Sunday Meditation

I’ve been meditating on Psalm 84 for the last few days. There’s a lot in that short psalm so I’ve been taking it one verse at a time. It was appropriate that on a Sunday, I should come to verse 4, “Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.” As I was reading through some sources, I came across this thought. Be a dweller, not a visitor, in God’s house. To dwell is to live there. Most of us don’t live at our church. Some pastors and their families may live on the property, but I believe there is still a principle here. God’s house was ‘home’ for this psalmist. It’s where he longed to be. It made me wonder, is God’s house ‘home’ for me? Is it somewhere I long to be? 

Spurgeon says about this verse, “To come and go is refreshing, but to abide in the place of prayer must be heaven below. To be the guests of God, enjoying the hospitalities of heaven, set apart for holy work, screened from a noisy world, and familiar with sacred things—why this is surely the choicest heritage a son of man can possess.” The phrase that struck a chord with me here is to be screened from a noisy world. We are definitely living in a noisy world!!  For my part, I have been around so much sorrow lately, the sorrow of those I care about and some of my own. I know I need the fellowship of other believers to be refreshed.  We all do. Galatians 6:2 tells us to bear one another’s burdens. Being an active part of a local church is one of the ways we can do this.

The second half of the verse says they will still be praising God. Spurgeon says, “So near to God, their very life must be adoration…Communion is the mother of adoration. They fail to praise the Lord who wander far from him, but those who dwell in him are always magnifying him.” When we dwell in God and in His house, we will be praising Him. We won’t be able to help ourselves!

This verse ends with that little word, Selah. Spurgeon says, “It is worthwhile to pause and meditate upon the prospect of dwelling with God and praising him throughout eternity.”

I will end with that thought. I hope you will join me in pausing and meditating upon the prospect of dwelling with God and praising Him forever! That thought alone should provide a screen from this noisy world!

photo: Lake Murray, SC

Making a Way

When the children of Israel were trapped and afraid
‘twix forbidding tides and Pharaoh’s tirade,
Jehovah commanded, and Moses obeyed.
As pitiful prayers filled an impossible place,
as Moses gazed into Jehovah’s dread face,
as the people of God needed infinite grace,
the mighty winds howled; violent waves dashed.
The seawaters quivered and the lightnings flashed.
The thunders boomed and the breakers crashed.
And when the sun arose on that terrible day
the children of Israel, through the misty spray, 
discovered their God had made them a way.
And many a Christian in the years that have passed
Though troubled by fears, though tired and harassed,
Have found the same God strong, sure, and steadfast.

—Robert J. Morgan

in The Red Sea Rules, pg. 85.

*photo from Moody Press/

Thank you!

Thank you for joining me during for this month of 31 days from the books. It was such an encouragement to me go through these old “friends” and review some of what I learned there.  There are some that I would like to reread sooner rather than later.  I hope they were an encouragement to you as well.

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” 

~C.S. Lewis

*The photo is of my grandmother’s hutch decorated for fall.  

Set Apart

“Being set apart for God is not a punishment.  It is not an attempt on God’s part to  deprive us or condemn us to a cheerless, joyless lifestyle.  It is a privilege–a call to belong, to be cherished, to enter into an intimate love relationship with God Himself; to fit into His grand, eternal plan for this universe; to experience the exquisite joys and purposes for which we were created; to be freed from all that destroys our true happiness.”

Nancy Leigh DeMoss, A Place of Quiet Rest:  Daily Devotional Readings,  (January 7.) Chicago:  Moody Publishers, 2012.

In the Company of Others

“There’s something by Thomas à Kempis: ‘Everywhere I have sought rest and not found it, except sitting in a corner by myself with a book.'”

“From my experience in America & in my own Country, tis clear that Alcohol has wrought more misery than can be reckoned—it is as merciless as any plague in the taking of both lives & souls.”

“He took a sip of tea, and realized he was trembling. ‘To put a fine point to it, Anna—I stopped praying for God to change Dooley; I asked God to change me—to give me his eyes to see into the spirit of this exceptional broken boy…'”

“‘…Whenever she lashes out, whenever she draws away, pray and forgive, forgive and pray.’”

