Monday, September 26, 2016

cause & effect

(by Pastor Joe)
The Word for today: Psalm 111 & 112
Q: What do butter, blood, and strife have in common?
A: Proverbs 30:33
"For as churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife."
All three of these are effects- the by-products, the consequences.
All three of these are caused by other agents, not by themselves.
Hatred, dairy products and nosebleeds are all results.
There is another item you can add to that list- human righteousness.
Today we have two similar Psalms. They both open with a "Praise the Lord!"
They both employ much of the same words and wording.
They both are written describing a third person singular pronoun.
But the subject of each of these psalms is quite different:
In 111, the actions of our Righteous God are described.
In 112, the actions of a godly man are delineated.
But we err when we divorce these psalms from each other.
We err when we think that we, or anyone else for that matter can be a Psalm 112 person without a Psalm 111 God.
But that kind of thought is more common than you know.
After all, at the core of every man-made religion or even unbelief, is the idea that a person can be good in and of themselves. The Bible says otherwise.
Psalm 112 describes what we all should aim to be: God-fearing, upright, gracious, merciful, generous, just, unmovable, unafraid, steadfast.
Psalm 111 describes the greatness of God: full of splendor, majestic, righteous, eternal, gracious, merciful, provider, faithful, just, holy and awesome.
The key verse, the truth that links these two Psalms is found at 111:9.
"He provided redemption for His people"
Never forget what it cost God to make you right with Him- it was His very best, His Only Son Jesus. He is the only bridge, the only Way, the only Mediator.
And so what began as an observation now ends in a challenge.
We have no hope of being a Psalm 112 person unless we are recipients of all that God did in Psalm 111. Save yourself a lot of trouble by understanding this truth: "Apart from Me you can do nothing." (1)
But remember also that God has done all of the wonders in Psalm 111 in order that ordinary people like you and me can live a Psalm 112 life for God's glory. After all, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (2)
(1) John 15:5
(2) Ephesians 2:10

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