Category Archives: Psalm

Words to live by

“But as for me, it is good to be near God.  I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.”  Psalm 73:28.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Hosea 10-12, Psalm 73, and Hebrews 4.

Plenty of good instruction in today’s verse.

Being near to God is crucial.  God is already in the midst of the believer.  “Being near” requires my recognition of His presence.

I was part of a group interviewing Tim Tebow before a baseball game in Portland.  Every word Tim said was recorded and we all listened intently.

I must be tuned into the fact that the Holy Spirit is omnipresent.  He’s everywhere including the room in which I am writing this entry!  What does He think about what I am writing?  What would He want me to say?  I can ask.  I can let Him guide me.  Surely this is the wonder of having God in my midst.

God doesn’t leave me.  I ignore Him.  He’s where He has always been; nearby.

“Father, Your Words are the only ones that matter.  I am listening for them.  Open my heart to take them in.  I want to live right.  I want to please You.  I thank You for always being nearby.  Guide me to where You want me to go.  I surrender now to You.”

He’s right with you.  Live accordingly.

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I am easily distracted

“Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.”  Psalm 86:11.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Amos 4-6, Psalm 86, and Titus 1.

I am retired but I have a lot going on!

My goal is to be close to God full-time, but I have a “divided” heart.  I am more attracted to distractions than I am to Him.

I find myself praying and suddenly a distraction jumps in and takes over.  My thoughts turn to whatever it is, before I realize what has happened and return to praying.  I know that things need to be dealt with and that God has His Ways of bringing them to my attention.  Maybe not all distractions are a bad thing?

I envision a life uninterrupted by the world I live in.  It won’t happen.  I must, however, be mindful to persistently seek Him even during distractions.

How God has any use for me defies logic.  Yet He is a God of dimensions that are unfathomable.  That He has use for each of us, proves that we are seen individually by Him.

I want to please Him in everything I do.  I need to maintain that intention all day.  I need to remind myself that ultimately He is in charge.  He has promised to guide me if I call on Him.

“Lord, forgive me for losing track of You.  I am weak.  I am very easily distracted.  Take me over now.  Pressure me into following You.  Prick my conscience when I am loose from You.  I need You every second.”

Can you pray without getting sidetracked?

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God knows everything about you……live accordingly

“Does he who fashioned the ear not hear?  Does he who formed the eye not see?” Psalm 94:9.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Ecclesiastes 10-12, Psalm 94, and Ephesians 5.

God knows what’s going on.

Why would the Designer not know about the designed?

We often think that we are alone, but we never are.  God is in our midst whether we acknowledge it or not.

When I taught kids to drive I told them that we like having the police around.  We’re comfortable with them nearby.  Why?  Because we were obeying all the rules of the road.

If I am living the way God wants me to live, I can rejoice that He’s around because I am intent on pleasing Him.

My life must rightly represent Him.  There are no secrets that I can hide from Him.  Since I am an open book to Him, I should be certain that my life can stand up under His scrutiny.

“Lord, You know all about me.  I want my life to please You in every way.  Direct me.  Guide me.  Prick my conscience when I am messing up so that I can make corrections.  You are a great God.  Hallelujah.”

Do you think that you are hiding parts of your life from Him?  That isn’t possible.

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I’ve got this

“No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength.”  Psalm 33:16.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Proverbs 30-31, Psalm 33, and Ephesians 1.

Today’s verse would be a head-scratcher for many in our culture.

The unspoken question would be, “How then is the king saved and the warrior able to escape?”

God arranges things.  We are not really in charge.

I look at the weather and its unpredictability and can compare it to my understanding of what God will do.  There were temperatures where I live in the upper 40s on this morning in JUNE!

I cannot assume that if I do this, then that will surely happen.

If my trust is in God, then I will be satisfied with the results that come my way.  I will not try to “help” God do something.  If the king had increased his reliance on God, he would have been in a better place.  If the warrior had increased his reliance on God, then the strength God gave him would have been enough to get the result God planned.

