Tested

Psalms 105:19
“…The word of the Lord tested him.”

This psalm recounts the faithfulness of God during the days of the patriarchs. After mentioning Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Psalmist reminds us of the struggles Joseph faced after being sold into slavery by his own brothers. We know he experienced betrayal, beating, false accusations and imprisonment. Each trial he faced was a means by which the Word of God put him to the test.

We face similar experiences that put us to the test. When we face heartache, confusion, difficulty or disappointment, we are essentially being put to the test by the promises of God. We are left to decide if we will trust in the scattered array of emotions we face, or in the ever changing experiences of life, or in the unchanging promises of God. Down through the ages, saints have faced extremely difficult experiences. Some have allowed these to undo their faith and even sideline them from their Master’s service. Others have chosen to cling to the promises of God, allowing them to provide comfort and direction, as they continue following Christ. There is little question that we will face trials in life. It is important that we realize,  the promises of God can stand the test of trials. God will be faithful to His word, and His promises will carry you through till the end.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 105

  1. If you have a study Bible you will see that the first fifteen verses are also found in 1 Chronicles 16:8-22. What event was happening when this was being sung?
  2. When God feels distant and far away from you, what does verses 4-5 command us to do? Now continue your search and go to the book of Hebrews chapter 11:6 and be encouraged, for you are rewarded.
  3. In verses 16-22 the Psalmist recounts the story of Joseph. If you are going through something you don’t understand know that God is in control. Read Isaiah 54:17
  4. In verses 26-45 God shows His purpose for saving the Israelites. He allowed them to witness these events so they would, “Observe His statutes and keep His laws.” All too often we please ourselves. We were made for His good pleasure. Are you honoring and pleasing the Lord? He gave us His Word for a reason- HIS PURPOSE!

Old Testament:
Psalm 106- Leanness Of Soul
1 Chronicles 10- Epitaphs
1 Chronicles 11- Coming Soon!

East From The West

Psalm 103:11-13
“For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him.”

It is a common advertising strategy to attempt to sell an item by comparing it to something else. We might see a car commercial with a cheetah running, to convince us of the speed of the vehicle; or a flowing river, to reveal the thirst quenching power of a soft drink. David is, in a sense, attempting to sell us on the greatness of God. He knows the Lord and wants everyone to taste and see for themselves that the Lord is good. To do this he makes a series of comparisons, to convince us to trust in God.

First, he compares the mercy of God to the heavens. He says, if we could measure the universe, we could also measure God’s compassion. Astronomers speak of the size of the universe in terms of light years, which is the distance light travels in the course of 365.25 days. They estimate the universe to be over 14 billion light years across. The mercy of God is so vast it could never be exhausted. If you are willing to come to Him, He is willing to forgive you.

Second, he compares the removal of our sin to the distance between East and West. Since we live on a ball with a most northern and southern point, it is possible to travel north until you run out of north. Once you arrive at the North Pole, you must either stay there or go south. The opposite is true of east and west. If you decide to travel east, you can go east indefinitely, without ever having to go west. David is describing the complete removal of sin for those who receive the mercy, and thus the forgiveness, of God. Sin will never be brought up again, for all who trust in the cross of Christ.

Finally, David compares God to a father who has compassion on a child. This is a somewhat limited illustration, because we have already seen the vastness of His mercy, but David wants us to understand that God’s mercy is like that of a loving father. I recall when my youngest son was two and he broke his leg. I remember wishing I could take his pain and wear his cast. It was not a fleeting feeling, but a deep compassion. I truly pitied his condition and wanted to help. It is wonderful to know that God feels that way about us, and does not lack the ability to come to our aid.

Won’t you buy into David’s God? Take the step to trust Him with all your heart and life.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 103

  1. Verses 1-5 have the ingredients of a thankful heart yet we are so prone to forget what the Lord has done in our lives. Make a list of the benefits of walking with Him.
  2. Read verse 10 and imagine if the Lord dealt with us according to our sins. Then read verse 8 and REJOICE, AMEN!
  3. How far has He removed our transgressions?
  4. For those who fear Him….His mercy is….?
  5. In verses 20-22 David has everybody and everything praising God; from angels to all of creation. Ask yourself these questions: Do I fear the Lord? Am I obeying His commands and doing His will? Does my life praise the Lord?

Old Testament:
Psalm 104- Majesty Of God
1 Chronicles 4:9-10- A Fresh Start

Window To Your Soul

Psalm 101:3
I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me.”

