Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hollow Places

"And when he [God] saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him." (Gen. 32:25)

The word "hollow" usually means an empty place within something. In this case, it is the place in the torso where the hip-joint is found. I became curious about the idea of hollow places and made a little study of other passages in the Bible where the term is found. I was pleasantly surprised to see that all three gave me a picture of how God works in our own lives.


"Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand…" (Isa.40:12a). I see here a wonderful image of the great ability of God to protect His children with all the power of His omnipotence. When the children of Israel needed a sea rolled back to protect them from the advancing Egyptian army, God cupped His omnipotent hand, if you please, and scooped it all away till they could safely pass through. And this is the Hand that holds me safely in its hollow (John 10:28-29).


In Judges 15:19, the Bible tells us, "God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout." Samson had used the jawbone of an ass to kill a thousand men. Afterward, suffering from an enormous thirst, he cried to God for water, and God took that very same jawbone to do the supernatural. He made a hollow place within, and filled it with water, providing life-giving nourishment to His needy child. This shows me that God can—and will—use anything at His disposal to provide for me.


Finally, the hollow place in our text in Genesis (the hollow of the thigh) was the place God touched to subdue Jacob to Himself, making him ever after dependent upon Him. And there is just such a hollow place in my own life that God uses to subdue me, when the need arises. I may struggle with Him, but Philippians 3:21 says, He is able to subdue all things unto Himself…and that includes me, bless His name!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Manhandling the Truth

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth of God in unrighteousness.” (Rom.1:18)

Having—even holding in your hands—the truth of God is not good enough. If its principles are not reflected in the life of the one holding it, truth becomes, as is so vividly pictured by the indiscreet woman of Proverbs 11:22, “a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout.” Unrighteousness is ugly in the life of any man or woman, but it is especially repugnant with a Bible in its hand. When truth is manhandled, it becomes no less truth, but it’s no longer effective. And, eventually, can get twisted into a lie (v.25).

When you and I find ourselves “rethinking” the plain rules for life as laid down in the Scriptures—picking, choosing, modifying, softening—we have done nothing to change their eternal “rightness,” but have simply altered the quality of our own thinking from righteous to unrighteous. Sin, by any other name, is still sin; and as such, calls down the wrath of God, in one form or another. Notice this verse does not talk about “the wrath to come,” but speaks of God’s wrath that “is revealed” right now, and is apparent to those around us. If I, as a child of God, possessing the Truth of God, handle it with vain or frivolous skepticism, I can be sure of reaping the wrath of God in this life, faring no better—no doubt, worse—than an uninformed child of the devil.

Truth only has the power to set us free, if we believe it.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sporting With Isaac

"And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and behold Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife, and Abimelech called Isaac and said, Behold, of a surety she is thy wife." (Gen. 26: 8,9)

Sound familiar? Like his father, Abraham, Isaac tried to pawn his beautiful wife off as his sister. And again, like his father, he was found out. In his case, he "blew his cover" by treating Rebekah in a way that a husband treats a wife, not like a brother would treat his sister. The verse says he was "sporting" with her. Now we could read all sorts of things into this, and quite possibly be right, but I'm not getting into particulars here. I’m merely trying to establish a principle. There is a kind of banter and frivolous exchange that should be reserved for husbands and wives.

The family in which I grew up (and my own family now) is notoriously known for teasing. Family gatherings are characterized by jokes, puns, quick responses, and absurd mimicking. This is all well and good within the family; and, frankly, I think a marriage without mirth would be like a pill without water: hard to swallow! But when I find myself verbally "sporting" with men other than my husband, on a regular basis, I personally feel I have gone beyond Biblical limits of discretion and good taste. I'm not suggesting other relationships cannot include laughter or joking, but Paul does talk about foolish jesting that is not "convenient," which I define as inappropriate.

You are free, of course, to do what you will with this little warning. I will trust the Holy Spirit to bear witness in your heart—if He sees fit.

