Psalm

Wonderment and Awe

IMG_5670

Every week, thousands of worshipers flock into the great cathedrals of Europe to feel a sense of the majesty of the architecture-the high ceilings, massive pillars, stained windows, and reverberating sounds.  The ancient builders wanted to inspire us with a sense of the majesty of worship, and they designed their cathedrals with that in mind.

Every week, thousands of visitors flock to the National Parks of America for the same reason.  We’re awestruck by the vast desolation of Big Bend, the immensity of Grand Canyon, and the sheer cliffs and plunging waterfalls of Yosemite.  The towering peaks of the Tetons and Rockies are a wonderment.  The human heart is hungry for a sense of God’s majesty.

Yes, we are God’s friends who, in prayer, can call Him, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15); but He is also clothed with majesty and girded with strength (Psalm 93).  Our worship should be warm and personal, but we shouldn’t forget the awe and reverence due His name.

Commentary from the Pathways devotional by David Jeremiah, June 19.

Beautiful to God

IMG_5473

I will praise the Lord at all times;

His praise will always be on my lips.

I will boast in the Lord;

the humble will hear and be glad.

Proclaim with me the Lord’s greatness;

let us exalt His name together.

Psalm 34:1-3

As adopted children of God, we share with Jesus all rights to God’s resources.  As God’s heirs, we can claim what He has provided for us-our full identity as His children.

Commentary from The One Year NIV Devotional NT, May 30.  Tyndale House Publishers. (2003)

True Blue

IMG_1192

Ending Gossip in Our Life-follow up to, “Not Sometimes, But Always”, May 16, 2017.

Spreading rumors about other people exposes little about their true nature but reveals quite a lot about the speaker’s own character.  Such behavior shows a willingness to sin against the Lord by causing harm to someone else.  Until a gossiping believer confronts his sin, he can’t progress toward becoming the person God wants him to be.

Confession is the first step in dealing with sinful speech.  This should be followed by repentance-the pledge to turn away from opportunities to talk about others.  A useful scripture for a redeemed gossip to pray daily is Psalm 141:3:  “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.”

Next, be on guard against temptation.  Believers have a responsibility to set themselves apart from gossip in order to keep their thoughts and words pleasing to God.  Being in the presence of one who spreads stories can tempt us to participate.  In a situation where rumors are being shared, the best course of action is to speak out against the practice and then leave.

Finally, instead of talking about someone, it’s wise to pray for that person.  Getting into this habit will help train the mind to replace sinful patterns with God-pleasing ways.  The Bible teaches us to encourage and comfort each other, and prayer is a good way to obey that instruction 1 Thess. 5:11, 14).

A gossiping Christian dishonors God’s name-and his own.  Instead of using words that disparage and injure, choose to speak well of everyone.  In so doing, you will bring glory to the Lord.

Commentary from the In Touch Devotional by Charles Stanley, May 9, 2017.

Photo credit:  T. Link

Reliance

IMG_4838

Faith is not something tangible to be taken like medicine.  It is an attitude of trusting and believing.  But even our ability to believe is a gift from God.  No matter how much faith we have, we never reach the point of being self-sufficient.  Faith is not stored away like money in the bank.  Growing in faith is a constant process of daily renewing our trust in Jesus.

Jesus was telling the disciples that they would face difficult situations that could be resolved only through prayer.  Prayer is the key that unlocks faith in our lives.  Effective prayer needs both an attitude-complete dependence-and an action-asking.  Prayer demonstrates our reliance on God as we humbly invite God to fill us with faith and power.  There is no substitute for prayer, especially in circumstances that seem unconquerable.  

Commentary from The One Year NIV Devotional New Testament, (2003), Tyndale House Publishers, April 15.