Elizabeth Lonseth's Blog

 
Ticket to Heaven



Psalms Series:
For several years, I have been using the Psalms as the subject matter for my Friday blog. I pray about the Psalm before studying, I use  commentaries by several theologians, Bible dictionaries, and concordances. Then I write what the Lord lays on my heart. Sometimes it is a modern story that relates, or an interpretative viewpoint, or a theological viewpoint. Many of the Psalms have both a prophetic and "for the time period it is written" interpretation. So each reader can find the encouragement they need. Hopefully my comments are helpful to you. 





Obeying from Our Soul 
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday, November 10th @ 10:10

Psalm 119:169-176 “May my cry come before you, LORD; give me understanding according to your word. v170 May my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your promise. v171 May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees. v172 May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous. v173 May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts. v174 I long for your salvation, LORD, and your law gives me delight. v175 Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me. v176 I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.”

As we finish up the longest Psalm, we are reminded of how we are to live. We are to take our problems to the Lord, we are to praise and worship Him, but most of all we are to love and obey the Lord from our souls. Going through the motions of being good or checking off the box of church attendance will not cut it. We are to spend time with Him and learn His word, then we will know how to navigate life. 

As Matthew Henry says in his Concise Commentary…“Those that love the world have great vexation, for it does not answer what they expect; those that love God’s word have great peace, for it outdoes what they expect.” 

Have Great Peace
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday, November 3rd, 2017 @ 1:40pm

Psalm 119:161 “Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of Your words. v162 I rejoice at Your word, as one who finds great spoil. v163 I hate and despise falsehood, but I love Your law. v164 Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous ordinances. v165 Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble. v166 I hope for Your salvation, O LORD and do Your commandments. v167 My soul keeps Your testimonies, and I love them exceedingly. v166 I keep Your precepts and your testimonies, for all my ways are before You.”

Focusing on God’s Word, especially His promises of heaven and eternal provision give a believer great peace. In times of great distress remembering those promises can give you the strength to carry on. Unfortunately, often you can’t escape the trials and tests. However, you can receive the peace of God that His word gives and walk through these tests victorious. How we handle stressful times is based on how much of God’s Word we apply, that means we have to know it. May we make time in our day to pray and learn God’s Word so we have the tools to peacefully face our problems.   

When The World Turns Against Us
Posted by Elizabeth Friday, October 27th, 2017 @ 2:00pm

Psalm 119:153 “Look upon my affliction and rescue me, for I do not forget Your law. v154 Plead my cause and redeem me; revive me according to Your word. v155 Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek Your statutes. v156 Great are Your mercies, O Lord; revive me according to Your ordinances. v157 Many are my persecutors and my adversaries, yet I do not turn aside from Your testimonies. v158 I behold the treacherous and loathe them, because they do not keep Your word. v159 Consider how I love Your precepts; revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness. v160 The sum of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.

We have all had seasons in our lives when everything overwhelms us, when problems seem insurmountable. When that happens we need to do what David did, go to God’s Word. It revives us and gives us the strength to continue on. It is reliable because it is Truth and will continue forever. As Matthew Henry explains:

“The closer we cleave to the word of God, both as our rule and as our stay, the more assurance we have of deliverance. Christ is the Advocate of His people, their Redeemer.” Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary.

David also pleads for the Lord to plead his cause, to redeem him. This Psalm looks ahead as we have that through our Savior Jesus Christ.

1 John 2:1 “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;”

So remember when things get out of control and impossible, we not only have a savior but also one who is on our side, who will plead our cause.

I Cried With My Whole Heart

Posted by Elizabeth, Friday October 20th, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

Psalm 119:145-152 “I cried with all my heart; answer me, O Lord! I will observe Your statutes. v146 I cried to You; save me and I shall keep Your testimonies. v147 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words. v148 My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word. v149 Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness; revive me, O Lord, according to Your ordinances. v150 Those who follow after wickedness draw near; they are far from Your law. v151 You are near, O Lord, and all Your commandments are truth. v152 Of old I have known from Your testimonies that You have founded them forever."

We have arrived at the nineteenth part of the 119th Psalm and the Title is KOPH. I like the way John Gill explained the passage:

“KOPH.--The Nineteenth Part.

KOPH. I cried with my whole heart,… Prayer is often expressed by crying; which sometimes signifies mental, and sometimes vocal prayer; and generally supposes the person praying to be in distress, either outward or inward. This prayer of the psalmists was hearty and cordial, not with his mouth and lips only, but with his heart also; it did not proceed from feigned lips, but was put up in sincerity and truth; yea, it was with his whole heart, with all the powers and faculties of his soul employed; his affections set on God, the desires of his soul after him, and his will submitted to his; it denotes the intenseness, earnestness, and fervency of prayer; hear me, O Lord: the prayer he had put up, and answer it. Some persons pray, and that is enough; they do not concern themselves whether their prayers are heard or not: but David desired an answer, and looked after that; I will keep thy statutes; not in his own strength, but in the strength of the Lord; and it is to be understood not merely as a resolution what he would do; nor as a promise, which he uses as a plea, argument, or motive to be heard; but rather it expresses the end of his being heard, or the thing for which he desires to be heard: for so it may be rendered, "that I may keep thy statutes"; hear me, and give me grace and strength to enable me to observe them.” John Gill’s Exposition on the Whole Bible

Resting In Righteousness
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday October 6th, 2017 @ 2:00 pm

Lately the Lord has been reminding me to rest in Him. It is easy to get caught up in the business of the world and struggle to survive another day. One of the Bible studies I have been reading explains trust leads to rest. We must trust the Lord first then we can relax and enjoy Him, even in the midst of a hectic situation.

Why should we trust Him? The following segment of Psalm 119 gives us one good reason — He is Righteous. He is perfect goodness. He cannot do anything wrong, His words are pure, and He will be Righteous forever.

Psalm 119:137-144 “Righteous art Thou, O Lord, and upright are Thy judgments. v138 Thou hast commanded Thy testimonies in righteousness and exceeding faithfulness. v139 My zeal has consumed me, because my adversaries have forgotten Thy words. v140 Thy word is very pure, therefore Thy servant loves it. v141 I am small and despised, yet I do not forget Thy precepts. v142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Thy law is truth. v143 Trouble and anguish have come upon me; yet Thy commandments are my delight. v144 Thy testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live.”

So this week when things get hectic, may we remember He is not only Righteous, but all powerful, all knowing, present everywhere, He never changes, He is truth, justice, merciful, eternal, and He is love. 

Establish My Footsteps
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday, September 22nd, 2017 @ 1:16pm

Psalm 119:130-136 “The unfolding of Your words gives light, it gives understanding to the simple. v131 I opened my mouth wide and panted, for I longed for Your commandments. v132 Turn to me and be gracious to me, after Your manner with those who love Your name. v133 Establish my footsteps in Your word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.  v134 Redeem me from the oppression of man, that I may keep Your precepts. v135 Make Your face shine upon Your servant, and teach me Your statues. v136 My eyes shed streams of water, because they do no keep Your law.”

At the beginning of this Psalm, in verse 9, David asks how a young man can keep himself pure. How can he avoid temptation? The answer is the same in verse 9 and here in verse 133, God’s Word. David begs the Lord to establish his footsteps (which refers to each part of his day, everywhere he goes, everything he does) in His Word. He knows that only God’s Word will keep iniquity from taking over his life.

