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Loyal
Saturday, August 5, 2017, 4:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “It is Well with My Soul.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 119:129-152 (NASB).

Wonderful Testimonies (vv. 129-136)

Your testimonies are wonderful;
Therefore my soul observes them.
The unfolding of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple.
I opened my mouth wide and panted,
For I longed for Your commandments.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
After Your manner with those who love Your name.
Establish my footsteps in Your word,
And do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.
Redeem me from the oppression of man,
That I may keep Your precepts.
Make Your face shine upon Your servant,
And teach me Your statutes.
My eyes shed streams of water,
Because they do not keep Your law.​

The Word of the Lord is awesome! It is my bread and butter, i.e. it is my livelihood, my means of support, but not financially or materially, but spiritually. From the Word of God, I learn about God and his will for my life. I learn his statutes, and to know what pleases him, and what he desires of me, his servant. I learn of his righteousness and holiness and how to walk in his love and in his grace. I discover his goodness to me, and his boundless mercies which overflow into my life. And, I am taught with regard to his strength, comfort, correction, instruction, and guidance which he provides for me to walk in his footsteps and to know his will and his ways.

I want to walk in the ways of the Lord and to not have any other gods in my life to which I give my devotion and praise. I don’t want to do what displeases my Lord, so I pray for his guidance to show me the way he has for me to go. I love him, and thus I want to serve him and to obey him. Since he delivered me from slavery to sin, and thus sin no longer has dominion over me, I pray that he will keep me from falling, and that I will continue to obey him in all things.

Other human beings will try to lead us astray. They will try to convince us to not be so serious about our walks of faith, and to lighten up and just have fun, as though “fun” is to be our goal in life. They may try to trip us up, too, in order to bring us down with them, because it bothers them that we walk closely with the Lord. So, they will even tempt us to sin against God. And, they will even try to “guilt trip” us into having a lesser commitment to Christ and to be more “normal” like everyone else. Yet, we must not give in to them for a moment, but we must continue to follow our Lord in his ways.

Small and Despised (vv. 137-144)

Righteous are You, O Lord,
And upright are Your judgments.
You have commanded Your testimonies in righteousness
And exceeding faithfulness.
My zeal has consumed me,
Because my adversaries have forgotten Your words.
Your word is very pure,
Therefore Your servant loves it.
I am small and despised,
Yet I do not forget Your precepts.
Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,
And Your law is truth.
Trouble and anguish have come upon me,
Yet Your commandments are my delight.
Your testimonies are righteous forever;
Give me understanding that I may live.​

When we commit our lives to Jesus Christ (to God) to walk in his ways and to do what he says, other humans will mock us, reject us, despise us and will persecute us, too, even among those who also call themselves followers of Christ. And, that is because they have been taught and have been convinced that Christians are not to be too serious about God and that they are to immerse themselves in the culture of their societies in order to connect with the people of the world. Or, they have been taught, as well, that “love” does not tell people that Jesus Christ is the only way to God and to heaven, that it does not talk to people about their sin or about judgment, and it does not call people to repentance and obedience to Christ.

Yet, this should only serve to deepen our commitments to Christ and to increase our zeal for our Lord and for his gospel, when we see so many people being led astray from the truth to follow after lies, most especially within the gatherings of the church.

Revive Us, O Lord (vv. 145-152)

I cried with all my heart; answer me, O Lord!
I will observe Your statutes.
I cried to You; save me
And I shall keep Your testimonies.
I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I wait for Your words.
My eyes anticipate the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word.
Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness;
Revive me, O Lord, according to Your ordinances.
Those who follow after wickedness draw near;
They are far from Your law.
You are near, O Lord,
And all Your commandments are truth.
Of old I have known from Your testimonies
That You have founded them forever.​

The church of today, at least here in America, is in great need of revival. And, I believe it is coming. So many preachers and so many professing Christians are living far from God, and it is barely distinguishable between the church and the world anymore. Church congregations have been turned into big businesses and are marketed to the world just like any other business. Pastors are even being trained in who their target audience should be and who they should “get rid of” and should encourage to go someplace else where they will be a “better fit.” Many of them are being taught to lie and to deceive and to manipulate naïve minds to follow after humanistic teachings and philosophies, and many of them are, thus, paving the way for the one world religion of the antichrist beast, i.e. the wicked drawing near.

We, as followers of Christ, need to be crying out to the Lord for lost souls and for Christians gone astray and for the church which is turned upside down. We need to ask him to send revival, and to let it begin with us. We need to desire this spiritual cleansing of people’s hearts and lives above anything else we might desire on the face of this earth. And, we should all wake up to the reality of the times in which we now live, and see how the world is going down the toilet, and cry out to God to save us by his mercy and grace.

