Category Archives: Psalms

Our Unique Uniqueness

This is a wonderful post by Elder Steve Smith. What is your potential?

Elder Steve - Devotions & Inspirationals

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.”

Psalm 139:14-16 NKJV

   We are all unique and made in God’s image. So much so, as he has given us our own unique and individual fingerprints. Yep. No one else has the same fingerprints as we do. He has also given us our own unique and different eyes. Our eyes have a blueprint in them, a complex pattern that is totally ours. It is amazing to think that of all the billions of people in…

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1 pm CST TODAY

Wednesday November 8

1 pm CST 

Listen to my cancer Testimony at kjyl.org!

Hopefully you can!

Are You Breathing?

Psalm 150  King James Version (KJV)

As we finish up this study on Psalms, I want to thank you for reading my reflections on these 2,461 verses.  It has been a journey I will never forget.  It has taught me that I need to be much more patient than I am, that I need to rely on God much more than I do, and I need to listen for His voice much harder than I have.  The Psalms teach me that God is always for me, that He is always watching out for me and that He loves me more than I can possibly fathom with my feeble human understanding.

There are two results of these lessons learned.  The first is that I find myself much calmer – more at peace – when things just don’t go the way I think they should.  I know my God is bigger than anything that can come my way, and He is in control.  Nothing can harm me past what He will allow.  If He allows some trial or trouble, He is always close by to deliver me once I learn the lesson He is trying to teach me.  Trials are a time when I have to listen carefully for His voice.  I think we often forget that Job had a lengthy conversation with God before he was delivered out of his calamity.  Am I listening close enough to have the same type of conversation?

The second lesson is that I always need to turn to praise.  His praise should be on my lips at every turn of every day – no exceptions.  No matter what the day has brought, no matter what obstacles may try to distract me, no matter how I feel – I should be praising Him.  Not because He has blessed me, not because He has made my path straight, not because He has delivered me out of some trouble.  I should praise Him solely because He is worthy of my praise.  That is enough!

This last Psalm is a culmination of David’s desire to be a blessing to His God.  David calls us to pray with everything we’ve got.  Don’t hold back.  Don’t muffle or silence the praise that He deserves.  Let the whole world know about the awesome God we serve.  He is worthy.

1 Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

Not just in the sanctuary, but out in the open field, we should praise Him.  With all that’s in me, I hope by now you know how important it is to give Him praise!  It is for His good pleasure, but even more it elevates us above the hubbub of this world.  We can forget about our troubles and concentrate on Him when we praise Him.  Way too many Christians only praise Him at church – don’t be one of them!

2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

Two reasons to praise Him.  First, for His mighty acts.   I cannot recount all He has done for me.  The list would go on and on and on.  John said if He listed all the works of Jesus. the world could not contain all the books that would be written (John 21:25).   feel like that for just what He’s done for me!

Praise Him for His excellent greatness.  Just because He is who He is.  Not for anything He has done or provided, but for who He is.  I don’t need any other reason to Praise Him than this.  Many people go through life only praising Him when good things happen.  Then in the down times, they wonder why they feel so alone.  Always praise Him for who He is, not for what He’s done.  This will keep you on top!

3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

Use whatever is at your disposal to give Him praise.  There are thousands of instruments today.  In David’s day, these were the main instruments used at times of worship.  David wants to hear all of them praising the Lord.  For me, I have my voice and my hands.  I am slowly learning to play the piano – very slowly.  I use my voice to praise Him the most.  I am the worship leader at our church, where my wife is the pianist and the pastors wife is the organ player.  They are incredible as both of them play by ear and will adjust the key of the song at the drop of a hat. It is so much fun to sing with their accompaniment.

I remember when I truly learned what worship was all about.  As a young Christian, I was worship leader at our church.  The pastor could not carry a tune at all but He loved to praise the Lord.  Time after time, when I had finished leading and gone to sit down, He would keep singing God’s praises.  He did not care that he was way off tune, or how it sounded.  He just wanted to praise the Lord more.  That spirit of praise was amazing to me, and I have never forgotten it.

6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.

This verse needs no explanation.  I know you are breathing.  Just praise Him!