When I trust in my creations I have erected a counterfeit God.  God is a jealous God.  He wants me trusting in Him.  The King’s trust was in his army size and the warrior in his strength.  Change the lower-case “h” to and an upper-case “H” and everything changes for His better.

“Lord, my first trust must be in You.  I want no other gods before You.  Prick my conscience when I fall for others so that I can discard them and get You back where You belong in my life.  I need You in charge every second.  Take me over, now.  I love You, Lord.”

Are you trying to handle things on your own?  You are not in control.

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When should I pray?

“Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.”  Psalm 55:17.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; 2 Samuel 19-20, Psalm 55, and Matthew 28.

Without ceasing!

If I am not seeking God, then I am seeking something godless.  Satan will gladly fill in any non-God moments with his plans.

A common failure among believers is not realizing how dependent on God we need to be to rightly represent Him.

We cannot expect to represent someone we only have a casual acquaintance with.  God is not mocked.

Consider the things we know best.  Why do we know them so well?  Concentrated time and energy.

The more I read the Bible the more I am aware that God expects me to concentrate on Him.  He doesn’t tell me to separate from Him.  To be independent.

God admits to being jealous.  He wants my full attention. When I drift off, He is offended. Why? I claim to love Him more than anything/anyone else.

“Help me, Father, to love You as You deserve.  Forgive me for my wandering eyes.  For being drawn to counterfeits.  They are terminal.  You are eternal.  Prick my conscience when I start to drift away from You.  Deliver me, I beg, from evil. Thank You for Your Word.  I love You, Lord.”

Be mindful of God without ceasing.

 

 

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Our sins are known

“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.”  Psalm 51:3-4.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; 2 Samuel 11-12, Psalm 51, and Matthew 23.

Not only have we sinned against God, but we have sinned BEFORE God.

God saw what I did.  He saw what I watched.

He is in my midst as I write this.  He takes no breaks.

How I need to live in an awareness of His presence!  If I would do that, then some of the sins I fall into would be avoided.  Why?  Because I would feel uncomfortable starting into things that are wrong or could lead to things that are wrong.

In the David/Bathsheba story, things started small and mushroomed into adultery and murder.  That horrible “road” could have been avoided. Rather than wonder how David could have been so sloppy, I need to be mindful of my own travels.  The road over the edge is always nearby.  I must never forget that.

“Lord, keep me ever mindful of Your presence.  You will not leave me and that should alert my awareness of what that means in lifestyle possibilities.  I cannot sin without You knowing about it. Ever!  And I don’t want to displease You, so I need that awareness of Your proximity to me.  Help me, Lord.  I am so needy.”

When I realize that God actually watches me sin, I am troubled.  How could I do that to Him since my sins are actually against Him?

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Moses saves us

“They forgot the God who saved them, who had done great things in Egypt, miracles in the land of Ham and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.  So he said he would destroy them – had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him to keep his wrath from destroying them.” Psalm 106:21-23.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Chronicles 16, Psalm 106, and Matthew 19.

That was close!

God’s anger at the sinful Israelites reached the place where He intended to destroy them all and start over with Moses.

The Israelites were frequently clueless about God.  He would bless them, and they would drift away from His control.  Into a “ditch” they would go, and after a while they would be begging Him to bail them out.  This didn’t just happen once!

I like these verses for several reasons: (1) I, like the Israelites, often senselessly drift away from God, and (2) I, like Moses, can stand in the gap for others.

How easy it is to condemn the Israelites.  Why don’t they get it?  How can they stray from a God who has done so much for them?  And then I look accurately at my own life.  I do the same, foolish thing.  And like Israel, when things are going smoothly is when I let go of Him and slide into self-management……and trouble.

In a world filled with “mountains” it is refreshing to know that my interactions with God can carry weight.  I believe that this country has survived because interceders have begged God for it to be so.  I believe that my godless family members have been kept alive because interceders within my family have begged God to do so.

“Lord, the more I know about You the more amazed/dazzled I am.  You are truly remarkable.  I beg You to spare the lives of the God-deniers within my family so that they will have more time to get right with You.  I pray for my neighbors as well in that same vein.  Be merciful, I plead.”

Be like Moses in your family.

 

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