PUT ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST…

ROMANS13:12-14: “The night is almost gone and the day is near, so let us put off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the day—not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and envy. Instead, put on the Lord Messiah Yeshua, and stop making provision for the flesh—for its cravings.” TLV

OBSERVATION: What does it mean to put on the Lord Jesus Christ? Paul exhorts us to live as children of the light. As children of the light we are to walk differently, act differently, and think differently. It is the choice we have each day to either walk according to our old inclinations, or after the leading of the Holy Spirit.

As in the natural, so in the spiritual. Have you ever wondered why someone acts so differently when they have on a tuxedo or a formal gown? Clothes do not really change the inside of the person’s heart, but they do change the way they act. A child that is dressed for a wedding will act differently than the same child in an old pair of jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers. This is also true for the believer.

We do not have special Christian clothes that magically change our behavior. However, we have been clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ in our hearts, and this should influence the way we walk, act, and think. This is what Paul is trying to say. To put on the Lord Jesus Christ is not to put on your Sunday best before you go to church. Rather, it is to clothe yourself in humility, to draw upon the grace of God, and to walk after the Holy Spirit in moment by moment dependence.

This takes deliberation. We have to gather our “old clothes” (our old way of walking, acting, and thinking) and throw them away. This is what it means to put off the works of darkness and to put on the armor of light. It is the clothing of our heart and mind. We must stop making any provision for our old ways, and begin making provisions for our new way of life to grow and flourish. This is both practical and spiritual. It speaks about the things we do, the places we go, the people we associate with, the thoughts we entertain. We need to begin to focus on the things that are above so that our spiritual man can grow and flourish!

  • “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any virtue and if there is anything worthy of praise—dwell on these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—put these things into practice, and the God of shalom will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 TLV
  • “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves in tender compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience— bearing with one another and forgiving each other, if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord pardoned you, so also you must pardon others. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfect harmony. Let the shalom of Messiah rule in your hearts—to this shalom you were surely called in one body. Also be thankful. Let the word of Messiah dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another with all wisdom in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Yeshua, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:12-17 TLV

Lord, help me today to put off all of my former ways of walking, acting, and thinking. Help me to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and walk after the Holy Spirit in all that I do. Help me to clothe myself in His life, His love, and His light.

In Jesus Name!

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WHY DO PEOPLE LIFT THEIR HANDS IN WORSHIP?

PSALM 141:1-2: “A psalm of David. ADONAI, I call to You— come quickly to me! Hear my voice when I call to You. May my prayer be set before You like incense. May the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.” TLV

OBSERVATION: Have you ever wondered why people raise their hands in worship? Do you raise your hands in worship, but honestly it has just become something you do without thinking of why you are doing it? What is the significance of raising my hands as I worship the Lord?

I will never forget the first time I walked into a church where people raised their hands in worship. I grew up in a liturgical church where this expression of worship was never seen. The atmosphere was very serious, and even laughter was rarely a part of our service, even if the pastor said something humorous in his message. Searching as a young man, I wandered into a church that was filled with “Jesus People” during the Jesus Movement in the 1970’s. They not only lifted their hands, they clapped, they rejoiced, and they laughed. It was far too much for me. I left right in the middle of the service!

Yet, there was something that intrigued me about people who were truly engaged in worship. Truth be told, I knew the liturgy from front to back, and I would recite it without even thinking about it. These people seemed to actually be thinking about what they were both doing and saying. There was an authenticity that I had never seen. I was uncomfortable, but it drew me back. The next time I stayed for the entire service.

I never walked up to answer an altar call. But I did want any respectful person from my background would do. As the Lord began working in my life I began a migration from the very back pew, ever so slowly, up toward the front, one pew at a time. And then it happened. I realized that I was not only engaging in worship, I was lifting my hands, I was clapping, I was rejoicing. The Lord had slowly defrosted my life until I was on fire for the Lord. Worship and the lifting of my hands became as natural as reciting the liturgy.