Upcoming Event!

On Wednesday, November 8th at 1:00 pm Central Time I will be on a local Christian radio station sharing my testimony about the cancer battle I have been going through. The interview was already tapped at my home, and I’m sure you would enjoy it if you can join us. I believe the whole interview will fit into an hour time slot, even though the actual interview is only about 25 minutes, in 4 parts.

You can hear the broadcast where you are by going to https://kinshipradio.org and clicking on the “Listen Live Icon”.   I hope many will be able to listen in!  If you have friends or loved ones who are battling cancer, invite them to listen as well!

Write A New Song

Psalm 149  King James Version (KJV)

1 Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.

As we approach the end of psalms, we see the call to praise the Lord increasing.  This journey through the psalms, which began in September of 2016, has been such a huge blessing to my life.  I now really know what David means when He says “Sing unto the Lord a new song”.  And it is not necessarily what you think.  It carries a much deeper meaning to the psalm writer.

I always thought it meant I should sing in the Spirit, or just make up a song as I went along.  God has given me over 500 such songs in the last year and a half, most of which are posted on my own Psalmist site.   These songs or poems come directly from the Spirit when He prompts me to write them.  They are new songs, and I sing many of them over and over again.  But they are not the type of new song that the writer is talking about.

The song David is discussing here is twofold.  One type of song comes from deep inside us because of our anguish, our distress or our worry over the circumstances that surround us.  We see this again and again throughout the psalms.  I have been amazed at the resiliency of the writer as he faces off with his enemies over and over again.  You can hear his despair in his words, but he always comes back to praise the Lord.  He never allows the circumstance to be bigger than his God.  That praise song elevates him above the fear and doubt we read in the previous verses and pulls him out of the natural into the supernatural realm of God,   When he arrives there, he knows God is in control and he will be vanquished of his enemies.  The song becomes a song of victory because he chose to praise the Lord.

The second song is one of praise to God for His mighty deeds or His Majesty.  The song goes through what God has done for the nation or what He has done for the writer.  It speaks of the awesome love and devotion the Lord has for us.  Some are like lessons in history and others are lessons in the nature of God.  Look at Psalm 23 or Psalm 91, both new songs to the Lord that show us the nature of God and praise Him for His love to us.  Or psalms 78 or 107, both of which recount historical facts about Israel.  These are also new songs, sung to praise the Lord for His past guidance and protection.   These new songs are meant to remind others just who God is, and how he can help us in our everyday lives.

What about you?  Does a new song escape your lips every so often?  Do you find yourself thanking God for blessings that you have received in the past?  Or do you find yourself crying out to God in despair, hooping He will help you through the trials of life?  f either of these apply, you are singing the new song this writer talks about.  You are praising the Lord with a new song!  Just because it s not set to music does not mean it can not be a new song.  So sing aloud your praises to the Lord.  He is worthy of all we can give!

2 Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.

3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

Let us rejoice in Him who made us!  He made us who we are in every facet of our being.  he colored our skin, eyes and hair.  He arranged our face in the pattern He wanted it to be in.  He placed the fingerprint on our fingers, a different one for every human being for all of time.  He gave us our five senses so we could enjoy His creation.  He gave each of us specific talents so we could be productive in our lives.    Some are mechanics, some our food service workers, some are doctors, some are singers – all with talent given by God  to do their appointed tasks.  He has placed in us a mind to think and reason with.  How can we not rejoice in His goodness for all he has done for us!

We should be full of joy!  Enough joy to dance and sound whatever instrument he has blessed us with the talent to play.  For me it is my voice and my hands (clapping). The piano will come!   Let’s praise the Lord!

4 For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.

5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.

Did you ever stop to think about the fact that God takes pleasure in you?  We are always talking about how we take pleasure in Him.  But I have to remember that He takes pleasure in me too.  He takes pleasure when I talk with Him in the morning and lift my requests and my praise before Him.  He takes pleasure when He sees me talking to my wife and sharing life with the women He chose for me 39 years ago.    He takes pleasure when He sees me using the various talents and gifts He has given me.  I can almost hear Him chuckling when something funny happens to me – I have no doubt He enjoys that.   He takes pleasure in us every day.  Please remember that He takes pleasure in you!

