a place where spectators come to watch those up front. I don’t think the Psalmist was a spectator in the house of the Lord. He loved the Temple and said that he would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.

 

So, are we glad to go into the house of the Lord? Do we look forward to our times in church together? Do we see ourselves as participants or spectators? If we see ourselves as a part of the exaltation of the Lord in prayer, worship and the Word then we won’t want to miss even one time together. Let us be glad when we gather and rejoice together as fellow-participants to exalt the Savior in His house, the church of Jesus Christ.

 

Speaking of being glad to come to the house of the Lord, tonight we are looking forward to the reading of the Word, the singing of songs of praise and thanks, and testimonies from you. Join us at 7:00 for our Thanksgiving praise service. It is a unique service when you bring the message and we all give thanks.

 

After the service we will hang out together for a pie social. Bring a pie, some cool whip or ice cream or some apple cider and enjoy the fellowship of one another in Christ.

 

Pray for the city of Chicago as we all reel over the shooting of a teenager by a policeman. It is a grievous time for all involved and needs to be a time of both justice and correction.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

 

PS

Let the Lord carry you

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Psalm 121:1–8

1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help?

2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

3 He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.

4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand.

6 The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.

8 The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.

As I read this Psalm I thought of Sunday’s message from Isaiah 46. In that passage Isaiah tells us that God carries us from the womb, through our life and even into the days of our grey hair. Isaiah is teaching that God is God apart from all idols, which are not gods at all but are merely heavy decorated objects who need to be carried, can be stolen, and can’t say anything.

But God, our heavenly Father, does not need to be carried, no, He carries us! With that in mind, re-read Psalm 121.

Here is the question: Do you trust God to carry you? I am finding that the answer to this question determines whether I allow God to carry or whether I try to carry myself. When God carries me I have no controls. I don’t always like that feeling. But when God carries me He does a far better job, life is peaceful, and there are no regrets.

“I will lift up my eyes unto the hills from where comes my help. My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.” Can He carry you?

Without being repetitive, I want to say that Sunday was a wonderful day here at church. The Spirit of the people was filled with worship and praise. The attentiveness to the Word was exciting. I thank God for His work amongst us.

Sunday night a few of us met to review the morning message and the insights gained were a great help to us. This is going to be a regular occurrence and I encourage you to join up with us whether online or in person.

Pray for my service at Sunrise in a few minutes.

See you tomorrow night for the Thanksgiving praise service.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

God’s call from Genesis to Revelation – Isaiah 45:22

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In Isaiah 45:22 God calls all people of all time to turn to Him and be saved. Jesus reiterates this call in Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” In this message, Pastor Steve explains God’s call and shows how that apart from God’s…

God’s call from Genesis to Revelation from Pastor Steve Schroeder on Vimeo.

What is the level of your peace? It corresponds to your love for God’s word

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Psalm 119

165  Great peace have those who love Your law,

And nothing causes them to stumble.

167  My soul keeps Your testimonies,

And I love them exceedingly.

While meditating on this today, I had the following logical progression:

  1. Those who love God’s law have great peace.
  2. Those who love God’s law and have His peace do not stumble from life’s trials nor from life’s temptations.
  3. When we keep God’s testimonies our love for them grows.

Then the antithesis:

  1. Those without peace do not love God’s law.
  2. Those who stumble from life’s trials and life’s temptation do not love God’s law.
  3. Those who do not keep God’s testimonies do not love God’s testimonies.

I then asked myself, “What do I love?  I do love God’s law so how can I love it more and thus increase my peace and my personal victory over life’s trials and life’s temptations?  Do I love God’s law and God’s testimonies more than any sin?  Do I love God’s law with a love that is above all sin and thus giving me His great peace?”

Whenever we sin we have a war in our soul.  1 Peter 2:12 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.  When we love God’s law and abstain from sin because we love God’s law we continue in His great peace.  Travel with me to a greater love for God’s law leading to a greater peace and a greater desire to keep His testimonies from the place of exceeding love for them all.

 

Welcome to Friday and the end of another week.  If your day is like mine there is much to do before the end of the day.  Pray for one another that the work might get done so that we can enjoy our worship of God and our fellowship of one another Sunday.

