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Posts Tagged ‘psalm’

What would others say your words seem to be seasoned with?

Think about before you try to answer. Don’t just try to squeeze yourself into the textbook Sunday school answer. Think about what others would say about your words.

How do you come off to other folks? Is it like your words are seasoned with grace? Or, is it like you sound almost a if you forgot that you yourself have been saved by grace and forgiveness mixed and blended with the lovingkindness of God?

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A Goal of Graciousness

Paul’s words to the believers in Colosse seem straightforward and stern: “Let your speech always be gracious. . .”

Let’s just focus on that for a moment.

Could you imagine the number of insults that would incrementally decrease as a result of maintaining a goal of graciousness?

Can you picture how many souls would turn to us and ask about God if we as Christians just focused on our “speech always be(ing) gracious?”

The wonder is not what would happen if we did set graciousness as our goal. The wonder is why we do not set gracious speech as our goal time and time again.

To Whom Much Grace is Given…

I know that is a poor paraphrase, but walk with me for a moment on this one.

What if we just identified what we have been given much of in order to fulfill the requirement in turn? In other words, what if we looked at it deeper when we read this portion of Luke 12:48? What if it was about much LOVE or much FORGIVENESS? We cannot take Christianity as a robotic religion when He has endowed us with free will and His Spirit, the Helper, to quicken us in response to His urging and imploring us to be different and live differently. We have to accept that God desires us to meditate on His Word day and night.

If nothing else, we can set a course for change. We can determine within ourselves to make the change and seek to keep gracious speech as the gateway to offering grace to others as we go to and fro. In our various settings, whether in line at the coffee shop or at the table in the board room, we can choose to speak to others with much grace as we keep in mind that it was with much grace that God sacrificed His only begotten son for our salvation.

Speak with grace today and every day.

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Help from on High

God offers us some serious heavenly help.

It is a statement that could stand all by itself and on its own.  Yet, it is also a statement supported by all sorts of verses from the Scriptures.  The Book of Psalms gives us an array of God’s attributes such Him being “good and upright” (Psalm 25:8).  In particular, Psalm 25 shows us how the Lord offers us help from on high.

Show me Your ways, O Lord ; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.
– Psalm 25:4-5

Good and upright is the Lord ; Therefore He teaches sinners in the way. The humble He guides in justice, And the humble He teaches His way. – Psalm 25:8-9

Who is the man that fears the Lord ? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses.- Psalm 25:12

The secret of the Lord  is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant. – Psalm 25:14

Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You. – Psalm 25:21

Look at all of the different types of help that He provides His people.  He gives us mercy and truth along with His covenant and “the way” as He teaches and protects us.

God gives us help from on high.  Take a moment and embrace every ounce of His help.

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Wizzley

“I pray, expecting an answer.” – Andrew Murray

 

The LORD has heard my supplication, The LORD receives my prayer. – Psalm 6:9

“Pray and let God worry.” – Martin Luther

You have some issues.  I mean, after all, your issues may require some serious attention.  To be honest, they may require more than you can offer.

Why not give God a chance?

He’s almighty.  He’s able.  He’s all-powerful.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, – Jude 1:24

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7

Just give in.  Just go on and give Him a chance.

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God is Real

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

They are corrupt, and their ways are vile;

 there is no one who does good.

– Psalm 53:1 (NIV)

The believer should know that God is alive and present.  True believers understand that God is, as an anonymous psalmist stated, ” a great God and a great King above all gods” (Psalm 95:3).  In fact, it is the believer who is full of faith who can honestly put his or her trust in the Lord with all of his or her heart and not rely upon on his or her own understanding.

The psalmist says that it is the fool who says that “there is no God.” It is not the person who is full of faith who is the fool spoken of here.  It is the person who is faithless.  Naturally, by the world’s standards, we are the fools for believing in the unseen.  However, by what we regard as holy, the world is foolish for not accepting God as the Almighty.

