The flowers appear on the earth...
...the time of singing has come...
...and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
Song of Solomon 2:12
Photography by Darrell Ezell.
This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. --Psalm 118:24.This week I have been thinking about this scripture a lot. “This is the day...” This day is the now! Not yesterday and not tomorrow but today!
For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. Psalm 90: 4Tomorrow!
Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Proverbs 27:1.
1O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.This word “mercy” simply means God's kindness toward us or His favor.
2Let Israel [the church] now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
3Let the house of Aaron [the ministry] now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
4Let them now that fear [the people] the LORD say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
1Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.This was the beginning of a great relationship with God. No wonder He said in Psalms 23, “The Lord is my shepherd!”
3For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
4Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
5Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
5I called upon the LORD...He talks about putting confidence in God rather than man.
6The LORD is on my side...
7The LORD taketh my part...
8It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.We find the Psalmist using the name of the Lord as a help in trouble.
9It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.
10All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them.Verses 13-16 talk about the right of the Lord:
11They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
12They compassed me about like bees: they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
13Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the LORD helped me.A relationship like the Psalmist had with God in this psalm shows a real relationship. But up until now it seems to be one sided. Let me ask you a question. What part do we have in this relationship?
14The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.
15The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.
16The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.
19Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD:
In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Isaiah 26:1-2.We have a responsibility to enter the gates of His righteousness.
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. Hebrews 1:1-3.
Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? Hebrews 2:1-4
To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. Hebrews 4:7.Not yesterday and not tomorrow but today we need to find His grace in our lives. Without this experience we have no relationship with God.
21I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.We will have a reward because of our relationship with Him.
22The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
23This is the LORD's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
24This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
25Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.
26Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.
God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light... Psalm 118:27.
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. I Peter 2:9-10.He used a little stronger words for His relationship with God in Psalm 118:28.
Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.
But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Proverbs 4:18.There is a song that asks a question that all of us should ask about this day.
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.It would seem natural that we would long to be close to God, our Heavenly Father… for every child wants to know the security of being close to his parents: the familiarity of their faces, the security of their strength, the assurance of their words.
Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.
Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.
If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you .Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he loves me well be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him. --John 14:15-21Well, do we really loves Jesus? If we really love Jesus then we will do his will!
And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick ? For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad . If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. Mark 4:21-23Through the manifesting of Christ to our hearts and our obeying His word we can know Him!
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. --I Corinthians 13:11-13.Two important implications in this text: The reality of a distinction of knowledge between ourselves and God
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. --Romans 12:2.
… the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. --Hebrews 4:12When we think of being close to God, we so often think of God answering our questions. What we find in scripture is that God’s most penetrating interaction came when He asked the question.
And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? --Mark 3:35-41The disciples were in the right place when the storm came: close to Jesus! Are you close enough to Jesus, that when the storms come you can reach Him so that he can calm your life?
In this lesson today we are going to see a Mother who wanted the best for her sons, but before I start let me share this with you:
When we are young, very few (if any) hold as much influence over children as mom. This morning we have read a scripture which is frequently used to illustrate seemingly negative things and rightly so. The story is of a mom trying to place her boys into the best seats in the house in the Kingdom. I say “the Kingdom” because this mom didn’t perceive that Jesus’ Kingdom would be in heaven, but still thought He was going to overthrow Roman rule. Let's not be too hard on this Mother because she only wanted what she thought was best for her boys. What Mom wouldn’t?Things Mothers Teach Us
- Mothers teach us about foresight: "Make sure you wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident."
- Mothers teach us about logic: "If you fall out of that tree and break your neck, don’t come crying to me."
- Mothers teach us about maturity: "Eat your vegetables or you’ll never grow up."
- Mothers teach us about religion: "You better pray that comes out of the carpet."
- Mothers teach us about time travel: "If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!"
- Mothers teach us about contradictions: "Shut your mouth and eat your dinner!"
- Mothers teach us about contortionists: "Will you look at the dirt on the back of your neck?"
- Mothers teach us about perseverance: "You are going to sit here until you eat every last piece of that broccoli."
- Mothers teach us about genetics: "You’re just like your father."
- Mothers teach us about the weather: "It looks like a tornado swept through your room."
- Mothers teach us about the circle of life: "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."
“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellent them all. Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.” Proverbs 31:28-31Happy Mother’s Day, Mother!