The Adversary

Make no mistake, Satan is brilliant.

Billy Graham, in his classic, “Peace With God,” describes the devil this way: “God’s mighty adversary is no bungling creature with horns and a tail. He is a prince of lofty stature, of unlimited craft and cunning, able to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself, able to turn every situation to his own advantage.”

Furthermore, being “the father of lies,” as Jesus called him, the devil’s primary strategy is deception. Author/psychologist, Neil Anderson, writes, “The devil’s greatest fear is being exposed by the truth.” Because, as Jesus said, “truth sets us free.”

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

Psalm 23 – “Bible Learning Series” Notes

Friends,

Below are the “series notes” to my series on Psalm 23. All that’s missing are additional comments I included while teaching. However, the “nuts & bolts” are here for your study.

Paul wrote, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,…” (Colossians 3:16)

May the verse-by-verse study of this simple, yet profound, passage of Scripture (1) provide the reader with a richer understanding of the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, and (2) give the reader a “hunger & thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6) to “mine the treasure” of more of God’s Word.

NOTE: Because of time constraints I was forced to combine the teaching series into three sessions, teaching 2 verses at a time. However, in hindsight, considering the wealth of truth within each single verse, a six-week series (one verse per session) would’ve been more conducive to allowing the scripture to “soak in.” (I don’t know about you – but my limited mind can only take in so much at a time.)) That said, the notes divided into verse-by-verse sessions. Should you desire to read, or print, any of the notes simply click on the link. You’ll be taken directly to the PDF file. nw

Psalm 23 – Intro & Verse 1
Psalm 23 – Verse 2
Psalm 23 – Verse 3
Psalm 23 – Verse 4
Psalm 23 – Verse 5
Psalm 23 – Verse 6

“The Lord Is My Shepherd” – An In-Depth Study of Psalm 23 (Session 1, Vs 1)

psalm 23 2

My friends, rather than upload a recording of my talk, I thought I’d simply write out my notes in an easy-to-read format for you. (This way, you also don’t have to hear me, over and over again, become emotional as I speak 🙂 …..Christ has used this passage so powerfully in my life since the passing of my beloved son.)

May you get to know the Shepherd more intimately in your study. And, after studying and meditating upon this great psalm, may we all gain a stronger, broader understanding of what it really means when we say, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” Simply click on the link for the PDF file.

Psalm 23 – Session 1 – Intro & Verse 1

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

Written by my wife, Michelle Watts, wrote these fresh insights (written in parentheses)  into Chris Tomlin’s chorus he attached to Newton’s “Amazing Grace” in light of he death of our 19 year old son this past May.  nw

“Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)”

Mere words cannot express what I experienced today. I have always thought of these lyrics from my EARTHLY perspective…in terms of my specific sin and being thankful for my salvation “experience.”

But this morning, during the cool-down portion of my workout, the strangest thing happened. As the song started playing, I suddenly had a mental image of JORDAN…

his long, lanky arms,
fully extended out to each side,
fingers splayed,
running through a meadow,
between two snow-capped mountains,
eyes closed,
head tilted to the sky,
spinning around in awe and wonder,
singing these lyrics,
DIRECTLY to ME,
as a COMFORT,
from,
Heaven.

Mom! Guess what?!

My chains (low self-esteem, depression, loneliness, and insecurities) are gone!

I’ve been set free! (I am no longer burdened, restricted by, or trapped in an earthly body/mind!)

My God, my Savior, has ransomed me! (BECAUSE of HIS sacrifice, I am HERE-in THIS place of perfection.)

And like a flood…(it overwhelms and surrounds everything, it fills each tiny crevice, and CHANGES everything in it’s path).

His mercy reigns. (His mercy IS THE THRONE. It CHANGED ME! It is everywhere, and in everything here! There is no place I can go where His mercy isn’t felt physically. I am COMPLETELY loved, and fulfilled).

Unending love… (I WISH you could be here to understand how immense and immeasurable His love FEELS! It’s incredible!)

Amazing Grace… (the riches of Heaven, the hobbies I love, the never, NEVER-ending JOY, the COMPLETE PEACE)…

I found my ‘niche,’and I never have to leave, because…
I.
AM.
Home!

Jordan - Mountains

God Could Have Left Job Alone

I was made aware of the following video a couple of months after my 19 year old son died last May.  It’s one of the most powerful stories I’ve ever seen.  Only five minutes in length.

Told by a man who understands what it means to suffer, this man showed me insight into the story of Job I’d never seen before.

Watch the video, and hear God whisper to you, “I’ve Got This. I love you. Trust Me.”

The Distance Between Peace & Crazy

I love the Bible.

It’s unedited. Unsanitized. Emotional. Real.

As I read it, I read about God. And myself.

All 66 books comprise God’s “love letter” to mankind. And, within His “letter” we’re reminded that God used real-life, ordinary people to pen the words God wanted written down. (2 Peter 1:21)

Jeremiah (not the bullfrog) prophesied during a horrible time in Israel’s history (well, all the prophets prophesied during horrible times in Israel’s history.):) With the imminent attack and decimation at the hand of the Babylonians in view, somehow Jeremiah found within himself the courage to trust God and praise Him: “Sing to the Lord; praise the Lord!…”

Very next verse:

“Cursed be the day on which I was born!….” (Jer. 20:13-14)

Apparently, the distance between “peace” & “crazy” is one verse.

One commentator described this “bipolar” episode in Jeremiah like this: “Another tide of depression engulfed the prophet.”

Does this “tide of depression” in Jeremiah diminish my faith in God as I read it? NO! On the contrary, it STRENGTHENS it! Why? Because I look at Jeremiah and am able to say, “You too??” It gives me “peace that passes understanding” (Philippians 4:6-7) to know that during those times in my life when I sincerely shout, “Sing to the Lord!”, one minute, and “Cursed be the day I was born!”, the next, that people in the Bible felt the very same way.

Jeremiah, the Psalms, and most any other person God used in Scripture, give us permission, as believers, to be gut-level honest with God (He knows what’s in our heart anyway.):) They give us permission to feel like we’re, at times, going crazy.

God, in response, says, “You’re not crazy, my beloved. You’re normal. I never said it would be easy trusting Me. But please, trust Me. I’ve got this.”

I love you, Nick