As well, we need to be willing to let go of the treasures of this world in order to lay up treasures in heaven, i.e. human souls turned from sin to God to follow him in his ways and in his truth.

It Is Well with My Soul / H. G. Spafford / P. P. Bliss

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well; it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed his own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul,
It is well; it is well with my soul.
 
Loyal
@Sue J Love

You say that you believe revival is coming. I do sincerely hope that you are right, but it really difficult to believe that as I look all around me. So many people simply do not want to be bothered with God. They have too much sinning to do. They are too occupied with how to have more and better fun.

I've been there and done that, but God would never leave me alone. He continuously bombarded my heart long before I had ever read a Bible [first read at age 32]. I was unable to continue to ignore Him. My walk is is so very far from perfect, but I have learned to pay attention. God help us all!
 
Loyal
@Sue J Love

You say that you believe revival is coming. I do sincerely hope that you are right, but it really difficult to believe that as I look all around me. So many people simply do not want to be bothered with God. They have too much sinning to do. They are too occupied with how to have more and better fun.

I've been there and done that, but God would never leave me alone. He continuously bombarded my heart long before I had ever read a Bible [first read at age 32]. I was unable to continue to ignore Him. My walk is is so very far from perfect, but I have learned to pay attention. God help us all!
@amadeus2 - I sympathize with your thoughts here, yet what you describe here are the conditions ripe for revival. All throughout the Old Testament, in particular, but also as is described in some of the NT, especially in Jude, I think it is, and in Revelation 2-3, we get a similar picture as you have described, and speaking of God's people primarily, and not the people of the world. And, that is one of the reasons God sent the prophets was because God's people had wandered far from him, and he wanted to bring them back, yet the way they came back was often through judgment.
 
Active
Was thinking of how some people want to have fun as their main goal in life. But then maybe these kinds of people end up in a place like Las .vegas with adults acting like overgrown children.

Does the Bible say having fun is wrong? Or are there different kinds of fun. Im finding the more I walk with God the less tolerance I have with people who talk in a mocking way.

One thing thats crept in to the church I notice is bIbles in schools have this new way of teaching the Bible called Champions, which many teachers disagreed with because it really waters down the gospel for children to the extent that bible time becomes more about games and having fun than God.

I dont know where that directive came from but thankfully most teachers still teaching the old way, but even then they are not actually allowed to mention hell or sin to the children. This is because rhey might get in trouble with atheist parents, and actually there have been court cases trying to stop bible being taught in schools.

In the training day they said if it does not sit well with you all the restrictions then maybe consider another ministry. The new rules brought in for teaching meant no worship type songs were allowed, and the songs had to be more secular or about values rather than directly mentioning Jesus. They actually went through the songs and said certain ones arent allowed and they were the most christian ones.
 
Loyal
@amadeus2 - I sympathize with your thoughts here, yet what you describe here are the conditions ripe for revival. All throughout the Old Testament, in particular, but also as is described in some of the NT, especially in Jude, I think it is, and in Revelation 2-3, we get a similar picture as you have described, and speaking of God's people primarily, and not the people of the world. And, that is one of the reasons God sent the prophets was because God's people had wandered far from him, and he wanted to bring them back, yet the way they came back was often through judgment.
Yes, I see your point. My flesh, of course, at times, will see simply the way of the flesh. For so many revival seems impossible. Yet, in my very clear memory of it, in 1976 it was at a revival service that my wife and I first came to the Lord. She almost immediately and myself about 6 weeks later. We were new in a real sense, but both of in a time before we knew each other had had a measure of a relationship with God, so, yes, it was a renewal, a revival for us.

My son and my daughter were just toddlers at the time so they grew up in the church with us, but our example was far from good. When we backslid in the early 1990's those two single teenagers stuck it out for some reason during the first few years that we of the older generation were gone. Before we came back to God in about 2002 they were both gone and to this date they haven't really come back although our daughter does attend a church of sorts semi-regularly. We seemingly got a little pay back for we weren't with them in the Lord when they probably needed us. But... I don't write them off. Both of them jumped in with both feet to help us for real this last year when my wife was taken the 60 some miles by ambulance to a better hospital for a blood clot. They're not where we'd like to see them, but their love for us reflects what both of them do feel for God.

We know it takes more than that, but the revival of which you speak is for them and probably for millions of other "thems". All anyone really has to do is recognize Him and surrender to Him.
 
