define('DISABLE_WP_CRON', true); Pastor Ralph Diehl » 2012 » September

Archive for September, 2012

22
Sep

THE SECRETS OF OUR HEARTS

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This week we’ve been studying Psalm 139 and have observed that David is speaking really deeply about God’s relationship to him. But in the midst of all this praise about how awesome God is and His love for him, David turns the entire theme around in verses 19-22:

If only You would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! They speak of You with evil intent; Your adversaries misuse Your name. Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord, and abhor those who rise up against You? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.”

Wow! David was just describing God’s wonderful love for mankind, and then he contrasts that with his own view of people who are lost! What an ugly bundle of thoughts are on his own mind. His big request is that God would strike them dead.

Have you ever felt similar feelings toward someone who had hurt you? Sometimes, in reflecting on God’s mercy toward us, the contrast reminds us of our own sin and failures. Stay focused on God, and He will reveal the secrets of our hearts.

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21
Sep

YOUR THOUGHTS, O GOD

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Psalm 13917-18: “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with You.

In these verses David expands on the previous verses where he recognized God’s hand in his physical and spiritual existence. How does David know what God’s thoughts are and thereby number or comment on how wonderful they are? I think there are two ways he knew:

First, he was commenting on the results as he looked back over his life of running as a nobody to being exalted as the King of Israel. When we look back over our lives and reflect on what scoundrels we’ve been, yet see His grace outworked in our lives, we can see His thoughts in action, from the rear-view mirror.

Secondly, I think David is talking about God revealing His thoughts to him, possibly in dreams. He said, “When I awake, I’m still with You”, or, Your thoughts are still with me. Had any dreams lately when God revealed His plan or a caution to you? His ways are above our ways, but He gives us the mind of Christ. Think about how God shares His thoughts with you.

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20
Sep

FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

We’ve been examining Psalm 139 this week and come to vv. 13-16, where David writes, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.”

Have you ever seen an ultrasound image of your child or grandchild while they are still forming in the womb? Isn’t that amazing? God put all those tiny pieces together and gave the ability to grow, mature, and eventually become an adult.

And David recognized, way back then, that God had all his days arranged. He acknowledges that every event in my life has already been recorded in His book, even before it occurred. That’s a pretty good argument for predestination.

The next time you look at a new born baby and stand amazed by the miracle of it all, remember that God made not only the baby, but you. Selah!

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18
Sep

GREAT EXTENT

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

In Psalm 139:7, David had just asked, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” He continues to elaborate on that concept in vv. 8-10: “If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.

David is not asking the question ‘How can I get away from You?’, but rather, ‘Nothing can come between us.” He describes the great extent God will go to reveal Himself to us. And that is all the more true in the New Covenant where the Holy Spirit resides within believers.

No matter how dark it is in your workplace, God is there. No matter how abandoned you may feel, God is ever beside you, with you, around you, over you, within you.

Listen to the voice of His quiet and gentle Spirit. He will guide you, if you will listen.

15
Sep

TOO WONDERFUL

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David continued his thought about God in Psalm 139:

You hem me in – behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence (vv. 5-7)?

For God to reveal Himself to us is amazing in itself. To know that I am in His thoughts and under His covering continually is reassuring, but hard for our minds to grasp. In the Old Testament, the people fled from God’s presence. In the new covenant, we are told to seek Him and He can be found.

As a matter of fact, with God’s Spirit residing in believers, we cannot get away from Him. His presence follows us, even when we ignore Him.

Take a minute and reflect on what you’ve been through this week. God knows. He protects us from worse, Thank God for His grace and listen to His voice.

14
Sep

YOU KNOW ME

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Psalm 139 is an amazing psalm that recognizes the awesomeness of God in our lives. David wrote:

O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways (vv. 1-3).

The fact that God knows all my secrets, yet still loves me and can use me is overwhelming to me. Its proof that God can use anybody and is not picking favorites.

I love the fact that David recalls that God searches him and knows him inside and out. He even knows what we’re thinking. Perhaps that’s why prayer is so important: my words betray what’s in my mind, my motives are revealed to Him.

Since God is familiar with all my ways, nothing surprises Him! When it comes to confession, I’d better be laying it all out.

13
Sep

UNUSUAL DREAM

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I had one of those unusual dreams last night. I dreamed I was in church with a large attendance. I was excited because I was about to preach about a new direction the Lord was leading our church. It was the same congregation, but the building was somewhat different. As we were worshiping, a group of 6 or 8 adults, looking rather dignified, came in a little late and sat toward the front. I recall I was excited to see new faces. One of new men walked over to the wall thermostat and turned the dial way over. I remember thinking, its comfortable in here, why did he do that?

A little later I had the same dream, but everyone was dressed a little different, like it was the following week. The same guy walked straight to the thermostat and readjusted it, turning it way up or down. It was this second attempt for this outsider to adjust our temperature that caught my attention. When I awoke that was fresh on my mind.

I asked the Lord what that could mean, and He said people with another vision would come into our church and immediately begin to realign the vision to theirs. He told me I was to not be swayed by influential outsiders from the direction God had already put within my heart.

Have you had a dream lately where God has revealed something to you?

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