Psalm 1

1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. (Psalm 1)

In this first psalm, the writer draws upon rich imagery to mark out a sharp contrast between the righteous, the “blessed man,” the man whom the Lord “knows,” and the “ungodly,” those who fear not God. The God-fearing man does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. Their counsel or philosophy does not chart the course. The wisdom or reason of unconverted worldly minded men is set on mischief, avarice, greed, worldly lust, malice, temporal things. The godly man reasons differently. He delights in God’s law, God’s counsel, the inspired scriptures, God’s leadership by the Holy Spirit. He meditates upon them, thinks on them continually. They become a part of his being, and direct his every action and undertaking.

The righteous man does not stand in the way of sinners. His anchor is not theirs. He is not established by what they are. Their hope is in temporal things, wealth, power, the admiration of men, the achievements of men. He is established in Christ. He is like a tree planted. It is fixed forever, never to be moved as long as it lives. Like a tree planted by the rivers of water, the godly man is fixed in Christ Who is the way, the truth, and the life. All that man needs to sustain him and make him fruitful flows from Christ. As the planted tree brings forth fruit, so the righteous brings forth lasting fruit.

The ungodly do not stand. They have no certain fountain of water, so they dry up. They are not fixed, so they drift with the wind. They will not stand in the congregation of the righteous, and cannot stand in the day of judgment which will surely come.

The “blessed” man does not “sit” in the seat of the scornful. The scornful is a fool resting upon a false hope. He is at ease when he derides the righteous and mocks the warnings of a Holy God, but his rest and security are a delusion. It will surely fail. The blessed man rests under the shadow of the wings of the Almighty. The righteousness of Christ is his hope and refuge. Because his “leaf,” the vitality of his life, gathers food from the eternal God, it shall never with, but will prosper in all that he does.

-C.M.

Kiss The Son!

Now therefore be wise, O kings. Be instructed you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear. And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry”.

Psalm 2:10-11.

Present day kings of the earth should not be thought to be heads of state. That may have been true in times past, but power is rarely in their hands now. The Hitlers, Stalins, Titos, and Sadam Husseins may have a short day, a passing flash of glory, but they are soon overthrown in today’s world climate. No, the abiding power that holds sway over the minds and souls of today’s populace are those who sit at the heads of colleges and universities, determining what will be taught as truth. They are the popular authors and publishers of books who hold sway over the reading public, actors and producers of movies and television entertainment, who created a fantasy, a false illusion of values and realities of life. They are the news Anchors and talk-show Hosts who frame and color every event and pending consideration with a contempt for anything spiritual or godly. Included, also in today’s despots are Supreme court judges who, appointed for life, are free to frustrate the will and minds of the people and rule them by perverse interpretation and application of sound and wholesome laws.

These are they who rage, fume, and rail against God’s anointed King. They have determined that they will break the decrees of God, despise, slander and trod His blessed Son underfoot. They will change times and seasons, pervert right and wrong, and thumb their noses at every convention among civilized and orderly society that has the slightest connection with the Almighty.

The power of these creators of “political correctness” have succeeded in eliminating the hated three-letter “G” word from polite society and public speech! Profanity, obscenity and cursing is not only permitted, but admired; but let someone suggest that God exists or has anything to do with whatever comes to pass, and he is immediately censored, ridiculed, and silenced.

God’s laughter at this sort of thing must not be construed to be an indication of His sense of humor. It is a laugh of derision. Jesus Christ was not, as is usually portrayed by these “kings”, merely a good man, a social reformer who, unfortunately, ran afoul of the religious and political climate of his day, and had his objectives frustrated. No, the Almighty has set His King on High. All power is in His Hand…right now. All He needs do to ask the Father, and God will put a man, a king, a nation, in His Blessed Had to do with whatever He pleases. They are all His inheritance. Far from being frustrated Jesus accomplished exactly what He came to do…the redemption of His people. If the kings of the earth were wise, and not fools, they would be bowing at His feet, kissing His blessed Hand, and begging Him to be their Savior and King.

C.M.

God’s Sanctifying Wrath

My voice You shall hear in the morning O LORD; In the morning I will direct it to You. And I will look up. For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, nor shall evil dwell with You. The boastful shall not stand in Your sight: You hate all the workers of iniquity….The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.” (Psalm 5:3-6)

The Bible tells us that God is love. That statement is certainly true. Love is not merely an attribute of God: it is the essence of His Person. Love exists in the universe; men are capable of love and nobility only because they are made in the image of the Creator, and as finite mortals, partake in measure of Infinite Immortality.

