Friday, September 23, 2016

The Glory of God’s Salvation – Psalm 21:5

“His glory is great in Your salvation; Honor and majesty You have placed upon him.”

In my Bible, this psalm is titled ‘Joy in the Salvation of the LORD.’  “As the foregoing psalm was a prayer for the king that God would protect and prosper him, so this is a thanksgiving for the success God had blessed him with. Those whom we have prayed for we ought to give thanks for.” (Matthew Henry)   

As with many of the psalms, the meaning goes far beyond the trials and successes of King David.  It reaches into the future to reveal the suffering and joyous victory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the glory He received upon obedience to procure our salvation.  The picture it paints here for us regarding the glory of God’s salvation should be pondered in our hearts.  I have been asked many times ‘what do you think is the greatest miracle in the Bible?’ 

When we honestly see Almighty God as our Creator, we have no doubt that He spoke this magnificent universe into being.  When we recognize that our Creator is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, it should come as no surprise that He can still the waters, part the seas, heal the sick, give sight to the blind, raise the dead, and give us victory in battle.  Yet it still surprises us!  We remain in awe of what God can do and has done when He demonstrates His power over the elements. 

The greatest miracle to me, though, is our salvation through Jesus Christ.  That God would create mankind, knowing beforehand that they would sin against Him, and therefore solve the sin problem before the foundation of the earth.  “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” (1 Peter 1:18-21)

Who am I but a wretched sinner?  Why should God love me so after all I have done?  “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)  The depth of His love is beyond comprehension.  The wonder of it all is His desire to save us from our sins and give us eternal life with Him!  We know God can do anything, I am stunned that he wants to!

Let me put it this way:  We have wronged God, we have been at war with Him, yet He still loves us and made a way for us to be with Him forever.  Have you been wronged by someone, has someone been at war with you, a despicable person that has broken every rule of decent conduct?  Well then, are you ready to sacrifice your one and only begotten son to reconcile that person to you so they could be forgiven and live with you forever?  Nope.  Such supernatural love can ONLY come from God. 

Consider so, then, the glory God has bestowed upon us by affording us salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.  “The fact that thou hast saved him, and the manner in which it has been done, has put upon him great honor. Every child of God, in like manner, has great "glory" conferred upon him, and his "glory" will be great forever; but it is not in himself, or in virtue of anything that he has done. It is "great" in the "salvation" of God.  The highest honor that can be put upon man is in the fact that God will save him.  So we may say of the ransomed sinner - the child of God - now. Honour and majesty have been laid on him: (a) in the fact that God has redeemed him; (b) in the manner in which this has been accomplished; (c) in his adoption into the family of God; (d) in the rank and dignity which he occupies as a child of God; (e) in the hope of immortal blessedness beyond the grave.” (Albert Barnes)

Have you witnessed the great miracle of someone surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus Christ?  That person becomes a new creation.  Their behavior and thought processes change.  It is a miracle so mystical that even angels look for it to happen.  “Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.  To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven – things which angels desire to look into.” (1 Peter 1:10-12)

“How heart-cheering to the believer is the delight which God has in His saints! We cannot see any reason in ourselves why the Lord should take pleasure in us; we cannot take delight in ourselves, for we often have to groan, being burdened; conscious of our sinfulness, and deploring our unfaithfulness.  But we love to dwell upon this transcendent truth, this glorious mystery: that as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so does the Lord rejoice over us. We do not read anywhere that God delighteth in the cloud-capped mountains, or the sparkling stars, but we do read that He delighteth in the habitable parts of the earth, and that His delights are with the sons of men. We do not find it written that even angels give His soul delight; nor doth He say, concerning cherubim and seraphim, "Thou shalt be called Hephzibah, for the Lord delighteth in thee"; but He does say all that to poor fallen creatures like ourselves, debased and depraved by sin, but saved, exalted, and glorified by His grace. In what strong language He expresses His delight in His people! Who could have conceived of the eternal One as bursting forth into a song? Yet it is written, "He will rejoice over thee with joy, He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing." As He looked upon the world He had made, He said, "It is very good"; but when He beheld those who are the purchase of Jesus' blood, His own chosen ones, it seemed as if the great heart of the Infinite could restrain itself no longer, but overflowed in divine exclamations of joy. Should not we utter our grateful response to such a marvellous declaration of His love, and sing, "I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation?" (Charles Spurgeon)

May you grow in the grace and knowledge and glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Some Trust In Chariots – Psalm 20:7

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.”