The miracle of God’s Word is that when we apply it in our lives, believing and acting upon it, meditating on it, we are free. Free from our flesh running the show, free from sin. God’s Word gives us the joy of freedom. So the question for each day of our lives is this: are our footsteps established in God’s Word.

Above Fine Gold
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday, September 15th, 2017 @ 1:26pm


Psalm 119:121-128 “I have done what is justice and righteousness; do not leave me to my oppressors. v122 Be surety for Thy servant for good; do not let the arrogant oppress me. v123 My eyes fail with longing for Thy salvation, and for Thy righteous word. v124 Deal with Thy servant according to Thy lovingkindness and teach me Thy statues. v125 I am Thy servant; give me understanding that I may know Thy testimonies. v126 It is time for the Lord to act, because they have broken Thy law. v127 Therefore I love Thy commandments above gold, yes, above fine gold, v127 Therefore I esteem right all Thy precepts concerning everything, I hate every false way.”

It seems David is having a Job situation. He is doing the right thing but being tested, so much so he is begging for the Lord’s salvation. What is keeping him going is God’s Word. He knows it is sustaining him and He loves the Lord for it.

He is reminding the Lord I love your word so much that I loathe evil and false ways, not in a self righteous way — after all David was no stranger to sin. But because, to him, God’s word was greater than fine gold. God’s word needs to be our fine gold.  

Protection

Posted on behalf of Elizabeth, Sunday September 8th, 2017 @ 9:00pm

Psalm 119:113-120 I hate those who are double-minded, but I love Your law. v114 You are my hiding place and my shield; I wait for Your word. v115 Depart from me, evildoers, that I may observe the commandments of my God. v116 Sustain me according to Your word, that I may live; and do not let me ashamed of my hope. v117 Uphold me that I may be safe, that I may have regard for Your statutes continually. v118 You have rejected all those who wander from Your statutes, for their deceitfulness is useless. v119 You have removed all the wicked of the earth like dross; therefore I love Your testimonies. v120 My flesh trembles for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments. . .Ayin.

As a child my friend and I loved to take blankets and put them over tables to create tents or caves. We felt secure and safe, hiding out as if no one could see us. One time we took all the table settings off the table and built the most beautiful creation as her mother worked in the kitchen to putting the final touches on an elaborate ladies luncheon. Needless to say she was not happy when she walked through the dining room on her way to greet her first guests.

Even though we may be in plain sight, God protects us from evil, accidents, and those that might harm us. He is our hiding place. Often in Grace He bestows protection when we do not deserve it, but He reserves his best protection for those who respect Him and put the utmost priority on His word. 

Lamp Unto My Feet
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday, September 1st, 2017 @ 9:40am

Psalm 119:105-112 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. v106 I have sworn and I will confirm it, that I will keep Your righteous ordinances. v107 I am exceedingly afflicted; revive me, O LORD, according to Your world v108 O accept the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me Your ordinances. v109 My life is continually in my hand, yet I do not forget Your law. v110 The wicked have laid a snare for me, yet I have not gone astray from Your precepts. v111 I have inherited Your testimonies forever, for they are the joy of my heart. v112 I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes forever, even to the end.

A lamp…a light...showing the way, that is God’s Word. When we learn it, meditate on it, and make it our guide, it is our light, shining bright through the darkness. May His word be the joy of our hearts. 

Sweeter than Honey
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday, August 25th, 2017 @ 11:32am

If someone asked my family members what my favorite thing to eat was, they would all answer chocolate. In this section of the longest Psalm David is comparing God’s Word to the sweetest thing he can think of – honey. As we read about David we know he spent a lot of time outdoors in his younger years. I can imagine him finding a wild honeycomb and freely eating of the sweet honey. The bliss, that moment of peace and enjoyment as he was on the run from Saul. Throughout the Bible honey is a metaphor for blessing and good things. And nutritionists tout the numerous physical benefits eating honey provides.

Throughout this section David brings out why He loves God’s Word and how he benefited from meditating on throughout each day: it made him wise and it restrained him from evil. May we enjoy the sweetness of God’s Word each day.

Psalm 119:97-104 “O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day. v98 Thy commandments make me wiser that my enemies, for the are ever mine. v99 I have more insight than all my teachers, for Thy testimonies are my meditation. v100 I understand more than the aged, because I have observed Thy precepts. v101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Thy word. v102 I have not turned aside from Thine ordinances, for Thou Thyself hast taught me. v103 How sweet are Thy words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! v104 From Thy precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. 

Heart Knowledge
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday August 18th, 2017 @ 9:00am

Psalm 119:89-96 “Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. v90 Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands. v 91 They stand this day according to Your ordinances, for all things are Your servants. v92 If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction. v93 I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have revived me. v94 I am Yours, save me, for I have sought Your precepts. v95 The wicked wait for me to destroy me; I shall diligently consider Your testimonies. v96 I have seen a limit to all perfection; Your commandment is exceedingly broad.

With God’s Word being mentioned in all but five of the 176 verses of this Psalm we have had the importance of the Bible repeated verse after verse. Remember this is an acrostic Psalm and this section is titled “Lamedh,” the twelfth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which refers to heart knowledge, in other words — application.

As verses 89 and 90 remind us, because God’s Word started in heaven and will continue forever, we can have complete confidence in it.  

Our Lord doesn’t want us to approach His Word as a good textbook, but as our very life. Knowing the information is not enough. God wants us to use it in our daily lives, meditating on it, letting it cleanse us and empower us. We are to experience His Word daily in our lives. His Word has passages to comfort us, to give us courage, to strengthen our spirits, and to encourage us. That is why we study and memorize it…so we can apply as we take the journey here on earth. 

Honest With God?

Posted by Elizabeth, Friday August 11th, 2017 @ 10:00am

Psalm 119:81-88 My soul languishes for Your salvation; I wait for Your word. v82 My eyes fail with longing for Your word while I say, When will You comfort me? v83 Though I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget Your statues. v84 How many are the days of Your servant? When will You execute judgment on those who persecute me? v85 The arrogant have dug pits for me, men who are not in accord with your law. v86 All Your commandments are faithful; they have persecuted me with a lie; help me! v87 They almost destroyed me on earth, but as for me, I did not forsake Your precepts. v88 Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, so that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth.

Bible scholars agree that the word ‘languishes’ here should be translated fainteth or faileth.  As Albert Barnes explains in his Notes on the Bible:

“The idea is, that his strength gave way; he had such an intense desire for salvation that he became weak and powerless. Any strong emotion may thus prostrate us; and the love of God – the desire of his favor- the longing for heaven – may be so intense as to produce this result.”

David has become like a dried up wineskin hanging in the smoke rising from a fire, about ready to crack. He is at the end of his rope, but instead of finding a good friend and dumping all his problems on them he takes his problems to the only one that can truly do something about it. Are we that honest with God? Do we cry out to Him for help? Do we do like David did in verses 87 and 88 and go to God’s Word for the answers? 

Your Hands Made Me
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday August 4th, 2017 @12.48pm

David is blown away by the idea that God cared about him enough to create him. Read the following verses from David’s perspective as he take what that means in his life, knowing that God cares so much.

