The Law of the Lord is Perfect

English: Scroll of the Psalms

The Law of the Lord is Perfect is the text of Psalm 19:7-11, which speaks of the work of God’s Word in the life of the believer.

The Law of the Lord Is Perfect        

The law of the Lord is perfect,
Converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure,
Making wise the simple.

(refrain)
More to be desired are they than gold.
Yea, than much fine gold,
Sweeter also than honey
And the honeycomb.

The statutes of the Lord are right,
Rejoicing the heart:
The commandment of the Lord is pure,
Enlightening the eyes.
(refrain)

 The fear of the Lord is clean,
Enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true
And righteous altogether.
(refrain)
Music by Joanne Roberts Graham  

Dear Father in heaven. Lead us to meditate on your law day and night. On this special day, enable your ministers to proclaim your Word in power as you open our hearts to hear and respond. Use your Word today for conversion, wisdom, rejoicing, and enlightenment for your glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

Celebration of a Resurrection

Many people come to this particular Lord’s Day to honor or celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. A lot of time and money are spent on this day to present a grand performance.

For some, it is simply a season called Easter. Even as for the Christmas season, people who have no thoughts of God join their families or friends for a meal.

Those of a different faith came through our neighborhood this past week, handing out invitations for their once-a-year presentation. It sounded like a spectacular event ~ even to surpass the resurrection, itself.

It was a joy for me to tell them that we plan and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ every Lord’s Day.

They continued to tell me how great their event would be.  I continued to tell them how great ours is every week. They left, after asking what church I attended.

Once a year cannot compare to the planning and celebration of Christ’s resurrection every week; as a taste of, and planning toward that final gathering.

That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven,
and which are on earth; even in him: 
Ephesians 1:10

Faith in a man who actually “rose from the dead” brings us head-on, face-to-face with this man who claimed to be God; died for the “sins of His people;” and was raised in victory over death. His resurrection was the final presentation planned to deliver us once-for-all from death to eternal life (Hebrews 9:24-28).

This man is the center of all of life, for every day and everything.

I will declare thy name unto my brethren,
in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
Hebrews 2:12-13

Faith brings us daily to worship at Jesus’ feet and ~ at least ~ weekly, to worship and celebrate His resurrection and our salvation, with His people. We, at Covenant Presbyterian Church, OPC (Reformed) also “remember His death” every week, in the observance of the Lord’s Supper.

We bear no judgment upon those who worship differently; we rejoice greatly in what we have.  If they have something we don’t have, we don’t miss or need it. We have Christ, His Word, and Spirit ~ we have everything.

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
 Philippians 4:4

Father, we thank you for another Lord’s Day; for this day of worship with your people. Thank you for each week, remembering what we have heard and learned from your Word; the truth that is transforming us by the renewing of our minds, and conforming us to His image. Thank you for pastors that lead and feed your flock; for your Word and Spirit that continually prepare us for the next Lord’s Day, and for the glory that you have planned for us in that final gathering in Christ. In Jesus’ name, we praise you. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

A New and True Reflection Of Christ

DSC02891This original picture was taken in Bavaria, Germany. We have never been there.  I duplicated this with my camera from the cover of a Big Ben 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle box.

After separating some pieces of the puzzle, I thought of the many reflections of nature. Then I realized later, as I was praying for the transition of one year to the next, that where there is light and a means of receiving, there will be a reflection of that which is higher, brighter, greater, more powerful and beautiful.

God, our Father has created all things, and the most important of His creation is that which He created in His own image.  Since the Fall that image has been marred—just as a reflection that we see from the sky to the lake is not clear.  But, He has planned, through the giving of His Son, to restore that image for eternity—when all shall be a new heavens and a new earth; and we shall be like Him.

No True Images of Christ in a Picture
Just as I have no true knowledge of Germany, never having been there, there is no true knowledge of Jesus Christ, except as the Father brings (draws – John 6:44-45) us to Him.  No one can paint or draw an image of Christ that will reflect His image in us.  He has to first give us a new heart (Ezekiel 36:16) through which we see Him.  He must draw His own image; only by the power of His Holy Spirit applying His Holy Word to our spirits, hearts, and minds can we be humbled and still, so as to receive His image in us.  And unlike water that only reflects an image, Christ’s image is in us.  The external only reflects what is internally and eternally ours.

