Struggles, The Word

53,310,843

53,310,843 – This is how many children have died during the first 37 years of the American holocaust. Roe v. Wade marked the beginning of a new era. An era where, in the “Land of the Free”, “One Nation Under God”, murder became legal. A time where mass murder can be be performed in silence. This is a horrendous sin before our God, and those who practice it are only building a pile of evidence to be used against themselves on judgement day.

12,800,000 – This is the max estimate of how many humans died in the Nazi holocaust. A little over four times as many people have died from abortion compared to what is called one of the most terrible events to occur on earth. Yet, abortion is legal in America. This is wrong, and it has to stop. We must keep in mind, however, that nothing can be done apart from the sovereign hand of God working in our government. We must also remember that our Father has allowed this, so it is ultimately happening for His glory. This is a video by Ray Comfort about abortion, and it is amazing. Please watch it, spread the word, and pray for our nation.

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Psalms, The Word

Psalm 145

Psalm 145 has recently become one of my favorite psalms, as it was written to praise God, and does so elegantly. This psalm extols the Lord for His attributes, His acts, His power, and His blessings. This is the conclusion of the 73 psalms of David, and grand it is. A couple of my favorite verses are:  “6 Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts, and I will tell of Your greatness. 7 They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness and will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.”

Psalm 145

1 I will extol You, my God, O King,
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.

2 Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.

3 Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable.

4 One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.

5 On the glorious splendor of Your majesty
And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.

6 Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts,
And I will tell of Your greatness.

7 They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness
And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.

8 The LORD is gracious and merciful;
Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.

9 The LORD is good to all,
And His mercies are over all His works.

10 All Your works shall give thanks to You, O LORD,
And Your godly ones shall bless You.

11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom
And talk of Your power;

12 To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts
And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.

13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.

14 The LORD sustains all who fall
And raises up all who are bowed down.

15 The eyes of all look to You,
And You give them their food in due time.

16 You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

17 The LORD is righteous in all His ways
And kind in all His deeds.

18 The LORD is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.

19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He will also hear their cry and will save them.

20 The LORD keeps all who love Him,
But all the wicked He will destroy.

21 My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD,
And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.

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Psalms, The Word

Psalm 19

First I would like to apologize for the absence of posts upon this blog. The school year has been hard for me, so I have had almost no free time so far this year. I will try to be more diligent in my posting habits, even if all I can put up are song lyrics. With Christmas day fast approaching, one would think I would write a Christmas-themed post. I will try to before then, but no promises.

This is a psalm that has been so encouraging to me. It speaks of God’s ownership of the world, the beauty of His handiwork, and how it proclaims His name to all who desire to hear. How wonderful is the Word of God! It contains everything needed for a life in godliness. It restores, makes wise, rejoices, and warns us, as adduced by this passage. Nothing compares to the Word. “No money, cars, or relationships compare to joy in Christ,” to borrow the words of Lecrae. It’s easy to say these things, but the product will be found in our everyday lives. Do I really love the Word? If I do, the evidence will be clear to all those around me. I must examine myself daily, praying for the love the 119 psalmist had(and still has) for the Word. I would encourage the reader to do the same.

Psalm 19

1 The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.

2 Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge.

3 There is no speech, nor are there words;
Their voice is not heard.

4 Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their utterances to the end of the world.
In them He has placed a tent for the sun,

5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber;
It rejoices as a strong man to run his course.

6 Its rising is from one end of the heavens,
And its circuit to the other end of them;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

7 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

8 The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.

10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.

11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.

13 Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; 
Let them not rule over me;
Then I will be blameless,
And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

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Struggles, The Word

Love As He Loves You. Forgive As He Forgives You.

To all of you who were wondering, the reason I haven’t made a post in a while is because I have been struggling. I’ve been struggling against the sin of the flesh, and it’s been harder than anything I have ever dealt with aside from when I first believed. Praise be to God, for He is strong when we are weak! The only way I can overcome these sins that infect my thoughts and actions is through Christ, as Colossians 1:13 and 14 say:

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Oh, His beloved, precious Son, how I long to look like Him! I thank and praise my Father for giving me such hard times, because when we suffer and overcome our sin through Him is when we tend to grow the most.

