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Encourage0gram March 23.2020

Posted by Pastor Rick John on

Encourage0gram
March 23, 2020
 
May God make His face (blessings) shine upon YOU,
 
As we continue down this unchartered path of the coronavirus pandemic, I am thankful for each of you. I see the Gracious Hands of God working!  I see the power of God revealed in our weakness.  I see the truth of God prevailing over lies and deception.  It is my prayer that in some small way these brief devotional thoughts are helping YOU.
 
ESV Psalm 123:1
A Song of Ascents.
To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us.
 
This is a worship song (song of Ascents) that was sung as pilgrims approached Jerusalem. It contains a very simple picture of worship.
 
In verse 1, a statement of focus.  To you I lift my eyes. Here the worshipper is intent on seeing above the struggles of life on earth. He looks into the heavens to see the LORD. Too often I set my eyes downward.  I can only see troubles and heartaches around me.  As he looks up, He sees God on His throne!  Yes! He sees the Lord high and lifted us as Isaiah did! (See Isaiah 6).  He reigns forever.  He is Lord of all!  He sees all and He knows all!  He sustains the universe by His powerful word (Hebrews 1:1-3). What a blessing to meditate on who God is!  I have never seen anyone on a throne, but I can see with eyes of faith that Jesus is on the throne (see Psalm 2, 110).  He is seated at the right hand (place of equality) of the Father.  He is now interceding for us at this place (Hebrews 7:25).  Oh, the peace that floods my soul with this view of heaven.
 
Verse 2 describes his response to the Lord on His throne in heaven.  He will concentrate on the LORD for guidance. His eyes are fixed on the One who gives guidance and commands to his servants. The intent is to follow his hand signals!  When God speaks from His throne, the psalmist is ready to carry out the mission. His deepest request is for God’s mercy!  Yes, the most powerful One in the universe is willing to show us His mercy.  Oh, how we are grateful that His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-24).
 
We need mercy in this world today!  Let us seek the Lord confident that His mercy will be revealed to us. These are difficult days over the entire world.  Too many are looking with panic on earth for solutions.  Look Up!  Look into the throne room of heaven!  Our God is both willing and able to show you mercy!  Once you know His mercy, share it with others!
 
ESV Micah 6:8
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
 
Let me recommend to you a couple resources for your quarantine season that are free:
 

  1. On our website we have a link to rightnowmedia. This is valuable resource with adult and children’s’ resources. 
  2. I implore you to seek out the teaching of Robert Morgan’s book “The Red Sea Rules.”  The subscription says: “10 God-given strategies for difficult times.”  You can find all this information on the grace101 link.  The lessons from this book are under the Crisis 101 link on that website.
  3. The folks at revelationmedia.com/watchpiligrims/RM17267/ produced a cartoon version of The Pilgrim’s Progress. They graciously have made this available for free through the end of April.  I encourage you to check it out. John Bunyan wrote this allegory while he was in prison for preaching the gospel.  In my opinion it gives us an honest look at our lives as followers of Jesus. It is valuable for adults as well as children. 

 
Until tomorrow, keep your eyes on Jesus and be encouraged!
 
Pastor Rick

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