Psalms 104–God Works!!!

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.

Psalm 100–How To Enter God’s Presence

In this age of identity protection, it seems like there is a need to have a password to go anywhere or do anything.  What is my user ID, What is my password…Well, to enter into the presence of God, the user ID is Jesus and the password is “Thank You”.  As the psalmist saw it, we are to come into God’s presence with a grateful heart and worshipful mindset.  

To be in the worshipful mindset, we need to understand Who God; is and who we are in him.  He is God-our Creator, our Master and Lord. But, He is also Father, Shepherd, and Savior.  God is our Provider, Healer, Shelter and Guide.  He is God.  We should come into His presence humbly, gratefully and joyfully.  When we do, we should be singing praises, giving thanks and expecting to be received with open arms. 

There is no mystery about who God is. There is no reason we cannot enter His presence each day. That is where we should be. We simply need to do so with the right spirit and the right heart–We simply need to know He is God, and that He is glad to see us!!

God Bless You

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
    Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord, he is God!
    It is he who made us, and we are his;[a]
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 89 Part 1–On the Other Hand

Yesterday, the psalmist was living without hope. All that he had known was sorrow and tragedy. On the other hand–today, the psalmist seems full of hope and joy.  Today, rather than focusing on what was before him, the psalmist chose to focus upon God and His greatness.  When one focuses upon God and His greatness, it allows us to see things from God’s perspective.

From God’s perspective, this is an eternal journey. As we make the journey, He is transforming us into the people we were created to be.  We are taking each day, and, as we move forward in it; we can see God’s hand and His handiwork. If we need to remember how truly great God is, we need only to search the night sky and remember that among the countless stars their are billions and billions of miles in distance between them and yet He set them all in place. God alone has the power and the control to do any and everything He has planned.

We, therefore, need to focus our time and our attention on what God is doing and align our lives and our ministries with His plan. When we do, it allows us the strength to endure trials, the faith to continue the journey, the confidence and trust to help us look to God for our daily provision and preparation. 

It is easier to dwell on today’s troubles–BUT, there is little good that will ever come from that. Solomon said it best, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not lean on your own understanding. Acknowledge God in all your ways–and He will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

God Bless You

I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever;
    with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known
    through all generations.
I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
    that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
    I have sworn to David my servant,
‘I will establish your line forever
    and make your throne firm through all generations.’”[c]

The heavens praise your wonders, Lord,
    your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the skies above can compare with the Lord?
    Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings?
In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared;
    he is more awesome than all who surround him.
Who is like you, Lord God Almighty?
    You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

You rule over the surging sea;
    when its waves mount up, you still them.

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 25 Part 1–In God We Trust–(Why Wouldn’t We)

David says what all who have truly surrendered their lives to God are thinking–I’m trusting you God, please don’t make me regret it. In truth, he never does.  But, God does allow us to experience life.  He protects us, provides for us and prepares us–but, he does not put us into a bubble and cause us to live circumstance free.

In the midst of our circumstances, he does often come through in ways we failed to expect.  A small windfall, a kind word. Other times, he does glorious and amazing miracles. In either scenario, he simply does what he is best at–being a Dad. We can question god’s methods and ways, its okay–He can handle it.  But, be confident that at the end of each and every day–like David, we can trust God to be God, and to work his plan for our lives.  He is gracious, merciful, loving and kind.  He wants nothing more than to see us free and humbly accepting all he has for us.  But, as a gentleman, he will not force his ways upon us.  Trust Him–Like David and let him be the LORD of your life.

God Bless You

In you, Lord my God,
    I put my trust.

I trust in you;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
    will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
    who are treacherous without cause.

Show me your ways, Lord,
    teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my Savior,
    and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
    for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
    and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
    for you, Lord, are good.

Good and upright is the Lord;
    therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
    and teaches them his way.
10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
    toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
11 For the sake of your name, Lord,
    forgive my iniquity, though it is great.

Psalm 11–The Fork in the Road

Each of us is on an amazing journey.  From youth on, we are faced with hills and valleys, twists and turns and obstructions–that cause us to constantly question and readjust our view of life, love and God.  

Conversely, God sees things from an eternal perspective.  He looks at our hearts.  Sin may creep in and out of our lives, but our hearts are the measure of who we are, and whom we will serve.  God sent Christ to be the payment for our sin, but, unless we are willing to adjust the journey to allow God to rule, we will meet the fork in the road and choose independence over freedom.

This Psalm speaks to the idea that God will protect his kids, and he will rain hell on those that choose themselves over his lordship. He need not see any one act of evil–deceit, violence or preying on his kids; he looks directly at who is in charge and will deal with those that choose to reject him fairly but directly.

It is inevitable, We can take refuge in him or live in fear of him. He will not spare those that reject his precious sacrifice.  There is a Heaven and a Hell–He desires that none should perish, but should they choose to do so–it will be heinous.  

God Bless You

In the Lord I take refuge.
    How then can you say to me:
    “Flee like a bird to your mountain.
For look, the wicked bend their bows;
    they set their arrows against the strings
to shoot from the shadows
    at the upright in heart.
When the foundations are being destroyed,
    what can the righteous do?”

The Lord is in his holy temple;
    the Lord is on his heavenly throne.
He observes everyone on earth;
    his eyes examine them.
The Lord examines the righteous,
    but the wicked, those who love violence,
    he hates with a passion.
On the wicked he will rain
    fiery coals and burning sulfur;
    a scorching wind will be their lot.

For the Lord is righteous,
    he loves justice;
    the upright will see his face.