And herein lies the problem. Anything we do that has meaning can lose its meaning as we do it. When I was on fire for the Lord I went back to my parents church, the church I grew up in. When I recited the liturgy I was deeply convicted. The words I recited without thinking about them were direct quotations from the Psalms and the Word of God. I had been reciting God’s Word without any thought, without any respect, without any meaning for years. Is it possible to raise my hands in the same way? Absolutely!

David gives us a powerful glimpse into the true meaning of raising our hands in worship. It is not simply something we do because others do it. It is something we are doing to express our devotion and commitment to the Lord. It is a personal expression of our spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the natural expression of a heart surrendered in love to the Lord. David cries,

  • “May the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.”

Every morning and evening the Burnt Offering was given upon the altar for the Nation of Israel. It was the offering of the covenant. It was a continually reminder that they were in covenant relationship with God through the sacrificial blood of the of offering. David looked upon his worship as a sacrifice. He lifted up his hands in surrender to the Lord as a living sacrifice. It was the most personal expression of worship and surrender that he could give. Paul echoes these words in his letter to the Romans.

  • “I urge you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice—holy, acceptable to God—which is your spiritual service.” Romans 12:1 TLV

Jesus Christ has become the final sacrifice for sins. His blood has sealed the covenant relationship with God and man through faith. We no longer have to offer a sacrifice in the morning and the evening as a sign of our covenant relationship with Him. However, we are called to offer our entire lives as a living sacrifice in service to Him. This is our spiritual worship. This is our high calling. The raising of our hands in worship reminds us of this important truth. It points to the only one who is worthy of our worship, and it represents our true surrender to the Lord by grace through faith.

Anything we do can lose its meaning if we are not careful. The reciting of the liturgy, praying a prayer, and even lifting our hands. We can begin to do things as a method more than a heart felt expression. Our prayers should be sincere and ignited with faith, just like the incense that was kept aflame before the Ark of the Covenant. And the raising of our hand should be with thought and purpose as we present our hearts, our souls, and our bodies to the Lord as a living sacrifice, daily surrendered to His will and His purpose.

Lord – “May my prayer be set before You like incense. May the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.”

In Jesus Name!

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VICTORY OVER SIN IS REALLY VERY PRACTICAL…

ROMANS 6:12-14: “Therefore do not let sin rule in your mortal body so that you obey its desires. And do not keep yielding your body parts to sin as tools of wickedness; but yield yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your body parts as tools of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” TLV

OBSERVATION: Am I walking daily in victory over sin and temptation? In the world we live in temptation is everywhere. There is a constant riptide pulling at every believer trying to lure them out into the depths of the sea of sin where they will be overcome and drown. Yet, there is victory in Jesus Christ, and it is experienced on both a spiritual level and a very practical level.

We tend to focus on the spiritual when we think about walking in victory over sin and temptation. Yet, this is not where we get tripped up. It is the little things that we ignore that usually snag us. That is why the writer of Hebrews exhorts us,

  • “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”. Hebrews 12:1 NKJV

Why do these weights and sins so easily trip us up? It is because we fail to understand the practical side of our daily victory over sin and temptation. What the Lord has done in our hearts through faith in Jesus Christ needs to be followed up with practical obedience. Paul states it very bluntly when he says,

  • “And do not keep yielding your body parts to sin as tools of wickedness; but yield yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your body parts as tools of righteousness to God.”

And Jesus put it this way in His teaching to His disciples,

  • “Woe to the world because of snares! For snares must come, but woe to that man through whom the snare comes! “And if your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away from you. It’s better for you to enter into life crippled or lame than, having two hands or two feet, to be thrown into fiery Gehenna. If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away from you. It’s better for you to enter into life with one eye than, having two eyes, to be thrown into fiery Gehenna.” Matthew 18:7-9 TLV

Jesus was speaking in hyperbole, a gross exaggeration to make a very practical point. Paul was speaking very bluntly. Yet both were saying the same thing. Victory is only experienced when we discipline and direct our eyes, our hands, and our feet in the direction of righteousness. If we do not change our activity and our patterns, we will not walk in daily victory over sin and temptation.

