01/16/12

Psalm 53 David Expounded

 Psalm 53

 For the director of music. According to mahalath.[b] A maskil[c] of David.

 1 The fool says in his heart,
   “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their ways are vile;
   there is no one who does good.

 2 God looks down from heaven
   on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
   any who seek God.
3 Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt;
   there is no one who does good,
   not even one.

 4Do all these evildoers know nothing?

   They devour my people as though eating bread;
   they never call on God.
5 But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
   where there was nothing to dread.
God scattered the bones of those who attacked you;
   you put them to shame, for God despised them.

 6 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
   When God restores his people,
   let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 53:1 In Hebrew texts 53:1-6 is numbered 53:2-7.
  2. Psalm 53:1 Title: Probably a musical term
  3. Psalm 53:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term

I find it so amazing that these words expressed by the Psalmist echo through time to our present age as a testimony of the nature of man. We read in Scripture that GOD does not change. Sadly, neither does mankind.

Yes, we do change in our outer lives–some prosper and accumulate wordly wealth. Others may prosper and accumulate spiritual wealth. In some cases both forms of wealth are realized–but mankind has this tendency to stick to a basic, selfish nature. “The fool says in his heart, “There is no GOD”. Verse 1a. This obviously happened long ago and is still happening today. That is the reason why we still need a Savior to intervene and stand in the gap for us. Jesus is our intercessor, and He is the one who declares the reality and righteousness of the Father. We have a warrior King on our side, and even within this historical timeframe; because of this historical timeframe; it is even more desperately important to see that the Kingdom of GOD is presented to the masses, and that the people are given opportunity for redemption and salvation.

David saw into the heart of man because of his own human experiences. He also saw into the heart of GOD because of his own spiritual encounters with GOD and personal deliverance. David speaks frankly and fervently here. He knows the mercy of GOD’s Spirit–the Comfort of His presence.

“God looks down from Heaven on all mankind, to see if there are any who understand, any who seek GOD”  Verse 2.  This statement was relevant tn David’s time–it is also relevant in our own time.        Charlene

 

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

12/19/11

2 Peter 3:9 Promise of the Saviour

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish,  but that all should come to repentance.”— 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV)
 
Does GOD keep his promises? Does he break covenant with us? You are saying, “Of course not”, GOD does not change. So the question here is– in a relationship between ourselves and our Maker, “Who does change”?  
I believe that we can all agree that mankind is subject to change–that the nature of mankind desires change.
 
As a people, we are a restless bunch. We bore easily, and at a time in history when there are so many diversions hour by hour, humankind has less and less time to be still and listen to God’s still, small voice. If we would take the time, we would discover a world of possibilities that exist far beyond our everyday existence.
 
Service to Christ involves embracing all that He is and has been. He is the second Person of the Holy Trinity; He was God made flesh and still is today.
The teaching of the Cross and the sacrifice of Jesus lives on today in our hearts. The Christchild born of a virgin mother is still ‘God With Us’, ‘Emmanuel’, and ‘Saviour of All Mankind’. We have covenanted again and again with Our LORD when we partake of His Holy Communion; when we break the bread and lift the cup in His Name. Jesus’ name is the only  name under heaven by which we can be saved.
 
This Christmas Season is a new beginning, a time to reevaluate and reassess our Christian walk. It is not about ‘Black Day’ or ‘Macy’s Parade’–it is about ‘Giving’ as Christ has given to us over and over. It is about the “Great Commission”–going out into the world in any way possible to seek the lost sheep and bring them into the fold.
 
What is Christmas? Christmas is Jesus as an Intercessor, coming to earth to experience what we experience and to create a bridge between GOD and Man. The ‘Promise’ is still here, and the recipients of the ‘Promise’ through GOD’s Holy Spirit have much to make them rejoice.
“For unto us a child is born; unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulders, and His name shall be called Wonderful. Counselor, Almighty GOD, The Everlasting Father; The Prince of Peace. 
Isaiah 9:6 KJV
 
All Scripture Quotes are from The Holy Bible, KJV,  World Publishing, 1986.
11/28/11

2 Timothy 2 NIV

2 Timothy 2

New International Version (NIV)

The Appeal Renewed

 1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.

