Dependence

What does the Psalmist mean, “delight?”

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Psalm 1:2

2     But his delight is in the law of the Lord,

And in His law he meditates day and night.

What do you think it means when the Psalmist wrote that his delight was in the law of the Lord?  Does it mean that he read it every day?  Does it mean that he memorized it?  Does it mean that it was his favorite book?  What does it mean that it was his delight?

I remember delighting in cars.  I got car magazines, went to car shows, and talked with other car delighters.   I knew what kind of car it was by sight and could tell many details about that car.  I knew how fast it could go, what size the engine was, how much it was worth and more.

I knew a boy who delighted in baseball. He knew the players, their stats, who they played for and more.  He loved to talk to other people who delighted in baseball.

But I don’t think the Psalmist had information alone in this use of the word ‘delight.’

When we delight in the law of the Lord we want to know it, read it, study it and talk about it.  But this delight takes one more step that too many seeming delighters miss.  For while God wants us to know Him through His word He want us to love and obey Him through His word.  I never owned the cars I studied.  My delight ended at knowledge.  When someone knows the Word of God but does not live in loving obedience to the Word that they know, they are not delighting in it.

It wearies me when people quote the Bible verses they like while living in disobedience to ones they don’t like or don’t really care to know.  We are to delight in the entire Word of God, to meditate in all of its teachings.  We are not to pick and choose the ones we like while ignoring the others.

Do you love to live under the Word that you delight in?  Do you place yourself under its teachings even when you want to do otherwise?  Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into all of God’s truth and then submit to it at all times.  Then you will understand the Psalmist use of the word ‘delight.’

Tomorrow night is the sixth anniversary of Reformers at our church.  Starting at 7:00 we will be rejoicing together around the word, song and prayer and then going out to rejoice in fellowship and food.  If you are able to attend you are invited to come.  If you know someone struggling with addictions invite them to our party.  It would be a great way to get to know us.

Remember to pray for one another today.

Have a great day in the Lord, PS

 

I will strengthen thee – All strength comes from God

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“I will strengthen thee.”

— Isaiah 41:10

God has a strong reserve with which to discharge this engagement; for he is able to do all things. Believer, till thou canst drain dry the ocean of omnipotence, till thou canst break into pieces the towering mountains of almighty strength, thou never needest to fear. Think not that the strength of man shall ever be able to overcome the power of God. Whilst the earth’s huge pillars stand, thou hast enough reason to abide firm in thy faith. The same God who directs the earth in its orbit, who feeds the burning furnace of the sun, and trims the lamps of heaven, has promised to supply thee with daily strength. While he is able to uphold the universe, dream not that he will prove unable to fulfil his own promises. Remember what he did in the days of old, in the former generations.

Remember how he spake and it was done; how he commanded, and it stood fast. Shall he that created the world grow weary? He hangeth the world upon nothing; shall he who doth this be unable to support his children? Shall he be unfaithful to his word for want of power? Who is it that restrains the tempest? Doth not he ride upon the wings of the wind, and make the clouds his chariots, and hold the ocean in the hollow of his hand? How can he fail thee? When he has put such a faithful promise as this on record, wilt thou for a moment indulge the thought that he has outpromised himself, and gone beyond his power to fulfil? Ah, no! Thou canst doubt no longer. [1]

Taken from Spurgeon’s devotional book, “Morning and Evening”

I read this Sunday morning and thought it would be good for you to be able to see it in print. We must never doubt the strength of God to carry us in and through every situation of life. Therefore God says to us, “Fear not for I am with you, do not be filled with terror for I am your God.” Isaiah 41:10a

Encouraging one another is using positive words to speak into their hearts. Positive words include compliments, blessings, scriptures, and spoken kindnesses. In your life, who needs to be encouraged today?

I know a woman who is looking for a place to volunteer on a regular basis. She wants to be around people and use her skills in a positive way. If you have any ideas for her please let me know.

Patty has a leather love-seat she needs to get rid of. If you have a need for one, let her know.

Tonight is our mid-week prayer time and Bible study. See you at 7:00. We need more children’s workers for the summer. Let Bobbi know that you can help.

Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

Rejoicing Greatly!

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Psalm 145

1 I will extol You, my God, O King; And I will bless Your name forever and ever.

2 Every day I will bless You,

And I will praise Your name forever and ever.

3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;

And His greatness is unsearchable.

We thoroughly enjoyed God’s greatness this week!  We are blessing His name every day.  God is great and is therefore greatly to be praised.  God answered our prayers as we depended upon Him.  99 children registered and many parents came last night.  It was a joy to our hearts and lives to see all that our omnipotent God did for His glory. Children trusted Christ, learned Bible verses and songs to take through life with them.

My Thanks to God first and then to all of you who labored so diligently with me.  As I have said before I believe that this church family when working together can accomplish anything God leads us into.  It is one of the greatest joys of life, to be used by God.  All of us who serve together know this and are rejoicing greatly today.

Remember that we do not have dinner at church this Sunday.  Men, we have a breakfast tomorrow morning at Denny’s at 7:30. 

 

Today, Pastor Bill has his two community services, be sure to pray for God to use him. 

 

Tonight, is RU.  Pray for God to bring men and women out who are in need of His hope and grace.  Next Friday is the RU anniversary.  All are invited to attend. 

 

Tomorrow night we will meet at church for the Naperville fire works display.  They start at 9:30 we will get to church between 7 and 7:30.

 

See you Sunday, by God’s grace.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

You can have a blessed life

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Psalm 1

1     Blessed is the man

Let me take a moment today to remind you of the promise of God’s blessing on those who seek Him, His wisdom, His counsel, His strength, and His grace.

Many people think that God arbitrarily blesses some while leaving others in their misery.  They think that they just got the short end of the rope in life and that others got more.  They think that they are stuck in their pain while others just got lucky.  They think that if they had better opportunities they might have had some blessing from God too.

All who think like this or anything close to this do not understand God’s ways with people nor do they understand the power of their choices to reject God and to continue in their sin.  It grieves me when people look at me and exclaim that I was just blessed, insinuating that they were not.

Psalm 1 begins with the statement, “Blessed is the man…” and then continues to tell us what that blessed man does to be blessed.  It then provides the antithesis, “The ungodly are not so” indicating that some are blessed and some are not so.  What is the variable?  The variable is not God arbitrarily picking me over you.  The variable is that those who seek God’s wisdom and avoid man’s counsel are blessed.  Those who reject God’s wisdom and accept man’s counsel are not.

If you want to be blessed, the next time you need help seek God’s wisdom.  Do not call a friend, do not go to a non-Christian counselor, do not do what you have always done.  Instead, seek God’s wisdom and when you find it, submit to it and do it.  Before long, as this becomes your practice, you will realize that you too are being blessed by God.  In fact, you too can become like the tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in due season.

VBS is the forefront of my thinking at least for today and tomorrow, probably on into Sunday.  It has been in my house for months and now we are in the middle of it.  Every year we rejoice in the children God brings and ask Him to open their hearts to His saving grace.  This year we wondered if we would have forty children and we were over sixty again last night.  We had children trust Jesus last night.  Parents who came were excited to see their children singing and quoting verses.  The workers are a unified team accomplishing God’s purposes in every part of the evening. 

Tonight is our parent night when the parents come to see their children perform all that they have learned.  Pray with us that as the parents come and hear the gospel they will be drawn to salvation and drawn to our church.  We would love for God to unite these families with us in discipleship, worship, and growth of their families in the grace and knowledge of God.  This is our prayer today. 

Thanks to all of you who are fighting exhaustion while exhilarated to serve the Savior and His kingdom.  I give you tomorrow night off.  Tonight you are needed with all of the strength and energy that God will give you for His service and glory.

Have a great day in the Lord, PS

 

Be remembered for doing good before God

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Nehemiah 13:14

14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for its services!

22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should go and guard the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of Your mercy!

30 Thus I cleansed them of everything pagan. I also assigned duties to the priests and the Levites, each to his service,

31 and to bringing the wood offering and the firstfruits at appointed times. Remember me, O my God, for good!

When Nehemiah came back to Jerusalem the broken down walls were only a symbol of a broken down nation.  After the walls were built Nehemiah began to see the spiritual failure of the people.  They did not respect the Sabbath, they did not respect the laws of God to not intermarry with pagans, they did not respect the priesthood, they rented a room in the temple to their pagan leader, and more. 

Nehemiah had come from captivity, from the place of God’s judgment and did not want to go back because of the sin of his people.  So he rebuked the people over and over again, he even got physical in his rebuke.  He locked the gates on the Sabbath so the sellers could not get in and threatened them when they showed up.  Nehemiah took God’s judgments seriously for he had lived in them.  

I think that if we lived under the heavy hand of God’s judgment for awhile we would live differently too.  We would see things that we have come to allow and put them aside for God’s holiness.  We would see alliances we have made that do not honor God and separate from them.  We might see God’s laws as good and right and seek to keep them for His glory and for our good. 

The book of Nehemiah has caused me to look inward and to ask God these same questions.  He has shown me what He wants in me and what He wants me to remove.  I do not want God’s judgments in this life, Jesus paid for my sin so heaven is secure, but sin brings loss in this life and I really don’t want the losses that sin can bring.  Ask God to show you what He would like in you what He would like removed from you.  Do so in the spirit of Nehemiah who desired to be remembered for good. 

Last night was another night of God’s blessing at VBS.  Through the moving of His Spirit, twelve children came asking Jesus into their lives as Savior and Lord!  Pray for us tonight as we follow up with these and seek the hearts of others. 

