Psalm 40 – a prayer in my own words

A few years ago, I went through a time during my morning devotionals where I wrote out the Psalms in my own words.  That was one of my favorite times of reading God’s Word.  I saw God in a new and more personal way. 

In my summer Bible study one of the exercises was to write a prayer from Psalm 40.  It brought to mind seasons of trials and troubles when God truly did deliver me. 

May I tell you…God is faithful to all who call upon the name of the Lord.  Don’t delay, not even one minute longer.  Be sure to go to Psalm 40 and read it for yourself, for God’s Word alone is perfect and inerrant and He alone is able to save us.

 

O Lord, help me to wait patiently for You and be confident that You hear my cry.  You have plucked me out of my pit of destruction.  You have put my feet on the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ and Your Word and I can now walk securely.  You have given me a new song to sing.  A song to praise You my God.   May all who hear it see and fear You, O Lord.  May they know that they can put their trust in You.  The man who puts his trust in You is blessed.

Help me to never turn to those who are prideful or foolishly believe another lie, only to be led astray.  You continue to multiply Your wondrous deeds and I stand amazed at Your thoughts towards me.  No one can begin to compare to You.  I will loudly proclaim You, O Lord.  There are so many who need to know You.

I can make sacrifices and offering, but that’s not what You desire or require.  You have opened Your ear to me.  May I delight to open Your Word and read it so that I can know You and do Your will, for You have written Your law on my heart.  I will speak in the congregation and tell of Your great deliverance on my behalf.  May my lips be unrestrained with Your praises.  May I tell of Your great faithfulness, salvation and steadfast love to every sinner.  You have not restrained Your mercies toward me.  You are lavish in Your steadfast love.  You are always faithful and will preserve me.

When evil befalls me and my enemies are too numerous.  When my sin is heaped up so high that I can’t even see.  My sins and inequity are more numerous than all the hairs on my head.  I fear my heart will fail me, so I cry out to You O Lord.  I beseech You to deliver me.  Don’t delay in helping.  Let those who seek to have me put to shame be disappointed.  May they turn back away from me.  May those who seek to dishonor me and delight in my pain, let them be put to shame.

May those who seek You, rejoice in You and be filled with gladness.  All those whom You have saved, may they tell of Your greatness and salvation that they have in Your Son, Jesus Christ.  We cry out, great is the Lord and greatly to be praised.

I know Lord that I am poor and needy in spirit.  I am amazed and comforted to know that You think of me.  You alone are my Help.  You alone are my great Deliverer.  O Lord, do not delay in coming, for I need You my God and Savior.

 

 

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The Broad Road Church

1 John 2-19 B-W

My spirit is sobered
When I read Your Word
Only to find the prophesies
That some will abandon the faith

Even now I see signs of heresy
Apostasy
Blasphemy uttered from lips
Of those who call themselves Christian

It’s visible in the pulpit
Pastors and teachers
Even worship leaders are not immune
Leading astray the unwise sheep who sit in the pew

Seminaries once strong
No longer bastions of truth
Heretical teaching is commonplace
Unbelieving professors are wolves in sheep’s clothing

The full counsel of God’s Word is not taught
It’s been replaced with feel good “sermons”
God’s clear condemnation of sin is ignored
Immorality and unrepentant sinners embraced

Men are given the title of pastor
The truth be told
Some are nothing more than motivation speakers
Catering to the audience and tickling their ears

Pastors, there’s no need to study hard
Or accurately divide the Word of truth
Instead, find a readymade sermon online
Buy it today, preach it tomorrow

Even pastors who once seem solid
Elevate themselves; not God
Read their own books from the pulpit
Set aside the inerrant Word of God

There’s another book to hock
CD albums are ready to sell
Is the Word of God free and unfettered
No, but it’s available for a small fee

Preachers who should know better
Align themselves with false teachers
Come alongside those whose motivation is tainted
Fueled by pride, applause and the love of money

Sin is seldom mentioned
Truth, no longer spoken
For fear of causing offense
Or driving away those with deep pockets

Salvation found through Christ alone
Is so very narrow minded
The narrow road that leads to life is not mentioned
By those on the broad road leading to destruction

Father, You have forewarned us
Of the deception that will take place
The falling away of those who were with us, but not of us
Evidenced in fact that they did not remain

Father, may we abide and remain in Christ
Keep us in Your Word daily
Holy Spirit, give us wisdom and discernment
Raise up men who will unashamedly preach the Word

by Susan Wachtel
November 6, 2015

Time for a Change

Last weekend there was some mumbling, grumbling and complaining going on as people got up early to make it to church on time.  Ordinarily getting up early is not a big deal, but with the time change springing forward one hour, people seem to feel the effects more than falling back one hour. 
 
I found myself complaining, but even before the words left my mouth, I felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
 
God brought to mind the millions of people around the world who are not able to worship freely.  They wouldn’t grumble and complain because they had to get up early.  Instead they would be praising God that they would get to join their brothers and sisters in Christ in worshipping Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior and diligently study God’s word. 
 
Praise God…for the churches that preach and teach the full counsel of God’s word.  Those congregations are fed a veritable banquet and feast on God’s word each week. 

When we get home how many of us set our Bible down, only to be picked up again when we are heading out the door to church the next Sunday?  May we be mindful of the millions of people who would love to hold the Bible in their hands and read it with their own eyes. 
 