"Let not then your good be evil spoken of." (Rom.14:16)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Wells: Old and New

“And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father called them. And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water.” (Gen. 26:18-19)

After his death, the wells that Abraham’s servants had dug for him were stopped up again by the Philistines. Verse 15 says that these enemies of God had “filled them with dirt.” In other words, the pure, clean water had been contaminated by the dirt of this world.

When Isaac, Abraham’s son, came to these wells, he immediately set about re-digging them. He did not consider them old and outdated, nor did he fear that his own individuality would be jeopardized if he reopened them. The young man was wise enough to know that water is too important a commodity to risk for the sake of pride. He needed that water, and if God chose to supply it through his own father, he would die of thirst if he rejected it.

Abraham had already given names to the wells. What would have been the harm if Isaac had chosen to give them different names? A well is a well and water is water, however you choose to identify them. But, no; Isaac did not need to disassociate himself from his father in order to appear independent.

It is not surprising then that after Isaac re-dug and found sustenance from the wells of his father, he found his own (v.19), with not just water, but “springing water.”

Sometimes young people are so obsessed with blazing their own trails that they start out without even a compass. No wonder they often lose their way. Fortunately, some are able to retrace their steps, re-dig some old wells, if you will, and experience again what it is to drink cool, clear, pure water—living water.

We search the world for truth; we cull
The good, the pure, the beautiful,
From graven stone and written scroll,
And all old flower-fields of the soul;
And, weary seekers of the best,
We come back laden from the quest,
To find that all the sages said,
Was in the Book our mother’s read.

John Greenleaf Whittier

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Why Am I Thus?

"And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the Lord. And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb....." (Genesis 25:22, 23)

Of all questions, it would seem to me that "Why” is the least helpful. In many cases, it calls for speculation. It's not like "What, Where, or When” that call for definite answers. And often, answers to the question “Why?” are prelude to excuses, which, in turn, are more likely to produce stagnation than change. Like Rebekah, we often ask "Why am I the way I am?" We have the idea that if we dig around in our past, or scrutinize our emotions, somehow, we will gather enough data to effect a change. But, in reality, we're much more apt to find reason to believe our questionable behavior is inevitable. Personally, I think analysis should be restricted to the laboratory!

In Genesis 25, Rebekah, pregnant with Isaac's child, knows there is far more activity going on inside of her than is normal. Her womb feels more like a battlefield than a birth chamber! God's answer to her concerning the conflict within her is the same answer he gives to us concerning our own inner conflicts. In her case, it was because she had "two nations" within her; in our case, it's because we have "two natures" within us. Our sinful flesh may manifest itself in different ways, in different people, but the remedy is the same for all of us. Paul says in Romans 6 that the outcome of the battle is determined upon which of these two natures we obey. We, with the power of the indwelling Spirit of God, have the edge in this personal conflict…if we choose to take advantage of our advantage.

You and I are the way we are because we are descendents of Adam. But we are also “children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal.3:26.) And there, friends, is the source of the conflict… and the means of the VICTORY!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Remember (if we must) Lot's Wife

“But his wife [Lot’s] looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” (Gen.19:26) “Remember Lot’s wife.” (Luke 17:32)

Why, I wonder. Surely it would be more helpful and instructive for us to remember Lot. We know far more about him than we do about his unfortunate wife. Her story was told in fifteen words; the sad story of a woman whose only crime appears to have been that she hastily looked back over her shoulder at the destruction of her home and city. Seems innocent enough. And for this she was turned into a pillar of salt. Evidently, she was the only one of the four (Lot, his wife, and two daughters) who did look back. But then they were specifically instructed not to (v. 17), which gives us our first clue as to why she was penalized when she did.

In order to understand this woman a little more, it might be helpful to look at her daughters, for they often (but not always) are a reflection of their mother. If we use this gauge, we will find no redeeming quality here. Both girls married men who had little respect for their father, and even less for the warnings of God (v. 14). And not two days later, we are faced with the repulsive picture of Lot and his two daughters engaged in drunkenness and incest. No, these were not the kind of girls who would rise up and call their mother “Blessed.”

