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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Inspired by . . . Sing to Jesus: Day 31

Finishing up the #write31day challenge today! You can find the entire series here.

Today's Reading:

Psalm 119

Today's Offering:

Day 31 - we made it! Thank you for your faithful following! I know you were blessed in your reading of the Psalms this month and I pray you were also blessed by the offerings here.

We're tackling Psalm 119 today. I hope you have time to sit with these verses. There are many hidden gems of comfort and pearls of wisdom to be uncovered!

In my Bible, Psalm 119 covers four full pages and part of two others. At the top of the first full page, I have written:  Da hodie perfecte incipere, which, translated is: Give this a perfect start, or, as C.S. Lewis would say, "Grant me to make an unflawed beginning today, for I have done nothing yet."

Psalm 119 sets forth for us that 'perfect start.' More than that, it sets forth our perfect life-path.
Your word is a lamp to my feet, a light on my path; (vs 105)
The psalm begins by telling us that "Happy are those who obey His instruction, who set their heart on finding Him."

It continues on, verse after verse, extolling the joys of following God's instruction and comforting us with the truth about Him and His promises.

Teach me, show me, grant me are the prayers of the Psalmist. May they be our prayer as well.

May you be moved by the Spirit to seek Him through the daily reading of His word and prayer. In the name of Jesus, Amen.



PS For those of you who have missed it, Life thru My Lens resumes later this week!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Inspired by . . . Sing to Jesus: Day 30

Continuing the #write31day challenge  . . . you can find the entire series here.

Today's Reading:

Today's Offering:

I hope you've been with me often this month, learning to sing to Jesus. David made it a habit in his life and I hope you are learning to make it a habit in yours.
You have turned my laments into dancing; You have stripped off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that I may sing psalms to You without ceasing. Lord, my God, I shall praise You for ever. (Psalm 30:11-12)
Even the psalms of war and battle we have learned to embrace, if not for their physical truths then for their spiritual ones.

Psalm 90 is a beautiful prayer. It reminds us of our frame (vs 10) and of God's eternal essence that will be with us always. (vs 1-2)

Psalm 150 is a favorite and one easily memorized. What a blessing it would be to be able to chant or sing this psalm softly throughout our days.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Tomorrow is our last day in the psalms. We'll be tackling the longest of the Psalms, 119. I hope you'll come back to celebrate with me.
May the favour of the Lord our God be on us. Establish for us all that we do, establish it firmly.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Inspired by . . . Sing to Jesus: Day 29

Continuing the #write31day challenge  . . . you can find the entire series here.

Today's Reading:

Today's Offering:

The voice of the Lord! Psalm 29

We see here a voice, a sound such as our ear has never known.  Breath, the breath of God that resonates so as to shatter cedars and cause the deer to give birth! 

The voice of the Lord! Genesis 1

We see here that God spoke and created the heavens and the earth.

The voice of the Lord! John 1

We see here that God was not alone when He spoke the heavens and earth into existence.  "The Word was in God's presence and what God was, the Word was." 


"So the Word became flesh; He made His home among us, and we saw His glory, such glory as befits the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth." (vs 14)

The voice of the Lord - the Word of God: Jesus Christ! Colossians 1

We see here that in Him, that is Jesus, "everything in heaven and on earth was created, not only things visible but also the invisible orders of thrones, sovereignties, authorities, and powers; the whole universe has been created through Him and for Him." (vs 16)

The voice of the Lord is powerful to make flames of fire burst forth spontaneously and yet a gentle word from Jesus was enough to heal, even those who were far off, of their infirmity. (Matt 15:18; Mark 5:23, etc)

These are the Truths that Psalm 29 awaken to my mind as I read.

What Truths of God are you pondering today?

Blessings on your Sabbath,

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Inspired by . . . Sing to Jesus: Day 28

Continuing the #write31day challenge  . . . you can find the entire series here.

Today's Reading:

Today's Offering:

There are days when we require mercy. We know what we deserve and we, like David, plead with God to spare us. (Psalm 28:2)

From the greatness of His love, His mercy comes. A currency we could never earn. The chains of death yield only to the blood of Christ.

Blessed be the Lord, for He has heard my voice as I plead for mercy.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Inspired by . . . Sing to Jesus: Day 27

Continuing the #write31day challenge  . . . you can find the entire series here.

