Psalm 40: Part 3

Psalm 40: Part 3

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire–but my ears you have opened–burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Then I said, here I am, I have come–it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, my God, your law is within my heart (Psalm 40:6-8).

These verses are a foreshadow of what was to come with Jesus. After Christ died for our sins, there would no longer be a need for burnt or sin offerings. Instead, people would offer up prayer as a sacrifice, and become living sacrifices each day (Romans 12:1).  And, in order to become a living sacrifice, you have to die to yourself, and live for God (1 Peter 2:24). And then to expand on living for Jesus, the psalmist says that he wants to do the Lord’s will. How does he know the will of the Lord? Because it is written on the heart (Heb 10:16).

How is your walk with God? Do you offer yourself up as a living sacrifice each day?

 

Psalm 40: Part two

Psalm 40: Part two

Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare (Psalm 40:4-5).

 

Yesterday, we learned that the Lord hears our cry, and pulls us out of the slimy pit. He puts us on a solid rock. Continuing on, today we are told that whoever trusts in the Lord is blessed. What does it mean to trust in something? The best analogy that I’ve ever heard is about a parachute. If you are about to jump out of a plane, you trust that your parachute will open and save your life. This is the same kind of trust that we should have in the Lord Jesus.

However, not only are we to trust in the Lord, we are to turn away from those who are proud and look to false gods. Why? Didn’t Jesus dine with sinners? Yes, he did. This speaks to not focusing in on what false teachers say and following them; but to trust in the Lord, and ultimately to share our faith with them as we were commanded.

Finally, we learn that God has done many wonders, which we know just by looking around outside. The beauty that God creates is all around us. But, the Psalmist takes it one step further, and says that the Lord has great plans for us. This may, or may not, be things that we would like. The great plan that he would have for us is to serve him and share the kingdom with others. Of course, it should go without saying that we are all blessed differently.

How has the Lord blessed you?

My favorite Psalm: Psalm 40 Part 1

My favorite Psalm: Psalm 40 Part 1

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him” (Psalm 40:1-3).

Our Lord is so holy, and awesome in every way. Can you imagine the fact that he hears every cry? Every hurt that you feel, is heard by the same God that created the universe. That’s a hard pill to swallow.

To take it one step further, the psalmist tells us that God lifted him out of the slimy pit that he was in. He was dirty, and yet, Jesus pulls this man out of the pit, and sets him on the Rock. The Lord gave him a solid place to stand. Of course, we read later in Scripture that Jesus is the Rock. The Cornerstone, actually.

How bout you? Do you stand firmly on the Rock, himself? Every once in a while, I find my shoes get slippery and I lose my footing on the rock. However, I never completely fall off of it. I find myself struggling to hold on–trying to pull myself back up to be in his grace again. And then, just when I’m about to give up, I realize that the Rock is bigger than I had originally thought. I was fighting the whole time, and because I was fighting, I failed to see that the rock was still securely underneath me the whole time.

Christ never lets go.

Diminish my Pride

Diminish my Pride

Woe. Woe to me for I am prideful in my ways. I destroy my brothers because I am jealous and feel deserving of praise. And for what? What have I done? I’m not deserving of anything. All of my works are nothing compared to the Lord of Hosts. Lord Jesus please help diminish my pride so that only you remain. Father God, please help me to rely on your strength and love for me, and those who I would use my pride against.

The Lord answered:

My son, very truly I tell you: I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. If you fear me, you will do the same (Prov 8:13). Pride leads to destruction, and a haughty spirit will eventually fall (Prov 16:18). For, those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted (Matt 23:12). Who are you, child? Do you bring the winds from the farthest corners of the earth? Do you make the earth shake? Can you make the heavens open up and give rain to water the earth? If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves (Gal 6:3). The Lord your God gives you grace, for it is written: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6). If you must boast in something, my child, boast only in the Lord (1 Cor 1:29-30).

Psalm 101: A prayer

Psalm 101: A prayer

Father, God you are worthy of praise because you have loved us and show justice to the world. Please help me to be careful to lead a sinless life. Only you can help me do that.

Jesus, please help me conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart. Help me to not look upon anything vile with approval. Please help me to not approve of what the faithless do, and to have no part in it. Please enable me to have nothing to do with what is evil.

