Psalm 113–From the Rising of the Sun…

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It is the intention of God, that, as his chosen ones, we remember who He is. It always seems to escape us in the times we are either extremely comfortable or extremely stressed–that God has things under control. As the creator, the master of everything and the beginning and end–God knows what is going on, and has it well in hand.  In order for that to sink in, we need to focus on who He is and who we are in Him.

So, when we praise God all day–it does not mean we quit what we are doing to sing hymns and pray. Instead, it means God should be in our thoughts as we face situations throughout our day. He should be a part of the decision making process. If He is not, then we begin to think we can do this ourselves. As that thought takes over, we start to run independent of God and end up in a chaotic mess.  So instead, we keep God in the forefront of our thoughts and trust and allow Him to be lord of our lives, from sun up to sundown.

God Bless You

Praise the Lord.[a]

Praise the Lord, you his servants;
    praise the name of the Lord.
Let the name of the Lord be praised,
    both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
    the name of the Lord is to be praised.

The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
    his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
    the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look
    on the heavens and the earth?

He raises the poor from the dust
    and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes,
    with the princes of his people.
He settles the childless woman in her home
    as a happy mother of children.

Praise the Lord.

Psalms 112–The Expectations of a Reverent Person

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Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23 make it clear, as a  group of folks; what we deserve is death.  We all have sinned and that sin separates us from God; but, God demonstrated his love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us! Romans 5:8. So, you may ask, why is the Roman road passing through Psalm 112.   Like the people of old, our righteousness comes by faith.
 
The psalmist was not speaking of perfect people; when he recounted the rewards of the reverent. He was simply telling Israel–that fearing God, and trusting him; would provide for them a life that was unmatched in the world.  It was not necessarily a life free from pain or trial, but, it did include gifts and rewards that the rest of the world could only dream of. In fact, as  the world looks on, they become increasingly frustrated and angry, because clearly something is different.
 
Simply put, the reverent see the life they are given as a treasure. A treasure that is not to be taken for granted or hoarded, but, instead it is treated as a life gladly shared and fearlessly embraced. We live and give generously. The righteous seek God first, but share him in all that they do. His chosen do not hide from the world–instead they show the world that Christ is the difference–then, the world can choose to embrace the truth or continue to defy it. It is no secret–A life walking with Christ is exceedingly more fulfilling than one that is separate from God–Like the psalmist, we simply need to embrace the reverent life, and share it with others.
 
God Bless You
 
 

Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
    who greatly delights in his commandments!
His offspring will be mighty in the land;
    the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
    and his righteousness endures forever.
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
    he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
    who conducts his affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
    he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news;
    his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady;[b] he will not be afraid,
    until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
    his righteousness endures forever;
    his horn is exalted in honor.
10 The wicked man sees it and is angry;
    he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
    the desire of the wicked will perish!

Psalm 111–God Deserves our Reverence

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In a society where the government and the education system are “Hell-Bent” on eradicating God every public place, meeting or discussion; it is easy to lose our reverence for God.  We can continue to love him, admire him, and need him–but, as it relates to respect and honor, we sometimes fall into the trap, the world sets for us.

The psalmist reminds us all of the amazing God we SERVE. Yes, serve.  We are not little divas that ring a bell or click our fingers; only to have God meet our daily whims and whimsy. Instead, we are wretched sinners, saved by grace and given the ability to worship God and follow him. He loves us and offers us a full and meaningful life on earth and an eternal life with him in heaven. 

The reality is, however, that while he loves us totally and unconditionally–he still is the master of the universe. As such, we not only get to know and love him–but, we must give him the reverence he has earned. Humble yourself before almighty God, and see if he will not do amazing things in your life,as you follow him on this amazing journey.

God Bless You

I will extol the Lord with all my heart
    in the council of the upright and in the assembly.

Great are the works of the Lord;
    they are pondered by all who delight in them.
Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
    and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
    the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
He provides food for those who fear him;
    he remembers his covenant forever.

He has shown his people the power of his works,
    giving them the lands of other nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
    all his precepts are trustworthy.
They are established for ever and ever,
    enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
He provided redemption for his people;
    he ordained his covenant forever—
    holy and awesome is his name.

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
    all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
    To him belongs eternal praise.

Psalm 110–The King is Coming!!!

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What a great reminder, that hundreds of years prior to Christ’s appearance, God , the Father, had already established Jesus’ royal lineage and provided him a throne.  Psalm 110, spoken of in Hebrews, is the prophetic, messianic psalm that announces the coming of our Lord. This psalm was the promise to Israel, an announcement to the world, and, a foreshadowing of the nature of the Messiah for ages to come–and, therefore, for us.