Today's Reading:

Today's Offering:

Who or what have you placed at the center of your life? That one person/thing that your world revolves around that brings order and sense to everything else.

Is it a child? a mate? a job? yourself? another family member? your church, activity or sport?

Really examine your life. Look at your bank account (where you spend your money) and how you spend your time. Is there a balance or does everything point to one of the things listed above? 

Any one of the things listed above is expendable. I don't need to tell you how. If you're honest, you will see the truth of it for yourself.

When you look at David's life and the long, dangerous path to the day when he finally claimed the throne you see the truth of his claim in Psalm 27: "The Lord is the stronghold of my life."

Stronghold: fortress, home, refuge, center

The psalms speak again and again to the worth of putting God first in your life.

He is our Saviour.
His love is sure and unfailing.
He protects us by the strength of His love.
His faithfulness is everlasting.
He heals our broken spirit and binds our wounds.
He waters the earth and feeds the birds.
He blesses us and brings us peace.

These truths about God barely touch the surface of Who He is.

Do you know Him? More importantly, have you put Him at the very CENTER of your life?

When something good happens do you go to Him first with praise?
When something bad happens do you go to Him first for help?
When you need direction, comfort, affirmation do you seek answers from Him first?

You'll never get God's voicemail, He'll never put you on hold or ask you to wait for the next commercial.

He is always available. In fact, He's waiting to hear from YOU now.

I shall praise You among the peoples, Lord, among the nations I shall raise a psalm to You, for Your unfailing love is high as the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Inspired by . . . Sing to Jesus: Day 26

Continuing the #write31day challenge  . . . you can find the entire series here.

Today's Reading:

Today's Offering:

As I sit down to pray Psalm 26 I stumble over the second part of verse one. 
Lord, uphold my cause, for I have led a blameless life.
The truth is, I haven't led a blameless life. Every day I fail to meet the standard set forth in God's word. I fight the flesh every day. Sometimes it wins. That's the truth.

But there is also this truth:

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1)
His mercy and grace are given every time we ask. Every time we repent of our sin, again we are redeemed. And, although we may remember our sins (and continually beat ourselves up over them), God does not. That is part of the magic and mystery of Christ's sacrifice. Once we confess our sins it is like they never happened. God remembers them no more.

That is why we, along with David, can truly pray, Lord, uphold my cause, for I have led a blameless life!

Psalm 56 is another psalm that has held great comfort for me. Have you ever been wounded by the words of another? (vs 5) It's awe-inspiring to think about, but God cares, even about these seemingly small hurts. He takes note of our grief and records every tear. (vs 8) Why would God, the Creator of the universe do this? Because,

There is nothing little in God;
His steadfast love is like Himself - 
it is infinite. You cannot measure it.
~ C.H. Spurgeon

The remaining three psalms hold great comfort for us, as well as words to praise our Lord, Who is most worthy to be praised. I'll highlight just a few of the verses I have underlined in my Bible.
Lord, teach me Your way, that I may walk in Your truth. Let me worship Your name with undivided heart. (Psalm 86:11) 
My heart, be at peace once more, for the Lord has granted you full deliverance. (Psalm 116:7)
Praise the Lord. As long as I live I shall praise the Lord; I shall sing psalms to my God all my life long. (Psalm 146:2)


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Inspired by . . . Sing to Jesus: Day 25

Continuing the #write31day challenge  . . . you can find the entire series here.

Today's Reading:

Today's Offering:

I love Lauren Daigle's song, Loyal. It speaks of God's love and attitude toward us. His love is loyal. Faithful. Unchanging. Eternal.

Loyalty is hard to find these days. Sometimes even within our own family. The very place we think we are -and ought to be- safe.

If someone has "broken faith," if your "own dear friend" has treated you with scorn I pray you will find comfort and hope in Psalm 25 and 55 today.

Psalm 85 contains a favorite verse of mine.
Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed. (vs 10)
These words inspired me to write The Dance of the Cross.

Psalms 115 and 145 are both beautiful songs of praise. Let's give Him glory for His love and faithfulness today!
The Lord is righteous in all His ways, faithful in all He does; the Lord is near to all who call to Him, to all who call to Him in sincerity. (Psalm 145:17)


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Inspired by . . . Sing to Jesus: Day 24

Continuing the #write31day challenge  . . . you can find the entire series here.