But what of Lot then? Does he not bare some of the blame for this dysfunctional family? Yes, he does. But I can’t help thinking of another wife whose husband was prominent in their city (Prov. 31:23). But, unlike Lot’s wife, this woman had a husband with a contented heart who considered himself a blessed man; while it says of Lot that every day he lived in Sodom, his soul was “vexed” (2 Pet. 2:8). It would not be too much of a stretch, I think, to assume that he stayed (and possibly went) because of his wife, whose heart, we know from this story was ever and always in Sodom.

Are we coming closer now to the reason for her seemingly harsh judgment? In reality, I wonder if it was not so much a punishment as simply giving her what she wanted. Though it was destined for destruction, Sodom held her heart as tightly and as surely as the cords of sin hold a man or woman to this world. Little wonder then, that when she slackened her pace, and fought for one last, longing look back, God stopped her in her tracks—forever.

Nothing is said about anyone mourning for this woman. Lot did not weep for her as Abraham did for Sarah. And, frankly, if God had not told me otherwise, I would gladly have ignored such a foolish woman. But, alas, God said to remember her. So, here’s an idea: If God directed you or me to turn our backs on something or someone in this life, would we do it? without looking back?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Following Orders

"And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved." (Gen. 20:16)

On two recorded occasions, Abraham chose to hide the fact that Sarah was his wife. Both times, he put her in a compromising position for fear of his own life. In this chapter, the innocent victim of his hoax was Abimelech, king of Gerar, who, as it turned out, was actually the one whose life was in jeopardy (v.3). These lapses in Abraham's overall exemplary life are unfortunate. But I want us to look briefly at Sarah's role; for, after all, she was reproved.

On the surface, it would seem that Sarah, too, was a victim, since she was simply following orders. But it's obvious, the whole deception, from beginning to end, was wrong. I would contend, when it comes to sin, you do not follow orders. Ask Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; ask Peter and John in Acts four. Each of these was compelled (unsuccessfully) by those in authority over them to go against God.

The Bible teaches, especially in I Timothy 2, that every woman should have a man in a place of leadership in her life. If she is married, her husband is her head; if she is single, she should look to her father and/or a godly elder in the church to give her guidance.

Notwithstanding this vital truth, Sarah--who appeared to be simply following orders--was still reproved. Could I offer three workable principles that I think would help to reconcile these two (seemingly) opposing arguments? I've been suggesting them to women for many years now.

1. Don't use God as an excuse to disobey your husband.
2. Don't use your husband as an excuse to sin against God.
3. Know the difference

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What Do You Hear?

"And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.” (Matt.17:22,23)

As the old saying goes, "People hear what they want to hear." When I read these verses today, the last five words grabbed my attention. "And they were exceeding sorry." Exceeding sorry? Sorry that Jesus would rise from the dead on the third day? No, you say, they were sorry that Jesus would be betrayed and killed. Oh, but there could be no resurrection without the death. It would be as if you had a very painful tumor, and the doctor told you he was going to put you to sleep, cut the tumor out and rid you of the pain, once and for all. Would you leave his office sorrowful because of the operation, or rejoicing because of the prognosis?

If we're not careful, we can fine-tune our ears to the negative, and every situation will be seen in the worst possible light. Mourn the wickedness of man at Calvary, gaze in horror at the Cross; but do not make the mistake of lingering there past three days. For in a nearby garden there is an empty tomb, and when you see and comprehend all its implications, your sorrow will turn to rejoicing, and your future will seem as bright as the promises of God.

Two men look out the same prison bars;
One sees mud and the other sees stars.

— Frederick Langbridge

Monday, January 14, 2008

Our Schemes or God's Will

"And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing; I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. " (Gen.16:2)

Welcome to the world of surrogate mothers! Of course, what Sarai did seems tame compared to the synthetic, genetic maneuvering that goes on today. Either way, it's still trying to make an end run around the will of God. Did Sarai even hear herself saying, "The Lord hath retrained me from bearing"?

