Sunday, April 30, 2017

Psalm 120 - Take Your Troubles

1 I took my troubles to the LORD;
I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer.

What do you do with your troubles? Do you spend a lot of time worrying about them?
Jesus had a lot to say about worry. He knew we would have troubles and knew we would worry about them.

Here's how you should pray:
Mathew 6:7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again.8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! (New Living Translation)And he had this to say about worry:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
So.... take your troubles to the LORD. Don't keep them to yourself. There's nothing you can do about them.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Psalm 119 - Loving God's Word

I could never do justice to Psalm 119 in a short blog post. There are 176 verses! So below you'll find just some random thoughts and ideas to get you digging deeper and further exploring Psalm 119 on your own.

But I would say that the first few verses kind of summarize - or give the premise behind this magnificent psalm.

1 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. 
Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart— 

3 they do no wrong but follow his ways. 

It's not listed like this, but Psalm 119 is like a love poem. But it's not a poem of love between a man and woman or between a man and God. It's a love poem about the Word of God.

In the Hebrew there are 22 sections - one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Then in each section there are 8 verses that begin with that letter. 

Almost every verse has a synonym for God's Word: precepts, commands, law, etc.

Our pastor at Hilldale Baptist Church is doing a 22 part (Yes, you read that correctly - a 22 part) Bible study on Wednesday nights using a section of Psalm 119 as the scripture. You can go to our Facebook page and look through the Live Feed Videos and find these Bible studies.

I knew two of the musical settings listed below. How many do you know?

Musical settings[edit]

Here are the two I knew.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Psalm 118

Give thanks to the LORD
His love endures forever.

The psalmist begins by calling on everyone to give thanks and  say "His love endures forever." Then he tells how he isn't afraid because he trusts in the LORD. He also tells how God brought him through some terrible times.
In the third section he talks about going to the house of the LORD to worship then concludes the psalm praising the LORD again.

This is a good way to share your faith.

  1. Give thanks saying "His love endures forever."
  2. Tell what God has done for you.
  3. Worship the LORD at church - telling more of what God has done - joining others.
  4. Praise the LORD some more.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Psalm 117

1 Praise the LORD, all you nations; 
extol him, all you peoples. 

2 For great is his love toward us, 
and the faithfulness of the LORD 
endures forever. 
Praise the LORD.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Psalm 116 - How to Repay the Lord

How could we ever repay the LORD for all He has done for us? What can we do to repay Him for salvation?

The writer of Psalm 116 asked the same thing.
12 What can I offer the LORD for all he has done for me?

Here's how he answered (and it is good advice for us to follow as well.)

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and praise the LORD ’s name for saving me.14 I will keep my promises to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
Then - perhaps for emphasis - he says it again this way.17 I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD .18 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people—

So.... there you have it.Offer thanks and praise to the LORD in the presence of all His people. (Participate in worship at your church.)And...If you made promises to the LORD while asking for deliverance, do what you promised!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Psalm 115 - Not to Us

1 Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. 

This same thought is presented as a command to us in Paul's first letter to the Corinthians. They knew that they had freedom in Christ - that they were no longer bound by the law. Paul wanted them to think past their freedom and to their responsibility to other believers.

1 Corinthians 10:23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 

24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. 

If you don't know the entire background to this click here to read the entire passage. 1 Corinthians 10:23-33
In this passage you'll find these words (which I thought of when reading Psalm 115:1)

31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 

So how are you living your life? Are you doing everything for the glory of God? If not, why not? 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Psalm 114 - The Creator Controls His Creation

Just eight verses... you can sum them up by saying that the Creator is still in control of His creation. And He uses creation for His purpose. The mountains and the sea tremble and run from Him and the rock became water. All of this because the LORD chose to dwell with Israel. He needed to provide for them so He suspended the "laws of nature" so nature would do what He wanted.


