Month: November 2014

Psalm 4 – God of Peace: I Will Sleep in Peace

Oh Lord, You are my shelter. Only through Your peace will I be able to sleep. Your peace that passes all understanding is more calming than the soothing aroma of chamomile. You wrap me in your arms of love, like a parent comforting a child after a night terror. Where else can I find the peace and safety that you bring? “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety (vs. 8).”

Daddy, lift up the light of Your countenance. The countenance that can only be reflected by the joy that You give! There is no earthly thing that can satisfy the craving n my soul that only Jehovah Jireh can fill. God, You are. But when I am in need, you hear me when I call to you, unlike the false gods of this day.
May I meditate on Your word as I lay in bed at night; not on the lies that the enemy continuously feeds me. May I not yield to the temptations that plague me at night, but instead offer the sacrifice of righteousness as I trust in You.

The God of peace has rescued me from my distress – from the darkest nights of my soul. Restoring me, holding me in his arms of love. Walking with me during my times in the wilderness. My hero and lover of my soul.
“You have put gladness in my heart, More than when their grain and new wine abound. (‭Psalms‬ ‭4‬:‭7‬ NASB)”

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Psalm 3 – God, My Shield

God, my shield and strength, you lift up my head! When I’m at my lowest of lows, you encourage me through Your Word. You are trustworthy. I like what Ephesians 3:20-21 says, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

I’m so grateful that you hear my cry, and know just what I need. You sustain me through my restless nights. Selah.
I used to stay awake for hours at night, terrorized by dreams and worries. But you have shielded me from the attacks of the enemy. Now I can rest!

Salvation belongs to the Lord; Your blessing be upon Your people! Selah. (Psalm 3:8 NASB)

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Psalm 2 – Shalom

Why are the nations always fighting? why are our leaders so selfish? What happened to representation of the people, by the people, and for the people? There has been a severe breakdown in communication, and an even greater breakdown of love for our neighbors. Our neighbors are not just those who have the same lifestyle as us; it’s everyone we come in contact with.
When our focus is on ourselves, we lack the ability to live peaceably with others. We must put others above ourselves. This type of sacrifice is impossible without the help of the Holy Spirit guiding us in making selfless decisions. Lean on him. Allow his love to permeate through you.
I love the words at the end of Psalm 2, “Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” (‭Psalm‬ ‭2‬:‭11-12‬ NIV)
In the footnotes of my Archaeological Study Bible, it states “in the ancient Near East a kiss was a sign of submission (Zondervan).” Hmm… Submit to the Son, lest he be angry, and you be destroyed in your way. This new knowledge shines a whole new light in showing affection to Jesus. And how true it is that when I do things my own way, I have a plethora of damage to clean up. But if I submit to Jesus right out the gate, and take refuge in him, blessed I am indeed (Ps 2:12)!

This idea of a kiss representing submission also brings new insight to just how deeply Judas betrayed Christ. People have continued to stab their friends in the back ever since. No wonder the nations rage like they did in Psalm 2, and in the Garden of Gethsemane. They’re conspiring, breaking oaths, and stabbing each other in the back (literally and figuratively).

The only comfort I get is knowing that God is sitting in Heaven waiting to guide the steps of our leaders; all they need do is ask. If the nations of the world don’t look for truth in the Word of God,His anger will eventually burn.
As for me, I am a child of the King of kings and Lord of lords. This world and all it’s leaders have nothing on me.
I cry, “Oh Lord, I ask for the nations. Let them humble themselves and pray, and seek YOUR face, turning from their wicked ways.” For it is God’s desire for them to worship the only true god in reverence and to rejoice in awestruck wonder.
Honor the Lord Jesus.
Blessed are those who take refuge in Him!

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Psalm 1 – Heart of Wisdom

For the Lord knows (or approves of) the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalm 1:6 NASB)

Does the Lord approve of the direction I am moving? He knows what I’m going to do, but are my actions gaining His approval? In Psalm 1, I learn several choices that I can make to gain His approval.

1. Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.

If the counsel that I am receiving contradicts scripture, I should discard it. Galatians 5:22-23 lists a few of the blessings that I’ll receive if I choose the Counsel of the Holy Spirit instead of flawed humans: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. What’s great about this list is that it’s never illegal to practice these characteristics!

2. Blessed is the man who doesn’t stand in the way of sinners.

If I am surrounding myself with objects or characteristics rooted in a lifestyle that is contrary to scripture, I should flee. Galatians 5:19-21 lists a few of the sinful choices that I should avoid: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, etc. WOW! I failed already! Thank God I have a Saviour who identifies with my weakness and wants to help me follow him!

3. His delight is in the Law of the Lord, and he meditates on it.

If I want to resist the temptation to fall into any of the traps listed above, I must delight in the Law of the Lord, and I must meditate on it day and night! For me, I must meditate daily (and nightly) on 2 Corinthians 10:5 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” After I let that penetrate my thoughts, I put my faith into action with the help of Hebrews 12:1-3 “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

My just God, give me the discernment to know the difference between sound versus shady advice. Give me a desire to know your law so that my feet may be firmly planted by streams of living water. Increase my faith to know that you will bring the harvest at the right time, pruning what needs pruned, to reap the most bountiful harvest. Oh gracious God, that I may find favor in your sight so that I will have a life of prosperity and not utter ruin.