God has given each of  us here a spirit of working together that is just wonderful to be a part of.  No one, and I mean no one, sticks out with negativity or a critical spirit.  Every worker is here to serve the Lord and brings His Spirit with them.  It is just a glorious time for our church as a whole.   Thank God for what He can do through people who depend upon Him and seek His face in the work they do for Him.  The sun even shone on our registration and game time.  Hallelujah! 

Continue to pray with us for open hearts to children and to parents many of whom have never been in our church before. 

Pray also today for a previous pastor of this church.  Dave Huff’s wife has been ill for some time and went to be with the Lord this week.  The wake is this evening.  Remember the Huff family in this difficult time.

Remember our sister Bev Scott in your prayer.  It was a year ago today that her husband George went to be with the Lord. 

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Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

Rejoicing with great joy when God works in us

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Nehemiah 12:27

27 Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings and singing, with cymbals and stringed instruments and harps.

31 So I brought the leaders of Judah up on the wall, and appointed two large thanksgiving choirs. One went to the right hand on the wall toward the Refuse Gate.

42  The singers sang loudly with Jezrahiah the director.

43 Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and the children also rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard afar off.

I hope you can follow through the thoughts of these verses.  They are not in sequence as there are lists of people who were involved in this great dedication celebration.  However, I want you to see that when people dedicate themselves to God, to His word and to the worship of His name that there is great joy.

Imagine a city with a choir so big that it can be split in half and put on corresponding walls.  Imagine this choir singing praises to God together, rejoicing in unisons and harmonies to Him, and the joy of the singing was so loud that it was heard miles away.  This joy this day was not because their city team won the championship but because their God had worked in them and through them and they were committing themselves and their lives to Him.

There have been times in my life when I have been in the presence of great joy.  These were times when the people of God were unified in purpose and goal and gave of themselves totally to accomplish God’s purposes.  In fact, as I read these verses this morning my first thoughts of great joy were last night.  When we had our VBS wrap up and saw what God had done through our efforts dedicated to Him there was great rejoicing.  When we realized that we had 67 children come last night there was great rejoicing.  When we saw God turn dark skies clear just in time we rejoiced.  When we knew that all of these children heard the gospel of God, salvation through Jesus Christ, we rejoiced.  When we met many parents who came for the first time and were thrilled to see our excitement for the Lord and for their kids for Christ, we were thrilled with great joy.

For all of you who cannot come but are praying for VBS, rejoice with us.

We still have three more nights of VBS.  Tonight Ben will be presenting the Helmet of Salvation.  Pray for children who have heard about their need of salvation to come to faith in Him tonight.  Pray for parents to come to love our church and want to come with their families to our Sunday service.  God, through His Holy Spirit, is doing His work and we are rejoicing with great joy already.

Have a great day in the Lord, PS

How attentive are we to the Word of God?

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Nehemiah 8:1–3

8 Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.

When the people finished building the wall of Jerusalem the next thing they wanted was the Word of God.  We have here a description of Ezra’s first public reading of the scriptures.  The people wanted to hear it and Ezra publicly read it.  They read from morning till noon and the people were attentive to the reading.

For some of the people there that day, this was the first time in their lives they had heard the law read.  They had come from captivity, were born in Babylon, and had no Temple there.  The Jews would gather in Babylon but would not sing the songs of the Lord there.  Some may have heard the law of God read but did not know it well.  And so, with anxious ears and hearts they gathered for Ezra to read God’s law to them.

What a reading that must have been.  The walls completed the people felt safe in their own city for the first time in close to 80 years.  Their parents were taken as teenagers away from it.  Most memories of it were from times of battle and destruction.  Now they were standing in the city, the Temple was rebuilt, the walls were rebuilt, the enemy was on the outside and the people of God were gathered inside listening to His Word.

Can we be this excited to hear God’s word?  Or has His word become so commonplace to us that when it is read we would rather be somewhere else doing something else?  Consider this the next time someone is reading the Bible out-loud.  Consider that you are hearing the very Words of God given for you to know Him and to know how to live.

As we study prayer we learn that Bible reading and prayer go hand-in-hand.  We talk to God through prayer and He talks to us through His word.  May God’s word never become something commonplace and boring but may it ever live in us as God speaks to us through it.

Last night was a blessed time hearing the report and the message from the Bachorik family.  What an amazing ministry God has given them and us through them.  I am very thankful that we support the labor of this family.

We focused our prayer last night on the life-and-death opportunities of VBS.  As children around us face life they need the Lord.  If they find Him they find life.  If they don’t find Him they remain in death.  VBS is not just something we do, no, it is life-or-death ministry to those whom God brings for us to minister His word and grace to.  Join in fervent prayer for God to do what He delights in doing, that is, saving souls from death and lives from sin.

Have a great day in the Lord, PS