God’s love, however, is popularly misrepresented. The enemy of our souls has cleverly twisted this Divine Benevolence to a caricature of a smiling old Grandfather who indulges the meanness and wickedness of people as merely innocent mischievousness. The Bible does not permit this concept, for the God of the Bible is Holy. Holiness is also the essence of His Person. Holiness is not suspended by love during the willful evil acts of men. His anger is ready to burn hot against all who practice wickedness.

Our text tells us that God positively hates all the workers of iniquity, that He abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful. It is no small part of our prayers for His protection and deliverance to know that God is no friend of those who devour and persecute the righteous. We are made to understand that God is the Avenger of the downtrodden and abused, and are not moved to strike out against those who oppress us. Our God will do that much better, and far more effectively than we can. We are forbidden to hate them with a bitter carnal hatred, for our God hates them with a perfect and Holy Hatred.

So rather that rise in the morning, trembling and fearful of what may befall us during day, we may come before God with thanksgiving, praise and adoration, laying all our petitions in His Hand. If we are His obedient trusting child, He loves us with a holy and divine love. That means He will put a difference between us and all those who would oppress us. He destroyed the Egyptian army in pursuit of His liberated people. He will do no less for us. He is imminently worthy of our adoration.

C. M.

A Singular Savior

Lord how have they increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me. ‘There is no help for him in God”. (Psalm 3: 1-3)

It is no easy matter to maintain our faith and peace when reversals seem to multiply against us. Our lives are on a fast track downhill. One ill tiding falls close on the heels of another. No small part of these manifold blows is the knowledge that everyone is taking note of them. Everyone who has had any peeve, envy, resentment or ill feeling toward us is taking courage from our miseries, and prophesying total ruin.

David’s son, Absalom has succeeded in mounting a rebellion against his father, and has enlisted much support. He has gathered such a host of the king’s enemies that the man whom the Lord loves is obliged to flee. Political bootlickers and news pundits, sensing David’s job performance approval has sunk to new lows, prophesy his case to be hopeless. “Not even God can help him now”!

Amazing! The arrogance of men! God may be God, and He may be supreme, sovereign and omnipotent; but after all those attributes are merely theological shibboleth. Nobody really counts on them as reality when they must be applied to the hard facts of circumstances. A few people may be over-ruled by God. Even a large number may be set aside by God’s power. But when it comes to a great multitude of people…all of them against us, is it not foolish for us to hope in God putting all those people’s opposition down?

But that is precisely what David did. “I cried unto the Lord with my voice. And He heard me from His holy hill. I lay down and slept: I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.” Nothing yet had changed on the public scene. The gainsayers were still shaking their heads. Enemies were still gloating. The rebellion was still growing, and David was still retreating. But the outcome of the battle was settled, and David was resting peacefully in that. One fact outweighed everything else that was happening: vs.8: “Salvation belongs to the Lord”. There is not enough flesh on earth, nor enough demons and devils in the heavenlies to overthrow God’s salvation. It is exclusive His alone to withhold or grant. Blessed is that man whose hope is in God.

C. M.

A Majority of One

Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! Many are they that rise up against me. Many are they that say of my soul. There is no help for him in God. But thou O Lord art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. I laid me down and slept” (Psalm 3:1-3)

Truth and reality is not discovered by majority vote. It is not created by the sum total of all the wisest and informed of men. All that should ever be that truly is, was before man was formed from the dust of the earth. In fact man came rather late. Although made in God’s image, he was the last on the agenda. His counsel was not taken into account in the ordaining and bringing to pass all of which the universe and its operation consist.

Job’s wisest counselors, his best friends came and sat with him for days before opening their mouths. When they had finished all their counsel, their analysis, and their prophecies, Job was as miserable, as ignorant, as stupid, as bitter and hopeless as before they appeared. He then adds his own ignorance to the sum of his friends. God’s reply comes swiftly and crisply. “Who is this that darkens

counsel by words without knowledge?” The Almighty then pounds them with a series of mouth closing questions: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” “Where are the foundations fastened?” “Who laid the cornerstones?” “Have you….?” “Can you…?” “Will you…?” “Do you know the time…? “Who put wisdom in the mind?”

Parents certainly know more than children. Young men and women will do well to seek and listen to the counsel of elders. Considerable wisdom has been accumulated and preserved in libraries of good books. Pundits and editors exhort us from the pages of the publications or the venues from which they speak. But when we have heard them all, our questions are merely multiplied

Thousands of years of living in and exploring this planet has only increased its mysteries: and that is to say nothing of the boundless universe of which the earth is no more than a speck of dust.