Speaking of awesome...if you have some time listen to this gorgeous setting of Psalm 114 by Felix Mendelssohn.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Psalm 113 - First Thoughts

I noticed as I was reading Psalm 113 that something immediately popped into my head as I read each verse. "Oh! I'll blog about that!" was my thought each time. But then I realized that my random thoughts on each verse didn't seem to go together into something that would flow together as a nice blog post. so I think I'm going to just right my first thought on each verse. You'll need to read the psalm to follow along.

Vs.1 As God's servants we are told to praise Him. It should be a daily - let's say hourly - thing.
Vs.2 The name of the LORD will be always praised. Our lives now are just preparing us for eternity.
Vs.3 This seems like a call to missions. How can the LORD be praised everywhere the sun shines if we don't share His praise around the world?
Vs.4 All the nations of the world think they are the best. It looks like there's going to be a big showdown between a number of these countries: USA, North Korea, China, Russia, Iran, etc. But God is greater than any of them and his praise higher than the heavens.
Vs.5-6 Here's how great and awesome God is. As unendingly (perhaps not a real word, but I need it here) enormous as the universe is, the LORD has to stoop down to look at the heavens and the earth. Another cool thought is that He does! He loves us so much that He stoops down to look at us. (as seen in the next verses)
Vs.7 He cares for the poor and needy and provides for them.
Vs.8 We don't see the poor take actual seats with the princes (rich leaders) of the land, so what does he mean? Perhaps the psalmist is talking about  how at the cross, we all stand on level ground. God isn't a respecter of people or position, but rather treats all of us the same - as children of the King.
Vs.9 Another verse that isn't always answered the way we would expect. Some happy mothers have adopted. Some happy mothers have many spiritual children that they raise to love and serve and praise the LORD. Some happy mothers take in foster children. Some happy mothers care for children that belong to a neighbor, family member, church member, etc. who for one reason or another is not receiving the care he/she deserves from his/her parents and she steps in and shows the child love and respect and points them to Jesus.

Well....I'm sure with a little more thought I could figure a clever way to connect all of my random thoughts, but maybe that isn't necessary. What did God say to YOU today as you read Psalm 113?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Psalm 112 - Light at the End of the Tunnel

4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous. 

Bad things happen.

We live in a broken world full of sinful people.

Our bodies get old or diseased or broken through accidents (or our poor choices).

Evil people do ungodly things and sometimes believers are caught in the crossfire.

This doesn't mean that God doesn't care or is powerless to stop bad things from happening.

This verse from Psalm 112 is one of many verses that encourage believers to trust in the LORD during difficult times.

Romans 8
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 

Psalm 23
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 

Are you in a dark place? Difficult times have you feeling overwhelmed? Look for God's light. Live an upright life as one called according to His purpose and let His rod and staff guide you and comfort you.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Psalm 110 - The Great King-Priest

I found a very good article on Psalm 110. It says it is the most quoted psalm in the New Testament. The article says that Psalm 110:1 is quoted at least 25 times in the New Testament.  The Great King-Priest of Psalm 110
It is very good. I would suggest you read it.

So.. then what will I say?

Oh! Just found another good article It actually shows the quotes from Psalm 110 that are in the NT.  Psalm 110 in the New Testament
If you're only going to click on one of these links, click on this one.

I'm not sure what I can add to these links, so I'll just say that YOU should make Jesus your Lord, because He is Lord. One day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Go ahead and start now!

Philippians 2:9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 

11and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Psalm 109 - Advice for when you want something really really really bad to happen to someone

OH my! I don't even know what to say about this psalm. David was in a really foul mood when he wrote this.

I guess the thing to take from this is that it's OK to tell God what you're thinking, even if it's not the nicest of thoughts.

We also see that David came to the place where he admitted to God what a mess his life was and what bad shape he was in.

The last thing I noticed is - after complaining about his enemy (and wishing him the very worst), then admitting how wrecked he was as a man, David still says this

30 With my mouth I will greatly extol the LORD; in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him.

If we put these three thoughts together we can come up with this plan.

When you're being attacked or life is going all wrong or things couldn't be worse.....
1. Tell God your honest thoughts
2. Admit that you're a wreck without Him
3. Choose to praise Him - with a lot of other people - like at church, not by yourself. You need God's people around you.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Psalm 108 - Be Exalted

Psalm 108:3-5 has been the inspiration and text for several songs over the centuries. Here's a song from way back in 1977.

