Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Psalm 33: 1-5

Sing for joy in the Lord, you His righteous ones.
Praise is becoming to the upright.

Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.

Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy!

For the word of the Lord is upright,
All His work is done in faithfulness.

He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord!

1. Mark references to God including personal pronouns.
2. List what you learn about God in a notebook.
3. Underline the verbs in v:1-3.
4. Put a box around the word joy.
5. Mark who is to do this in blue.
6. List what you learn about them in a notebook.

Who is to worship?
How are they described? Are you one of these people? Why can you say you are?
What are some expected means of worship to God mentioned in this passage?
Describe how we are to do this?
What emotion should permeate our worship?
How can that emotion be expressed?
Do you have the freedom in your personal worship to express your joy in the Lord?
What is this joy based on according to this passage? v:4-5

My thoughts:
In Christ I am one of His righteous ones. God in Christ made me right with God. He died in my place taking my sin upon Himself as the full wrath of God was poured out on Him for me. He called me to Himself, brought me to life  and I responded to Him. He forgave the guilt of my sin and filled me with His Spirit. Where does the expression of my joy come from? From the joy He filled me with! From the joy of being forgiven! From the joy of being made new! He gave me a new song!

Why this Psalm speaks so loudly in my heart? The Word of the Lord is upright. Who is the Word of the Lord? It is Jesus Christ. John 1:1, 14- "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God..., and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
In John 5:36 Jesus says, "...for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish- the very works that I do- testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me." When Jesus was hanging on the cross before He died He said, "It is finished!" The work the Father sent Jesus to do was to die on the cross to make atonement for all those the Father had given Him before the world began. Jesus actually, fully accomplished that work. God accepted His sacrifice by raising Jesus from the dead on the 3rd day just as He said!
Only Jesus is upright. He is truth, His Word is truth. He faithfully carried out the work needed to make us His righteous ones who are upright. It was necessary for God to do this for us. When I think about who I was before He changed me. I know the depth of my sinfulness, that there is not anything that I could have done if I had wanted to (and I didn't) to make me right enough to even ask Him to save me. It took the miracle of grace in Christ to rescue me, to deliver me from the domain of darkness and to transfer me into the kingdom of God's dear Son where I received the forgiveness of sin the redemption of my soul!
How could my heart not be filled with joy? How could I not shout for joy?
This praise is becoming to those who have been born of the Spirit. It is a befitting, right, expected, good, appropriate expression of thankfulness for what He has done for us!
The earth is filled with His lovingkindness. God demonstrated His love by sending Jesus, the only Savior for this world!
If you have come to know Him or have a renewed expression of joy I would love to hear about it!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ordinary Water Pots

John 2: 6
"Now there were six stone water pots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each."
Remember the problem? The wine had run out at the wedding ceremony! Mary had told the servants to do as Jesus said and now Jesus was taking care of the problem. He told the servants to fill the water pots with water. So they did as Jesus said and filled the pots with water, all the way to the brim.  Then Jesus told them to draw some of the water out and take it to the headwaiter or better called 'the master of the feast'. The servants took water from the brimming water pots and carried it to the master of the feast. Somewhere in between the water became 'wine'. When the master of the feast sipped from the cup he was astonished, amazed. This was pure sweet wine, better than anything he had ever tasted before. He didn't know where it had come from but the servants who had brought it to him knew where it had come from. They realized that Jesus had turned the water into wine.
The master of the feast called the bridegroom over and complemented him. "Everyone serves the good wine first and then when men have drunk freely and are feeling the effects they bring out the poorer wine but you have saved the best wine until now.
John 2: 11 "This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
This was Jesus' first miracle, done as a sign to the Jews that Jesus was sovereign over creation. Jesus could take ordinary water and change it into wine.

Sometimes I like to personalize scripture and apply it to my life. For example:
Lord, I am an ordinary person. Nothing good in me, nothing spectacular, just normal, average. I am a water pot filled with ordinary water that You have filled to the brim with Your Holy Spirit. You have changed me into someone new. May all that You draw out of me be of use to others. May they see the 'best' being used for Your glory, may there be a lasting impression given with an eternal perspective. You sovereignly rule over me and in me so I pray that Your glory will be seen in this vessel and that many will believe in You because of what You are doing in my life. I pray that lives will be changed to bring You glory from the miracle You performed in me and are continuing to perform in me daily.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Thankful for God's Grace

Upon returning home from small group tonight I am reminded of the fragilness of life. We talked about compassion for the poor, the needy, the orphans, widows, single moms, children used for slave labor, families living in garbage dumps. Then we talked about the earthquakes and resulting tsunami's. What can we do to help. It is so overwhelming when you think about it! But help we must. God has called each one of us to do something, to reach out to someone. Who will it be? What organization will I give to in order to be a part of preventing a mom to sell herself to support her family? What will I give to help feed people in need? How can I support believers in countries where they are severely persecuted? How can I help believers that have been devastated by the earthquakes and tsunamis?
These are my questions. I know there are ways to help, organizations to support and I need to look them up  and do something.
Lord, I pray that You will give us wisdom and discernment. I pray that You will show each one of us who or what we will support; You will use each one of us doing something different to reach more people, help more people and then it won't be so overwhelming. It won't seem so hopeless. You are in control over all of these things and us. Use us to help Your world, Your people.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Returning to the Blog

