Sunday, May 19, 2019

Praise Him

Praise Him
May 20, 2019
Psalm 145:3  "Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom."

People can do some valiant things in life and as humans we do a halfway decent hob of giving them honor when honor is due. We award people medals for valor, for bravery, for achieving a victory. We even heap praise onto people for being so amazing, gushing about how wonderful they can be and the accomplishments they have put forth. We find value in them and make sure to express it. Sometimes we do this as a motivator, to continue to reward good behavior in an effort to solicit more good behavior. Whatever the reason, we give praise, making sure we have outlined the reason for the praise. Seldom do we praise people for nothing, however, making sure to express the logic behind the praise or affirmation.

But the Lord, He is worthy to be praised for reasons beyond human comprehension. In fact the Bible says we should praise Him just because, without even trying to understand why He is so worthy. People sometimes do good things that are worthy of praise, but the Bible says if a human is worthy of praise, then the Lord is MOST worthy of praise. You and I cannot even fathom the reasons why He should be praised, as in our brains are too simple to understand His majesty. He is majestic, every moment of the day, and yet we have trouble finding a reason to praise Him sometimes. Sure, yesterday He did a good thing for us and we praised Him yesterday, but today we are waiting for Him to perform, so we can praise Him today. No, He is worthy of praise everyday, despite our inability to perceive it.

To be more specific, we are required to praise Him. The Bible says it is our job to perform praise and give worship unto His majesty. If we cannot do it, then the rocks will cry out. It is our job to praise the Lord, as free-thinking rational beings if we cannot find a reason to praise Him then the lessor objects will be called up to replace you and me. That's right, your job is to praise Him and if you chose not to do your job then you and I will be replaced.

Whatever you are going through, whatever struggle, it does not warrant you sitting on the sidelines, folding your arms, waiting for the Lord to show up so you can praise Him. It doesn't work that way. He is not a human that you must find a reason to praise Him, to reward Him so He is motivated to do it again. He is beyond comprehension, yet you are still trying to match the praise with the purpose. There is no reason necessary, nor does one have to be given, and there is no time better than the immediate. 

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Psalm 148, Psalm 150, Luke 19:37-40

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Worn Out Shoes

Worn Out Shoes
May 6, 2019
Deuteronomy 29:5  "Yet the Lord says, 'During the forty years that I let you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet.'"

After the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years, it was finally time the Lord allowed them to move on, into the promised land. The work that He set out to accomplish was complete, and now it was time to move on to the next phase of His plan. Recall that the Lord performed many miracles in Egypt, prior to their release from slavery. Those miracles were in the minds of the Israelites as they were wandering in the wilderness. But the original set of Israelites, the original slaves set free, never made it to the Promised Land, that generation died off over the 40 years' commute for a three week trip. All those Israelites who were about to take possession of the Promised Land, they were a new generation who had never witnessed the original miracles, signs, and wonders back in Egypt. They never saw how the Lord worked it out for them to leave. In fact they never saw a miracle, only heard tales about them.

Prior to entering the Promised Land, Moses addressed the assembly and reminded them of all that occurred. He reminded them of the miracles in Egypt, but also pointed out a new one. During their time in the desert, the Lord had provided for them. His own words addressed the miracle provision of food and resources. He said their clothes and shoes did not wear out. While it might seem odd to think of someone wearing the same pair of shoes for 40 years, the Lord was really making a point about the greater situation. They had spent 40 years in a desert. Sometimes the trail was referred to as a desert and sometimes a wilderness. Regardless of the layout of the land, they were isolated from outside resources, limited to what was naturally there. The Lord had to provide quail and manna because the land did not allow for row crops or livestock enough to feed them. Shoes were of animal skin, but you cannot stretch a quail hide to manufacture a shoe sole. The Israelites were isolated in a remote area, without resources and without access to other people groups with whom to trade goods and services. 

When the Lord pointed out that their clothes and shoes did not wear out and that they had enough food to eat, He was pointing out provision for them in the absence of resources. The Lord was reminding them of a miracle right under their feet, miraculous provision out of nothing. The Lord was the one who took them through the desert but the lessons needing taught during that time were of more importance than shoes or even food. The work of the Lord in their lives was more critical than the provision of resources, so the Lord provided the resources.

I've had the soles of my shoes wear out, holes present with water and debris getting inside. But I've also had access to resources to replace those shoes. I've always had opportunity to work in order to provide for resources to acquire shoes. I've  never needed that miracle of shoes not wearing out because the Lord has never led me through a wasteland. The Lord has led me through many other things, however, and likely you, too. When the Lord has led me, it was (and is) for my own good. He takes notice of all that must take place during the trials and lessons and learning exercises, providing for all the trivial things aside. You might not think food to eat is trivial, but to the Lord it is nothing. Submit to the work of the Lord in your life and He will provide for what needs provision. 

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Deut 29:1-18, Matt 6:25-34, Rom 8:28