Today's Reading:

Today's Offering:

My guess is that most of you probably don't read fantasy fiction, beyond maybe the occasional J.R. Tolkien or C.S. Lewis and, frankly, you won't find much better or more divinely inspired brilliance. 

Except for the Bible.

Psalm 114 reads like a paragraph out of a fantasy novel. I don't know if you're one who takes the Bible literally or figuratively (there are passages that lend themselves to either) but my take is that since the earth and everything in it belongs to God (Psalm 24:1) and the wind and seas obeyed the Word of our Lord, the scenes described in Psalm 114 are certainly possible.

We, humans, tend to believe only what we can wrap our 5 senses around. While it's unlikely (but not impossible) that any of us will witness the earth dance in His presence or see God turn a rock into a pool of water in our lifetime, God can, and will, move heaven and earth in the figurative sense, in your life. 

God is the helper and sustainer of your life. (Psalm 54:4)

He withholds no good thing from those whose life is blameless. (Psalm 84:11)

Although we are no more than a puff of wind, our lives no more than a fleeting shadow (Psalm 144:3), He continues to bless us with abundant life. Not only on earth but, more importantly, in eternity with Him.

Now that's a happy ending in my book!


Monday, October 23, 2017

Inspired by . . . Sing to Jesus: Day 23

Continuing the #write31day challenge  . . . you can find the entire series here.

Today's Reading:

Today's Offering:

Arguably the most recognized of all the Psalms, I couldn't possibly offer anything here about Psalm 23 that hasn't already been said, except maybe this: if you haven't read Phillip Keller's A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, I highly recommend you do.

Psalm 53 echoes Romans 1 which was echoed by my Pastor in his sermon on Daniel 5 this past Sunday.  His earnest plea should resonate with all of us:
You are an unending soul and you have an appointment with the Most High God.
I'm not going to go into the tribal history of Psalm 83. The truth is, Israel had a lot of enemies then and they have those same enemies today. If you are a Christan, Israel's enemies are your enemies. Let verse 8 be a caution to you. The enemy sometimes comes from within. The key verse here is verse 16, "Heap shame on their heads until, Lord, they seek Your name."  Remember, God is not willing that ANY should perish.

Psalm 113 is a sweet song to sing to Jesus today. The last verse is one that I long-prayed over a barren friend who now has more children than she knows what to do with. Her womb remains barren but her heart and her home are full.

For those whose spirits are failing, whose hearts are numb with despair, Psalm 143 offers comfort and hope for you today. 
Revive me, Lord, for the honour of Your name; be my Deliverer; release me from my distress.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Inspired by . . . Sing to Jesus: Day 22

Continuing the #write31day challenge  . . . you can find the entire series here.

Today's Reading:

Today's Offering:

If your Bible has sub-titles, unlike mine, Psalm 22 may be labeled: The Suffering, Praise, and Posterity of the Messiah. In my Bible, I have handwritten: Suffering Servant.

Do you see your Savior in these verses?
My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? (vs 1)
But I am a worm, not a man, abused by everyone, scorned by the people. (vs 6)
Regarding verses 11-21 Matthew Henry says:
Here is Christ suffering. David indeed was often in trouble, and beset with enemies; but many of the particulars here specified are such as were never true of David, and therefore must be appropriated to Christ in the depth of His humiliation.
Yet, even after all of this, the psalmist says, "May you always be in good heart!" Indeed, those of us who have experienced the righteous deeds of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ can, with a good heart, declare, "The Lord has acted!"

I hope you will take the time today to read through and meditate on the remaining psalms in today's reading. There is much encouragement to be had from these verses.

In all His promises the Lords keeps faith, He is unchanging in all His works;

Blessings on your Sabbath,

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Inspired by . . . Sing to Jesus: Day 21

Continuing the #write31day challenge  . . . you can find the entire series here.

Today's Reading:

Today's Offering:

At first glance, Psalm 21 may not seem applicable to our modern lives, far removed from kings and kingdoms. But we can learn much from King David. Not only from the chronicle of his life, recorded in previous books of the Bible but perhaps even more so from the Psalms written for and by him. For it is in the psalms where we see David's heart.

What do we see in Psalm 21? We see the powerful and anointed King David giving all the glory to God. His victories in battle, his rise to the kingship, everything David has or has accomplished he attributes to his Lord. 