Psalm 119:73-80 Your hands made me and fashioned me; give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments. v14 May those who fear You see me and be glad, because I wait for Your word. v75 I know O, LORD, that Your judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. v76 O may Your lovingkindness comfort me, according to Your word to Your servant. v77 May Your compassion come to me that I may live, for Your law is my delight. v78 May the arrogant be ashamed, for they subvert me with a lie; but I shall meditate on Your precepts. v79 May those who fear You turn to me, even those who know Your testimonies. v80 May my heart be blameless in Your statutes, so that I will not be ashamed.

Good Discernment
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday July 28th, 2017, 11:00am

Recently my granddaughter expressed the idea that she did not want to make friends with a certain girl “because she doesn’t listen to the teacher.” At her young age she is learning to discern. And she has decided for this moment anyway that she does not want to run with the “disobedient crowd.” As she grows she will also be learning to treat others in grace, which will give her balance in for future relationships.

Psalm 119:65-72 “You have dealt well with Your servant, O LORD, according to Your word. v66 Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe in Your commandments. v67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word. v68 You are good and do good; teach me Your statutes. v69 The arrogant have forged a lie against me; with all my heart I will observe Your precepts. v70 Their heart is covered with fat, but I delight in Your law. v71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes. v 72 The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

In v 66 David asks God to “Teach me good discernment and knowledge.” It is a brave request, as often the way we learn is through testing or affliction, as we struggle to apply God’s Word in our lives. It takes practice, patience, and an open heart towards God. A heart like David’s that values God’s Word above thousands of gold and silver pieces.

Obedient Fellowship
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday July 21st, 2017, 10:32am

Psalm 119:57-64 “The LORD is my portion; I have promised to keep Your words. v58 I sought Your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according you word. v59 I considered my ways and turned my feet to Your testimonies. v60 I hastened and did not delay to keep Your commandments. v61 The cords of the wicked have encircled me, but I have not forgotten Your law. v62 At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to You because of Your righteous ordinances. v63 I am a companion of all those who fear You, and of those who keep Your precepts. v64 The earth is full of Your lovingkindness, O LORD; teach me Your statutes.

Obeying God’s word is not a check-list for good behavior and then you receive the gold star. David understood that and he was a great example of fellowshipping with the Lord. He loved the Lord, told Him everything – how he was feeling, even when he was mad and upset - and continually praised the Lord.

Are we just checking the boxes? Check – attended church this morning, check prayed before I ate two of the three meals, check thought about God once during the afternoon, or check passed out bulletin at church. Salvation is by Grace and living the Christian life is also by Grace, not works. What the Lord wants from us is fellowship. May we turn to Him moment by moment each day.

Hope
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday July 7th, 2017 @ 6:30am

One of the best ways to draw closer to God is to pray scripturally and to recite His promises back to Him. It is not because God has forgotten His promises; it is to remind us of who He is. As we commune with The Lord over His Word we are drawn closer to Him. The result is a steadfast hope. And it brings us comfort.

David knew affliction well in all sort of forms, from the lion and the bear to King Saul trying to kill him, resulting in David hiding from Saul for many years. David faced death on the battlefield. Imagine what it was like as he lay in waiting with his men for days and months hiding out in caves or preparing for battle. Through all of that, David had hope. He knew The Lord would preserve him. 

Psalm 119:49-56 Remember the Word to Your servant, in which You have made me hope. v50 This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your word has *revived me. v51 The arrogant utterly deride me, yet I do not turn aside from Your law. v52 I have remembered Your ordinances from of old, O LORD, and comfort myself. v53 Burning indignation has seized me because of the wicked, who forsake Your law. v54 Your statutes are my songs in the house of my pilgrimage. v55 O LORD, I remember Your name in the night, and keep Your law. v56 This has become mine, that I observe Your precepts.

May we learn to recite God’s promises in prayer, in praise and adoration. May we remember all the ways the Lord has provided for us and thank Him for his preservation. 

*revived = preserved me alive

Liberty
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday June 30th, @2:24pm

Psalm 119:41-48 “May Your lovingkindnesses also come to me, O LORD, Your salvation according to Your word; v42 So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me, for I trust in Your word. v43 And do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for I wait for Your ordinances. v44 So I will keep Your law continually, forever and ever. v45 And I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts. v46 I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings and shall not be ashamed. v47 I shall delight in Your commandments, which I love. v48 And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments, which I love; and I will meditate  on Your statutes.”

Think of a time when you felt totally free…maybe it was when you believed that Christ died in your place and all your sins were forgiven. Remember the empowerment that came with that? All of a sudden you had courage in a way that you never had before. Courage to stand up for the word, to tell others about Christ, even those in authority over you, a mom or dad, teacher, boss, or a government official.

How do we continue to receive that powerful courage? Through God’s word. It gives us the confidence to face any challenge in live life head on. 

Teachable Heart
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday June 23rd @ 10:30am

Psalm 119:33-40 “Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, and I shall observe it to the end. v34 Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law and keep it with all my heart. v35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it. v36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to dishonest gain. v37 Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in Your ways. v38 Establish Your word to Your servant, as that which produces reverence for You. v39 Turn away my reproach which I dread, for Your ordinances are good. v40 Behold, I long for Your precepts; revive me through Your righteousness.”

When you were in school did you ever have a class you did not like? How did that affect your desire to learn, or your attendance? The class I detested the most was biology. Ugh! Not only did I not care how the physical bodies worked, dissecting anything made me sick to my stomach. Needless to say, I did not do well in the class and I did not have the best relationship with the teacher. 

David’s desire to learn God’s Word dominated his life. It was one of the reasons God called him “a man after His own heart.” (Acts 13:22) Willingness to be taught is an admirable trait because it requires humility. David not only wanted to learn he also wanted to live it, to walk the way the Lord wanted him to walk.

How teachable are we? May we humble our hearts each day and be revived by His Word.

Strengthen Me According to Thy Word
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday June 16th, 2017 @ 10:40am

Psalm 119:25-32 “My soul cleaves to the dust; revive me according to Thy word. v26 I have told of my ways, and Thou hast answered me; teach me Thy statutes. v27 Make me understand the way of Thy precepts, so I will meditate on Thy wonders. v28 My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Thy word. v29 Remove the false way from me, and graciously grant me Thy law. v30 I have chosen the faithful way; I have placed Thine ordinances before me. v31 I cleave to Thy testimonies; O Lord, do not put me to shame! v32 I shall run the way of Thy commandments, for Thou wilt enlarge my heart.

Why is David a favorite Bible character to most people? Because he is real, he is direct, he is honest, and he pursued God in a way we all wish we would. He was real with God.

David also understood that every issue or problem in life could be solved by applying God’s Word. Is your soul weeping in grief? Ask God to give you strength and cleave to His promises (testimonies). Are you afraid to step out and do something God wants you to do? Again, turn to His Word as it will give you the needed courage.

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Not of This World
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday May 27th, 2017 @ 10:40am

Frequently as I drive around our little beach community I see the letters NOTW on the rear window of cars. It is a reminder that as believers we are mere strangers, aliens, even foreigners on this earth. We have a certain, eternal home waiting for us in heaven. There we will no longer feel like we do not belong. There we will bask in the glory that is Jesus Christ, we will enjoy perfect happiness as we will truly belong.

Psalm 119:17-24 Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word. v18 Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law. v19 I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide Your commandments from me. v20 My soul is crushed with longing after Your ordinances at all times. v21 You rebuke the arrogant, the cursed, who wander from Your commandments. v22 Take away reproach and contempt from me, for I observe Your testimonies. v23 Even though princes sit and talk against me, Your servant meditates on Your stature. v24 Your testimonies also are my delight; they are my counselors.

