Thursday, September 22, 2022

What Thoughts in the Morning...

What Thoughts in the Morning...
by David Brenneman

When I wake up to a segment of a hymn repeating in my mind that, my Friend, is always a good thing.

This morning it happened again and I looked up the words to try to remember the rest.  It was "When Morning Gilds the Skies" - Author unknown from my brief search. 

When morning gilds the skies,
My heart awaking cries:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Alike at work and prayer,
To Jesus I repair;
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Does sadness fill my mind?
A solace here I find,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Or fades my earthly bliss?
My comfort still is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

When sleep her balm denies,
My silent spirit sighs,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
When evil thoughts molest,
With this I shield my breast:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

The night becomes as day
When from the heart we say:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
The pow’rs of darkness fear
When this sweet chant they hear:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

In heav’n’s eternal bliss
The loveliest strain is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Let earth, and sea, and sky
From depth to height reply,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Be this, while life is mine,
My song of love divine:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Sing this eternal song
Through all the ages long:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

A question was asked this week of thinking on the idea of not going it alone in the walk with Jesus.  It's innately difficult to praise God with a group of like-minded Believers if you aren't with them to praise God together.  Of course you can have personal praise time.  King David, King Solomon, Daniel etc. often evidently were in the habit of praising God individually.  

In the place of this question being asked it was said that much care should be taken with regards to those who are indeed trying to go it alone as to not to categorize them. As my particular comment had to do with cells in a body that are there to be part of that body and what we call cells that feed off the body but do not contribute to it being called cancerous. The care being suggested being that we might dismiss people if we don't immediately judge them as being unworthy of our time.

Being sure of your salvation in Christ Jesus is imperative to truly worshiping Him.  In James 1:22-26 NASB it says "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not just hearers who deceive themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who has looked intently at the perfect law, the law of freedom, and has continued in it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an active doer, this person will be blessed in what he does. If anyone thinks himself to be religious, yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this person’s religion is worthless."  

In Revelation 3:14-22 NASB "“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Origin of the creation of God, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have no need of anything,” and you do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to apply to your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. The one who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat with My Father on His throne. The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

While I agree with it being said to be careful of categorizing people...because for a few decades I was categorized as being one of those unworthy for people's time.  I lived that in my life. In much of the last 21 years of my life I pretty much was forced to 'go it alone' with God in my daily-weekly walk because of how closed people were where we lived to relationships.  People would be friendly enough on Sunday's but wouldn't open their hearts or homes during the week to getting to know us.  To say the least it was indeed a struggle.  We've moved and are trying harder to open new relationships with the people here. We do not want to be going it alone in our new hometown.

On my mowing days I have nearly an hour or so of personal praise time.  When possible at work I use either a Bluetooth speaker or my Bluetooth earpiece to listen to praise music.  In Christ I can be anywhere and praise the name of Jesus Christ.

James sort of hits the  nail on the head about the 'lone wolf' mentality of trying to live life with God apart from people.  Jesus came to seek and save the lost...He said to some that He didn't come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.  

An effectual doer also follows the Word of God which says clearly not to forsake the assembly as is the habit of some.  We need to get together with other like-minded Believers in order to grow in Christ...that is our Christ Jesus.  

There are stories and I'm sure video's of what has happened to children found in the wilderness that had no form of structured upbringing.  They are incredibly hard to teach how to be a 'normal' human being.  We need each other to help each other.  A single hand has a difficult time washing itself by itself.

We need each other to be reminded on more deeper levels of the love of God, of our progress in Christ Jesus through mutual encouragement.  We need each other to tend to each other's wounds from this world.  We need each other to truly say "May Jesus Christ Be Praised!"

This notion of 'going it alone' is sort of a sore spot with me as you might have read between the lines of my mentioning it going on for 21 years.  It's been that way not just for myself but my Wife as well.  We want Godly relationships with other Believers.  We want to be an active part of the body of Christ and not to be misconstrued as not being part of it.  It's a very unencouraging week when you mostly go from Sunday to Sunday not hearing from anyone you go to church with.  It's different for me as I have been involved with a second group from church but not my Wife.  Just being truthful here.  I know the events of recent years still weighs on people's minds as to getting together, but as said we lived with the same thing like that for a couple of decades.  Unlike the last few decades we're reaching out more and more to try to make connections.

The greatest praise moments of my life came when I was with large groups of people singing "Praise Him! Praise Him!" and other hymns.  

We also learn how to navigate life by being with other like-minded Believers.  The enemy of the cross of Christ would love nothing more than for Believers to go it alone.  Jesus said He is the vine we are the branches apart from Him we can do nothing.  If you're not in the Word of God, if you're not reading it or making it a part of your have a much harder time navigating life.  

Being with other like-minded Believers also tends to bring out things that the Spirit is doing in our lives.  People tend to learn that they aren't the only one's going through something.  The enemy of Christ Jesus would love us to believe that it's only happening to us.

While we might indeed, as I often do while mowing, find great joy in praising God where I am alone, still greater joy is found when you stand alongside others who are also proclaiming that Jesus Christ is to be praised.

We need each other to lift up each other.  It's in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 where we're told that two are better than one. 

We indeed will know people by their fruits...but that form of judgement isn't to be in regards to shunning people but to know how to better help them.  We need to understand people to help people.

Our we have accepted it in Christ the same as seek and save the lost, whomever it may be wherever it may be...and to be praising God along the way, individually and together.  We need the word of God to indeed teach us all things as all scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for training in righteousness that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 

Life will indeed seem lonely and harsh when we go it alone.  We tend to give in to fears much easier when we are believing and seeing that we are alone.  We need each other to lift up each other in Christ Jesus.  We share prayer requests, we share praise's for what He's done in our lives together.  You stand alone in a forest talking about the great things that God has done...who would cry out an AMEN along side of you if it's only you?  

We indeed need each other.  We are in the body to grow in Christ Jesus together. As Paul preached about the parts of the body so it is.  Hands need the feet that need the arm that need the eyes that need the ears that part is unnecessary and no part is unneeded in the body of Christ.  No part is to be trying to live life by himself or herself while calling itself a Christian.  

The enemy of Christ loves us to be alone while hungry, while we are angry, while we are lonely and while we are tired.  He loves it when we play "what if..." in our minds with nobody there to keep us in check with the Word of God.  He loves it when we stay away from other Believers.  Wolves stay in packs to protect the pack.  Enemies of that pack know to search them out and go for the weakest link and try to separate it from the pack to go for the kill. 

In all human history there's only two individuals who will absolutely go from this world, for sure, to Hell.  That's the False Prophet and the AntiChrist.  Both are the only two really un-Saveable people.  
Everyone else who has the breath of life has the opportunity to have a rich life in Christ Jesus while on this Earth, no matter where they are, no matter who they are.

We need to indeed love on people to show them Jesus is indeed alive and well and has a plan for them in this life.  We need to show them by being with them how to indeed say "May Jesus Christ be Praised!" can change their life forever. 

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