Friday, July 6, 2012

July 7, 2012

"The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,   making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right,  giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold,  than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.  By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward." Psalm 19:7-11

Praise is a three dimensional experience. It should arise from Praise should arise from the thrill of what He is creating in you by His Word

George Barna wrote The State of the Church in 2002. Barna conducted a survey of self-pronounced Christians and here’s what he found about their knowledge of the Bible.

Now, remember these are Christians..

• 48% could not name the four Gospels.
• 52% cannot identify more than two or three of Jesus’ disciples.
• 60% of American Christians can’t name even five of the 10 Commandments.
• When asking graduating high school “born again Christians” over 50% of them thought Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife.
• 61% of American Christians think the Sermon on the Mount was preached by Billy Graham.
• 71% of American Christians think “God helps those who help themselves” is a Bible verse.
No wonder George Barna said, “Americans revere the Bible but, by and large they don’t know what it says. And because they don’t know it, they have become a nation of Biblical illiterates.

The Psalmist viewed God’s Word as something that gives LIFE not something that imposes LIMITS. What do you think?

Here is what the Psalmist that about God's Word:

V. 7a – “LIFE FOR THE SOUL” – Get out of the Word and your soul begins to die….

V. 7b – “WISDOM FOR THE SIMPLE” – Could you use a little wisdom?

V. 8a – “JOY FOR THE HEART” - What brings you more joy than God's Word?

Sam was a great bird dog. If he pointed to a clump of bushes, there surely was a bird in there. He was much more than just a bird dog. Often we’d share together lazy lunches in an abandoned apple orchard, and the snooze that followed.

Late one afternoon, Sam and I became separated. Neither of us was familiar with the area. I called and whistled. No sign of Sam. I had to get back to town for an important appointment. But how could I leave Sam? If he finally came back and I wasn’t there, would I lose him for good?

Then I remembered a trick an old dog trainer had passed on. I unbuttoned my jacket, and laid it on the ground under the branches of a small bush. I worried all night. But when I returned the next morning there was Sam curled up with his nose under the sleeve of my jacket. He looked up and wagged his tail. His eyes seemed to say, "Where’ve you been friend? I’ve been waiting for you all night. But I knew you’d come back."

Later I wondered. When I get lost, do I have the trust to look for some part of God’s word and curl up in it? To wait patiently, knowing that my Friend will find me if I just have faith in him?

God's Word is:



V. 9b – “SECURE”



A man in Kansas City was severely injured in an explosion. Evangelist Robert L. Sumner tells about him in his book The Wonders of the Word of God. The victim’s face was badly disfigured, and he lost his eyesight as well as both hands. He was just a new Christian, and one of his greatest disappointments was that he could no longer read the Bible.

Then he heard about a lady in England who read Braille with her lips. Hoping to do the same, he sent for some books of the Bible in Braille. Much to his dismay, however, he discovered that the nerve endings in his lips had been destroyed by the explosion. One day, as he brought one of the Braille pages to his lips, his tongue happened to touch a few of the raised characters and he could feel them. Like a flash he thought, I can read the Bible using my tongue. At the time Robert Sumner wrote his book, the man had "read" through the entire Bible four times.

Can you say you’ve read through the Bible four times—with two good eyes? This man had a craving—and even losing his eyesight wouldn’t prevent him from reading God’s Word.

What keeps you from reading God's Word? What keeps you from drawing praise out of God's Word?

July 6, 2012

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. 5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth. 7 The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. 11 By them your servant is warned in keeping them there is great reward 12 But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. 14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."  Psalm 19

Would you rather look at a photo of the Grand Canyon or would you rather SEE the Grand Canyon?

Would you prefer to see a documentary about Lake Tahoe or would rather stand on its shore?

That's the difference between a two-dimensional view and a 3-D experience.

Places as majestic as the Grand Canyon and Lake Tahoe are meant to be experienced in person.

I remember standing near a crystal clear lake high in the Sierras with snow capped peaks in the background, a clear blue sky stretched out above me and Lake Tahoe spread out several thousand feet below me. So overwhelming was the experience that I could hardly speak. My spirit broke out in praise and the predominant thought was, "God! You are just showing off!" And I loved it! I love Him!

Even as I reflect on that awesome memory I identify with the Psalmist when he declares, "The heavens declare the glory of God". On that day in that place creation literally shouted His glory no matter which direction I looked!

God intends for praise and worship to be a three dimensional experience! This Psalm makes that abundantly clear. He wants you to get caught up in the wonder of His world that He created for you. He didn't have to make it as beautiful and amazing as He did - BUT HE DID! All the marvelous varieties of flowers and trees and insects and birds and wildlife so intricately crafted were probably not necessary - EXCEPT TO REFLECT HIS MAJESTY!

If you want to discover how to praise God in another dimension, learn to lose yourself in amazement over this wonderful world He created for your enjoyment!

Gaze on the incredible beauty that surrounds you each day and praise Him for every flower, bird, creature, tree, gentle breeze, and fluffy white cloud you see! Marvel over the detail and the color and the precision built into them. Observe the joy of a squirrel leaping from branch to branch. Or  get caught up in the pure pleasure of a bird soaring high above lifted by the heat rising from the earth.

God provides you countless chances each day to praise Him through the wonder of this world He created! Don't miss those precious opportunities. He puts them there just for you!

Creation shouts the glory of God! Listen with your soul and shout back!

When you are done remember that is just ONE dimension of praise. God has given you two more!