Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Praise Him!

I had the blessing of going out to an Angel's game with a good friend of mine.  It was such a blessing and refreshment not only physically, but even more so spiritually.  It's such an incredible blessing to be able to have fun and be spiritually refreshed at the same time.  You know, we as a culture tend to put entertainment in one category and God in another.  Christ came to have "first place in everything"... to be "all and in all".  He cannot be excluded from entertainment.  He created things for us to enjoy and we ought to be able to be "entertained" by things that we can thank the Lord for.  When we enjoy the blessings (even entertainment) that God provides, I believe He is honored.  It is when we exclude Him that we are tempted to seek to be entertained by things that are not honoring to Him.  We must praise Him in all things... and that praise ought to drive us toward holiness.

I've been reading Psalm 45 off and on for the last couple weeks and wanted to share it here.
I will extol You, my God, O King, And I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of Your majesty And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate. Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts, And I will tell of Your greatness. They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness. The Lord is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. The Lord is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works. All Your works shall give thanks to You, O Lord, And Your godly ones shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom And talk of Your power; To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations. The Lord sustains all who fall And raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to You, And You give them their food in due time. You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all His ways And kind in all His deeds. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them. The Lord keeps all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy. My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever. 
What has really been catching my mind is the concept of multiple generations talking together about the goodness of the Lord.  Too often I am caught up in just talking to those my age about it, but those younger than me need it... and those older than me need it!  A couple Sunday's ago, I went up and introduced myself to two elderly ladies that started coming to our church recently.  I'm sorry to say that I have already forgotten their names, but it was amazing for me to see the joy on their faces after taking just a minute out of my Sunday to talk with them.  It was convicting realizing that I have so often overlooked these opportunities.  I can be so busy "serving" that I am not actually serving His body.  I hope to be able to apply some of these things this next week at church especially.  I want to talk of God's goodness to those ladies.  I want to hear from them about God's goodness.  That is fellowship!  Let's praise His name together.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012


I have been going very slowly through Psalm 119... sometimes three or four times on a given section throughout the day.  It is so rich.  I was reading verses 147 and 148 this evening and just love the example that David set for us.
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words. My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word.  
Pastor Tim preached on the Word of Christ this last weekend and mentioned different ways that it gets into us.  He mentioned that up until recently (when considering all of history), "read my Bible" really wasn't an answer that people had to that question. It was based on prayer, and speaking His Word to one another.  That is not to say that we should read less of the Word... we should see it as an incredible blessing and privilege to be able to read His Word!  At the same time, we ought not neglect the other ways that God's Word gets into us.  We ought not neglect the spiritual disciplines behind pursuing Christ just because it is easier to get His Words into us. 

I just love this example in Psalm 119... David gets up before the sun rises in order to cry out to God for help.  This shows humility realizing that he cannot handle things on his own.  It also shows urgency... it can't even wait until the sun comes up!  Then comes a very important aspect of communication with the Lord... waiting for His words.  I know at least for me, I can get so caught up in all of the things that I need to say to the Lord that I don't take the time to listen diligently for His answer.  The Lord actually knows everything that we are going to ask before we ask it.  We do not know His answer before He answers!  Perhaps we ought to do a whole lot more listening to Him than speaking to Him.  I can't help but think of Samuel and Eli... Eli tells Samuel to say, "speak Lord, for your servant is listening".  May God give us His grace and help to be more diligent listeners... that we would hear His words and live by them... that we would have that voice behind us saying, "This is the way, walk in it!"  Last but certainly not least, David looks forward to night because it is the time that He meditates on God's word.  I can hardly think of a more important time of day to meditate on the word of God than right before we go to bed.  It is in bed that we lay silently in the darkness in those moments before falling asleep that we are finally still and quiet before Him after all of busyness and stress of the day is over.  If our minds are filled with His word at that pivotal time of the day rather than the worries of the day, we can use that time to listen to His voice... to reflect on the events of the day and what was honoring to the Lord and what wasn't.  If our minds are racing to the events of the day without first being filled with the Word, we are prone to worry. It is vital that we are filling our minds with His word... seeking Him diligently in the morning, meditating on His truths in the evening so that we think His thoughts about the situations that we face on a daily basis.

May God grant us grace to desire His word more and more.  May we see it as the essential food for life and breath.  May we gain the mind of Christ.