Category Archives: Psalms

Exodus 2-4; Luke 17; Psalm 88

Exodus 2-4. Pharaoh’s daughter knew that Moses was a Hebrew child. She allowed her maidens to seek out the Hebrew mother to nurse the child. Pharaoh’s daughter even paid the mother of Moses to care for him. Moses was then educated to be an Egyptian prince and lived a life of luxury among royalty before the moment when his eyes were open to the shameful treatment of his Hebrew brethren. Moses fled Egypt, not because God sent him away, but because he murdered an Egyptian and Pharaoh sought to kill him. Moses seemed content afterward, relieved to live among the Midianites, herding sheep and raising a family. But then the burning bush appeared.

Just when you think your life is moving along smoothly, God may call you to experience the unimaginable. Maybe even call you back to your Egypt. When you are called, do you answer, “Here am I, Lord?” Or after learning what may be required, do you plead as Moses did, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send”? (My emphasis in italics.) I, too, am faced with ‘going around the mountain’ again, re-experiencing challenges that I thought were past. I am not sure that I want to go there again.

That thought causes me to ask myself, how well am I listening to God? Will I argue as Moses did and merit God’s anger? For like a parent instructing an unruly child or like a boss chastising an uninspired employee, God had to command Moses – “Now you shall speak; I will teach you what you shall do; And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs.” (My emphasis in italics.) Whew! God could not be clearer than that. And like Moses, I would have shut my mouth at that point and did what I was told. But do I believe that God is with me now, and am I ready to do His bidding?

Luke 17. Jesus loves me. Many Scriptures describe that unfathomable love. However, Jesus also instructed His disciples through parables and analysis of events in their journeys, often employing negatives or consequences of wrong thinking. For example, Jesus warned that judgment awaited false teachers and those who harbor unforgiveness. He debunked discrimination by healing other people hated by the Jews. He tied faith and duty to humility, refuting any expectation for reward and honor. Jesus also warned that the coming of the Son of Man will be a stark reality of judgment.

If I take on these tasks that God has called me to complete, am I ready to have my biases and opinions challenged? Christ will have no other way than to follow Him precisely as He commands. Can I do so wholeheartedly? Thankfully, I am assured that I am not alone in this. I have the words of Christ, His compassion and understanding, and His Holy Spirit guiding me into all truth. He will keep me focused and clear out the old man thoughts and behaviors. Christ will create a clean heart in me.

Psalm 88. If the Old and New Testament Scriptures in today’s reading end with Heman’s song in Psalm 88, I might faulter in my hope that all will be well with my soul. Let’s say that I genuinely want to follow God’s plan even if the plan takes me back to my Egypt. I am not so foolish to think that the road will be smooth or that I will not be brought through challenging experiences. ‘This isn’t my first rodeo,’ as my Texas buddies would say. Yet, Heman’s laments point out that the darkness can grow so deep as to nearly snuff out the light. He even asks God, “Shall Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave? Or Your faithfulness in the place of destruction? Shall Your wonders be known in the dark?”

What I know about this depth of despair is the same as Heman proclaims. But my hope is not shattered by the circumstances of past, present, or future tragedy. Rather, I confess my faith in God’s saving goodness. I cry out with Heman, “O Lord, God of my salvation…”

I recently watched a movie, Paul, Apostle of Christ. Most of the movie was dark and disparaging. The Christians were being fed to the lions in Nero’s “circus.” Paul was in prison, often beaten or whipped. Some Christians were led into taking revenge, killing Roamn soldiers. Even the muted lighting during most of the movie indicated despair, hiding, and fearfulness. Yet, the Apostle Paul interjects truths into that darkness, such as, “If Christ had not risen from the dead, then our preaching is useless, and so is our faith.” My favorite line from the movie spoken by Paul is this: “It is Christ himself that looks upon you and shatters your defenses and, in that moment, you will understand that you are completely known by God…and you are completely loved. I will pray that moment comes to you.”

Prayer. Whatever works created beforehand that I shall walk through, I pray to be completely known by You, my God. Your love, Your presence, and Your promises are all that matters. That is my declaration of trust and faith in knowing Your goodness. Calm my soul, give me the courage to continue this journey with You here on earth. I wait for You, my Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.

jansuwilkinson

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Gen. 38-40; Luke 12; Ps. 7

While they were in prison, Pharaoh’s cup-bearer and baker each had a dream one night, and each had its own meaning, When Joseph saw them the next morning, he noticed that they both looked upset. “Why do you look so worried today?” he asked them. And they replied, “We both had dreams last night, but no one can tell us what they mean.” “Interpreting dreams is God’s business,” Joseph replied. “Go ahead and tell me your dreams.” Genesis 40:5-8 NLT

Sometimes I can get so caught up with my struggles that I miss how God might want to use me in someone else’s life. Joseph had a renewed perspective and insight. God put these men in his path. He was able to minister to them while he was waiting for his own breakthrough. Joseph trusted in God and his provision for his life. Do I? God was with Joseph and he showed him favor. God didn’t forget Joseph & he doesn’t forget me.

