My precious resource

I love Psalm 19; it’s one of most marked psalms in my Bible. The focus on God’s Word is wonderful.

What is the Word like? (19:7–9)

How much do I appreciate the Word? (19:10, 11)

How do I apply the Word? (19:12–14)

Do I need my soul to live again? Do I need wisdom? Do I need a heart that rejoices? These are the rewards of the living Word in my heart and life. And all of the Word’s work is right, pure and sure.

More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:10)

 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly… (Colossians 3:16)

 

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The Word of Christ lives
Patiently transforming me
Into His likeness

 

Lord, help me to let the Word do its work in my life. Remind me where to find my resources for every day and challenge.

 

Rescue

I love you, O Lord, my strength….but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me. Psalm 18:1, 18-19
David is nose to nose with accusers. He is entrapped by dangers and problems…no escape…but the Lord
He alone takes us to the broad places. He rescues and lifts us up. No one else can do this and I dishonor him when I think I can deliver myself or depend on someone else. The great Interrupter delights in me – I am his child. I am his responsibility. I am in his care.
God has no problems, just plans. – Corrie tenBoom
Why would I turn to anyone else for rescue? Why would I ever think that I so entrapped that there is no way of escape?
Lord, you alone are my strong deliverer. Help me depend upon you alone.

Majesty

Psalm 8:1 [widescreen]

The universe…the best man can do to understand it is to see it like this:

The Universe is all of time and space and its contents. The Universe includes planets, stars, galaxies, the contents of intergalactic space, the smallest subatomic particles, and all matter and energy. The observable universe is about 28 billion parsecs (91 billion light-years) in diameter at the present time. The size of the whole Universe is not known and may be either finite or infinite.

This is what we are left with when we toss away the infinite, personal God who created and sustains his creation. Man can only skirt around the question, “Where does personality come from?” He knows that personal does not come from impersonal. He is left with a quandry.

Psalm 8 reminds me that my God is that infinite, personal God who exists. He lives outside the limits of his creation, yet reaches me and knows me! He has made it possible for me to know him! Therefore, he is always bigger than my need and not bounded by anything as he provides for me.

Lord, you alone are inspiring and awesome in all you are and in all you do. Today, our world has turned its back on you and is trying to solve its problems without you. If I am not careful, I can follow the same path and live as if you are not here or somehow believe you are unable. Forgive me for those thoughts. I am your child – you are my God! Come!

Stop and think

Psalm 3.8

Following be careful who you listen to and where you are (Psalm 1-2) is a painful Psalm 3. David is on the run, betrayed by many, even his own son. I see the word selah appearing three times. The word encourages me to stop and think, “Could it be true?”

many are saying of my soul, “There is no salvation for him in God.”Selah  Could it be true? Of course, it isn’t. I must be careful to listen to the right voice. Even my heart might betray me.

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah  Could this be true? Stop and think. Oh, yes, this is marvelously true for me at all times.

Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people! Selah Could this be true? Stop and think. Yes! I am greatly blessed in every way.

Lord, help me listen to your voice alone and open my heart to embrace what is true, regardless of my situations.

A call to praise my Lord

O my soul, bless God. From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name! O my soul, bless God, don’t forget a single blessing! He forgives your sins—every one. He heals your diseases—every one. He redeems you from hell—saves your life! He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown. He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal. He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence. (Ps 103:1–5)

Too often, my attention has been drawn to what my Lord does for me. Verse 2 encourages me to not forget a single blessing. However, this time, my heart is drawn to the repetitive He. He alone does these things for me because it is his nature.

He forgives because he is the forgiver. He heals because he is the healer. He redeems because he is the redeemer. He crowns because he is royalty himself. He wraps me around with goodness because he is good. He renews because he is the renewer.

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In short, I am longing more for him than even what he does for me. I dare not forget his unceasing blessings because they turn my eyes upon the one who blesses.

