1. Do You Know Who The Lord Is?
When I put the phrase, "The Lord is" in my Theopholis Bible Program I found 168 times these three little words are used together. Some are very familiar, as Psalms 23:1, "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want" and Psalms 100:5, "For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations." We learn who the Lord is in I Kings 8:60, "...the Lord is God." The Word of God is filled with descriptive adjectives about my wonderful Lord. As we look into the scriptures for the next few weeks we will find that the Lord is righteous, the Lord is longsuffering, the Lord is perfect, the Lord is sure, and He is pure. The Lord is powerful, and the Lord is merciful, the Lord is faithful, and the Lord is gracious. Do you know who the Lord is?
2. The Lord Is In This Place
To begin our series on "The Lord Is" let's go all the way back to Genesis. Jacob had cheated his brother Esau out of his birthright and his blessing and ran for his life.
"12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not." (Genesis 28:12-16)
Now let's turn to the first book of the New Testament to Matthew 18:20 and read the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." What a blessing that we can meet with our Christian brothers and sisters and say, "The Lord is in this place!"
3. The Lord Is Righteous
The Children of Israel were in bondage 430 years in Egypt. God sent Moses to deliver His people and Pharaoh would not let them go. God sent the plagues on Egypt and said, "And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them." (Exodus 7:5) Pharaoh soon recognized the righteous God of the Israelites. "And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked." (Exodus 9:27) When things happen in our world people do not want to hear that it may be the judgment of God. But our God is a holy, righteous God and He is a righteous Judge. "The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works." (Psalms 145:17) God judged the nations in the Bible who were evil, even His own people, the Children of Israel. Many in the world today are following the same sinful ways that God judged in the past. He could not allow the wickedness of this world to continue unpunished and be the Righteous Judge that He is. It is popular to talk about the love of God, but as a Righteous Judge God protects His children in love. "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." (II Timothy 4:8)
4. The Lord Is My Strength And Song
Pharaoh finally let the Children of Israel go, but he followed hard after them with his army to the Red Sea. God put the pillar of cloud between them as a pillar of light behind the Israelites and a pillar of darkness before the Egyptians. Then for one of the greatest miracles of all time the Lord God divided the Red Sea and His people went across on dry ground. When Pharaoh followed with his army God released the waters and the enemies of God were drowned in the Red Sea. "Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name." (Exodus 15:1-3) At first glance the words strength and song don't seem to go together, but if you stop and think about it, they fit together quite well. A few months ago when I was sick I did not have strength to do much of anything and I did not have the breath to sing. Now that the Lord has opened up my lungs and is giving me more liberty to breathe each day I have more strength. And with this increased strength, I can once again sing praise to my Lord and my God. I can sing with thanksgiving, "The Lord is my strength and song!" I can sing with faithful hope, "The Lord is my strength and song!" I can sing with proven assurance, "The Lord is my strength and song!" I can sing with everlasting confidence, "The Lord is my strength and song!"
5. The Lord Is My Salvation
Not only is the Lord my strength and song, but He is most importantly my salvation! "The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation." (Psalms 118:14) When I was eight years old I was sitting in church listening to my grandpa preach on Lazarus and the rich man. "And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." (Luke 16:22-24) I suddenly became so afraid that I began crying. When I asked the Lord to save me He took away that fear. He promised me a home in heaven for eternity. God took away my fear of death. He also gives me peace day by day and I don't live in fear. "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation." (Isaiah 12:2) "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalms 27:1)
6. The Lord Is Longsuffering And Of Great Mercy
I have a link to a local new station that I check often. The news articles are getting so bad that I have almost decided to stop checking in. It is not surprising. God warned us these days would come.
"1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." (II Timothy 3:1-5 & 13)
Sometimes we wonder how things have grown so bad without God's judgment. We can find the answer in Numbers 14:18. "The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation." God is longsuffering and of great mercy. I am thankful for His great mercy, because through His mercy and grace He saved me. But there is coming a time when God will withdraw His hand of mercy and judge all people. Have you experienced the Lord's longsuffering mercy? "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." (II Peter 3:9-10)
7. The Lord Is My Deliverer
I have never been in battles as David was when he fled from King Saul. I never had to leave my home and sleep in the wilderness to hide from an army. Our nation was founded on Biblical principles and God has blessed America with religious freedom. As our leaders stray farther and farther from God's truths our Christian liberties are challenged more and more. When troubled times meet us face to face I pray we can stand firm with the whole armor of God, truth, righteousness and the gospel of peace. Taking the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:13-17) With our hope and trust in the Lord we can praise our Deliverer like David.
"1 (To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,) I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.
2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
4 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.
5 The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.
6 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. (Psalms 18:1-6, also found in II Samuel 22:-7)
8. The Lord Is Great! The Lord Is Good!
One of the first prayers we teach our children is, "God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for our food. By His hands we are fed. Give us Lord our daily bread." These are simple Biblical truths that we can teach our children through this little prayer. With so much bad in the world today it is good that we can teach our children that the Lord is good. Even more, the Lord is great! And no matter what comes our way, we can say with blessed assurance, "The Lord is good! The Lord is great!"
Psalms 34:8 "O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him."
Psalms 95:3 "For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods."
Psalms 96:4 "For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods."
Psalms 100:5 "For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."
Psalms 135:3 Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant.
Psalms 135:5 "For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods."
Psalms 145:9 "The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works."
Lamentations 3:25 "The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him."
Nahum 1:7 "The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him."