 8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 10Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

 11Here is a trustworthy saying:

   If we died with him,
   we will also live with him;
12 if we endure,
   we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
   he will also disown us;
13 if we are faithless,
   he remains faithful,
   for he cannot disown himself.

Dealing With False Teachers

 14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

 20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

 22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

 
 
New International Version (NIV)

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

11/22/11

Thanksgiving Message 2011

I’ve been hearing a lot about the prophecies of 2012. Many voices are speaking, and you cannot listen to them all. I try to stay focused on the Word of GOD which does not give us a specific date, time, or year but tells us that we will not know the specified time. Throughout this life we can either run and live in fear–or we can embrace the reality of  God’s Holy Spirit living in us to comfort, guide and do effective work through us.

This Thanksgiving is special as is every Thanksgiving. The most quiet family holiday each year, Thanksgiving still remains a time to gather our loved ones around us and Thank GOD for the harvest. For some the harvest is vegetables–for others the harvest is souls. I Pray for a Blessed Thanksgiving for us all and that provision would be our Father’s desire for us.  Charlene

Psalm 146

 1 Praise the LORD.[a]

   Praise the LORD, my soul.

 2 I will praise the LORD all my life;
   I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
3 Do not put your trust in princes,
   in human beings, who cannot save.
4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
   on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
   whose hope is in the LORD their God.

 6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
   the sea, and everything in them—
   he remains faithful forever.
7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
   and gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free,
 8 the LORD gives sight to the blind,
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
   the LORD loves the righteous.
9 The LORD watches over the foreigner
   and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
   but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

 10 The LORD reigns forever,
   your God, O Zion, for all generations.

   Praise the LORD.

Footnotes:
  1. Psalm 146:1 Hebrew Hallelu Yah; also in verse 10
New International Version (NIV)Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

11/11/11

"Courageous" Fatherhood and Trust

I went with my family and Women United RHC to see this remarkably inspirational movie at Marcus Theater on November 10th. We laughed; we cried; but more importantly–we praised. Although this movie features policemen as its target subject, it is for every parent out there who feels a responsibility to raise and relate to their children in a Godly atmosphere of trust and obedience. This movie never gets dull or preachy. It teaches Biblical truths through practical application. Since its initial release on September 30th, 2011–policemen and men of service all over the country have seen they and their family’s lives changed through the message this movie projects. The message is founded upon the Word of GOD.
Made by the producers of “Fireproof”–this movie excels in all areas. I recommend seeing it over and over. Rev. Charlene

“Courageous” Movie Trailers

credit: yahooMovies

Charlene’s Source: yahoo.com

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09/7/11

The Two Jerusalems–The Book of Life

The LORD gave me Psalm 87 this morning. This is a Psalm that can be hard to decipher, so I looked for an inspired explanation of this Psalm. Isn’t it awesome how so much of GOD’s holiness can be found in so few words.

Be in Christ Jesus,  Charlene

The Two Jerusalems

Psalm 87

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 87

www.easyenglish.info

Gordon Churchyard

Words in boxes are from the Bible.

A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.

The translated Bible text has yet to go through Advanced Checking.

Jesus said, “You must be born again”. (John 3:7)

Psalm 87
(This is) a song with music, for the sons of *Korah.

v1 He built it on the mountains of *holiness.

v2 The *LORD loves the gates of Zion.
He loves them more than all the places where *Jacob lives.

v3 (People say) *wonderful things about you, city of God. *SELAH

v4 I will remember the people that I know, from Rahab and Babylon;
also from Philistia, Tyre and Ethiopia.
I will remember that this man was born there.

v5 They will say in Zion, “A man … this man … was born there”.
So he … the *Most High … will build her up.

v6 The *LORD will write in his book (the name of) everyone that says,
“This man was born there”. *SELAH

v7 The singers and the *musicians (will say),
“All my *springs are in you”.

