Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"The God who loves His children will judge the nations!"

Day #256:  Daily Bible Reading Plan - September 10th

Scripture Reading:  Psalms 108 - 110 ...

Knowing whose side you are on is important ... especially when it comes to GOD!!  God knows those who are His - and we know HIM!  Those who are opposed to God are opposed to us.  There are two outcomes for human beings:  eternal life or eternal death.  You can live in this world knowing that you are loved by God and live your life loving Him back, OR you can be an enemy of God and His people and live your life for yourself and ultimately face God's wrath.  These are the two "roads" or "paths" that Jesus describes in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:13-14.  David and others knew this already a thousand years before Jesus came into the world to offer Himself as the perfect sacrifice for sin and to reveal the Father's love to those whom He chose before the world began.

How you live your life today has everything to do with your relationship with the one true God ... or the lack thereof.  Those of us who know God's love and compassion and mercy and grace through the work of His Spirit within us put our faith in Jesus Christ, God's Son.  We know we are sinners in need of forgiveness.  We know we need a Savior and we worship and serve a sovereign God who rules over all things.  With David we testify, "My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul! ... For great is Your love; higher than the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies!" (108:1,4).

Knowing God's love and faithfulness is the blessing of God to those who are His people.  David knew God because God had revealed Himself to David, and we who know God today know God because He has revealed Himself to us through His Word and His Spirit.  The revelation of God is not received or acknowledged or understood by those who do not have the Spirit of God.  They are enemies of God AND His people.  In Psalm 109, David speaks about those who accuse HIM with lies and false accusations.  He says, "I am a man of prayer" (109:4).  David had a relationship with God.  He humbly confessed his sin and trusted God's mercy and grace for forgiveness.  Not so his enemies!

David describes them in Psalm 109, verse 16:  "He never thought of doing a kindness, but hounded to death the poor and the needy and the brokenhearted."  These are the same ones described by Jesus in Matthew 25:41-45.  "Then He (Jesus) will say to those on His left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'  ... 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for ME!'"

Those who are enemies of God's people are enemies of God!  "But you, O sovereign LORD, deal well with me for Your Name's sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me" (109:21).  David knew God's love ... His forgiving love, His redeeming love.  Only those who confess their sin and look to God to save them know this love.  Those who do not know God's love for them will NEVER love Him back.  Too many people claim to know God and say that God loves everyone ... which proves that they DON'T know God's love.  It was to believers, and only to believers, that Paul wrote, "I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the SAINTS (believers), to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge" (Ephesians 3:17-19).

Those who do not know Christ do not know God, for they do not know His love as it is revealed in the cross.  David saw his need for the cross a thousand years before Jesus came into the world.  And because God's Spirit was at work in David, he could write words like those found in Psalm 110, verse 1:  "The LORD says to my Lord:  'Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."  Who was DAVID's Lord??  Who could this be referring to?  As Peter preached on the day of Pentecost he reveals the identity of David's "mystery Lord":  JESUS!!

"God has raised this Jesus to life and we are all witnesses of the fact.  Exalted to the right hand of God, He has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.  For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, 'The Lord said to my Lord:  'Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.'  Therefore let all Israel be assured of this:  God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ!" (Acts 2:23-36).

It is this God, the only true God, who has promised to extend Christ's rule over the nations (110:2).  "The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind.  ...  The Lord is at your right hand; He will crush kings on the day of his wrath.  He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth" (110:4-5).  The God who loves His children will judge the nations!  He is Father to those who know His love ... but Judge to those who don't.  Know His love today by confessing your sins and discovering the amazing love of the God who goes to the cross to redeem His children.  Amazing love!!  JESUS IS LORD!!!

"O LORD, my God, Judge of all the earth, how can I thank You for Your love to me in Your Son Jesus Christ?  Before the world began You chose me to be Yours.  You called me by your Spirit and gave me new life through faith in Christ and now I KNOW that Your love and faithfulness sustain me and protect me and deliver me every day of my life.  Help me, Father, to declare Your glory to those around me and to rejoice in Your love ... now and forever!  In Jesus' name, Amen"

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