God is real.  India Arie sang it into reality for listeners on “Voyage to India.”  Joan Osbourne sang, asking if God was one of us.  Singers and songwriters share it just like psalmists.  After all, a psalm is just a poem set to music.  Sounds a lot like soul music to me.  Maybe if we add the Funk Brothers folks might feel more appreciative of the presence of God with a Motown flavor.  Needless to say, God is still the Almighty and that’s all by Himself.

After all, it is the fool who says that there is no god.  That’s with or without any background music.

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 6 “‘Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. 7 I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity[a] and will rebuild them as they were before. 8 I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. 9 Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.’- Jeremiah 33:6-9 (NIV)

Imagine what the Lord can do for you.  Put it this way: Imagine what the Lord could do for you based upon what is in His will for you.

He is able to do all.  That’s why we call Him the Almighty.  He has power and dominion over everything.  It’s just part of who He is to us.  He is Lord.  He is Jehovah Jireh.  He is our Provider.  He provides what is within His will and what is necessary to confirm His Word.

Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. – Psalm 115:3 (NIV)

But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. – Psalm 115:3 (KJV)

The rationale is simple once we have the proper perspective on who god is and how He operates based upon His revelation through His Word.  Our theology must be based upon His holy revelation through the Scriptures.  When we accept Him in faith, we believe all that is said about Him in His Word.

Such a God as this is awesome.  He is powerful.  He is wonderful.  He causes us to give pause and wonder if we could ever manifest such goodness in our own lives.  We question whether we can ever love in the true sense that God offers love.  We know that we fall short and stand in the need of grace, but we are certain that God has called us to be better than we ever do in this life.

This is the type of God who forgives Israel for its rebellion against God.  This is the God who can love a nation full of harlotry and idolatry.  Here is God who provides by the might of grace and supplies by His own mercies.  He called Israel out on all of their stuff, but He still said that He could and would bring them health and healing, even cleanse them despite them having sinned against Him. 

He can provide through His power.  He can forgive .  He can love.  He can heal.  He can cleanse.  He can do all of these by His own power.  He is a powerful provider.  He can provide more in restoring us than we ever could imagine that we could ever deserve.  He is powerful.  He is our provider.  He has all the power that we need to provide us with all that we need.

20Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (KJV)

 

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Keep Count in 2012

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? – Luke 14:28 (KJV)

In 2012, you had better keep count of some things.  You should keep count and keep track throughout the year. Look back at how God answered prayers and provided for you thus far, holding on with hope for Him to continue to grant you such blessings of grace and mercy in 2012.

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 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” – Psalm 55:17 (KJV)

With the new year approaching, it seems quite appropriate to share a simple prayer plan. 

A prayer plan?

Yep.  A prayer plan for the new year could assist  you in staying on track just like a daily Bible reading plan can help one staying on track with reading the Bible throughout the year.  The plan offers you an opportunity to get in touch with God on a consistent basis throughout the day.

 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud. . .

David offers the believer the outline for a daily prayer plan.  Evening. . . morning. . . at noon are the time periods that David mentions in this psalm.  He speaks on his own personal commitment to prayer.  He shares his own daily prayer commitment to God.

We can do so, too.  We don’t have to write a psalm or a pledge, not even a covenant.  We just have to commit to the plan and commit the plan to prayer.  That sounds both rhetorical and redundant, but let me make it clear to you.  In order to make a commitment to daily prayer, you will need to have a plan on how to get started.  You can choose to follow David’s prayer prescription or do otherwise.  You just need to decide on a plan that will get you consistent with daily prayer.  Once you have decided on that plan, then you need to commit that decision to prayer.  You will even need to pray to the Lord as you decide upon the plan and pray to the Lord once you have decided on what to do and how to do it.  You need prayer throughout the planning and preparation for engaging in daily prayer.

Pray to God for:

  • Clarity
  • Commitment
  • Consistency

Start with prayer in order to continue in prayer.  Start the year with prayer and stay consistent in prayer.

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O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!- Psalm 34:8

The psalm shares how taking refuge in the Lord can cause one to be blessed.  In fact, it starts this particular verse with an intriguing invitation to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” It is an entreat, starting with “O.” It implores and beseeches the one who reads or hears it read to pay close attention to what is being said.  It calls upon one to open his or her ears and eyes to what is being laid out.