The Story of Psalm 87
This is an important psalm but we do not know who wrote it. It was for the sons of *Korah. This is probably the name of the *musicians in the *temple in Jerusalem. The *temple was the house of God that Solomon built. Solomon was the son of David. He was the third king of Israel.

The psalm is about Jerusalem. The psalm calls Jerusalem by the name Zion. Really, Zion was the name of the hill on which Solomon built the *temple. The *Jews thought that God lived on this hill. It was his home on earth. Because they thought that God was *holy (or very, very good) they thought that Zion was *holy also. So they called the hill of Zion a “mountain of *holiness”.

But the psalm is really the story of two Jerusalems! Verses 1-3 are about Jerusalem on earth, the capital city of the *Jews. Verses 4-6 are about another Jerusalem. We can see this very clearly in the translation from the *Greek Bible below. (The translation above is from the *Hebrew Bible.) 250 years before Jesus came to the earth, the *Jews translated their Bible into *Greek.

This meant that more people could understand it. In some places, the two Bibles are different. We do not know why. We do believe that both translations teach us what is true.

What Psalm 87 means
Verses 1-3 are about Jerusalem, the capital city of the *Jews. Verses 4-6 are about the *Church. The *Church is the City of God, the New Jerusalem. The person that wrote Psalm 87 did not know this. But God inspired them to write verses 4-6. “Inspired” means “gave them words to say”. The person that wrote the psalm thought that Jerusalem would become the most important city on earth. God knew that the NEW Jerusalem would be the most important city! But it would not be on earth, but in *heaven where God lives.

Verses 1 – 2: These verses are about the Jerusalem that is on earth. To give you help to understand this difficult psalm we have shown it like this:

He built it on the mountains of *holiness

the *LORD loves the gates of Zion

He loves them more than the places where *Jacob lives

To the left it is about the *LORD God; to the right it is about the Jerusalem on earth, the capital of Israel. The “mountains of *holiness” are the hills on which they built Jerusalem. They were *holy because they thought that God lived there. “The gates of Zion” means the whole city of Jerusalem. *Jacob is another name for Israel, and the land where the *Jews lived.

Verses 4 – 6: These verses are about the *Church. The person that wrote the psalm did not know about our *Church. He thought that people from all over the world were becoming *Jews. This was probably true. But the *New Testament of the Bible repeats Psalm 87:5 and says that it is about the *Church (Galatians 4:26). People come to it from all over the world: Rahab (Egypt), Babylon (Iraq), Philistia, Tyre (Lebanon) and Ethiopia (Sudan) were countries near Israel.

We think that God is speaking in verses 4-6. He says that everyone that is born in Jerusalem is in his book. What does “born in Jerusalem” mean? We believe that it means “born again”. This is another way of saying “becoming a Christian”. The name of every Christian is in God’s book. He will not forget any of them. They are all included in those that say, “this man was born there”. In verse 6, this means “I was born there”. Here is Psalm 87:5 in another translation. It is not from the *Hebrew Bible. It is from the *Greek Bible:

“A man will say, ‘Zion is my mother’. This man was born in her. So he … the *Most High … will build her up”.

It is the translation from the *Greek Bible that the *New Testament uses. In Galatians 4:26 Paul wrote, “the Jerusalem that is above … is our mother”. Remember, Jerusalem and Zion are the same place.

What does all this mean? It means that when we are born again (or become Christians) we are born in a place called Jerusalem. This is not the Jerusalem that is on earth. It is a Jerusalem that is in *heaven, where God lives. The people that live there are all the people that have become Christians. The Jerusalem that is in *heaven is made up of people, not buildings.