Are any of you familiar with Google Hangout?  I would like to set up a Google Hangout for Sunday evenings as a place to review and discuss Sunday morning’s message.  If you have knowledge of this please give me a call and walk me through it.

Do pray today for Pastor Bill’s service at Sunrise Assisted living.  Pray for those who attend to be encouraged and comforted from God’s word.

Pray for RU tonight.  God is sending us a few new people to minister to.  Pray for them to overcome the challenges of getting here and to come tonight.  Pray for a young man named Robert who needs to make right decisions.  He first of all needs Christ.

Remember Victory Academy in your prayers that the boys there would give their hearts and lives to Jesus.  Pray for the staff to ever reflect the love of God and the truths of His word.

Have a great day in the Lord, PS

 

 

Submitted and Committed

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Psalm 119

169 Let my cry come before You, O LORD; Give me understanding according to Your word.

170 Let my supplication come before You; Deliver me according to Your word.

171 My lips shall utter praise, For You teach me Your statutes.

172 My tongue shall speak of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.

173 Let Your hand become my help, For  I have chosen Your precepts.

174 I long for Your salvation, O LORD, And Your law is my delight.

175 Let my soul live, and it shall praise You; And let Your judgments help me.

176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; Seek Your servant, For I do not forget Your commandments.

In this, the concluding section of Psalm 119, we find a crescendo of emphasis on the purpose and power of God’s word.  While all of these have probably been mentioned in previous sections, the Psalmist bears them out again for emphasis.

Give me understanding according to Your word; Deliver me according to Your word; You teach me Your statutes; All Your commandments are righteousness; Let Your hand help me; Your law is my delight; let Your judgments help me.

I have learned in this study that while I am to live submitted to God’s word, I am also to live committed to God’s word. There are no areas where I act first and get permission later. There is no getting around God’s word because I don’t like it.  Living submitted to and committed to the entirety of the this Book is the best way to live and the only way that truly glorifies God and makes sense out of life.

This Psalm begins with “1 Blessed are the 1 undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the LORD! 2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the b whole heart!”  He ends with 175 Let my soul live, and it shall praise You; And let Your judgments help me. 176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; Seek Your servant, For I do not forget Your commandments.

The blessed ones are those who walk in the law of the Lord, keep His testimonies, and seek Him with their whole heart.  But since we will stray from God’s word, we cry to Him to seek us our for we have not forgotten His commandments.  We know that God’s judgements are a help to us and enable us to live and to praise Him.  May Psalm 119 become a dear friend to us all and a place we go back to regularly for guidance, light, and necessary reminders for life.

As the old saying goes, “time flies when we are having fun.” This week, time has just flown by.  My parents are now moved into my house. I have needed to do some electrical work and their presence pushed that work to the top of the list. Doing that work required tearing out drywall, replacing it, taping it and painting it.  I am now in the sanding stage.  In the mean time, Jared has needed some attention for his good.  Whew!  Time flies. 

It is Wednesday.  I look forward to our time together tonight. Remember that if you cannot stay for our Bible study we would love to have you with us for prayer.  God wants to know the level of our dependence upon Him. Our prayer as a church brings that before God.  Our cry is that God would use us to reach people for Him or take us home.  If we are not pursuing His kingdom in this life and are not seeing Him blessing on our efforts then our time here is finished.  Since I do not think our time is finished I am begging God to use this church in a greater way for His kingdom.  Join us in this prayer to God.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

We can have “great peace”

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Psalm 119

161  Princes persecute me without a cause,

But my heart stands in awe of Your word.

162  I rejoice at Your word

As one who finds great treasure.

163  I hate and abhor lying,

But I love Your law.

164  Seven times a day I praise You,

Because of Your righteous judgments.

165  Great peace have those who love Your law,

And nothing causes them to stumble.

166  Lord, I hope for Your salvation,

And I do Your commandments.

167  My soul keeps Your testimonies,

And I love them exceedingly.

168  I keep Your precepts and Your testimonies,

For all my ways are before You.

Many of the sections of this Psalm are focused on God’s actions toward us.  This section is focused on our actions toward God.  Take a look at the actions of the Psalmist.

He stands in awe of God’s word, he rejoices at God’s word, he hates lying but loves God’s law, he praises God seven times a day, he hopes for God’s salvation, he does God’s commands, he keeps God’s testimonies and loves them exceedingly, and he keeps God’s precepts and His testimonies.  All of his ways are before God anyway.

