Friday, September 6, 2013

Psalm 13, A Change of Focus

In Psalm 13 we read:

1 How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart daily?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

3 Consider and hear me, O Lord my God;
Enlighten my eyes,
Lest I sleep the sleep of death;
4 Lest my enemy say,
“I have prevailed against him”;
Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

5 But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me. (NKJV)

What do you see here?

Well, I see a change of focus, and a change for the better.  It reminds me of Second Corinthians 5:7 which says, "For we walk by faith, not by sight."

The author (David maybe, probably) of Psalm 13 started by sharing from circumstantial truth and ended by sharing from the higher truth revealed by the Spirit, a solid truth, a much better truth.  He shifted from walking by sight to walking by faith.  And faith in what?  Faith in the promises of God which the Lord God shared previously.

If the Lord God has shared promises with you, to ignore them is called unbelief, and that is displeasing to the Lord God.  It hurts Him, too.  Don't ignore the promises of God.

In Deuteronomy 31:6 and Hebrews 13:5, when He said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you.", did He mean it?  Yes He did.  Don't ignore this promise.

 Remember this old chorus:
Turn you eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
It's true.

Larry Carroll

Monday, September 2, 2013

More Than "Just Say No"

From Mark 15:8-11
8 Then the multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do just as he had always done for them. 9 But Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them. (NKJV)

It looks like the chief priests knew that just saying "no" was not good enough.  They needed to suggest an alternative.  This incident occurred when Pilate suggested Jesus as the one to be released at the feast.

"No" was not enough.  They had to say "Yes" to someone else, and in this case it turned out to be Barabbas.

This is a good lesson for us when harmful or wasteful suggestions are made.  Do more than just saying "no" (though that is a good start).  Say "yes" to something better, hopefully much better.

Or if you are warning another person (or yourself) about a harmful activity, suggest a positive alternative.

Don't do that.  Do this better alternative.

Larry Carroll