Please help me to not slander my neighbor, nor to have a proud heart. Please bring your believers to me, so that we may walk and minister with each other.

Please, Lord, help me to speak your truth. Help me to silence the evil within my land. I know God, that with you, everything is possible. I love you Lord, and I pray through your Son Jesus Christ who is both Holy and Blameless. Amen

Oh little one, why do you wander?

Oh little one, why do you wander?

Hello, little one. What are your struggles? Why do you wander from the flock when your Shepherd has given everything for you?

Is it coincidence that you find yourself back in my arms each time you wander? No, it is not. I go get you and carry you back.

I AM happy to have you, son (daughter). Instead of wandering, be like a child with your faith. Trust in me, and humble yourself. Those who do not, never see my kingdom.

Also, don’t cause another to sin, because you will give an account for that.

In love,

Matthew 18

A quick look at Proverbs 12:23

A quick look at Proverbs 12:23

This is almost like a dagger to the heart. The verse reads: The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly”. I did a little bit more digging, and looked to one commentator. He says this about the verse: Unlike the fool who makes all hear his folly, the wise person is a model of restraint and humility, speaking what he knows at an appropriate time.

Haven’t we all blurted things out?

Those of you who personally know me, may say that “Josh is a wise fool”. Kinda oxymoronic, but true nonetheless. Why? Because when I’m having an intelligent conversation I will hold my tongue until there is something that needs to be said.

However, I love to joke around, and everyone knows that. Sometimes, I blurt out the dumbest stuff. I ask the Lord to help me with that, because I know that most times, it isn’t appreciated. How about you? Do you hold back or blurt out your folly? Or, are you a combination like me?

I urge you to hold your tongue, and maybe pray that I would be able to do the same.

Look, I Am coming soon…

Look, I Am coming soon…

There are many passages in the Bible about enduring to the end. There are also many passages about the reward we’ll receive when the Lord does come back. What a glorious day that will be. I often ask God, in prayer, “When will you return? Why do we continue to suffer here?”

Today, my studies lead me to Revelation 22: Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Can you imagine, that one day we will all have to stand before the God of Creation and give an account for what we’ve done here while on earth? Should put things into perspective for you. I know that it does for me. I want to please God. I don’t want to be one of the dogs who practice the bad stuff.

Don’t confuse what the Lord is saying though. He does not mean that what we do here on earth will get us into heaven. We know that we are saved by grace. But, because we are saved, we want to do good for the Lord.

I urge you to look forward to the Lord’s coming, and to practice the good that is expected of us.

A conversation with the Most High, and His response from Luke 9

A conversation with the Most High, and His response from Luke 9

Oh, my God, I struggle with my own abilities every singe day. I am not good enough to proclaim an Everlasting Savior. Am I? I don’t have what it takes, Lord. Find someone else to do it. I will work for you in another way.

The Lord’s response with his Word (a paraphrase of Luke 9):

My child, when I sent out the twelve, I gave them power and authority to drive out demons and heal sicknesses. I sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. I told them to take nothing extra for their journey–just what they had on their back. I told them to stick with sharing the Gospel with others, until the others would not hear it any longer. And when this happens, shake the dust off of your feet as a testimony against them. Very truly, I tell you: it will be worse for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement than for these people (Matt 10).

Have I not given you the same power? Do you not have the same Spirit? Doesn’t the Spirit of the Most High dwell within your body? Aren’t I enough? You need nothing more. Why then do you think you cannot proclaim the Gospel? So, again I urge you, my child “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16:15).”

A Galatians Prayer

A Galatians Prayer

Lord, thank you for today. I know that Christ has set me free; please don’t let me be burdened by a yoke of slavery. I understand, God, that if I live by the law, your son will be of no value to me. All that matters for salvation is based on faith alone. Please help my lack of faith! Help me in my unbelief!

Allow me to keep believing your truth, and to not let any false teaching work its way in. Lord, I know that I am free, but that I shouldn’t’ use my freedom to indulge. Have pity on me, God!

Rather, let me serve others in love by the Spirit.

In Jesus precious Name,

Amen.

A prayer based on Galatians 5:1-15.