In light of this, look back at verse 165.  When he kept and loved God’s laws, great peace was the result.  How is your peace level?  At what level do you keep what God says and love His law?  If God’s word is a bore to you then your peace level is going to be low. If you only keep the parts you like but not all of God’s word then your peace level may be at half.  But when we love and keep God’s word as best as we can, our peace level is over the top!  He said we can have “great peace.”  Notice that with God’s peace comes greater confidence, that is, we are not easily offended.  In fact, nothing, no circumstance of life, no other person, nothing will cause us to stumble.

Take time today to love God’s law.  Learn how secure you can be in it.  This is a great place to live, in great peace.

My keyboard is not working right so I am going to cut this off short today.  I thank God for Sunday, it was a glorious day with you with Him. 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

When in affliction…

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Psalm 119

153  Consider my affliction and deliver me,

For I do not forget Your law.

154  Plead my cause and redeem me;

Revive me according to Your word.

155  Salvation is far from the wicked,

For they do not seek Your statutes.

156  Great are Your tender mercies, O Lord;

Revive me according to Your judgments.

157  Many are my persecutors and my enemies,

Yet I do not turn from Your testimonies.

158  I see the treacherous, and am disgusted,

Because they do not keep Your word.

159  Consider how I love Your precepts;

Revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness.

160  The entirety of Your word is truth,

And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.

The Psalmist begins asking God to consider him in his affliction and deliver him.  Throughout the section we see him in need.  The following phrases demonstrate a needy man:  Plead my cause and redeem me; Salvation is far from the wicked; Many are my persecutors and my enemies; I see the treacherous and am disgusted;  Consider how I love Your precepts.

And then, three times he asks God to revive him: according to Your word; according to Your judgments; according to Your lovingkindness.

He then ends the section reminding himself that the entirety of God’s word is truth and every one of His righteous judgments endure forever.

I love the Psalms because in them I see my life and then I see a God-fearing, God-loving man respond to life as God would have him respond and confidence follows.  Do we face afflictions?  Do we face people against us?  Do we see the wicked and become disgusted?  Yes, Yes and Yes again, we do.  Well, here is a way to respond.  Cry out to God for His consideration of His word, His judgments and His lovingkindness.

Take some time today in this section meditating on how to respond to our afflictions.

Jeremy Camp has a song written from this section of Psalm 119.  Here is the YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a_CEShgxFE

Sunday is our day to observe the Lord’s Table.  We will again arrange the service around this with song and message.  Isaiah 45:22-25 are God’s call which Jesus repeated.  Only through His blood can we respond to this call.  Hallelujah.

Pray for RU tonight.  We have been having new people coming.  Pray for a Christian woman with a heart for addicted women to join us on Friday nights.

Pastor Bill has a service at Sunrise Assisted Living this afternoon.  Pray for this service to care for those who come.

Pray for our church leadership as we meet tomorrow to discuss next year’s church direction, budget and ministries. 

Have a great day in the Lord, PS

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Why we cry unto God

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Psalm 119

145  I cry out with my whole heart;

Hear me, O Lord!

I will keep Your statutes.

146  I cry out to You;

Save me, and I will keep Your testimonies.

147  I rise before the dawning of the morning,

And cry for help;

I hope in Your word.

148  My eyes are awake through the night watches,

That I may meditate on Your word.

149  Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness;

O Lord, revive me according to Your justice.

150  They draw near who follow after wickedness;

They are far from Your law.

151  You are near, O Lord,

And all Your commandments are truth.

152  Concerning Your testimonies,

I have known of old that You have founded them forever.

I don’t have much time this morning but I want you to think three thoughts about why we cry to God and to take those three thoughts back through this section.

  1. We cry to God because He cares. Others may care about our life issues but no one cares at the level that God cares.
  2. We cry to God because He is able to help us in our troubles. Others may be able but God’s ability is sufficient for every level of every trial.
  3. We cry to God because He is interested in helping us in our trails and troubles. Others may care and be able but may not be interested. God is always interested in caring and using His ability to hear our cry and to meet our need.

