June 22, 2018

Today you should read: Psalm 119:1-56

You’re probably already aware of this, but Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the entire Bible. It is no accident that the longest chapter in the Bible revolves around the sufficiency and power of the Bible itself. Even though it might seem like a daunting task, I challenge you to read the entire chapter in one sitting, and allow your heart to be drawn to God’s Word just like the Psalmist’s is.

In our section today, it is hard to know what to focus in on in such a rich and large chunk of Scripture. The main verse that stands out to me is verse 11:

I have stored up your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you. (ESV)

I saw a tweet today that said: “Merely praying and reading the Bible will not make you more godly, but you will never grow in godliness apart from praying and reading the Bible.” What this means is that reading the Bible in a legalistic way does not lead to growth, but true growth cannot exist apart from a healthy intake of Bible reading and prayer when pursued with a pure heart.

Verse 11 is proof that God’s Word is instrumental in our spiritual growth. It is through God’s Word that we grow in our knowledge and love of God, and as we grow in our knowledge and love of God, our desire and love for lesser things begin to fade away.

What is your heart in reading the Bible everyday? Do you come to the Bible with a heart that wants more of God and loves His Word? Pray for God to give you a pure heart in coming to God’s Word everyday.

By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Apprentice

June 21, 2018

Today you should read: Psalm 118

Shortest chapter in the Bible: Psalm 117.

Longest chapter in the Bible: Psalm 119.

Sandwiched in the middle: Psalm 118.

And it’s almost dead center in the Bible (595 chapters before it, 593 chapters after it). You may have even seen cute anecdotes about it. Many people point to Psalm 118:8 as the verse that tells us the will of God, and for good reason:

It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. Psalm 118:8 ESV

Psalm 118 is a beautiful piece of Hebrew poetry. Its focus is singular: thankful praise to God. From the start, the psalmist admonishes us to give thanks to God because He is good. Verses 2-4 tell us that His faithful love is everlasting. Verses 5-7 assures us that God hears our prayers when we call to Him. Verses 10-16 remind us of God’s strength and His deliverance in battle. Verses 17-18 allude to God’s goodness as seen through His discipline.

While you ponder all these awesome attributes of God, make sure not to miss verses 19-26. They were prophesy about the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. He is the Cornerstone that the builders rejected. He is the Blessed One who comes in the name of the Lord. He is our salvation. He is the Light that shines upon us.

Don’t you love how all of these verses tie together? In the opening verse, we are told that the Lord is good. His greatest act of goodness to us was sending His Son Jesus to earth for us. His provision for our sins on the cross and His defeat of death through the resurrection are the greatest acts of God’s goodness that we’ll ever know!

In light of this prophecy and the tone of thanksgiving and praise throughout this incredible psalm, let’s enter into a time of praise in our comments section below. Church, what are you praising the Lord for today? What do you have to be thankful for today?

By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor

June 20, 2018

Today you should read: Psalm 116-117

I have found that the most genuine and active type of love for the Lord is the type of love that comes out of an overflow of His mercy and grace. You see this in Psalm 116. The author has been delivered from death by the Lord. God had mercy on him and inclined His ear to him. He says I love you Lord BECAUSE of these things (v. 1). It’s not surprising that after this loving praise and thanksgiving that the author proclaims his obedience to the Lord (v. 15-19). Like true love comes from God’s grace and mercy, true sacrifice and service comes from that type of overflowing love.

Psalm 117 is a short but sweet Psalm. In fact, Isaac Watts wrote a hymn based off of it in 1719 and I thought we’d end with it from a beautiful version of it by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Ignore their heretical theology for a moment and just listen to the Biblical truths (that they really need to listen to) being sung from the classic hymn. Lyrics are below.

1 From all that dwell below the skies,
Let the Creator’s praise arise;
Let the Redeemer’s name be sung
Through ev’ry land by ev’ry tongue.

2 Eternal are Thy mercies Lord;
Eternal truth attends Thy Word;
Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore
Till suns shall rise and set no more.

By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor

June 19, 2018

Today you should read: Psalm 115

Psalm 115 is a psalm of praise to God.  All of us are worshipers of something: idols, ourselves, or God.  Only God is worthy of our worship and praise.

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory… (v.1)

Idols today can be lots of things – material possessions, relationships, hobbies, – even our families.  In the author’s day this was true too – but often idols were pagan gods made of stone or wood.

He spends the bulk of this chapter reminding us what those idols really are:

  • They are made of physical materials by the hands of men (v.4)
  • The have mouths… but they can’t speak
  • They have eyes… but they can’t see
  • They have ears… but they cannot hear
  • They can’t smell, feel, walk, or make a sound

His point is clear – why would we trust in that?  Things that cannot help us?

What do you trust in?  I mean really trust in?  Are you trusting in things that cannot really help you?

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.  Psalm 20:7

Work hard today to put your trust in Lord.  He’s the only One worthy of it.

By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor