The “PERFECT HATE” Point-of-View

Psalm 139:19-22 (AMP):

[19]  If You would [only] slay the wicked, O God, and the men of blood depart from me–

[20]  Who speak against You wickedly, Your enemies who take Your name in vain!

[21]  Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate you?  And am I not grieved and do I not loathe those who rise up against You?

[22]  I hate them with perfect hatred; they have become my enemies. 

To do a study on the theme of PERFECT HATE, I had to ask myself definitive questions before beginning:

1.  WHAT IS “PERFECT HATRED”?

2.  WHO AND WHAT SHOULD WE HATE AS TRUE BELIEVERS OF JESUS?

3.  WHY SHOULD WE HATE?

4.  WHAT IS THE NATURE OF WHOLESOME, PERFECT HATRED?

5.  DO WE HAVE IT?

6.  HOW CAN WE CULTIVATE IT?

IS “HATRED” ONLY FOUND IN THE PSALMIST?

God Himself claims He HATES the wicked:

“The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong”  (Psalm 5:5 NIV).

You might be thinking to yourself, “Yeah, but that OLD TESTAMENT!  How about Scripture from the NEW TESTAMENT?”  If that’s what you’re thinking, let me point to you what God says in The Book of Revelation:

[6] Yet you have this–in your favor and to your credit–you hate the works [the “deeds”] of the Nicolaitans [what they are doing as corrupters of the people], which I Myself also detest (hate).  [15] You also have some who in a similar way are clinging to the teaching of the Nicolaitans [those corrupters of the people], which thing I hate.” ~ Revelation 2:6, 15 AMP.

GOD HATES SIN…the Doctrine promoted by the wicked!

Who are the “wicked” Nicolaitans?  According to Harper’s Bible Dictionary, the Nicolaitans (ni-koh-lay’i-tahns), were a religious sect in Ephesus and Pergamum whose members made it a practice of eating food sacrificed to idols and for sexual license.  In other words, the idea to get across to other church members, was the perpetual...”It’s okay! Things are changing in the world and everybody has accepted these practices as a new standard in society.”  

BUT…does GOD HATE the “doer” of the deeds?  And what does the word HATE actually mean?

THE WORD “HATE”:

The word HATE is a strong word.  In the Greek language, the word is miseo, means to hate, abhor, or to find utterly repulsive.  It describes a person who has a deep-seated animosity, antagonistic to something or someone who he finds to be completely objectionable.  Not only does one loathe that object, but rejects it entirely.  This isn’t a case of DISLIKE; it’s a case of actual hatred.

“If GOD Hates something…then so do I” –

“Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow”  (James 1:17 NAS).

GOD also commands us to HATE the sinfulness of this world”:

“[Strive to] save others, snatching [them] out of [the] fire; on others take pity [but] with fear, loathing even the garment spotted by the flesh and polluted by their sensuality”  (Jude 23 AMP).

EVERY TRACE of wickedness of this world should be an abomination to us.

WE ARE TO HATE…YET WE ARE TO HAVE A DEEP-SEATED LOVE:

“God So LOVED the World that…”

Does our sense of WRONG proceed from LOVE?  Does our disapproval of any evil express LOVE?  Is there a HATRED that we should avoid as Christians?

8432828-opened-magic-book-with-magic-lightLets go to the WORD of GOD for some answers:

Anyone who hates (abominate, detests) his brother [in Christ] is [at heart] a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding (persevering) within him  (1 John 3:15 AMP).

Works or doings of the flesh (human nature without God), found in Galatians 5:19-21,  are not only listed by the apostle but he point-blank mentions “those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (verse 21).

THERE IS “RIGHTEOUS LOVE”/”WICKED LOVE”:

We all know that bible verse found in John 3:16.  But does our sense of WRONG proceed from LOVE?  Does our disapproval of any evil express our inward LOVE?

The Perfect UNVALENTINE:

LOVE or HATRED Displayed
LOVE or HATRED Displayed

I can remember when I was in elementary school many years ago on Valentine’s Day, we were to exchange Valentine cards to every fellow student.  My mom would sit down with me at the kitchen table and asked me to decide which cards would go to each individual.

Now it became evident, that the heart cards…the ones that said “I LOVE YOU” would go to special individuals.  Okay, special girls in my classroom.  But when it came to certain individuals, my feelings were much different.  I would ask my mom, “Do I have to give them a Valentine’s card?  Can’t I just give a UN VALENTINE’s card?”  My mother’s explanation to a child, who based their entire life on feelings, good or bad, like or dislike, that everyone would receive a VALENTINE CARD!  There wasn’t such a thing as a UNVALENTINE CARD, so I went along with mom’s suggestion–love it or hate it!

