May 30 Devotional

Our Priceless Privilege

Psalm 149.1-4(PPVB)

1 Shout, Praise the Lord! Sing to the Him a new song with all our hearts! Sing his praise in the assembly of His followers. 2 Let all of us, His people, celebrate our Maker, our God, and our Friend; let us be joyful in our true King. 3 Let us praise His name with a chorus and choir and with a single or group dance; let us sing praises to Him with the rhythm of the tambourine and to the tune of the harp. 4 For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He did a wonderful thing for His humble people. He saved them.

The central theme of Psalm 149 is a call to participate in the greatest privilege presented to us is giving praise to the name and being of God.

We aren’t told who the author is or the circumstances of this psalm but it seems there was a threat of some kind from an outside enemy. Even in the face of this life-threatening danger, God’s people were invited to worship God for His grace in their lives. They were to bring their praises to God. This is a called of God’s people to praise Him in the midst of trouble times. Praising God puts earthly problems into the right perspective.

Praising God should never be allowed to become a unexciting duty. As long as we live we are to focus on the glory of God’s supremacy, our praise of Him is to be breath taking. Our hearts are to reach captivated joy as we see the great majesty of our glorious King. Upon seeing the beauty of God’s holiness, increasing our praise of the Lord becomes precious and loved as a prize possession. Thus, a low view of God produces a lukewarm and a wishy-washy worship. But a high view of God produces enthusiastic, zealous worship. The key is to continue a great view of God’s glory.

May we answer the call to praise given in this psalm. Come give glory to our God. Lift high our praises to His name and Being. Sing to the Lord a new song. This is our priceless privilege.

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May 27 Devotional

Psalm 146

In this psalm we find a psalmist that is preaching to himself.

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!….  Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.  When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.  Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God” 

We find a psalmist that is resolving to fix his gaze upon God. 

I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.” 

And he is giving fuel to his sermon and resolve by actively remembering all that God has done.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry.  The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.  The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.  The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless”  

If we look closely we will see that this practice of preaching to self is one that reoccurs throughout the psalter, and it is my prayer that it is a practice that would reoccur in our lives as well.  So today, on this Memorial Day, as we reflect on all the brave men and women who have fought to afford us the freedom that we so greatly appreciate, let us not neglect to also reflect on what Jesus has done.   Let us fix our gaze upon Him, understanding that it is He alone that affords us our ultimate freedom.  And let us rest in His sovereignty, continuing to place our final hope in HIm.

May 23 Devotional

Proper Worship of God

Psalm 147

Coming to public worship of Christians is one of the most important aspects of any Christian’s life.  It is doubtful that any Christian who is capable of attending church but who remains irregular in coming can be growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.  The Christian life was never meant to be lived in isolation from other Christians. God’s plan is that all Christians should live in close fellowship with one another.  A key part of this gathering experience is worship.  All Christians need the writer of this psalm urging to come God’s house and to worship God with other same-believing people.

The focus of Psalm 147 is a praise song that reminds Christians how good God is and how good it is to worship Him.  This psalm is made up of three praise stanzas, each with its on call to worship followed by the causes for worship.  They are as follows: one, praise God for His restoration, vv. 1-6; two, praise God for His provision, vv. 7-11; and three, praise God for His protection, vv. 12-20.

May 17 Devotional

PSALMS 136     “GIVE THANKS TO HIM–
HIS STEDFAST LOVES ENDURES FOREVER”

”Read this Psalm very slowly.  Then read it again and maybe a 3rd time.  Notice the repeats—GIVE THANKS—–TO HIM—-HIS STEDFAST LOVE ENDURES FOREVER—and as you read all that the Lord has done for us his creation, ask yourself, Is there anything that I can question as truth?  Is there anything written in this Psalm that is open for discussion?  No, we can only agree with the psalmist as he concludes in V 29-
Give thanks to the God of heaven,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

May 16 Devotional

Praising God

Psalm 135

Psalm 135 is a call to praise the Lord, the one true God over all the earth.  It is a passionate plea to come and worship God, who is Lord over all creation and over all nations.  The author and the occasion of this psalm are unknown; the background is most likely after the return to Jerusalem from the captivity in Assyria.  The message is very clear:  praising God, who is Lord over creation, the nations and our redemption.  Notice this psalm begins and ends with the same powerful line:  “Praise the Lord!”  Also, it’s opening and closing verses also calls us to praise God.

We are to praise God at all times. God never changes and our praise to Him is not to change either.  He is always the worthy of our praise.

 There are at least five ways we can praise God:  one, praise God with excitement. We are to be unreservedly in our praise of God, not lukewarm; two, praise God continually. There is never a moment not to praise God; three, praise God publicly. We are to always gather with other Christians in places of worship to praise God; four, praise God privately. We are to have a regular daily time in our personal schedule and when we are alone to praise God; and five, praise God intelligently.  All our praise is a response to who God is, what He has done for us and what He going to do for us.  We cannot praise God enough.

May 9 Devotional

Inner Joy

Psalm 128

Wherever people live, they are seeking to experience the inner joy that is written in Psalm 128.  Joy is not determined by our physical or financial condition but by our spiritual condition and not where we work but where and how we worship God.  There is a universal cry from every human heart, longing to be fulfilled, satisfied, and content.  But people who live by worldly standards never find this joy. They look for it in all the wrong places. Deep seated joy is found not in physical things but in a personal relationship with God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit.

May 8 Devotional

Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. Psalm 127:1

A proper foundation is of extreme importance when building a home. Without a proper foundation the home built could experience cracked sheetrock, doors that don’t operate properly, and even improper drainage of waste water. These things over time will expose the one who laid that foundation, and it will reveal them to be opposite of what they claim. The Lord, however, has provided a foundation and instruction for building that which we can fully trust. Our obedience to the Word is the construction of that house.

Psalm 12:6 tells us that the words of the Lord are pure, 2 Tim 3:16 (ESV) says that ALL scripture is God breathed and is profitable for teaching and instruction, and John 1:1 tells us that the WORD is GOD. Not only has God provided His Son as a foundation, but has given instruction through Christ Jesus to build a home that will not fall in trials and tribulation. Nothing will prevail against the home that is built on the Rock (Matt 7:24-25).