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Psalm 1 is both a challenge and a blessing. It blesses because it promises stability and fruitfulness in our lives. Psalm 1 also challenges me personally because often I want to be recognized or sit in the seat of the scoffers among us rather than find satisfaction in God's Word. This is quite a challenge for a young lawyer like me who can often delight more in what he knows about the law rather than just delighting the the law of the Lord. Although most Christians I know are perhaps too dismissive about our legal system, I try to see it as a profession within which I can serve God. Keeping my priorities straight is the problem.

Don't know exactly where this fits in with the daily readings. It most likely fits in with Psalm 1

"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand (inactive) in the path of sinners, or sit in the seat of scoffers.

But his delight is in the Law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.

That man [person] will be like a tree planted by streams of [living] water which yields its fruit IN SEASON and whose leaves NEVER WITHER."
~~~

Hebrews 11 (Amplified)
1
NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for,
being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].

DEFINITION: title deed

source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/title+deed

title deed - a legal document proving a person's right to property

deed of conveyance, deed, title – a legal document signed and sealed and delivered to effect a transfer of property and to show the legal right to possess it; "he signed the deed"; "he kept the title to his car in the glove compartment"

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Title_deed (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

A deed is a legal instrument used to grant a right. The deed is best known as the method of transferring title to real estate from one person to another.

Historically under common law, for an instrument to be a valid deed it needed five things:
1.
It must indicate that the instrument itself [I.E., DEED] conveys some privilege or thing to someone. This is indicated by using the word "hereby" or the phrase "by these presents" in the sentence indicating the gift.
2.
THE GRANTOR MUST HAVE THE LEGAL ABILITY TO GRANT
the thing or privilege.
3.
THE PERSON RECEIVING the privilege or thing MUST HAVE THE LEGAL CAPACITY TO RECEIVE it.
4.
A seal must be affixed to it.
5.
IT MUST BE DELIVERD TO AND ACCEPTED by the recipient.

Conditions attached to the acceptance of a deed are known as COVENANTS.

Hebrews 11:1 (Amplified): “NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for…”

KEY INSIGHT:
* God's Word is title deed, guaranteeing God's will to me in writing
* Jesus has the LEGAL ABILITY to grant these privileges as He became a man-- the Perfect Man.

As such--as a man, a human--He is able to give to you and I--as people--the promises of God's written will.

Also, Jesus paid the price of the debt I owe, so He can give me the GIFT of God's will written in writing-- which I can then experience in my life.

* Jesus gave me the legal capacity to receive God's will by making it possible for me to be right with God through the Lord Jesus' death, burial and resurrection.

Jesus gave me the legal capacity to receive God's will by making me a new creation as I trust in Him and His work for me by faith

* Jesus sealed the ratification of God's promises by blood covenant: He took on my sin and death, and He gave me His righteousness.

The Holy Spirit is the seal--the down payment and guarantee--of God accomplishing His will in my life.

* All of this will mean nothing to me if I do not receive and accept what God has done by faith in Jesus and His work and Word.

*
My words are intertwined with my heart.
*
My words reflect what is in my heart
*
I will be judged by my words
* Place good treasure of God’s Word in my heart (meditate)
* Choose to speak (meditate) words:
- that come from good treasure of God's Word
- that plant more of good treasure in my heart

Vance


Without sounding like a heretic, I believe some people should read the Bible a little less and 'do it a lot more'. I know some 'Chrisitans' who have such a big Bible head, but they are so far from being like Jesus in the basic stuff of godly character as outlined in the fruit of the Spirit. Pharisees probably meditated day and night on the law but they must have missed something in God's directives to them, since they became oppressive to the people with all their interpretations and regulations.
I know Jesus didn't say, "you are blessed if you know more." He said, "Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." I know from my personal experience with the person I know best---ME---that I know far more about the Bible than I need to know. The knowledge of God needs to lead to obedience and love for God and people. If it doesn't I have missed the mark. And to be sure, I have missed it.
I am working at putting into practice some of the most basic practices of what our Lord Jesus modeled for us and taught us. Having a lot of information from the Scriptures has not prevented me from sinning in thought, word and deed. It's only when I choose to 'run in the path of His commands that I have been set free.' Interesting that the last verse of Psalm 119 (a chapter all about the Bible) closes this way, "I have gone astray like a lost sheep, Seek your servant'. Even the people who know the Bible alot fall hard, but what's important is that they know that our faith is not about us doing something for God but letting God do something for us.

I enjoyed reading Bob's commentary on The Psalms.
My late husband and I loved reading together at least one or two psalms daily. It was the last book I read to him before he passed on to a new life, a book I've passed on to my daughter to read and keep.

Truly, The Psalms are poetry at their BEST. I completely agree with Bob.
They are expressions of man's deepest thoughts and feelings, they cut right through our very core...Our ability to genuinely express the deepest of ourselves is what makes us truly human, it unites to the Supreme Being: core to Core, being for Being... What better way to worship than to feel one with Him!

Bob also mentions Deitrich Bonhoeffer. I must have mentioned one of his famous books (a while back) that was also written while he was in prison, " A Reason to Live, A Reason to Die" ---a must read for everyone.

Enjoy the celebration of our Freedom. God bless America and all the peoples who enjoy freedom!!!

Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark. (Genesis 8:8-9 KJV)

