A hedge of protection. Build it high and strong – for your children.
But what is that hedge of protection?
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.”
The hedge is God’s Word. It is the ultimate protection against the fiery attacks of Satan.
“…you may be sure that your sin will find you out.”
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
“…for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction…”
These are the kinds of truths that build a high and strong hedge of protection.
When these truths are lodged deeply in the heart…children will be well equipped to resist evil and live in purity.
Before you read the Bible. Here is a helpful prayer.
“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”
Reading God’s Word is like searching for gems. Suddenly there it is – exactly what you were hoping to find. The discovery brings great joy.
You may have read a passage before…but this time it is as if an eternal truth springs from the page. It is exactly what you need at that moment.
The Bible is unlike any other book – it has a living message. The Holy Spirit gives life to the printed page.
Let the prayer of the psalmist be yours…as you read God’s Word.
Assessing value. How much are you worth?
First…scarcity. Value is determined by scarcity – one-of-a-kind automobile…or painting…or gem.
And…you are one of a kind. God makes no carbon copies. You are unique…scarce. Therefore you have great value.
Then there is the matter of God’s love. “God so loved the world…” And that includes you. You have infinite value…because you are loved.
And…God’s love is indivisible. That is…you do not receive only your fraction of His love. You get all of God’s love.
So your value is immeasurable… infinite…and priceless.
Here’s the challenge — to live like you have value. Self-depreciation of any kind dishonors that value.
Be a humble expression of the infinite value that is yours.
Standing in the breach. By doing so…you might spare someone from being subjected to the wrath of God.
When Israel rebelled against God in the wilderness God “…said he would destroy them…”
But Moses “…stood in the breach before him to keep his wrath from destroying them.”
Is it the prayers of God’s people that are holding back the wrath of God on our nation?
Or what about children who have rebelled against God…or a mate…a friend…or even the compromising church?
Is it possible that the prayers of God’s people can stay the wrath of God?
The psalmist reminds us that it was so with ancient Israel – and since God never changes…would not the same be true today?
Consider the privilege of being one who stands in the breach.
A divine benefit package. These are the privileges granted every follower of Christ.
“Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits…”
Then the psalmist lists each benefit — forgiveness of sins…healing of diseases…redemption from the pit…a crown of love and compassion…satisfaction of desires with good things…renewal of youth like the eagle’s.
This is a benefit package that is personal…comprehensive…practical…and available to the faithful.
Are you living as a recipient of these benefits?
Some people claim to follow Jesus but live like paupers. They thoughtlessly forget that the benefit package is theirs.
Your riches in God are boundless. All that is needed is to claim these benefits by faith.
“…forget not all his benefits…”
Permissiveness. Each person determines their own values…behavioral practices…and convictions – or lack thereof.
In a permissive world there is no submission to Biblical mandates…traditional mores…or Christian values.
Sadly…society is more and more embracing a permissive ideology and views any restrictions as suspect.
All this is done in the name of individual autonomy…unrestrained behavior…and personal desire.
The Bible describes this day: “…in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers…”
Pray for a spiritual awakening that will result in obedience to the requirements of God – as outlined in His Word.
The cross. It’s the place to go to find answers to the really big questions of life.
Paul said “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…”
Why do I feel so lonely? How do I bear such pain? How do I deal with such great loss? What do I do with all the anxiety I feel?
You will find the answer by identifying with Jesus in His time of suffering.
There is no human suffering that is foreign to Jesus. He felt every pain known to man when He gave His life on the cross.
It is true – no one understands like Jesus. When you pour out your heart to Him…you will find the help you need.
A stubborn and rebellious generation. This is a generation whose ancestors failed to pass on the story of God’s mighty deeds.
“…he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them…”
When this pattern is violated…a generation is born that is stubborn and rebellious.
If you fail to pass on to your children the story of God’s mighty acts…your children may well be stubborn and rebellious.
Yes…every generation chooses their destiny – but they are strongly influenced by the spiritual vitality of the generation that has gone before.
So…do your best to pass on to your posterity the wonderful story of what it means to serve the living God.
“Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds…”
The annoyances of life. They come in every shape…color…and intensity.
The big challenges of life are always present as well…but here the focus is on the irritants of life – a sudden cold…a flat tire…extra heavy traffic…a cranky child…an irritable boss.
But if you are not careful…these annoyances can ruin your day. It’s why some people are perpetually irritated.
Can you relate to this?
If so…consider these responses.
First…accept the fact that annoyances are a part of life – ever present.
Then remember that Jesus faced the same – pressing crowds…unpredictable disciples…ulterior questions from the crowds…and weariness that comes from travel.
Finally…let trust carry you along. Ask for God’s peace and presence.
And give thanks in everything – even for all the inevitable annoyances of life.
The song of the drunkards. If you were the subject of that song…it would be the height of insult.
Yet…that is what happened to David. “Those who sit at the gate mock me, and I am the song of the drunkards.”
To be mocked is painful. But when the mockers are drunk…the offense is even more painful.
Interestingly…this psalm of David is prophetic of the agony of Jesus at Calvary.
So when you feel like you are the subject of mockers…remember that Jesus took your offense with Him to the cross. You can find in Jesus One who identifies with your most painful moments.
Even when you may be the subject of mockery…you can turn to Jesus. He has already suffered your pain.