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Friday, August 28, 2015

Corruption or Everlasting Life?

669- Today's Prime Time Devo comes from 2Sa 22:25-28, “Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to my cleanness in His eyes. 26 "With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless; 27 With the pure You will show Yourself pure; And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd. 28 You will save the humble people; But Your eyes are on the haughty, that You may bring them down. (2 Sam 22:25-28) David has not obeyed God's Word perfectly, but he has “kept” it. Treasured it. He has treasured God's precepts and even treasured God's correction. The Good News for those who treasure God's Word is that there is payback associated with it, and David now paints a picture of what God's payback looks like. A quick glance tells us that God is just! Mercy for mercy, blamelessness for blamelessness, purity for purity, deviousness with shrewdness. You receive from God what you mete out. And though you and I mete these things out imperfectly, God metes them out with perfection! Don't just blow this off folks. This is a spiritual law and reality that is often overlooked to our harm. For instance; Who would not want more of God's mercy? Yet when we fail to show it to others, we pinch the supply of mercy that God longs to deliver to us. Or when we allow our dealings with others to be devious, we invite the shrewdness of God to thwart our day to day living. To ignore this spiritual law is to fail to treasure God's Word. One might say, “well it is enough that I am saved.” But is it? Ga 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. What do you want to sow to? Corruption or everlasting life? We are not saved by doing good, but doing good by treasuring God's Word is evidence of our saving faith. Jas 2:17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. And what do you suppose the reward for dead faith is?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Mark For All Believers

668- Today's Prime Time Devo comes from 2Sa 22:25, “Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to my cleanness in His eyes. (2 Sam 22:25) Whenever we see that word “therefore,” we must always go back a couple of verses and see what the “therefore” is “there for.” David has just spoken of his God-given love for God and His Word. He “kept” it, that is, he treasured it. This treasuring of ALL of God's Word is a gift of grace from God and it is offered to all who believe the gospel and submit to Jesus as Lord and Savior. What once was either viewed by you and I as utter nonsense, or silly superstition, or a book that just contained some good moral lessons becomes real and absolute truth in our heart of hearts. This trust in God's Word and treasuring of it is an earmark of every child of God! Joh 8:47 "He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God." 1Co 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, (The written word) for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 2Co 4:3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 1Jo 4:6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. God's people treasure all of God's Word! It comes with the territory. Even if we don't understand all of it (and we don't) we still look to it as the very words of God! By God's grace we believe that, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3:16,17)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Clean Hands of David

667- Today's Prime Time Devo comes from 2Sa 22:21-24 "The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me. 22 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, And have not wickedly departed from my God. 23 For all His judgments were before me; And as for His statutes, I did not depart from them. 24 I was also blameless before Him, And I kept myself from my iniquity. (2 Sam 22:21-24) David seems to be tooting his horn here as he speaks of his righteousness, the cleanness of his hands, keeping the ways of the Lord, etc. Well I don't know about you but it seems to me that David has borrowed someones horn, because this is not the David we have been following in 1 and 2 Samuel! Granted, David was a man after God's own heart but he messed up all the time! Nonetheless, God Himself testified to the righteousness of David and spoke of it in 1Ki 15:5, “David did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.” Well, at least the sin against Uriah is mentioned, but even it is not held against David! Why not? Well we know that when David was confronted with the word of God in the matter of this sin, he had godly sorrow over it, confessed it, and God forgave him, just as God forgives us when we repent with godly sorrow over our sins. (1 Jn 1:9) I believe the key to understanding this high opinion that God has of David is found in the “kept.” We are told that David “kept” the ways of the Lord. This word shows up repeatedly in both the Old and New Testament and it means to put a hedge around something so as to protect it because it is something that is treasured. This is so key for David and for you and I. God's ways which are written down for us in His Word are to be treasured. Even when David sinned against Uriah, he treasured the correction that came his way through Nathan the prophet. Friend you have messed up, you are messing up today, and you will mess up in the future. This is not a green light for you to wantonly mess up, it's just a reminder to treasure God's Word. Give it the highest place of guidance in your life. Seek to follow it in your daily living, and trust it for the times you slip up, knowing that through faith in Christ you are forgiven and given the clean hands of David.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Your Redeemer Is On the Way

666- Today's Prime Time Devo comes from 2Sa 22:17-20, “"He sent from above, He took me, He drew me out of many waters. 18 He delivered me from my strong enemy, From those who hated me; For they were too strong for me. 19 They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the LORD was my support. 20 He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me. (2 Sam 22:17-20) We've all seen the video clips of people caught up in tsunami's and flood waters. Utterly helpless and energy fading fast the rescuers arrive in helicopters or boats and pluck their often spent bodies out of certain death. This is a picture of many of the trials and temptations we face here on earth. It feels like we are being swept up in crisis, our spiritual strength waning as our world comes crashing down around us. Take heart from this passage. Help is on the way. The Lord sees and He stands ready to pluck you out of your troubled waters. But why does He wait so long? Sometimes it's just a matter of reaching that point where we are not able to rely on an ounce of our own strength. Isa 59:19b,20 says, “ When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him. 20 "The Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob," Says the LORD. Please note the necessity of turning from transgression. That's called repentance. David likens the enemy to an overwhelming flood, he admits that like floodwaters, (the enemy) is too strong for him, and he cries to the Lord for help. In his weakened state the enemy came at him all the more, but the Lord delivered him and set him on a broad place safe from the raging stream. The word “calamity” here means “ruin.” Think about that. Many times often by our own wrong choices or the wrong choices of others we find ourselves in ruinous situations. It seems to us that there is no way out, and the enemy seemingly screams at us. “You are ruined! All is lost!” But it's not! Take heart from this passage! Hang on knowing that God is able to rescue you from ruin, and if it is your transgression that has kindled the situation, turn from it confident that the Redeemer is on His way!

