Psalm 121, 2021

When I need help, the only place I need to look is to my God, the Creator of Everything.  He does not let me stumble.   God watches over me all day and all night – he never sleeps.

How great is the LORD who stands by me all day and all night!

I know that God takes care of me – day and night –

as I come and go –

both now and forever!

Thank you, Abba Father!

Psalm 108, 2021

My heart is yours, O God, and my soul sings praises to you. Every morning as I see the sun rise, I praise you, LORD.

Great is your love! It fills the heavens reaching to the skies. You are exalted, God, above the heavens and your glory shines over all the earth.

Deliver us, Father. We know you reign over all the earth. Nothing and no one can stand against you, God.

With God on our side, evil doesn’t stand a chance. Victory is our’s.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Psalm 86, 2021

Let’s join with King David in his prayer:

Hear me, LORD, and answer me, I need you.  I am a faithful servant who trusts you – save me.

You are my God, have mercy on me as I call out to you all day long.  I trust you, God.  Please give me joy.

You are so good.  When I walk close with you, your love and forgiveness overwhelm me.  There is no other god like you.  Everything you have created joins together to worship you.  You are great and marvelous.  You alone are God.

I want to learn all about you, LORD, so I can build my life on your truth.  Give me an undivided heart which is focused on loving and honoring you.

I will praise you, God, with all my heart forever.

Each day I feel your great love for me.  Keep me safe.

I am surrounded by arrogant and confused people who don’t believe in you, God.  But I know you are a compassionate and gracious God, overflowing with love and faithfulness.

Open my eyes to what you doing, God.  Have mercy on me just as you have given mercy to those who have gone before me.  Show me your goodness, LORD, so that others around me will see what a great God you are.

Thank you for your help and comfort, LORD.

Amen.

Psalm 71b, 2021

‘As for me, I will always have hope;

I will praise you more and more.”

I can talk about your goodness and your grace all day long, Lord, even though it’s often hard to describe how great you are. I tell everyone I know about you.  I share with them how awesome you are!

All of my life, God, you have taught me your the truth. I know you well and I tell others about how marvelous you are. I am fulfilling my obligation to pass on your truth to the next generation – to those who are coming behind me.

I know you will be walking closely beside me for the rest of my days. 

You are perfect!  Your greatness fills the universe and never ends!  There is no one like you, God!

Yes, I have had bitter trials and troubles in my life.  But you were always there to guide me….

and comfort me….

and restore me.

I will never stop praising your faithfulness, my God! I will sing praise to you! I will shout for joy!

You have saved me and I cannot stop talking about you! No one and nothing can truly harm me when I have you!

Thank you, Abba Father.

Everything

Everything I have comes from God.

Everything you have comes from God.

I really believe this. Do you?

When I came to the point that I sincerely believed this, it totally changed what I do with my time, money and talents.  I believe that this is what God is going to be talking to me about on judgement day. I am a believer and God has forgiven my sins for all time because of Christ’s death on the cross. It would be against God’s nature to bring up my sins on judgement day – what was the cross for? But God’s Word tells me in several places that Jesus is like the owner of the company who gave his servants – including me – resources and talents before he went off on a long journey. When he comes back, he will hold his servants – including me – accountable for how well we stewarded what he left with us while he was gone..

On Judgement Day, God will give me an evaluation of what I have done with all he has given me.

King David’s declaration in front of all of his people has made this passage in 1 Chronicles 29 one of my favorite. In my head, I imagine King David standing in the middle of huge piles of gold, silver, bronze and precious stones he was accumulating to be used in the building of the Temple of God.

I see David standing in the middle of this fortune with his hands raised to the sky as he acknowledges in front of everyone that all of this – and everything – comes from God.

Let’s join him (my paraphrase) –

We lift up our praise to you, Lord, our God and Father, forever!

You have all the greatness..

all the power…

all the glory…

all of the majesty..

and all of the splendor!

Everything in heaven and on earth is yours.

You, oh Lord, own everything and are in control of it all!

Any wealth or honor we have comes from you.

You rule over everything!

Only you are able to give strength and power to us.

Now, our God, we give you our thanks and we praise your glorious name!

Thank you, Abba Father!

Psalm 23, 2021

My Lord protects me. I have everything I need. He provides for me and fills my life with his supernatural peace.

He gives me joy and strength for each day.  Through his Word, he directs my choices and decisions.

Even when I am going through tragedies and tough trials, I am not afraid.  I know God is right beside me. He is guiding me. I feel his arms wrapped around me, comforting me.

No matter what is going on, I know God loves me. He is faithful and he wants the best for me.