Loyal
Have things moved away from God and toward a more wicked way? Who can be the judge?

My pastor [92 years old] born in Canada to a full-blooded Chippewa Indian and a woman from in London, England tells about his early public school days like this. When he arrived all of the student body went first to the auditorium and prayed together, read a scripture and sung a hymn before reporting to their regular classrooms.

Some years later when I was attending a public elementary school in California, they had what they called "Religious Release". One day each week, all students were allowed to be taken to their own church for religious teaching, prayer and song. The local churches would send someone to walk the children to their particular place of worship or religious training. Note that this training was done in lieu of secular classroom training. Any children who did not go, [such as several Mormons who had no close place] would stay at the school and have free time to read, study or do art work at their option.

Now, things have changed and that which was important to so many may not be important any more... at least according to what our eyes are seeing.
 
Loyal
Yes, I see your point. My flesh, of course, at times, will see simply the way of the flesh. For so many revival seems impossible. Yet, in my very clear memory of it, in 1976 it was at a revival service that my wife and I first came to the Lord. She almost immediately and myself about 6 weeks later. We were new in a real sense, but both of in a time before we knew each other had had a measure of a relationship with God, so, yes, it was a renewal, a revival for us.

My son and my daughter were just toddlers at the time so they grew up in the church with us, but our example was far from good. When we backslid in the early 1990's those two single teenagers stuck it out for some reason during the first few years that we of the older generation were gone. Before we came back to God in about 2002 they were both gone and to this date they haven't really come back although our daughter does attend a church of sorts semi-regularly. We seemingly got a little pay back for we weren't with them in the Lord when they probably needed us. But... I don't write them off. Both of them jumped in with both feet to help us for real this last year when my wife was taken the 60 some miles by ambulance to a better hospital for a blood clot. They're not where we'd like to see them, but their love for us reflects what both of them do feel for God.

We know it takes more than that, but the revival of which you speak is for them and probably for millions of other "thems". All anyone really has to do is recognize Him and surrender to Him.
@amadeus2 - I empathize with you in some of what you shared here. My husband and I were involved in revival services back in the early 1970s in Akron, Ohio (our hometown). Our pastor, Rev. Richard Sipley, was very involved with the Canadian revival ministry with the Sutera twins and Bill McCloud, and he ended up leaving our church and he went to pastor in Canada in 1977, and then moved back to Akron a few years before we did. We were also involved in revival services with Life Action (revival) Ministries in Rock Hill, SC, where we lived for 20 years. They held services at our church fellowship in Rock Hill in 2002. I needed that in my life at that time, for I had some moral failures in my life a few years prior to that. Our daughter ended up traveling and singing with them for two years after that. I came out of the same church denomination as A. W. Tozer, so revival and holiness were taught much.

In 2004, when the Lord called me to my present ministry, he began impressing revival on my heart, and I kept reading about it happening in these last days before Christ's return, through my times in God's word. Rev 2-3 is a call for revival. Yet, I did not record all the verses in one document where I can share, but others have done that, so when I have the time, I will read through what they have written and see if they had some of the same verses the Lord spoke to me through. And, then I will share them with you, because I believe it will encourage your heart.
 
Loyal
@amadeus2 - I empathize with you in some of what you shared here. My husband and I were involved in revival services back in the early 1970s in Akron, Ohio (our hometown). Our pastor, Rev. Richard Sipley, was very involved with the Canadian revival ministry with the Sutera twins and Bill McCloud, and he ended up leaving our church and he went to pastor in Canada in 1977, and then moved back to Akron a few years before we did. We were also involved in revival services with Life Action (revival) Ministries in Rock Hill, SC, where we lived for 20 years. They held services at our church fellowship in Rock Hill in 2002. I needed that in my life at that time, for I had some moral failures in my life a few years prior to that. Our daughter ended up traveling and singing with them for two years after that. I came out of the same church denomination as A. W. Tozer, so revival and holiness were taught much.

In 2004, when the Lord called me to my present ministry, he began impressing revival on my heart, and I kept reading about it happening in these last days before Christ's return, through my times in God's word. Rev 2-3 is a call for revival. Yet, I did not record all the verses in one document where I can share, but others have done that, so when I have the time, I will read through what they have written and see if they had some of the same verses the Lord spoke to me through. And, then I will share them with you, because I believe it will encourage your heart.
Thanks, Sue! Appreciate your ministering efforts and anything you can provide that will encourage. All of us are regularly in need of encouragement. God certainly knows that and provides accordingly if we are only paying attention.
 

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