Tag Archives: Psalms

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!

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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!

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.

He Loves Little Old Me!

Psalm 146  King James Version (KJV)

1 Praise ye the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul.

2 While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

Solomon sad it best when he was finishing up the book of Ecclesiastes.  “Fear God and keep His commandments for this is the whole duty of man”.  Fearing God means that we are totally awed by His majesty and the fact that He takes the time to care about  little old me.  If you really think about that it should make you shout His  praises from the housetop all day long.  Here is the creator of the universe, the one who keeps the heavens moving and makes the sun to shine, the one who raises the tide and brings the summer breeze, the one who prated the Red Sea and stopped the sundial in it’s place.  He takes the time to hear my prayer!

Imagine if you would, just for a minute, that The President of the US was at you’re beck and call.  Anytime you needed him, he would be there for you, to give you peace or joy or comfort.  He would listen to your every request and make sure you knew that he loved you and would take care of you through any type of problem.  Imagine that he had the ability too grant any request you brought to him, and that he was powerful enough to move mountains if that’s what it took.  Wouldn’t you be devoted to him if that was the case?

Our God is so much bigger and higher than any earthly leader.  And He can accomplish so much more.  There is nothing impossible with Him.  How can I keep silent when I have this loving God watching over me.  As long as He keeps me alive I will praise Him.

3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

This is a hard saying.  I am always putting my trust in man.  I trust my banker to take care of the money I have in the bank (even though it’s not much).  I trust my mechanic to fix my car the right way and not overcharge me.  I trust the grocery store to have food that is not tainted with anything that will harm me.  I trust the mailman to give me all my mail and not take the stuff that he might want.  The list is endless on whom I will trust on this earth.

But there is only one I will trust my life to and that is God.  There will come a day when we will be asked to turn our backs on God and trust earthy leaders to supply our needs.  We will have a difficult choice to make on that day.  If we do not take the mark of the beast we will not be able to buy or sell anything (Rev 13:17).  Our family and friends will plead with us to take that mark and just be normal.  The pressure to take that mark will be more than anything we have ever faced in our lives.  What will you choose?  I pray I have the strength to choose God over man on that day.

4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

5 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God:

6 Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:

7 Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The Lord looseth the prisoners:

Our hope must rest in the God of Jacob, the God of Israel.  He made all that we can see – in the earth and the heavens.  There is nothing man can discover that God did not make.  We keep exploring the heavens to find planets like earth, or stars like the sun – to see if there is any other life out there, or a planet that maybe we can one day live on.  Mankind is fascinated by space.  Star Trek, Star Wars and other movie series are proof of that.  The heavens call us to discoverer more.

Yet we serve the God  who made those heavens.  He put everything in place.  I would much rather spend my time searching Him out, studying His word, getting to know Him, than gazing at His creation.  He has all the answers – the stars do not have any answers.  If you really want the answer to a big question about how a building was built, you would go to the architect.  If you wanted to know the minute details of how a car was put together, you would go to the auto manufacturer.  You would go to the one who created it,

If scientists really want to know how this universe came about, they should seek the one who made it!  I have no doubt God remembers how He came up with the idea and how He put it all together.  Genesis 1 gives us an outline.  The details are with the master planner – God.  When we get to know Him, our questions will be answered.  He loves us so much that He will take time to show us the answer if we just ask Him.

8 The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind: the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: the Lord loveth the righteous:

9 The Lord preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

10 The Lord shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the Lord.

What is ailing you today?  What is keeping you from praising the Lord?  Have you been blinded by the allurements of this world and taken your eyes off the Good of heaven, who loves you?  Are your eyes closed to what God is actually doing in your life right now, through any trial or test you may be facing?  God can open those blinded eyes and show you His purpose and His plan if you’ll just trust Him.  Are you bent over in pain or under a financial burden that you can’t seem to get rid of?  God can alleviate the burden and set you straight again.  There is nothing to hard for Him.  No enemy can defeat Him, no power can come against Him, and He is on your side.  He will always care for you and see you through the difficult moments in life when you take the time to praise Him.  He loves you more than you can possibly fathom and he wants to bless you.

Right now, lift up your hands to heaven and sing out a praise song to the God of the heavens.  Lift His praise to fill your household.  Lift your praise so all will hear of your love for our wonderful, awesome God.  Lift your praise and feel His presence come into the room, engulfing you in pure joy and peace.  He is thee in the midst of your praise.  He has been waiting to hear your voice because He loves you.  Just praise Him!

Unsearchable Greatness

Psalm 145  King James Version (KJV)

1 I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.

2 Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.

3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.