“Love for God and Righteousness is godly, Love for the World is Ungodly” (Tim Hayes)–

“Do not LOVE or CHERISH the world or the things that are in the world.  If anyone LOVES THE WORLD, love for the Father is not in him”  (1 John 2:15).

“O you who LOVE the Lord, HATE evil; He preserves the lives of His saints (the children of God), He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked”  (Psalm 97:10).

“The reverent fear and worshipful awe of the Lord [includes] the HATRED of evil…”  (Proverbs *:13).

“The opposite then of LOVE is not HATE…the opposite of both HATE and LOVE is APATHY”  (Tim Hayes)–

“Caring intensely is both LOVE & HATE; the opposite of caring intensely is not caring at all”… and can be an apathetic heart.

GOD HATES THE NATURE OF SINNERS: 

God hates the nature of sinners because He cares about the obedience and the holiness on His creation.  He HATES the way they respond to the world; the very fabric of what they do, why they do it, and how they think.

The HEART ISSUE Comes Into play…

A SELFISH and WICKED HEART hates a man–seeks to destroy him in deed or with words.  Whereas a RIGHTEOUS HEART hates and man seeks his welfare.

What makes HATRED right or wrong is the heart that it springs from, not the hatred or love in and of itself.

THINGS WE SHOULD HATE WITH “Perfect Hate”:

I’m not going to look at what man says “perfect hatred” is or isn’t.  I’m going to search out then answers from God’s Word…the truth of the matter in what we should HATE:

Psalm 101:3 – “I will set no base or wicked thing before my eyes.  I hate the work of them who turn aside [from the right path]; it shall not grasp hold of me.”

Psalm 119:113 – I hate the thoughts of undecided [in religion], double-minded people, but Your law do I love.”

Psalm 119:163 – I hate and abhor falsehood, but Your law do I love.”

Psalm 139:21 – “Do I not hate them O Lord, who hate You?  And am I not grieved and do I not loathe those who rise up against You?

1.  LOVE others by sincerely seeking their welfare…as you LOVE, you HATE.

2.  HATE everything about the wicked…that comprises them, makes them tick, counting them your enemies while hating even the garment spotted by the flesh (Jude 23).

3.  SEEK NOT the lukewarm, “the middle ground” of sinfulness, for that is APATHY.  For GOD will spew (“throw-up”) you out (Revelation 3:16).

4.  RETURN to your FIRST LOVE…and your PERFECT HATRED, as Jesus speaks to the Church at Ephesus:

Revelation 2:4-6 Amplified Bible–

BUT I have this [one charge to make] against you; that you have left (abandoned) the LOVE that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love].  REMEMBER then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God’s will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord], or else I will visit you and remove you lampstand from its place, unless you change your mind and repent.  Yet you have this [in your favor and to your credit]: you HATE the WORKS of the Nicolaitans [what they are doing as corrupters of the people], which I Myself detest.

Does Our HATRED Correspond from Our Hearts?

If we HATE without the LOVE grounded in our hearts, then it can’t be “perfect hate”.  

Our response to the HATE ISSUE in our theology, should underly God’s PERFECT HATE.  It should rest on two specific qualities:

1.  HOLINESS.

2.  JUSTICE.

So you and I…and all humanity, may choose to follow in God’s standards; hating anything that hates our Lord and Savior or His standards, set down in His Word–Scripture.

Our response?

As God’s children, we need to mirror our Father’s attitudes toward evil and evil doers (Psalm 26:5), idolaters (Psalm 31:6), the “false way” (Psalm 119:104), falsehood…double-minded people (Psalm 119:113).

Our prayer, when in doubt of showing HATRED in our life–“Is it really PERFECT HATE?”– should be as the psalmist:

Psalm 139:23, 24:

“Search me [throughly], O God, and know my heart!  Try me and know my thoughts!  And see if there is any wicked or hurtful [*uncaring] way in me in the way everlasting.”  – *(my word).

 

Bon Appetit!

EATING FOOD WITH NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS:

“IS HONEY BAD FOR YOU, OR GOOD? The Sweet Truth Revealed [Facts from Authority Nutrition – January 16th, 2013 by Kris Gunnars.]

Taste of HONEY
Taste of HONEY 

According to nutritional data, a typical batch of HONEY supplies:

 82% sugar, by weight.

–  Half of sugar (40% of total weight) is fructose.

–  Contains only trace amounts of vitamins and minerals. 

–  HONEY contains various antioxidants (helps prevent diseases and sickness).

