Sunday Devotional: Psalm 147

“Hallelujah!
How good it is to sing to our God,
for praise is pleasant and lovely.

The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem;
He gathers Israel’s exiled people.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars;
He gives names to all of them.
Our Lord is great, vast in power;
His understanding is infinite.
The Lord helps the afflicted
but brings the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
play the lyre to our God,
who covers the sky with clouds,
prepares rain for the earth,
and causes grass to grow on the hills.
He provides the animals with their food,
and the young ravens, what they cry for.

He is not impressed by the strength of a horse;
He does not value the power of a man.
The Lord values those who fear Him,
those who put their hope in His faithful love.

Exalt the Lord, Jerusalem;
praise your God, Zion!
For He strengthens the bars of your gates
and blesses your children within you.
He endows your territory with prosperity;
He satisfies you with the finest wheat.

He sends His command throughout the earth;
His word runs swiftly.
He spreads snow like wool;
He scatters frost like ashes;
He throws His hailstones like crumbs.
Who can withstand His cold?
He sends His word and melts them;
He unleashes His winds, and the waters flow.

He declares His word to Jacob,
His statutes and judgments to Israel.
He has not done this for any nation;
they do not know His judgments.
Hallelujah!” (Psalm 147)

In times of discouragement and suffering it’s important to remember a psalm like this one.  It reminds us again of who God is and what He has done/is doing.  He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  He is abundant in strength.  He brings peace where peace is needed.  He takes care of those who are His.

We have so much to be thankful for even in the midst of trials and tribulations.  This week let us be reminded of this so that we can share with others the hope that we have.

 

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Sunday Devotional: Psalm 24

“The earth and everything in it,
the world and its inhabitants,
belong to the Lord;
for He laid its foundation on the seas
and established it on the rivers.

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in His holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who has not set his mind on what is false,
and who has not sworn deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord,
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek Him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.Selah

Lift up your heads, you gates!
Rise up, ancient doors!
Then the King of glory will come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates!
Rise up, ancient doors!
Then the King of glory will come in.
Who is He, this King of glory?
The Lord of Hosts,
He is the King of glory.Selah”

This psalm that David wrote poses one of the most important questions to be asked “Who is He, this King of glory?”  This is a question that we must all ask.  Who is God?  He is the King of glory.  he is the one that is strong and mighty.  He is the one who is mighty in battle.  He is the one who brings salvation.  He is the one who rules over the Earth and its inhabitants.

The Lord is worthy of honor and glory because of who He is and what He’s done.  He is the King of glory.  There are a lot of things that try to vie for our worship and praise but He is the only one worthy to receive it.  This week let us fix our eyes on Him.  Let us give thanks and honor Him.  And let us share the good news of all that He is done with those around us.

Sunday Devotional: Psalm 122

“I was glad when they said to me,
    “Let us go to the house of the Lord!”

Our feet have been standing
    within your gates, O Jerusalem!

Jerusalem—built as a city
    that is bound firmly together,
to which the tribes go up,
    the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for Israel,
    to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
There thrones for judgment were set,
    the thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
    “May they be secure who love you!
Peace be within your walls
    and security within your towers!”
For my brothers and companions’ sake
    I will say, “Peace be within you!”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
    I will seek your good.”  (Psalm 122)

It is a blessing to gather together to worship.  Corporate worship is something that God wants for us.  Because He knows that is a great way to honor him.  When we gather together to sing songs of praise, when we give tithes and offerings, when we study a portion of his word together, we are honoring and worshiping Him.

David in this psalm shares about the joy he has about going into the house of the Lord (which in the Old Testament days was the temple).  There they could worship the Lord, they could pray to Him and they could enjoy God’s peace among them.  Like David, we can enjoy that as well when we gather together to worship.

As we gather together to worship today, let us celebrate that we get to gather together for corporate worship.  And let us celebrate all that God has done for us and will do in the future.

Thursday Quote Day: Scot McKnight

This week’s “Thursday Quote Day” features another quote from author and professor Scot McKnight:

“When we struggle in faith, in waiting on God, and in centering on God in our worship, we need to remind ourselves that Jesus has done each of these for us. Our weak trust, our failure to wait on God, and our blurred worship are all swallowed up in his perfect trust, patience, and worship.” (Scot McKnight The Jesus Creed)

Sunday Devotional: Joshua 24:14-15

“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.  And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:14-15)

We all have choices to make every day.  We all have decisions big and small that we encounter.  And we each have to make those choices for ourselves.

In the book of Joshua, the Israelites had come out of Egypt and were about to take control of the land God had promised them.  At the end of the book, Joshua had gathered the people before they were to go their separate ways.  He reminds them of where they had come from and what it had taken to get them there.  And he reminds them that they have to decide whether they were going to worship God and follow Him or follow the gods of the people of the land.  Joshua made clear that his choice was to to follow and serve the Lord.

We have that same choice before us today.  We can choose to follow and serve God or we can choose to follow and serve what’s out in the world.  Let us have in our hearts and minds to follow and serve God.  Let that be our choice each and every day.

Sunday Devotional: Psalm 150

“Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
    praise him according to his excellent greatness!

Praise him with trumpet sound;
    praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
    praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
    praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!”

This is the last psalm in the book of Psalms.  It is a fitting psalm as it is a psalm of praise.  It is only 6 verses but yet ever verse has the word ‘praise’.  We are to praise God for who He is and for what He’s done.  We’re to praise him with all our being.  We’re to praise Him with our talents.  We are to praise God.

And the thing is He is worthy of that praise.  For all that He’s done for us, He is worthy of praise.  For simply being God, he’s worthy of praise.  He is worthy of being given the honor and credit and glory because He is who He is.

This week, let us praise the Lord.  Let us sing out to the Lord.  Let us worship Him with our words and actions.  Let us praise Him.