And I found many videos from many church choirs singing this setting of the text. It was written by Gioacchino Rossini in - well, I"m not sure of the year, but he lived from 1792-1868.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Psalm 107 - Tell Your Story

1-3 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 
Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south. 

We all - those who are redeemed - have a story to tell. The "hand of the foe" takes may forms, but until a person is redeemed by the Lord Jesus he/she is in Satan's grip. 

The way you tell your story is, well... you tell what your life was like before you chose to follow Jesus. The psalmist gave some examples:
  • 4 Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. 5 They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. 
  • 10 Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains, 11 because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the plans of the Most High.
  • 17 Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. 
  • 23 Some went out on the sea in ships; … For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. … in their peril their courage melted away.
Then for most of those described there came a time when a crises made them realize that only God could save them:
  • 5 ...their lives ebbed away.
  • 12 So he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
  • 18 They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death.
  •  27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end.
Then they called on the LORD to save them:
  • 6 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
  • 13 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
  • 19 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
  • 28 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
And their lives were changed!:
  • ...and he delivered them from their distress. 7 He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. 8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, 9 for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
  • ...and he saved them from their distress. 14 He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. 
  • ...and he saved them from their distress. 20 He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
  • ...and he brought them out of their distress. 29 He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. 30 They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.
Praise the LORD!:
  • 8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, 9 for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
  • 15 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, 16 for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.
  • 21 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. 22 Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy.
  • 31 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. 32 Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.
So what's YOUR story? 

Write it out. 
Now write out a shortened version.
Now tell your story! Just as part of your everyday life share what God has done and is doing in your life. Give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and His wonderful deeds.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Psalm 106 - How Soon We Forget

Psalm 106 tells the story of a people who had seen the Lord do wondrous things, then they turned away from Him, then He turned them over to their enemies (or sent disease or destruction of some sort), then they cried out for deliverance, then the LORD heard them and answered them, then they praised Him because He had done wondrous things for them and delivered them and then they forgot and turned away from Him, and then....

It happened over and over again.

While reading this psalm I thought of one of my favorite hymns, "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing."
I thought of the words in the third verse.

3 Oh, to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering 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.

We have within us a sin nature that is against God. We see the wonderful things He has done in our lives and yet the world draws us away from Him. John warned us
1 John 2
15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:15-17

Don't be discouraged if you find yourself "prone to wander." The apostle Paul had the same struggles.

15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

So what's the answer?

24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

As long as we're in our earthly bodies we will struggle with sin. Satan will always be a roaring lion seeking to devour us. The Apostle Paul gives us some great advice in the 6th chapter of Ephesians.
Put on the full armor of God.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 
11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 
15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 
16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 

OK....I've followed a lot of trails on this post. See what God has to say to you from my ramblings.... 
Don't forget what God has done for you in the past...
and Praise the LORD for His mercy endures forever.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Psalm 105

1 Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; 
make known among the nations what he has done. 
2 Sing to him, sing praise to him; 
tell of all his wonderful acts. 

Glory in his holy name; 
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. 

On the day before Easter the wonderful acts that come to mind, of course, is the death and resurrection of Jesus. This psalm tells about the great things that God did in delivering the children of Israel. Jesus' death and resurrection are the fulfillment of what was foreshadowed by the Passover - the deliverance from Egypt. 

Verse 3 is echoed throughout scripture. Those who seek the LORD will find Him - so they can rejoice knowing that they will find Him.

Well.....those seem like two rather random thoughts on my part, but I just had 10 children (the grands) and 4 adults (my children and spouses) here most of the day for an early Easter celebration. My brain is sorta fried right now lol.

I hope you're all going to be in worship tomorrow to celebrate Resurrection Sunday!

Hallelujah! He is risen!
Sing to Him, sing praise to Him!
Tell of all His wonderful acts - the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 
Seek Him in worship tomorrow and let your heart rejoice in Him. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Psalm 104 - The God of Creation

Psalm 104 tells how God continues to be involved in His creation. He is still in control of light and the heavens and the waters. They do as He commands. He gives water to birds and beasts. He provides food for animals and man.

