Thanksgiving Series: Wise & Creator God

Psalm 136 can be touted as the “The Psalm of Thanks” or the “Thanksgiving Psalm.” It is a Psalm that is rich in content, apropos the character of God and since each verse in the Psalm is suffixed with “For his mercy endures forever”, it is a Psalm that is easy to read and memorize as well.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, giving thanks for the ultimate reason of sending us his only begotten Son, we will be looking at each verse in Psalm 136 and glean out the character of God from these verses, which would be reason enough to be grateful and give thanks to our LORD God.

Today we look at Verses 5 and 6.
To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Not only does this verse establish the fact that, God is wise, but it also asserts that God is a creator God. In fact, only God is wise (Romans 16:27; 1 Timothy 1:17; Jude 1:25), for even our wisdom is foolishness before God (1 Corinthians 3:19). You could take the smartest of the smart in this world, even Solomon the wise, who when pitched against God in wisdom, would turn out to be a fool. Our God is a creator God. Out of nothing, he can create (ex nihilo bara). When the earth was formless and void (nothing), God’s Holy Spirit hovered it and God created everything by his wisdom (Genesis 1) 

Points to ponder:
Out of the barrenness / emptiness / voidness of our life, when the Holy Spirit of God hovers over our dark and tumultuous life, as the waves (circumstances) of life try to engulf us, God can speak fullness of life (abundant life) into us (John 10:10), when we believe and trust in him.  He can stretch forth his hand over those waters and command “Peace” (Mark 4:35-41); a peace that passeth all understanding (Philippians 4:7) given to those whose mind is fixed on Jesus trusting him (Isaiah 26:3; Hebrews 12:2)  and assure us to “Be still and know that he is God” (Psalm 46:10)

Psalm 136:5-6 (KJV)
To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.


Professional Speaking :: Jesus The Psychiatrist

In September 2011, ran an article entitled “Was Jesus the First Psychiatrist?”. It was written by Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team who expressed his opinion to answer the question “What do Jesus, Psychology and Psychiatry have in common?” But would one be able to deem Jesus as a Psychiatrist?

Psychiatrists are in essence physicians who diagnose and treat illnesses related to the mind. The article is an interesting one and in it, Dr. Ablow writes, “With this focus on classification, technology, statistics and medication, it would be easy to lose sight of the heart and soul of psychiatry and psychology, which has always been just this: People suffer to the extent that they are removed from the truth. People are healed to the extent that they embrace it, no matter the cost.” Rightfully so, the farther the patient is from the truth they seek, the more ill they are.

Jesus is The Psychiatrist. Just as a patient will express their concerns and mental state to a psychiatrist, we can all express our cares and burdens to Jesus, because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). He will listen to each one of us and when our minds are stayed on him, instead of on our problems, He will give perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).

Points to ponder:
People suffer to the extent they are removed from the truth. Jesus is The Truth (John 14:6) and people suffer when they are removed from Him.  If we keep our minds fixed on Jesus, God will grant us perfect peace. Have you cast your burdens on Jesus The Psychiatrist who cares for you? Is your mind fixed on Him or in other words, do you have perfect peace?

1 Peter 5:7 (KJV)
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Isaiah 26:3-4 (KJV)
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength:

Psalm 1 :: Meditate in God’s law continually

How are the blessed? The blessed are the ones who meditate in the law of the Lord, day and night. In other words, the minds of the blessed is pondering over God’s expectation of them continually, lest they fail in any one of them and cause him displeasure (Exodus 20:13-14; 2 Samuel 11:27). How is it that those who continually meditate in the law of God are blessed? This is because, God keeps in perfect peace, all those whose minds are fixed on him (Isaiah 26:3)

Points to ponder:
Do you meditate in the law of the Lord, day and night (continually)? Do you have perfect peace? When our minds are fixed on Jesus and his words, then there is no room for anything else that can distract us and cause him displeasure.

Psalm 1:2 (KJV)
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 

The Nobel Peace prize rightfully belongs to Jesus Christ

Since 1901 till date, some 101 individuals and 20 organizations have been selected to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Some of these Nobel laureates include Theodore Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Desmond Mpilo Tutu, The 14th Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso), Aung San Suu Kyi, and Nelson Mandela.

Sadly however, amongst these Nobel Peace Prize laureates, you would not find the name of Jesus Christ as the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, although he rightfully deserves it year after year.
Why should Jesus be the winner of the Noble Peace Prize? The short answer is “Because, He is the Greatest Peacemaker of all”.

How can we be so sure?
In the Past, before Jesus’ Birth – In Prophesy, Jesus is referred to as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)
At Jesus’ Birth – Peace was announced by an angelic choir to be on earth (Luke 2:14)
In Jesus’ Death – He made Peace through the blood of his cross (Colossians 1:20)
After Jesus’ Resurrection –  His very first words, when he meets with his disciples are “Peace be unto you” (John 20:19)
In the Present, Today – He is our Peace (Ephesians 2:14)
In the Future, His covenant of peace shall not be removed (Isaiah 54:10)

I rest my case. Jesus Christ should be the Nobel Peace Prize winner year after year and He keeps those whose minds are stayed (focussed) on him in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3)

Points to ponder:
Do you have the PERFECT peace of God flood your life?  Is your mind stayed (focussed) on Jesus Christ?

Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 

Luke 2:14 (KJV)
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 

Colossians 1:20 (KJV)
20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

John 20:19 (KJV)
19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

Ephesians 2:13-15 (KJV)
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

Isaiah 54:10 (KJV)
10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee. 

Isaiah 26:3 (KJV)
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. 

God – the Mindreader

If I was to ask you, tell me what I am thinking, the chances that you are going to guess what I am thinking is not only infinitesmally small but in most cases impossible. Even if you did get it correct, it is most likely because you made an educated guess and somehow got lucky. We take solace in the fact, that others around us, cannot read our minds, because the filth that they may find in our minds may make them completely change their opinions about us. Even our righteousness are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) and personally I thank God, others around me, cannot read my mind. However, I dare not challenge God to tell me what I am thinking, for there is not one (no not one) thought that is hidden from him.

The Bible says that God knows the things that come into our mind, every one of them (Ezekiel 11:5). There is nothing that we can hide from God for God is a mindreader. Let us not be carnally minded, but be spiritually minded, for to be carnally minded is death but to be spiritually minded is life and peace (Romans 8:6). God will keep in perfect peace, whose minds are stayed on him (Isaiah 26:3).

Points to ponder:
Is you mind stayed on Christ Jesus? If God was to read your mind now, what would he find? Remember, there is nothing hidden from God, not even our thoughts, for he knows every thing that comes into our mind, every single one of them.  God can read your minds, he is a mindereader!

Ezekiel 11:5 (KJV)
And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the LORD; Thus have ye said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them.

Romans 8:5-6 (KJV)
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 

Blessed “Be” attitudes :: Be a Peacemaker

Matthew 5:3-12 lists eight Beatitudes that were spoken of by Jesus. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

To be blessed, one must have the attitude of being a peacemaker.

What does it mean to be a peacemaker and why shall the peacemakers be called the children of God? Before Jesus’ birth, the prophecy by Isaiah entitled Jesus to be The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). At His birth, the heavenly angelic choir sang, ‘peace’ on earth (Luke 2:14). It is possible to have peace on earth, because The Prince of Peace came to earth, to do the will of God the Father, which was to reconcile mankind back to God by redeeming mankind from death and sin. He accomplished this on the Cross, from where he affirmed that God’s work of redeeming mankind to and for Himself was finished. In other words, Jesus’ mission was a mission of restoring peace; a peace that passeth all understanding (Philippians 4:7) and all who put their trust in Jesus with their minds fixed on Him will be kept in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3). Those who have believed in Jesus are covenanted to have a life of peace (Malachi 2:5) as God’s royal priests (1 Peter 2:9). God commands that the life of a priest must be one of peace and uprightness, turning many from sins (iniquities) with the message of God’s Love (Malachi 2:6-7); a love so great that He gave us His only begotten Son, to pay the wages of our sins (which is death), by His very own life (John 3:16). The God given responsibility of a priest is to be a messenger of the Lord (Malachi 2:7); a messenger with the message of peace. In other words, to be a priest is to be a peacemaker, turning many from sin and reconciling mankind to God for we have been given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18). And all who are peacemakers, are in essence, emulating the very mission of Jesus Christ, just as a child imitates the character of a parent and in this sense are rightfully called the children of God. God is a God of peace who works to make all perfect (blameless without sin) through the covenant of the blood of His dear Son, Jesus Christ (Hebrew 13:20-21), and all who are peacemakers imitate God the Father and are thereby blessed as His children.

Matthew 5:9 (KJV)
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 (KJV)
16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

The Armor David Wore :: Helmet of Salvation

The Bible records that David, the shepherd boy chose not to wear the armor of a soldier, that King Saul armed him with, when he averred to fight the giant, Goliath (1 Samuel 17:38-39). But David did wear another kind of armor, an armor that was more effective than the physical armor that he chose not to wear, against an armored foe. It was a spiritual armor that He wore.

The helmet is part of an armor that protects the head literally and figuratively the mind. The Bible says that He [God] will keep in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed [fixed] on Him [God] (Isaiah 26:3). The Psalmist (David) avers that the Lord is my light and my Salvation, whom shall I fear? (Psalm 27:1). Those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, are assured of Salvation and they can be in perfect peace without any fear. They are assured of eternal life and even death cannot drive fear into their hearts and mind. David recognized that he had no reason to fear the giant Goliath, because he knew that the Lord was his Salvation. He in fact states that boldly to the giant that it will be the Lord who would deliver the giant into his hands; in other words, it will be the Lord who will save him.  He had armed himself with the helmet of Salvation and there was nothing for him to fear.

Do you/I have perfect peace as did David? Are you/I armed with the helmet of Salvation that drives out fear?

