Precious Moments

“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His godly ones.” (Ps 116:15)
 
Precious is a word we used to describe babies. “Oh, how precious.” would sound odd if it were directed at a heavily-bearded man named Fred. Precious is used when the innocent and pure do something that catches our attention.
 
When godly people die, they leave this world and begin a clean and renewed life in Paradise. Death is the doorway for God’s children to come home. What a sweet and precious moment that must be for Him.
 
Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

A Good Listener

“I love the LORD because He hears My voice and my supplications.” (Ps 116:1)
 
If you’ve ever described someone as “a good listener”, you know what a compliment that is. People who truly take the time to stop and listen to others are rare. It takes compassion and genuine love to slow down and be a listener instead of just waiting for your turn to talk. In fact, once you have found someone who will really listen to you, most of us end up saying more to them than we ever intended to!
 
God’s a good listener. It is just one more reason we love Him.
 
“pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17)
 
Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

True Greatness

“He will bless those who fear the LORD, the small together with the great.” (Ps 115:13)

Since God does not see as man sees, the outward impressiveness of our lives has no impact on Him.  He is not ‘wow-ed’ by a man of great intellect for the same reason that a father is not impressed with the clothes his children wear.  Why be impressed with what he gave them?

However, character, humility, self-control, fear of the LORD, a will to obey, and unfeigned love… these are things that come from inside our hearts.  This is why Jesus marveled at the widow’s two mites (Mk 12:42) and was disappointed in the rich young ruler (Lk 18:22-24)

Spend less time worrying about the size of your service – God sees both the small and the great through their inner character.

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

Molded By the Gods

“Those who make them [idols] will become like them, everyone who trusts in them.” (Ps 115:8)
 
Our souls are excellent mimics. Like clay, they become molded by whomever we choose to become the potter. If money is your god – eventually, you will find yourself as cold and calculating as money. All of your relationships will become transactions without love and empathy. If lust is your god – eventually, you will become as instinct-driven as an animal and all of your life will be viewed through the lens of that sexual appetite.
 
We become what we worship. So choose your god carefully. There is only One who is deserving to be the Potter of your heart.
 
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor 3:18)
 
Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

The Lens of Praise

“From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised.” (Ps 113:3)
 
The attitude that we approach our day with matters. It is like coloring on the lens of the glasses we view the world through. A man that has an attitude that work is the most important thing will spend his life seeing all the things that must be done. A woman that has an inappropriate interest in the lives of others will see the world as a trove of secrets to be gathered and gossiped about.
 
Bitterness? You will see things to complain about. Selfishness? You will see people as tools to be manipulated for your own end.
 
God calls us to see the world through Him. From morning until evening, we should view all we see through the lens of gratitude and trust in His plan for this planet and His people. Granted, that is much harder on some days than on others, but the lens of praise is infinitely better for your soul than any other.
 
“Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name.” (Heb 13:15)
 
Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

Lend a Helping Hand

“It is well with the man who is gracious and lends; He will maintain his cause in judgment.” (Ps 112:5)
 
If we close our hands to everyone else’s problems, we will live our lives alone. If we lend freely, we will inevitably lose some money, but we will gain the character of being gracious. Money is not worth losing your love of humanity for. If you see a need – fill it.
 
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.” (Lk 6:35)
 
Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

A Light in the Darkness

“Light arises in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious and compassionate and righteous.” (Ps 112:4)
 
Darkness is when a loved one dies and the void in your heart is a chasm. Darkness is when your spouse has violated your marriage vows. Darkness is losing your job, watching your body betray you with cancer, being slandered by those you considered friends, realizing you failed and others are hurting because of wounds you inflicted. Darkness is overwhelming and disorienting and in those moments, the darkness feels infinite.
 
But in the darkness, God causes the light to arise. To reorient us, remind us we aren’t alone, and bring us through to the other side of the valley of the shadow of death. That is His promise. The darkness won’t win – look for the light.
 
“But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.” (1 Thess 5:8)
 
Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

Learn By Doing

“A good understanding have all those who do His commandments” (Ps 111:10)
 
There are some things in life that cannot be fully comprehended until we have experienced them. A professor can discuss the physics of riding a bicycle and yet, a child knows more in five minutes of skinned knees and wobbly handlebars than a professor can impart in an hour lecture.
 
God’s commandments will never be truly understood until they are applied. Imperfect application of God’s teachings will provide more understanding than a thousand sermons. We cannot expect to grow because of the preacher’s understanding of the doctrine… we must skin our own knees, and however wobbly we are, steer our own vessel toward the light.
 
Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

An Upright Life

“Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart, in the company of the upright and in the assembly.” (Ps 111:1)
 
There are many words to describe God’s people – but the one used in Psalm 111 is particularly visual. They are described as the ‘upright’. Something that is upright is oriented as it ought to be. An upright floor lamp stands erect and can provide light. An upright bicycle is on its wheels and prepared to be ridden.
 
When we are right with the LORD, we are right with the world. We are properly oriented to stand tall against the trials of life and effectively work as mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, servants and leaders.
 
Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

The Right Foundation

“Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.” (Ps 127:1-2)
 
It is good to work hard and achieve… but work without the LORD is wasted because it is a tree that never bears sustaining fruit. It is like trying to care for that one house plant that no matter how much you nurture it is always a little sickly. You can kill yourself trying to make something succeed that is destined for failure.
 
On the other hand, when we put God at the center of our service, then the fruit comes naturally because we’ve planted the tree in the right soil.
 
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31)
(I might mention that though this principle is true in everything, the context of Psalm 127 is focused on raising our children, and when we think about how much effort we expend building our children up, it is particularly powerful to remember this principle so we don’t waste the effort.)
Matt 4:4 #Biblebites