One of the saddest experiences in life is to see a close friend fall away from the Lord. From the outside, the process often looks the same. A person, who once walked closely with the Lord and was involved in Christian service, begins to drift ever so slightly. First, their conversation changes. Instead of talking about the Lord, sharing from their times of Bible reading or service, they begin to talk only of the waves and the weather. Next, we begin to see them a little less frequently around the church. In some cases, only the responsibility of a service commitment keeps them coming; until finally they step down from their responsibility, and seem to vanish. Sometimes, it will take weeks or even months before we realize what has happened, and by that time, they have cut ties from most of their Christian friends, and are back involved in the things of the world.

This experience is not limited to modern times. The Psalmist saw it happen in his day, and as a result declares, “I hate the work of those who fall away.” He also gives a little insight into what those works are when he states, “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes.”

It has been said, the eye is the window into the soul. That phrase has always seemed a bit eerie to me, perhaps because I have misunderstood the truth about the eyes of man. It is not as though a person can look into your eyes and see the inner man, but information enters our mind through the eye gate, which in turn, feeds the soul. Paul spoke about the flesh and the spirit being in a daily battle with one another (Galatians 5:17). We all know there are times when we have lost the battle to the flesh, and times when we have been victorious and remained faithful to the Lord, in the midst of temptation.

The secret to success in the battle against the flesh is training. As in any fight, the one who is stronger and more prepared, is the one who will be victorious. If we want to live well-pleasing to the Lord, we must use our eyes to look away from the things that will lead us to stumble, and onto the things that will help us to grow. Jesus put it like this, “The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness” (Luke 11:34).

My wife and I were walking the streets of Paris when I saw a chocolate croissant in the window of a bakery. It looked amazing! However, we were on our way to dinner, so stopping was out of the question, but I could not get it out of my head. You know, first thing the next morning, I was in a bakery ordering a croissant. If you are struggling with a particular sin, the solution may be as simple as removing the things that you are looking at, that are feeding that sinful desire. Magazines, movies, internet searches, should all be removed, as you seek the Lord for victory in your life. Let’s take the example of the Psalmist to heart, who decreed, “It shall not cling to me.”

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 101

  1. This is a Psalm of “wills” and “shalls.” There are 9 “wills” and 5 “shalls.” David is setting down standards that he wants to follow. If you travel back to 1 Kings 2:1-4, you will read David charging his son Solomon to live by God’s standards. Jesus said if you love me, obey my commandments. Are you?
  2. The word “perfect” in verse 2 translates “blameless.” In verse 2: What does David need to live a blameless life?
  3. The Bible says that (evil) “bad company corrupts good character (habits)” 1Corinthians 15:13. In verse 6 David is keeping his eye on the faithful. Are you surrounding yourself with Godly people to help you grow?

Old Testament:
Psalm 102- Prayer of the Broken
2 Kings 25- Besieged

God Who Forgives

Psalms 99:8
“You answered them, O Lord our God;
You were to them God-Who-Forgives,
Though You took vengeance on their deeds.”

The Psalmist writes regarding the forgiveness of God and the fact that He will mete out vengeance on certain actions. These concepts often seem contrary to one another. We associate forgiveness with the removal of any and all consequences, but God does not see it that way. Abraham was forgiven for his sin with Hagar, but Ishmael was still born. Samson was forgiven for his sin, but the pillars still fell upon him. David was forgiven of adultery, but Bathsheba’s child still died. Peter was forgiven for denying Christ, but still had to live with the image of Christ’s gaze and the memory of the rooster’s cry.

Calling upon God to forgive will remove the judicial penalty for sin; you will no longer be held accountable before God for your actions. This forgiveness will also remove any barriers that are keeping you from experiencing the presence of God, but this does not mean there will be no consequences for your actions. When a husband cheats on his wife, he can be forgiven, but the damage has been done to his family, and it may take years before his wife will ever truly trust him again. When a person steals from their place of business, they can be forgiven, but may lose their job and even face jail time. We must never think that forgiveness means there will not be consequences, for they are often the reason we should truly fear sin and what it will do to our lives.