That's a somewhat bland summary of a beautiful psalm. Many people believe that God created the world, but too many also believe that then He just stepped back and is letting everything just spin and happen without Him.

But the psalmist understands that everything is from God and He is still actively involved in everything. (I'm not sure I'm wording this well.) I guess what I'm trying to say is that as we see creation being taken care of - watered and fed and sheltered - that God is the One that provides.

Jesus said that sparrows are sold for pretty much nothing, but God knows when one falls. Matthew 10:29

And here's the really awesome part.

You are more valuable than many sparrows! Matthew 10:31

Matthew 6:26 Jesus said, "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Psalm 103 - think About His Love

Psalm 103 is a beautiful song of praise. It gives us a lot of great reasons to praise the LORD. Rather than restate them in another way, I thought how what is listed here falls into several categories which give us a good example to follow. It is wonderful to pray scripture - to quote it as your prayer to God. Psalm 103 is perfect for that. But the scriptures can also be a guideline or outline for us in our prayers and public praise.

Here are the categories I saw. Do you see others?

Praise God for His benefits - all of the things that He gives us and does for us. (heals us, satisfies our desires with good things)

Praise God for who He is - His character. (compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love)

Praise God for forgiveness of sin. (He doesn't repay us for our sins, removed our transgression from us)

Praise God because you will be joining heaven and earth in praising Him. (angels and heavenly hosts, all His works everywhere)

Praise the LORD!

Here's a beautiful worship song from a few years back that has a lot of the lyrics based on Psalm 103.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Psalm 102 - Stones of Remembrance

There are many passages in the Bible that tell how important it is to tell the generations younger than us about what God has done. The one I always use as an example is when the Children of Israel crossed the Jordan River on dry ground. God told them to have someone from each tribe to take a large stone from the middle of the Jordan River. They piled them up on the side of the river as a memorial of how God dried the river so they could cross. Joshua told them that when their children asked why there was a pile of rocks by the Jordan river they were to tell them the great things God did and how they crossed on dry land. (Lyndel's paraphrased shortened version of Joshua 3 - 4)

Psalm 102 says it this way.
18 Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD:

Verse 24 says that He goes on through all generations.
The verses following that tell how God created the heavens and the earth, that they will pass away but how He remains the same and will never end. then again the coming generations are mentioned.
28 The children of your servants will live in your presence; their descendants will be established before you.”

What are you doing to make sure that your children and grandchildren know the LORD? Do you tell them the great things He has done in your life? Are you teaching them to love Him and follow Him? If you don't....who will?

Set up some rocks so you can tell your children and grand children how great the LORD is!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Psalm 101 - A Blameless Life

We are not saved by our good works. We are saved through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Ephesians 2:8 NIV For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

But after we are saved we are to lead holy lives.

1 Peter 2:9 NIV But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Psalm 101 gives us some practical advice on how to live a holy (blameless) life.
"I will be careful to lead a blameless life"

  • I will sing of your love and justice; to you, LORD, I will sing praise. 
  • I will be careful to lead a blameless life
  • I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart.
  • I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. 
  • I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it. 
  • The perverse of heart shall be far from me;
  • I will have nothing to do with what is evil. 
  • Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; 
  • whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate. 
  • My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me;
  • the one whose walk is blameless will minister to me. 
  • No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; 
  • no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence. 
  • Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; 
  • I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the LORD.
So....I pretty much copied the entire song (psalm).
He decided to be careful.
He will guard his eyes and heart.
He will not tolerate or have anything to do with the faithless, evil, proud, etc.
But instead would look to the faithful and those who walk blamelessly.
And actively work against evil.

Looks like a good plan! 

What about you?

Monday, April 10, 2017

Psalm 100

1 Shout joyfully to the LORD , all the earth.

2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.

3 Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

5 For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.

This is such a beautiful psalm I didn't want to mess it up with my commentary.