Sunday Devotional: Psalm 27

“The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom should I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom should I be afraid?
When evildoers came against me to devour my flesh,
my foes and my enemies stumbled and fell.
Though an army deploys against me,
my heart is not afraid;
though a war breaks out against me,
still I am confident.

I have asked one thing from the Lord;
it is what I desire:
to dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
gazing on the beauty of the Lord
and seeking Him in His temple.
For He will conceal me in His shelter
in the day of adversity;
He will hide me under the cover of His tent;
He will set me high on a rock.
Then my head will be high
above my enemies around me;
I will offer sacrifices in His tent with shouts of joy.
I will sing and make music to the Lord.

Lord, hear my voice when I call;
be gracious to me and answer me.
My heart says this about You,
“You are to seek My face.”
Lord, I will seek Your face.
Do not hide Your face from me;
do not turn Your servant away in anger.
You have been my helper;
do not leave me or abandon me,
God of my salvation.
Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the Lord cares for me.

Because of my adversaries,
show me Your way, Lord,
and lead me on a level path.
Do not give me over to the will of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
breathing violence.

I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and courageous.
Wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:1-14)

This is one of David’s well known psalms that he wrote. In this psalm, David speaks not only to the struggles that he faced but the hope that he held in the Lord. Though there may be armies surrounding, he was not moved. Though there were struggles inside of him, he continued to hope and believe. He knew God’s goodness and God’s faithfulness. He had experienced it firsthand. And he believed and trusted that God would continue to be faithful and good.

Though we may be going through our own hard times and troubles, let us be like David.  Let us wait on the Lord, let us trust in His work.  Let us never give up doing good and following Him.

Sunday Devotional: Psalm 126

“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Our mouths were filled with laughter then,
and our tongues with shouts of joy.
Then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord had done great things for us;
we were joyful.

Restore our fortunes, Lord,
like watercourses in the Negev.
Those who sow in tears
will reap with shouts of joy.
Though one goes along weeping,
carrying the bag of seed,
he will surely come back with shouts of joy,
carrying his sheaves.”

The Israelites had several experiences where they were in bondage, away from their home.  Each time they were in sorrow and each time God was faithful in delivering them.  When they returned, they were joyful and were again reminded of God’s faithfulness to them.  They had reason to shout “The Lord has done great things.”

We go through seasons where we weep, where we sow in tears.  There are seasons where we struggle in depression and hurt.  But God is faithful, there will come a time when we will “reap with shouts of joy”.  God will deliver us through to the other side.  And we will shout out “The Lord has done great things for us.”  This week let us encourage one another with these words.  Let us remember God’s faithfulness in those seasons when we sow in tears and be grateful when reaping with shouts of joy.

Sunday Devotional: Psalm 11

“I have taken refuge in the Lord.
How can you say to me,
“Escape to the mountain like a bird!
For look, the wicked string the bow;
they put the arrow on the bowstring
to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart.
When the foundations are destroyed,
what can the righteous do?”

The Lord is in His holy temple;
the Lord’s throne is in heaven.
His eyes watch; He examines everyone.
The Lord examines the righteous and the wicked.
He hates the lover of violence.
He will rain burning coals and sulfur on the wicked;
a scorching wind will be their portion.
For the Lord is righteous; He loves righteous deeds.
The upright will see His face.” (Psalm 11)

There are many times when we’re struggling and when we’re hurting that we want relief.  We seek refuge from the pain and suffering.  We can find refuge in the Lord.  He is always there.  We can go to Him and find refuge in Him.  He is always there watching over us.

The psalmist here knows well where to go and who to trust in such tough times.  This week, let us remember the One who cares for His people.  Let us find refuge in Him.

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 4

“Answer me when I call,
God, who vindicates me.
You freed me from affliction;
be gracious to me and hear my prayer.

How long, exalted men, will my honor be insulted?
How long will you love what is worthless
and pursue a lie?Selah
Know that the Lord has set apart
the faithful for Himself;
the Lord will hear when I call to Him.
Be angry and do not sin;
on your bed, reflect in your heart and be still.Selah
Offer sacrifices in righteousness
and trust in the Lord.

Many are saying, “Who can show us anything good?”
Look on us with favor, Lord.

You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and new wine abound.
I will both lie down and sleep in peace,
for You alone, Lord, make me live in safety.”  (Psalms)

David was one of the best writers.  He wrote many psalms which covered a wide range of areas, many of these we have turned into worship songs.  In this psalm, we see again the importance of turning to God in worship and trusting Him.

As I was recently reading it, the verse that stood out was verse 4 “Be angry and do not sin;
on your bed, reflect in your heart and be still. Selah”  In 2017, this is a very important verse to remember.  Our society has made being angry a virtue and has praised it.  It is so easy to get angry and let it drive directly towards sin but that is not what God wants for us.  He wants us to not sin.  So when there are those times when it is legit to get angry, let us not let it careen us off to sin.  And especially to not get angry and sin when it’s not a legit time to get angry.

The other part of that verse “on your bed, reflect in your heart and be still.”  We live in a time when hustle and bustle is a way of life.  We get so caught up in being busy that we don’t often take the time to slow down.  But we need to take time to stop, to be still and listen to what God has to say.  It is a discipline that would greatly help us and one that would help us to grow closer to Him.

So this week, let us take time to stop and be still to listen to the Lord.  And let us go about doing good showing God’s love and being grateful for the one who has vindicated us.

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.

Sunday Devotional: Psalm 71:1-8

“In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
    turn your ear to me and save me.
Be my rock of refuge,
    to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
    for you are my rock and my fortress.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
    from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.

For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
    my confidence since my youth.
From birth I have relied on you;
    you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
    I will ever praise you.
I have become a sign to many;
    you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
    declaring your splendor all day long.” (Psalm 71:1-8)

This portion of scripture is another of David’s writings.  Throughout many of the Psalms, David writes and sings about God’s faithfulness.  He praises the Lord for being his hope and salvation.  He knows that the Lord is the one who is able to deliver.

David went through good times and bad.  He was a part of great victories and he suffered heartbreaking losses.  Yet through it all He relied on the Lord.  May we have that kind of faith.  May we have that trust in the Lord that He will deliver us through our sufferings and hardships  May we have that kind of praise of the Lord in giving thanks for what He has done in our lives.  May be, like David, be a sign to all those around us about who God is and what He has done.

This week let us take refuge in the Lord.  Let us have our mouths filled with praise.  And let us be that sign to many that God is faithful, He is loving and that He delivers.