If you are close to crossing a line, be sure to realize you cannot take it back, and may suffer the consequences of that decision for as long as you are alive.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 99

  1. The last several psalms have been psalms of praise that exalt God to His rightful position.  In verse 1-4 what are some of the attributes of God that deserve praise?
  2. In verse 5, we see our rightful position before God.  The word for “worship” in the Hebrew means to “bow down”.  It is our natural tendency to want to be the boss and to do things our way.  Read Revelation 15:4. Notice how when we take time to consider who God really is, it becomes easier to see who we are and to take our rightful place at His feet.
  3. Note verse 8.  When we have sinned there are consequences.  Yet, God in His mercy forgives.  Sometimes the consequences of sin are so difficult that our only comfort is that God has forgiven us and still loves us.  What has God forgiven you of?  Thank Him for it!

Old Testament:
Psalm 100- You Should Know Better
2 Kings 23- Covenant
2 Kings 24- Survival

Love And Hate

Psalm 97:10
You who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.”

I find it striking that the Psalmist declares that hate is a necessary expression of true love. He explains that part of being in a healthy love relationship with Jesus is having a hatred for evil. Why is it necessary to hate evil? Why should we hate evil? I can think of at least three pretty strong reasons.

First, we should hate evil because of what evil does to creation. When sin entered the world, death entered and all of creation began to be in a state of decay. We observe this daily. People age and die, things deteriorate and break, everything goes from a state of useful to useless. Paul explains that creation itself even groans to be redeemed. If we could discern the voice of nature we would hear it crying out for redemption.

Second, we should hate evil because of what it does to us. Evil or sin separates man from God placing all humanity under its curse and penalty. Sin has devastated families, wreaked havoc on relationships, fueled racial prejudices, started wars, and will ultimately damn those who reject Christ to eternal separation from God. Even after we are redeemed, sin is like a cancer that eats away at the spiritual life of the believer. When we allow sin to reign in our mortal bodies, it creates distance between us and God, causing us to miss out on experiencing abundant life, for which he died. Instead of life, love, joy,  peace, we find ourselves living under the weight of guilt and fear, suffering the consequences of our personal failures.

Finally, we must hate evil because of what it has done to God. His holiness demands that sinners are separated from Him, but His love drives Him to restore our broken fellowship. The only currency valuable enough to pay the cost for the human soul is the blood of God. It was because of sin that the blood of God was shed. We have all felt the weight of individual sin. We know the guilt and pain that we have been under, as a result of one sinful action. On the cross, Jesus bore the weight of every sin that every man has or will ever commit. The darkness of that day aptly illustrate the severe suffering that Christ endured as He cried out, “My God why have You forsaken Me?” It seems to me, the proper response for the child of God is to hate evil. It has been my experience that we avoid what we hate. A true hatred of evil will cause us to avoid sin, rather than living as close to it as possible. Will you join me in praying that we would have a healthy hatred of sin, and avoid it at all costs?

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 97

  1. Verse 1 tells us that the Lord reigns, and for all the earth to rejoice.  Read verse 2.  Why is it good news that God is the ultimate ruler of everything?
  2. Read verses 3-7 detail God’s dealings with those who are His enemies and who worship other gods.  The reality of God’s might and power is not at first evident to His enemies, but it will ultimately become evident to all.  Do you find yourself losing sight of this reality?
  3. In verse 9 we read of the ultimate rightful place of God, high above all of His created order in every way.  It is easy for us to worship (give our time, love or energy to) things that God has made because we can see them and we can touch them.  It is good for us to be reminded in His word of  Are there any things in your life that you are loving more than God?
  4. In verse 10-12 we read that if we love God that we need to hate  According to these verses, what are some of the benefits that come from loving God and hating evil?

Old Testament:
2 Kings 21- Pay Attention
2 Kings 22- You Know That’s Right
Psalm 98- Labor Of Love 

Let Us Worship

Psalm 95:6
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”

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Years ago, when I was a relatively new Christian, I was invited to a weekend retreat with about 200 other teenagers. We all congregated at a retreat center in the San Bernardino Mountains, for times of worship, and the Word. I had been a Christian for about two years, but had never been to anything like that before. In fact, I had only been to church a handful of times. The first night, after a hearty meal of camp food, we gathered for Bible study. I remember being so blessed by hearing the Word of God taught. At the end of the study, we set aside some time to worship, and wait upon the Lord. Again, this was a brand new experience for me. It was during this time of worship, I heard this verse for the first time. It had been put to music, and we were singing it. As I sang, I felt compelled to put the verse into action. I quietly slipped out of my chair and onto the floor, where I knelt, lifting my hands to the Lord. I recall a desire welling up within me, like nothing I had ever experienced before. I guess you could call it a hunger, not for more tator-tots, but for more of the Lord. It was there, on the floor of the sanctuary, I prayed, “Jesus, I want more of You, I want all of You.” At that moment, something happened to me. I was filled with a sense of being cleansed from failure, and filled with a love for God, like I had never known before. I arose from that time of worship changed. I was hungry for more of Jesus. I began to read my Bible daily, I looked for opportunities to serve Christ, and even found myself longing to be around other believers.