The dove and symbols of a dove represent the Holy Spirit. After the flood, Noah sent forth a dove. Unlike the raven, Noah had sent out previously, the dove found no place to alight; yet the raven flew “back and forth” until the waters had dried from the earth (Gen. 8:7). The raven also feeds on carrion, feeding on death, the dove feeds on life. As I read through this section and of the Old Testament, I took a step back and looked at the big picture, David, Solomon—the two Josiah’s, Hezekiah all may have strived to be “good,” but not one was good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (Psalms 14:2-3 KJV)

I am always amazed how multifaceted the Bible is. When we think we “Got It,” something new is uncovered. Here we have evidence that no man or woman is righteous. No matter how good we try to be, no matter how much we have a heart after God it it ain’t all about Jesus it is nothing, we are clothed in nothing but filthy rags in what we present to God as righteousness. Generation after generation tried and all failed, but then Jesus came …

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2 KJV).

We can look at Noah, Jacob, Joseph Moses, Daniel, all the kings and prophets; some delivered messages of redemption, some were chosen by God to deliver words of judgment, some did wonderful things for God and many turned their backs and brought in their own religion, but none were Jesus, even though they are listed in Hebrews 11. The only one the Holy Sprit came upon and dwelt in and on was Jesus. Everyone else the Holy Spirit came and left, but Jesus ….

Today our righteousness is not from anything we do or say, it is because we, all those who have called on the name of Jesus, are seen by God through the lens of Jesus, He and He alone is the lens that God uses to see us. It ain’t about us, it is all about Him.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Vance -- God had me look up the exact same thing about the title deed about 6-8 months ago. It's amazing all that God has to say about it!

Thanks for bringing it to my remembrance.

2Kings22-23

They had Lost the Book?????

Not having read this part of the Bible before I was shocked. I knew there had been idolatrous worship, but no idea that it went as far as the temple confines. None of the feasts celebrated as proscribed, Baal, Asherah, temple prostitutes, the book of the Law (2Kings22:8 Hebrew - "Torah") kicked into a corner somewhere. How does this happen?

The priest calls it the Book of Torah, Shaphan calls it a "book".

Perhaps it starts with the family. Maybe the parents are too tired at night to go over the Scripture with their children - soon their are generations of the common people with a vague (if any) memory of the "Word".

Perhaps the rules just became too much for the family. Sacrifice this, stone that, give money, worship only here, follow only one God - the God of Israel, etc. Acch! there must be a simpler way.

Maybe, Maybe, we can just follow the basic tenets of the "Word". I mean we get the picture. That should be enough to please God. We don't really have to take the Law to heart, meditate on it, go to sleep with it, wake up with it - I mean WE are the chosen people. We get the idea.

Meanwhile, as time passes - the memory fades, and lines get blurred with time. What harm would it do to worship a few other gods? It looks like fun, the little idols in the house are cute, we cover a few bases, it really isn't that big a deal. Afterall "Baal" means "Lord" - it is kind of the same thing - right?

But what about the priests? Surely they will keep the "Word". The priests would do all the things God proscribed? That is their job right?

Maybe attendance was down. Maybe offerings were off. Maybe the priests tried to figure out a way to get people back to the temple. What do the people want? What will bring them back in to hear the "Word".

I know, we can bring some of the other gods into the outer courts and let them be worshipped in that place. Do a little redecorating, maybe liven up the worship, temple prostitutes seem to be a big drawing card. What can it hurt if it gets people through the doors? We can always preach the "Word" when we get them in the right mood. The important thing is the people respond when we give them what they want? What can it hurt to shake things up a bit?

Over time, the idol(s) worship becomes the big drawing card - the money maker - and eventually the "Torah" gets kicked into a corner somewhere. Too strict, too technical, no fun, doesn't appeal to the people, etc. We can always come back to the "Torah" if need be.

[Time passes] Have you seen the "Book" anywhere? Anyone? Where is that thing....

AAACHHH! No wonder the prophets went out to live in the hills and away from the Big City!
======================================================

I keep reading that their was a big revival in Israel. Their king repented and had a soft heart - did the people?

Apparently not. Oh, they said all the right words, probably went to worship, and showed up at the newly revived Passover feast. But had they really turned back to God and repented of their ways? Not according to Jeremiah.

Nevertheless, not long after his reign Judah was severely judged by the Lord. This shows that despite all Josiah’s efforts, there was an outward conformity among the people of Judah, yet their hearts were not really turned towards the Lord. “They pretended and professed to do so; but the most of them dissembled and dealt deceitfully, not turning to God with their whole hearts, as good Jeremiah complaineth.” (Trapp)

Jeremiah ministered in the days of Josiah, and his message to the people of Israel shows this. Through Jeremiah, God promised that if the people genuinely turned to Him that they would dwell in the land securely (Jeremiah 7:5-7). Nevertheless, God looked at the people of Judah and said: Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but in pretense. (Jeremiah 3:10) - David Guzik

We'll never know if the nation would have been spared had they truly repented and turned back to God. But apparently they did not and Babylon is looming around the corner.

So the revival was just a lot of smoke and mirrors by the people? People showed up got inspired by their king, and got swept up to declaring the covenant again - declaring their belief. Meanwhile holding something back, not really repenting, not turning with their hearts back to God.

Yet there will always be a "remnant". Because He is a faithful God who will complete His works.

Note: I wonder if the man-made revivals of today are any different?

To John--
We can legislate behavior but we cannot legislate the heart. Israel and Judah became the cursed fig tree (Mat. 21:19-20), all leaves but no fruit giving off the appearance of righteousness hiding the lack of fruit with a lot of leaves.

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