My prayer for a new year is that we, as His redeemed children shall know our lowliness and His highest, His power working in us as new creatures in Christ; for a new outpouring of His Spirit; that we may know His light in us, the receiving and reflecting of the nature and disposition of Christ,  yet, somewhat still blurred.

My desire is to desire what He desires; and to be transparent—just as in the picture I do not remember the lake—only the reflection in it.

“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness,
who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of
the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”
2 Corinthians 4:6,7

“Beloved, now we are children of God;
and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be,
but we know that when He is revealed,
we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

1 John 3:2,3

“As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.
Psalm 17:15

The LORD bless you and keep you;  The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you:  The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace” ~~~ “Christ in you,” this year.

Heavenly Overtones

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Music is designed with a melody that runs throughout the whole piece.  Other parts add harmony.  The melody is the beginning, and the ending.  It is what holds the piece together.  Lose the melody or make it a monotone—the same tone over and over— and it ceases to be music.  Overpower the melody and the music loses its meaning.

Music is a sound that began in heaven with God, our Father and Creator.  It is a major means that He provided to help us worship Him—“Holy, Holy, Holy”—one for the Father, one for the Son, and one for the Holy Ghost, is sung by the angels in heaven. (Isaiah 6:3  and Revelation 4:8)

Anthems are compositions for music that include all parts —melody, harmony, and sometimes, what is called a descant.  A descant is a part that is sung by a higher range of voices.  It is not meant to overpower but provide an extra lift to the other parts.

Together all the parts speak to the senses to lift the spirit and the heart toward God.

Some of The Psalms that we sing from the Trinity Psalter have descants.  If you have never sung The Psalms you have not only missed hearing the command of the Lord in Ephesians 5:19, but also the blessings that come with them when they are sung.

In Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs we worship with Biblical texts and heavenly music.

(For centuries The Psalms were sung in all the churches.  They are God’s Word sung in worship to Him.  But most churches for the past two hundred years have thrown them out in the same way that the true gospel has been pushed aside.)

And for the most part, all we hear is a monotone—the same thing over and over.  Melody and harmony have been replaced with the performances of one person’s voice or drowned by instruments that overpower the melody.

Hymns have been replaced by compositions that have no harmony—difficult to sing and remember—and have separated generations of families.

I picture it according to His Word—the melody was begun in heaven with Jesus, His Son—“Holy, Holy, Holy”  from the foundation of the world.  He would not only be the beginning of music, but the melody throughout the span of time here on earth, onward into eternity.

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes…”

He was wrapped in our humanity—the melody of heaven was here—to gather around Him those that would add the harmony to Himself, and provide the music for His family, the music that the Father wanted to hear.

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“On the same night there were shepherds with flocks of sheep in the fieldAnd lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them”the music and the worship were about to begin.

And the glory of the Lord shone round about them with good tidings of great joy”the prelude—the introduction to the first anthem of true worship.

To all people—unto you is born a Savior, Christ the Lord”the music begins.
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And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts praising God, and saying,  Glory to God in the highest”—the descant.

“And on earth peace.”   Christ Jesus, our Lord, is the melody of heaven, the melody of life, as God has composed it, and plays it for us by His Spirit and through His Word.

“I will declare thy name (the Father) unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.” “Behold, I and the children which God hath given me.”  (Hebrews 2:12-13)—the harmony of His family.  Now He has a full choir.

The Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs that we learn throughout our childhood are the anthems that are carried into heaven with us, as we join that celestial choir. Others are added along the way as He gives us a repertoire.  The only soloist is the one who carries the melody—Christ, Himself.

As we live by the Spirit, and walk by the Spirit, He opens our ears to hear the melody, and to follow Him.  Our off-keys and monotones are tuned to harmonize with other voices.  And walking humbly with our Father, in the obedience of faith, loving the Lord, our God, and our neighbor, we are surrounded by the heavenly overtones echoing His praise in heaven and earth. In our devotion to Christ He opens our hearts to hear compositions we have never heard before, especially during the difficult circumstances of life.

I pray that we know the Lord as our strength and song.”  (Exodus 15:2)

I pray that we would experience “the new song” as He fills us with His Spirit.