Monday, August 24, 2015

All Is Laid Bare

665- Today's Prime Time Devo comes from 2Sa 22:16 Then the channels of the sea were seen, The foundations of the world were uncovered, At the rebuke of the LORD, At the blast of the breath of His nostrils. (2 Sam 22:16) What a great word picture that the Holy Spirit has given us through David's Song of the omniscience of God! The very channels of the sea exposed, every current in the ocean mapped out in plain view! The pillars on which the globe rests made plain. I think of the painstaking work of uncovering archaeological finds, clearing away dust and debris to find what is hidden, but God is able with just the breath of His nostrils to blow away all our cover. This is what will happen on Judgment Day! Hypocrites be warned! Ec 12:14 tells us that “God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.” There will be no secrets on Judgment Day. 2Co 5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. This Day awaits all of us as it says in Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, We find another picture of this Day in Re 20:11,12, “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. Did you catch that? Everything in heaven and on earth flees from before the Judges face. All is laid bare! No one escapes His judgment. The books are opened on every single individual. Forget your idea of good and bad. Forget the thought that you are going to be graded on a curve. Only those who have put on Christ will be judged not guilty. For He IS the Book of Life! Those who have put their faith in Christ will appear without blemish on the pages of the Book of Life. Fear the Day of Judgment! But fear not if you are in Christ!

Friday, August 21, 2015

A Picture of Wrath

664- Today's Prime Time Devo comes from 2Sa 22:8-15, “"Then the earth shook and trembled; The foundations of heaven quaked and were shaken, Because He was angry. 9 Smoke went up from His nostrils, And devouring fire from His mouth; Coals were kindled by it. 10 He bowed the heavens also, and came down With darkness under His feet. 11 He rode upon a cherub, and flew; And He was seen upon the wings of the wind. 12 He made darkness canopies around Him, Dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. 13 From the brightness before Him Coals of fire were kindled. 14 "The LORD thundered from heaven, And the Most High uttered His voice. 15 He sent out arrows and scattered them; Lightning bolts, and He vanquished them. (2 Sam 22:8-15) Wow! God apparently is ticked! This is a picture of wrath! Quaking earth, smoke from the nostrils, devouring fire, darkness under His feet, lightning bolts, and riding a cherub speaks of the swiftness of the expression of His anger. But what is He so mad about? In context here, He is mad about death. David has just talked about the persistent call of the grave. It is never satisfied, Pr 30:15b,16 says, “There are three things that are never satisfied, Four never say, "Enough!": 16 The grave, The barren womb, The earth that is not satisfied with water-And the fire never says, "Enough!" This was not the way things started out! Adam and Eve lived in a perfect, sinless, non-decaying, death deficient garden of Eden, but then sin entered the world and with it came death. Ro 5:12 says, Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned-- The only thing that can take away the penalty of sin is the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. No wonder the Father is angry. This death thing can only be taken care of by the death of His only Son! And this poetic portrayal given to us by David is a picture of the complete wrath of God against sin and death being poured out on His Son on Calvary. May we never forget the price of sin, may we never forget the love of Christ, and may we embrace our only hope of salvation. Trust in Jesus.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Fear of Death

663- Today's Prime Time Devo comes from 2Sa 22:5-7, 'When the waves of death surrounded me, The floods of ungodliness made me afraid. 6 The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me. 7 In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry entered His ears. (2 Sam 22:5-7) David now starts to recount some of the reasons that he spews forth the praises of God, his deliverer. He starts with the many times he looked death in the face , as his enemies sought to kill him. Like breakers in the ocean, death seemed to be in relentless pursuit of him. There was no escape from these situations, and he honestly admits that at times, he was afraid! Sometimes he was obsessed with the thought of the close quarters of the grave, (the sorrows (cords) of Sheol, (the grave) surrounded him) This claustrophobic obsession was like a roadblock, (that's the idea of the word “confronted” here.) it's like a roadblock that stops you in your tracks. The solution? Send an S.O.S. To God. Call out to Him. He hears and is pleased to deliver you from your fears. As Christians we should take heart from this passage. If a brave warrior such as David can be gripped at times with a fear of death, it can happen to us as well. This fear of death can immobilize us and lead to great anxiety and panic. It can strike us at anytime, but is usually prevalent during times of upheaval in our lives. This fear can even cause us to doubt our faith. I mean shouldn't a Christian welcome death and yearn for heaven? Why this great fear of being cooped up in a grave? Well know this my friend, it is only the natural reaction of our flesh. It becomes problematic when it sets up the roadblock and won't let us get past it. When David found himself facing this roadblock he knew what to do. In his distress (his soul squeezing) he called upon the Lord, confident that the Lord would hear him and remove the roadblock of obsession. May God give us that same confident reliance upon Him, whenever fear immobilizes us.