If we knew that tomorrow laws would be passed that would forbid us to attend church would there be an outcry from God’s people?  Would we flock to church in record numbers?  If we knew our Bibles would be taken away from us, outlawed or banned, how would we treat God’s Word? 

May we live in light of the precious gifts we have been given by God.  May we not take lightly our freedom to worship and read our Bible.

Just Thinking


Tonight, while driving home from Bible study with my husband Chris, I was thinking on how amazingly blessed we are. As individuals and as a couple. Our church has been richly blessed with Pastors, teachers and leaders who are faithful to preach the full council of God’s word uncompromisingly. Blessed to live in a nation where the Gospel can still be freely preached. Blessed as a Christian who can tap into the abundant resources available today, as never before.

I spent a lot of time today listening to John MacArthur’s sermons on spiritual warfare. This evening I started to download the messages from this year’s Shepherd’s Conference. John MacArthur and Grace Community Church have “opened their vaults”…and the years of wonderful Bible study are free for downloading. They truly are unleashing God’s word one verse at a time.

I’m feasting on a veritable smorgasbord of God’s word regularly.

The Holy Spirit brought to mind God’s sober warning…to whom much is given, much is required. I have to ask myself…do I diligently and passionately seek God and study His word. Do I crave it and treasure it and obey it?

In third world countries where the Bible has been outlawed…when the people receive a Bible…share it with one another. Each person taking a page. Then they pass the pages around. I’m sure they memorize it…since they may never see it again. They hunger and thirst for God’s word and the truth therein. Do I?

I may fill my days with God’s word…through Bible study and church…podcasts and music. Being fed richly and abundantly.

But it’s out in the real world…in everyday life that I see if I’ve let God’s word change my heart.

Am I dying to self and living for Christ? Day by day, more and more am I laying aside my plans and seeking God’s will? Am I willingly to be obedient to God…even when I don’t understand His plans? Do I see sin as God sees sin? Do I love the unlovely? Do I seek to be holy as He is holy? Do I live for God and desire to please Him? Or do I still seek after the approval of men? Or worse…do I seek to please myself? Is my focus and delight on God or me?

I can sit in church as much as I like. I can attend Bible studies every day of the week. But until such time as I love God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength and seek to obey and please him…I’m not letting God’s word work in me and transform me as God desires to do.

When I get a grip on the absolute goodness and holiness of God and His nature…then by the power of the Holy Spirit within…I can submit myself to His eternal and glorious plan.

Will I?

“Susan, choose this day Whom you will serve!”

A new day will soon be dawning…and I will have a choice to make.

Susan Blog Sig 2

Encore, Encore

I have an encore performance from the honorable Mike Paddison. Mike first made his debut acting as defense attorney for my kitty Rudy. Rudy had been caught in the act of absconding with Christmas tree ornaments. He was entirely unrepentant and continued in his wayward actions. Mike successfully cast aspersions on the camera operator…namely me…and all charges were dropped on little Rudy’s pending case. Since Christmas has concluded…you will be pleased to know that Rudy has not swiped any more ornaments.

Mike wears many hats…husband…father…friend…CBS Core Leader…audio ministry CD guy…chief trouble maker and more. Mike has skills I recently discovered out of the blue. Mr. Paddison…likes to stay up late working on the computer. That’s usually about the time I’m finishing up an article. No matter how many times I proof something…a boo, boo or two will slip through. But now I have the unofficial editor of Susan’s Blog. When I’m finishing up an article…I’ll check to see if the night owl is up. If he is…I shoot him over an article for proofing.

Last night I did that…and my editor had closed shop for the day. But this afternoon he got back to me with corrections and a recommendation. Mike was concerned that on most recent piece, “Costly Sin”, that I left the impression that I am currently engaged in a sinful lifestyle…as I outlined the perils and cost of sin in a Christian’s life.

I did make some changes per Mike’s recommendation…but find that when I write…it’s more effective when I personalize it. When I observe a friend, co-worker or family member’s life, behavior or words…that sparks an idea for an article…I try to personalize it. It’s all too easy for me to write articles that are “you” focused.

I can write: “Christian friend…when you are walking in sin you are saying Jesus Christ saves you…but can’t deliver you from your sins.”

Or I can say: “When I’m walking in sin…I’m saying Jesus Christ saves me…but can’t deliver me from my sins.”

It’s probably a matter of style…but I think…and it’s my prayer that people hear things more easily when I don’t point my finger I their face…and say “you”. It’s also important that I apply the lessons I see in other people’s lives. I don’t need to make the same mistakes to learn from them.

So while I’m not actively living in a sinful lifestyle…may I be ever mindful…there but for the grace of God, there go I.

Below are some comments from Mike Paddison that I found quite compelling. Thank you Mike…for taking on the unofficial role of editor. I am most grateful. Thank you for your words of wisdom.

“You don’t do any of those things as a pattern of your life style. You, or any of us, may not be the most perfect witnesses. We may not tell everyone we meet about Jesus. In fact, we may not even tell those who we see all the time about Jesus. But, like Philip De Courcy said today, we do have to live it in front of them. We are called to STUDY God’s Word, LIVE God’s Word, and then TEACH God’s Word. So, how do we, those of us who are not pastors, teach God’s Word. We do it by how we live our lives. There’s that old saying, “Be a witness for Christ, and if necessary, use words.” Live it in front of the world, and if God opens up the opportunity to talk to someone about Him.”