Psalm 23 as Prophecy or a Warning? – Contentment or Hoping for More in the House of the Lord - Purity 942
Purity 942 01/16/2023 Purity 942 Podcast
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Today’s photo a man fishing at what must be early morning or late afternoon while a boardwalk pathway runs along the shore comes to us from Dave Baun Photography who shared this photo from one of his trips to Rovaniemi, Finland a few days ago on social media (https://www.facebook.com/DaveBaunPhotography ).
Well, it’s a truly manic Monday today and I am scrambling to get something out there on the blog today because I felt moved in my spirit this morning to update a “ministry resume” I have on file and to send it out to a pastor who may need additional staff for his church.
I’ve been inundated with mixed feelings of hope and doubt regarding this possible “call” in my spirit and have decided to put myself “out there”, to step out in faith, possibly to my own embarrassment. And now it’s done.
Will anything happen with this, other than being embarrassed? I don’t know but I do know that I felt moved in my spirit to provide this information and to boldly state my desire to transition to full time ministry. Ideally, I would like to work for God’s kingdom on a full time basis, whether or not that will happen sometime soon or in the far reaches of the future, that’s what I want.
I have been struggling with whether or not to state this desire and to pursue it or whether I should just be content with the part time ministry opportunities I currently enjoy. I took this struggle with me to prayer this morning and I got the feeling to look to Psalm 23.
Psalm 23:1-6 (NKJV)
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.
When I first felt this “leading” to look up psalm 23, I felt discouraged because I know the first verse very well: I shall not want. So I figured that was what I was being directed to, and It very well may be.
However, when I got to the end and read “I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever” I felt something else. Like “do you believe this”? “Do you want this?”
So after that I did my Bible study and suddenly found myself working on updating my “ministry resume” and emailing it to the pastor. This isn’t necessarily out of the blue. I do have a meeting with this pastor in a week as he has requested a meeting to “hear my story”. So I sent the resume with the disclaimer that it was being sent with the intention to just provide him with some of my background before we meet.
I am content with my current job. I am very content with my current ministry. However, I would absolutely love to work for the Lord full time. So although I “shall not want” may be telling me to cool my jets and to be content, the idea of “dwelling in the house of the Lord” in a working capacity sounds wonderful.
Sometimes in life you have to step out in faith and let people know who you are. Sometimes you have to let the Lord know that He can “send me!”
And sometimes, we are humbled. So which will it be?
Oh, I am very used to being humbled so I wouldn’t be surprised if “I shall not want” is reinforced, again. But I believe that we have to hope for better things and whether or not this latest leading will prove to be prophetic or impulsive, I know that my heart couldn’t rest if I didn’t at least offer myself to the Lord’s service when I have a feeling He may be working things in that direction. So we step out, and whether we step up or fall down, the very hope itself in that step in to the unknow is worth taking.
So its Monday again, and although its back to work for me like usual, I have “put myself out there” for a new possibility. I have been “a-hoping and a-praying” and talking to God about this “feeling” for a week now and now I have decided to trust Him with where He takes me.
I am loving the path I am on right now but if this is the “call” to go somewhere else I am letting Him know that I am ready and willing to follow.
Contentment is where we should live but we should also keep our eyes open for new things. So, let’s keep walking and talking with God and see where He takes us.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verses are:
Matthew 7:24-25 (NLT2)
24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.
25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.
Today’s verses encourage us to stand on the solid rock of our Christian faith, on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
I can’t offer any better advice than that. We are not just called to “believe in Jesus” or to “believe Jesus” we are to demonstrate that we know Him and His teachings by applying them to our lives. Christ indicates that when we do that, no matter what storms we face in life, our house will stand.
So trust in the Lord, study the words of Jesus, and stand on them.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
By ARTHUR W. PINK
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN SALVATION, continues.
