And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee. Genesis 28:22.
In accordance with the custom of commemorating important events, Jacob set up a memorial of God’s mercy, that whenever he should pass that way he might tarry at this sacred spot to worship the Lord…. With deep gratitude he repeated the promise that God’s presence would be with him; and then he made the solemn vow, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: and this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth upon thee.”
Jacob was not here seeking to make terms with God. The Lord had already promised him prosperity, and this vow was the outflow of a heart filled with gratitude for the assurance of God’s love and mercy. Jacob felt that God had claims upon him which he must acknowledge, and that the special tokens of divine favor granted him demanded a return. So does every blessing bestowed upon us call for a response to the Author of all our mercies. The Christian should often review his past life and recall with gratitude the precious deliverances that God has wrought for him, supporting him in trial, opening ways before him when all seemed dark and forbidding, refreshing him when ready to faint. He should recognize all of them as evidences of the watchcare of heavenly angels. In view of these innumerable blessings he should often ask, with subdued and grateful heart, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?” (Psalm 116:12).
Our time, our talents, our property, should be sacredly devoted to Him who has given us these blessings in trust. Whenever a special deliverance is wrought in our behalf, or new and unexpected favors are granted us, we should acknowledge God’s goodness, not only by expressing our gratitude in words, but, like Jacob, by gifts and offerings to His cause. As we are continually receiving the blessings of God, so we are to be continually giving.
Conflict and Courage p. 65
—–Please pray for Carol who is in her final days with her battle with cancer.
—–update—Please continue to pray for Kamerah who has benign acute childhood myositis. Her blood levels are coming down which means that her body is filtering out the virus. This is good news but she must drink more water which she has a hard time remembering to do.
——update—Day 59-60 Kris came through his surgery yesterday pretty well. Skin was harvested from 3 sites and transplanted to 10 smaller areas where previous grafts had failed. Temporary pins were also inserted in the knuckle of his right ring finger to immobilize it and facilitate healing of the graft. Post-op, a hematoma was drained and sutures were placed under the new lower back graft to control the bleeding. . . . His blood pressure has been really low (87/35), while his heart rate is high (126), and this combination makes treatment for either with medication tricky. Overall, he is doing well and should be released from the ICU in a week or so. He should then spend two to three weeks in a regular hospital room before being sent to a live-in rehab center. Also, an update on my condition. For those that don’t know I have a condition, I described my accident in the February 18th update. It’s been 14 weeks since the accident, and the two vertebrae fractures are healed, so I’m no longer in a back brace. Casts on both lower legs have been replaced with removable walking boots, although I’m still non-weightbearing for another three weeks. One six inch incision from the 2nd surgery is still healing, but the pain has subsided, and I’m no longer on any medication. I currently remove the boots and work on ankle movement every day in preparation for a May 1st target date for standing with a walker. The right foot is still very swollen and has a nerve issue which I’m hoping resolves itself in the next three weeks, as it would seriously hinder my ability to walk. It’s been a long uncomfortable and inconvenient ordeal, that’s been extremely frustrating, but I’m doing alright. Until I’m up and walking, I won’t know how much the damage will affect the long term functionality of my feet, nor do I know how my back and groin will feel until I stand. I have another minor surgery two months from now that will remove two of the 16 screws, and one of the titanium plates. I’m hoping to do some of my rehab with Kris. As always, thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers. Jack
I thought I would share a psalm with you today. Psalm fifty speaks of many things that are important to us and should be contemplated.
“The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from
the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the
perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall not
keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very
tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above,
and to the earth, that he may judge his people. Gather my saints
together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.
And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge
himself. Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will
testify against thee: I am God, even thy God. I will not reprove thee
for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually
before me. I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of
thy folds. For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a
thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild
beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee:
for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof. Will I eat the flesh of
bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay
thy vows unto the most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I
will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. But unto the wicked God
saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou
shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction,
and castest my words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief, then thou
consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou
givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest
and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son.
These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I
was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set
them in order before thine eyes. Now consider this, ye that forget God,
lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. Whoso offereth
praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright
will I show the salvation of God.” Psa 50
Our Great Creator, the King of the Universe, He Who upholds “all things
by the word of his power” knows each of us as if there were no other. He
knows all about us—all that we do, all that we say, all that we think.
He knows us so intimately that He numbers even the hairs of our head.
David spoke about this very thing, “O LORD, thou hast searched me, and
known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou
understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying
down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my
tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether….Yea, the darkness
hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and
the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou
hast covered me in my mother’s womb…. My substance was not hid from
thee, when I was made in secret…. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet
being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in
continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them….Search
me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if
there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psa
139 In view of this he asks the question, “He that planted the ear,
shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see? He that
chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man
knowledge, shall not he know? The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that
they are vanity.” Psa 94:9-11 Solomon adds, “He that covereth his sins
shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have
mercy.” Prov 28:13
And He Who sees all, will be our judge. He Who knows our thoughts, our
motives, everything is the Righteous Judge. (2 Tim 4:8) He is judging
all, “the quick and the dead.” How shall we be able to face Him?
Through the great sacrifice of Jesus, through obeying His Word, by having
our heart united with His heart, by having a daily relationship with the
One Who loves us so. It is not enough to have just a mental assent to
the truth, but it must encompass our entire being. Paul tells us, “not
the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law
shall be justified….In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men
by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.Rom 2:13,16
Jesus is coming soon! He assures us, “behold, I come quickly; and my
reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
Rev 22:12 John exclaims, “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye
shall see him.” 1:7 Paul looks forward to that great and glorious day,
“1 Cor 15:51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but
we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the
last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised
incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put
on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this
corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have
put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is
written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 1 Cor
15:51-55 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead
in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be
caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:
and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1Th 4:16,17
May we be ready for that soon coming day. May we keep ever close to our
Maker, our Redeemer, our King that we may be filled with joy when He
comes. May we very soon look up and say, “Lo, this is our God; we have
waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for
him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Is 25:9