Thursday, April 24, 2014

I cannot repay.

What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD, I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people. 

Psalm 116:12-14


Lord,

I cannot repay the great cost of Your love for me. My salvation came at the price of Jesus' life and death. It is secured in the reality of Jesus' own resurrection from the dead. My life is filled with the benefits of my great salvation. Even when some things in this life hurt and are very hard, nothing takes away the joy of such great salvation!


I come to You in Your Word and find direction, comfort, and sustaining strength. When life circumstances get strange or out of control, You bring stability. I will praise You for this. I will give my energies, efforts, and abilities that You have created in me for Your praise and glory. It is worth the cost because it cannot equal the gifts of Your grace that cost so much to You.

Amen

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Help & Shield

O Israel, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield. 

Psalm 115:9


Sometimes I am

at the end of my rope

needing hope

barely holding on to a thread

and in my dread

I call out...

You are my help


Other times I am

being besieged

cut off at the knees

attacked by enemies

starting to bleed

I reach out...

You are my shield

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

how God gives

Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, who turns the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a spring of water.

Psalm 114:7-8


This psalm celebrates how God led Israel out of Egypt and into the Land of Promise. As such, it is very abbreviated, focusing on the power of God to save, not the history of rebellious Israel at that time. This song sings the mighty power of God in leading His people and giving them a land to possess for their own.


GOD DELIVERS FROM SLAVERY. He took Israel out of Egypt and set them free. No longer were they bound in slavery. They were freed to follow Him.


GOD GIVES A POSSESSION. He led Israel to possess the Promised Land. He kept a covenant with Abraham and made a new land covenant with the children of Israel.


GOD PROVIDES FOR NEEDS. In the wilderness God's people were fed. Water sprang from rocks at God's miraculous supply. His provision displays His caring love for His people.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Who is like The Lord our God?

Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth? 

Psalm 113:5-6


Dear God Whose perspective sits above the universe, I know that You see me and care for me. And in the mass of billions of human lives on planet earth, You see into the depths of my heart. You have that same perceptive gaze into every person who ever has lived, or ever will live. And You love us so much that You gave Yourself to us in Your Son, so much that He died for our sins so that we may know You.


Lord, no one is like You. No human can be. We did not make the universe. You, however, sit over it and could pinch it all between Your fingernails! So my worship must go to only You and not the things You have made. As I think about the rhetorical question of who is like You, I realize that there really is only You in my life.


I am amazed at the love of God in Christ. The God Who sees and knows every intimate detail of everything, (including my sins) that God is my Lord and my Savior. And my life is safe with Him! I will live my life in Him. Amen

Friday, April 18, 2014

taking the bad news

He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD. 

Psalm 112:7


This song celebrates the benefits that come to a righteous soul that walks in God's ways. And a godly person can handle bad news. I think it is important to realize that the text does NOT say that a good person never has bad news come into his or her life. On the contrary, it seems to imply that bad news comes at times to good people. They just handle it better.


Instead of fear, a righteous person responds with firm faith, trusting God in difficult times. That is the big difference. Bad news may come, but God does not change! Faith in God will carry the good man through bad times.


Now, on "Good Friday" I remember the bad things that happened to Jesus. He suffered and died for my sins. He endured the cross, despising its shame for my sin because it was a "joy set before Him" to bring many sons to glory! What started out as "bad news" in the death of Christ is now very much "good news" in the gospel. He is the only hope for mankind. No other way to the Father exists except by Him. Easter is coming, and life will be secured in a resurrection. My heart is firm, trusting in The Lord.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

God's Word... forever

The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy; they are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness. 

Psalm 111:7-8


The outstanding duration of the work of God is that it will always last. God builds things that last... forever. Even this current universe, marred by sin, groaning as all creation, waiting for redemption, will be remade as the new heavens and the new earth. Once created, God's will is for the universe to remain. He does lasting work.


The same is true of His Word. It is established. His precepts and principles are trustworthy. They are eternal truths that last forever with God. We, His people , are bound to His Word forever to live faithfully by His leading.


One reason why I must remain faithful to God's Word despite the chaos and change all around me is that it maintains my eternal priorities. I know that I feel the "forever" in its pages. I can handle any of life's unexpected bumps with the power of God's sustaining truth forever settled for me. In His Word is my strength.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

mighty Ruler

The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! 

Psalm 110:2


I write this so Far East on the globe that Passion week began yesterday. The time to reflect on my suffering Savior and His sacrifice is here. It will culminate with the celebration of His resurrection when I am once again with my home and family at the start of next week. So landing on this Messianic psalm at this moment is interesting timing.


I worshiped in a tight, hot room packed with believers yesterday. We shared the unique fellowship of a common meal around the table after we were first fed by the strong exposition of the Word. And Jesus rules over us! His scepter circles the globe. Even in places where men oppose Him, Jesus reigns! He does indeed rule in the midst of His enemies.


Rule Lord Jesus! Lead Your bride to love You and to declare Your rule among Your enemies. Save Your foes to make them Your friends. The gospel of Your love turns your enemies into Your servants! Amen.