Well, we now have the nutritional evidence of HONEY,  but is there something else we can replace the TASTE OF HONEY to our palates?  Something that taste sweet, with an antioxidant benefit, but without the fructose sugar after taste.  I think I might have found the answer.

Eating Your Words…”Speak Sweetly!”

“Speak Sweetly!  So that, if ever you have to eat your words, they don’t taste bad”  [Quote from an unknown author.].

OH BOY…DESSERT IS ON THE TABLE AND IT CAN BE NUTRITIOUS:

After you’ve enjoyed a delicious meal, there is one more thing to look forward to–DESSERT!  Over the years of attending Church potlucks (I like the word “Pot-faith” better), I’ve enjoyed observing people going through the serve-yourself-line.

Some people must have eaten at home before they came, because they seem to take such small portions.  I’m sure that’s how they eat at home…like birds.

But in being kind, I’m not referring to these people as models.  It appears that their main interest for being there is simply…THE DESSERT TABLE!  As soon as they see the dessert table open for business…they are usually the first in line to grab the SWEET GOODIES.

“Dessert Is Now Being Served!”

In the BIBLE we read of the sweet taste of honey for the one who loves to dig deep into GOD’s Word–“grab the sweet goodies”.

Psalm 19:9-14 [Amplified Bible]:

[9 b.]  …the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous.  [10] More to be desired are they than gold, even than much fine gold; they are sweeter also than honey and drippings from the honeycomb.  [11] Moreover, by them is Your servant, warned (reminded, illuminated, and instructed); and in keeping them there is great reward.  [12] Who can discern his lapses and errors?  Clear me from hidden [and unconscious] faults.  [13] Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me!  Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent and clear of great transgression.  [14] Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my [firm, impenetrable] Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 119:101-105 [Amplified Bible]:

[101] I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep Your word [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it].  [102] I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me.  [103] How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.  [104] Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.  [105] Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Ezekiel 3:1-4; 10 [Amplified Bible]:

[1] HE SAID to me, Son of man, eat what you find [in this book]; eat this scroll; then go and speak to the house of Israel.  [2] So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat the scroll.  [3] And He said to me, Son of man, eat this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.  Then I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth.  [4] And He said to me, Son of man, go, get you to the house of Israel and speak to them with My words.  [10] Moreover, He said to me, Son of man, ALL My words that I shall speak to you, receive in your heart and hear with your ears.

PSALM 119 is the longest chapter found in Scripture and it is known for its teaching of GOD’s Law.  Not simply about what to do or not do, but how GOD’s Word leads us into a deeper relationship with Him.

VERSE 103 says, THE WORDS OF GOD are “sweeter than honey”.

I have already mentioned, that HONEY is known to have ANTIOXIDANTS; and antioxidants in our body, fights diseases and even heals wounds.

And like HONEY, the Word of God provides good nourishment and substance to our souls:

“As for you, son of man, hear what I say to you; be not rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you [His Word].  And when I looked, behold. a hand was stretched out to me and behold, a scroll of a book was in it.  And He spread it before me and it was written within and on the back, and written on it were words of lamentation and mourning and woe”  (Ezekiel  2:8-10).

JESUS SAID TO THE DEVIL…“It has been written,  Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone,  but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God”  (Matthew 4:4).

Ephesians 6:17-18:

[17] And take the helmet of salvation…the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.  [18] Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty.  To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints.

To RECEIVE the Word is to EAT the Word, and the way we eat the Word is “by means of ALL prayer and petition,” as illustrated in the Christian Testimonies section found at www.prayready.org/eating-the-word-of-God/.

The BENEFITS Given of “Eating” versus “Finding” the Word…

James Gray says, “there’s a great difference between finding the Word of God in your Bible and eating it; and it is the man who eats that gets the benefit out of it!”  Of course, we have to know where the HONEY is found, but unless we eat it, the benefits won’t be enjoyed.

When you go to your doctor because you’re physically out of sorts, the doctor writes you a prescription to get rid of the sickness.  He mentions that you are to take the pills each day and after 30 days, return for an evaluation.

Get the Prescription Filled and Follow the Directions Given–

When you return to the doctor as instructed, he asks you, “How are you feeling now?”  You look at him with disgust and say, “I feel worse today than I did thirty days ago.”  “Did you get the prescription filled and take all the pills?” he asks.  After a long pause and a head hung low, you inform him “I decided that I didn’t really NEED any pills, and never had your prescription filled.”  You knew of the BENEFITS of the prescribed cure, but you chose to ignore the instructions of the doctor.

