"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him." Colossians 3:17, KJV

Praise the Lord

Welcome to In His Name, a devotional site where the Word of God is posted and explored. This site embraces the love of Jesus Christ, encouraging Bible study.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Lifestyle

God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). I love God for being Who He is. The Lord teaches us what love is and that we are to show that same love to others. He is love. When considering some of the things that go on in this world, do many of us display that same love Christ teaches?

It is not loving to put someone down because of their past nor is it godly to bring it up at every opportunity. From what I’ve heard many say to me, this is why they stay away from the church. Years ago, I remember someone sharing a testimony about a woman who used to be on the streets (by way of stripping or prostitution). She went to church with a mind to change from her old ways, but was met with much ridicule. It wasn’t necessarily what others said verbally to her, but their body language spoke volumes. I thought the church was where all of the sin-sick people gathered… to leave our burdens at the altar; to give it all to Christ. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” Matthew 11:28-30, KJV.

How sad it is for someone who has been in the church for years to degrade another who just came off of the streets from drug-dealing or abusing, pimping, prostitution, stealing, or even murder. What if someone took a rap sheet of the things we’ve done in this body that was in our past? The only difference is that they got caught doing what they were doing. “Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” Galatians 3:3. The past is the past and as we share testimonies or stories that will help those in these situations come to Christ (because as Christians we are living testimonies) it will help us to understand their struggle. Are we so removed from sin that we have become insensitive to their plight? Are we “holier than thou” because we’ve been out of the “lifestyle” so long? I thought we are called to be evangelists…preachers as Christ puts it. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” Mark 16:15. We are to proclaim the Gospel. This is not preacher in the sense of standing in a pulpit every Sunday, but preacher in a sense of telling those out in the world.

Back to the story about the young woman who had previously been in the streets, I learned that she decided to go back to the streets. It was noted that since people always looked at her strangely (seeing her past and not someone who was hurting and crying out for help) she decided to return to what people “in the church” saw her as. The Holy Spirit reminds me of the woman caught in the act of committing adultery and how the people were ready to stone her to death. Now, if Jesus can have compassion on someone who was actively in sin, should we at the very least show that same compassion for someone who had done it last month, last week,… or even last night?

I thank God that He is not like man. I know that I have my faults and that I don’t do everything perfectly, but God said, “Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see [Him] God,” Matthew 5:8. And I know my motives are pure. I have a heart to help others and share with them what I’ve learned. Just as noted in 1 Corinthians 11:27-29… Let every man examine himself. I ask the Lord right now in the name of Jesus to cleanse me of all unrighteousness, for as we live in this flesh we are subject to temptations, but that does not mean that we have to embrace it as a lifestyle. I'm liberated as I know ...  I’ve gotten out of “the lifestyle.”

Monday, August 23, 2010

Taste and See God's Goodness

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him,” Psalm 34:8, KJV.

David praises God, and encourages to trust him.

If we hope to spend eternity in praising God, it is fit that we should spend much of our time here in this work. He never said to any one, Seek ye me in vain. David's prayers helped to silence his fears; many besides him have looked unto the Lord by faith and prayer, and it has wonderfully revived and comforted them. When we look to the world, we are perplexed, and at a loss. But on looking to Christ depends our whole salvation, and all things needful thereunto do so also.

This poor man, whom no man looked upon with any respect, or looked after with any concern, was yet welcome to the throne of grace; the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The holy angels minister to the saints, and stand for them against the powers of darkness. All the glory be to the Lord of the angels. By taste and sight we both make discoveries, and have enjoyment; Taste and see God's goodness; take notice of it, and take the comfort of it. He makes all truly blessed that trust in Him ... they shall have grace sufficient for the support of spiritual life. And as to this life, they shall have what is necessary from the hand of God. Paul had all, and abounded, because he was content, Php 4:11 to 18. Those who trust to themselves, and think their own efforts sufficient for them, shall want; but they shall be fed who trust in the Lord. Those shall not want, who with quietness work and mind their own business. (Ps 34:11-22)

About this commentary:
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible is available in the Public Domain.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Praise God, even in Adversity

I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities,” Psalm 31:7, KJV.