“Only a while ago, he’d wanted the comforts of home. Yet now he felt keenly the kind and solemn spirit of this room, and knew again that he was supposed to be here, that the easy familiarity of Fig Newtons could, if only for a time, be sacrificed.”

Karon, Jan. In the Company of Others (Father Tim Novels Book 2) . Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Changed Into His Image

“This change from the self-centered ways of our sinful heart to the self-sacrificing ways of our Lord will require divine assistance…the Holy Spirit is the divine power behind everything the believer does that will count for God…He is the divine Leader  calling attention through His convicting voice to the times when we are intent upon going our own way. He leads us into an understanding of the Scriptures and leads us into ‘paths of righteousness’ that will reflect Christ’s life in us. Those who experience this kind of leadership–away from sin and toward Christ’s likeness–‘are the sons of God.'”

“Any attempt to produce love, joy, peace, endurance, and so forth apart from the Spirit of God is reliance upon strategies that are in competition with God.”

Berg, Jim. Changed Into His Image, (pg. 6-8, 15) Bob Jones University Press: Greenville, SC, 1999.

*This photo was taken in southwestern Pennsylvania in the fall.

Pursuing God

“The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One. Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them, the enjoyment of them will be so tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness.  Or if he must see them go, one after one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the Source of all things he has in One all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight. Whatever he may lose he has actually lost nothing, for he now has it all in One, and he has it purely, legitimately and forever.”

“If we co-operate with Him in loving obedience God will manifest Himself to us, and that manifestation will be the difference between a nominal Christian life and a life radiant with the light of His face.”

“It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it.”

Tozer, A. W. The Pursuit of God, (pg. 19-20, 51, 98). Merchant Books, 2009.

*This photo was taken in beautiful Pennsylvania.  This place will always have a special place in my heart.

Loving God with All Your Mind

“Key to loving God with all our mind is truly experiencing His love for us.  On our own power, we cannot change the way we think, but when we draw near to God and spend time getting to know Him by getting to know His Word, He uses the truths there to transform how we think.  When we feel weak or overwhelmed by life, He can use Scriptures to give us strength. He can use the truths we find in His Word to fortify us to go on.”

“When we hold our thoughts up against God’s standards of what is true and what is real, we can recognize and, with His help, learn to release many of our negative emotions, damaging thoughts, and destructive attitudes.”

“God does indeed enable us to live according to His instruction to focus on today.  With Him, you and I can successfully climb the mountain of today, leaving the mountain range of tomorrows to tomorrow. And the peace that comes with knowing that we are following God’s guidance day by day, moment by moment, frees us to better love God with all our mind.”

George, Elizabeth. Loving God with All Your Mind (pg. 8, 15, 71-72). Harvest House Publishers: Eugene, Oregon, 1994.

*The photo was taken at the Begonia Garden at Nabana no Sato.

Women of the Word

“The heart cannot love what the mind does not know.  Yes, it is sinful to acquire knowledge for knowledge’s sake, but acquiring knowledge about One we love,  for the sake of loving him more deeply, will always be for our transformation.”

“A well-rounded approach to Bible study recognizes that the Bible is always more concerned with the decision-maker than with the decision itself. Its aim is to change our hearts so that we desire what God desires, rather than to spoon-feed us answers to every decision in life.”

“If a life stage is making it difficult for you to set aside regular time for study–either with a group or in your own personal efforts, please hear me say this:  That’s okay.  Give the Lord what you can and trust that he will honor your faithfulness in the small things.  Trust that the Lord knows your circumstances better than you do and that he sees your desire to learn and grow.  And trust that those times are being used to mature you–to teach you that it is a  privilege to be able to devote yourself to learning and studying, and to write more deeply on your heat the truths you have  already learned.”

“Prayer is the means by which we implore the Holy Spirit to take up residence in our study time.  Without prayer, our study is nothing but an intellectual pursuit.  With prayer, it is a means of communing with the Lord.  Prayer is what changes  our study from the pursuit of knowledge to the pursuit of God himself.”

Wilkin, Jen. Women of the Word (pg. 33, 41, 83, 103) Crossway. Kindle Edition.

*The photo was taken at the river in Asuke.