REMEMBER, GOD IS THE GREAT PHYSICIAN! ~ Matthew 13:15; John 12:40; Acts 28:27;Hebrews 12:13.

Our Taste Buds…

Since your taste buds are found on the tongue, and according to some foodies… sweetness is often the last sensitivity…the one that seems to hang on the longest as we get older [70+ years for me!].  I sometimes take a bite of Strawberry Shortcake with Whipped Cream held on a fork…looking intently and with a smile…hold it in my mouth to savor the sweet taste, all before ingesting the dessert.  It takes me back to my early childhood…memories of family fun times…picking strawberries on farms and smelling the fragrance of the fruit in the air.  All these feelings from a look, a taste before I swallow the treat.

The Importance of Being A “Bible Bee” in Life…You Are Constantly Searching for the Nectar–

When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty ~ Jeremiah 15:16.

Bon Appetit
Bon Appetit

GOD’s Word was welcomed as food to a hungry man and Jeremiah cheerfully RECEIVED them…treasured them up to his memory…digested them to his mind where he carefully retained them…the Word of God, not men.

Under the ministry of the Holy Spirit, FOOD FOR OUR SOULS IS:

– Sweeter than honey.

– Wholesome.

– Nourishing.

– Strengthening.

The words not merely HEARD EXTERNALLY, or SUPERFICIALLY TASTED OF, but when eaten, as Ezekiel’s roll was by him; which was done in FAITH, which receives, feeds and digests THE WORD; for, unless it is mixed with FAITH, the nutritional value is lost in translation.

GUT CHECK TIME: “We Are What We Eat…”

And what you eat…is what you daily read and study.  In his book – Your God Is Too Safe – Mark Buchanan describes STUDY this way:

“Study is ingesting and digesting, the chewing and swallowing and being filled with ideas, images, thoughts and attitudes.  To browse an idea, to skim it and dabble in it–that’s like getting a whiff of food, maybe a faint taste on the tongue.  BUT to study:  to really plunge in the depth of a thing, to interrogate it and allow it to interrogate you, to probe it and be probed by it–that’s STUDY…that’s EATING!

I don’t know about you, but I am willing and able to dive in to the HONEY! No artificial sweetener, no more ‘milk toast’ for me; milk toast is for babies not for spiritually mature adults.

Is there bad tastes in your mouth right now?  “Oh Yuk!”

Although I love Brussel Sprouts now, as a youngster…“Oh yuk!” But HONEY…loved as a child growing up and still love the taste!  I can almost taste the Sage Honey or Orange blossom Honey on the breakfast table before me, that was spread over my mother’s home-made Biscuits on Sunday mornings.  The smell of the food was one thing, but the taste…oh the taste of that HONEY…and now, the desire I have for God’s Word is something I look forward to every morning in eating.

Dripping from the HONEYCOMB
Dripping from the HONEYCOMB

So, Bon Appetit!

Start Enjoying and Devouring the WORD OF GOD!

“God Gave the Song”

I have been reading and meditating in the Book of Psalms for awhile now.  Now I’m sure you are familiar with several; maybe even committed The 23rd Psalm to memory.  But I haven’t heard from the pulpit with much in-depth teaching.  I’ve wondered why not?  Maybe it’s because of the dynamic nature–they’ve got all the ups and downs of life–the nitty-gritty.   But then, I’m just guessing.

The Singer–

My wife’s most favorite book in our library is The Singer Trilogy by Calvin Miller–the mystic retelling of the Story of the New Testament.  Let me quote exerts from Chapter 1, page 14:

“You, too, are higher than the earth!  You sang the higher music once, before the oceans ever crashed their craggy coasts…Earthmaker, tell me if I have the right to sing…”  But then his final word trailed off into the gales.  The gull screamed,  “No,” he thought, “only Earthmaker is everlasting.  His alone must be the theme from which sprung the world I stand upon.”  And so he only loved but never sang the song.”

[Page 15]

“And the song which dogged his aching steps and begged him pleadingly to sing it was completely unfamiliar.  Only stars and mountains knew it.  But they were old.  And man was new, and chained to simple, useless rhymes; thus he could not understand the majesty…But daily now it played upon his heart and swept his soul, until joy exploded his awareness–crying near the edge of sanity,  “Sing…sing…SING!”

A Psalm Sung In 4-Part Harmony.

OUR WORSHIP SONGS–

Sometimes, and I mean sometimes, our worship songs seem a bit to homogenized–nicefied.  

