Category Archives: Psalm

Do you love Me?

“All people will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder the things he has done.” Psalm 64:9.

You have no use for God?  You will someday, according to today’s verse.

God has done amazing things……”The heavens declare…”

I must follow the pattern of the verse; proclaim and ponder.

It could be like saying “uncle,” where you can change your mind later.  “Pondering” instead involves long term.

How can I ever lose my awareness of His greatness?  For me, it happens when my distractions overpower me.

I can go through many waking hours out-of-touch with Him.  I am drifting along separated from Him.  Who am I letting guide me?  The Evil One!

Satan doesn’t always hit me with a pitchfork.  He is better known (to me) as a whisperer.  He encourages me to trust myself.  “You can do this.” “You can figure this out.”  And at times I do, and that just leads to more separation from the God I love.

A love-relationship is ongoing.  I will not be easily distracted by other things when I am in love.  My concentration will be on the object of my affections.  Is that the way I am with God?  Not nearly!

Conclusion: I must proclaim and ponder His greatness endlessly because I love Him.

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Start with God and learn from there

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.  To Him belongs eternal praise.” Psalm 111:10.

I must start with God.

There’s no other approach.

To start without Him is to head immediately in the wrong direction.  The further away I go, the less I have His essential guidance.

The start is important but there’s more: I must follow Him.  That means that I must stay in “sight” of Him.  He must be on my mind.  My mind must be full of Him.

To live like that!  Wouldn’t it be grand.  And it’s there for me to be had.

I must totally surrender myself to Him for the long term.  I’ll see Him work in ways I can’t imagine.  I’ll say His Words to those who need Him.  I will say His Words to those I love.

The relationship is constant.  I see Him.  I hear Him.  I’m tuned into Him.

Surely this will lead to my praising Him, not because things are good but because I’m living life His Way.

Conclusion: Living with God is an all-day event.

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Am I smarter than God?

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.”  Psalm 111:10.

How do I behave when I am around people who are smarter than I am?

I am a techno-midget when it comes to my cell phone.  Okay, I know a few things.  However, when I am with my two granddaughters, I am all ears when it comes to my phone.  I want them to show me how to use it better.  If I have been struggling with its use, I assume that they can give me help.

Do I treat God as if He is smarter than I am?  Often not.  I plunge into things without consulting Him.  I mess up and try to work my way out of it without Him.

But what would I do if I really believed He was smart?  Neither of those two things in the last paragraph!

I would chase His advice.  I would try to remember the things He has already taught me.  I would be so attached to Him that every step I took I would be in contact with Him.

Mess up?  He’s there to help.  I would turn to Him first.  I would willingly listen to His corrections.

I like the guidelines in 2 Timothy 3:16: Scripture is good for; showing what is right, showing what is wrong, telling how to get right, and telling how to stay right.  That pretty much covers it!  His Word is a great source of help.

Conclusion: God is wiser than I am, or ever will be. Will I behave as if that is true?

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I can’t do it

“My heart is not proud, Lord.  My eyes are not haughty.  I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.” Psalm 131:1.

An impossibility!

My culture is infested with self-worship.  I want to be the best.  I want to get ahead.  I want to be recognized for my accomplishments.

This verse goes in the other direction.  I am not to look for credit.  I am not to consider myself better than someone else.

My mind is to be on “lesser” things.

My mind needs to be filled with a persistent search to please God.  I must do what He wants within the framework of being His servant.  Just doing His Will must be my driving influence.

My reward is eternal.  I have better than His praise; I have His assurance.  I will be with Him in the after-life.  I can’t help but want to work full-time for Him because of His grace in my direction.

He’s in charge.  I have no advantages over others.  We are all in this world together.  I don’t try to please Him to get Him to love me because He already does.  I please Him to show Him that I love Him because I do.

My willingness to please Him must not wane.  Circumstances must not change my desire to please Him.

Conclusion: I must take my hands off the controls of my life and give them to Him or I will fail miserably.

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To God be the glory?

“My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty. I am not concerned about great matters or things too wonderful for me.”  Psalm 131:1.

I tend to watch a lot of football this time of year.  Seasons are winding down and the games are often tense and exciting.

One of my biggest peeves about football games gets activated when a team scores.  I cringe as individuals self-celebrate. I know (but do they?) that they are a mere speck in the bigger picture that led to the accomplishment.

Today’s verse celebrates someone who is not proud.

What keeps someone who had accomplished much (David in this case) from self-praise?  I believe that an awareness of those who made the accomplishment possible rules the behavior.

A football player scoring a touchdown had blockers, an offensive coordinator with confidence in him, a God-given body, an encouraging family, etc…  The list of those who aided the player will certainly be lengthy.  But there is the player acting as if he deserves full credit.

God has given me everything I have.  I have no right to deny Him credit by grabbing any for myself.

I write a blog entry and am complimented for it.  God was in every part of making that entry a reality.  And I should bask in credit?  No chance!

I am so blessed to have God in charge of my life.  Surely, Father knows best!

When I put Him in charge, and trust Him completely, my cares are minimized.  So often I “care” about things that I have no control over.  Will it snow?  Will I be able to work?

My behavior reflects my relationship to God.  Exhibitions of pride and worrying are out of place in one who is in a close relationship with God.

Conclusion: To God be the glory and in God I trust.

