Monthly Archives: November, 2016

Be Known

In Psalm 67, the Psalmist writes, “May Your ways be known throughout the earth, Your saving power among people everywhere.” When we read this, it is highly likely that we would agree with the Psalmist. Of course, we would want God’s ways and His saving power to be known around the world.

But the desire for it is not the same thing as actively, intentionally aiming to make Him known. Agreeing that it is important for God’s ways and power to save to be known across the globe does not make Him known. I agree that exercise is important, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have to get outside and walk or lay down and do some crunches for the exercise to do something for me.

Today, consider how you are living this out. Do you want His ways to be known? Do you want God’s saving power to be known? If you do, then how do you point to Him? Does your life point to Him? How are you giving Him glory today? How do you point others to Him? If you want Him to be known, make Him known to those you encounter. Point to Him.

“May Your ways be known throughout the earth, Your saving power among people everywhere.” – Psalm 67:2 [NLT]

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All That I Am

It is amazing to consider how we are constructed. Doctors and scientists have tried to figure it all out, studying every nook and cranny, and still cannot understand how He has created. We truly are each a work of art and He is the master Artist.

That being said, we do know that we are made of many parts that are all working together. There are over 200 bones that construct our body, over half of them construct the hands and feet. We know we have a personality, emotions, interests. We have talents, habits, sensitivities. We have different areas of our lives: family, friends, work, finances, hobbies, etc. When we examine closely, our lives are full of many things.

The Psalmist says, “Let all that I am wait quietly before God.” Consider this: All that I am. ALL. Every little nook and cranny. Everything. Every part. All of you. This means nothing is held back. This means nothing is off doing something else while the rest of you waits. You are one whole body. The Psalmist speaks of a “whole body” which longs for God.

Today, as you go about your day with all your parts, seek Him with your whole body. Wait quietly for Him with all of you. This means being still before Him. Quieting everything within you. Know that when you seek Him earnestly, you will find Him.

“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him.” – Psalm 62:5 [NLT]

“O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for You. My soul thirsts for You; my whole body longs for You in this parched and weary land where there is no water.” – Psalm 63:1 [NLT]

Forever in Your Sanctuary

Forever is a very long time. The Psalmist writes in Psalm 61 about a request: “Let me live forever in Your sanctuary.” This is not a simple request. This request is for a sinful man to spend forever with God, Holy God, in His presence.

Despite it not being a simple request, it is a request that can be met. There is a possibility for you and I to live forever in His sanctuary. To abide with Him, we must accept the Son. To abide with Him, we must have the desire. The Bible promises that when we abide in Him, He will abide in us (John 15:4).

Thankfully God sent His Son to pave the way for us to be able to come before God as unblemished spotless ones. Because of the blood of Christ, we are cleansed and we are righteous. We are called children of God through faith (Galatians 3:26). The wages of sin is death, but we accept the free gift of God, eternal life through Christ Jesus (Romans 6:23). Forever we live in Your sanctuary!

“Let me live forever in Your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of Your wings! Interlude” – Psalm 61:4 [NLT]

But As For Me

In Psalm 59, we read about people who wander about for food, growling when they are not satisfied. What imagery we get from the Psalmist. It is easy to picture. The Psalmist continues, “But as for me.” I love it. “But as for me, I will sing about Your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about Your unfailing love.”

Life is difficult. Indeed. Even so, we have the choice to embrace God and the life He’s given us—to move forward as He leads. Or we have a choice to grumble in dissatisfaction and roam around growling.

Today, do you want to be a grumbler like the Israelites? Do you want to growl in dissatisfaction? Or will you be one of the few who say, “But as for me”? You have the choice. Do you look around and thank God for where He has placed you and His many blessings? Do you feel unsatisfied and complain? Will you sing with joy about His power and love?

God calls us to share the Good News with the whole world. Consider how many you reach with your grumbles and growls. Consider how many you reach with songs of praise and thanksgiving. When God gets the glory, eyes are pointed to Him.

“But as for me, I will sing about Your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about Your unfailing love. For You have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.” – Psalm 59:16 [NLT]

Life-Giving Light

After weeks of not having a light at the top of the stairwell, we finally replaced the light bulbs. It took so long to remember to buy the right light bulbs, and then to get the time when we could be together to take on the cringeworthy task of switching out bulbs at the top of the stairs. We wait until all three bulbs are out before we attempt the feat. I still do not understand why the light couldn’t be closer to the far side of the landing, instead of right at the edge of the stairs. We need Spiderman to simplify the task.

The Bible tells us that God is light. Jesus even says that He is the “light of the world.” When we look around the world during the daytime, though we can see all around us without the need of a flashlight, it is still filled with darkness. You see the world is filled with the darkness of the grave. God’s Word tells us that the wages of sin is death. We are all dead in the grave without Jesus. He is the One Who provides the light that leads to life—life-giving light. All around us, there is sin, brokenness, and chaos.

The world is a dark place but we are meant to live in it right now. God wants us to be light-bearers who point to Jesus. The illumination that shines comes from the presence of God. You see the presence of God is within us—the Holy Spirit. As we walk through this dark world, we can shine a light and share the Good News with those who are still in the dark. We can lead others to know the One Who is Light. Remember, it is His light that leads to life. Share the Life-Giving Light. Share Jesus.