In the meantime as we do our time here on earth, the way to live, not merely survive, is to study, believe, claim, and obey God’s Word. May we find peace in His Word as it becomes our counselor. 

Keeping Our Way Pure
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday May 26th, 2017 @10:54am

Psalm 119:9-16 (Beth) “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. v10 With all my heart I have sought You; do not let me wander from Your commandments. v11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You. v12 Blesses are You, O LORD; teach me Your statutes. v13 With my lips I have told of all the ordinances of Your mouth. v14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. v15 I will meditate on Your precepts and regard Your ways. v16 I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word.”

Purity is a concept forgotten today. We now have a culture built on the rebellion of the 60's against Biblical moral standards. Sin is no longer called sin.

But this is not a new evolution in the history of man. The corruption of mankind brought God's judgment of the flood and repeatedly throughout history man has rejected God's standards required for a happy life. These are not contrite laws so God can control us, but a road map to the content and inner peaceful life God wants us to enjoy. Yet, we say no thanks and go our own way.

May we treasure God's word in our heart so we do not sin against Him. And may we have peace in our souls as we delight in His word.

Blessed are Those Whose Way is Blameless
Posted by Elizabeth, Sunday May 14th, 2017 @ 8:3-pm


Roman 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” That is God’s description of mankind. Yet in Psalm 119:1 the author is referring to “the blameless.” Who are they? They are believers in the Messiah, the Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:21 “ He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Ephesians 1:4 “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him in love.”

We should be so grateful that once we have believed Jesus died on the cross for our sins, God sees us as “in Him”, as holy and blameless. However living as blameless after we are saved can be difficult. But God has given us a solution, His Word as outlined throughout this Psalm.

Psalm 119:1-8 “How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord. v2 How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, who seek Him with all their heart. v3 They also do no unrighteousness; they walk in His ways. v4 Thou hast ordained Thy precepts, that we should keep them diligently. v5 Oh that my ways may be established to keep Thy statutes! v6 Then I shall not be ashamed, when I look upon all Thy commandments. v7 I shall give thanks to Thee with uprightness of heart, when I learn Thy righteous judgments. v8 I shall keep Thy statutes; do not forsake me utterly!”

The Longest Psalm
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday May 5th, 2017 at 1:02pm

Our journey through the Psalms has brought us to Psalm 119, the longest Psalm and the longest chapter in the Bible. It is also an acrostic Psalm and a devotional Psalm. Willmington’s description of this Psalm gives us an overview. “We now come to the longest Psalm and by far the most lengthy prayer in all the Bible. The sole theme of this prayer is the Word of God. It is referred to in every one of the 176 verses with the exception of five.” Willmington's Guide to the Bible, page 123

Willmington’s goes on to explain that there are nine titles given for the Word of God in this passage and the psalm also describes twelve ministries.

The nine titles: His law, His testimonies, His ways, His precepts, His statutes, His commandments, His righteous judgments, His Word, and His ordinances.

The twelve ministries: it cleanses, quickens, strengthens, establishes, defends, comforts, instructs, enlightens, assures, upholds, brings peace, and delivers.

As we start to delve into this lengthy Psalm, may we remember one of it’s most famous verses:

Psalm 119:99 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

Eternity
Posted on Sunday April 30, 2017 at 3:00pm

Psalm 118:25-29 “ O LORD, do save, we beseech You; O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity! 26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORDwe have blessed you from the house of the LORD. 27 The LORD is God, and He has given us light; bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar. 28 You are my God, and I give thanks to You; You are my God, I extol You. 29 Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

We end Psalm 118 with thanks and praise to the Lord. In fact, note that verse 1 and verse 29 are the same. God is emphasizing His goodness, grace and worthiness to be praised.

I especially liked the phrase, “for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” This past week my Aunt Elva went to be with the Lord at the age of ninety-nine. The last of her generation has now joined her husband, parents and sisters is heaven. She was a woman that treated others in grace. Lovingkindness in this passage is chesed in the Hebrew, which is translated grace in the Greek. This marvelous grace that Christ extends to us at salvation persists into eternity. I know my dad, my mother, her sisters and all their husbands are enjoying eternal grace.  

Each Morning
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday April 21st 2017 at 10:48

Each morning we have a choice as we open our eyes, to follow the Lord or our selfish whims. Some mornings we wake exhausted and turning off the alarm is all we can handle. Other times grumpiness takes over.

That was my preferred choice, growing up, though I didn't realize it was a choice. Then at age twenty I married a wonderful man. What amazed me is that he woke up happy and grateful for each day. By his example, he taught me to be happy each morning. And what a difference it makes when you wake up praising and giving thanks to The Lord. It sets the tone for a wonderful day.

There are still mornings that I grumble. Then I have to remember:

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Chief Corner Stone
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday April 14th, 2017 at 1:06pm

We arrive at verse 22 of Psalm 118 just in time for Easter. Perfect timing as this verse bring out that our faith is built upon a solid rock, a secure corner stone, Jesus Himself.

Psalm 118:22 “The Stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone.”

Ephesians 2:20 “Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone.”

This Good Friday may we remember the God-Man who gave up His life for us. May we be humbled, thankful and overflowing with praises for Him. 

Thanks to Thee
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday April 7th, 2017 at 4:40pm


Psalm 118: 15-21 The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly. v16 The right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly. v17 I shall not die, but live, and tell of the works of the Lord. v18 The Lord has disciplined me severely, but He has not given me over to death. v19 Open to me the gates of righteousness; I shall enter through them, I shall give thanks to the Lord. v20 This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous will enter through it. v21 I shall give thanks to Thee, for Thou hast answered me; and Thou hast become my salvation.

Are we praising and thanking God as we should? Charles H Spurgeon in his Treasury of David says, “The families of believers are happy, and they should take pains to give their happiness a voice by their family devotion. The dwelling place of saved men should be the temple of praise;”

We all know how tough life is, but we have a God that answers us, saves us, provides for us and gets us through the tough times, even when we think we might die. So we have much to rejoice about.

As Mr. Spurgeon admonishes us, “Let none of us be silent in our households: if we have salvation let us have joy, and if we have joy let us give it a tongue wherewith it may magnify the Lord. If we hearken carefully to the music which comes from Israel's tents, we shall catch a stanza to this effect, the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly: Jehovah has manifested his strength, given victory to his chosen champion, and overthrown all the armies of the foe.”


The Lord is My Strength and Song

Posted by Elizabeth, Friday March 31st, 2017 at 1:00pm

Psalm 118:10-14 “All nations surrounded me; in the name of the Lord I will surely cut them off. v11 They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me; in the name of the Lord I will surely cut them off. v12 They surrounded me like bees; they were extinguished as a fire of thorns; in the name of the Lord I will surely cut them off. v13 You pushed me violently so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me. v14 The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.”

Many times a good song can change our outlook for the day. A song of cheer peps us up or a sweet song can give us peace. How about a song that sustains us? That is what the Psalmist, possibly David, expresses here. In the first three verses he recounts his demise in that all the nations were against him like a swarm of bees. The answer to his problems? The Lord helped him and became his strength and his song.

He goes on to say, The Lord is his salvation. In this context it would seem that he is not only talking about eternal salvation but day to day. God loves us and cares about us. He wants to save us moment by moment from the peril and trials of our daily lives.