Christ, not David, is the conquering king. He rules at God’s side; and, upon his return He will judge nations, vanquish foes and restore peace and order to this chaotic world. He is God! He knows all, sees all and is more powerful than everything else combined! Jesus will not be surprised by the enemy, outsmarted by the world, or vanquished by anyone. Christ will return a victor and rule with the heart of a mighty, loving, matchless King.

We get to look back at the coming of the Messiah. We search scripture to reinforce our faith in his promise. David, however, was writing this promise purely from faith. He did not know his lineage would produce Jesus. He only knew God keeps His word.   Today, we know Christ came and died on Calvary. He rose and established a bridge for us, as sinners, to have a real and personal relationship with God Almighty. But, it still requires that same faith; the faith of David, to allow God to save us and transform us into his image.

He loves us and will continue to lead and make us ready for everything this life throws at us and also ready to meet and spend eternity with him in heaven.

God Bless You

The Lord says to my lord:

“Sit at my right hand
    until I make your enemies
    a footstool for your feet.”

The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying,
    “Rule in the midst of your enemies!”
Your troops will be willing
    on your day of battle.
Arrayed in holy splendor,
    your young men will come to you
    like dew from the morning’s womb.[b]

The Lord has sworn
    and will not change his mind:
“You are a priest forever,
    in the order of Melchizedek.”

The Lord is at your right hand[c];
    he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.
He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead
    and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.
He will drink from a brook along the way,[d]
    and so he will lift his head high.

Psalm 109–God is Our Vindicator

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One of the hard lessons in life we all learn, is that mean people, do mean things, even when we are nice. Each of us have encountered those that lie, cheat, abuse, accuse, berate, frustrate and seek to end our friendships, our reputations and even our lives–if possible.  They have no other reason to do so–other than “that they can.”

In recounting the life of David, he had several people like that. Saul, Absalom, Doeg, Ahithophel and many other enemies had one goal–to find, destroy and ultimately kill God’s dear friend. They didn’t have real cause to harm him, except for their personal gain realized from David’s demise. So David, a man after God’s own heart–went to his knees; and, took the task of vindication to the same God that had taken on all his other battles.

David had no where else to go! He was, at various points–hiding in caves, running for his very life, leaving his palace, or hiding in enemy territory. He did not have a local advocate, a media outlet or a 1-800 number to call for relief–He ONLY HAD the creator of the universe!!! History tells us that was all he needed. God did vindicate David. He prepared, protected and provided all David needed to be the greatest king in Israel.

He provides those same resources for us! We have no better outlet or resource for our preservation and vindication; than God Almighty. Life and those in our lives throw curve balls intended to up-end and destroy us. We want so badly to retaliate and avenge our wrongs. David reminds us that we need to look to our Father in Heaven for all things–even vindication–because, God can and will do it better than anybody else!

God Bless You

My God, whom I praise,
do not remain silent,
2 for people who are wicked and deceitful
have opened their mouths against me;
they have spoken against me with lying tongues.
3 With words of hatred they surround me;
they attack me without cause.
4 In return for my friendship they accuse me,
but I am a man of prayer.
5 They repay me evil for good,
and hatred for my friendship…

Help me, Lord my God;
save me according to your unfailing love.
27 Let them know that it is your hand,
that you, Lord, have done it.
28 While they curse, may you bless;
may those who attack me be put to shame,
but may your servant rejoice.
29 May my accusers be clothed with disgrace
and wrapped in shame as in a cloak.

30 With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord;
in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him.
31 For he stands at the right hand of the needy,
to save their lives from those who would condemn them.

Psalm 108–God is Our Victory

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It really did not matter the circumstance–David knew God was Israel’s only chance for freedom.  During the first part of his reign as King, he fought the Edomites, the Philistines, and several other groups that had creeped back into Israel.  Israel, while strong, was never victorious without God at their side.

Conversely, Israel was never defeated when God led the battle.  As King, David had the gift of being in tune with God and having God’s spirit

 lead him.  So, when David walked away–it could impact the entire nation.  David was giving God the due praise for leading Israel to victory and the acknowledgement that apart from God–Israel could do nothing.

In our lives, we also have the spirit of God to lead, guide and comfort us. Like David, when we are walking with him–we can enjoy hos presence and victory.  But, like David–apart from him, we can do nothing.  It makes the decision easy–follow and submit. Solomon, in Proverbs 3:5-6 said it best, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways–and he will make your path straight.”