Look around you.  Take a real good look.  Do you see the majestic trees, waving in the mighty breeze, below the endless sky which is lit by a brilliant sun?  Do you hear the birds singing to the dawn, or the bees buzzing from flower to flower, or the dogs barking in the distance?  Do you small the fragrant flowers or the lawn just mowed, or the coming rain?  Have you felt the raindrops falling, or the gentle breeze on your face, or the cool grass on your bare feet?  Have you tasted of the bounty of the land – fruits, vegetables, herbs and meat?

Our great good has created it all.  The unsearchable greatness of God is constantly being  discovered by man in their own back yards.  New species are being discovered all day, and new abilities of current creatures are being studied all the time.  The human body is as unsearchable as the deepest sea or the heavens above.  His greatness is unsearchable.

Therefore I will praise Him every day forever and ever.  I will bless His name forever and ever.  I will extol Him.  His greatness is so marvelous, so wonderful.  And the most wonderful thing about it is that it is all for me.  It is there for my good pleasure, to enjoy every day.  What a loving God we serve!

4 One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.

5 I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.

6 And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness.

7 They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.

We have an obligation to teach our children and our grandchildren about His wonderful works in our lives and in the past generations.  They need to know our testimony and the testimony of others.  They need to know His good works, and His terrible works.  They must know He is a God of mercy and also a God of judgment.  Then they will share His testimony to their children.  Pass it on.

8 The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.

9 The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

What a great description of God.  Actually, God describes Himself in   In Exodus 34:6-7, Here is how God describes Himself as He passed n front of Moses on the mount:

“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”

Many of the same words are used by the psalmist here.  Gracious, compassionate, slow to anger are all things we know about God.  His grace is with us all the time.  It is what saves us.  We are saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:8) and even that faith is a gift from God (Eph 2:9).  His grace supplies all the blessings He ever gives us,  including our salvation.  His grace supplies your needs when you don’t know where they will come from.  His grace is always working in your life.

His compassion is evident in all He does.  If He did not have compassion, why would He ever have saved me.  But He saw my lowly estate and what a mess I had made of my life, and he sent a friend, and another, and another while slowly drawing me by His spirit.  He had multiplied compassion on me!  And He still shows His compassion today by loving me deeply and always staying near to me.

I am so glad God is slow to anger.  I do so much that could make Him angry.   mess up a lot, and do stupid things.  I don’t always do what He asks me to do, or say what He wants me to say, or go where He wants me to go.  I don’t always give what He wants me to give, or live like He wants me to live, or love those He wants me to love.  But He is slow to anger, and He puts up with me and has mercy on me.  What a wonderful God we serve,

10 All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee.

11 They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power;

12 To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.

13 Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.

His works praise Him.  We discussed this earlier.  Because His works praise Him, those who proclaim to be His saints will bless Him and tell others of His glorious kingdom, which is within us.  Right there within us, just asking to get out and enlarge itself in this world.  We pray “Thy Kingdom Come”, not realizing it is up to us to make it come.  We must expand the kingdom by reaching souls for Christ!    His kingdom will endure forever, and those who are saved will enjoy it forever.  But it starts here on earth and if we do not enter into His kingdom on this earth, we will not enter His kingdom in heaven.  Make sure you are telling others about the kingdom and inviting them to enter.

14 The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.

15 The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season.

16 Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.

Aren’t you glad He lifts you up when you fall down!  We can fall into our sin again, we can fall to our emotions, we can fall to financial temptations, we can fall in our spirit.  He will always lift us up.  He will raise us back to our feet when we are bowed low.  He loves us so much that He will not leave us lowly.

But remember, lowly is where He loves us the most.  When we are needy and without strength, and our pride has been broken, and our spirit is contrite, we are right where He wants us (Psalm 51:17).  Psalm 34:18 says He is near to those who have a contrite spirit.  Jesus sad “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.(Matt 5:3)  We Just talked about the kingdom and how it is within us – when we have a contrite spirit.  Pride must be put down to find God’s favor – that is what a broken heart and contrite spirit are all about.

17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.

18 The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

19 He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.

20 The Lord preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.

The psalmist continues to announce the attributes of our great God.  He is still searching those God’s unsearchable greatness.  There is no end to it.  He is righteous in all His ways, no matter what we may think.  When we fall into desperate situations, His ways are righteous and we can trust Him in those difficult times.  He is good all the time.

He is always holy, and always near to us when we call upon Him.  We never have to wonder if He is too busy, or if He has gone on vacation, or if He has too much to do to hear us.  He will hear our cry, and He will save us from whatever it is we have fallen into.  We just need to trust Him.

