1 year ago
Whatever you’re seeking, the Psalms will help you find more of Jesus, and in the end, that’s what really matters. Let the honesty of the Psalms guide you into a deep and genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart”
The only person that can truly motivate you, is yourself. Others can speak words of inspiration to encourage you, but you are solely responsible for your motivation toward your responsibilities. Obviously, you have many responsibilities, but your greatest function is to bless, worship, and praise God for who He is, and what He is doing in your life. David saw the need to exhort his readers to thankfully acknowledge the benefits of Almighty God. His benefits and blessings are too numerous to name, but you encounter them continually. The more bountifully God’s benefits and blessings are bestowed upon humanity, the more easily they are taken for granted and soon forgotten. Therefore, every follower of Christ must be deliberate to “Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name."
Praise constitutes the key motif in Psalm 30. David opens this song with the words, “I will extol you” and his concluding words are, “I will give thanks to you forever.” This genuinely epitomizes how the follower of Christ should live their life. David not only praises God himself but he calls upon all followers of the Lord to join him in praise. Because we share the common denominators of life with David, everyone experiences adversity on a variety of fronts. You can identify with the best known and frequently quoted verse 5 of the psalm “Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.” Because of God’s favor, God acts on behalf of His own. Therefore, His worshippers have reason to praise Him both individually and as a community.
Psalm 27 is one of the best known and most comforting psalms in the Psalter. David expressed his complete confidence that God would take care of the him when troubles come. Everyone understands that trouble and difficulty will find them. The question is, Do you have the same undercurrent of trust in God that David did? Is you tone and demeanor confident and not desperate when you are in hardship and need? You can know with certainty that God’s presence and guidance is available to you so that you weather the storm and live victoriously through Jesus Christ the Lord.
Psalm 106 is a companion of Psalm 105. Sin and grace are their respected themes. The psalmist begins by praising Yahweh for His steadfast love, mentioning His mighty works, and affirming the importance of keeping Yahweh’s commands. When the two psalms are placed in a juxtaposition you clearly see the faithfulness of Yahweh, His mighty deeds performed, and His extraordinary patience in Israel’s behalf. This is in stark contrast to the mournful details of Israel’s sin, their lawlessness, rebellion, and how quickly they forgot God’s faithfulness to them. Sadly, Israel’s history is filled with faithlessness and ingratitude. This Psalm begins and ends with Hallelujah—“Praise ye the Lord.” The follower of Christ must reflect a perpetual attitude of “praising the Lord” and “giving Him thanks in everything.” You will do well to embrace and follow such hortatory words to “bless the Lord at the beginning and the end of your day.”
Sometimes you just cannot help it. You feel worthless, without meaning, and wonder what is your purpose in life. You feel empty, exhausted, robotic, just going through the motions. You’re not sure if you want to be plugged in and recharged or just allow the small remaining power to be depleted. You do believe that God created you with intrinsic value. You do admit that you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” but presently you’re struggling to rediscover who you are and why you are here. You really need a “But God Moment” where your needs intersect with the promises of God. God is omniscient and I want to assure you that you can have confidence in God’s love and in His ability to discern and perceive the nature and needs of your life. God has complete knowledge of you, in intimate and comprehensive terms. He has planned your life with great care. He knows everything about you. He knows you by name and He knows the way that you take. Sacred Scripture has wonderful news for you. God’s Word declares that God has purpose and meaning for your life. Open your spirit and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s message to you.
t is interesting that two polar opposite emotions; anger and joy, often receive the same reaction -- shouting! When you are upset and mad, the decibels in your voice intensify, and you shout. You shout because you want others to know that you have great consternation about something and you want to be heard. Likewise, when joyous and wonderful things happen, your voice projection greatly increases as well and you are shouting loudly for happiness. You want others to know that you are truly elated about some invigorating event. Today, is “shout’n time.” I want you to fulfill your Biblical mandate and “Shout joyfully to the Lord.” Psalm 100 is a song, a hymn of acknowledging God’s goodness and grace within your life. It is a time to praise God with exhilarating and exuberant shouting. The psalmist exhorted the congregation and all the earth to serve the Lord with gladness, because He is the Creator. They were to enter His temple with much thanksgiving, because He is good and faithful. He gives a clarion call to “shout joyfully” and provides the rationale for one’s thanksgiving. This mandate is still active and necessary for the 21st century church.