God Bless You

 

My heart, O God, is steadfast;
    I will sing and make music with all my soul.
Awake, harp and lyre!
    I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
    I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
    your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
    let your glory be over all the earth.

Save us and help us with your right hand,
    that those you love may be delivered.
God has spoken from his sanctuary:
    “In triumph I will parcel out Shechem
    and measure off the Valley of Sukkoth.
Gilead is mine, Manasseh is mine;
    Ephraim is my helmet,
    Judah is my scepter.
Moab is my washbasin,
    on Edom I toss my sandal;
    over Philistia I shout in triumph.”

10 Who will bring me to the fortified city?
    Who will lead me to Edom?
11 Is it not you, God, you who have rejected us
    and no longer go out with our armies?
12 Give us aid against the enemy,
    for human help is worthless.
13 With God we will gain the victory,
    and he will trample down our enemies.

Psalm 107–Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So

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The psalmist makes it clear–let those whom have been redeemed speak up! For God’s love endures forever.  In the psalm, the psalmist recounts several sets of circumstances where God’s redeemed have been redeemed. Whether redeemed from oppression, from sin, from attack or from other life circumstance–the common theme is that our God is a redeemer and a loving guiding God.

So often we feel like we are on an island.  No one could understand our plight and God especially does not.  But God has been in the redeeming business for a long time.  He has redeemed folk from their own foolishness, from the evils of others and of life. In all circumstances, he has met folks where they were–and brought them out and into his safety.

He does the same today. So, if one feels entrapped by sin, life of attack of others–God still loves us and wants to redeem and save us–all we have to do is ask.  God has been; and will always be our most beloved redeemer. Thanks Lord!!!

God Bless You

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
    those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
    from east and west, from north and south.[a]

Some wandered in desert wastelands,
    finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty,
    and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress…

Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,
    prisoners suffering in iron chains,
11 because they rebelled against God’s commands
    and despised the plans of the Most High.
12 So he subjected them to bitter labor;
    they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
14 He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness,
    and broke away their chains…

Some became fools through their rebellious ways
    and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.
18 They loathed all food
    and drew near the gates of death.
19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them;
    he rescued them from the grave.

Psalm 106–A Nation’s Sin vs. God’s Promise

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God wanted so badly to take it back! He raised a nation through the covenant he made with Abraham. He raised them, freed them, protected them and brought them to their Promised Land. All the while they griped, complained and were stiff necked, sinful people. Even after he placed them in the land, they did everything exactly how he warned them not to. They destroyed hundreds of years of work in a generation or two.

All through their history, God’s people have been set apart to represent Him to the world. While they have been awful as a lot, they have shown time and again that God does keep his promises despite the breach of promise by his chosen.  Even as the psalmist recounts the less than stellar track record of Israel, it screams that God’s grace is still sufficient to forgive and restore the worst of men–that is great news for us!

Personally, I cannot point fingers at Israel without them pointing right back at me. God has blessed me and my family so many times–only to have me whine when things fail to go exactly how I want them to.  I too drive God crazy–but so do we as a nation. One Nation under God–and still we see courts and governments trying to remove his presence from any and everything visible to the public. 

We should be ashamed of ourselves that we allow such disrespect to a God that built this nation on the shoulders of injustice and oppression.  Like Israel–we see his hand of mercy and slap it away as a sign that we can do it on our own. Yet, one need only open his eyes to see it simply never works nor lasts. We fall back into the grasp of those that would entangle, enslave and destroy us!

God simply replies–REPENT. His promise to Solomon still rings so loudly, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Lets join together and humble ourselves and allow God to keep his promise.

God Bless you

They yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor
    and ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods;
29 they aroused the Lord’s anger by their wicked deeds,
    and a plague broke out among them.
30 But Phinehas stood up and intervened,
    and the plague was checked.
31 This was credited to him as righteousness
    for endless generations to come.
32 By the waters of Meribah they angered the Lord,
    and trouble came to Moses because of them;
33 for they rebelled against the Spirit of God,
    and rash words came from Moses’ lips.[c]

34 They did not destroy the peoples
    as the Lord had commanded them,
35 but they mingled with the nations
    and adopted their customs.
36 They worshiped their idols,
    which became a snare to them.
37 They sacrificed their sons
    and their daughters to false gods.
38 They shed innocent blood,
    the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
    and the land was desecrated by their blood.
39 They defiled themselves by what they did;
    by their deeds they prostituted themselves.

