Psalm 17

Read Psalm 17

Rescue me!  Have you ever felt like you were under attack and the only way out was by way of a miracle, God’s intervention.  David certainly did in this psalm.  He cries out with assurance for God’s hand to save him.  His assurance is what speaks to me today.  David was confident in his God, and he really needed him as he was being persecuted by Saul, so my Bible’s notes suggest.  In times of trouble, we, too, need to stand on our faith with an confidence like David.

Does your faith remind you that God is watching (verse 3), that we are to follow and not waver (verse 5), that we are to pray knowing God will answer (verse 6)?  Pause to reflect on those verses.  Our God will protect us from harm.  He stands as a great source of protection against our enemies.  The last line of the psalm gives me chills of joy, “for I will see you face to face.”

We need to live our lives in such a way that we are always thinking of our destiny…to see God face to face.   What will we say on that day?  Will we have been faithful?  How should we prepare ourselves for the day we meet God face to face?

Let’s pray.  Lord, you know my heart, and you know how many times I am focused on the wrong thing.  Thank you for these words of wisdom today as I ponder their truth.  May I please you today in all I say and do.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Psalm 16

Read Psalm 16

What a great psalm of praise and gratitude.  Our hearts should be so devoted.  We need to remember that all good things do come from God, and we should be mindful of that and thank him for those mercies.  Take a moment now to think of one act of mercy for which you can shout out a praise to God.

I love the word images for God and how his relationship can sustain us through anything.  Check this out: MASTER, GUIDE, GIVER.  How can we do anything but praise?  I love the line, “I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.”  I think I’ll commit that one to memory.  You should do the same.  Pick a favorite line from this psalm, one that really speaks to you today, and memorize it.  Call it to mind several more times today!

Well my scripture tool box just acquired another beautiful promise to access when I need it, just like I’d take out a screwdriver when the need arises.  I know the Lord is always with me.  What a promise, and assurance.  Just imagining what I know and trust to be true is comforting and brings a smile to my face.  While I might not “see” him with my eyes, I feel him with my heart.  Oh how many people who are hurting need to hear and accept this truth!

Enjoy this powerful song by Shane and Shane.  Click here.

Let’s pray.  Father God, my comforter and protector, thank you for being at my side, never giving up  on me, even when I fail to acknowledge you. Help me be more mindful of your presence today and every day.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Psalm 15

Read Psalm 15

Who may enter the dwelling place of God?  What a profound question.  According to this psalm we must be blameless in several areas, there’s quite a laundry list of requirements.  These guidelines represent good standards by which we should be living, and they are certainly attainable.  But do we need to be at this level of perfection just to be able to worship?  The ability to worship is given to all, I would think, but to truly yearn for the presence of God and to truly acknowledge Him in reverence during our time of worship may be worshiping on two different planes.  For the latter, our mindset would probably be more in line with the standards we see in this psalm, because we would want to, strive to be what God wants for us, and it would be a non-issue.

I took a step back and asked, “In what ways do I fall short of these standards?  Take a moment now to do the same.  Now, think about how you can improve what you’re doing.  For me, what struck a chord was the speaking ill of others.  While I don’t make this a practice, I do recall a few comments I have made that I wish I hadn’t.  Don’t you hate when that happens?  How about finding fault in others.  Guilty!  There are definitely some things here I can work on.

As I write this, Christmas is only a few days away.  I am reminded of the first worship of Jesus.  Together with the angels, it was the lowly shepherds who came first to bow down.  They probably hadn’t even washed their hands let alone become “blameless”.  We need to keep in mind that the majesty of God came down from his throne to be covered in human skin.  That precious baby, God, was born to die for us.  That makes my heart overflow with a desire to worship, how about you?

Let’s pray.  Lord, help me to be more loving and accepting of those who different from me, and help me to be more honoring to your name in all I say and do.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 14

Read Psalm 14

The wicked are taking over!  It might feel like that when we pick up the newspaper or read news online and see the atrocities and violence in this world.  Innocents dying and suffering in ways humans shouldn’t have to suffer.  The psalmist’s image, they “eat up my people like bread”, is an interesting take on what was happening then and is still happening today.

What do you think about the first line, “only fools say in their heart, “”there is no God.””  As God watches us from above he sees it all. Nothing is hidden.  He knows the fools and the wise.  Sometimes it feels like we are surrounded by such “fools” and we have to fear for our safety or at least our freedom, because it is not “cool” to flaunt our faith. Quite to the contrary, we are often told we are not being “politically correct” or be careful to welcome other’s beliefs, too.  Do you sometimes feel isolated in this society?

While only God can see our hearts, it is up to keep those hearts open.  The song, “Open The Eyes of My Heart” comes to mind here.  It’s a great prayer asking for God to keep our hearts open because we want to see Him.  Not only do we want to see him, we want to see him lifted high in his glory!

So, how can we be more transparent and recognizable as followers of Christ?  I never want to be condescending, because some Christians, sad to say, are just that.  We need to be inviting and intriguing so that others will want to know the truth.

Let’s pray.  Lord God, you are awesome in your wisdom and power.  Forgive me when I fall short and do not reflect you to the best of my ability.  I thank you for my faith and the promises you give to protect me.  Use me to for your glory and keep my eyes focused on your will and not mine.  In Jesus’ name.

Psalm 13

Read Psalm 13

Have you ever struggled with something and felt you were at the end of your rope?  Perhaps it was an addiction, and you got to the place of desperation where you couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is often described as “hitting rock bottom”.  I have had many friends tell me about that moment. The despair is so great, it’s as if the blackness is closing in and you are only watching yourself drowning.

In those moments, you can forget that God is there with you.  It is hard to have patience to wait for and end to the struggle.  But the good news is that God will rescue us, but maybe not as quickly as we would like.  The psalmist felt this woe, and the tone of this psalm gives evidence to this. How long are we to suffer?

If you’re past such an event or time in your life, looking back now what do you see?  Do you see God’s hand at work, holding you, lifting you, preparing you for what was to come?  The psalmist, whether through the strife or still in the midst, ends the psalm on a positive note, trusting in God, singing praise to God for the deliverance.  Let us take a moment now to give praise to God for his provision.

Let’s pray.  God, you know our frustration. Help us to have patience while you work it out.  Help us not to focus on the negative, the failures, but to keep our eyes on you and what you are doing in our midst. Keep our hearts and minds open and relationship with you in tact.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.


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