Richard Wurmbrand and his wife Sabina founded Voice of the Martyrs. Both were horridly misused and abused in Romanian Communist prisons for proclaiming the Gospel. If you haven’t read his book Tortured For Christ, I highly recommend it. Richard once said the Bible tells us not to fear 366 times; one for each day of the year. Maybe God doesn’t want us afraid??? Whole books have been written about the following Psalms, so I’ll just share some insights I’ve gleaned, starting with Psalm 23-one of the most beloved Psalms-He is our Shepherd:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
I have everything I need; every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of Lights through Christ Jesus.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He doesn’t want us to be restless and stressed, so Father God leads us to rest, stills and refreshes our souls.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
In God alone can my soul be restored; it’s for His sake that He leads us in the paths of righteousness; we don’t/can’t find them ourselves.
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.
It’s only a shadow; those in Christ will never taste death. I do not have to fear because He is ALWAYS with me; His rod corrects me and His staff rescues me which brings me comfort.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Our good, good Father in Heaven prepares a banquet for us even with our enemies surrounding us; the oil soothes us and wipes out the little niggling things that try to cling to our head (mind). He bountifully provides more than enough so we can minister to others with the overflow.
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.
Remember, He is always with us. His goodness and mercy truly follow us all the time! The reward for choosing to trust Him is dwelling in His house forever, taken care of for eternity!
Psalm 91, also known as The Soldier’s Psalm (I have been sharing it with you as I go through it with Peggy Joyce Ruth so I won’t include it here)
Let’s end with Psalm 139:
O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.
Verses 19-22 describe the evil, blood-thirsty men David wants to hate because they blaspheme God (I won’t include it here), then David writes:
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
Next week I’ll resume sharing my Psalm 91 lessons with you.
These days when many false ideas are running rampant, I thought I’d turn to the Psalms for a little grounding in the truth. Join me as I pause to ponder the wonders in Psalm 104:
Oh, Praise to the Sovereign Lord for His Creation and Providence
Psalm 104: Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, You are very great:
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
2 Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment,
Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain.
3 He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters,
Who makes the clouds His chariot,
Who walks on the wings of the wind,
4 Who makes His angels spirits,
His [a]ministers a flame of fire.
5 You who [b]laid the foundations of the earth,
So that it should not be moved forever,
6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
The waters stood above the mountains.
7 At Your rebuke they fled;
At the voice of Your thunder they hastened away.
8 [c]They went up over the mountains;
They went down into the valleys,
To the place which You founded for them.
9 You have set a boundary that they may not pass over,
That they may not return to cover the earth.
10 He sends the springs into the valleys;
They flow among the hills.
11 They give drink to every beast of the field;
The wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 By them the birds of the heavens have their home;
They sing among the branches.
13 He waters the hills from His upper chambers;
The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works.
14 He causes the grass to grow for the cattle,
And vegetation for the service of man,
That he may bring forth food from the earth,
15 And wine that makes glad the heart of man,
Oil to make his face shine,
And bread which strengthens man’s heart.
16 The trees of the Lord are full of sap,
The cedars of Lebanon which He planted,
17 Where the birds make their nests;
The stork has her home in the fir trees.
18 The high hills are for the wild goats;
The cliffs are a refuge for the rock[d] badgers.
19 He appointed the moon for seasons;
The sun knows its going down.
20 You make darkness, and it is night,
In which all the beasts of the forest creep about.
21 The young lions roar after their prey,
And seek their food from God.
22 When the sun rises, they gather together
And lie down in their dens.
23 Man goes out to his work
And to his labor until the evening.
24 O Lord, how manifold are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all.
The earth is full of Your possessions—
27 These all wait for You,
That You may give them their food in due season.
28 What You give them they gather in;
You open Your hand, they are filled with good.
29 You hide Your face, they are troubled;
You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
30 You send forth Your Spirit, they are created;
And You renew the face of the earth.
31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
May the Lord rejoice in His works.
32 He looks on the earth, and it trembles;
He touches the hills, and they smoke.
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
34 May my meditation be sweet to Him;
I will be glad in the Lord.
35 May sinners be consumed from the earth,
And the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord!
O, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing…
Revelation 5:11,12 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice; “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!
