Seeking Early

Location: Camden, Maine, United States

Friday, November 25, 2005


Isaiah 55 is beautifully psalm-like; here it is; 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Wherefore do ye spend money for [that which is] not bread? and your labour for [that which] satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye [that which is] good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. 3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, [even] the sure mercies of David. 4 Behold, I have given him [for] a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. 5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation [that] thou knowest not, and nations [that] knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee. 6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD , and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it. 12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap [their] hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign [that] shall not be cut off.

There are many great spiritual thoughts in this passage. If your soul is thirsty - Christ will quench it. If it is in poverty - Christ can fill it. If it longs for truth - Christ is the answer, verse 3. These are all great benefits of belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I love the way the Lord is magnified in verses 6-13. Look at some of these. Verse 7. Our Lord is a Lord of Mercy and Pardon. Verses 8-9. His ways and His thoughts are so much higher than ours, He is a Lord of great passion and love for His people. Verses 10-11. His Word will accomplish His purpose. He is magnificently precious to communicate to us.

So? Come and drink - be satisfied. Seek Him while you may - There will be an end to this age. Call upon Him while He is near - Those who will call He will answer, those who draw near Him, He will also draw near.

He is such a very personal God. His blessings are direct and purposeful for His people. Make it a daily practice to seek Him, for He is, “… the LORD thy God,.. the Holy One…!

Psalm 145:18 The LORD [is] nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. 19 He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. 20 The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy. 21 My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

Have a wonderful day serving our Wonderful Lord, by Grace Alone!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have heard two attacks upon Thanksgiving this morning by the "liberal media" and in a book promoted in one of the bookstores of our town.

It isn't so much that these liberal tell "plain lies," but more how they twist the truth. Having heard the segments this morning I thought it appropriate to reproduce, in modern language, the letter of Edward Winslow, Dec. 11, 1621.

"Our corn did prove well, and, God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good, but our peas not worth the gathering, for we feared they were too late sown. They came up very well, and blossomed, but the sun parched them in the blossom.

Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, among other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed upon our governor, and upon the captain, and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

Edward Winslow, December 11, 1621, in A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth (Mourt’s Relation: A Relation or Journal of the English Plantation settled at Plymouth in New England, by certain English adventurers both merchants and others.) Dwight Heath, ed. New York: Corinth Books, 1963, p. 82.

"God be praised... so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors... yet by the goodness of God..." Granted I do not see the word "thanksgiving", but I do see thankfulness to God, for the blessings.

However prior to the Pilgrim first day of "rejoicing together," there was more than one thanksgiving day celebrated in territory which would eventually become part of the USA. In addition to Winslow's letter, Dennis Rupert in his site, The First Thanksgiving writes: "in Texas on May 23, 1541 when Spanish explorer, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, and his men held a service of thanksgiving after finding food, water, and pasture for their animals in the Panhandle.

Another thanksgiving service occurred on June 30, 1564 when French Huguenot colonists celebrated in solemn praise and thanksgiving in a settlement near what is now Jacksonville, Florida.

On August 9, 1607 English settlers led by Captain George Popham joined Abnaki Indians along Maine's Kennebec River for a harvest feast and prayer meeting. The colonists, living under the Plymouth Company charter, established Fort St. George around the same time as the founding of Virginia's Jamestown colony. Unlike Jamestown, however, this site was abandoned a year later.

Two years before the Pilgrims on December 4, 1619, a group of 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Plantation in what is now Charles City, Virginia. The group's charter required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a day of thanksgiving to God. Captain John Woodleaf held the service of thanksgiving. Here is the section of the Charter of Berkley Plantation which specifies the thanksgiving service:

'Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty god.'

In addition to 1619, the colonists perhaps held service in 1620 and 1621. The colony was wiped out in 1622. It was a private event, limited to the Berkeley settlement.

Thus Spanish, French and British colonists held several Thanksgiving services in America before the Pilgrim's celebration in 1621. Most of these early thanksgivings did not involve feasting. They were religious in nature, i.e. worship services of thankfulness to God."

Thanksgiving as a national holiday was first established by President George Washington on the request of both houses of Congress. See President Washington's first Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789. "Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me 'to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness'...."

Be sure to thank God for our Nation today. It was rooted and founded upon belief and thankfulness for the Lord God of all creation! Praise Him today!

“Give thanks with a grateful heart, Give thanks to the Holy One, Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son.”

Have a wonderful day serving our Wonderful Lord, by Grace Alone!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart - An Act of Obedience!

Why do you give thanks? Why should we give thanks? We give thanks for things, and for blessings, but we are to also give thanks because we are commanded to give thanks.