This psalm is a psalm of trust and thanksgiving that focuses on the God of Eternity, who is the only refuge. It is a song of praise, celebrating deliverance from some great foe. This hymn may have been written when the Assyrian army invaded Judea and surrounded Jerusalem during Hezekiah’s reign (2 Kings 18:13-19:37). The siege around the city produced great fear among the people and there appeared to be no deliverance for them. Defeat seemed imminent. How many times have you said in exasperation, “Will this ever end?” “Will things ever change?” “Is it ever going to be easier?” “I am so tired of the battle.” A spirit of defeat will produce striving and fear in your life. Paul tells you that God has not given you the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Therefore, you are not to be fearful about your situation. God has empowered you through the Holy Spirit to live in power, love, and discipline. Striving and just working harder can cause you to try and push your own way forward rather than trusting God to produce His way for you. The “lack of trust” is just as crippling as the “spirit of fear.” The great encouragement from this psalm is for you to cease from warlike activities because of your fears and your lack of trust in God because of your circumstances. In order to live victoriously in your covenant relationship with Jesus Christ, you must acknowledge God’s sovereignty over your life, surrender to Him, and celebrate the presence of God. The threefold confession by the author in verses 1, 7, and 11 presents God in a very personal way to His followers. “A Mighty Fortress is Our God!”
One thing humanity has in common is burdens. This world if full of burdens to be carried. Burdens have no respect of persons. Sorrow and trouble comes to everyone. Job declared in dealing with his own burdens. “For man is born for trouble, As the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7) and “Man, who is born of woman, is short-lived and full of turmoil” (14:1). The question is not, do you have burdens but how do you handle the burdens you face? As a follower of Christ, you have the promises of God to rely upon and appropriate in every situation in your life. When facing trials too great to bear, God invites you to “cast your burdens and cares upon Him.” He will bear the weight of your need and will sustain you in every situation. One of Jesus’ many invitations to those in need is recorded in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give your rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” As you navigate through life, you have to move from despair, to complaint, to confidence in God through Jesus Christ the Lord. Your development and maturity moves you from despair to trust that Jesus Christ will free you from your insurmountable burdens and give you rest, peace, and the Holy Sprit to lead you victoriously through life. It is time for you to begin casting your cares upon God and entering into your rest.
Last week in Psalm 55, David cried out for God to hear his prayer, to be attentive to his need and to respond accordingly. He was concerned if God was listening to his prayer and if he had God's undivided attention. Every follower of Christ feels that way from time to time as you navigate your way through difficult times. Psalm 116 answers those troubling questions that surface in your mind. In verses 1-4, God heard the psalmist plea for help and delivered him from danger. In verses 5-11, the psalmist proclaimed God's goodness and deliverance for his life. In verses 12-19, the author vows to repay God by his commitment to serve him with thanksgiving. In this weeks psalm, the author praises God and vows to love God because God heard and responded to his prayer for mercy. Therefore, he declares that he will call on God as long as he lives.There are myriad reasons why believers love God the Father and Jesus Christ the Lord. When you survey the wonders of His love for you, His forgiveness of your sin, His promises made to you, His power mightily at work in you, and His imminent return to establish God’s eternal kingdom are some of the reasons. Your love for God is sincere and you are deeply and passionately committed to serving Him all the days of your life so you can live with God for all eternity.
When you encounter a detour or an abrupt stop. When you are stuck and cannot break free of your circumstances. When things do not align with your meticulous planning and the stitching is unraveling. How many time have you been told or you told someone to wait patiently? Those words jostle your spirit when you hear them. Hurry up and wait does not align with most peoples thinking when there are pressing issues to be solved. An immediate response, not waiting for slow moving developments, is front and center in many’s thought process. However, when you try to resolve things too quickly, you can get ahead of the situation and you can cause greater anxiety and frustration in your life. By waiting, and receiving greater clarity in your present distress can produce deliverance for you. Waiting patiently does not mean to wait passively and doing nothing. You have to lean forward with anticipation and expectation to receive a word and direction from the Lord. By doing so, God will use every situation for your betterment and development. “All things do work together for your good, if you love God.” Not only are you blessed, but your experiences will lead others to see and trust in the Lord. There is great value for those who, “Wait patiently for the Lord.” David testified that God heard him and helped him by doing five things: He turned to him, noticing his plight, He heard his cry, He lifted him out of the pit, He set his feet on a rock, giving him a firm place to stand, and God placed a new song of praise in his mouth. God will do the same for you!
Last week I preached on the importance of exercising patience in your distress and not attempting to get ahead of God and His plan. This week I want to address what do you do, if your situation is so dire and urgent that there is no time to wait patiently? You need help and you need it now. What do you do? First, the follower of Christ reaches out to the loving kindness of God the Father as the Israelites did in their troubles. You are advised four times by the author that the Israelites “cried to the Lord in their trouble, and each time God saved and delivered them from their distress” (107:6, 13, 19, 28). The psalmist motivates you to praise God by portraying how He delivered His people out of the wilderness, broke the bonds of prisoners, restored the sick, showed His power to mariners in the sea, and providentially governs nature and human affairs. God and His power is not bound in any way, “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil 2:13). Everything that happens in the life of the believer is for a reason. It is extremely important that you understand what God is doing in you and why He is allowing it to happen. God will help you in your distress and will lead you to deliverance and victory. I want to highlight verses 19-21 and remind you how necessary and powerful the Sacred Scriptures––God’s Holy Word is for your life.