On this Lord’s Day I go to His House with a great expectation of hearing the melody—a strong and sure foundation for our worship—hearing the other parts, and the distant sound of the descant of the angels in affirmation that our worship is accepted.

I pray that each day we will practice our singing, individually, and in family worship, so that we are prepared for worship on the Lord’s Day—all in preparation for the great day when we see Him and praise Him in all His glory with the angels.

Our Father has composed the music and directs the choir.

Let us sing with full hearts to His glory and our joy.

“Holy,—-Holy,—-Holy,

The LORD of hosts:

        The whole earth is full of His glory.”

Lord’s Day 9/23/07 (From 50 Days of Prayer and Praise~Articles and Stories of Faith.)

The Words I Speak Most Often

The words I speak most often:

paths


“FATHER, HELP ME!”
  ~  Isaiah 41:10

“FORGIVE ME, LORD.”    ~  Matthew 6:12

“THANK YOU, LORD!”   ~  Psalm 100:4

~ because He promises to hear and answer; to be with me; and  show me His way.

“Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD
who formed it to establish it—the LORD is His name.
Call to me and I will answer you,
and will show you great and mighty  things that you do not know.”
Jeremiah 33:2-3

Morgennebel “Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach my thy paths;
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me;
For thou art the God of my salvation;
On thee do I wait all the day.”
Psalm 25:4-5

In Jesus name, I pray.  Amen.

Thanksgiving Day

Olivia’s Thanksgiving Greeting  ~  2007

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Last week as William was bagging our groceries he asked, “Are you getting ready for Thanksgiving Day?”

When I answered, “Everyday is thanksgiving day!” he said, “I wish….”

Not hearing what he had wished, I asked him on our way out, “What did you wish?”

He said, “That everyday was thanksgiving day for me.”

Close enough to whisper the secret, I said, “It can be—in Jesus Christ.”

I had never seen William, and don’t know if he will be there on our next visit, but   enough was said to give him hope. A seed was planted with the prayer that the Lord will water it, and lead this young man to His Word, give him a new heart, and a spirit of thanksgiving for every day of his life.

There was an open door, and a humble heart desiring only what Jesus Christ can give. We praise the Lord for the short times in our lives when we can witness of His grace to others; and leave the results to him.

“I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;” 1 Corinthians 1:4-5  

Little Kids Grow Up to be Big Kids ~ Goats

Jesus warns us that there will be a separation of the sheep from the goats.

“And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.” Matthew 25:32

Where did parents get the idea of calling children “kids?”  I can’t find any solid information on this expression.  But besides searching for this in history, what are we saying when we use this word for the children God has given us?

Does God anywhere in His Word call us kids?  No ~ His children are sheep.  This puts a totally different light upon how we look at, and bring up our children.
They are lambs ~ not goats.  We may all act like goats at times, pushing and shoving one another, wild in our nature; but God, our Father has born us into a new nature through Jesus Christ’s work, and life,  and His Spirit within us.

Should we not also treat our children as if they are His children, though they do not yet act like it.  If we treat them as kids, letting them run wild in the field of this world they will indeed fulfill such vision as we have for them.

On the other hand if we consider them as “lambs,” doing for them what our heavenly Father does for us, we will provide for them, lead them, assure them, and nurture them ~ bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”  (Ephesians 6:4) “discipline and instruction.” (ESV)

We will be a shepherd to them.  We will protect them, direct them, and correct them.
We will project to them the path, in which ~ and the goal ~ to which,  we are going together.  They will, in the process, come to understand their true role, and the purpose for their being a lamb of God.

The “kids” of this world are becoming the “goats” of tomorrow.  God’s “lambs” are becoming the sheep He expects them to be.  Only He can take a goat and make him a sheep.  “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17); “and have put on the new self, which is renewed in the knowledge of Him who created him.”  (Colossians 3:10)

The “lamb that was slain” became the shepherd that leads us to be the parents of His children ~  special gifts of life to us.  Give yourself to the “true Shepherd” and allow Him to work in you to bring up His children for His glory, your joy, and the joy of your family and others.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly more than we can ask or think,”
by His power of grace working in us.
Ephesians 3:20

Psalm 23

Dear Father in heaven, “hold me by my right hand; guide me with your counsel.”  “Lead me in the paths of righteousness, for your name’s sake.”  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.