God’s Mighty Acts Should Provoke Praise from Us

God’s Mighty Acts Should Provoke Praise from Us

Whenever we witness the great and mighty acts of God, it should activate us to praise and worship Him spontaneously!  Am I exaggerating?  Absolutely not!

In the Bible, Jesus instructed people who received wondrous miracles—after they had rejoiced and praised God—to go and spread the good news about Him to other people.  But FIRST, every single person erupted in praise and thanksgiving.

And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.  (Lk 13:17 NKJV)  This passage says that the multitude rejoiced!  That means that a great crowd of people were happily praising and thanking God.  And you’d better believe that they eventually told everyone all about it!

However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.”  (Mk 5:19 NKJV)
Here we see Jesus again telling the man who received the blessing to go and tell everyone he knew about God’s love, mercy and goodness to him.  This is another form of praise and thanksgiving!

But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these [disciples, crowd of people] become silent, the stones will cry out!”  (Lk 19:40 NASB)
Jesus is telling the Pharisees, who criticized the praise that He was receiving, that He not only accepted the worship from them, but that it was reasonable and justifiable for the people to act that way.  (See Lk 19:37-38, 39)

For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam from the timbers will answer it.  (Hab 2:11 NKJV)
So often in the Bible, inanimate objects take the role of a witness to events.  When we refer back to Jesus’ comment in Luke 19:40, we see that Jesus testifies to the fact that if the people remained silent, the very STONES would cry out in praise and worship of Him! 

Wow!  That’s pretty impressive.

Don’t let inanimate objects upstage you!  When the Lord performs miracles for you or around you or for your friends and loved ones, burst forth into praise, rejoicing, and thanksgiving.  Let your voice be heard in adoration and thanksgiving to the Living God.  God bless you.

Be Law Abiding & Given to Good Works

<strong>Be Law Abiding & Given to Good Works</strong>

We are instructed by the Bible to live law-abiding lives and to perform good works to the glory of God.  Let’s look at what the Scriptures say:

My son, fear both the Lord and the king, and don’t keep company with rebels.  (Pro 24:21 ISV)

Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and give to God the things that are God’s.”  (Mt 22:21 NCV)

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.  (Rom 13:1 NIV)

He gave himself to rescue us from everything evil and to make our hearts pure. He wanted us to be his own people and to be eager to do right.  (Tit 2:14 CEV)

Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work . . . (Tit 3:1 NKJV)

Clearly, as believers, we must live in two different realms.  We live in this carnal world, which is very much opposed to the plans and purposes of God.  Simultaneously, we are citizens of a heavenly kingdom with Christ as our Lord and King. 

We’re called to represent Christ in the midst of this sinful and pain-filled society without allowing ourselves to become contaminated by it.  The only way that we can succeed is by obeying the Word of God; and by following the leading of the Holy Spirit as He counsels and leads us, individually.

By living holy lives and being valuable, law-abiding citizens, we prevent the gospel of Jesus Christ from being slandered and vilified. 

By living in peace and harmony with our neighbors, and importantly with other believers, we demonstrate our good works in:

  • being courteous to all;
  • doing good works within a civic framework as well as within a spiritual framework; and
  • submitting to our governing authorities.

These points are achieved practically in being honest in business; paying our taxes; being good neighbors; conducting ourselves in an orderly way; and obeying the laws of the land.  In conducting ourselves along these guidelines, we fulfill the Scripture that says:

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.  (Mt 10:16 KJV)  We are being wise and harmless!  Glory to God most high!

Two Important Instructions

Two Important Instructions

We are instructed by God’s Word to do two central things: 

(1)  do good deeds, and

(2) to search for and practice being at peace with all people.

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.  (Ps 34:14 NIV)  Turn away from evil (in thought, word, and deed).  Do good to others and look for (and chase after) inspired ways to be at peace with all people.

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord . . .  (Heb 12:14)  Follow peace, and practice peace—as well as living a righteous life; for without these things, no man will see the Lord.

Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.  (1 Pet 3:11)

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.  (Gal 6:10)  We are told to do good to all, especially our brothers and sisters in the faith.

This is not as easy as it may sound!  “DO GOOD TO ALL” does not give the impression of being difficult, right?  However, when you think about “doing good” to people you don’t particularly like, to a malicious co-worker, to a mean store clerk, or to those who are unappealing and unpleasant, then the challenge comes much more clearly into focus. 

The Lord also wants us to be at peace with these kinds of people:  all who are obnoxious and unlovable. 

We were created in the image of God (Gen 1:27), and God loves each and every human being.  He wants all people to be saved.  (2 Pet 3:9)  People are won over to Christ and to the gospel of salvation through our lives and through our testimonies.  They are also won over by our kindnesses and our good deeds. They are persuaded by our actions to those who are unlovely.

Following Christ’s example will bring forth eternal fruit for the Kingdom of God.

God’s Counsels

God’s Counsels

Our Lord has given us His counsel and wisdom through His Holy Word.  We can’t enjoy these benefits of salvation if we don’t pay attention to the Bible and obey it.

O Lord, You are my God.  I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, for You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.  (Isa 25:1, emphasis added)

So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, to walk in their own counsels.  13 “Oh, that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways!  (Ps 81:12-13)

So that your trust may be in the Lord; I have instructed you today, even you.  20 Have I not written to you excellent things, of counsels and knowledge, 21 that I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you may answer words of truth to those who send to you?  (Pro 22:19-21, underscoring added)

It’s a dangerous thing when man is permitted to walk in his own counsels, according to Psalm 81:12-13, above.  Counsels means advice, guidance, assistance, direction or warning. 

God’s counsels are blessings in our lives, and we need to recognize this truth.  We need to hunger and thirst for His counsels. 

The Bible says that God’s counsels are faithfulness and truth. (Isa 25:1)   What beautiful and blessed encouragements that the Lord, our God, bestows upon His people!

Faithfulness means truthfulness, reliability, loyalty, and commitment.  Truth means reality, integrity, and honesty.  What precious blessings these qualities are to all believers who pursue them and desire them! 

Only as we obey the Word and fill our hearts with passages from the Bible will we come to know and understand the counsels of God.  As we memorize and meditate upon the Word of God, our faith will be strengthened and we will grow in wisdom.  We will become qualified to answer with words of truth when people question us about our faith, or about the Bible.

As we honor and obey God’s word, by diligent search and study of God’s Word, we will sow God’s precious counsels into our own lives and hearts.  And the longer we walk with and serve the Lord, the more evidence we will see of this taking place in our lives.  And we will grow in wisdom, mercy, and understanding.  God bless you!