Monday, November 2, 2015

November 2, 2015

"Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall." Psalm 55:22

You have probably heard this: "Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death."

The moral:

It doesn't matter if you are a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you better be running.

No one enjoys being fearful, but fear is a powerful motivator. In our verse for today, the Psalmist offers some great advice, "Let your anxiety drive you to the Lord."

Recently there have been some anxiety-producing events. Last week it was the precipitous fall of the stock market. Events in the Middle East continue to escalate. Yesterday the earth shook in an area of the USA where earthquakes are rare. And this week-end a powerful hurricane has taken aim on the Carolina coast. How are you supposed to cope with these fearful developments?

"Cast your cares".

"Cast" in Hebrew means: to throw out, throw down, throw away, to hurl. It does not mean to take back what you have cast, nor to cherish, or keep - but to cast, toss, throw away from yourself.

"Cares" in Hebrew means: whatever is given by providence. That means every part of your personality, talents, thoughts, body, emotions, worries, burdens, joys, and gifts.

"LORD" as used here in Hebrew means - Eternal, Jehovah, self-existent. The One with no beginning and no end. "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come, the Almighty." Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22:13.

Piece all these truths together and you get: "Throw and hurl everything that has been given to you onto the Lord. Everything that has been given to you, you are to throw onto the Lord and not to take it back."

That is your part. If you will do your part, here's what God will do:

"Sustain" in Hebrew means: "To keep in and contain, To abide, remain with and reside, To receive, comprehend and guide, To feed, nourish, make provision for and provide sustenance for."

God makes this personal - "You" - means God is willing and able to do this for you, just the way you are. No changes are needed to come before the Lord God Almighty.

Putting this all together: The Lord Jesus Christ will do all these thing for the one who casts to Him all that they have been, are now, and will be. Every facet of your life must be given away for Him in order for your joy to be full. God Himself will nourish and help you through what you are going through, no matter what it is!

"Fall" in Hebrew means: "To waver, slip, shake, fall; To be carried, cast, be out of course, be fallen in decay."

Add it up like this: The Lord God Almighty will never ever cause the just, clean and righteous person to slip and fall or be carried, cast, or be out of course and be fallen in decay. The Lord God will keep His child, that means the one who trust in Him and loves Him and obeys Him in Spirit and in Truth, He will keep that child cared for and nurtured, steadfast in His Love and protection.

What kept you from sleeping well last night? What caused you to awake with anxieties today? You can carry that again today or you can cast it on Him. Your fears can drain you or they can drive you to Him.

Listen to the Psalmist!

November 1, 2015

"Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well." Luke 17:11-19

Few people are more hopeless or helpless than a leper. Not only did they have an incurable disease but they were social outcasts separated from loved ones and despised by all.

When they heard that this Jesus was passing through their region a strange and unfamiliar emotion began to stir within them - hope. Having heard of the miracles He had worked for others, they knew He was their one and only chance. So, they positioned themselves along the route He would be taking and there they waited and there they hoped.

At long last He came. There were so many people between Him and them. Those others blocked their view. A sense of desperation began to arise as they feared they might miss this chance. With a boldness born of fear one of them cried out to Him, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us."

He heard them. He halted. He located them and spoke to them, "Go show yourselves to the priests."

It was an unusual request. It was a risky one, too, because priests had nothing to do with lepers. But as they responded in obedience, as they hurried to see the priest, a miracle occurred! Their rotted flesh was gone and new, healthy flesh appeared! The incurable was cured. The untouchable became huggable. The outcasts were again mainstream!

What joy they must have felt! How radically their lives had changed! In an instant they were whole. In a moment they went from hoping to having. What they thought to be true and what they felt to be true, was verified and made official when they were declared clean by the priests!

Now they could return to their families! Now they could resume their careers! If you had been away from your family for years, if you had not been able to hold your wife or hug your children where you would go once you were healed?

We know where one of them went - back to Jesus to tell Him, "Thanks!" We're not so sure about the other nine, we can only guess. Jesus noticed and commented on it, "Where not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?"

Very revealing. Could Jesus understand their joy at being able to return to their families? Sure. Wasn't that part of the reason why He healed them? Absolutely! But did He excuse them for doing so? No, He didn't. There is no excuse for unthankfulness. Not then. Not ever.
So, what's the lesson for you? You cannot let anyone or anything be more important than Jesus. You must serve Him and worship Him for Who He is not what He can do.

The other nine wanted something FROM Him, the Samaritan wanted Him. They got healed, he was healed AND made spiritually whole. His thankfulness launched him on a life of thanksgiving.

Until you become thankful for Who Jesus is, to you, you will never be thankful for what He does for you.