The Psalms Are the Hebrew Hymnal

The words are so raw–dynamic–life & death–the kind of thing we need to hear more of in these turbulent times.  There is so much CHANGE in the air–so much uncertainty.  And in the midst…in the valleys, the Psalmist begins to lead our PRAISES.

Psalm 96–Teaches Us A NEW SONG!

A NEW SONG On A Old Piano
A NEW SONG On A Old Piano

VERSE I:  “O SING to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, ALL THE EARTH!”

I think as we grow older (I’m 72 yrs. old), some of us don’t really like anything new–let alone MUSIC.  What happened to The Eagles, the Bee Gees, The Imperials, The Florida Boys…I could really dig that kind of music.  I knew the tune, the lyrics, the applications to my state-of-being…those were the good old days.

But have you listened to the new stuff on the radio lately?  Even on the local station PRAISE 106.5, I have to turn a deaf ear at times.  A NEW SONG! Blah h…  The new music of the day brings out the curmudgeon in me–the bellyacher–the whiner!  I begin to nitpick, and my wife will whisper in my ear, “You’re ruining my praise.”  It sometimes amazes me how the Holy Spirit can use our spouses to get His point across.

We’re really not different today from the Hebrews of old…

The Hebrews were set in their ways and patterns of life that made things a whole lot easier; they didn’t have to sing a NEW SONG–to change.  It’s easy being in a spiritual rut.  So, to all of us nostalgic people…it’s “time to sing a new song.”

“Okay, okay…if I’ve got to learn a new song–at least you should give us the music!”

And that’s exactly what Psalm 96 is about–teaching people to sing a NEW and different SONG.

A Psalm Sung in 4-Part Harmony:

My life has been involved with MUSIC since I was 4 years old.  I’ve sung in school choirs, church choirs, and a men’s gospel trio in Southern California from 1976 to 1980.  And my enjoyment in singing has been the HARMONY that the music has provided.  So much so, that I tend to forget the MELODY line–once a First Tenor, always a First Tenor!  In saying, I still need to be attentive to the melody line, or I’ll get lost!

As Christians, We ALL Have a part to sing…

When you start looking closely at the words, meditating on the Psalm, you realize that it’s full of four-part harmony–four parts, all of which we’re singing–at once.  But as Calvin Miller would say, “the Earthmaker is always singing the melody line–we join in harmony.”

The New Song Becomes Global…

It is a SONG you can’t miss, and as I discovered, maybe this is the MELODY.

Vs. 1:  “…sing to the Lord all the earth!”

Vs. 3:  “Declare His glory among the nations.”

Vs. 7:  “O you families of the peoples…”

Vs. 9:  “…tremble before and reverently fear Him, all the earth.  (10) Say among the nations that the Lord reigns.”

This IS World Music–

The OLD SONG is insulated; operates on the assumption that it all revolves around me and my issues.  A lot of “I” in the old song.

The NEW SONG becomes Global; it isn’t one that can or should be confined to church walls, or a single group of people.  It should challenge us and look beyond our own needs–our families–our own church–our own people–our own country.  It challenges us to look out and see the Big Picture, the world.

“I’d like to teach the world to sing in harmony…”

Do you have any friends or connections (real connections) with people outside of your circle?

The First Part to learn in harmony: Acts 1:8 describes the NEW SONG as a GLOBAL SONG.

Most of us probably know the tune, but do we hear the harmony?

“But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might!) when the Holy spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.”

Secondly, the Song to Learn is About the Wonder of it All!

I used to love to hear a song sung at almost every Billy Graham Crusade I ever attended.  It was written and sung by the late George Beverly Shea: The Wonder Of It All!

Psalm 96:2 —  “Sing to the Lord, bless (affectionately praise) His name; show forth His salvation from day to day.”

Psalm 96:6 —  “Honor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.”

The NEW SONG is a WORSHIP SONG:

The New Song refocuses our lives so that they are responding to…WHO GOD IS! – “awesome”–and what He does!

God SAVES!

“His SALVATION is day to day”  (verse 2).

I find it easy sometimes to get sidetracked to start singing our own songs–or at least songs that are about ourselves.  We like to sing about ourselves–our issues–our struggles–our loves–and perhaps that’s okay–to some degree.  My wife once pointed out how she often changes the “we’s” & “our’s” to “I’.  Instead “we Love you Lord”, to “I love you Lord.”  And I think that’s a great idea to make worship songs more personal.

BUT, there’s a NEW SONG out there waiting to be sung–not about you and I but about the glory of GOD!

Thirdly, the New Song is Exclusive!

Verse 4:  For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; He is to be reverently feared and worshiped above all gods.

