July 9, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 53

Psalm 53 was written by David about the depravity of man. Wikipedia defines depravity: As a consequence of the Fall of Man, every person born into the world is enslaved to the service of sin and, apart from the efficacious or prevenient grace of God, is utterly unable to choose to follow God or choose to accept salvation as it is offered. Not bad!

If this Psalm seems familiar, it’s because it’s the second time David has received it from the Lord. See Psalm 14. This is a song of man’s disease – his most grievous problem – sin.

“The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.” (v.1) The great theologian, Charles Spurgeon, wrote about this: “and this he does because he is a fool. Being a fool he speaks according to his nature; being a great fool he meddles with a great subject, and comes to a wild conclusion. The atheist is, morally as well as mentally, a fool, a fool in the heart as well as in the head; a fool in morals as well as in philosophy. With the denial of God as a starting point, we may well conclude that the fool’s progress is a rapid, riotous, raving, ruinous one. He who begins at impiety is ready for anything. No God, being interpreted, means no law, no order, no restraint to lust, no limit to passion.”

Craig Groeschel writes and talks about how we can be atheists – even as Christians. He describes what he calls a practical atheist. This is a person, who although they may believe in God internally, lives as if they don’t. They go about their daily routine (with the possible exception of Sunday morning) living just like God doesn’t exist. So in practicality – they are atheists – living without God. Does that describe you? Are you a practical atheist?

Verse 3 is often quoted as Romans 3:10-12. Verse four asks, “will those who do evil never learn?” What a probing question, even to those of us who know and love God. Will we ever learn? The children of Israel never seemed to… what about you?

As you go about your day, have some pity for those you see – groping around in darkness, because they have not seen the light. So today…be the Light! Share the Light! Turn the Light On!!

Posted by: Tim Parsons

July 8, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 52

You can read the background of this story in 1 Samuel 21 and 22. I highly suggest taking the time to read it because it will give you a better understanding of the psalm and a better perspective in the contrast of two men – one who is evil and one who is righteous.

This psalm tells of a wicked man named Doeg the Edomite who was King Saul’s main herdsman. Doeg was sent to spy on David and then tattle to Saul about David’s activities. He also killed Ahimilech and over eighty of the Lord’s priests.

Verses 1-4 are expressing David’s thoughts about this traitor Doeg and the sinfulness of his pride. Allow the imagery of these phrases to grip your heart; “razor sharp tongue” ,“love evil more than good”, and, “words that devour.”

Verse 5 is somewhat of a prophetic voice in that Doeg’s end is known. Divine justice will have its way and God will break this man down and “uproot him from the land of the living.”

Verses 6-9 simply contrast Doeg’s evil character to David’s righteous character. Verse 8 sends chills down my spine as I pray that I will be able to say the same…“but as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the loving kindness of God forever and ever.”

David trusts in the Lord and knew that the unrighteous Doeg would be dealt in a just manner.

May we trust in the loving kindness of the Lord God forever!

Worship Jesus – Enjoy Jesus – Be Useful to His Kingdom

Posted by: Zach Monroe

July 7, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 51

This psalm has so much meaning and so much packed in it that it is hard to even know where to begin. David has just been confronted by the prophet Nathan about his sin. David now looks to the Lord and pours out his heart in true repentance. If you ever wonder what true repentance looks like, this is it…Psalm 51. He asks for God’s mercy from the very beginning. We often times think that God has to take us back and we assume God’s mercy. Shame on us for being so proud! Mercy is God not giving us what we deserve.

We just throw up a “my bad dog” to God and think it is all okay. God is not obligated to show us mercy. David knows this and begs for it like the tax collector in Luke 18:13-14. David understands and confesses that he has sinned and needs God to wash his sin away. He confesses that his sin is against God and that he is a sinner by nature. We can never forget this. God hasn’t (Psalm 103:13-14). We need to understand that we are going to make mistakes, we are not perfect. In A.W. Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God, he says about such men as David, Abraham, Jacob, and others, “the man of God set his heart to exalt God above all; God accepted his intention as fact and acted accordingly. Not perfection, but holy intention made the difference.” God is not looking for perfection; He is looking for the one who will allow themselves to be used.

David continues by asking God to restore him. David wants his relationship with his God back; his joy to return. David doesn’t ask God to give him back his possessions, his family, or to even take away the punishment for his sins. David only wants to be restored to God. Is that our cry to God when we fail? Do we ask God to restore our relationship with Him or to take away the pain of discipline and consequence of sin?

David ends with what I feel is the strongest part of all. He points out that God does not want sacrifice of stuff but of self. So many times in our lives when we fail we tell God we will do better next time, we will serve more, give more, or try harder. God does not want that. That is not true repentance. God wants you to cry out and tell Him that you need Him because you are broken and can’t fix yourself. God wants someone who is sorry for their sin because it hurts Him and it disrupts their relationship with Him. God does not want someone who has all the answers. So, when we are before our Father and we have messed up, ask for His mercy, don’t assume it. Understand that God knows we are weak. Check your motives for why you are coming to God and be ready to say as John did, “He must increase and I must decrease.”

Posted by: Robbie Byrd

July 6, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 50

The Gospel doesn’t excuse how you live… you should obey….

WOW. God means business. This psalm is convicting and sobering. It can probably be summed up as a psalm that pronounces how people should live as a part of His covenant people. Now this is Old Testament, but this has AMAZING PARALLELS to our lives. Don’t miss this.

Today’s “Walk-a-Way”

These people were being warned. Their excuses were found in their sacrifice. You see, their sacrifices are what allowed God to forgive them of their sin. But these people presumed privileges of the sacrificial system, thinking that it was a way to “buy God off,” or “excuse their sin,” or that it was doing God a favor.

Don’t you see the parallel? Our excuse is found in our sacrifice. Because we are “saved” or because God’s love is only conditional upon Jesus (which is true) or because God is patient, it gives us excuses to sin. We think that we can do it because God will forgive us (which He will).

Then God summons the earth to judgment (v1-6). He then speaks of worship from the HEART (v7-15). And finally rebukes the “wicked” (v16-23). “What right have you to recite my statutes or take my covenant on your lips? For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you,” (v16 -17). These are strong words.

So what about you? What is there in your life that you are excusing because of Christ’s sacrifice? You see, Christ’s sacrifice is supposed to bring about change, not give us a license to sin. The gospel is sweetest because it TAKES AWAY SIN, not because it allows more.

God sums this psalm up with a statement about worship from the heart in verse 23. He shows interest in what membership as God’s favored people should mean: joyfully to delight in God’s presence (thanksgiving as his sacrifice), and an obedient life (orders his way rightly).

Posted by: Sam Cirrincione