1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your anxiety upon Him because He cares for you.”

What Can Man Do to Me?
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday March 24m 2017 , at 12:48pm

Psalm 118:5-9 “From My distress I called upon the Lord; The Lord answered me and set me in a large place. v6 The Lord is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me? v7 The Lord is for me among those who help me; therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me. v8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. v9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.”

We can waste so much time in worry or fear. Fear of people — what they might do to us, what they might say, or what they think of us. “What if they don’t like me?” is a question that can plague us as children and sometimes into adulthood.

It all comes down to our view of God. Are we focused on Him and His Glory? Do we truly trust in Him? Can we say like the Psalmist; we do not fear because we know God is for us? Or do we still futilely place our hope in man? 

Chesed
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday March 17th, at 1:32pm

Psalm 118:1-4 “Give Thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting. v2 Oh let Israel say, ‘His lovingkindness is everlasting.’ v3 Oh let the house of Aaron say, ‘His lovingkindness is everlasting.” v4 Oh let those who fear the Lord say ‘His lovingkindness is everlasting.’”

Chesed is the Hebrew word that is translated into English as lovingkindness at the beginning of Psalm 118 . Goodness, mercy, great kindness, and steadfast love are all attempts to try and convey the meaning of this word, when no such word truly exists in English.

An article about chesed by Norman H. Snaith on bible-reasercher.com says, “The nearest New Testament equivalent to the Hebrew chesed is the Greek word charis which is translated Grace. Snaith goes on to explain, “God’s loving-kindness is that sure love which will not let Israel go. Not all Israel’s persistent waywardness could ever destroy it. Though Israel be faithless, yet God remains faithful still.”

Such a love is the embodiment of Grace. Grace, such as God extended to us at salvation and throughout our Christian walk as we repeatedly stumble. Grace, that paves the way for repeated forgiveness as we sin again and again. Grace, which we too should be praising the Lord, just as the Israelites did. 

His Lovingkindness is Great 
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday March 10th, at 12.26pm

Psalm 117: 1-2 “Praise the Lord, all nations; laud Him, all peoples! v2 For His lovingkindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord is everlasting. Praise the Lord!”

Charles H Spurgeon explains in his Treasury of David the importance of the smallest Psalm:

“This Psalm, which is very little in its letter, is exceedingly large in its spirit; for, bursting beyond all bounds of race or nationality, it calls upon all mankind to praise the name of the Lord. In all probability it was frequently used as a brief hymn suitable for almost every occasion, and especially when the time for worship was short. Perhaps it was also sung at the commencement or at the close of other Psalms, just as we now use the doxology. It would have served either to open a service or to conclude it. It is both short and sweet. The same divine Spirit which expatiates in the 119th, here condenses his utterances into two short verses, but yet the same infinite fullness is present and perceptible. It may be worth noting that this is at once the shortest chapter of the Scriptures and the central portion of the whole Bible.”

In the center of this Praise for the Lord is the phrase “His lovingkindness is great toward us.” Lovingkindness refers to Grace and what greater Grace has He provided than the cross. We have so much to Praise Him for. 

Testimony
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday March 3rd, 2017, at 8:08 am

Psalm 116:16-19 O Lord, surely I am Your servant, I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid, You have loosed my bonds. v 17 To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and call upon the name of the Lord. v18 I shall pay my vows to the Lord, Oh may it be in the presence of all His people, v19 in the courts of the Lords house, in the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord.

David sees himself as a servant though he is a king. He is a servant by birth (son of Your handmaid) and by salvation (You have loosed my bonds). David is so humbled and thankful that he is willing to testify about Lord publicly. He is going to pay what He owes to the Lord in front of the whole nation. David is not afraid to let everyone know where he stands.

Do we have a servant’s attitude? Are we willing to testify publicly as to where we stand with God? This takes courage, conviction and a deep love for the Lord. All of these things He will give to us if we focus on Him and abide in His word. He does the work in us.

Pity Parties
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday, February 24th, 2017 @1:00pm

Psalm 116:10-15 “I believed when I said, “I am greatly afflicted.” I said in my alarm, “All men are liars.” v12 What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me? v13 I shall lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord. v14 I shall pay my vows to the Lord. Oh may it be in the presence of all His people. v15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.”

There are times when we can be attacked verbally and it is upsetting when it happens. Perhaps the one we feel attacked by is not even aware how badly they trounced on our precious ego and how badly we are hurt. At those times we have choices. We can throw a big pity party, which can spiral into other sins, or we can turn to the Lord.

How do we prevent pity parties? By thinking about all we have in Christ: our salvation, His provision, His love, and His protection, just to name a few. When we concentrate on Him, all the wrongs done to us fade away. They are insignificant. Even if everything possible is going wrong in our lives we have our eternal hope of heaven with Him. Someday our death will be precious in Christ's sight as we will be coming home to spend eternity with Him. 

The Land of the Living
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday, February 10th, 2017 @ 7:48am

Psalm 116:7-9 “Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. v8 For Thou hast rescued my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. v9 I shall walk before the Lord in the land of the living.”

David continues to praise the Lord for delivering him. Then he uses the poetic phrase “the land of the living” – Theological scholars have three different interpretations for this line. First of all since David is the author some believe it refers to Judah, his kingdom. Others say heaven, which totally makes sense, as for the first time in our lives everything will be perfect. And lastly, some scholars say David is referring to our life on this present earth.

“I shall walk before the Lord,” refers to our relationship with God. Which brings up the subject of how is that going? And reminds us that each day is a choice. Are we walking in such a way that we please our fellow man or are we striving to please God? Are we communing with God in His Word and in prayer as we go through each day? Only when we walk closely with Him will we truly enjoy “the land of the living” here on earth. 

Our God Listens
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday February 3rd, 2017, @ 1:02pm

Psalm 116:1-2 I love the Lord, because He hears my voice and my supplications. v2 Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.

As a culture we are clamoring to be heard as we post away on Facebook and bare our souls on social media. Is anyone really listening? God is. Which is the irony of it all. Mere mortals will not bother to listen to each other, but the creator, the God of the universe, of infinite wisdom will take the time to listen to us.

The author, David continues on, giving thanks to The Lord in this praise song for listening to him when he was in desperate circumstances.  

Psalm 116:3-6 The cords of death encompassed me and the terrors of Sheol came upon me; I found distress and sorrow. v4 Then I called upon the name of the Lord: O Lord, I beseech You, save my life! Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is compassionate. v6 The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.

Do we talk to God, do we praise Him for listening to us? How much time do we spend in prayer each day? Do we only call out His name when we are in big trouble? Or will we be like David and continue to call upon Him as long as we live?


Maker of Heaven and Earth

Posted by Elizabeth, Friday January 27, 2017, @1:20pm

Psalm 115: 12-18 “The Lord has been mindful of us; He will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel; He will bless the house of Aaron. 13 He will bless those who fear the Lord, the small together with the great. 14 May the Lord give you increase, you and your children. 15 May you be blessed of the Lord, maker of heaven and earth. 16 The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth He has given to the sons of men. 17 The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any who go down into silence; 18 but as for us, we will bless the Lord from this time forth and forever. Praise the Lord!”

The fact that the maker of our miraculous bodies and this magnificent heaven and earth would even bother with such sinful and messed up people, such as myself blows me away. Why does He bother? Because He loves us. He wants to bless us. Therefore, we should be gratefully praising Him for His mercy to us all day long.  