Perhaps you remember the lyrics from the Simon & Garfunkel song "The Sound Of Silence” from 1964––“Hello, darkness, my old friend I've come to talk with you again.” The battle between light and darkness is real and the intensity of the battle has escalated to epic proportions and the rage shows no sign of digression. Myriad indicators in life point to the frequent conversation that far too many people are having with darkness. In the above mentioned song, darkness is referred to as their “old friend.” What has happened that so many have surrendered to the darkness and entered into friendship and even partnership with its destructive nature? Darkness, evil and death have always been synonymous with each other. Jesus declared “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed (John 3:20). Choosing to live in darkness is not the right choice.
Psalm 91 is a beautiful testimony about security in life that is afforded to those who trust God. You are taught that God watches over the safety of His people, and never fails them in the hour of danger. The psalmist was convinced that there is protection in trusting the only true and living God. He encouraged himself and encourages every follower of Christ the he/you will be delivered from the many attacks of the wicked enemy. The author expressed the security of those whose trust is fully in God. It assures the believer that God will be your refuge and that you may seek His protection in times of spiritual and physical danger. You are exhorted to advance through all perils, secure in the confidence of God’s protection. Trusting is not always easy, but it is always necessary and filled with blessings. Many talk of God’s providence, and profess to believe that He exercises a special guardianship over His followers/children. However, too few are actually entrusting their safety to Him. Those who commit themselves with full confidence to the protection of God, shall receive it more fully. The more you make your dwelling with Him, deliverance will be afforded you from God and you will receive His wonderful blessings.
Psalm 37:4 is a familiar verse written by King David. It is one of those verses that excite the reader because it helps one see their way forward with hope. Receiving the desires of your heart is such a powerful promise that it will motivate anyone to keep pushing forward because there is good news ahead and wonderful things will soon happen. At a first reading, it may appear to be a promise that when you do one thing, you receive something else in return: Quid Pro Quo. You can understand why this verse is often taken out of context and people almost see God as a genie; that, “If you delight in Him, He will grant you whatever your heart desires.” Is this what this verse is implying? What exactly does King David mean in this Psalm? Let’s examine first what it means to “delight yourself in the Lord” before racing to a conclusion about God giving you the “desires of your heart.” I know it is more thrilling to get the cart ahead of the horse but you cannot complete your journey when you have the sequence out of order. Completing the journey properly is of divine essence. Therefore, you must correctly understand this verse so that you can properly apply the truth of Sacred Scriptures to your life and receive the promise that God has given you.
Often you are so glad to see the closing of one day and the fresh expectations that come with a “New Day Dawning.” Hoping and praying that the pain and disillusionment from the day will not carry over to tomorrow. Somehow, someway, things will change and will be different with the rising of the sun.
t is such a blessing to have someone watching over you. Someone that always has your best interest at heart. It provides a deep layer of comfort and peace to know that a guardian always has their eyes upon you. No matter how young or old, children take great solace in knowing that their parents are always there for them. They know they always have their child’s best interest before them; they are guardians for life. A husband and wife who knows without hesitation that their spouse is there to help and protect them and will always be by their side. Some people boast of having a guardian angel that is always with them making sure that they are properly provided for and protected. Everyone is grateful for human and angelic guardians that are always near and watchful over their well being. As a follower of Christ, you have something far greater than a human or angel watching over you. God the Father, who created the heavens and the earth, watches over every one of His children.
Psalm 117 is the shortest of all the songs of Psalms consisting of only two verses. The motif of this praise song focuses on the love of God. This hymn calls on all nations and people groups to worship the Lord who demonstrates perpetual love, loyalty and faithfulness to His people. God’s divine character promised by the covenant is applied here to all people on earth. God’s people are called to the obligation and the occasion of praise. How blessed we are to be called. During the Old Testament period, we encounter people from other nations, Ruth–Moab, Naaman–Syria, Uriah–Hittite who joined Israel in praising God. In the New Testament, the Gentiles from around the world join the Jewish people in their praise of God through Jesus Christ the Lord. This psalm is an invitation to people everywhere to praise the Lord. You would be wise to accept the invitation to praise and worship the only true and living God and make Him the reason for living your life. Praise the Lord because our God inhabits the praises of His people!