Monday, August 31, 2009

Psalm 94 – Futile

Psalm 94 – Futile
I sometimes wonder why God puts up with us. Why he puts up with the wicked, why he deals with people who curse Him. Why he allows agnostics or atheists to breath the breathe he gives them. He doesn’t have to…but he does it because he loves us, he created us…and knows us.
The LORD knows the thoughts of man; he knows that they are futile.
And we also know that the Lord disciplines those he loves
Blessed is the man you discipline, O LORD, the man you teach from your law
So this is a great reminder for those seasons that we feel like oppressed, like the Psalmist…and we feel that people are getting over on us…that the ‘amoral’ person has the upper hand in life…as we see them screw their way to the top. God places the seasons of discipline in our lives…so that we can grow in character, learn to trust Him more, see His love for us in all things…and ultimately for our good and His glory!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Psalm 93 – Merely Waves

Psalm 93 – Merely Waves

The seas have lifted up, O LORD, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea— the LORD on high is mighty. Psalm 93:3-4

Im reminded and comforted this morning that God is on His throne. Whatever comes against us, speaks against us, persecutes us..will not prevail.

God’s kingdom is immovable, unchangeable and eternal.

This morning, my heart was thinking about a friend who stepped down from the church he pastored for 9 plus years. How what seems like a huge wave not only to him, his staff and his flock….is merely God moving. I pray for all of them to keep their focus on His Glory. Not to let the one who confuses or lies, keep them (or us) from advancing the Kingdom for His glory. His Kingdom will advance regardless

The Creator will not be taken down or lessened by the creation.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Psalm 92 – Finish Strong

Psalm 92 – Finish Strong

I really don’t consider myself old. I seriously feel and behave like I’m in my 20’s (aside from the naps). But as a 42 year old dude, I am the guy, who 15 years ago…I was wanting to emulate. I think it is so important to be an example, to finish strong…and I pray like the Psalmist here is saying….that my latter years are even more productive than my earlier ones.
Verse 14 states (The Righteous) will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.
Knowing that it’s Christ’s Righteousness that allows us to bear fruit, I pray that I can continue to position myself to pour into other men, to be the guy that encourages guys to put their trust, and plant their roots in the Lord.
I think about Paul….and his analogy of ‘the race’…..and at the end of his life/ministry he was kicking to the finish line. He still had a lot in him….God, keep me fresh and green.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Psalm 91 – Close

Psalm 91 – Close

God’s peace, God’s protection God’s Will.
All the protection that God provides….are for those who dwell in the shelter of the most high. One thing this passage screams to me this morning is STAY CLOSE! We must be close to be ‘in His shadow’ or ‘under his wing’.

And Happy Birthday Mom!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Psalm 90 - Knuckleheads

Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

I love this verse this verse this morning. To me, this verse is saying….give us perspective, Kingdom perspective, so that we aren’t knuckleheads.
I think if we truly gain perspective of the time we have on earth…as compared to eternity, things begin to look a lot different. The temporal things we work so hard for, pale in comparison. The lost brother…while he may be a screw up and be almost unlovable on earth….is condemned to die for sin.
I almost wonder if most of us don’t believe that Hell is a real place, or that separation from God…isn’t such a bad thing, for eternity.
God, I pray in my own life…that you wreck my stupid materialist, consumer, self-focused, temporal, insolent perspectives…and give me fresh new love for people and a heart of wisdom to minister to them. Protect me and my family as we wade through the mess where culture and Kingdom collide.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Psalm 89 - Rogues Waves

You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them. You crushed Rahab like one of the slain Psalm 89:9-10
At first glance I was a little surprised at this analogy….and I had to find out, why Rahab.
In this instance the Psalmist is either talking about a sea creature…or the guardian angel of Egypt. Either way…it represents chaos in the bible.
This morning I think about the headline I just read…Waves Pull 20 People to Sea. Hurricane now Tropical Storm Bill Skirted the eastern coast and is now headed back out to sea….caused huge rogue waves in Maine. Large enough to wash 20 people out to sea, including a 7 year old girl and her parents. The parents survived and the girl did not.
When there is chaos and devastation….it is a grim reminder for those closest to it, that death is real. It escapes no one….
47-48 Remember how fleeting is my life. For what futility you have created all men! What man can live and not see death, or save himself from the power of the grave? Selah
James 4 says that life is but a mist….here today and gone tomorrow.
The Psalmist asks, like we all would in this instance….”where is your great love, which in your faithfulness you swore to David?” And for us….that great love is manifest in Jesus, on the cross….in the grave…..resurrected!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Psalm 80 – Vine

Psalm 80 – Vine
I love the vine reference and how the verses in John were probably based on this scripture.
“If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit”
Apparently the vineyard the Psalmist is talking about, has recently been bearing fruit. However with the state of the church, the fruits were being plucked by anyone who passed by, the wild boars were devouring and all the creatures of the fields were feeding on it.
The language though is a little different.
“look down from heaven and see, watch over the vine”
“your vine is cut down, burned with fire”
Even in these scriptures that have very similar language, I just realized that we have a more personal God. One who is with us, via the Holy Spirit, one who has said, “surely I am with you” and “remain in me”.
But I believe that this Psalmist is calling for the Messiah. For the “son, at your right hand” to be raised up, so that we (the Israelites) may be restored, saved.
God thank you for your mercies…your Word…the written and the living. Give us tons of opportunities to love our neighbors this week.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Psalm 79 – Desperate

Psalm 79 – Desperate

I know the Bible, in it’s entirety, is the inspired word of God. But I think if God could hand pick one verse today….and say…..this…..this verse is why this Psalm was written, it would be;
8 Do not hold against us the sins of the fathers; may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need.
I know this is where God wants me. Too often we, like the Israelites, rely on ourselves, our actions, our goodness, our checklists, our scales of justice to determines whether or not God should love us. These things produce arrogance, pride and physically push us further from his goodness.
Last night, right before service started…we had about a 7 minute gully washing rain. I am talking it came down hard. Brandon mentioned in the sermon about how many times we pray for rain…then argue about God’s timing.
Well another thing I have been praying about is the temperature in the building. And at 5:45 is was 80 degrees (and climbing) inside the building. The building is basically a hot tin can laying in the sun…and the insulation and a/c do little on the inside against what the elements are doing on the outside. Factor in a cooling rain on the entire structure…and by the time the service started….inside we were down to 78 degrees and by the end of the service 74. This provision of rain outside, did on the inside…what none of our best efforts couldn’t accomplish.
Coolness of a building and having your temple laid to waste don’t even compare….but He is saying to me this morning… me when you have no control, when you are desperate…and before you become that way.