“For You have rescued me from death; You have kept my feet from slipping. So now I can walk in Your presence, O God, in Your life-giving light.” – Psalm 56:13 [NLT]

“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, ‘I am the light of the world. If you follow Me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.’” – John 8:12 [NLT]

 

No One

We often like to think the best of ourselves. We do not realize how corrupt our heart is, so it difficult to take a good hard look at ourselves and see the truth. In Jeremiah 17:9, we read, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Deceitful. The MOST deceitful of all things. Desperately wicked—so wicked we cannot say how bad.

Today’s verse says that no one does good. That means that even you do not do good. You are part of the “not a single one.” That is hard to handle. We find it hard to come to terms with the fact that we are not good—that we are corrupt. The truth is, no matter how many good things we do, we have bad things that we think and do—things we do not even realize. But God can see through every crack and crevice. He sees the corruption. He sees the deceitfulness. He sees the wickedness from within us.

The awesome good news is that He loves us anyway, and He has made a way for us to be in right relationship with Him. Despite the corruption, despite not doing good—He has made a way for us to come before Him, covered in the blood of His Son Jesus Christ. We are clothed in His righteousness, made right with God through Him. Today, thank God for His great mercy and His unfailing love. Seek His righteousness above all else. Remember, no one does good—not a single one.

“But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one!” – Psalm 53:3 [NLT]

Loyal Spirit

Today’s verse is one of the most quoted from the book of Psalms for good reason. The request to create a clean heart is because the heart is defiled with sin. We can easily understand that our hearts are defiled and need cleansing. He alone can cleanse us.

The Hebrew word used for “loyal,” “faithful,” “right,” and “steadfast,” is translated as “to be firm.” It is associated with correcting, and putting right. To renew a loyal spirit is a request to help the Psalmist stand firm and not succumb to temptation again—a spirit that is prepared and ready, a spirit that is established and immovable, one that moves forward in faithful obedience.

What the Psalmist is asking God for is for a heart that is pure, undefiled from sin—for God to cleanse all that was defiled. He then is asking God to help him to have a renewed spirit, a strong and faithful spirit that can stand firm so he no longer succumbs to temptation—so that he no longer goes against God, but instead follows in faithful obedience. Today, let us pray for a clean heart and a right spirit. Let us walk in faithful obedience.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” – Psalm 51:10 [NLT]

Giving Thanks

We are taught at a young age to say “thank you.” When you are raising a child and the “thank you” is not said when the child receives something, there is a prompt given. “Say thank you,” we say. Young people know this too well. Mom and dad will give the eyes if you receive something and do not say the words. But thankfulness is not simple about words, but about the heart. And the One we owe the most thanks to is God Almighty!

The Psalmist speaks of thankfulness being your sacrifice to God. He says that giving thanks is what truly honors God. Consider this—we often get caught up on trying to do for God. We think we can do good things and that is our sacrifice. But we get entrapped in this idea that we are paying God back. We busy ourselves with doing and we forget to thank Him for all He continues to do. But what He wants is us—He wants our heart. Instead of doing good things, stop for a second. Take a moment. Pause. Thank Him for what He has done and is doing in your life. Give thanks. That honors Him more than empty tasks.

God has already done for us. He continues to do for us. We can never do enough to outdo God. When we thank Him, and recognize what He has done, we acknowledge that He is above all and in all. He is the great I AM. Honor Him today with your thanksgiving! Stop striving and stand in awe before your Maker!

“Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors Me. If you keep to My path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.” – Psalm 50:14, 23 [NLT]

Ransom to God

If something is held for ransom and you cannot pay the price, the thing being held is not released. The reason something is a ransom is because the something is held until the price is paid. If not paid, the release doesn’t happen.

As we look in the Bible, we read about how we cannot redeem ourselves from death by paying a ransom. We cannot pay enough. We cannot afford the price. We don’t have what it would take. No matter how hard we try to gain what is needed for the ransom, we will fall short. Redemption certainly does not come easy. Yet, it has come. It has a name. JESUS. He has paid the ransom. He has paid the debt in full. We have redemption through Him. We are released from the grave; we resurrect because of Him. We find ourselves with an eternal life through faith alone in Jesus Christ. It is through grace alone that the ransom was paid in full.

Today, remember that you have not redeemed yourself. You put your faith in the One Who paid the price that only He could pay. Thank Jesus Christ for being the once for all sacrifice. Thank Him for the redemption that you receive through Him alone. Live out your redeemed life. Remember, you are free so live free! Live free and point others to this freedom! Let people know Who offers redemption. Let people know Who is reaching out His hand! Point people to JESUS!

“Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death by paying a ransom to God. Redemption does not come so easily, for no one can ever pay enough to live forever and never see the grave.” – Psalm 49:7-9 [NLT]

Source of All My Joy

We look all over trying to have a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. We seek out delight in this world, but again and again we come up short. Temporary pleasures fade away. As we reach out for joy, we grasp glimpses of happiness that always fall short, unless we get to the source of joy itself.

The Psalmist got it! He understood that the source of our joy is God. Without God, you don’t have joy. You have something that might feel good for a while, might make you happy for a moment, but it passes. Circumstances and situations do not take away true joy, because through all the highs and lows of life, God is still present and you find your contentment in life in Him. Every time you depend upon something for joy, you will see it pass by at some point. People, feelings, situations—these things continue to change.

Today, praise the Lord, the source of joy. Ask Him to help you build your life upon His foundation. Let Him move freely in your life. Put your hope in Him. The fruit of joy will grow stronger in your life, and this with be contagious. Praise Him! He is the source of all your joy!

“There I will go to the altar of God, to God–the source of all my joy. I will praise you with my harp, O God, my God! Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again–my Savior and my God!” – Psalm 43:4-5 [NLT]