June 14, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 31

This has been a rough year for many of us all over the world. Japan was devastated by earthquakes and tsunamis, Mississippi, as well as other places, faced floods and Alabama faced massive tornados just to name a few. This is a tough time for so many families and I can’t imagine the sorrow they must feel. I can imagine that many of them are searching for refuge from the grief they face. Where can hope be found?

Psalm 31 points us to the Lord:

“In you, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me! Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me!” (v.1-2)

David makes it clear that only in the Lord can we take refuge. He is our rock and righteous deliverer. Does this mean that if we place our trust in the Lord we will never face hardships? Absolutely not! In verse 7 David points out that the Lord knows our afflictions and hardships and it is through them that He gives us grace. David is distressed because he is battling adversaries who are trying to kill him, he has persecutors on every side, and even his friends are deserting him (v. 9-13).

It is my prayer that when you face adversity you would run to the Lord and trust in Him. Understand that no matter the situation the purposes of the Lord will prevail.

Meditate today on Psalm 31:23-24:

“Love the Lord, all you his saints! The Lord preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!” Psalm 31:23-24

Posted by: Chad Wiles

June 13, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 30

Psalm 30 is a dedication song to the Lord, specifically, for the temple that was yet to be built. David, knowing that his son Solomon would have the privilege of building the temple, penned this song because his heart was in the work that the Lord would soon do. After all, David was a pretty integral part of God’s plan for Israel’s arrival to this very moment. Who better to write a song of dedication?

In verse 1, David begins by “extolling” or exalting the Lord. The word used here has a physical connotation to it, similar to lifting something up. Check out a note from one of my study tools:

Physically, this word refers to an object being raised to higher elevation. It often means that a person or object has an elevated status for admirers or worshipers. Often the greatness of the honored object is extolled. It can also refer to God exalting the needy by improving their social or economic status. NLT Study Bible

David was lifting the Lord up, or exalting Him, because of all that the Lord had done for him and for Israel. Verses 1b-3 are the reasons given for extolling his God: (1) deliverance from enemies, (2) hearing his prayer, (3) restoring health, (4) redemption from sin and death. It sounds pretty similar to Exodus 20 and Joshua 24, doesn’t it? God has done great things for us, and the proper responses are worship and devotion.

Verse 4 and 5 call us to sing to the Lord and remember that, while we deal with God’s judgment and consequences from our sin, joy comes soon for those who follow the Lord. Verse 6 reminds us that we would be prideful to think that we can make it on our own apart from God’s providence and sovereign hand. In verses 8-10, David makes a plea to the Lord for His mercy, which is especially fitting since the temple was a sign of mercy to the Israelites. The sacrifice for sin was not their own lives or blood, but in the blood of lambs (ultimately of His Son, the final and perfect Lamb).

This psalm closes with yet another cry of thanksgiving to the Lord, a common theme throughout the whole book. David’s mourning has become dancing, only because the goodness of God.

Church, what are some of your reasons to extol, or “lift up” the Lord today? What thanksgiving can you lay at Jesus’ feet? In the comment section below, let’s praise and thank the Lord for who He is and what He has done in our lives.

Posted by: Todd Thomas

June 11, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 29

Psalm 29 speaks of the power and majesty of the Lord. His voice is like thunder – so loud it breaks the huge cedars of Lebanon. His voice is like lightning, it shakes the desert. Our God is majestic – awe inspiring – overwhelming when you think about it.

This Psalm instructs us to ascribe the glory due Him – to worship Him as He deserves – in the splendor of His Holiness.

Today, I want you to do just that… first, I want you to meditate on the majesty of God. Write down all the words you can think of that describe His power and awesomeness.

Then, go through each one in prayer – thinking about it for a second and praising Him for it. Try and get at least 15-20 different words and go through each one individually.

To worship means to focus all of your attention on something or someone. I want you to truly WORSHIP God. Give Him all of your attention.

Think of a song or two that expresses how you feel about Him and sing or play it for Him while you meditate on the words.

Now, close by thanking Him for being the great God that He is – yet still knowing and loving you. Try and keep that thought in mind all day.

Lovingly submitted by: Tim Parsons

June 10, 2011

Today you should read: Psalm 28

My prayer for you this morning is that you will remember what our lead pastor has been preaching. Go back with me if you will to the second week of the John series. Pastor Tim made clear when reading John 1:1 that, “in the beginning was the Word and the Word was God.” My encouragement to you this morning is that you will not see the Bible as just another book but that you will see it as the very breath of God, and that your affection for Jesus will be stirred as you read.

In Psalm 28, verses 1 and 2, the Psalmist is crying out to God for help, pleading with Him that he would hear his cry. Notice that the Psalmist addresses God in a strong way. Why do you think this is? It is because of the silence of the Lord.

Have you ever felt as though God was not listening? In Psalm 27, we see the intense trust that the Psalmist has in God; it is a Psalm of fearless trust. In chapter 28, the Psalmist is now praying for help and praises God for His answer.

I pray you are encouraged by this Psalm. I know that life is often difficult and there are times where we “feel” as though God has turned a deaf ear to us, but, be encouraged by verses 3-5 knowing that God will deal with you justly. If your enemy is against you know that God is over it all. We see the Psalmist go from crying out to God to praising God in verse 6. He makes it clear that the Holy Spirit has given him assurance that God has heard his prayer in his time of need.

Verse 7 is amazing! Re-read it. Take in to your inner core. The Psalmist prays to God, “the Lord is my strength.” “My heart trusts in Him, I am helped, my heart exults in Him, and, with my song I shall thank Him.” – It is amazing to me the affection the Psalmist has for God.

Verse 9 in the NASB says, “save Your people and bless our inheritance; Be their shepherd also, and carry them forever.”

To know that God is my Shepherd (implying that I am not the sharpest tool in the box—sheep are not smart) and that He will guide and carry me forever is a thought that leads me to worship Him! I hope it does the same for you today as well! Take time later today to read John 10:27-28 and see how the Gospel of John points to the same truth that we find in Psalm 28.

Worship God – Enjoy God – Be useful to God’s Kingdom!

Posted by: Zach Monroe