1. The Sovereignty of God the Father in Salvation
Perhaps the one Scripture which most emphatically of all asserts the absolute sovereignty of God in connection with His determining the destiny of His creatures, is the ninth of Romans. We shall not attempt to review here the entire chapter, but will confine ourselves to vv. 21–23—“Hath not the potter power over the clay of the same lump, to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor? What if God, willing to show His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory?” These verses represent fallen mankind as inert and as impotent as a lump of lifeless clay. This scripture evidences that there is “no difference,” in themselves, between the elect and the non-elect; they are clay of “the same lump,” which agrees with Eph. 2:3, where we are told that all are by nature “children of wrath.” It teaches us that the ultimate destiny of every individual is decided by the will of God, and blessed it is that such be the case; if it were left to our wills, the ultimate destination of us all would be the Lake of Fire. It declares that God Himself does make a difference in the respective destinations to which He assigns His creatures, for one vessel is made “unto honor and another unto dishonor;” some are “vessels of wrath fitted to destruction,” others are “vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory.”
We readily acknowledge that it is very humbling to the proud heart of the creature to behold all mankind in the hand of God as the clay in the potter’s hand, yet this is precisely how the Scriptures of Truth represent the case. In this day of human boasting, intellectual pride, and deification of man, it needs to be insisted upon that the potter forms his vessels for himself. Let man strive with his Maker as he will, the fact remains that he is nothing more than clay in the Heavenly Potter’s hands, and while we know that God will deal justly with His creatures, that the Judge of all the earth will do right, nevertheless, He shapes His vessels for His own purpose and according to His own pleasure. God claims the indisputable right to do as He wills with His own.
Not only has God the right to do as He wills with the creatures of His own hands, but He exercises this right, and nowhere is that seen more plainly than in His predestinating grace. Before the foundation of the world God made a choice, a selection, an election. Before His omniscient eye stood the whole of Adam’s race, and from it He singled out a people and predestinated them “to be conformed to the image of His Son,” “ordained” them unto eternal life. Many are the scriptures which set forth this blessed truth, seven of which will now engage our attention.
“As many as were ordained to eternal life, believed” (Acts 13:48). Every artifice of human ingenuity has been employed to blunt the sharp edge of this scripture and to explain away the obvious meaning of these words, but it has been employed in vain, though nothing will ever be able to reconcile this and similar passages to the mind of the natural man. “As many as were ordained to eternal life, believed.” Here we learn four things: First, that believing is the consequence and not the cause of God’s decree. Second, that a limited number only are “ordained to eternal life,” for if all men without exception were thus ordained by God, then the words “as many as” are a meaningless qualification. Third, that this “ordination” of God is not to mere external privileges but to “eternal life,” not to service but to salvation itself. Fourth, that all—“as many as,” not one less—who are thus ordained by God to eternal life will most certainly believe.
The comments of the beloved Spurgeon on the above passage are well worthy of our notice. Said he, “Attempts have been made to prove that these words do not teach predestination, but these attempts so clearly do violence to language that I shall not waste time in answering them. I read: ‘As many as were ordained to eternal life believed,’ and I shall not twist the text but shall glorify the grace of God by ascribing to that grace the faith of every man. Is it not God who gives the disposition to believe? If men are disposed to have eternal life, does not He—in every case—dispose them? Is it wrong for God to give grace? If it be right for Him to give it, is it wrong for Him to purpose to give it? Would you have Him give it by accident? If it is right for Him to purpose to give grace today, it was right for Him to purpose it before today—and, since He changes not—from eternity.”
“Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Rom. 11:5, 6). The words “Even so” at the beginning of this quotation refer us to the previous verse where we are told, “I have reserved to Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Note particularly the word “reserved.” In the days of Elijah there were seven thousand—a small minority—who were Divinely preserved from idolatry and brought to the knowledge of the true God. This preservation and illumination was not from anything in themselves, but solely by God’s special influence and agency. How highly favored such individuals were to be thus “reserved” by God! Now says the apostle, Just as there was a “remnant” in Elijah’s days “reserved by God,” even so there is in this present dispensation.
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