If I proclaim that I am going to lose weight, but I keep eating the foods that contribute to my weight problem, my confession does not match my actions. I can do this all day long and I will still struggle with a weight problem. I must bring my actions in harmony with my confession. But how do I do that?

It is not in my own power or strength, as that will only lead to greater frustration and failure. Yet, when I call upon the Lord, when I declare my desire to yield my entire life, body, soul, and spirit, in obedience – He meets me with His grace!

  • “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”

Before we were united with Christ all of our efforts were dependent upon our own strength and resolve. However, now that we have been crucified with Christ, dying to our old way of living, and rising with Christ to a new potential through grace, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit we can daily present our body, soul, and spirit in obedience unto life. When we take these practical steps of obedience, He meets us with grace to endure, grace to resist, and grace to overcome!

  • “For what was impossible for the Torah —since it was weakened on account of the flesh—God has done. Sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as a sin offering, He condemned sin in the flesh— so that the requirement of the Torah might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Ruach.” Romans 8:3-4 TLV

My victory over sin is very practical. It is aligning my emotional and physical life with my spiritual reality in Christ. What I allow to enter into my mind through my eyes, what I allow my hands to handle, where I allow my feet to take me, will determine my daily victory over sin and temptation. Through God’s grace I can choose to use my entire body as an instrument of righteousness. I can break all my old patterns through my victory in Jesus Christ!

Lord, thank you for the victory over sin and temptation through Jesus Christ my Lord. Help me to walk in this victory both in faith and practical obedience through the Holy Spirit. Grant me the grace today to present my eyes, my mind, my hands, and my feet to be used only for Your Glory. Meet me at the point of obedience with Your Great Grace!

In Jesus Name!

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WALKING IN FORGIVENESS TOWARD OTHERS…

PSALM 130:1-8: “Out of the depths I have cried to You, O LORD; Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive To the voice of my supplications. If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord More than those who watch for the morning— Yes, more than those who watch for the morning. O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is mercy, And with Him is abundant redemption. And He shall redeem Israel From all his iniquities.” NKJV

OBSERVATION: Am I keeping a record of others sins? This question may make more sense if stated a bit differently. Am I keeping a record of the times someone has hurt me, failed me, or disappointed me? If I answer yes in any way, I am counting the sins of others.

This Psalm of Ascent reminds us of the wonderful gift of God’s grace that has been extended to our lives.

  • “If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared.“

What would our life be like if the Lord had kept a record of all the sins and failures that we have had in our life? How would we approach Him if we knew that every time we failed He would say – “Here we go again.” We would cower in fear, we would live in shame, and we would hang our head in worship.

Yet, the Lord does not keep count of our iniquities. He removes them! He does not parole us, He fully pardons us. He forgives us and cleanses us of all unrighteousness. This is the wonderful power and promise of grace!

  • “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:8-9 NKJV
  • “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.” Psalms 103:11-12 NKJV

The Children of Israel knew their blighted history. They had recorded in the pages of Scripture all of the times they had rebelled against God, had failed to obey His commandments, and had worshipped other gods. As they traveled each year to celebrate the feasts in Jerusalem they would sing these Songs of Ascent to remind them of God’s great grace, and to prepare their hearts for worship. We could take a page from their playbook and do the same.

As we prepare our hearts each week for worship, we too need to remember God’s grace that has been poured out on our lives. If God kept a record of my iniquities then how could I come and stand before Him? I would be sentenced to a life of guilt and shame. Yet, He has not only forgiven me, He has washed both me and my record clean. I have been fully justified before Him through Jesus Christ my Lord!

If this is true in my life, if I enjoy this wonderful gift of grace, should I not extend it to others? Should I not forgive others as He has forgiven me? I may not be able to forget the things of the past. However, by God’s great grace I can choose to refuse to rehearse them in my mind, and to lay them at the foot of the cross. I can choose to respond to those who have hurt or offended me with the same power of mercy, grace, and forgiveness, that has been extended to me by the Lord!