This humility was not a one-time thing in David's life. It was a pattern and, I believe, his humility before God was one of the reasons God called him a man after His own heart.

The pattern of humility continues in Psalm 51. 
Against You only have I sinned and have done was displeases; (vs 4)
God, create a pure heart for me, and give me a new and steadfast spirit. (vs 10)
God, my sacrifice is a broken spirit; You, God, will not despise a chastened heart. (vs 17)
There are parts of Psalm 51 I pray often. I hope you will too.

In Psalm 81 we again find Asaph, one of David's lead musicians, praising God and speaking the cry of God's heart, "If My people would but listen to Me . . ." (vs 13) You can almost feel the anguish God must feel when His people ignore His word. It reminds me of Christ weeping over Jerusalem.

Psalm 111 is one to sing to Jesus and holds a hidden gem:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and they who live by it grow in understanding. (vs 10)
Finally, Psalm 141 holds a prayer that many of us might find beneficial to pray often:
Lord, set a guard on my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips, (vs 3)
Praise the Lord! With all my heart I shall give thanks to the Lord. Great are the works of the Lord. His deeds are full of majesty and wonder; His righteousness stands sure for ever. In the name of Jesus, Amen.


Friday, October 20, 2017

Inspired by . . . Sing to Jesus: Day 20

Continuing the #write31day challenge  . . . you can find the entire series here.

Today's Reading:

Today's Offering:

Are you facing a battle today? Then Psalm 20 is for you. This psalm is the prayer of the king on the eve of battle. But you can make it your own. God is faithful.

Psalm 50 contains some verses that may challenge our understanding and view of God.
God, the Lord God, has spoken and summoned the world (vs 1)
When you have done these things, and kept silent, you thought that I was someone like yourself; (vs 21)
The whole world? Yes. Summoned them (us) to what? Listen. Follow. Act.

How often do we bring God down to our level? and view Him and His actions on human terms. There is a clear warning here.

The following psalms, 80 and 110, point to the Messiah and fill us with hope for the future.
Let Your hand rest on the one at Your right side, the one whom you have made strong for Your service. (Psalm 80:17)
Sit at my right hand, and I shall make your enemies your footstool. (Psalm 110:1 cf Matt 22:42-45)
You are a priest for ever, a Melchizedek in My service. (Psalm 110:4 cf Heb 7:17)
Oh, Beloved, these verses stir my soul and ignite my anticipation for Advent . . . just a few weeks away!

Truly Jesus is God's answer to our pleas for mercy!

I wonder how often Jesus sang these songs about Himself and wept over the blindness of those who listened.

Let us not be deaf to their message today.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Inspired by . . . Sing to Jesus: Day 19

Continuing the #write31day challenge  . . . you can find the entire series here.

Today's Reading:

Today's Offering:

I'm overwhelmed by today's readings. I could spend a day expounding on each one. Psalm 19 ends with a prayer that we would be wise to begin with:
Cleanse me of any secret fault. Hold back Your servant also from willful sins, lest they get the better of me.
The psalm begins by putting us properly in a place of humility before the awesome and awe-inspiring God we serve. (vs 1-6)

Psalm 49 reminds us that we could never pay the price for our sins. (vs 7) and assures us that God will do what we cannot. (vs 15)

Psalm 79 is a cry for national justice. This psalm is one of three that are attributed to Asaph, one of David's chief musicians. He was a Levite, in Jerusalem at the time it was overtaken by the Babylonians. 

In contrast, Psalm 109 is a cry for personal justice. I find it hard sometimes to concur with the complete lack of compassion in some of these verses. But it's important to remember that David was God's chosen and anointed king. For the same reason that David would not lift a hand against Saul, actions taken against David were viewed as being taken against God Himself.

I think it is difficult for us to see sin as the dark evil it truly is. We prefer to view things in shades of grey. [click to tweet]

Psalm 139 wraps everything neatly together. Reminding us that, "You Lord know all about it." And that no matter where we are, God is with us.

I can't decide which is the better prayer to end with, so I'm incorporating them both!

May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my mind be acceptable to You, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer! (Psalm 19:14)

Examine me, God, and know my mind; test me, and understand my anxious thoughts.  Watch lest I follow any path that grieves You; lead me in the everlasting way. (Psalm 139:23-24)

In the name of Jesus, Amen.