Monday, May 22, 2017

Psalm 142 - When There's No One Else

Poor David..... His spirit was fainting.

4 Look and see, there is no one at my right hand; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.

So what's a guy to do?
He cried out loud to the LORD. 
He asked for mercy.
He poured out his complaints and told God his troubles.

He knew God was his refuge.
And his portion in the land of the living. The New Living Translation says it this way, "You are all I really want in life."

And, David promised to praise God when He brought him through. 
7 Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Psalm 141

Sometimes some of us have sins that seem to track us down and catch us over and over again. The writer of Hebrews called them "the sin that so easily entangles us." Hebrews 12:1

Psalm 141 has a good plan of action for us to combat sin.

1 I call to you, LORD, come quickly to me; hear me when I call to you. 
2 May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. 
3 Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. 
4 Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat their delicacies. 

5 Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness; let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head.

Call to God - ask Him to come quickly.

Ask God to guard your mouth - to watch what you say. Don't let your words make your sin worse.
Pray verse 4. At times we can easily be drawn into sin. It's a different sin for each of us. But our old sin nature can still pull our heart strings. The Apostle Paul wrote quite a bit about his struggle with sin. Romans 7:14-25

21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.  

Have some good friends in your life - friends that you can share your struggles with. Give your friend permission to confront you when he/she sees you headed down the path to sin. (See verse 5)
You don't have a friend like that? You have to work to BE a friend like that and to develop that kind of friendship. That's a whole other blog post....

Psalm 141:4 reminded me of the third verse of the great hymn "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing."

O to grace, how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be.
Let thy grace, Lord, like a fetter,
bind my wondering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it, 
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Here's a modern version of this great hymn with some new words added.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Psalm 140 - Living in His Presence

After several verses of wishing the worst on his enemies, the psalmist concludes with these words.

13 Surely the righteous will praise your name, and the upright will live in your presence.

In the Old Testament times people had to work hard to live righteously. They had to follow the law. Many would live righteous lives wanting to please the LORD with how they lived. But the sinful nature in everyone made it impossible to completely keep the law. 
But God promised that a day would come when He would write His laws on our hearts.

33 "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD , "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

In the New Testament we see that our righteousness comes from Jesus. (Read Romans 3 and the rest of Romans.

So....all of that to say - and I"m probably leaving out some connecting thoughts. 

If you have given y our life to Christ and are following Him then you are righteous before the Father. Then you will praise His name - not only in worship on Sundays, but during the week too.
And you will live your life in His presence - not just when you die and you're in heaven. 

Well.... I'm taking care of three grands after having two other grands here since Tuesday, so I"m not sure I've included all of the connecting thoughts in this post.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Psalm 139 -- Many Wonderful Truths

I've heard many great sermons and lessons taken from Psalm 139. I'm not going to try to relate them to you in this post. Instead, I think I'll just give you some good lesson or sermon titles and you can fill in the three points and a poem. (That's an old preacher joke. It used to be - probably in the 50s, maybe the 70s - I don't know.... anyway a good sermon would have three points and would end with a poem. A really great preacher would make his three points alliterate. hahaha) are some great truths from this psalm that would make for a good sermon.

The LORD knows all about us, when we sit, stand, sleep and even what we are going to say before the words are in our mouths. amazing! vs1-6

There isn't anywhere in the world that we can go and be away from God's presence. And no matter where we are God will guide us and hold us. vs.7-12

We don't have to be afraid of the dark - or things that we can't see - because even the dark is as light to God. vs.11-12

We have a great purpose in life - each of us - because we are fearfully and wonderfully made. God knits us together in our mothers' wombs. He knows all that will happen in our lives. vs.13-16

Anyone who truly believes vs.13-16 could never support or condone abortion.

God thinks about us more than we can even imagine. vs.17-18

23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 

24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 138 - Though Exalted

I love this verse because it says again one of the great wonders of God:

6 Though the LORD is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly; though lofty, he sees them from afar. 

I've always thought this - and mention it often in worship - that it is amazing that the great God of the universe, the Creator of all things, the One exalted above all things would reach out to us in love! That He would offer Himself just so He can have a relationship with us.

That's amazingly awesome!

I read an often quoted saying today that in all other religions man tries to reach God, but in Christianity we see that God reaches down to us. (I'm not sure I quoted it exactly correct, but you get the point.)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Psalm 137 - Weeping for what You Don't Have

How can we sing the songs of Zion?

When things go wrong in life it is easy and I suppose it is a natural response to be sad when you think of what you have lost. How can you sing when things are going so badly?


I've tried to write about this psalm from several different angles and I just can't. I don't know what to say.... how to relate it to 2017. It's easy to understand the despair of the psalmist. Jerusalem had been destroyed and the people carried off into captivity. The psalmist wants to remember Jerusalem. He also wants to dash children against the rocks...

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Psalm 136 - His Love Endures Forever

Here's a nice family activity to do with your children or grandchildren or perhaps with your spouse. It would even work for you by yourself. Make up your own list of things that God has done in your life, or the life of your family.
Then break your list up into phrases and say one phrase and then say "His love endures forever" then say another phrase and again say "His love endures forever."

It will be a nice time of praise for you.