In order to be saved, we must confess our sins to Jesus, ask for His forgiveness, turn from our sin, and make Him Lord of our lives.  This takes a meek spirit.  Someone filled with pride will never stoop to do these things.  Someone filled with pride will think they can do it their own way – they don’t need to follow the biblical path.  I am sorry to tell you that if you have not taken these steps because you feel you know better, then pride has you in it’s grips, and God will not give His salvation to the proud.  He gives it to the meek.

6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;

7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;

8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;

9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord.

We know for Hebrews 4:12 that the two edged sword is the word of God.  Praise and the word are the two things the enemy can not stand against.  Praise and the word should be by our side at all times.  There is no replacement for either one.  There is no earthly substitute for the heavenly weapons that God has given us.  Praise elevates God, the word lifts us up by reminding us who God is.  By these things, we can execute judgment on our enemies, we can bind up kings.  It s an honor given to us by the Most High God!  Make sure you are practicing the privilege He has given you!

All Creation Praises Him

Psalm 148  King James Version (KJV)

1 Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights.

2 Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.

3 Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.

4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.

5 Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created.

6 He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.

This psalm is a complete Psalm of praise. David calls on all of creation to lift up the praise of the Lord and I believe creation listens. As I look at the stars on a cloudless night I marvel at the majesty of God. Did you know that the nearest star is about 25 trillion miles away and the Milky Way galaxy contains upwards of 100 Billion Stars.  That’s just one galaxy!  The immensity of the heavens just blows me away. The vastness of space is an incredible testimony of how big our God is.
The heavens above praise him by the orchestration and the patterns that they show us each night. In ancient days stars were looked upon as guides. If you could find the North Star you could go any direction you wanted to because it remains constant. But everything else revolves around it. In different seasons we get to see different stars. I love the sight of Orion rising in the fall in the Eastern sky.  It’s absolutely beautiful and breathtaking how big that constellation is when it’s just on the horizon. If you’ve never seen it take time to do so.
All the angels in the heavenly host lift His praises. We can see this over and over again in Revelations. They are worshiping and praising around His throne on a continual basis (Rev 4:10-11, 5:11-13,  7:10-12, for example). They know His mercy and His grace. They understand what He’s done for mankind. They have been with Him forever and they haven’t run out of praise yet. I can’t wait to join that heavenly chorus and sing His praises for eternity.
The sun and the moon praise Him. I’m always amazed at the different phases of the Moon and how it’s schedule is so consistent. The high and low tides are timed because of the moon, men base the best fishing times and the planting of gardens on the phase of the moon. It’s incredible how man has come to look to the Moon as a sign. The moon praises the Lord, guiding His people and showing them the seasons. The sun praises the Lord with its rays hitting the clouds in the morning and in the evening, leaving us with breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. If you don’t praise the Lord when you see a beautiful sunset then there’s something wrong with you. The majesty and the detail and the ever-changing colors simply take my breath away.  It’s not unusual for me to be in tears watching a beautiful sunset and knowing it’s the majesty of God I am looking at.
And why shouldn’t the heavens praise Him?  After all, He created them.  He’s the one who put the stars in place. He’s the one who put the sun and the moon where they are. He’s the one who put us on this Earth at just the right distance from the sun to sustain our life. All creation praises His name because He has established His creation forever.

7 Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:

8 Fire, and hail; snow, and vapours; stormy wind fulfilling his word:

9 Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:

Even the earth around us and the weather give praise to the Lord. The mountains and the hills and the trees all praise the Lord. Have you ever seen the mountains far off with the snow-capped peaks and just relished in their beauty? Or perhaps you’ve been driving around on the sides of those mountains and seen the mist down in the valley – filling the valleys with what seems to be cotton,  It’s so beautiful and it’s all creation giving praise to God. Have you ever looked at the beauty of a majestic thundercloud and just been in awe?  To me there’s nothing more magnificent then a huge thunderstorm with the clouds billowing high above the sky.  As it passes and the sun comes out behind it you see that rainbow and then you see the sun reflecting off the top of those clouds and the lightning coming down underneath them.  What a magnificent sight! All for the glory of God.