The Bible recognizes other spiritual beings–deities–gods–with a small “g”–deities that have been reduced to idols.  But they are important compared to the LORD who, BTW, is seen in the tag at the end of verse 5, saying “made the heavens.”

The other so-called gods of that day–and in much of our world today–attached to various forms of nature:  gods of thunder, gods of the sky, rivers, ocean, and of nature…but the Psalmist says–THE LORD MADE the heavens–all over these things.  THE LORD OVER ALL!

That now gives us direction and informs our reading of vss. 11-13:

"All the Trees Sing for Joy!"
“All the Trees Sing for Joy!”

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all things which fill it.    Let the field be exultant, and all that is in it!  Then shall all the trees of the wood sing for joy.    Before the Lord, for He comes, for He comes to judge and govern the earth!  He shall judge the world with righteousness and justice and the peoples with His faithfulness and truth.  (Amplified Bible)

The heavens, earth, sea, fields, and crops, the trees–all had gods associated with them in mythology–but here, they are commanded to enter into PRAISE OF THE LORD!

VERSE 11:  LET THE HEAVENS BE GAD, AND LET THE EARTH REJOICE…LET THE SEA ROAR, AND ALL THE THINGS WHICH FILL IT.

UNCONVENTIONAL SINGING–this is not the usual kind of instruments you might expect to hear in worship.  The point the psalmist makes here, is they sing to the Lord!  He alone is WORTHY…ALL of our attention, our affection and our song.  It is the HEART OF WORSHIP!

The Fourth Part of the New Song…

Any great men’s quartet that you may be acquainted with, would sound incomplete without a Tenor, Second Tenor, Baritone,  Bass.  Or in a choir–Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass.  Psalm 96 teaches us the same “singing in 4-part harmonies” principles.

The NEW SONG is based in the future JUSTICE of the Lord:

VERSE 10:  “…He shall judge and rule the people righteously and with justice.”  [Refer to Revelation 11:15; 19:6.]

VERSES 12 & 13:  “Let the field be exultant, and all that is in it!  Then shall all the trees of the wood sing for joy  [13] Before the Lord, for He comes to judge and govern the earth! He shall judge the world with righteousness and justice and the peoples with His faithfulness and truth.”  [See 1 Chronicles 16:23-33; Rev. 19:11.]

So much of what we sing today is grounded in the past–we certainly don’t want to forget the past–but it shouldn’t define who we are.  As frustrating as life gets, as much as the unfairness can eat at us, there is a day JUDGEMENT is on the way.  And so the notes and the lyrics of the NEW SONG we sing should be drawn from that future day.

What if you could see the future?

On August 19th, 2004, Google’s initial public stock offering were at the price of $85/share.  March 7th, 2014, the NASDAQ listed Google’s shares at $1213/share + or -.

If you could have only known this ahead, you might have rearranged your life–re-prioritized your spending habits so you could invest in the future–with Google.

That’s what the psalmist is doing with his NEW SONG.  He sees the future and is saying, the TUNE is getting really old–stale.  But, it doesn’t matter because…I’m singing a NEW SONG anyway!

The Day of Judgement in Psalm 96 Isn’t So Much A Threat…

It is not so much a threat as it is a PROMISE.

We can REJOICE…

We can live JOYFULLY….

We know the Lord’s FAIRNESS and TRUTH ultimately WINS OUT!

“AMUSIA” becomes part of the problem…why we’re not singing in harmony.

According to a Harvard Health Publication from the Harvard Medical School, September 2007, explains in detail, the explanation behind AMUSIA:

Do people cringe when you sing?  You’ve got company.  But researchers have found that only 1 in 20 people truly have AMUSIA, the technical term for TONE DEAFNESS.  Test have shown that some people with bad singing voices hear music just fine.  Amusics, a smaller group have a perceptual problem and can’t pick out differences in pitch or follow the simplest tune.  The Harvard Health Letter goes on to say, the white matter of the brain in Amusics was thinner, which suggests a weaker connection.  Moreover, the worse TONE DEAFNESS, the thinner the white matter.

We are all hopelessly “Tone Deaf” [Bradly Boydston–“Learning A New Song”]

But the GOOD NEWS IS…the Singer has come into the world and started a new song again–we just have to join in with Him–follow His lead. He has given each one of us an invitation to join in commitment to the Singer and His New Song.

GOD GAVE THE SONG TO US ALL! 

Several years ago, Bill and Gloria Gaither wrote a song that many well-known singers (Sandy Patty to name one) and choirs have been introduced to.  I sang this song in choirs on several different occasions in the 70’s, and got goose pimples each time I heard the music and the words.

