July 30, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 70

Psalms are amazing and reading through them this summer has been a very good thing for us. Thank you for staying faithful and committed to it!

Psalm 70 was written by David. He’s praying and asking God to remember Him in his time of trouble. What do you do when you have trouble? Tough it out? Go to a friend? Just complain? Go to Jesus. This reminds me of an old hymn I grew up singing:
“I must tell Jesus all of my trials,
I cannot bear these burdens alone;
In my distress He kindly will help me,
He ever loves and cares for His own. I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
I cannot bear my burdens alone;
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.”

There’s an important principle found in verse 4:

But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. 
May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “God is great!”

We are filled with joy when our lives (our search) is about Him. When we begin to understand His salvation and love, we will shout and shout and shout “God is great!”.

So today, think about, focus on, live for Him and Him alone. Make your day be about Him. Remember lives lived for Him are made up of days lived for Him. Find your joy and love in Him and in His wonderful salvation! Glory in the Cross!

Posted by: Tim Parsons

July 29, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 69

William MacDonald discusses Jesus’ cries in this way: “Here in Psalm 69 we are privileged to hear the deepest exercises of His holy soul as He sinks into death. In a real sense (in verses 1-3) God has gathered all the waters together in one place – Calvary – and the Son of His love is enduring that mighty ocean of judgment in order to pay the penalty for our sins.”

Psalm 69 is the cry of our Savior dying a criminal’s death at Calvary even though he had committed no crime. It was our sin that sent Him to the cross, and out of obedience, He would endure the gigantic wave of God’s wrath to pay for the sins of those who would trust in Him.

Take a moment to think about the deep cries Jesus let out during His crucifixion. Enemies surrounded Him all the time. He was slandered, dishonored, shamed, and constantly accused. The world, in Jesus’ day, was looking for a military authority and did not recognize Him as the Messiah. We read of his despair in verses 19-20.

“You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed; all my enemies are before you. Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none.”

Please take time to notice the phrase “all my enemies are before me”. Who were his enemies? His enemies were those who sent Him to the cross. Who were those who sent Him to the cross? You and me. We all, at one time, were enemies of God, hostile in our thinking (Romans 8:7), but by God’s grace He plucked his people from the dominion of darkness and placed us in the dominion of light (Colossians 1:13, Ephesians 1:1-5). Let this sink into your heart like the wrath of God sank into His Son at Calvary: Jesus, in His infinite mercy and grace, made us, who were once hostile towards God, His friends.

Verse 20 probably resonates the cry of the majority of your Christian life. While on this earth, Jesus was mocked, shamed, ridiculed, questioned, and accused. Expect the same during your time on earth. If we are Christ-followers, we ought to expect the same type of treatment. With this in mind, we can endure such opposition knowing that we have an eternal hope (Romans 1:1-5).

Beginning in verse 22, you will notice a change in the Savior’s tone. He now cries out to God that the unrighteous will be utterly destroyed and that God’s wrath might consume them. If you are like me at all this is a bit overwhelming to think through. Jesus is loving and just, and in Luke 23:34 He cried out that God would forgive people. The two different cries are not in conflict, however, for now that Jesus has made possible the way unto righteousness, He is now crying out against all those who reject this gift and do not believe on Him for salvation. As Jesus took all the wrath of God upon Himself, we see His final cry in verses 29-30. Verse 29 sends chills down my spine because just as God upheld and protected His only son by salvation, that same cry is true of us today. His salvation and protection upheld Jesus and by His resurrecting power God, restored Him in heaven on His throne.

Picture this: just as God restored Jesus back to His position in heaven, we too, by God’s grace have already been established in a right relationship with God through Jesus’ death on the cross. Already we, because of Jesus’ obedience, are in right standing before God. One day, as we take our last breath, we will be established again in our original home – heaven – all because of the covenant God made with Abraham. Praise Him that His promise is still taking place today!

Deuteronomy 6:5 → Matthew 28:19-20

Worship God – Be Satisfied by God – Be useful to His Kingdom

Posted by: Zach Monroe

July 27, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 68:1-18

Rejoice, you who have life!

This psalm allows you to see aspects of God that you may not normally meditate on. It is a victory cry! Verses 1-2 ask God to be the Victor over enemies and foes. Verses 4-18 describe God’s wondrous victory through His actions and characteristics. Verse 3 is the turning point of this section. The beginning verses are asking God to bring death, but verse 3 is encouraging those who have life! Even though God will bring death upon the wicked, He will bring life to the righteous! And those who have life are called to rejoice!

Today’s “Walk-Away”

How often do you rejoice in the finished work of Christ in your life? How often do you experience happiness and joy due to the life that Christ has brought you? How often do you even think about it? It seems that most of our lives are deceivably focused on one thing: ourselves. I say “deceivably” because our joy is truly conditional upon us, our plans, our future, our circumstances, but we tell ourselves that our joy is from God and is for His plan!

I think we have lost sight on what our focus should be. We have lost sight of the true Source of our joy. If our joy is conditional upon anything but the finished work of Christ, which has brought life to sinners, it will not be sustainable.

It is so interesting that this psalm says, “may the RIGHTEOUS be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful!” The condition for joy and happiness is righteousness. We who are in Christ have been made righteous by the blood of the Lamb. So rejoice because we are considered righteous before God! Some of you have been miserable for far too long; do you think that maybe it is because the condition for your joy is something other than Christ?

Whatever your “condition” may be, even if it seems godly, make the switch. Make the condition for your joy to be Christ alone and feel your soul rejoice in the only Victor, Christ Jesus our Lord!

Posted by: Sam Cirrincione