Just in case you missed it, here is this week’s lesson once again.
“But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him,” Habakkuk 2:20
Through the many tragedies that unfold in this life and experiencing the unrest of wars and what appears to be the advancement of evil, we are left with the assurance that God is still in control. Not only is He still in control, but He remains in His proper seat of authority, ruling in His holy temple.
Sometimes it’s hard to wrap one’s mind around this concept when all we see is the terrible and the detestable happening in the land. When our eyes witness children being torn and broken; and mothers left without any hope, it’s hard to view the world through another possibility. When we see fathers in despair, feeling helpless to lead and feed his family. When we see evil trying to claw its way to the top, we are reminded, He is there, never to be moved or usurped; never to be replaced or shaken from His seat of power and supremacy.
Oh, we watch the world as men set the idols of their hearts up. We watch as we see they deepen their dependency on the things that will never satisfy the hungering soul. Through it all, we look to His Majesty. The King is on the throne. O earth, be still before Him and honor His presence.
This is a comfort to the soul who can’t find comfort anywhere else. Is this not a blessed place to be? For if one found comfort among the false and depraved then would they not also think as other men? Take comfort, O soul, in your God who is always present. The head of all principality and power still bears the crown obtained for the salvation and deliverance of mankind. He that holds that holy scepter, and Himself is the Scepter that rises out of Israel (Num. 24:17), remains in control, worthy of your trust and honor.
O earth, “Be silence before Him.” O false ways, your arrogance will one day bow before Him and you’ll not be able to utter a word against His rule. “The LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment,” (Ps. 9:7).
Therefore, be at peace, he that trusts in the rule of his sovereign King. Allow your soul this holy rest, “The LORD is King forever and ever . . .,” (Ps. 10:16a). And for all the rest, hush and quiet your ways before Him before it’s too late, for “the heathen are perished out of his land,” (Ps. 10:16b). But, “the LORD is in His holy temple,” forever to reign.
“The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all,” Psalm 103:19
Here is this week’s Sunday School lesson once again. Enjoy!
“And I saw as it were . . . them that had gotten the victory . . . and they sing the song,” Revelation 15:2-3, KJV
Songs. Movements of the heart and soul. I don’t know how they come about. Do they start with words that won’t let the mind rest until the lyrics are expressed? Or, is it a tune, a melodious humming in one’s being that beckons to become more?
Songs come and go at anytime and there’s one for every occasion. Most great songs come from one’s life experiences. Whether in good times or bad, happy or sad, the man inside calls for a tune to join the ceremony.
Songs express joy and times of rejoicing. A good song motivates one when it’s hard to push forward in life and lifts one out of times of sadness. We see the power of this type of inspiring music in 1 Samuel 16:23, when David played the harp before Saul and the evil spirit left him.
Music is no doubt powerful. The most precious and heart-felt songs come after times of hardship and struggles. When we have gone through the wringer of life, made it to the other side, and have squeezed out a heart that expresses gratefulness to God. Music that tells the world that yes, it was hard, but I made it to the other side. After crossing the Red Sea did not Miriam put a tambourine in her hand and say, “Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously,” (Exodus 15:21, KJV)?
In the book of Revelation, we see songs of deliverance going up before God. They had overcome “the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having harps of God,” (Rev. 15:2, KJV). And, what did they do? “They sing!” (Rev. 15:3, KJV). Their praise cannot be constrained any longer. They have never felt freer then when they had overcome. That kind of joy starts to seep out every crevice of one’s being until it pours over in song, releasing praise to God!
Music and songs are wrought throughout the Bible. The psalmist exhorts us to “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing,” (Ps. 100:1-2, KJV). When the Assyrians were prophesied to be destroyed, Isaiah 30:29 emphatically declares, “Ye shall have a song!” (KJV). When Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises, the earth quaked and prison doors were opened (Acts 16:25-26). After the Last Supper “they had sung a hymn,” (Mk. 14:26, KJV). James said, “Is any merry? let him sing psalms,” (Ja. 5:13, KJV).
I don’t have the best voice but I have a praise in my soul that I have to let out!