When we find ourselves in a hopeless situation, and the best and most beloved of our available counselors give us no help, we ought lift our eyes a bit higher than the level of our fellow creatures. There is One Who stands outside all that is created, and Whose treasures of knowledge are unopened by creatures. He has the power, wisdom and compassion to silence our fears, and order our faltering steps. He will speak if we seek Him.

When He does, and we have been properly humbled from our arrogance, we will be enabled to quietly rest in the Voice that spoke when there was no one to hear, and yet abides as the single Source of all wisdom.

– C. M.

Our Savior, Jesus

Diety became Humanity.
 
The Infinite One became an infant.
 
The Son of God became the Son of Man.
 
The Light of the World was eclipsed by the womb of a virgin.
 
He sat in the heavens and yet was laid in a feed bunk.
 
He upheld the world and now is upheld by the arms of a woman.
 
He fed all the creatures of the earth and now He is hungry Himself.
 
He had the home of heaven and now has no place to lay His head.
 
He dealt out the galaxies and now is dealing with wood chips.
 
He had the fullness of the Spirit and yet they said He had demons.
 
He had all wisdom incarnate and yet they said He was insane.
 
He is from Heaven and yet they said He was from Samaria.
 
He is the only begotten of the Faith and yet they said He was born of fornication.
 
He was clothed in glory and now is tripped by cruel adversaries.
 
His shoulders bore the world and now they are bloodied by Roman whips.
 
– Bob Jennings
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Heavenly Springs, Pt 4

The Streams on earth I’ve Tasted . . . .
More Deep I’ll Drink Above
 
I reached a point some months ago where I felt my life had been shallow and lacking God’s presence. I vigorously besought Him that He might bring me into a fuller and deeper grasp of His love and person. I meant it. Then–heart attack! I was left in much weakness in most all physical areas, loss of some mental capacity, cast in a state of dependence upon others, and as I see it now, His hand of mercy in answering my prayer. In a new experience, He has enabled me through it all to have a rich, fuller experience of His presence and love. Sweeter communion amid tribulation, and increased desire to depart and be with Him. I’m thankful to be where He has brought me in these days, though through some hardness indeed. Yet His presence is sufficient in all things.
 
And you are complete in Him which is the head of all principality and power“; Oh, what glorious things upon which to think! These are beyond my comprehension in my present state, but oh, so glorious to reach for. Brother, one day we will be able to know and comprehend all the glories of His presence, heaven, yes, a new heaven and a new earth. All of Christ and His gift of life to those who were dead in sin!
Oh brother, sometimes I’m somewhat distressed in that, though I know these things and rejoice in them, yet I seem to know them in such a shallowness. Oh, that the depth of the truth might truly grip my soul, and penetrate my very being above all else, and be my strength, rejoicing, and my very substance of being.
 
Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake.
 
I heard Conrad Murrell once say with regard to the song, Jesus Grows Sweeter Every Daythat the Lord is not growing at all. Well, I understand what he meant. But I’m becoming more enabled to grasp the love of Jesus every day. Maybe that’s a more correct way to state it. Whatever the case, I’m thankful above measure that, in these advanced years of age 86 now, that He has and is enabling me to continue to grow in love and knowledge of Him, to love His Word, to “groan” before Him in prayer with thanksgiving and petitions, to embrace his truth, and to rejoice in hope. Can you believe such a thing? For one who has given Him no reason to pour out His love on such? Yet He has forgiven MY sins, loved me with an everlasting love, and drawn me with lovingkindness.
 
Would you believe an 86year old man, having seen God’s mercies over many years, yet trembles to stand before His people and bring them the Word of God? It does require some physical ability, and in these, I’m greatly deficient. But I am praying He will meet that need too. I’m not there yet, but praying for strength He gives to be there.
 
I had a blessed time preaching before the little group of saints, and they seemed to listen so intently.
In prayer and meditations this morning, the impact of eternity over our brief time here in this experience weighed heavily upon my mind. How absolutely ludicrous to give significance to this brief experience in time and think only occasionally of eternity! I guess realizing the brief time I have left in this experience quickens in my heart thoughts of our blessed Lord and what awaits his people on the other side. Oh joy, joy! What a glorious hope for one blest to believe on the Savior. 
 
I’m content in this realm as long as He is pleased that I should remain here.
 