God had told Abraham in Genesis 15:4 that he would produce an heir from his own seed, but evidently, Sarai feared she was too old to carry it. Did she think that the God who was able to enliven the seed of an old man was incapable of bringing it to fruition in the shriveled womb of an old woman?

Bob Jones, Sr. used to say, "It's never right to do wrong to get a chance to do right." Sarai got her "son" by means of her handmaid, Hagar, and he was a heartache to her, Abraham, and Isaac, the son of promise who came later. And the world today lives in the shadow of the enmity that still lies between those two brothers.

The end doesn't always justify the means, and never when the means are wrong; because, more often than not, questionable means produce undesirable ends. God's will can always be done in God's way. If not, it isn't His will.

Faith is living without scheming.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Clean Hands and a Dirty Heart

"Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" (Matt.15:2,3)

Am I more fearful of transgressing the tradition of the elders or the commandments of God? Evidently, from what Jesus said, the former is a distinct possibility. These scribes and Pharisees were more concerned with adhering to a man-made standard than obeying a Divine law of God (v. 4-6). Individuals whose spiritual lives reflect these kinds of priorities worship in vain, according to verse nine, because they rank the commandments of men in the same category as doctrine. It's not what we consume that defiles us, but, rather, what is already there. Those things that have been allowed to remain, fester, and spew forth (v.17,18). You'll find some of these listed in verse nineteen. So, what is worse, questionable hygiene or bad thoughts?

Our older son once told me of a conversation he had with a Christian lady who was concerned about a practice of many conscientious Christians that is frowned upon by some more strict individuals (and churches) in the Body of Christ. At one point, Andrew said to the dear lady, as kindly as he could, "Of course, you realize the Bible doesn't teach against this." "Oh, yes," was her reply, "I know; but don't you think God holds us today to a higher standard?" Such reasoning would be comical were it not so sad. His answer to her was, "No, I don't think God holds us to a higher standard than His Word."

And there's the problem. When our standards are esteemed to be equal with God's, we have succumbed to rank humanism. The truth is, the hand-washing spoken of by the Pharisees had become a part of their religious ritual. If we're not careful, practices and abstinences that may be healthy, practical, and beneficial can become incorporated into Biblical principles. And when man-made standards are elevated to the level of God's law, God's law is lowered to the level of man-made standards. I think I’ll say that again: When man-made standards are elevated to the level of God's law, God's law is lowered to the level of man-made standards.

This brings me back to my original question. Am I more fearful of transgressing the tradition of the elders or the commandments of God? Are you?

Externals are often used to prop-up a weak inner life.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Those Who Distract

"And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him..."

There may be someone close to you who is muffling the voice of God in your life. This person (or persons) may not be intentionally malicious (or may be), but their presence is distracting. When God seeks to draw us to Himself, it seems they are always there to bring us back down to earth. This individual may be someone in your own family, as in Abraham's case. This is unfortunate. Or it may be someone who has come to seem like family. One way or the other, until you are separated from him or her or them, either geographically or emotionally, the clear voice of God will seem garbled to you.

This thought lies too close to a nerve for much elaboration, I think; so I will simply leave it to the Holy Spirit to apply as He sees fit.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Name Says It All

“And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” (Acts 11:26b)

Here, in this busy port city of Syria with half a million people, the third largest in the Roman Empire—here is where the Gentiles who had aligned themselves with dispersed Jewish believers in Jesus Christ, were all collectively referred to as Christians, for the first time. Some have suggested it was a term of derision. No matter. What it did say was that this “Jewish religion spin-off” was no longer centered in Jerusalem and wholly made up of Jews. The common denominator was no longer a place or a people, but a Person. In fact, it was so obvious that Jesus Christ, and His death, burial, and resurrection, were now the focal point of their worship that the only way to describe them was by using His name as the root word. To this they added the suffix “-ian.”