Psalm 27:1 (KJV)
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

The trinity of blessing

Numbers 6:24-26 is commonly referred to as the trifold blessings that Aaron, the Priest was asked to convey to God’s people. It reads “The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”

The LORD bless thee and keep thee talks about MERCY, for the LORD thy God [is] a merciful God; he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them (Deuteronomy 4:31). In other words, He will keep thee as He has promised because He is merciful and does not give us what we deserve.
The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee talks about His GRACE. For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance (face) doth behold the upright (those made blameless) (Psalm 11:7).
The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace talk about His PEACE, the Peace that passeth all understanding and which keeps our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

Closer introspection of this trifold blessing reveal that the three elements of blessings that is Mercy, Grace and Peace are ALL fulfilled by Jesus Christ. The LORD is MERCIFUL to them that confess and because of His Mercy, they are blessed and kept by Him. They are not blown away like chaff and nothing can snatch them from His sovereign and secure hands. The LORD is GRACIOUS and gives Eternal life to all who believe in Jesus. To behold the Holy face of the Lord when we are sinful is sure death for His Holiness is consuming, but those who believe in Jesus are imputed righteousness and made upright (blameless). And the blameless God does turn His face to and beholds and grants them that which they don’t deserve, in other words Grace. The LORD is PEACE to them that believe in Him, which is the result of Grace and Mercy at work and He keeps us in perfect Peace, when we trust Him and fix our minds on Him (Isaiah 26:3).

The trinity of blessings – Mercy, Grace and Peace are made possible by Jesus Christ, the God of Mercy, Grace and Peace.

The Name is Prince of Peace

Isaiah 9:6 lists among the various names given to Jesus (Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, The everlasting Father), a name which reads “The Prince of Peace”. Well if Jesus is the Prince of Peace, then who is the King of Peace?

The scripture gives us clues as to who this is! First, the scriptures lets us know that God is the King of Peace and so his son must be the Prince of Peace, and secondly it also proves that Jesus is indeed God and so He is not only the Prince of Peace but also the King of Peace.

Let’s first look at “God is the King of Peace, Jesus His son is the Prince of Peace“. I was asking my wife, Sangeetha as to what this “Prince of Peace” could mean and she mentioned that whenever, she is anxious about anything, she finds peace when she starts to focus on God, instead of the situation. This reminded me of Isaiah 26:3, which talks about God (the LORD) who will keep in PERFECT Peace, those whose minds are stayed (focus) on Him. This would mean that the one who is the originator of PERFECT peace is God, the Father, the King and the Son of God would obviously be known as the Prince of Peace. This actually is a testament to the sonship of Jesus Christ, just as much as it is a directive for us to have our eyes focused and fixed on God.

Secondly, “Let’s look at Jesus as God and if that is so, He is the King of Peace”. Hebrews 6:20 talks about Jesus, the High Priest in the order of Melchisedec. Who is this Melchisedec? Hebrews 7:1 records of the incident that occured in Genesis 14, wherein this priest named Melchizedek (Melchisedec), priest of the most High God, blessed Abraham giving bread and wine (Genesis 14:18). Hebrews 7:2 qualifies Melchisedec as the King of Righteousness and the King of Peace (Salem). Hebrews 7:3 is critical because it talks about Melchisedec having no earthly heritage, but who was made like unto the Son of God (Jesus). Jesus is our high priest and he blesses each of us, by giving us his body (bread) and blood (wine). Jesus is not only the King of Righteousness, but He is also the King of Peace. Jesus was the Son of God, without father, without mother, without descent, no beginning of days or end of life (alpha and omega). These facts recorded point to the fact that Jesus is indeed the Melchisedec of Abraham’s days, and that means Jesus is not just the Prince of Peace but He is also the King of Peace.

Lesson from the Wolf – cognizant of God’s omnipresence

WolfThe Bible in the Old Testament refers the Wolf to be a ravenous and fierce animal, one that is set out to kill and destroy (Ezekiel 22:27, Jeremiah 5:6). In the New Testament, the Wolf is used as symbolic of those who mislead (false prophets) and deceive (wolf in sheep’s clothing) as recorded in Matthew 7:15.

Interestingly in Matthew 10:16, Jesus, The Good Shepherd, does not tell us (His sheep), to stay away from the wolves, but instead informs us, that He is sending us amongst wolves. This, to the common mind, may seem unnatural. He even cautions His sheep to be on guard at all times, lest they are deceived, counseling them to be wise as serpents, yet harmless as doves.

So, why would a good shepherd send his sheep amongst wolves? I think, just as a sheep that knows that as long as the shepherd is with him/her, he/she need not be afraid of the wolves i.e., he/she can be in perfect peace. The same principle applies to us. As long as we know that Jesus is with us, we have no reason to be afraid of anyone or anything. In fact, a time will come when the wolf shall dwell with the lamb (Isaiah 11:6) , epitomizing perfect peace and until then, let us stay on guard, wise as serpents, harmless as doves, always cognizant that The Good Shepherd is with us, protecting us from those ravenous around us.

Matthew 10:16 (KJV)
16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Isaiah 26:3 (KJV)
3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.