Thursday, March 26, 2015

Do you desire the glory of God?

READ Psalms 57-58

Twice in Psalm 57 David prays the same prayer: “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!” (5, 11) What a beautiful prayer. But do you know what he is actually praying?

First, we must remember and acknowledge that God’s glory is already over all the earth. “ The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1) And Paul tells us in Romans 1:19-20 that, “what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” All of creation is displaying the wonder of God’s attributes. In a very real sense, God’s glory was over all the earth before David prayed this prayer. So what was he praying?

Clearly, the only thing left concerning the glory of God being over all the earth is for the people of the earth to acknowledge his glory. David was praying that people of every tribe, tongue and nation would come to a knowledge of the glory of God. And how can they come to this knowledge? Only through the Lord Jesus Christ. “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)

David was praying for the true worship of God to come to all peoples. He was praying for peoples everywhere to come to know God and believe in him and surrender their lives to him. David was praying for missions!

Is that the desire of your heart today? If so, what are you doing about it?

Prayer: Father, fill my heart with the wonder of your glory. Fill me with the desire to see others know you in all your glory. Help me to use my time and my talents and my treasure to see the message of your glory go throughout the earth.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Gravitational potential energy

READ Psalm 53-54

54:4 says, “Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.” Picture a brace or support holding up a wall during construction. That is the meaning of the word “upholder.” This brace keeps the wall from falling. In fact, if there were no brace, the wall would always fall. The brace keeps the wall upright where it’s supposed to be.

Science tells us that a wall or any object placed upright on one end has what is called “stored gravity” or gravitational potential energy. Gravitational potential energy is the energy stored in an object as the result of its vertical position or height. What that means is that any object so standing will inevitably fall if pushed to its “tipping point.”

Do you see God as your brace? Are you always aware that it is not your own power or strength that allows you to stand? Are you conscious of that “gravitational potential energy” in you known as the principle of sin that dwells within us (Romans 7:15-20)? Yes, every one of us when tempted (pushed toward our tipping point) will fall were it not for the fact that God is holding us up. He is our “upholder,” our brace, our support.

Recognize this truth. It is God who is at work within you both to will and to do his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Constantly and consciously depend on him to help you stand.

Prayer: Father, were it not for you we would always fall. Thank you that you are faithful to uphold us and to keep us standing. Help us to rely on you and trust in you always for your grace and strength in our lives.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Heart Sacrifices

READ Psalm 51-52

True worship of God is always a matter of the innermost disposition of the worshiper. Jesus said, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) David helps us to see this from an OT perspective: “For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (51:16-17)

It doesn’t seem that David is saying that God does not want the sacrificial system that he has instituted for OT believers because in v. 19 David speaks of God delighting in them. Rather David is saying that God does not delight in sacrifice or burnt offering that is given from a worshiper who is not broken in spirit and contrite of heart before him. This strikes at the heart of our worship today. Do we offer worship to God from a broken and contrite heart. Or do we try to worship from a proud heart? Or from a distracted heart? Or from a bitter and angry heart? Or any kind of heart that is not humble and contrite before God?

Let us humble ourselves and draw near to God as he has promised: “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” (James 4:6)  

Prayer: Father, help us to humble ourselves before you. You have promised that the one to whom you will look is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at your word. So help us to live with a spirit of humility and contrition before you at all times, for all of our lives are to be an act of worship.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Never, No Never, Forsaken

READ Psalm 43-44

In one of my favorite passages in the NT one of the verses from our Psalms today is quoted. The verse is 44:22, “Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” Taken out of its setting, you might have a difficult time remembering exactly where it is in the NT. Here in the Psalms the verse is pointing out the fact that God’s people have at times suffered death because of their faith.

Paul takes this verse and plops it down in the middle of Romans 8 where he is reminding believers that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God in Christ…even death. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God 's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died —more than that, who was raised — who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “ For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39)

What a blessed assurance for us as the Lord’s people. Glory!

Prayer: Father, thank you again for the reminder of your grace and your steadfast love. That you that we have nothing to fear, not even death. Help us to see death in the victory of the cross because it simply delivers us into your eternal presence.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Fill my cup, Lord!

READ Psalms 41-42

Jesus said, ““ Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6) David expresses this exact desire in the first two verses of Psalm 42, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” In some way the enemies of David have managed to cut him off from attending the worship in the temple and he longs for the presence of God.

May I ask if you are experiencing that same thirst? Do you truly thirst for God “as a deer pants” for the water? Imagine a deer running through the mountains. Perhaps he has been startled by a predator or a hunter and he is fleeing for his life. He runs and he runs and he runs. Finally, tongue hanging out and breaths coming in great gasping gulps, he searches for the one thing that will satisfy him…water.

Only God can satisfy the longing of our hearts. Only God can fill the need of our soul. We must, as Jesus said, continually hunger and thirst for him. Is your spiritual tongue hanging out from weariness or frustration? Are you gasping for something to satisfy your thirst? Perhaps you might be trying to “fill your cup” with the wrong things; with substitutes for the living water. It’s time to pour out the substitutes, the false gods (Jeremiah 2:13) and let God fill your cup with himself.

Prayer: Fill my cup, Lord. I lift it up, Lord. Come and quench this thirsting of my soul. Bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more. Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.