O taste and see. . .

In other words, the psalm writer is beckoning others to come and try the Lord out for themselves.  He doesn’t simply say for others to take his word for it.  He offers others the opportunity to taste and see about the Lord on their own.  He assures them that once they have tasted of what the Lord has to offer that they will see just how good He truly is to those who seek Him.

Beyond everything else, the psalm shares how taking refuge in the Lord can lead to one being blessed by the Lord.  You do not have to keep running around and looking here and there.  Run to the Lord.  Seek refuge in Him.  Go to the Lord.  Flee to Him.  Make haste and come unto Him.  He alone can bless you beyond belief.  God alone can bestow blessing upon you that surpass your own imagination.

Try to recall the last time that you invited someone to taste of the Lord’s goodness and see for themselves.  Offer the invitation to the blessing of a lifetime to someone who may be near and dear to you.  Share it with a perfect stranger.  Put it on your Facebook status.  Tweet it in a direct message to a friend.  You’ve already tasted of His sweetness.  Share it with someone else.

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Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. – Philippians 3:12 (NKJV)

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  – Philippians 3:14 (NKJV)

Many people fail to keep going.  Unlike Paul, they fail to press on towards clearly defined goals and objectives.  They miss the mark when it comes to getting things done.  They rarely get beyond the surface when it comes to accomplishment or achievement.  These people just do not get very far despite how much or how hard they try to get with their work.

For we walk by faith, not by sight. – 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)

Unfortunately, these people fail due to lack of faith.  When it comes to church, some tend focus on the visible rather than hidden mysteries of God.  Some cannot keep their eyes on the prize and simply walk by faith.  They lack the faith to stick to the path that will lead to the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  They want to see it, but they cannot reach it since it seems like a great deal of work.

They get distracted.  There is a detour or delay.  Somewhere along the way, they get distressed.  They simply lose their way.

They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; They found no city to dwell in. – Psalm 107:4 (NKJV)

The trouble is that many of us fail to hold on.  We fail when the going gets tough.  We fail when the road gets rough.  We fail to keep going in faith.  We fail to keep the faith.

We need to learn to trust God at all times.  We need to have the type of faith that fully relies upon God.  Without such faith, we fail.

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You. – Psalm 9:10 (NKJV)

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. – Psalm 56:3 (NKJV)

Trust the Lord.  Trust the Lord to take you all of the way.

Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. – Psalm 37:3 (NKJV)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding – Proverbs 3:5 (NKJV)

Trusting God does not mean that you just leave things with God and walk away.  Give it to God in faith.  You let God have rule over the matter, while you remain connected to what God has given to you as divine directives.

You have to keep the faith.  You have to keep going.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.  – Psalm 20:7 (NKJV)

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But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.- Luke 5:16 (NIV)

 

Some days, like many days, you just have to get away.  Bobby Brown had a comeback hit back in the day called “Get Away”  that said the same thing.  This isn’t about that song or its message.  This is about the example set by Jesus Christ.

Think about the time that you devote and dedicate to God. 

How much of that time is solely you with God? If not much, then you need to check yourself.

God doesn’t desire any drive-by devotion from us.  He wants us to be earnest in seeking Him.  He desires us to offer sacrifices of our hearts.   He wants us to yearn for Him and to draw near to Him, not for us to only request things of Him and never grow close to Him.

That’s not what many of us have developed in our personal lives.  We need to do more than simply go through the motions.

God lodged a complaint against Israel with Isaiah that stated that much.

10Hear the word of the Lord,
you rulers of Sodom;
listen to the law of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!
11“The multitude of your sacrifices—
what are they to me?” says the Lord.
“I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure
in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
12When you come to appear before me,
who has asked this of you,
this trampling of my courts?
13Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—
I cannot bear your evil assemblies.

– Isaiah 1:10-13 (NIV)

Get clear on how to personalize your prayer time with God.  Be sure to make it some dedicated, one-on-one time where you can talk with God and hear from God.  Leave some room for some meditation on His Word and what He has already shared through the sacred text.  Get alone with God and incline your ear to what He has for you.

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