He is Their Help and Their Shield
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday January 20th, 2017 @ 1:20pm 

Long ago the Lord made it clear through open doors, a desire He put in my heart, and through His word that my spiritual gift is teaching. For twenty-five years I taught the 2-4 year old group at my local church. There is no greater joy than when you are fulfilling the purpose God wants you to be doing. It is rewarding when He sends encouragement even in the smallest doses.

Over the past ten years He has been slowly changing the direction of my gift to teaching women. That brings in the added element of nervousness.  After all kids love it when you mess up, make a joke and move on. They laugh with you and there is not much to get nervous about.

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Ephesians 3:16 “that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,”

Lately he has been bringing me larger audiences and I have actively been claiming Philippians 4:13 and Ephesians 3:16, which remind me that He is doing the work through me. I need to relax and enjoy using my gift.

Psalms‬ ‭115:9-11 “O Israel, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield. v10 O House of Aaron, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield. v11 You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield.”

At this point in Psalm 115 the author is emphasizing the same principle. Trust the Lord! When referring to Israel, most likely it involved some battle. The House of Aaron refers to the Levitical priests themselves! The spiritual leaders were reminded to trust God. And in verse 11 “those who fear”, can be applied to us today. Those of us that respect the Lord, need to remember He is our Help and our Shield. 

No Other Gods
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday January 13th, 2017, @ 1:14pm

Psalm 115:1-8 “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth. Why should the nations say, “Where, now, is their God?” But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they cannot speak; they have eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but they cannot hear; they have noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands, but they cannot feel; they have feet, but they cannot walk; they cannot make a sound with their throat. Those who make them will become like them, everyone who trusts in them.”

God often doubles up the message He is sending us by giving it to us from multiple sources. We have now arrived at Psalm 115, which describes the heathen idols of the Old Testament and contrasts them with the Lord. This week our ladies group at church is starting a new series, No Other Gods by Kelly Minter. In her study, Minter successfully brings out the modern day idols we hold onto. Just like the idols of old, our modern day idols are completely lacking when compared to God. There is really nothing they can do for us, except delay our true walk with the Lord.

May we take a good look at ourselves this week and figure out what idols we have. What do we put first before the Lord?

Song of the Exodus
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday January 6th, 2017, @ 9:04am

Psalm 114:1-8 When Israel went forth from Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language, Judah became His sanctuary, Israel, His dominion. The sea looked and fled; the Jordan turned back. The mountains skipped like rams, the hills, like lambs. What ails you, O sea, that you flee? O Jordan, that you turn back? O mountains, that you skip like rams? O hills, like lambs? Tremble, O earth, before the Lord, before the God of Jacob, who turned the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a fountain of water.

“This sublime SONG OF THE EXODUS is one and indivisible. True poetry has here reached its climax: no human mind has ever been able to equal, much less to excel, the grandeur of this Psalm. God is spoken of as leading forth his people from Egypt to Canaan, and causing the whole earth to be moved at his coming. Things inanimate are represented as imitating the actions of living creatures when the Lord passes by. They are apostrophized and questioned with marvelous force of language, till one seems to look upon the actual scene. The God of Jacob is exalted as having command over river, sea, and mountain, and causing all nature to pay homage and tribute before his glorious majesty.” Charles H Spurgeon The Treasury of David


Who Humbles Himself to Behold the Things on Earth

Posted by Elizabeth, Friday December 23rd, 2016, @ 11:32am

Psalm 113: 5-9 “ Who is like the Lord our God, Who is enthroned on high, v6 Who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth? v7 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, v8 To make them sit with princes, with the princes of His people. v9 He makes the barren woman abide in the house as a joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord!

No one is like our God. He is perfect, Holy, loving, merciful, all knowing, all powerful, He never changes, He is Truth, and is everywhere. What is mind blowing is that He even bothers with us. However, He does care about all of us. Enthroned on high, He not only humbles Himself to keep track of what is happening on an earth that has rejected Him, He also sent His son to rescue us. Rescue us from our sins and eternal separation from Him. Through Jesus’ death He has given us the gift of salvation.   

1 John 4:9 “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him.”

 I sincerely hope you have accepted the gift of His Son. Wishing you a Merry Christmas! 

Just Christ!
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday, December 16th, 2016 @ 2:56pm

This past month Our Lord has brought to my mind the true meaning of Christmas through verses, songs, messages at church, and my thoughts. He has also been emphasizing it through circumstances. Family and decorating my home has always been my focus at Christmas, family celebrating the birth of our Lord. What is wrong with that? Through events too complicated to explain we will not all be together this Christmas. Then the Christmas decorations got hidden behind mounds of household items we are temporarily storing for someone else. As soon as I was confronted with the fact there would be no decorations I started laughing. I knew God was sending me a message. Christmas is about Christ! Nothing else, just Christ.

One of our daughters bailed us out and we are using her decorations this year. She even decorated the tree for me. I have to admit it is the prettiest tree we have ever had and my heart is filled with joy each time I turn the lights on.  

Psalms‬ ‭113:1-4 “Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, Praise the name of the Lord. v2 Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forever. v3 From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised. v4 The Lord is high above all nations; His glory is above the heavens.” 

So as we approach the day we remember our Lords First Advent, may we remember to praise Him. Praise Him for being present in the world, for not being limited by time and space, for being everywhere and wanting to be part of our lives. But most of all let’s praise Him for coming here to rescue us. 

His Heart is Steadfast
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday December 9th, 2016 @ 11:44am

Psalm 112:7-10 “He will not fear evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. v8 His heart is upheld, he will not fear, until he looks with satisfaction on his adversaries. v9 He has given freely to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be exalted in honor. v10 The wicked will see it and be vexed’ He will gnash his teeth and melt away; the desire of the wicked will perish.”

The one hundredth and twelfth Psalm continues to describe the benefits of respecting the Lord.  A person that does that has fear of bad new, of others, nor of circumstances. His plans may change but not his purpose, he is steadfast in trusting the Lord. He wishes grace for his enemies at the same time upholding justice without revenge. He is free to do good for others and they honor him. The last verse contrasts the God fearing man to those who rejects God. Their end is not a pretty one.

So we have a choice that the Lord is painting in this Psalm. Which path will we take? 

Light Arises in the Darkness
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday December 2nd, 2016 @ 10:12am 

Psalm 112:1-6 Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments. v2 His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed. v3 Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. v4 Light arises in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious and compassionate and righteous. v5 It is well with the man who is gracious and lends; he will maintain his cause in judgment. v6 For he will never be shaken; the righteous will be remembered forever.

At first glance one might think that fearing the Lord will get everything you want, riches and fame. Not quite. Light arises in the darkness is how the man who fears the Lord is blessed. Fear here is a healthy respect for the Lord, based on an understanding of the power and righteousness of God. The blessed man delights in Gods Word. He may have material wealth, a large family, and worldly blessings but those are not his focus.

Albert Barnes in Barnes' Notes on the Bible explains, “The distinction is not that days of darkness will not come upon him as well as upon others, for he may be sick as others are, he may be bereaved as others are, he may lose his property as others do - since there are general laws that affect mankind in these respects. God has not promised that he will interpose to save his people from these things, but that he will save them in them.”

So we enter into the season of giving and getting may we maintain a healthy fear of the Lord, may we by gracious and compassionate, and may we focus on Jesus Christ. For when we are focused on Him, He gets us through the darkest of times. 


