Psalm 37–Delight Yourself in the Lord

It is so easy to lose perspective.  When everything around us leads us to believe that only the godless and the selfish prosper; one can become discouraged quickly.  David struggled with that.  He was anointed by Samuel to be king.  He had defeated Goliath, he and his men had changed the world’s perspective about Israel from being a joke, to being a warrior nation. He sought God and trusted God–yet, there he sat, hiding out and on the run from Saul and his army.  In the midst of that angst, David pinned one of the great songs of promise in the Bible.

In short, David says don’t fret over the appearance of the bad guys winning–trust God, delight in him and watch him go to work.  He will keep you safe, he will give you the desires of your heart, he will show the world you have done well, and make sure they know what you said about God was absolutely true!

We will never be able to explain God’s plan–in human terms; for the godless to understand. He will have to simply do what he does, and at the right time; it will be obvious that God is the one that makes all things amazing.  In the interim, we have to focus upon him, delight in him, and mostly–simply trust him.  Then, he will execute his plan and blow our minds.  God is amazing! We simply need to trust him and delight ourselves in him.

God Bless You

Do not fret because of those who are evil
    or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
    like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.

 

Psalm 36–Living in a God Shaped World

When we stop to imagine the vastness of God’s love for us, the depth of his care for the world, and the detail by which he keeps track of us–it is hard to fathom a life without him.  Still, there are many that spend their lives plotting to overthrow him, to undermine him, and to abandon completely the principles and model for which we were created.  For them the days are filled with emptiness and their thoughts are always pointed inward.  

There is never enough to do, never enough to possess and never enough attention to meet their endless needs.  It does not matter whom they hurt–the 1st and only item upon their agenda is themselves. Conversely, when we begin to focus on God, we become others focused and still God remains faithful to meet our needs abundantly.  He brings peace, sufficiency and hope beyond our wildest expectations.

When we see him in the lives of our young ones, we become elated to see the completion of his word in our lives.  He is all powerful, all knowing and in all places and times simultaneously–nothing escapes him nor does anything surprise or elude his sight. Still he loves us as we are, where we are and specifically because of who and whose we are. His salvation is a gift–given with the purest of motives at just the right time.  We are blessed beyond measure to be in relationship with this, the Almighty God!!!

Go Bless You

Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens;
    your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
    your justice like the ocean depths.
You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.
    How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter
    in the shadow of your wings.
You feed them from the abundance of your own house,
    letting them drink from your river of delights.
For you are the fountain of life,
    the light by which we see.

Psalm 35–God as Our Warrior

It would be a hopeless feeling to face the world, its attitudes and its hatred for those that seek God–alone.  But the great news is that we do not have to.  David, while being chased by King Saul sought God for relief and protection.  He was not afraid to ask God to fight for him.

A warrior in his own right, David was not afraid to battle.  He killed Goliath, as a dowry for his first wife, he killed 200 Philistine soldiers in battle. He led a troop of men that literally put Israel on the map.  He knew strategy, he knew leadership and he had no fear–God was with him.

Still, he also knew to enlist God’s power and might to win the battle he faced.  God anointed him, God came between him and King Saul. So, David did the wise thing–he asked God to make the difference.  He asked God to lay the traps, fight the fight and win the day.

We need to trust God as fully as David did. We need to seek him for direction, hope, protection and victory.  He has placed us on this path, so we must now trust him to bring us to victory.  He will do it.  If we will allow him to be God, walk in the path he sets before us; then he will gladly take up the charge and deliver us the victory!!

Merry Christmas and God Bless You

Lord, oppose those who oppose me.
    Fight those who fight against me.
Put on your armor, and take up your shield.
    Prepare for battle, and come to my aid.
Lift up your spear and javelin
    against those who pursue me.
Let me hear you say,
    “I will give you victory!”
Bring shame and disgrace on those trying to kill me;
    turn them back and humiliate those who want to harm me.
Blow them away like chaff in the wind—
    a wind sent by the angel of the Lord.
Make their path dark and slippery,
    with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
I did them no wrong, but they laid a trap for me.
    I did them no wrong, but they dug a pit to catch me.
So let sudden ruin come upon them!
    Let them be caught in the trap they set for me!
    Let them be destroyed in the pit they dug for me.

Then I will rejoice in the Lord.
    I will be glad because he rescues me.
10 With every bone in my body I will praise him:
    Lord, who can compare with you?
Who else rescues the helpless from the strong?
    Who else protects the helpless and poor from those who rob them?”

Psalm 34 Part 2–Reverence for God is the Spirit of Christmas

In the “seeker” friendly church environment, we often hold back the hard messages–for fear we may offend a potential seeker and drive them from the Lord. Paul said, “I have become all things to all people that I may win some to Christ.” I Corinthians 9:22.  The truth is, God is God and we are not.  If, in our passion to gain seekers, we lose the reverence for God and what he has done, then we truly lose the essence of why we need him at all.  

David says–Listen and I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What better man to teach that principle. While David was a man after God’s own heart, he made some huge errors that devastated his family and for a time his kingdom. Still, he was a warrior king–respected by his men and his people.  He lived and died knowing God intimately and loving him completely.  In that, he also knew the value of showing God the reverence he deserves. 