I think there are some comparisons between giving thanks and witnessing. We witness to people because they are lost, but our primary reasons for witnessing to people is because God commanded us to witness to people. God takes delight in obedience!

Here are some examples of being called to the obedience of giving thanks

This first one is when David received the Ark of the Covenant back to Israel. 1 Chronicles. 16:7 Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the LORD into the hand of Asaph and his brethren. 8 Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. 9 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. 10 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. 11 Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. 12 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;

Psalm 118:1 O give thanks unto the LORD; or he is good: because his mercy endureth forever. Someone put this psalm to these words:

O give thanks, give thanks unto the Lord,
For He is good, and His mercy endureth forever.
To Him which led His people through the wilderness,
For He is good, and His mercy endureth forever.
He turned the wilderness into a standing water,
And dry ground into water springs.
Strengthen ye the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees,
Say to them that are of a fearful heart,
Be strong, fear not, behold your God will come with a recompense.
Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened
And the ears of the deaf, of the deaf unstopped.
And a highway shall be there,
And it shall be called the way, the way of holiness,
The unclean shall not pass over it,
The unclean shall not pass over it,
But the redeemed of the Lord shall walk therein;
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion,
To Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads,
They shall obtain joy and gladness,
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Psalm 104:1-5 - 1 Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. 2 Who coverest thyself with light as [with] a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: 3 Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: 4 Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: 5 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.

Psalm 33-34 - 33 I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. 34 My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.

When we recognize who the Lord is and what He has done, it helps us to learn how we should approach Him! Come with hearts of praise trusting and enjoying His sweetness. And 105 continues the thought.

Psalm 105:1-5 - 1 O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. 2 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. 3 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. 4 Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore. 5 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth.

Psalm 106:1 - Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psalm 92:1-5 - It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: 2 To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, 3 Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. 4 For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. 5 O LORD, how great are thy works! [and] thy thoughts are very deep.

Give thanks out of obedience -- Give thanks out of gratitude -- Give thanks for blessings received -- Give thanks to the One deserving of Praise, the Lord our God! He and He only is worthy of praise!

Psalm 107:1 O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

The Thanksgiving holiday is almost upon us. May we find ourselves truly thankful not only TO our God, but FOR our God!

“Give thanks with a grateful heart, Give thanks to the Holy One, Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son.”

Have a wonderful day serving our Wonderful Lord, by Grace Alone!

Friday, November 11, 2005

“Give Thanks - It’s Not Old Fashioned, It’s Called Respect!”

We are celebrating another of our “forgotten” holidays today, Veterans’ Day. I have not checked lately with young people in our schools, but I would be interested if they are still learning, 11-11-11; 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th Month.

Actually, it was 5:00 AM on 11-11-18 when an Armistice was signed by Germany and the Allies in the Forest of Compiegne which ended the hostilities of World War 1. In November of 1919, President Wilson made the following proclamation: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nation.”

Congress passed a bill, which President Roosevelt signed, in 1938 establishing each November 11th as “Armistice Day.” It was that year that the “11-11-11” became a catch phrase for this holiday. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month all traffic was to stop in tribute to the dead soldiers of WWI, and volleys were to be fired and taps to be sounded in their honor. It wasn’t until May 24, 1954 that it officially became known as Veterans’ Day, to honor those who fought in all of our nation’s wars. I give credit for the above information to

I remember when people still referred to Veterans’ Day as Armistice Day. That doesn’t mean I am getting old! It means I knew some delightful older people that perhaps you did not have the privilege of knowing. I remember men from the First World War, the Dough Boys who were called upon to fight in horrendous extremes.

I remember patriotism also. I can still see my Grandfather remove his hat at a parade when the flag passed by. He would also tip his hat when we passed a lady on the street. Do you not find it strange that at ball games today men and boys have to be asked to remove their hats for the national anthem? Today men and boys don’t even remove their hats when they enter a building, why do it for the Star Spangled Banner? It is not an old fashioned idea, it is called respect, something else that is forgotten!

We have come so very far away from where we once were.

Don’t ever forget that the liberty you enjoy today was paid for with a very costly price, the blood of other people! Yes my friend in a real sense others have died for you. Don’t disgrace a soldier when he comes home from service, thank him. Don’t dishonor the flag, take your hat off. Don’t go through life thinking that everything revolves around you, remember our history and be thankful.

I find the term Armistice interesting. It means truce. What ended the First World War was merely a truce. Perhaps that is the reason we had to fight the Second World War with the same Allies and the same Enemies. There is no victory without complete surrender.

And that is true in our lives as believers. When our Lord laid down His life, shedding His blood in our behalf, it wasn’t to cause a truce, it was to cause us to surrender and to gain victory over sin, death, and the grave! When we surrender to the finished work of Christ on the cross hostility from us to Him ceases and salvation takes over.