10 Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:

11 Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:

12 Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children:

Nothing is excluded. No Beast, no flying thing, no king or prince, no maiden or man or child. All should seek to praise the Lord and give Him the glory that He deserves. He rains on the just and the unjust. His mercy is everlasting to everyone on this earth. There were several times that God threatened to destroy all of Israel but Moses made intercession and convinced God not to do it.  He said that He would never bring a flood to cover the whole earth again. You know, the way this world is going God would be very justified in just wiping it out. He could take us all out of here and start all over again because sin has become so prevalent. But the love of God does not do that.   Instead He listens for our cry and waits for us to call on Him in times of trouble so that He can help. Even those that aren’t serving Him are blessed by Him. And He has Mercy on them, keeping them alive so that possibly one day they will come to know our great God.  He deserves our praise every single hour  of the day, every day of the week, every week of the year, every year we’re alive

13 Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.

14 He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the Lord.

His excellent Name – the matchless name of Jesus – at which every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that he is Lord (Phil 2:10-11). I prefer to confess it now! Jesus Christ is my Lord and my savior.  God has placed Him above all things (Phil 2:9). There is no one higher than Jesus Christ. He became a lowly child in a manger so that He can bring salvation to every one of us. Oh how we should praise Him everyday and never let up.
Is there something that keeps you from praising the Lord and giving Him the glory that He deserves? Don’t hesitate to praise to Him.  Lift Him up day and night.  Let your mind be stayed on him.  All creation praises Him – why should  be any different.

 

He Is My Peace

Psalm 147   King James Version (KJV)

1 Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.

I desire to do things that are good, don’t you?  There are enough ways in this world to do things that aren’t good.  I just want to do my best to do good every day.  The psalmist tells us that it is good to sing praises to our God.  I agree.  Praising the Lord not only uplifts my spirits but it also helps me to forget about the problems that I am faced with and just set my mind on the one who can solve those problems.

It s also pleasant and beautiful.  One of the most beautiful things I have ever heard was 50,000 men singing God’s praises A Capella in the Metro Dome many years ago at a Promise Keepers conference.  The sound was incredible.   It was pleasant to the ears and beautiful for it’s purity.  I love it when I hear the saints lifting up the Lord in praise.  There is nothing in this world that can replace that sound.

2 The Lord doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.

3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

We are going to get into a list of many things that God does for us in this psalm.  The list could go on for 100 pages and we would not exhaust the abilities of our God.  he can do it all, and He does do it all for you.  There is no situation He can’t handle, no trouble He can’t overcome.  He is always on your side, so who can be against you (Rom 8:31)?

He gathers the outcasts.  I was once an outcast, and I am sure glad He reached out to draw me into His kingdom.  Imagine if He had just waited for me to have a desire to come to Him.  I may have never come.  But His spirit gently drew me and He used a friend of mine to drop subtle hints to me through letters from 1500 miles away.  I am so glad he wrote those letters!

He heals the brokenhearted.  He will be with us when the times are tough and when our heart is hurting from some big disappointment or discouragement.  Our heart is hurting, and God will come in and comfort us.  Not only that, but He will  bind up the wound and make our heart whole again.  Only God can do that.  If your heart is hurting give it to the one who can make you whole again.

4 He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.

Incredible!  The number of the stars is known by our God – He even has a name for each one of them.  Scientists estimate there are 100 billion stars n the Milky Way alone, and they also estimate there are 10 trillion galaxies.  That would put the number of stars (assuming each galaxy has as many stars as the Milky Way at 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars!  I don’t even know how to pronounce that number, but God has a name for every one of them!