As David so kindly stated, God seeks to be there for those that follow and honor him. Conversely, he will turn away from those that turn away from him. They will fade into time without leaving a noticeable legacy. It is our choice to decide to follow or to rebel.  He longs for the opportunity to make a life for those that trust him; but, he is equally adamant that he will not bless those that turn away.  We, as his own, must live a life of trust and reverence–allowing God to be God of our lives.  As we do, we will build a legacy, we will live a purposeful and abundant life; and, we will make a difference in the lives of those we meet.  

Learn the fear of the Lord…then you won’t have to be afraid of anything life throws at you.  

God Bless You!

 

Come, my children, and listen to me,
    and I will teach you to fear the Lord.
12 Does anyone want to live a life
    that is long and prosperous?
13 Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
    and your lips from telling lies!
14 Turn away from evil and do good.
    Search for peace, and work to maintain it.

15 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
    his ears are open to their cries for help.
16 But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil;
    he will erase their memory from the earth.
17 The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
    He rescues them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
    he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

19 The righteous person faces many troubles,
    but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.

Psalm 34–Taste and See the Lord is Good

David was at the end of his rope.  He had been on the run for years. Saul, King, Father-in-Law and Father of his best friend was seeking to kill David–because he knew David was to be King. David had evaded Saul’s grasp several times, but was now out of hiding places. So David had to hide among his enemies–Men he had fought and killed in great number. His advisers thought he was crazy–but David trusted God and moved forward.  It saved he and his men’s lives.

David knew it was always God laying down the path. If he trusted him walked with him he would know God’s goodness.  Taste and see the Lord is Good–he writes, because, walking with God, in reverence allows God to protect, prepare and provide for those who trust him.

In our lives, we are faced with similar opportunities to trust God.  This culture and this time makes following God very difficult.  But, when we have a need–God continuously makes a way to get the need met; and allows us to see his hand in it. No other group or being is more cared for or more excited to see God work–than are we, his chosen.

God Bless You

I will praise the Lord at all times.
    I will constantly speak his praises.
I will boast only in the Lord;
    let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
    let us exalt his name together.

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
    He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
    no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
    he saved me from all my troubles.
For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
    he surrounds and defends all who fear him.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.
    Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
    for those who fear him will have all they need.
10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
    but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.

Psalm–33 Part 2–One Nation Under God

Why has the experiment of the Republic of the United States done so well, for so long…4 words, “One Nation Under God.” Since the beginning of the Warren Court, the courts and then the administrative personnel within the government have been slow playing the effort to completely remove God from all aspects of our lives.  Wisely they started in the school systems. If they could change the hearts of the next generation while young, then the adults would lose all sense of reverence in God and walk away from him.

Now some 65 years later, they have almost succeeded. The mention of our God in school or public domain is considered at least old fashioned and mostly illegal.  Still, while many fail to believe in God–he has not stopped believing in us. In homes and churches all over this nation, his people are still praying and seeking him.  As they do, they watch as our God frustrates the plan of those that would eradicate him. 

We have to trust he is God and will execute his plan–despite the efforts of a Godless world and culture.  Help this nation, Lord never to forget we are truly a nation under your power, protection and provision.

God Bless You

The Lord frustrates the plans of the nations

    and thwarts all their schemes.
11 But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever;
    his intentions can never be shaken.

12 What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord,
    whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.

13 The Lord looks down from heaven
    and sees the whole human race.
14 From his throne he observes
    all who live on the earth.
15 He made their hearts,
    so he understands everything they do.
16 The best-equipped army cannot save a king,
    nor is great strength enough to save a warrior.
17 Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory—
    for all its strength, it cannot save you.

Let’s Just Praise The Lord–Psalm 33 Part 1

There is a great deal of time and effort spent in helping us to understand God’s provision, protection and preparation in our lives.  Sometimes, however, it is important to remember that, as God’s chosen people, we need to stop and praise him for who he is.  He is creator, provider, sustainer and savior.  He spoke the universe into being and created a beautiful world for us to inhabit.  He provides live, love, joy and peace–He is amazing.

As his kids, we need to stop sometimes and simply recognize his amazing nature and power. We must give him the credit that he is due. We need to do more than simply thank him for what he has done–we need to adore him for who he is. We need to speak praise to the great creator, the master planner, the real savior and all knowing, powerful and omnipresent God that rules the universe! 

As we march into the Christmas holiday, let’s not only recognize the wonder of Christmas–Let’s make this season a time to recognize the wonder of God!

God Bless You

Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord;
    it is fitting for the pure to praise him.
Praise the Lord with melodies on the lyre;
    make music for him on the ten-stringed harp.
Sing a new song of praise to him;
    play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy.
For the word of the Lord holds true,
    and we can trust everything he does.
He loves whatever is just and good;
    the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.

The Lord merely spoke,
    and the heavens were created.
He breathed the word,
    and all the stars were born.
He assigned the sea its boundaries
    and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs.
Let the whole world fear the Lord,
    and let everyone stand in awe of him.
For when he spoke, the world began!
    It appeared at his command.