Perhaps looking at what that Latin suffix (in relation to the word to which it is attached) means, will give us some idea of what a Christian really is. The Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology gives the meanings of the suffix “-ian” as being:

1. belonging to — This is all about ownership, or Lordship, if you will. A
Christian belongs to Jesus Christ—lock, stock, and barrel, without any
question of authority. (1 Cor. 6:20)

2. coming from — If you are a Christian, it is because you have been born
of God, not because you were born in a so-called “Christian country,”
or to Christian parents. (1 Pet. 1:23)

3. being involved in — Christians migrate to other Christians. They may
associate with unbelievers, but they are involved with other believers in
Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 5:4)

4. being like — There’s a family resemblance. Not always to all their siblings;
but certainly to their Elder Brother. (2 Cor. 3:18)

Those who have a legitimate claim to the name “Christian” cannot always count on being esteemed in this world. After all, the One who gave us the name was crucified. James has told us, “Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by which we are called?” (2:7). Again, no matter. I am blessed to be able to count myself part of that glorious band of believers who call themselves—and are called by others—Christian.

What is a Christian? The name says it all.

If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to
convict you?
— David Otis Fuller

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Makin' Me Look Good

“Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying [arguing], as soon as I was sent for…” (Acts 10:29)

“Ahem! That wasn’t exactly the way it was, Peter.”

Aren’t you glad God chose to let us see so many of this man’s failings and foibles? One of many reasons for believing the Bible is actually the Word of God is that nothing or no one is sugar-coated. Sin is named and so are sinners. God tells us not to lie and then gives us examples of good people who did. Not to neutralize the prohibition but to humanize the perpetrator. “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin…” (1 Jno. 2:1). You and I cannot point to Bible characters to excuse our sin (“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God” Rom.14:12); but we can look at them to affirm that none of us are special cases (“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man…” 1 Cor.10:13).

Case in point: Cornelius, a high-ranking, Italian soldier, had sent for Peter to come and tell him the way to acceptance with God. He was sincere, and God knew it; so, at the same time He instructed Cornelius in a vision to send for Peter, he instructed Peter in a vision to go to Cornelius. The trouble was, Peter, being a good Jew, did not socialize with Gentiles. And the truth is, even when God told him to do it, he bristled (v. 14). To his credit, when the men came to take him to Cornelius, he did go. What I could not help noticing, however, was that when he met Cornelius, he was careful to let him know that his coming was an indication of just how unprejudiced he really was (v. 28). Then, just for good measure, he added, “I had no objection to it at all. I didn’t offer one argument.” Well, obviously, this was not the case. But if you have read Peter’s story in the gospels and the book of Acts, you know that his first response was usually to cover for himself (Read Gal.2:11-12 also).

Let’s face it; we all want to look good. And that’s true of our Christian testimony, too. Sometimes it isn’t good enough to be known as a consistent Christian. We want to be seen as a “super-saint,” Miss or Mrs. Spirituality. And we are not above misrepresenting ourselves in order to accomplish this. At least, Peter and I aren’t!

Reputation is who people think we are; character is who God knows we are.
--- Bob Jones, Sr.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Promise of the Rainbow

"I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth." (Gen.9:13)

Besides the rainbow, you will find several other tokens God employs as reminders or commemorative signs between Himself and man, including: the ordinance of circumcision for Israel (Gen.17:11); the blood on the door lintels in Egypt (Exo.12:13); and Aaron's rod that budded (Num.17:10). In the case of the blood and the rainbow, the token was a promise of protection—a safeguard against the death angel, in the first instance; and in the second, assurance against the possibility of another flood of water on the earth. Obviously, God doesn't need reminders, but perhaps He chose to use this terminology to reassure us, His forgetful and fearful children.

Webster says that a rainbow is caused by "the refraction (change of direction) and reflection of the sun's rays in drops of water." That is only the secondary cause, however. The primary cause is the reflection of the Son's rays of love in drops of water. The prism of color is merely a picture of His multi-faceted grace. It reminds us, His beloved ones, that He always keeps His promises. The world will never again be overflowed by water, and you and I need never fear that we will drown in the sorrows or trials of this life. For He has promised, "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee" (Isa.43:2a).