Theologically, I had no idea what had happened. All I knew was that I had encountered the Lord that night, and my life was being changed. Later, as I read my Bible, I came to understand what happened to me was the fulfillment of a promise Jesus gave to His followers. He said that He would, “Baptize us with the Holy Spirit” He also promised that when that happened, we would be filled with a new source of power, to be a witness of Him to the world around us (Acts 1:8).

When I dropped to my knees that night and cried out for more of Him, He filled me with His Spirit, and transformed my life. Without me even knowing the promise of God, He was working in my life. I know that I am special to the Lord, but I know that you are as well. The promise of the Holy Spirit is not exclusive to a certain class of Christian. Joel promised that God would pour out His Spirit on ALL flesh.

If you desire to see God work in a new, deeper way in your life, why not drop to your knees right now, lift up your hands, and cry out for more of Jesus. What are you waiting for? This Psalm also carries a warning, “Today, if you will hear His voice: “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion…” In other Words, if God is speaking to you, respond immediately, whoever you are, wherever you are, and whatever you are doing.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 95

  1. This Psalm is a beautiful call to worship. How will this affect how you come to corporate worship?
  2. List all the reasons the Psalmist gives for why we should worship.
  3. We are warned against hardening our hearts. How does a heart become hard?

Old Testament:
Psalm 96- Sing To The Lord
2 Kings 19- Community
2 Kings 20- Need More Time?

It Cannot Be Moved

Psalm 93:1
“The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength. Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved.”

It seems to me, if one thing is certain in life, it is that things are constantly moving. We live on a moving planet. At the equator, the Earth is spinning at 1000 miles per hour, moving at 67,000 miles per hour around the Sun, and our entire Galaxy is moving at about 185 miles per second. Since this motion is constant, we cannot feel its effects. However, there is other movement that we do notice. The United States Geological Survey website lists dozens of earthquakes that have happened around the world in the past seven days. Earthquakes happen because the earth’s surface is like a thin crust. This crust is made up of many pieces, like a puzzle, and the pieces keep moving around and bumping into each other. This causes the surface of the earth to move like waves rippling in a pond. Also, about 70% of the earth’s surface is water. That means almost three-quarters of the earth is too unstable to stand upon. As far as I know, Jesus and Peter are the only two people to successfully stand on the surface of the water, and that did not last too long for Pete.

If you have ever spent an extended period of time on the ocean, you know how unstable it is. After living on a boat for a few days, even solid ground feels like it is moving. With that said, I do not think that the earth’s surface, of land or water, is the most unstable thing we experience. While the earth may shake daily, it usually happens pretty far from us; and while the sea may be turbulent we can avoid it. However, we cannot avoid the turmoil caused by the flood of emotions that seem to come against us suddenly. One dictionary defines emotions as “strong feeling accompanied with physiological changes like increased heartbeat and respiration and often overt manifestations of crying and shaking.”

We all know emotions can overtake us suddenly, putting us within their grip, and even crippling us. I was recently at a funeral for a close friend. The moment I began to speak, emotion gripped me and all that I had prepared to say was stifled. I could not get a word to pass my lips. No doubt the Psalmist was not immune to these experiences, yet he declares, “Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved.” Because God is seated upon His throne above the earth with all it’s confusion, He is able to give us stability in the midst of an ever-changing world. When we are in emotion’s grip, filled with fear, anxiety, pain or sorrow, we can have our feet land on the solid ground and sure foundation of the our reigning King.

“In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.” Psalms 94:19

The Psalmist goes on to declare the way we will find stability. “Your testimonies are very sure; holiness adorns Your house, O Lord, forever” (Psalms 93:5). It is the unchangeable truth of God that will give stability in life. While the storms rage, the Word of God will give you a sure footing and a quiet resting place. It is not the fluctuating faith that you place in the Scriptures, but the surety of His promises that are an immovable rock, even the floods cannot destroy.