Verse 7: This verse is difficult to translate. It probably means one of:

· the singers and *musicians must use music that is called “All my *springs are in you”

· the singers and *musicians all say that their *springs are in Jerusalem (this means that Jerusalem gives them new life)

Something To Do
1. If you have a Bible, read Galatians 4:21-31, Hebrews 11:13-16, and Hebrews 12:22-24.

2. Ask God to put your name into his Book of Life!

Word List
Adonai ~ *Lord or master; (or better, my *Lord or my master) in *Hebrew.

church ~ all those people that believe all about Jesus.

covenant ~ two people have agreed what each should do (here, God and his people). Look after Psalm 25 in Book 1 of the Psalms of David for more about the covenant.

Greek ~ a language.

heaven ~ the home of God.

Hebrew ~ the language that the *Jews spoke when they wrote the Psalms of David.

holiness ~ something that is very good; in Psalm 87, a place where God is.

holy ~ very, very good; only God is really *holy, the land where he lives with his people is also *holy because he is there.

Jacob ~ another name for Israel, both the people and the land. (Jacob was Abraham’s grandson).

Jehovah ~ how some languages say *Yahweh, one of the names of God in *Hebrew.

Jew ~ someone who was born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.

Korah ~ look in the Introduction in Book 3 of the Psalms of David.

like ~ another word for “as”.

Lord ~ a name for God; it means he has authority, or “master”; *Adonai in *Hebrew. Look also at *LORD below.

LORD ~ a special name for God that his people use. It is the *covenant name of God. In *Hebrew it is *Yahweh or *Jehovah. Look after Psalm 25 in Book 1 of the Psalms of David for more about the names of God.

Most High ~ a name for God.

musical instrument ~ something that makes music when you hit it (cymbals, drum), blow in it (flute, trumpet, horn, shofar) or touch it in a quiet way (harp, lyre). Many of these are in Psalm 150 in Book 5 of The Psalms of David.

musicians ~ people that make music. They sing, or play *musical instruments.

New Testament ~ the last part of the Bible, which the writers wrote after the life of Jesus. It is about the things that Jesus did and taught and about the church [see church].

SELAH ~ a place to pray or think or make music.

springs ~ another word for “wells” (of water) in Psalm 87.

temple ~ a place where people meet to *worship God.

wonderful ~ great and surprising.

worship ~ tell someone that they are very great and that you love them.

Yahweh ~ the *covenant name for God. Most Bibles translate it *LORD with 4 capital letters. It means something *like “I am” or “always alive”.

© 2001-2002, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words).

January 2002

Visit our website: www.easyenglish.info

04/28/11

Psalm 83

Psalm 83 (New International Version, ©2011)

 

Psalm 83

Psalm 83[a]

    A song. A psalm of Asaph.

 1 O God, do not remain silent;
   do not turn a deaf ear,
   do not stand aloof, O God.
2 See how your enemies growl,
   how your foes rear their heads.
3 With cunning they conspire against your people;
   they plot against those you cherish.
4 “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation,
   so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.”

 5 With one mind they plot together;
   they form an alliance against you—
6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
   of Moab and the Hagrites,
7 Byblos, Ammon and Amalek,
   Philistia, with the people of Tyre.
8 Even Assyria has joined them
   to reinforce Lot’s descendants.[b]

 9 Do to them as you did to Midian,
   as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,
10 who perished at Endor
   and became like dung on the ground.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
   all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 who said, “Let us take possession
   of the pasturelands of God.”

 13 Make them like tumbleweed, my God,
   like chaff before the wind.
14 As fire consumes the forest
   or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,
15 so pursue them with your tempest
   and terrify them with your storm.
16 Cover their faces with shame, LORD,
   so that they will seek your name.

 17 May they ever be ashamed and dismayed;
   may they perish in disgrace.
18 Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD—
   that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.

 

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 83:1 In Hebrew texts 83:1-18 is numbered 83:2-19.
  2. Psalm 83:8 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.