July 16, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 59

Ever feel alone? Feel like everyone is against you? Like you can’t do anything right? Where do you turn when things look bad? To friends? Your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend? To something to relax you or make you happy?

When will we learn where to go – we should run to the Lord! First!

David knew what it meant to be hated – to be hunted – to have enemies who wished for his demise. David also learned where to run. He ran to the Lord!

You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me, 
for you, O God, are my fortress. In his unfailing love, my God will stand with me. 
He will let me look down in triumph on all my enemies.

God is our strength – He’s our rescuer, our fortress. Truly His love is unfailing… Rest in these incredible attributes of our great God.

Want to know a secret – a secret that many Christians don’t realize? When we praise God, it changes things. This is because our focus gets off of us and onto Him. It will bring us peace, joy, and comfort. David understood this.

But as for me, I will sing about your power. 
Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. 
For you have been my refuge, 
a place of safety when I am in distress. O my Strength, to you I sing praises, 
for you, O God, are my refuge, 
the God who shows me unfailing love.

Are you in a tough spot today? Then “turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace…”

Posted by: Tim Parsons

July 15, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 58

At first, I am overwhelmed that David talks this way about other people. It seems as though he is giving it to the unjust judges up one side and down the other. In my mind I think through this reality and begin to really reflect on the emotions that I experience sometimes that are caused by sin and injustice. This, in my opinion, is what David is doing.

According to William MacDonald, David is portraying the wicked for what they are as he describes them to be men who devise injustice (v. 2), the wicked are evil from birth; from the womb they are wayward and rebellious (v.3), when they speak they speak as a snake full of venom desiring to destroy those around them (v.4), and his desire is for the Lord to break their teeth and to allow them to be completely destroyed (v.5-9).

We see in verse 10 that there is hope for those who put their trust in God. We as believers can also find hope in the fact that although the wicked may live on for a season God will both judge here on earth as well as one day at judgment. And on judgment day the righteous and the unrighteous will be rewarded for their deeds.

Romans 5:1-5 is a comfort to all believers who might be experiencing injustice because of the wicked. Although we will experience suffering we can trust that the suffering we experience will produce perseverance, which produces character, and that character will produce a hope that does not disappoint because the hope we have is in God who has poured out His love into our hearts.

Be encouraged today CPC family – we serve a mighty God!

In His Mighty Grip, serve Him and His Kingdom!

Posted by: Zach Monroe

July 14, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 57

The setting and background of this Psalm really makes it come alive. David is running away from Saul. Saul is chasing him down, trying to kill him though David has done nothing wrong to him. David is now hiding in a cave, waiting for Saul to pass by. It is in this distress that David writes.

He asks God for mercy. He pleads that God would take care of him in this dark hour and protect him from his enemies. David declares to God that he will take “refuge in the shadow of His wings.” Even while he is hiding in a cave he knows his true hiding place is in God. When we face hard times and dangerous situations what is our refuge? Is it our strength? Our home? Our family? Our church? Or, is it the wings of our heavenly Father? We cannot count on “caves” in our lives to shield us from hard things. The only real, lasting refuge is God.

David then seems to go back and forth about his circumstance and lifting up praise to God. He cries out and tells God his situation. He pleads his case before God. There is nothing wrong with telling God what is going on in your life and how it makes you feel. In fact, we are told to do this in Psalm 55:22 and 1 Peter 5:7. He is surrounded by those who want to kill him and yet he continues to praise God, to “exalt Him above the heavens.”

David ends this Psalm by making a conscious decision to praise God. He says “I will sing and make music, I will awaken the dawn, I will praise you, O Lord, I will sing of you among the nations.”

We can learn a great lesson here. We are not naturally inclined to worship God in the storms of life. We must follow David’s example in this Psalm. He cried for God’s help, he pleaded his case before Him, remembered God’s faithfulness and decided to trust in Him and praise Him, even in the storm.

Posted by: Robbie Byrd

July13, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 56

Preach truth to yourself . . . and choose to believe it

In the ESV, the title of today’s Psalm is, “In God I Trust.” I think that this title is more than fitting, but what is interesting about this psalm is that this is not a “feeling” of trust. It is far more; it is a choice.

At first glance, this psalm has a flavor of distress and hopelessness. But look deeper, because hope is all throughout this thing. It comes from conscious truth, not subjective and circumstantial feelings.

Behind the scenes: This psalm is said to be of David in his distress of the Philistines. Verses 1-4 describe the circumstances that are surrounding him, yet in 3 and 4 he sets his mind on the right response. In verse 4 he is talking. Who is he talking to? He is talking to God and to himself, he tells himself truth.

In verses 5-7, he goes on to describe his situation. David’s opponents seem to be not only the Philistines but all who oppose good.

Verses 8-11 are big-time; this is where the truth really sets in. Why isn’t David overcome with anxiety, fear, hopelessness, and irrational thoughts? The answer is because of these verses. He knows the truth regardless of subjective feelings. This is where I want to land today.

Today’s “Walk-Away”

“Have you realized,” preacher David Martyn Lloyd-Jones once observed, “that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?” These are the opening words of chapter 5 in C.J. Mahaney’s, “The Cross Centered Life.” The chapter is titled, What You Feel vs. What Is Real. C.J. goes on to explain what a typical day looks like, and from the moment you wake up, someone is talking: your mind. The problem is that most of your thoughts are not coming from objective truth. Can you relate? Is most of your unhappiness and fear due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Let me explain what I mean.

This is what is being done here in Psalm 56. Yes, this psalm is to God, but it’s also to us and to himself. He is in a bad predicament; death is chasing him, but look at his words in verses 9 -11: “this I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Can you see it? He is speaking truth in the midst of his troubles.

Are you in Christ, covered with His righteousness? Then God is for you; you are not His enemy. He will take care of you. God’s commitment to you is not based on your good works or your circumstances; it is based on the merit of Christ’s work on the cross. So it is finished! No matter your circumstance, preach this truth to yourself. It could look like this, “Yes, this is a tough situation and I am fearful because of it, but I am a child of God. Christ died for my sins. God is for me. I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? What can any situation do to me? The gospel exists independently of me, therefore I will believe it and cling to it.” Believe truth,church, and live by it.

Posted by: Sam Cirrincione