I’m shy in front of other people, but I’m living to please an audience of one! It doesn’t have to be in front of a crowd (yikes!). A praise can wring out of your spirit at anytime and in any place.
Give your heart – your spirit – your soul permission to rejoice. God has been so good to us – so, Sing!
You are an overcomer also. “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us,” (Rom. 8:37, KJV).
Those in Revelations had every right to sing, and so do you. Just sing! He’s worthy of it today!
For the children of Israel there always seemed to a pull to return to bondage; to give themselves over to chains as opposed to freedom. It was almost as if they had a case of the “couldn’t help its.” For every little obstacle they faced they were soon ready to throw in the towel and return to what they formerly were. They spouted, “Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness,” (Exodus 14:12).
Lest we judge them too harshly perhaps we may need to rethink how oft we fight to stay where we were once comfortable. God stretches our faith, pulling us to follow Him through what seems to be desert wildernesses. His fulfilled plan is on the other side, yet to get there we have to venture out into the unknown territories where He calls us, step by step in our own walk of faith.
Alas, through the drudgery and turmoil of the march, that old familiar pull rears its ugly head once more and beckons us to stay in the comfortable; to stay where we know what each day will bring. But, we know that settling will never get us to the other side of the wilderness. Turning back will never propel us forward.
May we, through this day, venture forth where God is leading with a heart of faith that refuses to turn back.
“The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom . . . The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable. . .,” Proverbs 10:31-32, KJV
To cuss, or not to cuss? Is it really a question?
One of my pet peeves, for I have a few, is going into a public place such a store or a market, and being surrounded by filth (and, I don’t mean dirty floors). What I am talking about is employees that work for an establishment, standing around in groups, holding conversations so loud it’s annoying, but also spewing out speech that is reprehensible. It really irks me to no content. This is a place of business. There should be certain decorum for those that work there to follow. That kind of language and obscenities should not be expressed in loud groups in front of the customers.
One day it goaded me so that I literally left the store because I was so offended. What people do with their lives is their business. But, when they come to work, a place that services the public, they should be there for work and not to stand around “expressing themselves” to one another.
Okay, so we expect that kind of behavior from those who are outside of Christ, right? But, what of those who claim Christ as their Savior? Speech, to some seems like a little thing, but shouldn’t it also be above reproach? Should not our tongues be like honey instead of dripping with bitterness and filthiness? Shouldn’t the instrument that we praise God with be just as clean in our everyday life as it was during Sunday service? I believe so.
In our culture many don’t really observe the importance of speech. With much of our everyday conversation laced with slang and things of non-essential, we really don’t revere words the way we ought to. I think this is a downfall to all humankind.
There are many that profess Christ but really find nothing wrong with a few choice words sprinkled here and there. They find no fault in a speech that is so far from the God they serve. The Bible tells us that God used His words to create the whole world and all that is in it. Yet, we see the tongue has having no real power over our lives. And, so, with a nod to secularism, many wade out into the waters of profanity.
If you are in Christ then what you say out of your mouth is more important then you know. According to Jesus, that which comes out of our mouths defiles us, Matthew 15:10-11. It makes us filthy and contaminated, reprehensible in the eyes of God, and it causes a whole lot of trouble. Proverbs 21:23 helps us by telling us, “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles,” (KJV). Been getting into too much trouble lately? What have you been talking about?
Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers,” (KJV). I don’t know about you, but I have never heard a curse word that “ministered grace.” And, it definitely doesn’t build anybody up.
Our mouths are tell-tale instruments that let people know where you are from and what you have in you. When Peter was in the process of denying Jesus, his speech identified him of where he belonged, Matthew 26:73. People can usually pick up on where you are from by how you talk. Trust me when I tell you this. My family is from the south with extraordinarily heavy accents. When they open their mouths to speak, you know they are not from around here.
When we open our mouths to speak, are we speaking with the wisdom of the just? Are we speaking that which is “acceptable?” Or, have we let the accents of this world take over our speech? Remember, people will know where you are from and to whom you belong to by the words that come out of your mouth.
Show the world a better way today. Give them a new accent with your speech. Withdraw from using that useless stuff and turn on the power that God has. “Minister grace unto the hearers.” To cuss, or not to cuss? It’s no longer a question!