Integrity
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday, November 18th, 2016 @ 12:10pm

Look up synonyms for integrity and you will find: honesty, probity, rectitude, honor, good character, principles, ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness. Merriam Webster’s definition is incorruptibility, soundness, and completeness.

These are qualities we hope to find in people, especially in those we have put in a position of trusting, such as parents, a spouse, a boss, or a president. As we know people fail to meet these standards 100% of the time. We are human, we sin, and we make mistakes.

Psalms 111 tells us about someone that we can trust to be incorruptible, righteous, truthful, honest, and fair — God. As verse 10 explains to fear (or respect) the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. So this week may we be wise and trust in the Lord each day, not in man.

Psalms‬ ‭111:6-10 “He has made known to His people the power of His works, in giving them the heritage of the nations. v7 The works of His hands are truth and justice; all His precepts are sure. v8 They are upheld forever and ever; they are performed in truth and uprightness. v9 He has sent redemption to His people; He has ordained His covenant forever; Holy and awesome is His name. v10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.” 

The Lord Praised for His Goodness
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday, November 11th, 2016 @ 10:20am

Psalm 111:1-5 “Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart, in the company of the upright and in the assembly. v2 Great are the works of the Lord; They are studied by all who delight in them. v3 Splendid and majestic is His work, and His righteousness endures forever. v4 He has made His wonders to be remembered; The Lord is gracious and compassionate. v5 He has given food to those who fear Him; He will remember His covenant forever.”

The Lord Praised for His Goodness is the title of this Psalm. His goodness is why we can trust Him and why we praise Him. His compassion and grace mentioned in v4 is what draws us to Him. But what about when things are not going well and we are not enjoying blessings?

Job 1:21 “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.”

Job becomes our example. Life is hard and sometimes unfair. During those times it helps to still praise the Lord for being good. Why? Because it brings peace to our soul. He will remember His covenant our rewards are waiting in heaven.

Victorious
Posted by Elizabeth Friday, November 4th, 2016 @8:20pm
 
So far in Psalm 110 we have seen Jesus as Savior, King, and Priest. The last three verses depict Him as Judge and Victor over His enemies. Where is the Jesus of Love? The picture painted in these verses goes against how we want to think of Him.

Psalm 110:5-7 The Lord is at Your right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath. v6 He will judge among the nations, He will fill them with corpses, He will shatter the chief men over a broad country. v7 He will drink from the brook by the wayside; therefore He will lift up His head.

As Savior, Jesus gave the greatest sacrifice, His life, so that we might live, the ultimate act of love. So who are our Saviors enemies? Throughout the book of Revelation they are described as those who refuse to accept His love gift, those who have rallied against Him, even Satan and his demons. Enemies who not only want to destroy Jesus, but to rule in His place and to destroy us, His followers. Revelation 19:11-21 describes Christs victory. He will protect us. Therefore, we need to see these verses as our Lord Jesus Christ rising victorious over His enemies, as an act of love. 

Our High Priest
Posted by Elizabeth Friday, October 28th, 2016 @ 11:56am

Psalm 110:4 “The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

Willmington’s Guide to the Bible (page 131) explains that this verse is found three times in the New Testament and all three deal with the Lord Jesus Christ’s priesthood:

1)    In Hebrews 5:6 it is repeated to give the qualifications of this High Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek.

2)    In Hebrews 6:20 to give the immutability of this High Priesthood.

3)    In Hebrews 7:21 to give the necessity for the High Priesthood.

What is the significance of a priest? He represents us humans to God. He prays, offers sacrifices, and intercedes for us. The Levitical priests served in the same way in the Jewish temple, but they died, they were human. Our King, Savior and Priest not only sacrificed Himself for us by dying for our sins, He lives! He will never change and He constantly intercedes for us. (Romans 8:34, 1 John 2:1, Hebrews 7:25) We can relax if we have a relationship with Christ, as we have the perfect defense attorney on our side. In fact, He is sitting next to God the Father in Heaven and He is God Himself! 

Sit at My Right Hand
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday, October 21st, 2016 @ 2:16pm 

During the early sixties, I witnessed churches changing; some were falling away from God’s Word. Our own church hired a young assistant pastor. My parents were concerned about his Biblical stance, so they invited him for tea. They discovered that he did not believe Christ was divine. He believed that Christ was a good man and that was all. If Jesus was just a good man His death on the Cross would not have saved us. Thankfully, He is God and man; He lived a perfect life as a man which qualified Him to be our Savior.

As brought out in Psalm 110, because Christ is God He is not only our Savior He is and qualified to be our King.  As many theologians explain: the first Lord in verse one refers to God the Father and the second Lord refers to our Messiah the Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalms‬ ‭110:1-3 “The Lord says to my Lord; “sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet.” v2 The Lord will stretch forth Thy strong scepter from Zion, saying, “rule in the midst of Thine enemies.” v3 Thy people will volunteer freely in the day of Thy power; in holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Thy youth are to Thee as the dew.

Jesus Himself quotes this Psalm in Matthew 22:44-45. He uses these verses to confound the Pharisees and to prove His own Deity. Let us take comfort this week when things go sidewise in our lives, that we not only serve a risen Savior but a Perfect King. 

A Wounded Soul
Posted by Elizabeth Friday, October 14th, 2016 @ 10:00am

Psalm 109:22 “For I am poor and needy and my heart is wounded within me.

Another way to survive false accusations is humility. For when we are humble we recognize that only the Lord can deliver us from unfair situations. When we are humble we are able to praise and give thanks to the Lord. When we are humble we can trust that the Lord will take care of us. God allows tough times in our lives to guide us to humility, so that we will grow in trusting Him.

v26 Help me, O Lord my God; save me according to Thy lovingkindness. v30 With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the Lord; and in the midst of many I will praise Him. v31 For He stands at the right hand of the needy, to save him from those who judge his soul.”

Vengeance is the Lords

Posted by Elizabeth Friday, October 7th, 2016 @ 2:00pm

Have you ever been falsely accused? It is a terrible feeling to be accused of things you didnt do. When we are children our accuser could be a sibling, who is making up stories to get the heat off themselves. Often accusing you of things they did. As adults it can become serious. In verse 6 through 20 of Psalm 109 David is subject to a string of harsh judgements and hostile, false accusations conjured up by his enemies. In these verses Davids enemies are begging God to demolish David.  

Psalm 109:6, 8, & 9 Appoint a wicked man over him;Let his days be few; let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. 

David’s only recourse is the Lord. No one believes him. His enemies have built a strong case of lies. There is no way to prove his innocence. 

Psalm 109:21 But Thou, O God, the Lord deal kindly with me for thy names sake; because Thy lovingkindness is good deliver me;

Our first instinct is retaliation, but God says no. He is the only one with the wisdom to handle the situation.

Romans 12:19 “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord; I will repay.”

David also knows that because he is a child of God, God’s name is involved. God will defend His own. So when we are falsely accused, we need to take it to the Lord, then stand back and watch Him defend us. 

Unjustly Accused
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday September 30th, 2016

Psalm 109:1-3 “Be not silent, O God of my praise! For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me, speaking against me with lying tongues. They beset me with words of hate, and attack me without cause.”

This is the third Psalm in a row that deals with Gods Righteousness and Justice. David is calling out to God for His Justice as he has been falsely accused and treated badly by deceitful and wicked people.