  • “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:25-26 NKJV

If we walk in unforgiveness toward others, we will not experience the fullness of fellowship and the free flow of forgiveness from the Father. Sin and unforgiveness will hinder our fellowship with God. However, if we forgive others as we have been forgiven, we can lift our heads, our hands, and our heart to the Lord in worship, and we can extend our hands and our hearts to others in sincere love. Our fellowship with God and others will be enriched, and we will walk in a continual outpouring of God’s grace and mercy in our lives!

  • “My soul waits for the Lord More than those who watch for the morning— Yes, more than those who watch for the morning. O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is mercy, And with Him is abundant redemption. And He shall redeem Israel From all his iniquities.”

Lord, help me today to lay all of my sin at the foot of the Cross. Help me also to lay down all of my offenses against others. Cleanse me and renew me in Your grace and mercy. Help me to walk in love and forgiveness toward others as You daily walk in love and forgiveness toward me.

In Jesus Name!

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A WORD FOR THE CHURCH PLANTER WHO IS DISCOURAGED…

PSALM 126:1-6: “A Song of Ascents. When ADONAI restored the captives of Zion, it was as if we were dreaming. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with a song of joy. Then they said among the nations, “ ADONAI has done great things for them.” ADONAI has done great things for us —we are joyful! Restore us from captivity, ADONAI, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow in tears will reap with a song of joy. Whoever keeps going out weeping, carrying his bag of seed, will surely come back with a song of joy, carrying his sheaves.” TLV

OBSERVATION: Harvests in life are not automatic. They take courage, hard work, and perseverance – in the Lord. There is nothing that can teach this principle better than church planting.

This Song of Ascents recounts the heart of the children of Israel who were released from their captivity under King Cyrus of Persia. This ragged tagged team of Israelites were filled with joy unspeakable at the new opportunity that lay before them. How miraculous it was that the Lord had moved the heart of this Gentile King with favor toward God’s chosen people.

This is the same joy a church planting pastor has in his or her heart when God opens the door of opportunity to start a new church, gather together a new congregation, and believe the Lord for the impossible to happen. No church planter begins with thoughts of failure. Their world is filled with hopes, dreams, vision, and an ignited faith in God.

However, along the way this ignited faith is challenged. Rarely is it that these hopes, dreams, and visions are accomplished overnight, or without challenge and difficulty. There is an enemy in the desert that is waiting to prey upon each setback, each disappointment, each misunderstanding. When one member of the team leaves it feels like the world is coming to an end. Did we miss God’s voice? Are we really in the right place? We begin to question everything.

I have been involved in four church plantings in my life. Two that were successful, one that never got off the ground, and one that I assisted with but which did not last after the first pastoral change. In all of these endeavors I have experienced this roller coaster of faith, excitement, difficulty, disappointment, and despair. Yet, I have learned the secret of pressing through from these experiences and my failures. The key to successful church planting (or any endeavor in life) is not a seminar, it is not the perfect ministry team, it is perseverance through prayer!

  • “Those who sow in tears will reap with a song of joy. Whoever keeps going out weeping, carrying his bag of seed, will surely come back with a song of joy, carrying his sheaves.”

When we came to Weatherford, Texas to restart a church that had been closed, we did not know a soul. And we soon learned that no one wanted to be a part of this new work. We had sold our home, moved from San Antonio, and every hope of a remnant who would begin with us soon vanished. All of our hopes, dreams, vision, and faith was quickly challenged.

I never have worked as hard as I did to prepare for our initial launch on Easter Sunday in April of 2003. I walked neighborhoods, did mailers, set up a booth at the local trade days, prayed, and then prayed more. On Easter Sunday we had 35 people. It was far less than I had envisioned. And over the next few weeks it dwindled. One Sunday I thought it was only going to be my wife, my daughter, and myself. That Sunday there was a total of 7, including our family, and we sat around a table to have church. Had I missed the Lord?

