December 26 – Hope In Faithfulness

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” – Lamentations 3:21-25 (ESV)

At Christmas time we might hear and say much about “peace” and “joy” and experience great happiness.  But not always. Not for everyone. Christmas time can also be a very difficult time for many. Who we celebrate and what we remember at Christmas is the birth of Jesus who was born in Bethlehem and lived there for maybe two years or more. The birth of Jesus, who is the Christ (Messiah) was the fulfillment of prophecies given by God to prophets, whose stories are written in the books of the Old Testament. Jeremiah was one of those prophets. Today’s verse, found right in the middle of the Lamentations of Jeremiah. He states clearly his reason for hope in the middle of his sorrow over the destruction, captivity, and exile of Judah. He calls to mind the lovingkindness, the mercies, the faithfulness of God.  He declares that God is enough – his portion – and the reason for Jeremiah’s hope. Then the promise for us, that the LORD, is good to those who wait and seek him. Today, whatever our circumstances or memories, let’s seek Him while we wait and find in His word His goodness. It will give us hope also.  

199

November 12 – Unending Song To Sing

“I will sing of the steadfast love of the LORD, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations. For I said, “Steadfast love will be built up forever; in the heavens you will establish your faithfulness.” Psalm 89:1-2 (ESV)

Today we look again at a psalm the people of Israel sang to express their feelings of devotion and thanksgiving to God. The Covenant God made with David is the focus of this Psalm. It is not attributed to David but to Ethan the Ezrahite who was a Levitical singer (1 Chronicles 6:42).  Ethan’s wholehearted belief that God is faithful was the basis for his appealing to the Lord in his dilemma. As we think of God’s love for us we too can be inspired to sing with real joy.  When we remember how faithful God has been to us, always keeping His promises we can be inspired to share that with others.  This is what and how the psalmists shared God’s faithfulness with their mouth.  This is how we too do so when we sing praises, spiritual songs, and hymns.  God’s love and His faithfulness are not just temporal but they are eternal and have always been and will always be. Those of us who believe and have received God’s gift of salvation know the  blessing of singing about it and the promise that we will continue singing the praises to God in heaven.

194

October 31 – Pursuing Mercy and Faithfulness

“Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.” – Proverbs 3:3-4  (ESV)

The book of Proverbs continues to be a primary source for help in how to live righteously in our present day. Many distractions, temptations, and conflicts come our way. They have since the beginning of time and our God has given to us His inspired written Word to help us live lives that are honorable and obedient. Not obedience just for the sake of doing it but in order that we our lives will bring glory to God who is worthy to receive the same from His people.  The virtues of steadfast love, which is another word for “mercy” and “lovingkindness,” and faithfulness come from God and are to become part of us both inwardly and outwardly: outwardly in our behavior for all to see as an enhancement of spiritual beauty, and inwardly as the subject of our meditation and connecting with God. We are to seek to live up to God’s mercy in promising, and his faithfulness in performing. This is done by keeping up our interest in them, and take comfort of them. The promise delivered is the favor and good success before God and man. Jesus is our example. (Luke 2:52)

194

John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible., (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), Proverbs 3:3.

Matthew Henry and Thomas Scott, Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997), Proverbs 3:3.

June 6 – Faithful to the Truth

“For the word of the LORD is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness.” – Psalm 33:4 (NASB)

In this world of ours there are many words being spoken or written. People talk endlessly all around us. Words are spoken, printed, sent using all possible media. Some of these words may be true but certainly not all. Deceivers also create messages with words. Can we believe that humans now only make up 38.5% of internet traffic? The other 61.5% is non-human (bots, hacking tools, etc.). Our verse reminds us that the Word of the Lord is right and true and it tells us why we can believe that – it’s because of what He does. He always does what He says He will do. It’s our God’s faithfulness in all things that makes His word trustworthy. We have come to be very suspicious and wary of so much of what we hear and read today because those writing and saying these words are not faithful to the truth. We can be thankful and rejoice knowing that we can trust God’s words because they are backed with His promises and He will make good everything that He says by His actions. What He has said He will do, and what He has spoken, He will make good.

197

 November 3 – Absolute, Abounding, Almighty Love

“The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” – Exodus 34:6 (ESV) 

God’s heart: It’s infinite in love and faithfulness, isn’t it? We’re promised that God’s love is steadfast. That it’s permanent too. So, no need to worry or fear that we will lose our connection to it. A mountain spring that might be headwaters of a great river is at the beginning only a stream bubbling up as it fills a small depression and then overflows, running downhill. We could watch a long time waiting for the source to run out but it probably won’t. Behind the spring is a mountain full of limitless pure fresh water waiting to spring out. God’s love is like that, if you can imagine it. In Hawaii  Kilauea seems to be nearly an endless series of eruptions since 1790 with increasing, decreasing, and increasing lava flows but always active to some degree. The most recent massive eruption was in 1983. God’s promise of mercy and grace and his promise of patience and love can be trusted to be far more abounding than either a mountain spring or furious volcano. God’s faithfulness will never be exhausted and even if we conceive of the others possibly ending someday, God’s promise never will, it’s not possible.

198 

January 15 – Truth Absolutely Truth

“What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.” Romans 3:3 (ESV)

Our concern with truth is a predictable expression of our concern with God. If God exists, then He exists just as the Bible presents Him. God, then is the measure of all things, and what he thinks about all things is the measure of what we should think. We believe the Bible is the Word of God because God says it is and God cannot lie. Every thing God has said, and that includes every word spoken by Jesus Christ, is true. When Jesus says He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that no one can come to God the Father except through Him, God the Son, it is absolute truth. Believing in absolute truth is not a popular position these days. Once we learn a truth is absolute it will never change. Not to care about truth is not to care about God. To love God passionately is to love truth passionately. Being God-centered in life means being truth-driven in our lives. What is not true is not of God. We can know by this promise that if all were untruthful, God remains truthful. When we trust none other, we still trust God completely.

198