He will preserve us if we love Him.  Preserve us by healing us and restoring us.  Preserve us by delivering us from our calamities.  Preserve us when we fall into temptations.  Preserve us for His kingdom when the time comes for Him to return.  But the wicked will be destroyed (see the last half of how God describes Himself above)

21 My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

Because our God has unsearchable greatness, I will praise Him.  My mouth will shout His praises out loud.  I will make known His unsearchable greatness because the world needs to know what a great God I serve!  How can I not tell them about Him?  How can I keep silent?  I will shout at a sports game!  Why would I not shout out my praise to God.  Let’s not be silent anymore.  Let us be vocal in our love for the Lord.  All people need to bless His name, for He rains on the just and the unjust (Matt 5:45).  He provides for them just as He provides for you.  All the earth should praise the Lord.

He is All Things to Me

Psalm 144   King James Version (KJV)

1 Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:

I’m so glad He teaches us to war and to fight.  In David’s day, the enemy was physical and you could see him every day.  David had to use his hands i warfare, and relied on God to show him how to win the battles he faced.

Today, we face spiritual battles.  Now I believe David faced them too, don’t get me wrong.  Te spiritual battle has been going on ever since the the fruit was eaten in the garden.  I believe that today we have been given a keener sense of this spiritual battle because of the presence of the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit, whichever you want to use here.

Paul tells us that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places:” (Eph 6:13).  It is essential that we rely on God to teach us and train us in this type of warfare because I don’t have a clue how to fight a spiritual enemy without His help!  He teaches me to pray, to worship, to utilize His word, to be truthful, to wait on Him, to trust Him – so many things that we must hold onto when the battle gets rough..  Yes, he teaches our hands to fight and our minds to stay engaged in the battle for souls.  My, how He loves us!

2 My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.

Since God is all these things to me, how can I possibly worry about the battles that come my way.  When I pout my trust in Him explicitly, and begin to acknowledge Him in every way (Prov  3:5-6) then He He will direct my path from day to day.  If I know He is directing my path, I can be assured that any trial or storm that comes is one He has led me to so I can go through it.  After all, He led the Israelites through the wilderness for 40 years!  They followed the cloud by day and the fire by night.  Battles came, plagues came, trouble came.  All the adults died.  But God was leading them every step and they came through it.  He will bring me through as well, and it will go much easier for me if I let Him lead.

He is my goodness – I have none within myself (Is 64:6).   When I rely on His goodness as my own, He can teach me what is the good, right and just thing to do in any situation.  I use my own faulty human wisdom to try and figure out what is good.  If I listen to Him, I can gain so much in this area.  I must realize that my goodness is nothing like His.

He’s my fortress and my high tower.  Both of these terms speak of a place where  can go to hide or escape from the enemy.  God provides that for me. I am not to run to a place of my own choosing – I am to run to Him.  I am not to hide from the enemy in my closet or by drinking or taking drugs or any other method.  I am to run to Him.  I am not to avoid the enemy by any method but running to Him – he is my fortress and high tower.

He is my deliverer.  I want to figure out a way to deliver myself.  That will end up in disaster every time.  Or, if it does succeed, will probably end up in pride.  Either way I stray from god;s perfect plan.  He is my deliverer.  He will deliver me in His time, in His way.  I just need to be patient and wait on His timing.  I need to pray for strength to stay the course.  God is faithful to deliver me.

He is my shield.  Ephesians says the shield of faith will quench the fiery darts if our enemy (Eph 6:16).  The shield is meant to stop whatever the enemy hurls at us.  When we allow God to be out shield only those things He decides will get through to us have a chance.  if we try to wield the shield alone we better be fast on our feet!

3 Lord, what is man, that tho tokest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him!

4 Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.

Makes you feel important doesn’t it?  Man is just a shadow.  I am just a shadow.  A shadow moves about all day long.  In the morning it’s long, at noon it can be rather short and in the evening it’s long again.  It only moves as I move.  There is no strength, no power, no knowledge, no wisdom in a shadow.  Why does God even mess with us?  We’re just vain beings here making a mess of His creation.  i’ll let you answer this question for yourself.  if you have a good thought about t, drop in a comment!

5 Bow thy heavens, O Lord, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.

6 Cast forth lightning, and scatter them: shoot out thine arrows, and destroy them.

7 Send thine hand from above; rid me, and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of strange children;

8 Whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

God has so many weapons at His disposal to help us get by our enemy.  He can send a shooting star or an asteroid, He can erupt a volcano or throw lightning at them, He can scatter hem with the wind or shoot His arrows down.  His hand will take tare of my enemy – I just need to trust Him, pray and praise.