Make His promises your hiding place, and you will discover that even a moving world cannot be shaken.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 93

  1. This Psalm tells us that God clothes Himself in Majesty and Strength. What does this do to your understanding of who God is?
  2. The floods speak of the difficulties of life. What does the Psalmist tell us about God verses the floods?
  3. According to verse 5, what was the anchor for the Psalmist in the storms of life?

Old Testament:
Psalm 94- Judge Of The Earth
2 Kings 17- It’s A Secret
2 Kings 18- Against The Odds

Falling

Psalm 91:7
A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.”

The Psalmist is speaking of the benefits derived from living in an intimate, abiding relationship with God. Jesus also spoke on the same subject when He refered to Himself as the vine and us as the branches. He made it clear, the only way to bear fruit in our life was by remaining in a close and personal relationship with Him. This verse expresses one of the most important benefits of abiding.

“A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.”

Sadly, we have all seen Christians fall by the wayside. People who, at one time, were walking with the Lord, but have fallen back into the life from which they were delivered. We see this happen to new believers and old, we even see it happen to those who at one time or another, were serving the Lord. One of the saddest experiences for me, is to look around a room filled with people, and know those who are missing, because they have fallen. How was it that sin was able to get its grip on them, tear them away from Christ, and leave them wounded on the sidelines? The answer is quite simple; they stopped abiding. The same thing will happen to you and me if we cease to abide in the secret place of the Most High.

The word ‘abide’ means ‘to stay or to live’. The person who is abiding in Christ, is the person who is daily remaining connected to the Lord. There are some simple, practical ways we can do that. First, we must make time to spend with the Lord, in His Word and prayer. All those who succeed in following and serving Christ, have learned to develop a daily time with the Lord, in His Word. Second, it is not about the number of verses you read or memorize (although both of those are important), it is about putting into practice the things you read. Abiding is directly related to obedience to the Word. Third, we were never meant to live out the Christian life alone. If we want to make it to the end of our race, we need to get involved in Christian fellowship; more than sitting next to someone once a week in church. The strongest bonds you can form with others, are the bonds developed while serving Jesus together.

The Christian life is a battlefield where we see our comrades falling around us on a regular basis. We need to recognize the battle is intense and the secret to success is abiding in the secret place of the Most High. Will you take time to sit at His feet today?

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 91

This Psalm lists the benefits of abiding in Christ. When you pit Jesus first in your life, give time to His Word, prayer, and obedience you will find that you experience much of what is described in this Psalm.

  1. The snare of the fowler is a reference to the traps of Satan. How will spending time with Jesus help you overcome temptation?
  2. A shield and buckler were defensive armor for battle. How is the truth of God’s Word like a shield?
  3. Sadly the Psalmist speaks of people falling in the battles of life. It is always tragic when a person falls away from the Lord and back into sin. How will abiding in Christ keep you from falling?
  4. How are you encouraged by the promise given in verse 11-12?

Old Testament:
Psalm 92- Planted In The House
2 Kings 15- Still Here
2 Kings 16- Built on Sinking Sand

Make Known His Faithfulness

Psalm 89:1
“I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations.”

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The words of this Psalm became the lyrics to a worship song we used to sing when I first began following Jesus. Whenever I read it my mind becomes flooded with memories. My early days of following Christ were filled with firsts. I can recall one of the first times I raised my hands in worship. I was in a room filled with teenagers who were singing and I simply reached up toward the ceiling as if I were attempting to get as much from God as He would possibly give. I recall another occasion when I knelt before the Lord for the first time. We were at a retreat and I was standing near the back when lifting my hands and it did not seem like enough of an expression of praise. I slipped away into the far corner of the room and knelt before the Lord as if to say “I am all Yours, Jesus.”

These expressions came out of a recognition of the mercy of God. I was coming to realize that I did not deserve anything from God, yet He was desiring to give me everything. The apostle Peter wrote that God will give us all things that pertain to life and godliness, Paul wrote that since God gave us His Son He would also freely give us all things.

As time passes I do not want my experiences of God to be distant memories. It is exciting to think back over the years and recall the amazing ways God has been faithful to me but the greatest joy is in knowing that He will continue to express His mercies in new ways each and every day that we choose to seek after Him.