When there's a rainbow in the sky,
The clouds that frowned go smiling by.
'Tis a promise written there;
Of our Father's love and care;
When there's a rainbow in the sky.
---John W. Peterson

Monday, January 7, 2008

Faith and Forgetting

"And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish." (Matt.8:25)

There's faith, and then there's faith. In chapter eight of Matthew, the disciples saw Jesus cleanse a leper, heal a man of his palsy, a mother-in-law of her fever, and cast out many devils. Yet that evening, when they all got on a ship, and their own lives were threatened by a great storm, they were convinced that they were all going to perish. No doubt, when Jesus worked all those previous miracles, they had every confidence in His power. But when their own safety was in question, it was a different story.

It's not so hard to have faith when the stakes aren't all that high; but when our backs are really to the wall, or it's a matter of life or death, faith doesn't come quite as easily. This should not be. Don’t forget, Jesus rebuked His disciples for it. And their problem is our problem. Verse 27 tells us that after Jesus had calmed the sea, they all scratched their heads and said, "What manner of man is this?" Evidently, they didn't really know Him well enough to trust Him as they should have.

In the same way, when I fail to trust the Lord as I should, it's because I, too, have forgotten “what manner of Man” He really is, and what manner of power He possesses. We read in Daniel 11:32, "[T]he people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits."

It is said of some people, to know them is to love them; but with Jesus, to know Him is not only to love Him, but to trust Him.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Holy Ground

"Then said the Lord to him [Moses], put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground." (Acts 7:33)

I've seen preachers take their shoes off before they preached, the idea being that when they stood there, they were standing on holy ground. (I suppose this could indicate either humility or pride.) One thing I do know, however, is that when God told him to remove his precious sandals, Moses was not standing behind a pulpit; he was standing in the presence of God. And anyone who finds himself or herself in such a place will feel anything that might render him or her earth-bound—even shoes, would be too heavy!

Sometimes it's tempting to attach inordinate significance to an object, a place, or a position, that goes beyond that which God has prescribed. This is not to rob anything or anyone of legitimate respect, only to caution against Nicolaitanism or idolatry. But, more importantly, it's an exhortation not to miss those places of significance in our own lives. After all, wherever God condescends to meet with one of His children is holy ground, whether it be a desert, a mountain-top……or a rocking chair.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Close at Hand

“For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved.” (Acts 2:25)

My mother used to say about something (or someone) that it (or they) was “as handy as a pocket on a shirt”; the idea being that nothing is more helpful than having what you need close at hand. In Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost, he refers back to David’s words in the last five verses of Psalm sixteen. He tells the people it was Jesus Christ whom David had in mind when he spoke those words two-thousand years earlier, as evidenced by verse twenty-seven. David said that the God who would one day come to earth, die, and be raised from the grave, was as near to him as his own right hand. The implications of that are staggering. David himself provides us with a few of them. Having God close at hand provides:

1. Stability- “…I should not be moved” (v. 25)

2. Joy – “Therefore did my heart rejoice…thou shalt make me
full of joy…” (vv. 26 & 28)

3. Direction- “Thou hast made known to me the ways of life”
(v. 28)

4. Hope – “…moreover my flesh also shall rest in hope”
(vv. 26 &27)

I don’t know about you, but over the years my prayer life has evolved into more of an ongoing dialogue than a scheduled audience. You may fault me for this, but it works for me. This is not to characterize God as being at my beck and call, but He did say, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee” (Jer.33:3). When I remember and take advantage of the fact that God is “on my right hand,” I experience emotional stability, spiritual joy, purpose of life, and unwavering hope. Because He lives, I, too, shall live…forever (John 15:19b). And as they say, “I know He’s alive; I talked to Him today!” I can talk to Him every day—all day—because He is close at hand.

He walks with me, and He talks with me;
And He tells me I am His own.
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
- C. Austin Miles