God wants us to cry to Him.  God is hearing when we cry to Him.  When we cry to Him He removes our anxiety and gives us His peace that passes all understanding which guards our heart in Christ Jesus.

In prayer meeting last night we identified many people we know and love who are caught in sin’s darkness. They need us to pull them into the Light, to care for them for the sake of their redemption.  We have the Light.  Those around us need to be drawn into it.  Who would God have you plead with for His glory and for their salvation?

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

No, not too many rules

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 Psalm 119

137 Righteous are you, O Lord, and right are your rules.

138 You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness and in all faithfulness.

139 My zeal consumes me, because my foes forget your words.

140 Your promise is well tried, and your servant loves it.

141 I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts.

142 Your righteousness is righteous forever, and your law is true.

143 Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight.

144 Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live.

In our humanity, our sinful humanity that is, we might think that God’s rules are just too strict, too many, too prudish, or too legalistic.  Our flesh wants a few less commands and fewer guidelines.  In this section, the Psalmist lets us know that these human desires are in error for God is absolutely righteous and His rules are always right.  His testimonies are given in righteousness and in all faithfulness.  His promises are well tried, that is, they have been tested and retested and proven to be good.  We can love God’s proven word.

When we realize just how small we are in comparison to all things, we can remember God’s precepts and know our purpose.  God’s law is true.  As we learned earlier, God’s words bring light into our lives and He is the only source of that light so the confirmation of the truth of that light should encourage us when others try to speak against it. 

Even when troubles fill our lives, God’s commands are still true, are still right and faithful and bring us delight.  I can’t think of any other source of delight when trouble and anguish find me.  All other sources are based in man or in me and have crumbled.  Only the Lord in His word is so true and so faithful that it picks me up in trouble. 

And then we learn that God’s testimonies are forever.  As we understand them and place our faith in them we find life both full and now and forever.  Why would we look anywhere else first?  Nothing else is as fulfilling as God’s eternal and faithful law. 

Verse 139 shows the Psalmist compassion for his enemies when they forget God’s law.  He is zealous for them, that is, he longs to see even his enemies submitting to the life-giving word of God.   Pray for those who strive against you that they may come under the wonderful word of God and find the life that you have found. 

At the installation service on Sunday there was a photographer.  He has posted his pictures and offers them for our enjoyment.  They are his pictures so he asks that we be careful with them.  I think you will enjoy them.  http://www.whitmerstockphotos.com/Unlisted-Galleries/Events/Big-Rock-First-Baptist/n-fbgSdG/

I hope to see you tonight.  We will have a great time in prayer and Bible study. 

My parents have moved into my house.  They are in transition stage now and trying to make things fit. 

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Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

God’s word is wonderful

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Psalm 119

129  Your testimonies are wonderful;

Therefore my soul keeps them.

130  The entrance of Your words gives light;

It gives understanding to the simple.

131  I opened my mouth and panted,

For I longed for Your commandments.

132  Look upon me and be merciful to me,

As Your custom is toward those who love Your name.

133  Direct my steps by Your word,

And let no iniquity have dominion over me.

134  Redeem me from the oppression of man,

That I may keep Your precepts.

135  Make Your face shine upon Your servant,

And teach me Your statutes.

136  Rivers of water run down from my eyes,

Because men do not keep Your law.

Hey football fans, the Bears won last night!  Isn’t that wonderful?  Or is it?  For some, the winning points of their favorite team is about as wonderful as it gets.  But for us who know and love the Lord, we say with the Psalmist, “Your testimonies, Oh God, are wonderful.” (We have a better understanding and use of the word and its meaning.)

Think about the idea that God’s word is wonderful; it is full of wonder.  From beginning to end it gives light and understanding.  When we are short on wisdom God’s wonderful word comes through.  When we open our mouth in spiritual hunger it feeds us and fills us.  When we need mercy we find that it is God’s custom throughout the pages of His word to give it.

God’s wonderful word directs our steps and keeps iniquity from having dominion over us.  We have no weapons apart from God’s word and need no weapons beside God’s word.  It redeems us from men’s oppressive ways.  When we are following God’s wonderful word we know we are in the right regardless of what others may think or say.  In it we find God’s face shining on us and teaching us all about Himself.  Looking back at verse 129, because God’s word is wonderful, my soul keeps it.  The greater the wonder the greater the desire to keep it, all of it.  Get lost in the wonder of God’s word.