Perhaps this morning is a good time to drop to your knees and lift your hands in praise to God for His mercy and His faithful love.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 89

The writer of this Psalm is Ethan. It was written after the fall of Jerusalem. Knowing the promises that were made to Israel, it was confusing to understand what God was doing, yet……

  1. Verse 1 “with my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations”. How are you using your mouth? Are you proclaiming God’s goodness or complaining that things are not going the way you think they should?
  2. Declaring God’s wonders and faithfulness. When is the last time you took the advice from the heavens? Make a list…..declare it! God wants to do something in your life….today!
  3. Write down all the characteristics of God from verse 7-18. Did you realize how much God is on your side? How much He loves you?
  4. After quoting all of God’s promises, in verse 46 Ethan starts to question what is going on. Did you know that it was ok to question God about things in your life? What questions do you have for Him?
  5. After Ethan’s questions, how does he end his song? After you ask God questions, can you respond the same way?

Old Testament:
2 Kings 13- Crying Out
2 Kings 14- Secret Weapon
Psalm 90- Time Management

Gates Of Zion

Psalms 87:2
“The Lord loves the gates of Zion, More than all the dwellings of Jacob.”

Jerusalem is without question a beautiful place. It sits atop mount Moriah and is surrounded by the mountains of Judah. Standing on the Temple Mount you can look out in every direction and see the beautiful hill country of Judea and imagine scenes straight out of the Biblical narrative. That being said, I think there may be another reason why God loves the gates of Zion. It may have a whole lot more to do with what He has and will accomplish there than with the terrain. The history of Jerusalem is the history of the grace of God.

It was a man from ancient Jerusalem who met Abraham after his battle with Chederloamar. This man, known as Melchizedek, is one of the great characters of Scripture and serves as a perfect type of Christ. He was both a priest of the Most High God and the king of Salem. It is from his ministry that we can understand the high priestly ministry of Christ, who sits at the right hand of God, and ever lives to intercede on our behalf.

It was Jerusalem where God instructed Abraham to take his only son and offer him as a sacrifice to God. It is in this scene that we have the most vivid illustration of God’s means of saving man. We see that no human sacrifice, no matter how great, can appease the wrath of God. It is only through substitution that we can be saved. In the narrative, God provides a ram and promises a lamb. Years later, John the Baptist explains that Christ is the lamb once promised by God, to take away the sins of the world.

It was in Jerusalem where Solomon built a permanent house for the Ark of God, and as a place for the people to gather in worship. His father, David, had purchased the hilltop from Ornan, the Jebusite, and stockpiled materials for his son to ultimately build the Temple. It was on this same location that Zerrubuabel would rebuild the Temple. Herod would spend countless funds to refurbish it, making it one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

It was in Jerusalem, at the temple where Jesus stunned the religious leaders with His wisdom and understanding of the Word of God. It was there where He turned the tables over and drove out the money changers. It was in this city of Jerusalem where he was condemned, beaten and carried off to be crucified. It was just beyond the gates of Zion, where the Son of God bore the weight of human sin, so we could be pardoned, forgiven and set free.

It was in Jerusalem where the apostle’s waited for the promises regarding the coming of the Holy Spirit. It was in an undisclosed upper room somewhere in the city, that they waited and prayed, until God opened the windows of heaven and poured His Spirit upon them. As a result, it was in the city of Jerusalem where the church began; the church that would spread the gospel around the world, and forever change human history.

It is in Jerusalem, where Jesus will one day return to set up his throne, and complete the Bible’s promises regarding the Kingdom of God. One day, all things will be made right and righteousness will cover the earth, as the waters covers the sea. Those who have trusted Christ will not only be saved from the wrath of God, but will have the pleasure of reigning and ruling alongside Him, as He establishes His Kingdom.

Certainly, “The Lord loves the gates of Zion, More than all the dwellings of Jacob.”

Pastor Jim

Questions of Psalm 87

  1. Read Zechariah 8:3
  2. Zion, the city of God. In Joel 2:32 he describes a place of deliverance. God loves the gates Zion more than the dwellings of Jacob. Jacob lived in tents, but Zion has been prepared for those who have accepted Christ.
  3. John 3 records the story of Nicodemus and the discussion about being “born again.” When we are born, our place of birth is a vital piece of information for records. It is as well in the Kingdom of God, verse 6. Have you been “born again”? Is your name written in the Book of Life? Read Revelation 20:15.

Old Testament:
Psalm 88- Where Do You Turn?
2 Kings 11- Armed And Dangerous
2 Kings 12- Giving