Psalm 109:4-5 “In return for my love they accuse me, even as I make prayer for them. So they reward me evil for good, and hatred for my love.”

David has tried praying for his enemies, he has tried talking to them, turning the other cheek. So now he is going to God and asking for His Justice. He is approaching the problem the right way, complaining to God, not becoming bitter, or slandering his accusers to others. Next time we face unfairness tests may we do the same. Take our problem to The Lord and leave it with Him. 


The Warrior’s Morning Song

Posted by Elizabeth, Friday September 23rd, 2016

The first part of Psalm 108 is a repeat of Psalm 57:7-11 and the last part of this Psalm repeats Psalm 60: 5-12. Spurgeon describes Psalm 108 as “The Warrior’s Morning Song, with which he adores his God and strengthens his heart before entering the conflicts of the day.” 

from Charles Spurgeon, The Treasury of David.

A great model for each of us in starting our day — praising the Lord and asking for victory, all the while trusting in God’s holiness. Only He is perfect. He is the only one we can trust 100 percent all the time.

Psalm 108: 7 “God has spoken in His holiness…”

David goes on to describe the towns and areas that he has conquered and those he hopes to in verses 8 through 11, ending by describing his trust in the Lord.

Psalm 108:12 & 13 “Oh give us help against the adversary, for deliverance by man is in vain. v13 Through God we will do valiantly, and it is He who shall tread down our adversaries.

God's Truth Reaches to the Skies
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday September 16th, 2016

“The heavens are vast, but the mercy of God is more capacious; the skies are high and bright, but the truth of God is more eminent, more illustrious.” Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s commentary on the Whole Bible

Psalms‬ ‭108:1-6 “My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing, I will sing praises, even with my soul. v2 Awake, harp and lyre’ I will awaken the dawn! v3 I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples, and I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your lovingkindness is great above the heavens, and Your truth reaches to the skies. v5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and Your glory above all the earth. v6 That Your beloved may be delivered, save with Your right hand and answer me!

The phrase “Your truth reaches to the skies” makes me happy. Why I am not quite sure. Maybe because this little phrase seems to sum it all up. God’s Word is so big, so powerful, so dependable, so soothing and so healing. Besides The Lord what else do we really need?

Have a problem? We will find the answers in our Bible and in prayer here we must face who we really are, we cannot hide from the Truth.

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thought and intentions of the heart.”

It's Not Fair!
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday September 9th, 2016  

It’s not fair a young child will yell and the understanding parent gently replies, “no it’s not, but life isn’t fair.” As we grow, hopefully, we learn that though life is not fair, God is. He is the perfect judge and jury.

He is also brimming over with love and compassion for those with open hearts to Him. Often He will make things right as shown here in the remaining verse of Psalm 107. Other times the wrong remains and He will rectify the injustice in heaven. Let us be wise and “consider the lovingkindness of the Lord.”

Psalm 107:33-43 “He changes rivers into a wilderness and springs of water into a thirsty ground; v34 A fruitful land into a salt waste, because of the wickedness of those who dwell in it. v35 He changes a wilderness into a pool of water and a dry land into springs of water; v36 and there He makes the hungry to dwell, so that they may establish an inhabited city, v37 and sow fields and plant vineyards, and gather a fruitful harvest. v38 Also He blesses them and they multiply greatly, and He does not let their cattle decrease. v39 When they are diminished and bowed down through oppression, misery and sorrow, v40 He pours contempt upon princes and makes them wander in a pathless waste. v41 But He sets the needy securely on high away from affliction, and makes His families like a flock. v42 The upright see it and are glad; but all unrighteousness shuts its mouth. v43 Who is wise? Let him give heed to these things, and consider the lovingkindnesses of the Lord.”

He Caused the Storm to be Still
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday September 2nd, 2016 @ 10:14pm

We broke anchor early the morning on the northern side of Cattle Point, the southern most part of San Juan Island. I was still on the bow as we rounded the point and my husband skillfully set his course for Port Townsend. It looked a bit rough through the fog so I radioed my husband and asked if we should consider taking the inland passage, bypassing the open waters of the Strait of San Juan De Fuca. From his perch on the flybridge he shook his head no and let the two way radio rest against his chest. We had learned early on in our boating adventures to rely on the radio's to communicate while underway. I had woven straps so we could hang them around our necks keeping our hands free.

For awhile things seemed to be a bit rough but doable, so I remained on the bow. As the last bit of protection from Lopez Island gave away the water suddenly changed.  Tall waves on our starboard side sent me scurrying to the cabin. For the next two hours I prayed non stop. Praying for my husband's wisdom and strength to continually man the wheel. Praying for him to remember the shoaling around Smith Island if we got off course. Praying for visibility through the thickening fog. Praying for safety as a sailboat slid passed us not more than five feet away, surfing the inside of a wave. All these prayers as I kept scurrying around the cabin trying to batten down objects that kept coming loose. Objects that had been safely stowed under normal seas. Our Lord is good and we arrived in one piece in Port Townsend, shaken and thankful for His protection.

Our God has created powerful oceans that only He can calm.  

They have seen the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep. For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind, Which lifted up the waves of the sea. They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths; Their soul melted away in their misery. They reeled and staggered like a drunken man, And were at their wits' end. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, And He brought them out of their distresses. He caused the storm to be still, So that the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad because they were quiet, So He guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men! Let them extol Him also in the congregation of the people, And praise Him at the seat of the elders. (Psalms 107:24-32

God's Power Proclaimed
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday November 13, 2015 @ 8:48am

This past week My mother  went to Glory. My father died 25 years ago so I am now an orphan. It is a strange feeling to be without my parents, especially my mother who has always been there for me. Though I am a grandmother, occasionally this past week I have felt like a small child, abandon. I shed a few tears then I regroup and go to The Lord. I am not alone. Through Jesus Christ I have a relationship with the most powerful one of the universe. He has proclaimed His power in His creation the power of the oceans and the majesty of the mountains. Psalm 95 describes God displaying His great power everyday and night for us to see.

Psalm 95:3-5 "For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land." (ESV)

Sitting on the beach this week watching the waves of the Pacific crash against the shore, I am reassured of my heavenly Father's power and love for me. I have found peace as knowing my parents are with the Lord in heaven. I know He will give me strength in the midst of missing them. 

Saying Goodbye to Mom
Posted by Elizabeth, Friday October 30th, 2015 @ 10:48am 

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Besides my husband, I have had one best friend in my life. I have been blessed with many good or close friends but my best friend has always been my mother. Even as a teenager I couldnt wait to tell my mother how a date went or what went down at school. As a Bible Study Fellowship leader, she listened eagerly and often guided me with scripture and Biblical principles. For ten years now she has been dealing with Alzheimers. Mentally I lost my best friend over four years ago. I stopped sharing my trials and problems with her at that time, as I did not want to place a burden on her she could not comprehend or handle. Mom is in the last stage and the caregivers and the hospice nurse agree it will be about a week before she goes to glory.

What has been amazing this past month has been the peace and strength that The Lord has given me. Yes, there has been and will be tears but they are not without hope. The true certainty that she will be free of the body she has been trapped in and will be at home with her Savior, Jesus Christ.  

Psalm 94:22 But the Lord has been my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge.








All photos on this website have been taken by Capo Beach Photos, photographer Stanley J. Lonseth.
Please visit his website at  capobeachphotos.com.

Website Builder