His Pleasure

The psalmist writes, “For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He adorns the humble with salvation.” (Psalms 149:4) Paul reminds us that we are “His workmanship” created for good works.

What a loving and gracious God, that as our Creator, He takes pleasure in His creation.

Hundreds will cross our paths and hear our words today, who feel that no one, much less the God of the universe takes pleasure in them.

Wounded. Rejected. Abused. Fearful. Hurt. Depressed. Failure. These humbled people are those on whom He has adorned or blessed with salvation.

“The Lord takes pleasure” . . . He initiates and is intentional with His love.

“In His people” . . . we belong to Him. He has given us the value of His sonship. We are His and His, alone.

“He adorns the humble” . . . We have no possessions, position or promise. The King of all kings reaches down to those who have no rights or standing with His promise of hope.

“with salvation.” . . . He has “graced” us with an undeserved gift of His presence . . . now and for all eternity.

His pleasure.
His people.
His promise.
His presence.

What a great God!

The Freedom of Grace

“As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him. So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free’ ” (John 8:30–32).

Chuck Swindoll gives impacting insight into the freedom of grace living.

He spoke of the liberating power of the truth. Even though the official grace killers rejected His message, He assured them it could make them free. All who embrace grace become “free indeed.”

Free from what? Free from oneself. Free from guilt and shame. Free from the damnable impulses I couldn’t stop when I was in bondage to sin. Free from the tyranny of others’ opinions, expectations, demands.

And free to what? Free to obey. Free to love. Free to forgive others as well as myself. Free to allow others to be who they are—different from me! Free to live beyond the limitations of human effort. Free to serve and glorify Christ.

In no uncertain terms, Jesus Christ assured His own that His truth was able to liberate them from every needless restriction: “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). I love that. The possibilities are unlimited.

The Grace Awakening Devotional, Charles R. Swindoll, © 2003, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee.

His Name Alone

Psalm 148 is the first of the last three Psalms that leads in incredible praise. It begins in heights of heaven, descends to the lowest parts of earth and elevates to His throne. Praise emanates from things with and things without life, rational and irrational, lofty and lowly, all are commanded worship The Creator.

The psalmist writes, “Let them praise the name of the Lord , for His name alone is exalted; His majesty is above earth and heaven. (Psalms 148:13)

His name alone . . .

We all appreciate receiving praise and compliments. It validates our contribution and calling. Praise encourages, empowers and energizes us.

Yet, at the end of the day, we are what we are only by His grace.

There’s an old chorus, “All the glory belongs to Jesus. All the praise belongs to Him. All that I am or ever hope to be, all the glory belongs to Him”.

As we serve Him today, design everything so He gets the praise. Direct all the glory His way. And, if any praise comes our way, deflect it to Him.

“For His name alone is exalted!”

Challenges

I appreciate the devotional thoughts by Sarah Young in Jesus Calling.

Each morning i read daily excerpts and jot down some my own thoughts.

Seek My Face more and more. You are really just beginning your journey of intimacy with Me. It is not an easy road, but it is a delightful and privileged way: a treasure hunt. I am the Treasure, and the Glory of My Presence glistens and shimmers along the way.
The intentionality of seeking the face of God is the key. How does one do that? It is just the beginning. It is the first of many steps. It is a journey. I will never arrive. Yet, I must continue on. Moment by moment proceeding with purpose In order to simple know Him. He is the True Treasure.

Hardships are part of the journey too. I mete them out ever so carefully, in just the right dosage, with a tenderness you can hardly imagine. Do not recoil from afflictions, since they are among My most favored gifts. Trust Me and don’t be afraid, for I am your Strength and Song.
He allows hardships and challenges to intersect my search for Him.
These difficulties will dissuade me or determine me.
I will give up or I will gear up.
The more I embrace these obstacles as opportunities, the more I grow in grace and feed my faith. Suffering makes me stronger.
I trust in Him.

My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek.
—Psalm 27:8

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
—2 Corinthians 4:7

“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.”
—Isaiah 12:2

He Fixes What’s Broke

In Psalm 147, the psalmist declares God’s providential and protective care of His chosen people. He also writes, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalms 147:3)

The God who cares for a hopeful nation has the same concern for the hopeless individual. And, His compassion extends to those who need it most . . . the broken, the bruised, the battered, the betrayed . . . those who suffer with unhealed wounds that need the most tender care.

Today, we are His chosen . . . His Church. As citizens of this called out body, we experience the grace of His steadfast love and the mercy of His compassionate heart.

Every week, we are blessed with comfortable surroundings, well planned services, effective media and heart stirring messages. In those gatherings of Christ followers, may still come whose hearts are breaking and whose hope is all but gone.

He has not changed . . . He is the same compassionate Healer who gathers the outcast, binds up all wounds, mends the most shattered brokenness and restores lost hope.

We have the privilege of introducing the Hope to the hopeless, the Savior to the shattered, the Wound Healer to the wounded. He is the God of the second beginning and the second chance. His name is Jesus.

“The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.” (Psalms 147:11)

In God We Trust?

“In God we trust” has become an accepted tradition. Yet, it’s rarely accepted as an applied truth.

The psalmist had do doubt about his trust. “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.” (Ps 146:3)

Eternal trust can only be found in the Prince of Peace. And, as we build for an eternal Kingdom, He still is the only One we can fully trust.

We trust in Him because He is our Salvation. Acts 4:12

We trust in Him because He is our Help and Hope. Ps 146:5

We trust in Him because He Is Creator. Ps 146:6

We trust in Him because He keeps faith forever. Ps 146:6

We trust in Him because He brings justice to the oppressed. Ps 146:7

We trust in Him because He cares for the poor. Ps 146:7

We trust in Him because He opens the eyes of the blind, lifts those who have bowed down, and loves the righteous. Ps 146:8

We trust in Him because He watches over travelers, upholds the widow and cares for the orphaned. Ps 146:9

We trust in Him because He Will Reign Forever!!! Ps 146:10

Today, as His servants, He is our sole source of trust.
Today, as His sons & daughters, He is our soul source of trust.

Jeremy Camp penned his thoughts on the source of his trust in God.

When I can’t see You I know You’re there
When I can’t feel You I will not fear
I will trust in You and I will not be afraid.
When the battle is close at hand
Though You’re with me and help me stand
I will trust in You and I will not be afraid.

When the darkness is close at hand
And I’m running against the wind
I will trust in you and I will not be afraid.
When I’m standing upon that shore
All the battles I’ve gone before
I will trust in you, and I will not be afraid.

I will not be afraid
I will not be afraid
I will trust in you
I will trust in you
I will trust in you