Who is God to You?

God knows you

Ps 139 Again, the pslamist reminds us that God sees and hears, and He is all-knowing for He is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. Throughout scripture, we come face to face with who He is. God is El Roi, who sees and cares; the Bread of Life upon which we may feed; the Living Water from which we may quench our spiritual thirst. He came as Immanuel [God with us] in human form to understand His love and His plan for humanity. He is the Good Shepherd that knows and calls his sheep by name yet is intimately acquainted with each one for He alone sees into the womb where the child is being woven as His perfect tapestry. 

God knows our mindset, our ways, and our thoughts. We cannot even begin to fathom His thoughts about us; they are more significant than the grains of sand on the seashore.  It is because of that, David prays:  “Examine me, and probe my thoughts! Test me, and know my concerns! See if there is any idolatrous tendency in me, and lead me in the reliable ancient path!”

God knows you, do you know Him?

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Unity is Key to the Health of God’s People

Pray for unity

Ps 133 “Be Unified”

Unity is not a new idea. We read that even Jesus prayed for his disciples: “that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I am in you.” [Jn 17] Before him, the psalmist wrote: “how beautiful it is to be unified as brethren.” As the Father and Son are unified, we are to be as well. Our model is the Trinity, and we are to be the messengers of this unity to the world.

In Genesis, we read a sad story about disunity and a family that failed to model that principle. Abraham and Lot had lived side by side, but disunity came about over water and grasslands. Whereas Lot was feuding, fussing and fuming, Abraham sought unity: “Let there be no quarreling between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are close relatives.” [Gen 13:8] However, Lot chose to ignore this wise counsel and moved away from Abraham choosing his herdsmen and the well-watered plain of Jordan. He never returned even in his darkest hour. Lot’s decision is a lesson for us in what NOT to do. That is why we need Psalm 133:1,

“How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along!” 

Is there disunity in someplace in a relationship between you and another? Beloved: make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. [Eph 4:3]

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Whose Eyes Are You Seeing With?

Whose eyes do you have

Psalm 129 – 130 “Cat’s Eyes or God’s Eyes?”

Cat’s eyes are unlike human eyes. Whereas our pupils are round, theirs are elongated and vertical, which can adapt quickly and can open and close like the aperture of a camera.  The author of Psalm 129 is “reflecting” (pun intended) that our eyes must be stayed upon Jehovah so that we can see Him at work even in the darkest of times. We need God’s eyes, His “cat’s eyes.” Like Habakkuk, the psalmist said he would stand on his guard post and station himself to keep watch. Are we asking for God’s “cat’s eyes” to see what He is doing? Are we standing and watching for the hand of the Lord to work? The psalmist said he would wait for the Lord more than the watchmen for the morning. Are we trying to fix the problem instead of letting God do His work?

May our prayer be as the psalmist: Lord, hear my voice!  Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. Yet this is still true: the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword. He will pierce the darkness because He can see with His “cat’s eyes” the danger before we can. Wait on Him!

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Mountains, God’s Voice & Trust

Psalm 125: A mountain can withstand a storm’s fury standing tall and erect, yet from a spoken word from the God of the universe, the rocks can tumble forth. The psalmist recalls a time when it seemed like life’s troubles, like tumbling rocks, came calling. The nation was experiencing all of the dangers the evil one would or could plan against them. They needed a reminder that “if” they trusted in the LORD, they would know He is both deliverer and the creator of heaven and earth.

The prophet Elijah had to learn that valuable lesson, and he learned in a mountain cave 40 days after he ran away from his victory at Mt. Carmel.

Like us, Elijah was sure he knew God on Mt. Carmel. However, when Jezebel sent a scathing message of imminent death, he fell into depression and ran away. Sound like us? Satan likes to send us into a dither right after a victory.  After running forty days, Elijah found himself in a mountain cave where he heard God’s voice. “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  But, God’s voice was not in an earthquake or wind but the still soft, whisper of God. In the same way, God speaks to us in His Word not in a storm but in His quiet whisper.

 Have you just experienced a victory? Be on guard, Satan is ready for the attack.

Stand still and hear God’s still quiet voice.

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Do you know your ABC’s?

The ABCs

Psalm 119: Many of us have scores of Bibles at our fingertips and bookstores galore. But, the early Israelites learned through oral recitation using the memory aid tool: “abecedaries” just like children today learn their A-B-C’s in a sing-song fashion. All 176 verses of this psalm remind us of the steadfast love of God and His Word and mention the Word of God in nearly every stanza.  

Martin Luther memorized this entire psalm, and as a monk, he followed the pattern to recite long passages of scripture. He found Psalm 119 was easy to memorize because of its sing-song pattern. What a great challenge for us! Just as the psalmist said, those who are blessed are blameless and obedient to the law of the Lord. They choose to observe God’s statutes and seek Him with their whole heart.

The psalmist knew the principle of 2Tim 3:16

“All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, reproof correction, and training in righteousness.” 

Take time to walk through each stanza for your edification so that you might know who God is and what He does through the hearts and minds of those who taste and see that the Lord is good. 

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Where is God?