I heard this morning on the radio the passage where the disciples looked with wonder on Jesus, the living Word, and said, “What manner of man is this that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”  He is our wonderful Lord and has given us His wonderful word.  Then verse 136 speaks to those of us who know God’s word grieving over those who do not keep it.  We know what they are missing and hope and pray that they too will come under its wonder.

Sunday’s service at First Baptist Church of Big Rock could not have been better. What a thrill it was to share our church with theirs and to join with them in the installation of their new pastor.  While we are surely thrilled for Steven and Rachel, we are also thrilled for this church.  They have not had a regular pastor for ten years.  The people we talked to are so excited to have Steven there as their pastor.  Thanks to all who joined with us to make that service so wonderful.  Steven and Rachel send their love and thanks to you all. 

Thanks to Pastor Bruce Dunford, Rich and Ben for making sure there was a service at Grace for Life Sunday. For those who could not make it to Big Rock I understand the service at home went well.  Praise God for bringing His people together under His word.

Be sure to take time praying for our school kids and college kids. They are facing all types of pressures and need our prayers.  You may even be able to send them a note or a text of encouragement letting them know of your prayers and love. 

Have a great day in the Lord, PS

Asking for help against those who oppress us

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Psalm 119

121  I have done justice and righteousness;

Do not leave me to my oppressors.

122  Be surety for Your servant for good;

Do not let the proud oppress me.

123  My eyes fail from seeking Your salvation

And Your righteous word.

124  Deal with Your servant according to Your mercy,

And teach me Your statutes.

125  I am Your servant;

Give me understanding,

That I may know Your testimonies.

126  It is time for You to act, O Lord,

For they have regarded Your law as void.

127  Therefore I love Your commandments

More than gold, yes, than fine gold!

128  Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things

I consider to be right;

I hate every false way.

In this section the Psalmist cries out according to his actions of justice and righteousness, that is, because he has acted with justice and in righteousness, he prays the he not be left to the abuse of his oppressors.  All of us have, at times, asked God to show us favor because of our faithfulness to Him.  This is not an unusual prayer.  We know we have not lived perfectly but we do know that we have lived differently and have done so because we love and want to honor our God.  So we seek salvation from Him and from His righteous word.  We plead with God to deal with us according to His mercy for we know we have not lived perfectly and we want Him to teach us His statutes so we can live even better toward Him.

When attacked from others we want God to know that we are His servants.  While I work for the church I am God’s servant first and foremost.  Whomever you work for, you are God’s servant first; go to Him for understanding of those who are against you so that you can treat them righteously.

Have you ever prayed this prayer? “It is time for You to act, O Lord, For they have regarded Your law as void.”  When those around you do not follow God’s laws and as such make your life hard do you tell God that it is time for Him to act?  There are times when we see God at work and then there are times when we need to see Him work.  We count all of God’s words as true.  We do not doubt what He says for whatever He says is right.  His counsel is better than gold and is of more value.  We will follow Him when we are attacked by those who do not know Him.

We got wonderful news from Brent yesterday. Becky’s surgery was completed and the doctors gave them a 90% assurance that the removed tumor was benign.  Hallelujah! and thanks to God for showing His favor.  We rejoice in answered prayer and thank God for giving Becky her life.

Tomorrow morning is our men’s prayer breakfast. Meet us at 7:30 at Denny’s by the mall. 

Sunday morning many of us are going to the First Baptist Church of Big Rock for Steven’s installation service there. The service starts at 11:00.  The church address is 201 Lincoln Ave, Big Rock.  Take I-88 to Route 56 toward Sugar Grove. Do not get off at Sugar Grove but stay on 56 which will turn into Route 30.  Route 30 will take you into Big Rock.  On the west side of town is Lincoln Ave.  Turn left on Lincoln Ave and you will soon see the church on your right. We will be joining the congregation for lunch at the church.  If you plan on staying please bring a dish to share. 

There will also be service at Grace for Life. Pastor Bruce Dunford will be bringing the message there from Colossians 3:1-17 a message entitled, “Right with the World.”  There will not be any Sunday school this Sunday. 

Have a great day in the Lord, PS

Don’t live a double-minded life but love God’s law

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Psalm 119

113  I hate the double-minded,

But I love Your law.