On so many issues, we Christians tend to erroneously look for worldly solutions.  Often we look to men and women as the hope of the future.  Friends, let us be reminded that our hope is in Christ Jesus.  There is no human strength, no human wisdom, no human invention, and no human riches that can surpass the omniscience and omnipotence of our loving God. 

“I do not restrict this [verse 7] to the enemies of Israel, as is done by other interpreters. I am rather inclined to think that there is here a comparison between the people of God and all the rest of the world. We see how natural it is to almost all men to be the more courageous and confident the more they possess of riches, power and military forces. The people of God, therefore, here protest that they do not place their hope, as is the usual way with men, in their military forces and warlike apparatus, but only in the aid of God. As the Holy Spirit here sets the assistance of God in opposition to human strength, it ought to be particularly noticed, that whenever our minds come to be occupied by carnal confidence, they fall at the same time into a forgetfulness of God. It is impossible for him, who promises himself victory by confiding in his own strength, to have his eyes turned towards God. The inspired writer, therefore, uses the word remember, to show, that when the saints betake themselves to God, they must cast off every thing which would hinder them from placing an exclusive trust in him. This remembrance of God serves two important purposes to the faithful. In the first place, however much power and resources they may possess, it nevertheless withdraws them from all vain confidence, so that they do not expect any success except from the pure grace of God. In the second place, if they are bereft and utterly destitute of all succor, it notwithstanding so strengthens and encourages them, that they call upon God both with confidence and constancy.”  (John Calvin)

Take a moment to compare this concept with that of a violent religion.  The most violent religion currently on the earth requires its devotees to kill others in order to usher in their messiah.  Their weapons and armaments are their strength.  Their ‘god’ depends upon them to take up ‘chariots and horses.’ 

“On the other hand, when ungodly men feel themselves strong and powerful, being blinded with pride, they do not hesitate boldly to despise God; but when they are brought into circumstances of distress, they are so terrified as not to know what to become.” (John Calvin)

While it is a significant issue of who becomes president in 2016, our trust is not in the president.  It is by the grace of God that we are saved, and it is by the hand of God that we have victory: militarily, financially, medically, and spiritually.  Friends, it certainly appears that we are headed for more difficult times, however, remember in whom we are to place our trust.  Call upon His name.  To hope upon anything else is to hope in vain.  In the event that we have arms or weapons, do not take confidence in them, rather take confidence in the aid of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  “In short, the Holy Spirit here recommends to us the remembrance of God, which, retaining its efficacy both in the want and in the abundance of power, subdues the vain hopes with which the flesh is wont to be inflated.” (John Calvin)

May you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Circuit of the Sun – Psalm 19:6

“Its rising is from one end of heaven, and its circuit to the other end; and there is nothing hidden from its heat.”

Psalm 19 is a glorious tribute to God our Creator.  “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.” (Psalm 19:1-3) 

Our universe is frighteningly vast and intelligently complex.  The intricate beauty on display at night speaks to us, in a universal language, of its Creator.  Or, according to NASA, it sings.  “NASA has discovered a group of massive red stars that are actually humming to themselves. The planet-hunting Kepler space telescope recently spotted sound waves emanating from the stars, the Wall Street Journal reports. NASA recorded the tune, and played it recently at a press conference in Denmark. “It is a giant red concert,” says the astronomer who made the recording. “They have many different frequencies and overtones.”” (, Oct. 29, 2010)

Human scientific discovery only seems to catch up to God’s Word.  “The Bible is filled with fascinating facts that show that God’s fingerprint is all over His Word. For example, in speaking of the sun, the psalmist says that “his going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.” For many years critics scoffed at these verses, claiming that they taught the old false doctrine of geocentricity (i.e., the sun revolves around the earth).  Scientists thought the sun was stationary. Then it was discovered in recent years that the sun is in fact moving through space at approximately 600,000 miles per hour. It is traveling through the heavens and has a “circuit” just as the Bible says. Its circuit is so large that it would take approximately 200 million years to complete one orbit. Another reason to believe.” (Pastor Ray Comfort)

For those of us who believe that Jesus Christ created all things, we should use every opportunity to give Him the praise and glory for His handiwork.  And publicly be in such awe of His work.  “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.  All things were created through Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:16-17)

For those who do not believe, I pray you take a moment to consider the world, the universe around you.  In its delicateness and hardiness, in its intricacy and its vastness, it sings of intelligent design described for us in God’s loving words, written thousands of years ago.

May you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.