Lord, all good things come from you alone. Thank you. But, even more than that, thank you for revealing your heart through those things. Forgive me for complaining or ever believing you hold out on me.

Self talk

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God—soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God. When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you, including Mount Mizar. Chaos calls to chaos, to the tune of whitewater rapids. Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers crash and crush me. Then God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night! My life is God’s prayer. Sometimes I ask God, my rock-solid God, “Why did you let me down? Why am I walking around in tears, harassed by enemies?” They’re out for the kill, these tormentors with their obscenities, taunting day after day, “Where is this God of yours?” Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God—soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God. (Ps 42:5–11)

Self-examination quickly gets to the heart of an issue. No sugar coating. Just honesty. This is why I love these verses. The writer questions himself and points his heart to great truths. God puts a smile on my face, He’s my God. God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night!

These truths confront all my fears and answer my questions. The writer feels down, crushed, let down, unprotected and abandoned. As real as these things feel, they are not true. And, left unattended, they can fester into an infection. So, what can I do when afraid or down? Simply said, I will fix my eyes upon my Lord. Focus on him.

Lord, I trust and surrender to you. Like the writer of this psalm, take my anxiety away. Point me to the truth about you. May all my worries be fashioned into prayers.

Four Choices

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
I will be filled with joy because of you.
I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.  Psalm 9:1-2

Four I will statements. Two are solely between my Lord and me. One is outward expression to others. And, one combines the vertical and horizontal. Each rests upon my determined decision.

  1. I will praise the Lord, with all my heart. I will not give him sloppy thanks with a divided one.
  2. I will be filled with joy. I will not look to others to provide the joy that only he can give.
  3. I will tell others about his marvelous work. I will not hold it back.
  4. I will sing praises to his name. I will not reserve my praise at any time, regardless.

These are decisions I must make and can make today. There is never a day he is not worthy of my praise; and, today is a great day to share him with the world.

Lord, I tend to be very reserved with you and certainly with the world. Help me look to you for my joy and share this with others.

A quiet place

As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night. Matthew 14:22-23

As was with Jesus, there must be times that I draw away from everything and everyone to connect with my Father. Intimacy demands this. It is in the quiet place that I hear his heart and understand his plans for me. There, the uncertainties fade into trust and faith.

Something I have come to experience is that he is always there before me. He arrives and waits. I never do. So, I wonder what he is wanting to share with me today?

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Lord, help me find a quiet place to meet with you. And, help me be disciplined to show up. I don’t want you to wait a long time for me.

Role-play

Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. Matthew 6:6

Jesus is inviting me to come to him, in a quiet, secluded place. It is there that honest relationship is formed. My hurried pace fights this intimacy. In the quiet place with my Lord, I can simply be. No show. No pretense. No role-play.

That is what I want so, I must discipline myself toward it. Turn off. Disconnect. Stop. Only then will my Lord reveal himself. He will not do that if I don’t care enough to slow the pace. He will never speed up his pace to walk with me; I must get in step with his.

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Lord, you know my hurried heart. Demands, distractions, involvements all fight for my attention. And, I let them do so, even encourage them at times. Help me be still through silence and cultivate serenity through times of solitude.

Involvements vs. intimacy

“Thomas said, “My Master! My God!” John 20:28

Thomas, though doubting at first, was drawn to the resurrected Jesus. Perhaps it is a little too much of a refined thought but he was drawn to Jesus not the miraculous resurrection of Jesus. The person is who Thomas sees. I can easily be enamored with what Jesus does and not so much in love with him. This affects my loyalty big time!

Beware of anything that competes with your loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of true devotion to Jesus is the service we do for Him. It is easier to serve than to pour out our lives completely for Him. – Oswald Chambers

Is this not true? Involvements but not intimacy is another way to say it.

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Father, intimacy is to become my passion. Guard me against substituting intimacy with involvements. Help me become more focused on our relationship.