I am now beginning my 15th year as Pastor of The Fellowship at Weatherford. In those years I have learned that nothing happens without sowing and weeping. We weep over the vision that God has given us. We weep during the times of setbacks and disappointments. We weep on our knees before the Lord crying out for His presence. And as we weep we also keep sowing. We never stop sowing. We keep reaching out. We keep preaching with all our heart. And we keep loving people and calling out God’s great potential in their lives.

We are not a large church, but we are a healthy, dynamic, and growing church. What once was just a handful of people has become a household of faith. It is the Lord’s doing. It is His harvest. When we sow and weep – He brings the harvest.

The children of Israel were coming back to a land that had lay dormant for decades. There was no harvest waiting for them. They would have to sow and wait a year for their first crop. And their first crop probably wasn’t a bumper crop. Yet, they new that if they sowed in tears they would reap in joy. God is the God of the harvest. His Word is filled with validations of the principle of sowing and reaping. If God has called us, the only way that we can fail is if we fail to sow, if we fail to pray, if we fail to weep. Weeping may endure for the night, but God is a God of joy in the morning.

So, to all the church planters in the trenches, I honor you! I encourage you to keep praying, keep weeping before the Lord, and never ever stop sowing. God has called you to sow. He has sent others to water. Yet, in all the sowing and watering with your prayers and your tears – remember – it is only God who brings the increase. And He will, in His way, in His time, and for His glory!

So be encouraged today. You are right where you are supposed to be. God has called you. The good work He has begun in you, He will bring it to pass. Don’t look at the desert. Expect God to bring streams in the Negev to usher in refreshing and to sustain you as you persevere. His promises are sure.

  • “Those who sow in tears will reap with a song of joy. Whoever keeps going out weeping, carrying his bag of seed, will surely come back with a song of joy, carrying his sheaves.”

In Jesus Name!

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PROMISE -or- ENTITLEMENT?

I SAMUEL 2:17-18 “Thus the sin of the young men was very great before ADONAI, for the men despised the offering of ADONAI. But Samuel was ministering before ADONAI, as a boy girded with a linen ephod.” TLV

OBSERVATION: Am I living my life like a son of privilege, or like a son of promise? One looks at life as an entitlement, the other as a gift and stewardship. There is a fine line between the two. The contrast of Eli’s sons and Samuel is a good example of the pitfalls of privilege and the power of promise.

Privilege focuses on one’s rights. It feels entitled to things without earning them. Privilege is often heard saying – “I deserve that!” We live in a culture of privilege. We feel entitled to things from our parents, our government, and even God. We take pride in our heritage and in our position in life. When we don’t receive something we cry out that it is not fair. Entitlement expects without any effort, and lacks appreciation when something is received. Eli’s sons were born into the privilege of the priesthood and they abused their position for their own personal gain.

Promise recognizes that what we have received is a gift from God. It was not earned, nor was it deserved. It was given freely and fully out of the grace and mercy of God. Therefore, with promise comes a sense of gratitude and stewardship. What is received is not taken for granted. It is truly appreciated, and it is both cared for and fully employed. And, since it was born of promise, it is never hoarded, but freely shared with others. Generosity is the cousin of promise. Samuel was born of promise to a woman who could not bare children. He was dedicated to the Lord’s service, and he served at the Sanctuary, not out of lineage or privilege, but out of promise.

How do we view our Christian life? Do we view it as a life of privilege or a life of promise? Many take a false comfort in their membership and position in a church, their level of education, or their family’s position and heritage. Yet, in the church, we are all born again of promise. None of us are children of God through privilege.

  • “But whoever did receive Him, those trusting in His name, to these He gave the right to become children of God. They were born not of a bloodline, nor of human desire, nor of man’s will, but of God.” John‬ ‭1:12-13‬ ‭TLV‬‬
  • “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all”. Romans‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

We are all children of promise. We are all children of faith. As the Apostle Paul proclaimed, there is nothing we have that we have that we not received as a gift from God through promise. If we have received it through promise, where then is the right to boast about it? And if we have received it through promise, where then is the right to feel entitled? The only response that we should have to the wonderful things that God has given us is gratitude and stewardship!