Give thanks for shed blood! Be thankful for those who shed their blood to ensure your freedoms, but above all, be thankful for the ONE who shed His blood to conquer your heart, the Lord Jesus Christ!

“Give thanks with a grateful heart, Give thanks to the Holy One, Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son.”

Have a wonderful day serving our Wonderful Lord, by Grace Alone!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Give Thanks - Abounding Hope!

As we progress towards our national holiday of Thanksgiving, we begin to think of the essence of thanksgiving, who God is. And we also begin to think of the stuff of thanksgiving, those particular things for which we are thankful. We are able to give thanks because "the Lord has done great things for us whereof we are glad!" (Psalm 126:3). Giving thanks, includes expressing gratitude for those great things.

2 Samuel 22; 1 Samuel 2:1-10; and Romans 15:9 all have a common thread, thanksgiving that brings hope. These words of David are full of thankfulness.

In 2 Samuel 22:1-4 He is thankful for who God is. 1 And David spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day [that] the LORD had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul: 2 And he said, The LORD [is] my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; 3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: [he is] my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. 4 I will call on the LORD, [who is] worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

Isn’t his conclusion tremendous? Here is the essence of thanksgiving. 4 "I will call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised. . . !" If it were not for the Lord there would be little substance to our thanks giving! He is worth of ALL PRAISE!

He then continues to list the things for which he is thankful, all the while, recognizing they come from this LORD, this Rock, the Fortress, this Deliverer, this Shield, this Horn of Salvation, this High Tower, this Refuge, this Savior!

5-7 He delivers out of distress. 8-16 His mighty power booms (verse 14) from heaven to earth, expressing his majesty!. 17-20 David is thankful for personal deliverance. 21-29 David stands in the righteousness of God, the way the Lord delivers, and the power God gives to His people for victory.

In the rest of this Psalm each paragraph begins with an exaltation of God. 29 You are my lamp O Lord. 32 For who is God except the Lord. 36 You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your gentleness has made me great. 44 You have delivered me. . . . And then we come to 47-51 -- "47 The LORD liveth; and blessed [be] my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation. 48 It [is] God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me, 49 And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man. 50 Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name. 51 [He is] the tower of salvation for his king: and sheweth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore."

Once again verse 50 - "Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name." The reason for David’s thanksgiving (Therefore) is who God is and what God has done!

Paul repeats this in Romans 15:9, But let me give you 7-13 -- "7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. 8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises [made] unto the fathers:

9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for [his] mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.

10 And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.

11 And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people.

12 And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.

13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."

Just as David was able to offer up thanks giving to God for who He was and all He had done for him, so we as believers, may do the same because Christ has come as the Promised One to Israel, and declared among the Gentiles.

I think of a title to an old gospel hymn, "Jesus included me!" He not only ministered grace to Israel but to Gentiles as well. He certainly did not have to. We certainly did not deserve it. But may this Thanksgiving find us abounding in hope as we (9) sing unto His name, (10) rejoice with his people, and (11) praise Him, because of who He is, and what He has done for us!

"Give thanks with a grateful heart, Give thanks to the Holy One, Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son."

Have a wonderful day serving our Wonderful Lord, by Grace Alone!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Give Thanks - In Everything?

In a short list on the will of God Paul wrote, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, In every thing give thanks;. . . We find other verses telling us to give thanks “in everything.” It is to be part of our worship - Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; . . . It is to be part of our trustful thinking and prayer life - Philippians 4:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; . . . It is to be part of Christian deportment - Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Others have written with the same emphasis on the “everything” of thanksgiving. Job is a very good example. He has just lost everything, possessions and family - Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. David knew the blessing of giving thanks in everything - Psalm 34:1 [A Psalm] of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed. I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise [shall] continually [be] in my mouth. 2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear [thereof], and be glad. 3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. And the writer of Hebrews makes this comment on the work of Christ driving us to giving thanks - Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. 15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name.

I think it is evident in these verses that thanks giving is not to be offered unto the Lord only for the positive blessings of life, but even during some of the difficult times of life. Job lost everything and “blessed the Lord.” David, in Psalm 34, will be faced with desolation but “praise was continually in his mouth.” The writer to the Hebrews offered up thanksgiving even in the midst of “bearing the Lord’s reproach.”

What ever your "everything" is today, whether it be pain, weakness, sadness, joy, positive blessings, or negative ones, know this - It is the will of God for you to give thanks.” Yes, even in everything! If we believers do not give God thanks, who will offer the Giver of all things, thanks? Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things ? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

“Give thanks with a grateful heart, Give thanks to the Holy One, Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son.”

Have a wonderful day serving our Wonderful Lord, by Grace Alone!