9 I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.

10 It is he that giveth salvation unto kings: who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful sword.

I love the new song.  God gives them to me regularly.  I sing them all the time.  Songs of praise that lift up His name.  How about you – do you have a new song to sing?  Just open up your mouth and let the words flow.  Words of praise.  Words that exalt His name.  Words of thanksgiving.  If they take in a beat or a melody, sing them louder.  Sing your own new song!

11 Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood:

12 That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:

13 That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets:

14 That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets.

15 Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.

This prayer of deliverance from. strange children is very interesting to me.  Their mouth speaks vanity and their hands are full of falsehood.   Sounds like He has children similar to mine when they were teenagers!  I prayed for them for years that they would get their lives straightened out.  Now they are all in church and learning anew about Jesus.

There are blessings to us when our children do well because we are not spending all if our energy and resources on them.  Not only does it bring joy to our hearts to see their lives going better, but our house is better as well.

Never stop praying for your kids  and always show them your love.  Show them your love for the Lord too!

The Bountiful Life

Psalm 142 King James Version (KJV)

1 I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto the Lord did I make my supplication.

Jesus taught us that even before we speak, the Lord knows our needs (Matt 6:8).  So why must we speak them out loud?  This question puzzled me for a long time.  If God knows my needs, why doesn’t He just take care of them before they get out of hand?  That sure would save me a lot of misery and heartache.

When I was an alcoholic, I could not overcome is until I admitted I was an alcoholic.  When I was a drug addict the same thing applied.  When I was full of pride, I could not  overcome that pride until  I recognized it inside of me.  That was a hard one, because pride masks itself  to the one who has it.  It took a long time for me to overcome that one, but with God’s help I have it in hand.  You see, whatever you want to accomplish you have to admit it  to  yourself first.

This is the principle behind speaking our prayers to God and making our requests known.  When we speak them out loud, God knows that we understand our own needs, however big or small they may be.  He knows we have come to a place of needing Him too bring an answer, that we have given up  on trying to figure it out ourselves, and that our dependence rests on Him.  We are right where He desires us to be – broken and contrite before Him.  Then He can answer our requests.

2 I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.

The picture here is like water pouring out of a cistern, or of someone rolling out a scroll before Him.  David’s prayers were not short prayers – they poured out of him before the throne of God.  I can see His tears mingling with his requests, dropping to the ground at the feet of Jesus.  Heartfelt and specific, these prayers laid out for God he exact nature of his need.  We see it inn the psalms over and over again.  Deliverance from his enemies and that he would be avenged were the most frequent prayers David prayed.  Sincerity was at the heart of these prayers, and desperation was evident.

Are my prayers like that?  Do I come to Him with my heart in deep need, desperate for an answer, desperate for a solution?  Do I really know my need?  Have I searched deeply within myself to make sure I understand the nature of my dilemma, and the solution I should ask for.  When I come to God and pour out my soul to Him, and lay out my requests before Him like a scroll, He is compelled to answer my request.

3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.

4 I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.

I love this!  When I am overwhelmed, God knows my path.  I have been overwhelmed many times in the past year and a half going through cancer.  There were times I felt so alone and helpless against this disease that had invaded my life.  The Chemo sapped my strength and the stem cell transplants knocked me down..  I had little strength and slowly had to work my way back, especially after the second transplant.  That was brutal on my body, and it took a long, long time for me to even think about walking without any aid.

But I always know God knew the path I was on, and hat He had my reins in hand (Psalm 139:13).  He was the director of my life, and He would never lead me astray.  No one could bring me calm, but God was there to walk through it with me.  That dreaded enemy called cancer tried to get me down, but it could not.  Good had my hand and that’s all I needed.

5 I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.

6 Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.

Cancer was stronger than I was, but it was much weaker than my faith, and my God.  When I cried unto Him in the middle of the night, He became my refuge – a place of rest when I was weary.  Sleepless nights turned into nights of joy and worship.  God became my portion in the midst of a time when I had very little.  He was all I needed in those days, and especially in the night.  The Lord was with me all the way through, and He still is.  He can be with you too.  Get desperate for Him

7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

He has dealt bountifully with me!  All the way through I have said the same thing.  “God has been merciful to me”.  I have cancer, had a shoulder that quit working, have neuropathy in both feet and hands, have had pneumonia twice and in the ER two other times besides, can’t go back to work for another year and a half, have restricted driving ability – yet I proclaim with the utmost confidence that He has been merciful to me.  And I know His mercy will take me all the way to complete healing.  His mercy will open up doors for me to share what He has done for me.  His mercy will work through me to bring healing to many and hope to others.  His mercy will move through me to see souls saved.  His mercy never fails!