I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread. Psalm 37:25
Hello Faithful Readers: After a three month hiatus, I am finally back to putting my thoughts and words on paper. I do hope you have missed my monthly encouragements that hopefully have helped you through past struggles. My prayer is that my words will once again point you to our loving Saviour. So with no further ado here is a woman’s point of view along with Ted’s articles bringing forward a man’s point of view. Kind of like left brain/right brain interaction. Being a woman, mine of course is the right. Enjoy, Syb.
Did you know that the last five Psalms begin and end with “Praise the Lord”? Throughout they tell us how to praise God through – His powerful acts, mighty heavens, surpassing greatness, with trumpets, harps, lyre, stringed instruments, timbrel, pipe, cymbals, singing and even through dancing.
In many ways this last year has been a difficult one for me with the loss of my daughter, my hip operation and further health problems. I confess at times praising the Lord has not been in my thoughts or on my tongue. However God sent many encouraging times to counter all the negatives, like going to California for one of my grandson’s weddings before taking a Mediterranean cruise in the fall to celebrate my youngest sons 30th anniversary. At those times praising the Lord came easily to my lips.
I actually began writing this article by making two lists. One list on all the negative happenings in my life this past year, and another list of all the positive things . . . I scrapped them both! Who wants to read long lists of someone’s life when they probably have lists of their own? I figured this would depress more than uplift my readers. After all, my writing is suppose to point you to the Encourager not the discourager … and even less to me. I decided to begin my first EncouraGem of 2016 by praising the Lord for His love, goodness, and saving grace in my life. I want to show you why Jesus is the One and only true God ahead of any other god of this world.
One of my blessings was when my son Robert installed a Bible App on my iPhone. Now I always have scripture right at my fingertips which is a wonderful tool. I can listen to the audio section of this App at night allowing me to leave my problems with Jesus. I learn so much about how to solve my everyday problems from reading and listening to the Bible.
Have you ever wondered why some people (like me for instance) believe that Jesus is the One and only true God? You might be ticked off further when I tell you I know with certainty I will go straight to heaven when I die? I’m sure many of you think I am delusional or to put it politely, a brick short of a load!
In today’s world, not many own a Bible let alone know about its freeing powerful words. Usually opposite to what the world and the media are telling you. And those who do own one, often it’s gathering dust on a shelf somewhere . . . “out of sight out of mind”.
Perhaps you believe the Bible is just a ‘good book’ but not really relevant to modern day society. I know of some who believe it’s possible to get to heaven by just being a ‘good person’ or doing ‘good works’. Of course they are determining what is good not what God says is good. Then there are those who believe that all religious paths lead to heaven because, they insist, we all worship the same god? Saddest of all are those who have never heard the name of Jesus Christ except perhaps to use it in a swear word.
Then there are those who call themselves Christians because their parents said they were; or they have attended a church for years; or that’s what they put down on government or legal forms. Well, as someone once said, going to church doesn’t make me a Christian any more than going into MacDonald’s makes me a hamburger.
If any of this rings a bell then why would I or any other Bible believing Christian, praise and worship just another ‘prophet’ or ‘good man’? The historicity of the Bible is unprecedented among scholars for its accuracy. Everyday archaeological findings continue to prove the accuracy and truth of the Bible. The men who have laboured to give us copies of God’s Word, have been very accurate with the ancient translations in both Hebrew and Greek. Creation Ministries (creation.com) – Our Daily Bread Ministries (odb.org)
But don’t take my word for it, begin a study of these facts with a Bible of your own. Acts 4:12 clearly tells us that –“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Add to that 1Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus”. That should convict us that we are a sinful people in need of redemption. But if you still need further convincing then Acts 4:11 might help – “Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’” Oh, oh! Don’t want to hear that? I’m sure your ears are itching right now for the soothing words of the world telling you this just is not so. This Scripture tells us bluntly that we are sinners who rejected the Son that God the Father sent to save us.
Now why should you believe Jesus is that Saviour? The answer to that is simple. It is because He died for you and me! Tell me, do you know of any other ‘god’ that has given up their lives for mankind? No, they are still in their graves! Do you know why Jesus would die for you and me? John 3:16 tells you why- “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes on Him will have eternal life.”
Jesus tells us who He is and why He came in John 14:6 . . .“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” And . . . “I am the door, and the person who enters through me will be saved” John 10:9.
Now do you still think you are a ‘good enough’ person or at least not as ‘bad’ as the next person at which you point your finger? Remember when you point a finger, there are three more pointing back at you. John 3:16 tells us clearly why you can’t get to heaven by deeds or works. “For it is by grace you have been saved – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast”. Humbling yourself is a hard pill to swallow when ones pride rears its ugly head.
The thief who was crucified and hung on the cross next to Jesus recognized His deity, repented, asked Him for forgiveness, and in Luke 23:43 . . . “Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” That was immediate not at a later date!
Aaah, the prize of heaven . . . it is worth so much more than all the gold and silver you might possess here on earth, or anything else you believe the world has to offer to entice you to reject Jesus.
So my advice to you is to dust off your Bible, buy or borrow one, or perhaps download a Bible App like my son did for me . . . then open it and read John 3:17 – “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Psalm 150 begins with Praise the LORD and ends with . . .
“LET EVERYTHING THAT HAS BREATH . . . PRAISE THE LORD!”