Sunday Devotional: Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

A couple of years ago, I used this verse for a Sunday Devotional.  I was reminded of this verse again recently and how it is very much still applicable today.

Paul wrote these words finishing up a letter to a group of believers that he cared for very deeply.  He helped to plant the church in Philippi wanted to see and hear that the believers there were growing in their faith.  He wanted them to keep pursuing Christ and to continue the work there.

We as believers have that same calling.  We are to keep pursing Christ and continue the work of sharing the Gospel.  And as we do that, we are to engage life with the filter that this verse   We live in a time when we are bombarded on all sides from things that are not the things in these verses.  We must strive to separate out these things to find the things that are true, that are just, that are pure, that are worthy of praise.

This week, let us make sure that we take time to reflect on those things that honor God, those things that point us to Him.  Let us think on those things so that we can be focused on what it is He has for us to do.

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Sunday Devotional: Psalm 113

“Hallelujah!
Give praise, servants of Yahweh;
praise the name of Yahweh.
Let the name of Yahweh be praised
both now and forever.
From the rising of the sun to its setting,
let the name of Yahweh be praised.

Yahweh is exalted above all the nations,
His glory above the heavens.
Who is like Yahweh our God—
the One enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look
on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the garbage pile
in order to seat them with nobles—
with the nobles of His people.
He gives the childless woman a household,
making her the joyful mother of children.
Hallelujah!” (Psalm 113)

One of the many good things about the psalms is it helps remind and bring us back into meditating and praising the Lord. This psalm is another example of that.  Psalm 113 reminds us of who God is and why we should praise Him.

The Lord is mighty and worthy to be exalted over all others.  He is worthy to be praised for who He is and what He has done.  He gives hope to the hopeless.  He cares for the needy.  He rescues the lost.  He is the Lord.

This week let us remember who God is and what He has done.  And let us give thanks and praise His name for it.

Sunday Devotional: Psalm 107:1-9

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His faithful love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord proclaim
that He has redeemed them from the hand of the foe
and has gathered them from the lands—
from the east and the west,
from the north and the south.

Some wandered in the desolate wilderness,
finding no way to a city where they could live.
They were hungry and thirsty;
their spirits failed within them.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;
He rescued them from their distress.
He led them by the right path
to go to a city where they could live.
Let them give thanks to the Lord
for His faithful love
and His wonderful works for all humanity.
For He has satisfied the thirsty
and filled the hungry with good things.”  (Psalm 107:1-9)

The first part of this psalm reminds me of a praise and worship song that I love. We are to give thanks to the Lord. Why? Because His love endures forever. He loves us so much and cares for us. He is faithful always.

The writer of this psalm speaks to God’s love and faithfulness throughout this psalm.  Just in these few verses we see that to be true.  The people were wandering and alone and cried out to the Lord.  They were hungry and thirsty.  They were tired and alone.  The Lord heard them and led them out and brought them home.  He took care of them.

The Lord does the same for those who love and follow Him  He hears us when we call out to Him.  He will lead us out of despair and into hope.  So this week let’s us give thanks to the Lord for his faithful love that endures forever.

Sunday Devotional: Luke 11:1-4

“He was praying in a certain place, and when He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples.”

He said to them, “Whenever you pray, say:

Father,
Your name be honored as holy.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves also forgive everyone
in debt to us.
And do not bring us into temptation.” (Luke 11:1-4)

These verses in Luke are part of the “Model Prayer” that Jesus shared with His disciples.  The disciples asked Jesus about prayer and how they should pray.  Jesus shares with them this short prayer as a model for how they should pray.  They should acknowledge God the Father as holy.  They should ask for daily provisions.  They should ask for forgiveness and repent of their sins and to show forgiveness to others. And they should ask for help in dealing with temptation.

We all have times when we struggle to pray.  Sometimes it is hard to have those moments to sit and pray.  But the good thing is God listens to our prayers big or small.  He wants us to have those conversations with Him.  And thankfully when we’re struggling with prayer, we have this model prayer that Jesus shared to go back to and have a starting point.

This week, let us commit to prayer. No matter how big or small, let us take time to have those conversations with the Lord.

Sunday Devotional: Isaiah 52:13-15

“See, My Servant will act wisely;
He will be raised and lifted up and greatly exalted.
Just as many were appalled at You—
His appearance was so disfigured
that He did not look like a man,
and His form did not resemble a human being—
so He will sprinkle many nations.
Kings will shut their mouths because of Him,
For they will see what had not been told them,
and they will understand what they had not heard.” (Isaiah 52:13-15)

These are the words from the prophet Isaiah.  He wrote these words hundreds of years before the One who would come to fulfill this prophesy.  That One was Jesus.  Isaiah wrote about how Jesus would be lifted up and exalted.  He wrote that he would be disfigured which Jesus was as He was beaten and flogged to the point of death before His crucifixion.  But this was done so that all nations could be reconciled unto God.

These verses are prior to the “Suffering Servant” chapter.  Though these verses are not as well known, they as well portray how Jesus suffered for us so that “they will see what had not been told them, and they will understand what they had not heard.”  Jesus came as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins and has been raised up and greatly exalted in His rightful place as the Son of God.  This week let us remember and be thankful that Jesus did that for us.

Sunday Devotional: Psalm 105:1-4

“Give thanks to Yahweh, call on His name;
proclaim His deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him, sing praise to Him;
tell about all His wonderful works!
Honor His holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek Yahweh rejoice.
Search for the Lord and for His strength;
seek His face always.”  (Psalm 105:1-4)

One of the great things about Psalms is the reminder of God’s goodness and His faithfulness.  There are many psalms throughout the book that sing of these attributes.  Not only that, they call us to remember them daily.  These verses are a part of just such a psalm.

We have so much to be thankful for that God has given to us.  We can rejoice and be glad.  But we are not just to keep it to ourselves.  We are to share them with everyone around us.  We are to “proclaim His deeds among the people.”  It should just burst forth because we have been blessed so much to share that with others.

The other key part in these verses is the psalmist says we should seek God’s face always.  We should always be pursing being before God.  So this week, let us be thankful, let us be sharing and let us be seeking.  Let us be thankful for all that God has given us.  Let us be sharing with others about what God has done.  And let us be seeking the Lord every day.

Sunday Devotional: Psalm 103:1-5

“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:1-5)

In this time of Thanksgiving, we are reminded of what all we are thankful.  As followers of Jesus, we have a lot to be thankful for everyday.  Here in a portion of Psalm 103, David shares several of those things that He is thankful for that God has done.  He is thankful for the redemption that comes from the Lord.  He is thankful that God heals.  He is thankful that God rescues us and that God shows us great love and mercy.

All these things that God has shown to David, He shows to us as well.  We should, like David, sing out about God’s faithfulness and lovingkindess.  How He has redeemed us and given us new life.  How He has given us hope and salvation.  This week, let us continue to be thankful and grateful for all that God has done for us and continues to do for us through Jesus Christ.