What is the price of five sparrows-two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Luke 12:6&7 NLT

Why should I worry?

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things? “Look at the lilies and how they grow.” Luke 12:26&27 NLT

Dear Father, I want to be lead by your Holy Spirit. Thank you for your grace and mercy. Amen.

I will thank the Lord because he is just; I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.” Psalms 7:17 NLT

Amy(amyctanner)

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Proverbs 14-16 

I could not get past chapter fourteen – too much wisdom and advice. Although it goes all over the place, each expression is worth meditating on.

An honest life shows respect for God;
    a degenerate life is a slap in his face. – Proverbs 14:2 MSG

An honest life means that I am showing my true colours – whether in grace or in sin. In grace, others see my reverence for God and that gives Him honour and establishes that He is God in my life and to Him all honour is due. I think my actions speak with every step I take and people point and say, “Here is one who honours God.” That does not happen as much as I would like. I think I would even take a few persecutions just to know that people see God in me.

Lives of careless wrongdoing are run-down shacks;
    holy living builds soaring cathedrals. – Proverbs 14:11 MSG

I am called to evaluate what are true riches and true honour. I am sure what outward appearances have to do with wisdom, so I am looking more at graces and even comfort when I evaluate.

The hotheaded do things they’ll later regret;
    the coldhearted get the cold shoulder. – Proverbs 14:17 MSG

Not only am I taking this as instruction for me, but I want to hang out with those who have a reputation for wisdom and honour and take focused care to bridle their passion.

Foolish dreamers live in a world of illusion;
    wise realists plant their feet on the ground. – Proverbs 14:18 MSG

Here I can truly say that wisdom has become the honour of the wise. I want to be wise.

It’s criminal to ignore a neighbor in need,
    but compassion for the poor—what a blessing! – Proverbs 14:21 MSG

A practical application of wisdom is compassion. It is a character trait to have mercy on the poor. This kind of action is honourable and I know that I am happy when I am in this place because I believe it pleases God.

The wise accumulate wisdom;
    fools get stupider by the day. – Proverbs 14:24 MSG

There is no resting – and if I am getting wiser and developing better character, imagine what I could do with wealth. I would be even more honourable and useful. Wisdom gets results and when I get results, I get honoured.

The mark of a good leader is loyal followers;
    leadership is nothing without a following. – Proverbs 14:28 MSG

They say that 80% of Harvard’s leadership courses come from the Bible – here is a perfect example of something I thought I learned in university but it comes straight from the Bible – my loss.

Father, I want to be wise, and as You grow me I pray that others will see Your wisdom in me and decide to follow me. That would be a blessing.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Psalms 141:1-145:7 

I remember the Footprints in the Sand poem only because I have been there and many others have been there – when we think we walk alone.

Look right, look left—
    there’s not a soul who cares what happens! I’m up against the wall, with no exit—
    it’s just me, all alone. – Psalm 142:4 MSG

In particular, when there is no one at my right, my place of strength, I can not only feel alone, but vulnerable too. It is here where I would like to be honoured with a close friend. These are the moments I call out to God.

I cry out, God, call out:
    ‘You’re my last chance, my only hope for life!’
Oh listen, please listen;
    I’ve never been this low.
Rescue me from those who are hunting me down;
    I’m no match for them. – Psalm 142:5-6 MSG

Somehow I know He will not leave me in this state of mind – He has a weak spot in honouring those who count on Him as their only hope. He has done it for me on so many occasions.

I’ll bless you every day,
    and keep it up from now to eternity. – Psalm 145:2 MSG

I can tell you that because of who He is in those moments of alone time, I freely bless Him and honour Him every day.

Your beauty and splendor have everyone talking;
    I compose songs on your wonders. – Psalm 145:5 MSG

When I am with others , I speak about the honour of God, His majesty, splendour and glory. He is the reason for my praise – the way He works His wonders need to be shared with others.

Father, I know You see me in my down time. I know that You know that I have forgotten that You have not left me to be alone. As I slowly come out of my low, I begin to remember Your mighty works, Your amazing love, Your majesty and praise begins to flow from my lips and my heart begins to beat again with a passion for You. I love how I can tell others about You saving my soul. Thank You for being the difference in my life and not leaving me in the hands of the enemy who has been seeking to kill, steal and destroy. Blessings to You.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Psalms 125-131

“Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.” Psalms 126 NLT

Am I focusing on the dead, dry places or His power to restore? How awesome that my tears can be seeds that are turned into joy.

“From the depths of despair, O Lord, I call for your help. Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer. I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word.” Psalms 130:1-5 NLT

The Psalms help me to preserve. And remind me where my hope is.

How joyful are those who fear the Lord-all who follow his ways!” Psalms 128:1 NLT

Dear Father, thank you for your faithfulness. For hearing my prayers. Thank you that you are with me. My joy is found in You. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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