Glory Of Creation

Jim Gallagher

Psalms 8:1

O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!”

Webster defines glory as “Great beauty and splendor, even magnificence.” David is declaring things about the magnificence of God. It seems this Psalm was penned as a result of looking at the beauty of creation, in light of the Creator. He realizes that as glorious as creation is, it pales by comparison to the Creator.

How sad it is that we often neglect to consider the creation’s glory. We seem to be surrounded by the works of men. We live in a manmade house, drive a manmade car, on manmade streets to a manmade office, eating manmade food, from manmade packages, and wonder why we have lost sight of God. What if we took time to consider the works of God’s hands? We are, after all…

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Fallen In 

Psalms 7:15
“He made a pit and dug it out, 
And has fallen into the ditch which he made.”

If we were writing a comedic screenplay, we might want to include a character who designs an elaborate trap, only to unwittingly catch himself. While it might be quite humorous on the big screen, it is tragic in the real world. The psalmist reminds us,  one of the consequences of wicked living is, in the long run, we are actually setting a trap for ourselves. The day is coming when the cage will swing shut, and we will find ourselves enslaved by the very thing we were toying with. This happened to Samson who fooled around with Delilah, telling her to braid his hair or tie him up with new ropes. As time went on, he found himself enslaved to the Philistines. It happened to David, who fooled around with Bathsheba, first watching her bath then flirting with her. He soon found himself enslaved by his lust and caught in an ungodly relationship that had devastating effects upon his family. And it will happen to us, if we toy around with sin. Each time we dabble in unrighteous behavior, it is like putting the shovel in the ground. Day after day, the hole gets bigger until one day we find ourselves caught in a trap we dug for ourselves.

Fortunately, this does not have to be our end. If we have not yet been enslaved, there is still time to turn from our sin, and allow the Lord to restore us to Himself. While it may have taken a long time to drift from the Lord, we can be restored in a moment of time. We simply need to confess our sin, turn from it, and to Him. When we do, He will begin to fill the hole so we don’t become ensnared in it. But what if you are in the trap? Understand, there is still hope for you. No matter how far you have fallen, the arms of God are long enough to reach you. Cry out to Him to forgiveness and to deliverance . David wrote about how God brought him out of a pit, set his feet upon a rock, and even put a new song of praise in his mouth.
Pastor Jim

 

The Way I Am Feeling

Jim Gallagher

1 Samuel 8:6

“But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, ‘Give us a king to judge us., So Samuel prayed to the Lord.”


Samuel was given some very bad news. He was informed that the people no longer wanted to be governed by God, and personal responsibility, but wanted to have a king to lead them. We read, their actions displeased Samuel and his displeasure drove him to pray. It was in prayer that he was able to hear the word of the Lord. 


The word “displeased” describes Samuel’s emotional state. This same word is also translated as troubled, afflicted, or angered. We learn Israel’s godly leader was affected by the same emotions that we struggle through and he allowed his emotional condition to drive him to prayer. Samuel is not alone. We find a variety of Biblical characters experiencing a vast array of emotions, which was the driving force that…

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Will This Ever Work

Jim Gallagher

1 Samuel 7:13
“So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore into the territory of Israel…”

Israel faced a constant threat from the Philistines. They had come into the territory promised to Israel, taken land, and threatened the people. Earlier in 1 Samuel, the nation mustered all its strength to drive the Philistines out of their territories, only to suffer a devastating loss. In that earlier battle, the people gathered around a religious artifact, went forth in all the strength they had, and were defeated. Now, some years later, we find them once again facing the same threat. This time, however, their efforts resulted in a great victory. What was the difference? How were they able to defeat an enemy which had plagued them for so many years?

1 Samuel 7:3
“Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, ‘If you return to the LORD…

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Need Help? 

Psalms 6:2
“Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled.”

Have you ever heard the phrase, “You can do this,” as a mantra for finding the strength to face the challenge before you? Life often forces us to be stronger than we think we are and to stand up to the opportunity before us. In a passionate plea for the Corinthians to stand against the opposition they were facing, Paul declared,

1 Corinthians 16:13 “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”

While there are times when we must be strong, there are also times when we must realize our weakness. There are times when coming to grips with the fact that we are weak, is the very thing that will ensure we find victory. Image having to move a heavy item. We think we are strong enough, and dig deep within to muster all we have, yet the item still remains in its current location, unaffected by our efforts. On the other hand, if we realize our weakness and invite a few friends to help us, we find the object moved without too much work or injury.

As a believer, it is critical that we realize our weakness and learn to look to the Lord for strength. Those who have done so have accomplished feats well beyond themselves. It was not the military strategy of Joshua that brought down Jericho’s walls, nor was it the accuracy of David’s sling that topped the giant. These men, and others like them, were victorious because they realized their own weakness and learned to look to the Lord for strength.

Whatever you are facing today the supply of the Spirit of Christ Jesus is enough for the challenge. Like the psalmist, go to the Lord confessing your weakness and ask Him to provide you with His strength.

Pastor Jim

 

The Mornings 

Jim Gallagher

Psalms 5:3 “My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.”

On a regular basis, how would you describe your mornings? Do you wake up grumpy, dreading another day? Or late, rushing to get your responsibilities done? Or perhaps you arise and rush to get the morning paper, check the news, or peruse Facebook, or the web.

David declares that his mornings began with the Lord. Even in the midst of difficult and trying times, he would start his day off enjoying fellowship with God. David determined that before he spent time walking about in this life, he would first spend time with the Lord. There is something special about beginning our days with the Lord. Like the early morning offerings sacrificed at the Temple, we should bring our lives before God as a morning…

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Hard Heart

Jim Gallagher

1 Samuel 6:6

Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He did mighty things among them, did they not let the people go, that they might depart?”

Tucked away in the story of the Philistines return of the Ark to Israel, is this powerful exhortation regarding the danger of hardening our hearts to God. We are reminded of the difficulties Pharaoh endured because of his refusal to humble himself and obey the Word of God. The lessons from this exhortation are two-fold.

First, we need to examine our lives to be certain we are not hardening our hearts. If there is any area where we are making excuses for an attitude or behavior that is unbiblical, then we are in danger of hardening our heart to the Word. This may seem obvious, but the danger of hardening our hearts is that we…

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