Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August 24, 2017

"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!

Rottonness To Righteousness

"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith.' God's Wrath Against Mankind The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles." Romans 1:16-23

Remember the good news, bad news jokes?

Doctor: I have some good news and I have some bad news.

Patient: What's the good news?

Doctor: The good news is that the tests you took showed that you have 24 hours to live.

Patient: That's the good news? What's the bad news?

Doctor: The bad news is that I forgot to call you yesterday!

Doctor: I have some good news and some bad news.

Patient: What's the good news?

Doctor: The good news is they are naming a disease after you!

In Romans Chapter 1, Paul tells you about some Good News and some bad news. I suggest you pay close attention.

Before I pursue that thought let me call your attention to the fact that their is no such thing as "Neutral" news. There is "Good News" or "Bad News" and you are involved in one or the other.

The good news is that the "Good News" IS the Gospel of Jesus Christ. "Gospel" means "good news". Jesus came to bring good news from God for mankind. Jesus came to be the Redeemer that would take away the sins of the world.

Paul says that the Gospel is "the power of God for salvation". Salvation from what? Salvation from the bad news.

How does that work? What is that power?

The "Gospel" is the good news that there is a righteousness that can deliver you from the bad news. That righteousness is found in a Person, Jesus Christ. The "Gospel" is good news exposes the bad news and points to the way out. When you place our faith in that good news of God's righteousness, you enter into a relationship with Jesus that gives you His righteousness.

Part of having faith in His good news requires you to confront and confess the bad news in your life. As you cling to His righteousness and repent of your "rottenness", you enter into a personal relationship with God through Christ that gains you access to all His power and holiness! "Rottenness" is rooted in your refusal to believe the goodness and avail yourself of His righteousness. Bad news loves being rotten and revels in it.

The first chapter of Romans lays it out simply. There is good news about God's righteousness and bad news about our rottenness. It also clearly details the choices, the motives and the ultimate outcomes of each way. And it issues an ultimatum:

Live in righteousness or die in rottenness. Have the joy of knowing you are right with God or suffer the shame of rejecting Him.
Thomas Kelley