– Bob Woodruff
 
 
 
 

Heavenly Springs, Pt 3

The Streams on Earth I’ve Tasted . . . .
More Deep I’ll Drink Above

I find the Word of God speaks to me more in small portions. Sometimes it seems one or two verses fill my mind full. Like looking thru a magnifying glass, it seems to zoom up so large that a few words fill the whole pane of view. And so it is this morning– “that where I am there may ye be also”. I know we have not the comprehension to grasp all the full content here. But to grasp at it brings such rejoicing.

I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner condemned, unclean.

Oh, how marvelous! Oh, how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
Oh, how marvelous! Oh, how wonderful!
Is my Savior’s love for me!

I “AM” amazed at the fleeting passing perishing things of this world that I once thought were so significant. Oh, the glorious hope He has provided you and I and all the household of faith in the Lamb of God.
Oh yes, amazing grace, how sweet the sound!

“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”

“Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord and the power of His might”; Oh, how I’m so needy here. But we seek His face in all things.

Joined with family for a delayed “Thanksgiving” yesterday. I do not believe I have ever been so blessed with thanksgiving in my own heart.

I was reminded of the woman who came to Jesus, and wept before God, as I re-read the account of her petition before God for the healing of her daughter. Christ told her it was not for her, but was for the Jews. Her glorious response is mine. “Lord, even the dogs get the crumbs”. Oh yes master, just a few crumbs from your table will do me! One sweet touch of your tender mercy! I have found that; My heart soars this hour with rejoicing, I have now the bread of heaven. Oh joy, joy, joy. I’m in-firmed, aged, decrepit, weak in body, but soaring in the heavens with rejoicing. I’m one of His who are destined irrevocably to heaven with my Savior and all the saints of God.

Getting so feeble with the passing of days. But I am reminded that each day is one day closer to being with Him. Think of it my brother, NO SIN in or around Him in heaven. I will be forever thru dealing with it. Oh, what a glorious hope we do have and it is all a gift in His mercy.

You are rich beyond compare, a child of the King, robed in Christ’s righteousness, delivered from the corruption that is in the world through lust, endued from on high with spiritual knowledge, seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, kept by the power of God, loved with everlasting love, all things are working together for your good; God is for you and nothing can separate you from His love. So many recorded glorious promises, all from the absolute truth recorded in God’s Word. There’s enough there to think on for a while!

Oh, may we have the faith and boldness to walk as the apostle Paul.

Jer 31:3– “The LORD hath appeared unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Can you think of anything more wonderful?

– Bob Woodruff

Heavenly Springs, Pt 2

The Streams On Earth I’ve Tasted,
More Deep I’ll Drink Above………

Dear Brother,
I hate to sound like I’m complaining and I am really not. But the facts are–
After all the heart stints and much medication, I’m left weaker than I have ever known and more unstable than I have ever been. I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, I’m not. Just before all this hit, I asked God to take me deeper into His intimacies and reveal more of His person to me. In whatever manner He chooses to do this, I have no complaints. He is helping me to empty more of self. A blessed way indeed, and by whatever means He deems necessary. It is not an easy way, but His way. I have no complaints, but just to say, “Bless His Holy Name”.

From 10-7-14 Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

Morning

“Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant?” Numbers 11:11

“Our heavenly Father sends us frequent troubles to try our faith. If our faith be worth anything, it will stand the test. Painted gold is afraid of fire, but true gold is not; the paste gem dreads to be touched by the diamond, but the true jewel fears no test. It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but true faith holds to the Lord’s faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed, and the light of our Father’s countenance is hidden. A faith which can say, in the direst trouble, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him,” is heaven-born faith. The Lord afflicts his servants to glorify himself, for he is greatly glorified in the graces of his people, which are his own handiwork. When “tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope,” the Lord is honoured by these growing virtues. We should never know the music of the harp if the strings were left untouched; nor enjoy the juice of the grape if it were not trodden in the winepress; nor discover the sweet perfume of cinnamon if it were not pressed and beaten; nor feel the warmth of fire if the coals were not utterly consumed. The wisdom and power of the great Workman are discovered by the trials through which his vessels of mercy are permitted to pass. Present afflictions tend also to heighten future joy. There must be shades in the picture to bring out the beauty of the lights. Could we be so supremely blessed in heaven, if we had not known the curse of sin and the sorrow of earth? Will not peace be sweeter after conflict, and rest more welcome after toil? Will not the recollection of past sufferings enhance the bliss of the glorified? There are many other comfortable answers to the question with which we opened our brief meditation, so let us muse upon it all day long.”

So good, and needed in the present hour!

Our God is precious and is Lord indeed. One day our faith will be turned to sight and we shall see Him as He is.

