Posts Tagged ‘Keeper’

Keep in perfect peace

August 27, 2016

Isaiah-26--3-4

The verse for August 27, 2016, is taken from Isaiah 26:3 in the Message Bible where a particular statement describes the blessings extended to those who put their trust in the Lord:

People with their minds set on you, you keep completely whole, Steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don’t quit.

To appreciate more fully what the verse reveals about trust, we need to examine the following verse as well, where a familiar reference also speaks about the individual who trusts in God:

Isaiah 26:3-4 (NLT):

You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Trust in the Lord always,
for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.

The two verses are rendered this way in the Amplified Bible:

You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.

So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].

Bible scholar, E.W. Bullinger, notes that the figure of speech “epizeuxis” is used in Isaiah 26:3.  To emphasize the concept of peace, the phrase “perfect peace” indicates this figure of repetition where the word for peace is repeated in the Hebrew text, literally “peace, peace.” God provides a “double portion of peace” to those who trust in Him. A similar expression is used elsewhere in Isaiah

Isaiah 27: 5 (NLT):

unless they turn to me for help.
Let them make peace with me;
yes, let them make peace with me.”

Isaiah 57:19 (NKJV)

“I create the fruit of the lips:
Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,”
Says the Lord,
“And I will heal him.”

Philippians 4:6-7 also offers these words of encouragement and comfort regarding the peace that comes from God:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

This passage, especially verse 7 reinforces the comforting and reassuring message expressed in Isaiah 26:3 which promises that God will keep us in a state of perfect peace as we trust him. Recently I posted a song that makes reference to Isaiah 26:3 and Philippians 4:7. Listen as Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Choir featuring Eric McDaniel sing of God who is the ultimate “Keeper”:

Get it together

August 16, 2016

Psalm 124--1

Instead of looking at the Verse of the Day, as we so often do, our focus today is on a particular phrase or Word for the Day. On August 16, 2016, we are going to take a look at the phrase “Get it together!”

The expression is sometimes defined as “to get one’s life in order” or “to get one’s current state of mind in order.” McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs offers this definition: “to become fit or organized; to organize one’s thinking; to become relaxed and rational.” Another source defines the expression this way: “to make a decision or take positive action in your life.”

In thinking about this particular verb phrase, I happened to recall a statement by Donald Lawrence which provided an introduction to the following poem:

In the Fight for Your Life

“God will keep it together until you get it together.”

 Donald Lawrence

 

 

In the fight for your life,

Get it together and keep it together

God will strengthen you

So that you can weather any storm

God will keep it together

Until you get it together

 

No matter what happens,

Keep on watching and waiting

With outstretched necks,

Yearning, ever anticipating

Until Christ returns to gather us together

 

Until then. . .

In the fight for your life,

Get it together and keep it together

 

Despite my best efforts, there were countless times when I struggled to get it together, when I felt overwhelmed and seemed to be about to “lose it,” as I earnestly endeavored to renew my mind and maintain a state of mental equilibrium. During those times of turmoil, I now recognized that I would have “lost it altogether” had it not been for the Lord. I echo the sentiments of the Psalmist who made a similar declaration in the introduction to the following:

 

If It Had Not Been for the Lord


If it had not been for the Lord who was on our side,

Let Israel now say–

Psalm 124:1

If it had not been for the Lord who was on my side,
I would have drowned in the sea from the tears I cried.
I shudder to think just where I would be today.
I would have lost my mind or turned and walked away,
But I learned that God is faithful—this cannot be denied.

He was there to guide when I was tempted and tried,
My shelter from the storm where I could run and hide.
He was my deliverer—that is all I have to say:
If it had not been for the Lord.

Enemies rose up like a flood to wash aside,
But God came through and rescued me and turned the tide.
Pressing toward the mark, dawning of a brand new day,
Through all my trials I learned to watch, fight and pray.
The Lord is my keeper; in Him I confide:
If it had not been for the Lord.

 

Now I recognize that the Lord helped me to get it together and keep it together because he is my keeper, so sing Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Choir featuring Eric McDaniel in “Keeper.”