114  You are my hiding place and my shield;

I hope in Your word.

115  Depart from me, you evildoers,

For I will keep the commandments of my God!

116  Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live;

And do not let me be ashamed of my hope.

117  Hold me up, and I shall be safe,

And I shall observe Your statutes continually.

118  You reject all those who stray from Your statutes,

For their deceit is falsehood.

119  You put away all the wicked of the earth like dross;

Therefore I love Your testimonies.

120  My flesh trembles for fear of You,

And I am afraid of Your judgments.

Look at the first verse in the section.  “I hate the double-minded,  But I love Your law.”  We are seeing that the first verse in the section gives the heading for the section.  So we should take a minute to understand what or who the double-minded are.  James speaks of the double-minded and says that they are unstable in all their ways.  A double-minded person can’t make up their mind of which way they are going to follow.  They know the truth but are pulled by enemy and can’t decide which way to go.  They are double-minded.

Now, before we think to harsh about those double-minded people, I have to admit that there are times that I struggle with making the right decision too.  I suppose that at that moment I too am double-minded.  So, at those times I need to hate my own double-mindedness and love God’s law.  With this realization we go on to verse 115 and demand to the evildoers, those who lead us in a double-minded way, to depart from us letting them know that we love God’s law and His ways.  We then want to be upheld by God’s word that we may live and not be ashamed of taking ill-chosen directions.

When we follow the Lord we are safe and we are going to observe His statutes while rejecting those who don’t.  We put away the wicked like worthless dross, which is what the end of their path is and instead we live in the fear of God trembling so we don’t follow the double-minded.

Walk with the Lord today with a single focus, a single purpose, and a single love.  Put away all double-mindedness and those who would lead you astray.  Enjoy the Lord in His truth, His love and His perfect way.

Remember the Sivnksty family today as Becky’s surgery is today.

Bob Johansen is visiting his nephew John today. Pray for John to hear the gospel and come to faith in Christ.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

There is only One light

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Psalm 119

105  Your word is a lamp to my feet

And a light to my path.

106  I have sworn and confirmed

That I will keep Your righteous judgments.

107  I am afflicted very much;

Revive me, O Lord, according to Your word.

108  Accept, I pray, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord,

And teach me Your judgments.

109  My life is continually in my hand,

Yet I do not forget Your law.

110  The wicked have laid a snare for me,

Yet I have not strayed from Your precepts.

111  Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever,

For they are the rejoicing of my heart.

112  I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes

Forever, to the very end.

God’s word, our lamp.  God’s word, our light.  There is no other lamp; there is no other light.  The studies of men are no more than observations of human behavior.  They cannot provide light but proclaiming to have light lead people into greater darkness.  The behavioral medicines keep people in darkness trying to make them feel better in their darkness.  Only the light of God’s word gives guidance and brings us out of darkness.  No human source gives us the light of God’s word.

As young parents, Bobbi and I studied different parenting methods.  We met a couple who taught us “first time obedience training.”  This was the most biblical training we found.  We began to teach our boys to obey us the first time we spoke.  Their behavior responded to the training and our home was a peaceful place.  Their hearts were impacted and their energies were under control.  Love, consistency, and consequences is how God dealt with His children and how He taught us to deal with ours.  We never used behavioral medication although we could have.  Instead our boys learned self-control and then Holy Spirit control.  God’s light was the key to our parenting.

The rest of the Psalm gives instances of the Light from God guiding the Psalmist.  Ask God to show you how His light can and should guide your life.

Tom’s surgery yesterday was successful. We are thankful to God for this.  Tom is supposed to come home today.  How amazing this is! 

Marlene Lavryk is in surgery today for an angioplasty. Pray for success for her heart.  She is in Edward Hospital.

Becky Sivnksty has her surgery tomorrow.

I look forward to seeing you tonight.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

Isaiah 45 – Lessons from a potter, a father, and a pregnant mother

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Do you really trust God? Do you trust Him when He does something you don’t think He should do? Israel was in this position and Isaiah used three illustrations to prove his point that God was trustworthy. In the end the people rejoiced when God’s plan worked. So will we.

Isaiah 45 Lessons from a potter, a father, and a pregnant mother from Pastor Steve Schroeder on Vimeo.