 

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What’s in my head?

“May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.”  Psalm 104:34.

How often do I think about God?  I guess it depends on where I am and/or who I’m with.

Some days hours go by before I’m mindful of Him.

How can I change that?

I think that God gets lost from my mind when I begin to minimize Him.

If I can keep in mind how awesome He is, then my thoughts will include Him.

What catches me in today’s verse is that God can be DISpleased with what I think about.  I cannot let that happen.  I want to always please Him.

When I spend time thinking/talking about Him, I will have reasons to rejoice that I am His child.

Satan is keen on keeping me distracted.  He wants me to live remote from God.  He wanted me satisfied with an occasional meditation on God.  If God isn’t in the center of my thinking, then Satan is.  Why would I give Satan any room in my life?

God is calling me to total surrender.  I am often living in conditional surrender.  He wants unconditional surrender.  How much have I missed of Him because I think more often of other things instead of His things?

Conclusion: I must think unceasingly of Him.

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What should I do about my enemies?

“The Lord says to my lord; ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’”  Psalm 110:1.

There is so much in this verse.

Today I looked at this verse in ways suggested by Tim Keller in “Hidden Christmas.”  I would highly recommend that book.

Tim takes Mary’s “ponders” and “treasures,” and writes that I need to look at Scripture that way.

I read plenty of Scripture, but do I ponder it?  Do I make it a part of my life?

I should take a harder/longer look at a verse.  I have had the habit of finding one thing in a verse.  Today I realized that my “fast” approach misses additional points that a longer look might open to me.

I tried the “new” approach on the verse above that I found today in my random Psalm reading.

God invites me to be close to Him.  He doesn’t drag me or insist.  It’s an invitation and one that I can accept or reject.

I must understand that being close to Him will give my life the shape that He wants.  It will spiritually benefit me. I will see Him in action.

When I’m close to Him, I will have His help with my enemies.  I couldn’t help but think that those I consider “enemies” might take on a new look when I’m sitting close to God.

No matter what my enemies look like, they will be minimized by God.  He will eliminate them, or He will give me what I need to face them.

The word “until” is important.  This is not, drop by, share a divine moment, and then go back to where I came from.  This is about accepting His invitation and staying there. I will always need Him.  I live in a world where enemies are a reality.  Why wouldn’t I want to allow Him to take care of them?

God doesn’t leave me.  What happens is that I ignore His presence.  I act independent of Him.  There’s no prayerful consultation on my part…….and off the deep end I go.  But He is saying in this verse, “Come over to me and relax while I put my touch on you and your enemies.”

Conclusion: “I accept Your invitation, Father.”

 

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Servant

“Praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord, you his servants; praise the name of the Lord.”  Psalm 113:1.

I have been using random Psalms recently.  I close my eyes, and open the Bible to the middle, and connect to the Psalm I find.

Today’s is very appropriate for me.

Why?  I have thought a lot about Mary’s line in Luke 1:38: “I am the Lord’s servant.”

A servant has a special relationship to a master.

Servants don’t go on vacation unless the master goes on one and they go along.  They are constantly under the master’s guidance.

By being close to the master, a servant knows the master very well.  They have seen/heard the master in action.

Another piece that gets my attention is that the “Praise the Lord,” is followed by “you his servants.”  If I am His servant than I know how great He is and have plenty of reasons to be saying praise about Him.  However, by implication, I can read in that if I’m not praising Him maybe I’m not really close enough to Him (as a servant would be) to be alert to what He has done.

God is worthy of praise.  I’ve seen His doings.  I know that He loves me.  I know about His gift to me.  Totally undeserved, yet done because He loves me. The ultimate gift!

Conclusion: I am His servant and what a Master He is!

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How can I number my days?

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”  Psalm 90:12.

Obviously, I can’t tell you how long I will live.

No one knows how long they will live.

Certainly, in a world where folks of all ages die, there is no way to know.

I think that the chase here is to realize that I have no assurance of more time on earth.

What I do have is this moment.

If I know that I only have this moment, then I must maximize what I have this moment.

How often do I make plans: tomorrow I’ll do this, the next day I’ll do that?  Am I sure that I will have those days?  No.

What does God want me doing right this minute?  Will I stop myself from long-range planning? Probably not. I need the structure of a plan, but I must directly connect it to, “Lord willing.”

As I get older it is easy to think that my days are indeed numbered.  Time is short.  What will I do with it?

Conclusion: I have no guarantee of the next moment.  I must now live accordingly.

 

 

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Punish them, Lord

“Break the teeth in their mouths, O God; Lord, tear out the fangs of those lions!” Psalm 58:6.

We all find ourselves troubled by what others do.

All you need do is watch the news!

The world has so many villains. So many evil people persisting in their evilness.

What to do about them?

The psalmist has his ideas.  Rough them up. Hurt them.

But note the important piece in what the psalmist says: “O God.”

The psalmist has his ideas, but he is leaving the avenging to God.

I need to remember that truth.  God is much better at avenging wrongs than I will ever be.  He knows all the details and He has the wherewithal to punish rightly.

There is a final judgment when all the books will be opened.

Two interesting question for those who believe that there is nothing beyond this life: “Does someone like Hitler go unpunished? If so, why do good deeds when we can get away with bad ones?”

Conclusion: I must leave avenging to God.

 

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