Image result for milky way

5 Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

6 The Lord lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.

7 Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:

Do you ever wonder if God understands you? I do.  Mainly because I often don’t understand myself and why I would do the things I do.  Here in verse 5 the psalmist says God’s understanding is infinite. The Lord is omniscient, which means He knows all things. Often I have to listen to Him and have Him tell me why I did certain things that I shouldn’t do.  Yes, God will tell us if we ask Him. He’s a loving God.  He wants to put those things out of our system. He lifts up the Meek. He lifts up those who will come to him humbly and say “Lord I messed up! I need you to help me.  You have the power to get me through this.” I’m so glad I have a God that understands to the infinite degree
When we sing Our songs to God we should always do so with Thanksgiving in our hearts. You cannot possibly thank Him enough for all that He’s done for you. You may not always recognize the things He does but they are there every second of every day. If He would stop taking care of you you’d be dead! I’m so glad He doesn’t give up on me. He always watches out for me and cares for me.  That’ is why I acknowledge that He is a part of my life in everything that happens (Prov3:6)

8 Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.

9 He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.

10 He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.

Here we see recognition that God sends the rain so things can grow and the animals can have that food. In other words, He provides for every living creature on this Earth. Do you ever wonder what the birds are singing at sunrise, or why the cows moo in the field, or why owls hoot at night? I think there’s a fair amount of it that has to do with praising the Lord and thanking Him for all the provision that He gives. The animals aren’t afraid to sing out His praises – why are we?  During the triumphal entry Jesus said that if the people didn’t Praise Him the rocks will cry out.  I don’t want any rock praising God when I’m not so I’ll keep praising Him and thanking Him for all of that He provides.  He has taken very good care of me and I should not have any complaints to God.

11 The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.

12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.

13 For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee.

14 He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat.

15 He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly.

I am so glad that He takes pleasure when I hope for his mercy because I need mercy a lot!  I’m always hoping that His mercy will cover the silly things that I do in my day-to-day activities be. I may say the wrong thing, look at the wrong thing or touch the wrong thing but God in His mercy is always right there. So I praise Him.  I give Him my greatest praise.  With my hands upraised I sing aloud praise to the Lamb of God.  Praise to Jesus Praise to the Father.  I give you thanks.  I give you praise.  You are worthy of every word of my praise.  Sorry I just broke out in a praise session while I was recording this!  He is so good to us.  He brings peace our way and He fills us with the finest of wheat.   God is so good to us
Aren’t you glad that God makes peace in your borders?  I am so glad for the peace of God that settles in on me even in the most difficult of circumstances. I remember the day we sat in the doctor’s office and he told me I had multiple myeloma, a form of cancer that infects the bloodstream. He said it’s a long process to get over it and it’s not an easy battle. I remember the peace that God gave me right there and right then in that office that everything was going to be alright. And I’ve never had a doubt that God was not only in control but was taking care of my every move and every step along the way. A song comes to my mind “
He is my peace.  He has broken down every wall.
He is my peace.  He is my peace.
He is my peace.  He has broken down every wall.
He is my peace.  He is my peace.
I cast all of my cares on Him for He careth for me
He is my peace.  He is my peace.
I cast all of my cares on Him for He careth for me
He is my peace.  He is my peace.
How much I love him for the peace that He gives me.

16 He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.

17 He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?

18 He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.

19 He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel.

20 He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the Lord.

Now we find out that God is in charge of the winter. Well I already knew that.  God promised that we would have four seasons: Springtime and Harvest and summer and winter Gen 8:22). That’s a promise from God we can depend on.  God decides when the snow will melt,  when the wind will blow and when the waters will flow. If you ever need something weather-wise ask God because He’s in charge. But you have to always remember that somebody might be asking for the opposite thing than you have. And then when God brings whatever weather He decides to bring,  thank Him for it, even if it’s not what you ask for because He is always giving you His best
The word of the Lord and all of his Commandments came to Israel. This was a wandering band of people who were Nomads for forty years in the desert. They didn’t have a home. They wandered about following a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, moving whenever that cloud of that pillar moved. When God delivered them out of Egypt He brought many many miracles to cause pharaoh to let them go. The small nation of Israel. There’s a special place in God’s heart for these people and there should be in ours too. It’s no coincidence that their land sits where it does as a testimony to the great God that we serve.  God didn’t come to any other nation. He didn’t give anybody else His statutes in His judgments. We have to remember that other nations may come and go, they may threaten and do all kinds of evil but God’s nation will always stand. It has favored nation status with God. Let us pray for Israel on a daily basis do all we can to lift that country up.  I pray that the United States will always back Israel with everything we’ve got.