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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.

How the Gospel is preached into all the world

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No one receives life until God gives that person a spirit. So God knew about every single person who was ever born and planned that birth perfectly (cf. Ex. 4:11). In other words, we are all "in the right place" and we all are given lives "at the right point in history" even though we exercise free will. It's not an accident that the twelve disciples were born at roughly the same time Jesus was born and in the same locality. That was their time and place. The Lord in His Absolute Sovereignty knew very well that they would respond and be the "right disciples" for Him (even if one was "a devil" -- that was part of the plan too). On the other hand, what if a person was not going to have any use for the gospel no matter when or where he/she was born, not even if born in Jesus day in Palestine, not even if born in the Millennium when "the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 11:9; Hab. 2:14).

Does the Lord have a responsibility to give the gospel to someone who is going to reject it no matter what? He certainly knows the hearts of all. And that is the point. At the last judgment, it will be revealed that everyone who wanted the gospel most likely received it (cf. Rom. 8:28). But how do we know for certain that person X never heard? God has many ways of spreading the truth. We will no doubt be surprised at the last judgment to learn about evangelists and evangelizing which in terms of documentary history we know little or nothing about at present. That makes sense. You give the gospel to others but that has never appeared in any newspaper. And for others, how do we know that He didn't cause person X to be removed from land Y and brought to land Z where the gospel was available? That has always been possible, even if we don't know the details of everything that has happened in history. Does it seem unlikely? Only to those of little or no faith: the Spirit picked Philip up and transported him to meet the Ethiopian eunuch and then took away thereafter. However, this does not negate our responsibility to spread the truth of the Gospel because we do not know who have or have not heard the Gospel. The Spirit can do this for the evangelist (Philip) and could to it for the one wanting to be evangelized too. Does our ignorance about all historical events constitute unrighteousness on God's part? God forbid! And finally and importantly, for all the aboriginal peoples of the world and those living in far-flung places over the course of history who skeptics imagine could never have received the gospel. I know that God has talked to believers in dreams in the past and MAY well still be doing so (Gen. 15:1; 41:1-7; 46:2; Judg. 7:13-15; Dan. 2:28; 4:5; Matt. 2:12-13). However, in my observation and experience it is well for believers to avoid becoming fixated on dreams for many reasons. If God communicates something to us in a dream, I think we can be confident that He will do so in such an unmistakably clear way that there will be little doubt about the matter. 

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. (Revelation 7:9)

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14)

God Bless!

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