9. The Lord Is God, And There Is None Else
I was just a young girl when Charlie Brown's Christmas first aired on television and I waited for it to come on every Christmas. It has always been my favorite because Linus quotes the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2. There were no DVD recordings when I was young so I had to wait a whole year to watch the Charlie Brown specials during the holidays. Since Jedidiah, my grandson, likes Charlie Brown and Snoopy as much as I do, we watch them all year long. The Charlie Brown Halloween show will be aired this week on television and children will see how Linus waits in the pumpkin patch most of the night for the great pumpkin to bring him toys. This sounds silly to us, but many put their faith in false religions. There are many false gods and people may have great faith in them, but they are as false as a great pumpkin rising out of a pumpkin patch. As King Solomon dedicated the holy temple to the Lord he said, "That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else. Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day." (I Kings 8:60-61) We also read in Jeremiah 10:10, "But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation." People complain that Christians are closed-minded about the Lord Jesus Christ and they are right. There is only one God and the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation!
10. The Lord Is My Shepherd
When I began this devotional a week ago I mentioned Psalms 23:1, "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want." The rest of the Psalm tells why we can rejoice in the Lord, but I want to focus on the Lord, my Good Shepherd. I never raised sheep. I never stayed out in the cold nights keeping watch over a flock, protecting them from wolves or bears. So, why is this verse so important to me? The answer lies in the words of Jesus found in John 10:11-15.
"11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep."
We also read in John 15:13, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." The Lord loves me so much that He gave His life for me. I was just a poor little lost lamb and He saved me and brought me into His fold. Our Sunday school lesson was on the love of God and Andrew Little, the teacher, brought up the question, "What if God loved the way mankind loves?" We may love someone today and decide we don't want to love them anymore tomorrow. But God loves us unconditionally. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) His love is sure. His love is eternal. He is my Good Shepherd!
"27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." (John 10:27-29)
11. The Lord Is Near In The Valley Of Decision
Yesterday we looked at the Lord as the Good Shepherd. He gave His life for the sheep. Have you put your trust in the Good Shepherd? Many people know John 3:16, but they don't read the next two verses. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:16-18) If you have not made the decision to confess your sinful condition to the Lord and ask Him to forgive you and save you, then you are in a lost condemned state. Let's look at Joel 3:14. "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision." Are you in the valley of decision? "The day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision." Don't wait until it is too late. "For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God." (Romans 14:11) God's Word declares that every knee shall bow and confess that Jesus is Lord. Those who decide to bow while they live, shall live forever. Those who decide that they don't want a part of the Lord's salvation will be separated forever from the Lord in torment throughout eternity.
12. The Lord Is Near To Those With A Broken Heart
One of my mother-in-law's favorite verses is Psalms 147:3, "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." As I look at the news and check out the status of my friends online I see many with a broken heart. I can let my loved ones know that I am praying for them. I might be able to lift them up with a card or phone call, but I can't heal their hurt or ease their pain. But, I know a God who can. My Lord can heal our broken hearts and bind up our wounds. "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." (Psalm 34:18) David went through many battles, yet he knew that God was with him and cared for him. "Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?" (Psalms 56:8) Moses led God's children through the wilderness and lived to be 120 years old and he could say, "And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed." (Deuteronomy 31:8) The Apostle Paul opened his letter to the church at Corinth, "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, ...
Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." (II Corinthians 1:1-4) Just as a child who is hurt snuggles up close to his mother or father to be comforted, we can go to the Lord in prayer and He will draw us up close to Him and heal our wounded spirit.
13. The Lord Is Faithful
There are many words that we can use to describe our Lord. We have already talked about His great love. We saw that He is righteous and longsuffering with great mercy. He is good and He is great, as many learn as children in the simple blessing, "God is great, God is good! Let us thank Him for our food." There are other attributes that we have not discussed. God is holy, and we are commanded to be holy. "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." (I Peter 1:15-16) All of these are important and have a great impact on our lives. Today I want to mention the thread that holds it all together, the Lord is faithful! "But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil." (II Thessalonians 3:3) "Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;" (Deuteronomy 7:9) "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." (I Corinthians 1:9) God is faithful in His love. We can't do anything to make God love us more or anything to make Him love us less. We know that nothing can separate us from His love. "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39) Because God is faithful we can put our trust in His righteousness and our hope in His mercy. Because God is faithful we can pray "God is great, God is good" as small children and throughout our entire lives. And because the Lord is faithful we know that His Word is true, and He is ever worthy of our praise, "Holy, holy, holy."
14. The Lord Is With Thee
I enjoy the Christmas season and in my mind and heart it is never too early to start planning for the holidays. I am working on ornaments and gifts and making plans for the time I will spend with my grandchildren. I hope we can make Christmas cookies together and special ornaments that will help us make memories that will last a lifetime. Today we are looking at the beginning of the Christmas story in Luke 1:28. "And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." The angel Gabriel gave this message to Mary just over 2,000 years ago, but because of this message we can still say today, "The Lord is with thee." Sin separated us from God because God is holy. The Lord Jesus came to pay our sin debt and make a way of salvation for all who will believe. He promised in Matthew 28:20, "... lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." We are also given this promise in Hebrews 13:5. "... for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." As soon as I prayed and asked the Lord to forgive me of my sin and I trusted in Him, the Holy Spirit came to live in my heart, just as Jesus promised. "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;" (John 14:16) Not only is the Lord with me while I live, but one day He is coming back to take me to heaven to live with Him eternally.
"1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:1-6)
Is the Lord with you?
15. The Lord Is Risen Indeed!
The Lord Jesus came to earth, lived a holy life without sin, and gave His life to die on a cruel cross to pay our sin debt. But the part that makes all of this important to us is found in our scripture today. I like this account of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Here is the story of what happened as told by Luke. It ends with our title today, "The Lord is risen indeed."
"13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;
23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.
24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed..." (Luke 24:13-24)