God is in heaven

Ps 115 For centuries men have asked: Where is God? Yet we need to ask: how often are our eyes focused inward and not upward? The psalmist begins by saying that it is not to us, but the Lord, we are to bring honor and praise. When you think about the name of the Lord, what comes to mind?

  1. Ex 15:3 He is a warrior, and the Lord is His Name
  2. Psalm 68:4 the one who rides on the clouds, the Lord is His Name
  3. Ex 17:15 Moses built an altar, and he called it “The Lord is my Banner.”
  4. Gen 22:14 And Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord provides.”
  5. Acts 4:12 there is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved.

We revere and call upon His Name, His lovingkindness, and faithfulness (which is new every morning). The world asks, “Where is God?” Men asked Jesus that question on the cross. They scoff and sneer, but God is where God has always been—in heaven where the scoffers will never set foot. It is there that those who revere and fear Him will find their place of refuge. It is where He who holds the universe in the palm of His hand sits undisturbed, his throne unshaken, and his purposes unchanged. it is there that He hears our cries and our prayers.

Where is God? He is in heaven where He has always been. Do you know Him?

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Standing Firm

Trust and Obey

Psalm 112 The world clamors for peace and harmony, yet they deny the radical conversion that Christ performs when one yields to Him and chooses to bear His yoke. They choose ridicule rather than the path of godliness—yet they cannot deny the evidence which stares them in the face. They cannot understand how it is possible to stand firm when faced with adversity. They are like Job’s comforters, which could not wrap their minds around Job’s intense faithfulness amid the worst tragedies to befall a man. How could he sit in ashes and mourn yet keep his faith in God?

What was his secret?

Like the psalmist, Job, and the saints who chose Christ, they knew the blessing of walking in harmony with God. Each decided to let God train them to walk beside Him in the furrows of the good, bad, and ugliness of life and then recorded their steps on parchment for us to read.  It is titled  “trust and obey – there is no other way.” They could then see beyond the temporal circumstances to the eternal reward for those who walk uprightly. They submitted their will, heart, and mind to Him.  They chose not to be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of their mind.  They knew no matter the circumstances of life: “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. May the name of the Lord be blessed.” Therefore, we like the psalmist can say: “I will not be shaken, and I will remember Him who is just and knows the beginning from the end.”

What choice have you made?

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Patient Wise Counsel

Psalm 109 Just as in Job’s and King David’s time, our world is fraught with vile words and hateful responses without considering the other person. Too quickly, we forget this principle: “I tell you that on the day of judgment, people will give an account for every worthless word they speak.” [Mat 12:36] 

So how do we handle accusations from others that are threatening and often ill-founded? Even though the psalmist desired vindication, he wrestled with God in a verbal dialog. He tried loving his enemies, much like Jesus told his audience, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Instead, they repaid his love with evil and vile accusations. Instead of giving up or retaliating, he prayed. That is a WWJD response. Peter noted: “he, meaning Jesus, threatened no retaliation, but committed himself to God who judges justly.” He was able to do that because he believed that God will make all things that are wrong now, right in the end. God will have the last word.

The psalmist said, “I continue to pray.” He continued! What a great reminder to those of us that quit early, What wise counsel Paul told the Colossians: be devoted to prayer.

Imagine if more prayer was offered.

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The Never-Ending Words of Jesus

never ending words of Jesus

Psalm 106 Have you driven on a road that seems to go on and on and on? That is what it is like when we come face to face with the God of the universe. It is then that we are humbled and recognize how unworthy we are. We are overwhelmed, and many of us ask: “Who can adequately recount the Lord’s mighty acts, or relate all his praiseworthy deeds?” John noted that as well: “There are many other things that Jesus did. If every one of them were written down, I suppose the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” [Joh 21:25 ] Perhaps that is why Job noted: I am utterly unworthy – how could I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth to silence myself.

Job captures our very essence of how to answer the psalmist’s question. We are unworthy except by the blood of the Lamb of Jesus who “saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but based on his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit,” [Titus 3] 

Today as you consider what God has done for you, consider how you came even to understand what He has done except by His never-ending mercy in calling you and saving you. 

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Are You Soaring Like an Eagle?

Psalm 103 & Isaiah 40 Isaiah must have been a bird watcher. He listed some spiritual principles and spiritual lessons to learn from the eagle: “those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” [Is 40]

The eagle pictures the biblical marriage vows, committing to living together “until death do us part.” “For this reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” [Gen 2] Then together they build their “home” at the top of trees or cliffs where they securely can raise their young.

Like the eagle, believers are to be “spiritually vigorous until death.” [Constable] Eagles remain vigorous, symbolizing power, freedom, and transcendence exceeding in superiority to the end of their lives, which can be up to thirty-eight years. They have been blessed with a superior vision to see their prey up to three miles away. So too, believers have the indwelling Holy Spirit who anoints us with a spiritual vision to spot false doctrines and teachers.

Just as the eagle never surrenders to its prey but fights them to the end, we too should fight the spiritual forces of this darkness dressed in our spiritual armor and never surrender to them. [Eph 6]

Joshua told the Israelites to “choose you this day whom you will serve.” [Joshua 24:15] And that same choice is given to us.

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