Gratitude gives thanks to the Lord for all things. Stewardship views all that has been given as a sacred trust to be used wisely and for the glory of the Lord. Everything that we have, even the air we breathe, is a gift of promise. We delude ourselves when we fall into privilege. We rob ourselves of the true joy of life when we feel that we are entitled.

A life of promise leads to honesty, integrity, hard work, and true joy. This is what we need once again in our lives, in our churches, and in our nation!

Lord, forgive me for the times when I have felt entitled and have failed to give You thanks. Help me to start this day by embracing Your promise and responding with gratitude and stewardship. May I use my time, my talents, and my possessions as a wise steward, and in such a way that it brings You glory, and helps to build up the Your Kingdom. Like Samuel, help me to fully employ all that You have given me, in faithful service and stewardship, as a child of promise.

In Jesus Name!

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THIS IS THE DAY!

PSALM 118:22-26: “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone. It is from ADONAI: it is marvelous in our eyes! This is the day that ADONAI has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it! Hoshia-na! Please, ADONAI, save now! We beseech You, ADONAI, prosper us! Baruch haba b’Shem ADONAI — Blessed is He who comes in the Name of ADONAI. We bless you from the House of ADONAI.” TLV

OBSERVATION: Is this the Day that the Lord has made? I can still remember singing that old chorus in church when I was feeling miserable. I was going through a prolonged trial in my life and thought, “If this is the day the Lord has made, I surely don’t want to encounter the one He hasn’t made!” How could I sing these words when it seemed my whole world was falling apart?

Living in faith is more about our perspective than it is about our immediate experience. If you read the end of Hebrews chapter 11 you find that not everyone experienced victory, but everyone received a good report for their faith. How can this be possible? Perspective!

Faith does not focus on the immediate. Faith focuses on the things that are hoped for, the things that are promised, and the things that are to come. In fact faith brings these things into the present as if they were, right now, even though they may still be in the future. When you read this Messianic Psalm you get a wonderful insight into this perspective.

The Psalmist was not just saying that everyday is the day that God has made. While this is true, this is not what he was writing about. And this is not the focus of his statement – “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” No, the Psalmist had his eyes fixed on a day that to him was still future, but to us has come to pass.

  • “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone. It is from ADONAI: it is marvelous in our eyes!”

This was written hundreds of years before it would be fulfilled in Jesus. Jesus came to His own, and His own received Him not. Yes, they cried Hosanna, but not with understanding. They expected Jesus to change their circumstances, but were not positioned for Him to change their hearts. And when He was crucified, rejected of men, they could only see defeat. Yet, in His death and resurrection, the Father has given JESUS a Name above all names. He has taken the rejected one and made Him the chief cornerstone of the redeemed. Jesus Christ is now both Lord and Christ!

This is the day that the Lord has made! This is the day that we are to rejoice and be glad in!

When we turn our eyes upon Jesus, everything else falls into perspective. Each day we can cry out – “Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” He comes daily to strengthen us, to heal us, to cleanse us, to forgive us. He comes to give us His wisdom. He comes to speak His word of life. He comes to fill us anew with the Holy Spirit. In the midst of the storm, He comes to say – “Peace be still!” Now, this is a day I can rejoice and be glad in!

And it even gets better. To those who have embraced Him as Lord and Savior, Jesus will come again to set up His eternal kingdom. The world in chaos will become the world of peace and order under the reign of the Cornerstone, the Lamb of God, the glorified Christ. And we will be there to proclaim – “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” He will create a new heaven and a new earth where death will be no more, and where His glory will shine as the sun. Faith looks toward this day, and it is in this perspective that we can proclaim every day,

  • “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!”

When I hear these words now, I rise up in faith. I no longer look at the day, I focus upon the DAY! I see what God has done, what He is doing now through Jesus Christ, and what He will do when He returns. Even my worst day is resurrected by my faith in Jesus Christ. He truly is greater in me than he that is in the world! Wherever Jesus is Lord the redeemed can truly proclaim,

  • “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!”

In Jesus Name!

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