There are times in life when tears fall, brokenness comes, and lack of understanding abounds, but praise God. There may be issues of infidelity, betrayal, and deceitfulness swarming, but praise God. It doesn’t matter what you may be going through, still praise God.

Not too long ago, I awoke one morning not knowing what to pray. My spirit felt so burdened down, so heavy that all I could say to the Lord in that moment was that I don’t know what to pray. God led me to Psalm 150. That particular Psalm is all about praising Him. I heard in my spirit God saying, “When you don’t know what to pray, praise Me.” It helped me to understand that the Holy Spirit intercedes on my behalf as stated in Romans 8: 26-27: “So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance. And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God's will.”

Being mindful that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. His mission has not changed; the intensity to do so, I believe, becomes even stronger when a person gets saved. The devil’s fate is sealed; he wants nothing but to deceive people into thinking God’s word isn’t true. We must submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee (James 4:7). So when difficult times arise, continue to thank God for who He is.

Jesus instructed that the first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). Proverbs 4:23 (AMP) states “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.” We want peace, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee,” Isaiah 26:3, KJV. The soul, our inner being, the part that will go on to be with Christ forever stems from our decision to choose life and not death; to surrender all to the Lord. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God,” Romans 13:1, KJV.

Our circumstances ought not to define us. There will be trials and tribulations in this life, but God is always there for us, ready to meet our needs. Praise Him in all things, for He is worthy to be praised.

Additional Reference: Psalm 96:4

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Lord Hears My Prayers

I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears,” Psalm 34:4, KJV.

As I ponder on a recent sermon given at a church I’m currently attending, I thank God for hearing my prayers. I thank God for confirmation and just being the One true and Holy God that He is. The sermon was based on Psalm 34. This morning, I focus particularly on Psalm 34:4.

God is a ready listener … to those who seek Him. To seek the Lord means pursuing Him. When we go after God, He hears our prayers. So this automatically tells us that those who don’t pursue the Lord shouldn’t expect Him to answer their prayers. Pursuit is not some lackadaisical approach. When pursuing a job or a desired mate, an honest effort is made. In the instance of a job, many go to school, enroll in a particular program, acquire internships, and become apprentices to perfect their skills. If it is something you really want you go after it.

The same is true with relationships. Many who desire meaningful companionship with the opposite sex that leads to marriage, courtship ensues. There are often moments of extended conversations and personal time alone. Why should things be any less important when it comes to God? Our pursuit should be that and more.

God hears us when we seek Him. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land,” 2 Chronicles 7:14, KJV. Keywords: If, humble, pray, seek, and turn from wicked ways. We ought not think that we can come to God in any way. There is a process. There is a need to ask for forgiveness. God’s promises are conditional. His love is like that of a marriage. Consider the many references made in the Bible God reveals relating to marriage. It is a sacred vow that we should strive to keep—be in active pursuit.

…and delivered me from all my fears.” When our trust is in the Lord and we pray to Him (seeking Him) for strength and courage, He is faithful to provide.

Monday, August 2, 2010

No More than You can Bear

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it,” 1 Corinthians 10:13.

God has promised to not allow us to go through more than we can bear. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” Matthew 11:28-30. God’s yoke is easy and His burden is light. Oftentimes we take on things that we don’t have to. Sometimes we may try to handle situations that are only alleviated through Jesus Christ. We are more than conquerors, but not in our own strength—only in Jesus (Romans 8:37). We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

Take a look at the Amplified version of 1 Corinthians 10:13:

13For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not [a]adjusted and [b]adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to [c]a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.
At any time you feel that you’re struggling with anything or facing a faith-testing situation, refer to this scripture. As I meditated on this verse some time ago, I was able to grasp, understand, and truly see times where God made a way of escape for me. The key here is taking advantage of that emergency exit.