NARRATION:  Yes, God gave the song.  It’s always been with us.  The song came into our world through a manger in Bethlehem.  It was a simple song–a simple lovely song for every man.  Right from the first, some tried to ignore it.  They said, “There’s no song!  It simply doesn’t exist.”  Others tried to change the tune.  They made laws to stop it.  Armies marched against it.  They killed some who sang the song.  They screamed at it in furry; they tried to drown it out.  Finally, they nailed that song to a tree.  They said to themselves, “There…that should take care of that.”  But it didn’t.

What’s that I hear, I still hear the music.

Day after day, that song goes on. For once you know that source of music,

You’ll always hear it, GOD GAVE THE SONG.

Reigniting the Olympic Flame

Sochi, Russia Olympic Flame
Sochi, Russia Olympic Flame

Well, after 16 grueling days, the flame was extinguished for the 22nd Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia and in four years, the flame will be reignited in Pyeoncheng, Korea.

The OLYMPIC flame towered this year over Fisht Stadium so huge, so massive, it literally could be glimpsed from space.

Photo from 220 miles up in space
Photo from 220 miles up in space

The astronauts on the international Space Station took this photo, showing the flaming cauldron as the spacecraft drifted over Russia’s vacation spot on the Black Sea.  The picture was taken from 220 miles up in the air. [photo courtesy of Mail Online].

In a report from Sochi, NBC’s Brian Williams said when the torch was ignited, “the soaring torch is the most powerful, the loudest, of any Olympic Game.”

I wasn’t ready for the flame to be taken down.  In fact, as Christians, we ought to continually be LIGHTING THE FIRE from within.  How OLYMPIC could that be to the unsaved world today.

Being Olympic Ready!

The Urban Dictionary defines “Olympic” this way:  The true original definition of athleticism; being allowed to represent your country is considered the ultimate goal for almost every athlete in the world.

As Christians, what better ways can we represent our Lord and Savior, reigniting Holy Spirit fire in our lives.  The Light of the World, Christ Jesus, shining through us like a grand Olympic Flame to the rest of the world!

Reigniting the Fire!

GOD wants to speak to you today where you sit.  He wants a stirring within your soul, deep from within, a FIRE that wants to breakout and fan across your world.

In this Blog-Post, there is a calling for you to ignite the flame, that fire, to spark something inside of you today…that something being the POWER of the Holy Spirit.  And believe me, that is Olympic!

ARE YOU READY TO BE IGNITED?  Because if you are, the cause is greater than you!  The cause is Christ Jesus:

The Cause of being…

A difference maker,

Sharing the LOVE, 

Sharing acceptance,

Sharing the forgiveness of Jesus with those around you.

The prophet Isaiah said,

For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest until her imputed righteousness and vindication go forth as brightness, and her salvation radiates as does a burning torch”  (Isaiah 62:1 AMP).

Isaiah couldn’t keep quiet; there was a fire that burned in his belly.  He was going to keep telling people about GOD until RIGHTEOUSNESS rang out in the cities, until SALVATION became a blazing torch in the land.

“Evil triumphs when good people remain silent”

Today is the time!  The time to reignite the fire that was maybe just barely flickering within and become no longer by silent, becoming agents of change.

How Can We Ignite the Flame?

We do it with the flame of…PASSION.

Society has categorized our time in history as “passionless.”  They are wrong!  Being bombarded by a multi-media experiences of life…we’re overloaded, pure and simple.  But the flame within our spirit flickers; burns for the intimacy of relationship.  To reignite the fire within, we need to have a PASSION for God.

The Psalmist wrote of PASSION  in Psalm 86:11-12: 

[11] Teach me Your way,  O Lord, that I may walk and live in Your truth; direct and unite my heart to fear and honor Your name.

[12] I will confess and praise You,  O Lord my God, with my whole (united) heart; and I will glorify Your name forevermore.

The Fire Is Protect and Kept in a Safe Place…

The Olympic Flame comes from Athens, Greece each Olympics.  Our source for the FIRE comes from God and to visualize the flame, we need to establish it from within a vertical relationship.

Relationship on the rocks?

In an article, “Relationship on the Rocks?” written by Julie Orlov, she addresses married couples relationships when they grow cold.  She points out the breakdowns that can happen by asking the question, “Where has the spark gone?”  Many couples after some years have gone by, or when the kids have moved out, look at each other as if they’re compatible roommates; the relationship has lost the PASSION!  And for man, there comes a time when that level of complacency is no longer acceptable.

Crying Out to God…

We need to “cry out” to God, not to be complacent in relationship with Him.