My struggle was with three sins in particular: jealousy, bitterness, and selfishness. It all starts with the way I view my friends. For the longest time, I have viewed the majority of my friends as the world views them: sources of pleasure, wanting all of their attention to feel good about myself, feeling important, or even loved, in an ungodly way. What was this view of my friends coming from? Selfishness. I did not pursue relationships with them so that they would be built up in Christ, or encouraged by me to follow Him with more of a passion. If I may pause from the story to challenge you. Examine your relationships, your friendships. Have you sought out friendships to encourage the other person in Christ? Or have you chased them because that other person made you feel good about yourself. What about your love relationships? Have you truly kept Christ at the center of that relationship, so that the one you love will look more like Christ in every aspect? Or have you pursued that person they made you feel loved, important, beautiful, or handsome, as the case may be. Please, examine closely. If looking more like Christ is not at the center of your relationship, and it’s goal is not the glory of God, then your friendship with that person at this moment has no eternal benefit. What matters in the end of all things? That, in your life, you glorified God in all things. So glorify Him in your friendships.

So, as an effect of me not having my friendships centered around the right thing, when someone else came along, who was another close friend of mine, and stole the spotlight from me, what do you think my reaction was? Jealousy. The point of my relationships with these people was my own pleasure, so when a friend came along who was more entertaining than me in almost every way, my reaction was jealousy. When he was there, my friends ignored me for him. He deprived me from feeling good about myself. I tried to change how I acted, so that I could get that prideful feeling from my friends again, but it didn’t work. I was still ignored, and that made me angry. I wasn’t content with Christ, with how He had made me, and I still desired that prideful feeling I got from my friends so much.

But, I was also committing another sin towards this person in response to past sins committed by him. Bitterness. I forgave him for what he did, with my lips, but hadn’t truly forgiven him in my heart. I felt a festering bitterness towards him for what he had done, and this made it hard for me to even be around him.

Through help from my parents and the careful examination of God’s Word, I saw my sin, and I saw what I needed to change in my actions and thoughts toward my friends. Love. I need to love them as Christ loves them. As Christ loves me. Forgiveness. I need to forgive them as Christ has forgiven me. If I am to be like Christ in everything, then I should not be hesitant to pour out forgiveness upon my friends. Christ forgave me of my vile sins against Him, an eternally holy God who loves me, by dying on a cross for my sins. So why should I be so hesitant to forgive a friend who has offended me? Here are some passages that have encouraged me, showed me my sin, and what I need to do to combat that sin. I have put off the sin, and now I put on Christ’s love, and forgiveness.

1 Corinthians 13:3-8a: 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.

Romans 8:31-39 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36 Just as it is written,

“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Colossians 3:12-14 12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

I pray that you who are reading will examine yourself according to the Scripture here, and that you will be able to see through the Lord where you have failed, and where you have done well. If you have failed, repent, and pursue Christ’s righteousness, love, and forgiveness. If you have succeeded in these things, rejoice, give the glory to God, and continue to excel still more.

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The Word

Get Over Yourself

This weekend I was on a short summer vacation, and was able to see a younger friend whom I had not been with for about a year and a half.  Throughout the weekend, the boy would have a rebellious attitude toward the things his parents told him to do, responding to his parents’ commands with rejection.  My mother encouraged me to talk to him about it, and challenge him about whether it was right or wrong for him to do so.  I didn’t really desire to do so, I didn’t want to get in that situation, as it would be uncomfortable for us both.  The next morning in my devotions, I didn’t have my Bible available so I opened my Bible app on my phone.  The passage it was set on was this:

Titus 3:1,2

1  Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed,2  to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.

  I prayed that morning, before I read the Scripture, that I would take to heart what I read in His word that morning and practice it throughout the day.  And what do I find?  A passage that dealt with the very thing I was struggling with.  God used His Scripture to give me a kick in the boot. To say, “Noah, you need to do this.” I find it amazing how quickly and effectively God uses His Word to challenge us to do something.  That day I purposed to speak to the boy about his behavior. I mentioned things to him several times throughout the day and then that night, while talking about the church we were going to tomorrow, he asked me, “So how do you get to heaven?” and so I was able to share the gospel with him again, as he had already heard it, but I was able to stress repentance, which he hadn’t heard before.

You see, if we can(through the Lord’s help) get over ourselves, our own fear and pride about how situations where we talk about our faith with unbelievers make us look, then there is nothing holding us back from what we know we need to do as followers of Christ.  When we struggle with such sin, we should always pray and look to His Word, and God will show us what to do.

If you could keep the boy in your prayers, as he is not a believer but is interested. And interest is sometimes a sign of God calling someone. The boy’s name is Drew.

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