Psalm 32–God’s Restoration is Amazing

David, the mighty King, committed some very awful sins. He stole the wife of one of his loyal soldiers, and then had the soldier killed.  When he was confronted with the sin, David–immediately confessed and stood before God to accept responsibility for the sin.  God spared him, and though it would affect the rest of his life, he was restored and forgiven.

David was so grateful to make things right with God, that he penned this song. The gist of the song is that when we try o hide our sin, it works like a cancer and destroys us from the inside out. But, if we face our sin, God will forgive us of that sin and cleanse us of unrighteousness. It is his grace and mercy that heals us and makes us new.  We are free again, and not entrapped by the chains of deceit and guilt.  

John echoed the freedom of God’s grace–In I John 1:9, he writes, “If we confess our sin, God is faithful to forgive us of our sin and cleanse us of all unrighteousness!”  Simply put, God wants us to be free–to do so we need to seek him, and trust him to love us, forgive us and restore us!

God Bless You

Oh, what joy for those
    whose disobedience is forgiven,
    whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those
    whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,[b]
    whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
When I refused to confess my sin,
    my body wasted away,
    and I groaned all day long.
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
    My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.Interlude

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
    and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
    And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Interlude

Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,
    that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
For you are my hiding place;
    you protect me from trouble.
    You surround me with songs of victory. Interlude

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
    I will advise you and watch over you.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
    that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

10 Many sorrows come to the wicked,
    but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.
11 So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!
    Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!

 

Psalm 31–A Mighty Fortress is our God

David, the king, spent his early life as a warrior, a fugitive and a battling leader. He faced  giants, onslaughts, betrayals and extreme loneliness.  There were times, while on the run, that Saul passed within feet of him. While things often seemed dire; David continued to trust God.  He walked with him daily.  He made his fears and requests known to God–even on the days he “felt” like nobody was listening. Still, in the midst of it all–God was listening.  When David needed–God provided.

Like none other–David saw God’s hand in all aspects of his life.  In his amazing victories, in his stunning losses–God was there! During the great celebrations and when he was running for his life–God was there. No one would have ever been able to sway David from the truth–God personally cares and is there for His chosen.

Same story for us.  we are his as well.  He cares for us with the same intensity as he did for David. When we finally grasp that we are a part of the nation of priests, then we can dance with joy knowing he is our fortress, strength and our Father! Like David–we must call out knowing he will hear our pleas and meet our needs. He IS almighty, He IS all-knowing and He is committed to us and our needs.

God Bless You

How great is the goodness
    you have stored up for those who fear you.
You lavish it on those who come to you for protection,
    blessing them before the watching world.
20 You hide them in the shelter of your presence,
    safe from those who conspire against them.
You shelter them in your presence,
    far from accusing tongues.

21 Praise the Lord,
    for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love.
    He kept me safe when my city was under attack.
22 In panic I cried out,
    “I am cut off from the Lord!”
But you heard my cry for mercy
    and answered my call for help.

23 Love the Lord, all you godly ones!
    For the Lord protects those who are loyal to him,
    but he harshly punishes the arrogant.
24 So be strong and courageous,
    all you who put your hope in the Lord!

Psalm 30–God is With us in all Circumstances

Our faith is often stretched in times of trials. So when the circumstances of life turn dark–while we are unhappy, miserable or grief stricken–we are also focused upon God. We seek his provision, we beg for his restoration. We evaluate our choices and confess anything that may have come between us and the Lord.  We stand truly focused upon our dependence upon him.

Then, when life turns around and we see his favor; we start out very grateful–but soon we become confident in our own abilities, and set God on the shelf; ready to captain our own ship again.  God makes it clear that he is Lord in all circumstances.  It is never God that changes focus. He is always leading us toward becoming free people.  He never wants us to try to run our own show–that invariably ends poorly.  He wants us to enjoy the times of peace and prosperity with the same intensity we focus on him in times of struggle.  He simply wants us to trust him and allow him to be the lead, in all circumstances.  

If we can follow David’s lead and make our journey focused upon God and not our circumstances–then, we will be joyful. We will be at peace in the good times and bad–knowing God is with us in both.  We will never be surprised or feel abandoned.  We will simply live grateful, focused lives; with our end goal to be like him, and join him for eternity! He is the same Yesterday, Today and Forever!!!

God Bless You

I will exalt you, Lord, for you rescued me.
    You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.
Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
    and you restored my health.
You brought me up from the grave,[a] O Lord.
    You kept me from falling into the pit of death.

Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones!
    Praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
    but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
    but joy comes with the morning.

When I was prosperous, I said,
    “Nothing can stop me now!”
Your favor, O Lord, made me as secure as a mountain.
    Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered.

I cried out to you, O Lord.
    I begged the Lord for mercy, saying,
“What will you gain if I die,
    if I sink into the grave?
Can my dust praise you?
    Can it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear me, Lord, and have mercy on me.
    Help me, O Lord.”

11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
    You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
    Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!