40 Therefore the Lord was angry with his people
    and abhorred his inheritance.
41 He gave them into the hands of the nations,
    and their foes ruled over them.
42 Their enemies oppressed them
    and subjected them to their power.
43 Many times he delivered them,
    but they were bent on rebellion
    and they wasted away in their sin.
44 Yet he took note of their distress
    when he heard their cry;
45 for their sake he remembered his covenant
    and out of his great love he relented.
46 He caused all who held them captive
    to show them mercy.

47 Save us, Lord our God,
    and gather us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
    and glory in your praise.

48 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.

Let all the people say, “Amen!”

 

Psalm 105–God, the Promise Keeper

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There are so many reasons to praise God.  He is an amazing creator, A loving Father, a mighty warrior and a just, yet merciful King. The attribute of God that the psalmist highlights today is God’s desire to keep his promises.  Oh, that his creations were as steadfast in  their desire to keep their promises.  God considers his name and word as invaluable.  He is, therefore, committed to honoring his promises even when others do not.

Israel was in the desert for 40 years because the people refused to trust God to deliver the Land to them. Yet, it was always God’s plan to keep his word. So, as Joshua led a new generation of free people across the Jordan–he did so with confidence, as he had seen God deliver day after day, and event after event.

David also readily marched toward Goliath–because he knew His God would deliver his enemy into David’s hand. That same confidence followed him into countless battles and trials throughout David’s reign. The prophet Elijah poured countless gallons of water over his sacrifice on Mount Carmel–because he knew God would uphold his name.Nothing would stop God from taking the Sacrifice offered in faith–a faith  that would change the nation.

God’s people always shine,when they are willing to trust him and follow him into the breach–God is relentless in Keeping his word.  Let us, in this time when God’s name is being minimized and marginalized, simply remember that our God  keeps his covenants for a thousand generations! Do not walk in fear–WALK IN POWER-knowing he is GOD! He will honor his name–no matter what the circumstance! Help me, Lord to walk into battle with the same faith as the psalmist–knowing that you will keep your promises!!!!!

God Bless You

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
    make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
    tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always.

Remember the wonders he has done,
    his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
you his servants, the descendants of Abraham,
    his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.
He is the Lord our God;
    his judgments are in all the earth.

He remembers his covenant forever,
    the promise he made, for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
    the oath he swore to Isaac.
10 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
    to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
11 “To you I will give the land of Canaan
    as the portion you will inherit.”

Psalms 104–God Works!!!

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God works! Throughout the Psalms, the psalmists have praised God for who he is, for what he has done in their lives and the lives of his chosen people Israel. In Psalms 104, the writer acknowledges God’s work of creation. It is no small wonder–this universe, that God has created. From the smallest particle, to the most distant galaxy, one can see God’s signature everywhere.  The universe is so vast, that there are stars we see–whose light has been traveling here since the time of Moses. There are particles so small that we only know that they are there because we can see their end product.

We see God’s hand in the lives of people. How we become selfless in crisis, how we love our children unconditionally. We see his order shine in the midst of chaos.  God worked hard to create a place of wonder, and create us in his spiritual image. Still, men do all they can as a race of people, to discount His very existence and impact in their lives.

Still, God’s wonders appear in grass, in lives, in planets and in the hearts of those that trust him. He takes wicked murderers like David, Moses and Paul and turns them into the greatest men of God. He uses lovely, but timid ladies like Naomi, Ruth or Esther; and through them, changes the world. He works through us as well. 

Each kind word, selfless deed and introduction to strangers–is another miracle from his hand. We never know what an impact he has through us, by our simple availability. God works–around us, through us and sadly even sometimes despite us! Help me Father to be available, and useful to show the handiwork you have created.

God Bless You

my soul!

    Lord my God, you are very great!
You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
    covering yourself with light as with a garment,
    stretching out the heavens like a tent.
He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters;
he makes the clouds his chariot;
    he rides on the wings of the wind;
he makes his messengers winds,
    his ministers a flaming fire.

He set the earth on its foundations,
    so that it should never be moved.
You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
    the waters stood above the mountains.
At your rebuke they fled;
    at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.
The mountains rose, the valleys sank down
    to the place that you appointed for them.
You set a boundary that they may not pass,
    so that they might not again cover the earth.

10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
    they flow between the hills;
11 they give drink to every beast of the field;
    the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
    they sing among the branches.
13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
    the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.

14 You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
    and plants for man to cultivate,
that he may bring forth food from the earth
15     and wine to gladden the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine
    and bread to strengthen man’s heart.