Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Christian Fellowship and Integrity

Had a great meeting with a brother in Christ today.  We talked about Integrity.  It was great to be accountable to one another and encourage one another.  
It has been said that integrity is doing exactly what you say you will do.  R. Kent Hughes defines it this way in his book Disciplines of a Godly Man:  being "righteous and honest through and through."  What a challenge!
When we are people of integrity we shine through with the righteousness that only comes by being filled with the righteousness of Christ Jesus through the Spirit!  This can only happen when we realize that all of our human righteousness amounts to filthiness to God (Is. 64:6), and we embrace Christ who died for us and rose again and has become our righteousness!  (2 Cor. 5:21)

May this be our song regarding integrity:

Psalm 15 (NASB95)  A Psalm of David.

1 O Lord, who may abide in Your tent?

Who may dwell on Your holy hill?

2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness,

And speaks truth in his heart.

3 He does not slander with his tongue,

Nor does evil to his neighbor,

Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;

4 In whose eyes a reprobate is despised,

But who honors those who fear the Lord;

He swears to his own hurt and does not change;

5 He does not put out his money at interest,

Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.

He who does these things will never be shaken.   

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thank God for Vacations!

I am still rejoicing in the great vacation that we had together as a family in Florida.  We saw many sights and caught up with relatives there.  The greatest blessing was just to slow down and celebrate the wonderful marriage and family that God has given to Chrissy and myself.  Something about taking some time off allows us to take stock of what God has given to us.  Hours of unhurried time with my wife and with my kids reminds me of just how precious they are to me.  Chrissy and I celebrated our nine year anniversary and reflected on God blessings in bringing us together.  Micah, Josiah, and Samantha enjoyed many vacation activities, but the highlight was just being together.  What a joy to be able to say yes and yes and yes to swimming and fun together!

We were also able to take stock of the grace and salvation that we have been given in Christ.  What a great Savior!

Psalm 103 (NASB95)

Psalm 103

Praise for the Lord’s Mercies.

A Psalm of David.

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And forget none of His benefits;

3 Who pardons all your iniquities,

Who heals all your diseases;

4 Who redeems your life from the pit,

Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

5 Who satisfies your years with good things,

So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

6 The Lord performs righteous deeds

And judgments for all who are oppressed.

7 He made known His ways to Moses,

His acts to the sons of Israel.

8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,

Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

9 He will not always strive with us,

Nor will He keep His anger forever.

10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,

Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.

12 As far as the east is from the west,

So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

13 Just as a father has compassion on his children,

So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.

14 For He Himself knows our frame;

He is mindful that we are but dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;

As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.

16 When the wind has passed over it, it is no more,

And its place acknowledges it no longer.

17 But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him,

And His righteousness to children’s children,

18 To those who keep His covenant

And remember His precepts to do them.

19 The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,

And His sovereignty rules over all.

20 Bless the Lord, you His angels,

Mighty in strength, who perform His word,

Obeying the voice of His word!

21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,

You who serve Him, doing His will.

22 Bless the Lord, all you works of His,

In all places of His dominion;

Bless the Lord, O my soul!   

Caleb Azure

Pastor of Student Ministries
Bethel Baptist Church


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Thursday, June 03, 2010

Love Them Well

I am praying for a family in our church who lost a son today--cut down in the prime of life.  My God grant them His all sufficient grace and comfort during this time.  Praying also for a man who lost His brother later in life.  

May we love our loved ones well as they did with gospel love!

Psalm 42:1–11 (NASB95)

1 As the deer pants for the water brooks,

So my soul pants for You, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember and I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.

5 Why are you in despair, O my soul?

And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him
For the help of His presence.
6 O my God, my soul is in despair within me;
Therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan
And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls;
All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.
8 The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
And His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life.

9 I will say to God my rock, “Why have You forgotten me?

Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
11 Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God. 

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Thank God for Servants!

I am studying Acts 6 in which the Hellenistic Widows were being ignored in the daily serving of meals.  I am struck by the opportunity to reach out to those of all different culture background, and yet to do this we need an army of servants so that the leaders may devote themselves to the ministry of prayer and the word.  Every believer has gifts that are integral to the body!  The servants must be respectable and led by the spirit.  When it goes well by God's grace look what can happen!

Acts 6:7 (NASB95)
7 The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith. 

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