In these days, I am trying to hear His voice. He speaks to me through His Word and by His Spirit. “Bless The Lord Oh my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy Name.”

Struggling with this perishing flesh. It’s a difficult way to go from strength and health to weakness and infirmity. But it’s the way of man, and I am so thankful that our God has promised the unspeakable joy of ultimately coming into His presence. And to consider at what cost to our Savior this has been accomplished. Surely, “God commended His love toward us….”

Waiting on the Lord is sometimes not easy but is always profitable.

Still laboring under the aftermath of recent physical distresses. God knows and is merciful. “Bless the Lord Oh my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name.”

Always amazing is the Word of God. It’s the only thing in all our experience that never changes. Always perfect in every realm. The only thing on the planet that gives life. I’m far too unskilled to address something of such magnitude. But, “the dogs get the crumbs”, and how I rejoice above measure in this precious and glorious truth. In His mercy, “I know in whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”

At first, it is sad when you become old and feeble; less outward service to the Lord. Out of the flow of His things more, somewhat assigned to the sidelines of the things of God.
Well, none of this is altogether true. Our God is not dependent on man’s strength or youth. He is never limited by my feebleness. I read that His strength is made perfect in my weakness. He is very capable of using an aged, weak, trembling, old man or woman as He pleases. That sure brings all the glory to Him.
I’m certainly not despising a young man’s strength, nor the wise man’s wisdom, but all things are useable to the God of all power and perfect wisdom. I do regret that I did not always serve God in the days of my strength and youth. But He knows all about that. His mercy and long suffering are most surely my strength. I know I cannot serve God with the power and strength of so many I know today but it’s surely not because I don’t want to. I guess what I’m saying is I’m not sad because I have become aged, infirmed, and not much use to God now. But He can make whatever use of me that He deems wise. My weakness in no way limits God. Jacob worshipped, leaning on his staff.
The lordship of Christ has never been more precious to me than in these days and my apparent service to Him less. But I rest in peace, that He is never surprised at anything. I’m content and I rest in the precious lordship of Christ, my blessed Redeemer. My sufficiency is totally vested in Him. Oh brother, to be a Christian is unbelievable! I praise His dear Name.

— Bob Woodruff

Heavenly Springs

[Bob Woodruff was a godly man from east Texas, loved by many, who passed away last year. He was continually praising, speaking of, and exalting Christ as his most precious possession. His life was a fragrant blessing to all who knew him. These are some miscellaneous thoughts which became heavenly springs to him from the Lord, sent by Bob to friends during his illness over the months before his advance to glory.]

I don’t know what God yet may have for me in this sojourn, but it will be good. Learning to glory in tribulation is an unspeakable gift.

Even now, I know I am in the loving care of the Lord Jesus; he has not forsaken me; he cares, I know he cares.

When one reaches my age, he realizes more perfectly that all here below is vanity, and your soul pants for the living God. Nothing else will satisfy the longing heart for reality and truth of a living Savior. Bless his holy Name!

All through the blood of Calvary- Oh, glory to God my Father!

To learn this is to learn one of the greatest treasures of the faith – these few short years, and then an entrance into absolute truth. Oh joy, joy, joy! Just think brother– no more sorrow, tears, or death!

My experience now makes me more excited about “going home” than I’ve ever been before.

I’m struggling with my memory, but God knows that. He will meet my needs and I rejoice in that. I don’t know just what he has for me in the days to come, but he has said, “I will never leave nor forsake you.” What a glorious promise!

Thoughts too high for us to fully embrace in this hour. But, oh yes, we shall fully understand in another day that will be ours through the blessed work of our Savior. The depth of these thoughts exceed our ability to plummet in this hour, but then we shall know as we are known. Oh glorious day!!! All through the blood of our blessed Redeemer. “Trust in The Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.”

To know and do the will of God for me in a difficult hour–to hear and obey God and please Him

The words of a hymn come to mind this morning….”And the things of this world grow strangely dim, in the light of His glorious grace.”

I plan to attempt to speak to our little gathering in the morning. Maybe 8 or so; first time in weeks. May he be pleased as we attempt to lift him up.

A great word from brother Henry– “It is by affliction that he purifies us (Isa 48:10) and by trial that he takes our affections from the objects of time and sense, and gives them a relish for the enjoyments which result from the prospect of perfect and eternal glory.”
– Matthew Henry

For the first time in weeks, I attempted to speak; there’s nothing noteworthy about that except to me. It is of God’s mercies, longsuffering, and grace upon us in our neediness.

– Bob Woodruff