Psalm 119 Part 3

Psalms - The Songbook of Israel

 This teaching is an exposition of 119:10-16.

The Hebrew title for the Psalms is the word “Tehilim” which means “praise songs” “Psalms” in the Greek is Psalmoi and means a “collection of poems sung to musical accompaniment.” Psalm 40 seems to embody these definitions – “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and hear and put their trust in God.”

I hope you will be encouraged and gain new insight as you study through the book of Psalms with me. Enjoy!

A Thanksgiving Reflection

thanksgiving-prayer

Today is Thanksgiving Day in America. A day that is for the most part a celebration of our history as a nation, (although very dimly remembered) and all that is good and right about America. This is not to say that America is without blemish for we surely have fallen in many instances, and continue to fail to uphold the ideals which our forefathers envisioned. Nevertheless today is a day of giving thanks for the lives we have and the many attendant blessings, whether we use that particular word or not.

In the midst of this time of reflection I wonder though about the many Americans who increasingly disavow God. If current studies are accurate and the latest statistics can be believed, Americans are becoming more secular and less religious in significant numbers. This has a direct bearing on our ability to see life as precious and worthy of our best efforts.

This is so for many reasons, not the least of which is that for those who have abandoned God and certainly for those who have never claimed belief in God, having a thankful attitude is a purely contrived state of mind. Those who reject belief in God are left with “what is.” What I mean by this is that what the current state of affairs is, is as it should be. There is no ability to attach moral value to “whatever is, is whatever should be.” Any attempt to do so is driven purely by emotion or pragmatism, neither of which can sustain categories of right and wrong, good and evil.

Taking this a bit farther, from where does this idea of thanksgiving come from if our lives have no anchor in transcendence? What are we to be thankful for and to whom? If all we have is “what is” then we are left with the monumental task of creating our own realities including what turns out to be an illusion of thankfulness. The result of rejecting God is not freedom but bondage to illusion. Interestingly, that is what many atheists claim the status of Christians to be. This appears to be a classic case of transference if ever there was one.

Friends, make no mistake – life has a moral framework not of our own creation but of the God who gave us the gift of knowing Him. Included in this gift of knowing God in faith is the gift of a new heart, able to offer up thanksgiving to God who has made all things possible.

May God draw you close to Him today and assure you of His great love for you.

*This article originally appeared on Dr. Mike Spaulding.com

Photo courtesy of Four Corners USA

Question & Answer Friday – When Does the Soul Leave the Body?

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Question:

When does the soul leave the body at death?  Paul in his writings says that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, but when are we absent form the body?

Some background.  My wife has struggled with this trying to put her Christian faith together with her position as a medical professional.  In her role, she is at times required to discuss with families organ procurement for transplant.  There are state laws that require this.  If the heart and lungs are to be harvested for transplant, the patient is placed on machines to keep the lungs working and heart pumping until the transplant team arrives to remove them.  Is the person still alive?  The same question applies to a person on full life support.  When is it OK to remove them from life support?

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Question & Answer Friday – Internet Discernment Sites

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Question:

Does ‘Biblically incorrect’ equal ‘sin’? This is a quote from a letter sent to mature Christians to stop them from visiting ‘even the better discernment’ sites.  1. Does ‘Biblically incorrect’ mean ‘wrong’ and is the correct Biblical term for that ‘sin’? 2. Am I correct in my understanding that the paragraph lays down a law that Christians are forbidden to visit ‘these sites and blogs’? 3. Can Eph 2:19 and Eph 4:15-17 be used to teach that Christians may not visit ‘even the better’ discernment sites?

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