Tuesday, May 24, 2011

RE: Psalms 15

This Psalm is about how God receives a perfect person. Once, knowing I could not be perfect, I was comforted that Jesus stood in God's presence for me. That was fine, but the gospel gives us much more than a mediator. Because of Jesus' perfect sacrifice I am redeemed and God sees me as perfect.

This Psalm is about how God receives me; this Psalm is about how God receives everyone who has put their faith in him. This Psalm is about how God receives you, not because of anything you've done, beloved, but because of what he has done.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

RE: Psalms 14

This Psalm does not resolve neatly. Not every poem, day, or season, will neatly tie up with God making everything better. Life is not a TV show. In these times when a good end is not nearby we can feel too overwhelmed to sing praises, and too doubtful to declare God's future victory. To you who are in such a season now I would like to write, “God loves you and he will prevail.” but these good, true words are still only words; you need more than words right now. You need to remember those things you know are true, those promises that give you hope so that you do not say in your heart that there is no God.

. . . .evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the LORD is their refuge. Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion . . . -Psal .m 14:6&7

May the Spirit of God remind you of everything Jesus has said to you.

Friday, May 13, 2011

RE: Psalms 13

When life hits you in the face and you don't know if you can take any more, do you know what you can do? You can praise the Lord. The Lord loves you; this is true no matter what. Worship the Lord when life sucks. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Praying this psalm in your own words is a good way to start. List your fears, your wounds, and your struggles. Then, instead of spiraling into self-pity, rejoice in God's salvation.

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” -Jesus (John 16:33)

RE: Psalms 12

Psalm 12 reminds me of a friend of mine who believes the world was better when he was young. The complaint that “no one is faithful anymore”(v.1) is an ancient one and a modern one. This is why the Psalms remain relevant; they discuss immortal themes and immortal truths. It is true that at times the world seems like a dark and unforgiving place; this was as true in ancient Israel and is today. The truth of God's goodness is unchanged too. God still arises to protect the needy.

Pray today that God would act to protect the poor and needy. Be ready to be used by him.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

RE: 1 Samuel 13

Feelings are lovely things that provide some of the most beautiful experiences, but they can get in our way. Feelings can be an excuse to do what we want, instead of what we know we ought. In 1 Sam 13, Saul is leading Israel to war. Imagine you're Saul: You have 3,000 men. The Philistines have an uncountable army, 30,000 chariots and 6,000 horsemen(v.6). You have no weapons(v.22). Frig.

The situation is awful. The men of Israel are terrified and hiding in holes(v.6). Saul was told to wait for Samuel, who would offer sacrifices and ask God what they should do(v.8). Samuel did not show up when Saul expected him. I imagine Saul felt God had let him down.

Sometimes we feel let down by God. Sometimes we need God to show up and we still don't see him. These moments when we feel let down are critical to growing in faith. Saul decided to take matters into his won hands. Saul was unwilling to be out of control, his excuse was that he “felt compelled” (v.12)

Saul would have been rewarded if he had been faithful in spite of his feelings(v.13). His reward went to David, who was faithful to God in a seemingly hopeless situation against a giant(1 Sam 17). Even Jesus had to be faithful in spite of his feelings in Gethsemane(Luke 22:42)

God calls us to be faithful in spite of fear, feelings, or desiring control of our lives. Pray that God increases our faith, and helps us to rely on him instead of on our limited knowledge or our feelings. God is sufficient. His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

RE: Psalms 11

Sometimes things go horribly wrong. This psalm seems to have been written when David's life was awful, but somehow David could laugh at those who insisted that God abandoned him. I suppose if you live in the wilderness long enough, with enough people trying to kill you, you can learn that none of the trials you face are as big a deal as God is. In the midst of trouble, fix your eyes of God.

Psalms 11:4 The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

RE: Psalms 10

God may often feel far off; God never is far off. Feelings are temporary; God's presence is not. He is with you now. I believe the words of Ps10:1 are cried out by every single person at one time or another. Everyone, whether they believe in a God or not, does at some point feel that they have been abandoned by God. Our faith in God is tested by trouble in our lives. James 1 says that hard times produce perseverance. Like a workout or a class that pushes us to our limits, the trials of life that are the hardest to go through are the ones that make us strong.

How do you want to grow in faith? What trial will bring that growth about? Pray for and expect it.

Where are you being tried in your life right now? How will these trials increase your perseverance? Praise God for them.

Monday, May 2, 2011

RE: Psalms 9

This is the third time it has been mentioned that God is a refuge to everyone who trusts in him. I have always been told to close pay attention if the Bible says something twice, since it has been said thrice, please ruminate on v. 9 & 10

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

RE: Psalms 8

God is a big deal. He made all the things; he made them all AWESOME. Think about whatever blows your mind till that sinks in. Whether its the vastness of the universe, the existence of life, or of the smell of lilacs, take a few moments to dwell on whatever part of God's creation blows your mind.

This may help:

The World is Awesome

The God who made all that stuff cares about you. The dude who made oranges orange is mindful of you, loves you, and places us above the rest of his awesome creation. Take a lifetime to dwell on that.