My hopes and desires for this blog are the same. I have missed writing. I will pick up where I left off later this week finishing the wedding feast Jesus attended. For all who read many blessings to you.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Wedding Attendees

Who were the wedding attendees? There were the invited guests- Mary, Jesus' mother, Jesus Himself, and His disciples. There was also the household family including the servants and of course the master of the feast.
The wedding was taking place in Cana in Galilee. Everything was going along smoothly until a problem of the wine running out arose. Mary's solution was to present the problem to Jesus. I have heard so many comments and questions about this portion of scripture. For example: How long did wedding feasts usually last? If the wine had run out does that mean the people were 'plastered'? Why would a God fearing woman want Jesus the Son of God, to make more wine that would make the people more drunk? Was the wine like the wine of today? Was it alcoholic? Does this mean it is okay to drink until the wine runs out?... Did Jesus make wine that caused people to be drunk?
There are answers to these questions. Wedding feasts did last sometimes a week. The English word wine is alcoholic beverage and is made so deliberately by the wine makers. The Greek has more than one way to use the word- new wine, fruit of the vine, etc. so more than likely the 'wine' was pure sweet grape juice, the fruit of the vine. Because juice did ferment so quickly it was often made into a paste with water added to it or the juice was watered down and so would not taste as good as pure sweet juice freshly made, therefore the master could say, "the best was saved for the last.." when Jesus made the water into wine!
I often ponder on Jesus answer to Mary when she told Him about the wine. He said, "What does that have to do with Me?" What does making wine have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come. This did not deter Mary, she turned to the servants and told them to do whatever Jesus told them to do. This I also find interesting. What authority did Mary have to be able to tell the servants what to do? Was she close enough to the family even as an invited guest to automatically give the servants instructions? Yet that is what she did and they obeyed her. Jesus hadn't said He would take care of the problem but He did.

Here is some application for us.
When problems arise do we naturally turn to Jesus and tell Him about it? Do we just know that He will take care of it and so do not hesitate to ask Him? Are we so sure of His care for us that we rely on Him to meet unexpected problems that arise? Think of how frequently you automatically turn to Jesus at the first sign of trouble. What happened as a result of turning to Him immediately? of not turning to Him immediately?

When was the last time you directed others to turn to Jesus with their problems? How did you go about it? Did it help them?

God uses prayer, petitions, and supplication for our benefit. Turn your problem over to Jesus and watch Him take care of it. He can make the ordinary water of life into pure sweet wine. Enjoy!
to the praise of the glory of His grace...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

John 2: 1-11

Jesus attends a wedding at Cana in Galilee with His mother, Mary, and His disciples.
When the wine runs out Mary tells Jesus.
Jesus tells Mary His hour has not yet come.
Mary tells the servants to do whatever Jesus tells them to do.
Six 30 gallon stone water jugs on stand by for Jewish purification rites.
Jesus tell the servants to fill these to the brim with water and they obeyed.
Jesus told servants to take some to the master of the feast to taste.
Master of the feast is impressed by quality of wine.
Master compliments bridegroom for saving the best wine till the end of the wedding feast.
Custom was to serve the best wine first then bring out the lower quality wine.
This was the first of Jesus' signs in manifesting His glory.

I.   Wedding Attendees      John 2: 1-5
II.  Water Jugs                  John 2: 6-9a
III. Wonderous Miracle     John 2: 9b- 11

AIM: God uses the ordinary things of life to transform into extra-ordinary!

Subject Sentence:  Jesus, wedding attendee, using ordinary water jugs performs wonderous wine-changing miracle.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

John 1: 43- 57

Jesus found Philip and said, "Follow Me." Philip found his brother Nathanael and said, "We have found...Jesus... come and see..."

Jesus found and called Philip but Philip felt that he had found the treasure of knowing Jesus. His first natural response was to find his brother whom he loved and share this treasure of Jesus with him. In sharing the treasure we invite others to come and see for themselves who Jesus is.

Nathanael's response, 'can any good thing come out of Nazareth? I thought this showed a bit of self righteousness from a Jew who knew the culture etc. yet he came to see Jesus. Yet Jesus saw Nathanael's response to Philip as honest, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit."

Nathanael met the One who knew him (from before the foundation of the world). There was an immediate acknowledgment of "knowing" Jesus was the Son of God, the King of Israel. This reminded me of John 6:45- and they will be taught by God. Everyone who has heard and learned from God the Father comes to Me." and John 10: 27-29- My sheep hear My voice and they follow Me..."

Jesus had seen Nathanael under the fig tree through the eyes of deity and Nathanael "knew" this meant Jesus was God and believed. Now Jesus would reveal more things to him in the spiritual realm..."You will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man." Nathanael's eyes had been opened, his heart was opened and he "knew" Jesus. I wonder what joy, what anticipation, what wonder must have filled him that day.

A life of joy, anticipation and wonder awaits those who love Jesus!