OUR Prayer:  Teach me how to be more passionate for You, showing me the way You would have me walk through this life on earth.  God, direct my heart so I will respect, trust, and honor You in all ways, in all things.

Stirring the Flame of Commitment!

We stir the flame until it burns within our soul and we cannot remain silent because…we are PASSIONATE with commitment to God.  And by the way…this conversation we should have with our life-mate…establishes the horizontal relationship as well.

PASSIONATE WITH COMMITMENT!

Not only do we need to have PASSION for God, we need to have:  A PASSION FOR OTHERS.

In Psalm 2:8, God gives us this information:  “Ask of Me, and I will give You [Jesus] the nations as Your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth as Your possession.”

When we have PASSION for God, we will have PASSION to do the work of our heavenly Father, the work of seeing the world come to JESUS.

When we allow the FIRE OF GOD to burn within, comes a passionate heart cry for the lost people in our community and around the world. This is the PASSION I have within my soul and spirit to write a weekly blog.  We all need to have PASSION to dream God’s dreams!!!

The Truth Is the Value of Our PASSION:

Like FIRE, our PASSION will be judged finally by the amount of warmth and light it transmits.

FIRE must be controlled…

To live passionately, we must develop DISCIPLINE.  Fanatics like foresting fires, burning brightly through the landscape, but at the same time, destroying everything that is tender and green in its path!  To be useful, FIRE must be controlled.

To LOVE PASSIONATELY, we need to form the bonds of COMMITMENT.

Inspiration;

Not only do we need PASSION in our lives, we need to also have INSPIRATION.

Talk to people who have been successful in life, they will tell you how they found someone they can point to for the inspiration of their achievement.

If you need some inspiration right now in your life, read the lives of the great men and women of FAITH in Hebrews 11, then reflect on Hebrews 12:1:

Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us.

If you are going to light the torch within, you are not only going to need PASSION and INSPIRATION, you’ll need PERSPIRATION!

Perspiration in Preparation
Perspiration in Preparation

Perspiration–how do we know the fire is aflame?

WHERE’S THE SMOKE?  WHERE’S THE FLAME?

The NBC news anchor, Brian Williams mentioned while in attendance, when the Olympic Flame was ignited in Sochi, the flame sounded like a Jet Airplane taking off at an airport!  Now that would certainly get your attention, wherever you were at the time.

James 2:26 says,  “For as the human body apart from the spirit is lifeless, so faith apart from [its] works of obedience is also dead.”

Questions need to be answered before reigniting the flame–

WHAT ARE YOUR DESIRES?

WHAT ARE YOUR AMBITIONS?

WHAT ARE YOU PUTTING YOUR BLOOD, SWEAT, AND TEARS INTO?

WHAT FIRE IS BURNING INSIDE OF YOU?

We can all come up with EXCUSES, why we can’t, sitting back and doing nothing in reaching people around us to come to JESUS, or we can go for the GOLD; allow the Holy Spirit to IGNITE the fire within while accomplishing great things in Jesus’ name.

Now is the Time!

The Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro begin in 2016; where the Olympic Torch will once more be reignited.  But the athletes are in training and getting ready for the games, in the right now!  Their PASSION, INSPIRATION, PERSPIRATION is now!!!  If they waited for 2016 to be prepared, it would mean nothing.

BUT now is the time for us, for the flame to be stirred for igniting the fire within.  RIGHT NOW is the time to be PASSIONATE about life, to not only look to others for inspiration, but to be an inspiration to others around us.

It’s time to PERSPIRE, to get into action before difference makers.

Don’t Wait till it’s Too Late–It’s a Matter of Life and Death!

People are dying around us every day, hour, minute, second–friends, family, co-workers.  And remember, we don’t need to be observed from a Space Station 280 miles above the earth to be seen.  Our Olympic Flame just needs to be reignited to the lost in our cities, communities and our neighborhoods.

Therefore, as sin came into the world through one man, and death as the result of sin, so death spread to all men, [no one being able to stop it or to escape its power] because ALL MEN SINNED.  (Romans 5:12).

For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.  (Romans 6:23).

The HOPE to be Conveyed to others in Romans 8: 

[Romans 8:1-2; 9-19, 24-25].

A Prayer for Lighting the Fire Within:

Father, I know by the current events surrounding my life, the time for Your Sons return is growing nearer everyday.  There are people in my community, my neighborhood, my family that doesn’t know Him.  Your Word says that I need to share the Gospel message as Your Spirit leads.  I desire it Lord.  Light my fire within my heart and give me the right words to say at any given time.  The time IS now!

Thank You Father God, in Jesus’ name.