He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and vindication from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face, O God of Jacob.—Psalm 24:4-6
Genuine worship requires a heart of faith and a disposition of obedience to God. It would be difficult for unbelievers to worship the Lord, because they don’t have the Holy Spirit and cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). Nor does God find worship acceptable from believers who cling unrepentantly to sin (Ps. 66:18). Drawing near to Him requires clean hands and a pure heart, which is possible only through Jesus Christ (Ps. 24:4-6).
The goal of worship is to glorify God, and it begins with our attitude. We must come into His presence with a repentant and humble heart, a mind focused on Him, and a life that demonstrates obedience.
“May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.” — Galatians 1:3-5
Many think that when God comforts us, our troubles should go away. But if that were always so, people would turn to God only out of a desire to be relieved of pain and not out of love for him. We must understand that being comforted can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with our troubles. The more we suffer, the more comfort God gives us.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, allow God to comfort you. Remember that every trial you endure will help you comfort other people who are suffering similar troubles.
To achieve the comfort and peace we share with others in their time of trial, we can receive help through prayer to almighty God, our Father in heaven. In a similar post at https://lifereference.wordpress.com, the author describes the necessity of earnest prayer to our Father given in private and not in public. Take a moment to read this post for additional enlightenment.
What if? It’s a question Major League Baseball pundits ponder about Darryl Strawberry, one of the game’s legendary power hitters of the 1980s and ’90s.
Strawberry, who played for the New York Mets, has asked the same question, but ironically, he is more thankful for a season of striking out in life than his prowess at home plate.
Two failed marriages, drug and alcohol addiction, jail time and bankruptcy are the messes Strawberry says God used to transform into a message for His glory. And it’s that message the 57-year-old is sharing across the country as an itinerant evangelist speaking in churches, prisons and schools.
Strawberry likens God’s faithfulness in his life to that of Job in the Old Testament. “God let me see the fame, the fortune, the brokenness, the emptiness, almost left for dead, but He stepped in the middle and said, ‘Satan, OK, that’s enough. You can torment him all you want, but at the end, his soul belongs to Me and I’m going to take him, and I’m going to use him for My glory.’”
A two-time cancer survivor, Strawberry is profoundly grateful for his spiritual and physical healing.
I am glad for my fall because had I not fallen, I would have probably made another $50 million, but I wouldn’t have ever met Jesus,” Strawberry says. “He’s a God of second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth chances, and I think people need to understand that He’s a God that will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Rewritten with permission | Lee Waters – Author
1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He will be like a tree [firmly] planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish
This psalm supplies us with –
1. A Test of Our Character. A man is known by the company he keeps. What doest thou, O my soul? With whom dost thou “walk” and “sit’?
2. Rules for Our Life. What should we do? Surely the right thing is to ask counsel of God, and to submit ourselves to his holy and blessed rule. Let us do this, and we shall not only have life (Psalm 40:8), but food (John 4:44); and not only food, but society (Matthew 12:50); and not only society, but education (Psalm 143:10); and not only education, but joy unspeakable and full of glory (Psalm 119:65; 1 Peter 1:8). “He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:16, 17).
3. A Foreshadow of Our Future. Acts fix habits, habits settle character, and character determines destiny. “The wind” may represent the various trials which meet us, and which so far show what we are and where we are going. By conscience, by public opinion, by experience of the results of conduct, we are given a view of the future of the coming end and the perfect judgment of God. Thus, not in an arbitrary way, but by our own deeds and life, our destiny is being settled. Eternity is the harvest of time. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”