June 4, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 23

Today’s reading is one of the most famous passages in the Bible. Many people have drawn peace and comfort from these words during times of need. The concepts discussed in the chapter bring solace to the soul.

What is a shepherd? Someone who cares for sheep. How does God care for me?
He provides for my needs (v.1)
He comforts my soul and gives me rest (v.2)
He restores me – and oh how I need that! (v. 3a)
He directs me – He leads me in the paths of righteousness (v. 3b)
He protects me (v. 4)
He vindicates me (v. 5a)
He calls me to serve Him (v. 5b)
He gives me goodness and mercy (v. 6a)
Someday… He’ll take me to heaven (v.6b)

Now… that’s a Shepherd! See why I love Him? That’s the shortest JumpStart of all time! If it’s too short – read it again! We need to understand and embrace this!

Posted by: Tim Parsons

June 3, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 22

Ladies and gentlemen, we are kicking this Jump Start off a little differently. If you only have ten minutes this is what I want you to do—rest and worship in the presence of your Savior this morning. Scroll down the page, click the link, and listen while worshipping with every fiber in your being. Worshiping God by reading my commentary is not even a fair match up. So WORSHIP! And if you have time, come back and read it later…

Psalm 22 is the Gospel. As you read the words of David, you are reminded of the gospels in the New Testament beginning with verse 1. Verse 1 sounds like something Christ said, right? Right! Let’s make our way through this Psalm of suffering and praise!

Read Matthew 27:46 and be in awe that God’s Word is alive, active, and connected throughout the Bible, pointing toward an amazing Savior! I hope this Psalm will take you to Calvary and back again.

We see in verses 1-23 the pain and suffering David is experiencing. We also see what the coming Messiah will have to endure. William McDowell, in his Bible Believer’s Commentary says this, “approach this Psalm with the utmost solemnity and reverence, because you have probably never stood on holier ground before. You have come to Golgotha where the Good Shepherd is giving His life for the sheep. For three hours the earth has been enveloped in thick darkness. Now ‘Immanuel’s orphaned cry’ echoes through the universe: ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?’”

Now the part of this phrase that should send chills to your very core is that the Savior was completely forsaken by the Father. Why was he forsaken? Why should the holy, sinless, Savior Jesus Christ experience the full blow of eternal hell and sin? We read in Scripture that God is holy and just and that He must punish sin wherever He finds it—and the reality is, He found all of our sin on Jesus. Let that sink in a moment. It’s a sobering thought isn’t it? Forget all the “bad” sins—think about all the little lies, the wrong thoughts, the times you tried to please men rather than God, not doing something with excellence, etc. All of it—down to the smallest thing—God in Heaven had to unleash His full wrath on, and it was ultimately laid upon Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Verses 1-21 explain the excruciating suffering that the Messiah had to endure, but we see something drastically change in verses 22 and 23—this is great news! “You have answered me” makes a distinct change in the way this Psalm ends. It is the hinge that brings us from suffering to praising! William McDonald says, “the sufferings of the Lord Jesus are now forever past. His redeeming work has been finished. The cross has been exchanged for the crown!” Jesus exchanged our sin for righteousness—this is why the Gospel means good news!

I don’t know about you but this Psalm brings me back to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus experienced the most brutal and horrific suffering in order to be obedient to the point of death. As a result of His obedience, we now have the right to be called adopted sons of the Most High God! We are now able to stand in a right relationship because Jesus took our sin, died our death, was buried and resurrected! What a beautiful exchange! Through the suffering of Christ, God demanded the obedience of His Son. He gave His life to bring glory to the Father and we were exchanged into His righteousness! His suffering brought us rejoicing! What a beautiful exchange!

Watch this video and listen to the lyrics and you meditate on the Gospel!

Posted by: Zach Monroe

June 2, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 21

Psalm 21 is an interesting Psalm. It focuses on three things in particular. First, verses 1-7 show us how “the king” finds his strength, his joy, his victory, and his heart’s desires in God. This theme runs throughout the Psalms. King David wrote many of the Psalms and he was always quick to give God the glory for his victories and his blessings. How often do we do this? Remember, the next time God gives you success or a victory in life to turn it back to Him and thank Him and praise Him for it.

The second theme we see in verses 8-12 is one of judgment and vengeance. David writes about how God will capture and destroy His enemies. He will have no mercy on them. David goes so far as to say that even the children of these enemies will be destroyed as well. This seems so harsh but we always need to step back and realize just how serious sin is to God. God hates sin. He hates it so much that we see several places, especially in the Old Testament, where God does things we can’t really understand, such as killing children to keep sin away from His people. How much do you hate sin? What are you willing to do to kill sin in your life? Are you willing to do the hard things? Make the hard decisions? Do what is necessary to crush sin in your life? Maybe that means quitting your job, ending a relationship, or moving out of your apartment or dorm. Whatever it takes, let’s get as serious about our sin as God does.

In the last verse David calls for God to “rise up in all His power” so he can celebrate His mighty acts by singing and praising. Wherever you find yourself today, take time to do just that. Take a few moments and give God glory by singing to Him… even if it is silently in your mind. He is more than worthy of all our praises!

Posted by: Robbie Byrd

June 1, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 19

(WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE MIX-UP – PSALM 20 WAS POSTED YESTERDAY)

God’s Word… now that’s something to follow!

What a GREAT chapter in Psalms today — it’s a classic! It is packed with praise promises. We see that it begins, verses 1-6, with the praise that the heavens and the earth give God. Their glory testifies to the righteousness and faithfulness of the Lord who created them. Then verses 7- 14 speak of God’s law. This passage is so applicable to us, and this is where I want to look today.

Today’s “Walk-a-Way”

There are many things that pull for our loyalty, things that we must decide to live for or not to live for. But in verses 7-14 of Psalm 19, we see something that is worth living for.

It is speaking of God’s Word, His law, His statutes, His precepts, His commands, or His ordinances. To us, it is speaking of knowing the will of the Lord through His written guidelines for our lives (the Bible) and obeying. The great thing about this passage is that God is pushing us to live by His law…but He is doing so with promises!!

Let’s look at the benefits shown here in obeying God’s law. First, it says that it revives the soul (v7). Does your soul need reviving today? Second, it says that it will give wisdom (v7). Do you need godly wisdom in your life? Third, it says that it will give joy to the heart (v 8). Are you fighting for joy? Fourth, it says that it will give light to the eyes (v8). Do you need to see God’s direction in your life more clearly? In verse 11, it says that God warns us of danger in His law and that there is GREAT reward in keeping them. Verses 12 and 13 discuss the forgiveness and preventative work of God.

That’s a lot of promises! If there was an infomercial that sold a product that promised to revive you, give you wisdom, give you joy, give you direction, and prevent danger in your life…and you knew it was true…would you buy it? Of course you would! Well, we know that God’s Word is true. We know that it comes straight from Him. But do we really believe it? With promises like these, if we really believed it was true, we would follow it. So, let me challenge you to follow God’s Word with everything you have! God’s Word will truly fulfill its purpose in the lives of those who honor it. That’s a promise.

But this is not a self-help book either…the ultimate goal is to bring glory to God. When we follow God’s Word, then we will be able to see verse 14 come true in our lives. That is the ultimate goal. That “the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

Posted by: Sam Cirrincione