Written by Charles Wesley in 1739, this is another of my favorite hymns. What a blessing we can sing the hymns the Spirit inspired so long ago. Truly, none of us can sing enough praise and thanksgiving to our Lord and Savior; at least not THIS side of Heaven!
1.O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace!
2. Jesus the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
‘Tis life, and health, and peace.
3. He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean;
His blood availed for me.
4. Hear Him, ye deaf; His praise, ye dumb,
Your loosened tongues employ;
Ye blind, behold your Savior come,
And leap, ye lame for joy.
5. My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of Thy name.
Lesson 8 in my Psalm 91 study:
Psalm 91:6b You will not be afraid of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
The fourth category of evil is destruction, “the evils over which man has no control”, commonly called ‘Acts of God’. “these natural disaster are not coming from God.” says Peggy Ruth Joyce. Note Mark 4:39 where Jesus rebukes the storm…Jesus would never have rebuked something sent from Father God!
It was God’s plan to provide protection to us before we were ever born. Every extreme evil known to man will fall into one of the four categories named in verses 5 -6. God has offered us deliverance in Christ Jesus. Through Him, we can dwell in the secret place, activating God’s protection by following the instructions in the first two verses. In light of the mighty storms that have come lately, I know we will hear many testimonies of God’s saving grace if we listen closely! Let me know if you’ve heard any as well as if YOU yourself have anything to share about the Father’s saving power.
Welcome again my faithful followers of my posts! Today I will complete my list of the 3:16 verses in the Bible, beginning with:
Hebrews 3:16 (v. 15: Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion) 16. For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses?
James 3:16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.
1 Peter 3:16 (always be ready to give a defense) having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.
2 Peter 3:16 (our beloved brother Paul) also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
1 John 3:16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also aught to lay down our lives for the brethren.
Revelation 3:16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
THIS is what I take away from today’s Scriptures: don’t harden your heart, don’t envy others, conduct yourself well to the shame of those who defame your Christian witness, study well so you won’t twist Scripture and destroy yourself or others. Lastly, lay down your life for Christ and love others like He did. Don’t be lukewarm, but humbly repent and follow hard after Jesus Christ!
Here’s week 7 in my study of Psalm 91:
Psalm 91:6a “You will not be afraid of the pestilence that stalks in darkness.”
Peggy Joyce Ruth reminds us that we defined pestilence in lesson three, verse 3 of Psalm 91 as any lethal disease that attacks the body; attaches to the body with intent to destroy. Again, we have a choice to believe the enemy of our soul that comes to lie, kill and destroy, or God who promises to be there for us, giving life more abundantly. (did you notice pestilence is the only evil God mentions twice; v. 3 and v. 6 – must be important not to fear this!) To do this, we need to stand on His Word and on the promises included in the previous verses of this Psalm. Peggy talks about taking thoughts of evil & fear captive and says: “‘I am just not going there‘ is a very powerful statement. It dispels those thoughts immediately!”
Again, I say: “Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”. This morning I heard Sid Roth interviewing Mary Hasz on It’s Supernatural, who was healed of a rare form of muscular dystrophy as a teenager, but it returned when she was in her 30’s. Holy Spirit led her to John 10:10 (Please look this up if you don’t know it) pointing out that God does not have a storehouse in Heaven with disease in it so He did not send it down to her. She had believed and agreed with a lie from the enemy and he put the disease on her. When Mary stood up and took back what he had stolen using the Word of God, she took back her healing. What is your choice? Choose this day whom you will serve: God Almighty or the enemy of your soul? I encourage you to speak life and live in the fullness of what was bought for you through Christ as stated in 1 John 3:16 (see Scriptures above).
Here’s a bit of light shining from Heaven on our journey:
Again, welcome dear readers as I start on the 3:16 verses in the New Testament of the Bible:
Matthew 3:16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him and he (John) saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.
Mark 3:16 Jesus gives Simon the name Peter (Rock).
Luke 3:16 John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Our Flagship verse, John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Acts 3:16 (paralytic healed) And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him (Jesus) has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
Romans 3:16 in the midst of the list of unrighteousness; There is NONE righteous, no not one…
1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
2 Corinthians 3:16 (a veil over Jewish eyes when Moses is read) Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
Ephesians 3:16 That He Christ) would grant you, according to the riches of His glory to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man…
Philippians 3:16 Never the less, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. (walking in the way of the Lord toward the upward call of God in Christ Jesus)
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…
Hope you like the photos I included; I wanted to break up the verses a bit! We’re half way through the New Testament 3:16’s so I’ll save the last 6 for next week.
Here’s this week’s lesson in my Psalm 91 study, week 6:
Psalm 91:5b You will not be afraid of…the arrow that flies by day…
This is the second category of evil: it covers the spiritual battle ground. These are enemy assignments sent to wound us with attacks on our mind, will, emotions, physical body or Spirit. The enemy looks for places we are weak to attack – like rebellion, fear, offense, anger, unforgiveness. God really means it when He says to forgive others as He forgives us and ‘Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one’. We need to realize we have a choice; we don’t have to give in to the attacks that come our way if we quickly remind the devil our old nature is gone, we’re new creatures with Christ in us. Peggy Joyce Ruth says: “The Fear of bad things happening to us has to be dealt with because fear opens DOORS!” -to the enemy.
I pray you stand firm in God’s promises and make good use of God’s Spiritual Armor outlined in Ephesians 6. Amen
Lately, Proverbs 3:16 has been quoted often:
Length of days is in her (Wisdom’s) right hand, in her left hand are riches and honor.
Most of us know the first verse of the Bible I remember memorizing:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Well, I decided to see what the 3:16’s in the other books of the Bible had to say. I immediately found not all of them have a 3:16, but this is what I have found, starting with the Old Testament:
Genesis 3:16 God told the woman about the pain and sorrow in childbirth she’d now experience and that her husband will rule over her; the curse brought on by sin.
Exodus 3:16 God sends Moses to the Israelites to let them know He has heard their cry and will bring them out of the affliction of Egypt into the land of Canaan.
Leviticus 3:16 tells of the burnt offering being a sweet aroma to the Lord.
Numbers 3:16 Moses numbered the people according to the word of the Lord as he was commanded.
Deuteronomy 3:16 describes the land borders allotted to the tribes of Reuben and Gad in the new land and Joshua 3:16 the waters of the Jordan being cut off for the Israelites to cross over, led by Joshua .
Judges 3:16 Ehud makes himself a dagger and fastens it under his clothes to kill the wicked king of Moab to free the Israelites.
1 Samuel 3:16 Eli called Samuel to him in the morning to see what the Lord had said to him. 1 Kings 3:16 begins with the two women who were harlots, the first show of Solomon’s Godly wisdom.
2 Kings is in the midst of Moab rebelling against Israel, while 1 Chronicles 3:15 is in the middle of listing the lineage of Solomon. 2 Chronicles 3:15 is in the midst of the account of the building of Solomon’s temple, Nehemiah 3:15 in the midst of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem as the Israelites are coming out of captivity.
Job 3:16 Job asks why he wasn’t hidden like a stillborn child who never saw the light, Ecclesiastes 3:16 Solomon saw under the sun wickedness in place of judgement, iniquity in place of righteousness and Isaiah 3:16 is just shy of being the shortest verse: “Moreover the Lord says:”…
Jeremiah 3:16 is in the midst of a call to repentance, while Ezekiel 3:16 begins the prophet’s call as a watchman for the house of Israel. Daniel 3: 16 Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego are about to be thrown into the fiery furnace and Nahum 3:16 tells of the woes God is sending to Nineveh. Habakkuk 3:16 prefaces the “Hymn of Faith” Tho’ the fig tree fails to blossom and no fruit be on the vine… Zephaniah 3:16 “In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear Zion, let not your hands be weak.” – for the Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One will save.
Praise and thanks be to God! the Old Testament finishes out with hope:
Malachi 3:16: Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name. In other words, in these verses we are shown our need for the Savior and God’s plan to send the Savior,which comes out of His love for His creation.
I end with this week’s part of my Psalm 91 study:
Psalm 91:5a You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
This promise of protection covers us from every evil known to man. Violence is committed in order to frighten and/or to achieve power. If we choose to trust God’s promises in verses 1-4, we can wield the power of faith to overcome all the power of all fear from the enemy included in “terror by night”. Peggy Joyce says: “Faith is just the choice to receive what Jesus has already done. Fear comes when we think we are responsible for bringing about this protection ourselves; it’s the opposite of faith.” Our part is to believe God’s truth is stronger than the fear and speak out His promises of protection.