I am precious to him – I can feel that in my soul.  My heart overflows with thankfulness.

I know, Abba Father, that your love and goodness will never end.  You will be with me all of my days here on earth.  And you will be walking right beside me when I leave earth to enter heaven.

Where I will be with you…

Forever.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Psalm 30, 2021

I just can’t stop praising your name, today, Lord! You have lifted my problems and worries off of my shoulders. I called your name and you healed my soul. I used to feel empty and worthless but now you have saved me.

Sing with me, all believers! Praise our Holy God!

God’s anger is focused on the Evil One. Satan is fighting very hard but God has already won the war.

Good news! You and I, the redeemed, have already started our life forever with our Father God.  We are his favorite children!

Yes, we still have struggles and trials while we live on this earth. But, through them all, our Father God walks closely beside us, caring for us and giving us joy.

Most of the time, I feel secure.  I feel like I will never be shaken.

But – sometimes – I feel far away from you, God.  Alone. Afraid. So I cry out to you once again – end my loneliness!  Get rid of my fear! Pour out your grace upon me. Help me, oh Lord.

Yes!  Then you turn my crying into dancing! My sadness disappears and I am filled with joy as I sing your praises!

0 Lord, my God, I will praise you forever!

A Deadly Snare

King David’s son, Absalom, had beautiful hair.  It was thick and long and gorgeous.  He cut it once a year, then weighed it so everyone would know awesome it was. Pretty extreme, right?

I wonder how often Absalom stopped to look in the mirror to admire his hair?  (Did they have mirrors back then?  Maybe shiny pieces of metal that reflected back their image?  Or maybe the guys looked into their swords?)

If he made this big deal about his yearly hair cutting, I would image that he was extremely proud of his hair, don’t you?  I’m sure it was a constant source of compliments for him.

And then we read in 2 Samuel 18 that Absalom was riding his donkey under a tree in the midst of battle when his hair got caught in the tree.  He was pulled from his donkey and was left hanging in midair by his hair while his donkey just kept on going.  While Absalom was dangling there, unable to defend himself, Joab plunged his sword into Absalom’s heart and killed him.

Only really thick hair would be able to do that, right?  If Absalom had thin hair or even regular hair, this wouldn’t have happened to him.

The thing he was so very proud of became a snare that caused his death.

So the question to you and I today is – what is the thing in our lives that we are most proud of?  Do we need an attitude adjustment before we find ourselves in a snare?

Are we already caught in a snare?

Dear Father, we are so blessed to have you in our lives lavishing us with your mercy and your love.  We confess any personal pridefulness.  Please help us be most proud of you and what you have done for us.

Psalm 51, 2021

I ask for a pure heart, O God! I want my life to be focused on you.

Keep me close by your side and grow your spirit within me. Bring back the joy I felt when I first asked you to save me. Give me a faithful heart so I stay near you. Then I will tell others about your saving grace and I will share the truth you have revealed to me.

Please lift the burden of my guilt from me, O God, and I will sing of your goodness forever. When I open my mouth, Lord, let it be to praise you.

I know you don’t want me to just ‘show up’ at church because it’s the right thing to do. I know you don’t want me to give money to the church just because it’s the right thing to do. I know you don’t want me to read the Bible just so I can check it off of my reading plan for the year.

You want my heart to be broken open,

repentant,

humbled,

willing to be filled with your truth.

Amen. Let it be so, Abba Father.

Do You Feel It?

Do you feel the power of the Holy Spirit living within you? What does this power feel like?

God’s Word tells me that David and his army took back Jerusalem from the Jebusites.  “And David became more and more powerful, because the LORD Almighty was with him.” 1 Chronicles 11:9  David was obedient and, as a result of that obedience, God was able to fulfill his plan for David and establish him as king.

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Isn’t that what you and I want?  Not to be king.  But don’t we want God to be able to use us for his purposes?  We want God’s dreams for us to come true.

I had the opportunity to visit the City of David in Jerusalem several years ago. (pictures)   It’s very hard to try to describe what it felt like to stand within the ruins of David’s palace, looking down over the rooftops of Jerusalem.

It’s amazing to know that my God was David’s God.

The Alpha and Omega.

The Beginning and the End.

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God was with David in Jerusalem.  God’s power was in David, helping him to obediently fulfilled his purpose on earth.  When David’s purpose on earth was done, our Father God brought him home.

God was also with me – when I was in Jerusalem and every day.  The power of his Holy Spirit lives within me, helping me to fulfill my purpose.  I’m still here because I’m not done yet.  When my time is up, Jesus will walk with me into heaven, my forever home.

Amen! Hallelujah!