Tag: praise the lord

Focus on eternal reality!

Scripture reading for September 21st: Nahum, Psalm 149, 2nd Corinthians 4

2nd Corinthians 4: 13-18 “Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that He Who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into His presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

Paul shared with the Corinthian believers how faith motivated him in the preaching of the Gospel. He believed the Gospel message of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection so that is what he preached. He was confident because of faith in God’s written Word and promises that those who heard and believed would also experience resurrection. Even though their bodies were getting older and wasting away, or suffering persecution, inside, Christ Jesus through the Holy Spirit was renewing them and preparing them for eternal glory. Focusing on the unseen realities of God’s eternal Word would bring vision and victory! Praise and worship greatly facilitates our focus!

Psalm 149:1-3 “Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise in the assembly of the godly! Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King! Let them praise His Name with dancing, making melody to Him with tambourine and lyre.”

Prayer: Father God, We praise You and worship Your Holy Name! Thank You for the eternal Truth of Your Word and Your Son, Jesus Christ! Give me continued grace to not lose heart or faint in these times of persecution and adversity and experiencing the aging process in my own body. Renew me today through the Holy Spirit and show me the amazing things to come in the unseen world of Your Throne!

Nahum 1:15 “Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of Him Who brings Good News, who publishes peace! Keep your feasts, O Judah; fulfill your vows, for never again shall the worthless pass through you; he is utterly cut off.”

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“Come.”

Scripture reading for December 31st: Revelation 22; Psalm 150

Key Scripture: Revelation 22:17-21 “”The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of Life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He Who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”

As we come to the end of this year’s trek through the Bible chronologically, I want to thank the Lord Jesus for the privilege of studying and sharing His amazing Word. Thank you, each one, for joining me as you could. This final devotion records the final prayer of Christ’s Bride, the Church. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, the Bride simply says “Come.” It is an invitation to the thirsty. It is to “whosoever” will respond, with no prejudice towards anyone and no payment required. It is accompanied by a final warning concerning additions or subtractions from God’s Word. Eternal loss is promised to those who choose to do that. Jesus personally states that He is surely coming soon! Grace alone can prepare us. Amen! Come Lord Jesus!

Faith confession and prayer: I pray today, and daily, along with Your Bride, “Come.” I believe You and Your eternal Word, forever settled in the heavens and on earth. Help me to live by grace and faith each day until Your soon and sudden return. Amen! Praise the Lord Jesus Christ!

Psalm 150:8 “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

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“Come, Lord Jesus!”

Scripture reading for December 31st:  Revelation 22, Psalm 149-50, Proverbs 14

Key Scriptures:  Revelation 22:17-21 “The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.”  And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.  I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book:  if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.  He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”  Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.  Amen.”

We end this year’s devotions with the last words of John’s revelation and the last words of Jesus Christ to His Church, the Bride.  The Bride, through the Holy Spirit is praying to the Lord Jesus saying, “Come!”  I believe this simple prayer has two aspects.  The Bride is asking God to bring in the thirsty and those still to be saved.   The Bride is asking Jesus to come for them.  The Lord Jesus answers:  “Surely I am coming soon.”  The Brides answer is “Amen.”  It all occurs by grace through faith!

Faith confession:  Lord Jesus, I join the Bride in praying “Come.”   May the lost and thirsty come to You and find refreshing in the river of life and healing food in the tree of life flowing from Your glorious throne!  “Amen.”  Hallelujah forever and ever!

Psalm 149:1  “Praise the Lord!  Sing to the Lord a new song; His praise in the assembly of the godly! 

Psalm 150:6  “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord!”

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Risen, Exalted, Coming Again!

Scripture reading for July 25th:  1st Corinthians 15, Psalm 148, Proverbs 24

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 15:20-26 “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.  But each in his own order:  Christ the firstfruits, then at His coming those who belong to Christ.  Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.  For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.  The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” 

The church needed encouragement and explanation concerning the resurrection and the events of the last days.  Paul carefully explained how Christ was raised from the dead as the firstfruits of those resurrected.  Those in Adam–never born again in Christ, will die, but those in Christ shall be made alive and will be with Christ as He returns.  Christ will reign destroying all His enemies, the last is “death”!

Faith Confession:  I believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead and is alive at God’s right hand, ruling until all His enemies are destroyed. In His resurrection, I am made alive in Him and will join Him in His rule on earth.

Psalm 148:11-13 “Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!  Young men and maidens together, old men and children!  Let them praise the Name of the Lord, for His Name alone is exalted; His majesty is above earth and heaven.”  

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The Great Commandment

Scripture reading for January 30th:  Matthew 22, Psalm 22, Proverbs 22

Key Scriptures: Matthew 22:35-40 “And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question to test Him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.””

Jesus answered the Pharisee’s question concerning the most important commandment in the Law.  He stated plainly that it was all about love and relationships.  Loving God completely and loving one’s neighbor summed up all the Law and Prophets.  The Pharisees wanted to trap Jesus, but Jesus gave them truth that stopped their test.

Faith’s confession:  Lord, I love You with all my heart, mind and strength and depend on You to help me love my neighbor as myself.  Action step:  Seek a way to show love to one of your family or close associates that you may be struggling to get along with.

Psalm 22:22-23 “I will tell of Your Name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise You:  You who fear the Lord, praise Him! . .  .”

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Vision to Stand Firm!

Scripture reading for September 4th:  Psalm 147-150, Philippians 3

Key Scriptures:  Philippians 3:20-4:1  “But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.  Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!”

As Paul was concluding his letter to the Philippians, he cast vision of Christ’s return and the expectation of believers.  Christ’s return would bring the ultimate transformation of human flesh to those who trusted in Him.  Lowly earthly bodies will be transformed into eternal heavenly bodies, just like Christ’s.  This is vision that enables faith and a firm stand.

Psalm 148:13-14 “Let them praise the Name of the Lord, for His Name alone is exalted; His splendor is above the earth and the heavens.  He has raised up for His people a horn, the praise of all His saints, of Israel, the people close to His heart. Praise the Lord!”

Prayer:  Lord, we praise You and Your Horn, Jesus Christ our Savior.  We look forward to Your return for us and the transformation that will take place at that time! Amen.

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Praise the Lord!

Scripture reading for July 12th:  Psalm 148-150, Proverbs 1-2

Key Scriptures:  Psalm 150:1-6  “Praise the Lord.  Praise God in His Sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens.  Praise Him for His acts of power, praise Him for His surpassing greatness.  Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, praise Him with tambourine and dancing, praise Him with the strings and flute, praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals.  Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord.”

Proverbs 1:7  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

The worship book of Psalms ends with a mighty call to praise the Lord!  Praise is due to God for who He is and for His mighty works.  Praise should come with instruments and from the breath of all living creatures.  God, alone, is worthy of all praise!  Proverbs begins with a call to wisdom marked by the fear of the Lord!  In Revelation, both come together as the wise worship the Lord of Creation!

Glory to His Name: “Great and marvelous are Your deeds, Lord God Almighty.  Just and true are Your ways, King of the Ages.  Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to Your Name?  For You alone are holy.  All nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.”  (Revelation 15:3-4)

 

 

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Universal Praise!

Scripture reading for July 3rd: Psalms 146-150

Life is to be lived in worship to the King!  Real joy and peace come from a life centered on the goodness and greatness of God the Creator!  Worship is not just singing a few songs at church on Sunday.  It is a universal duty of everything that has breath!

Psalm 146 begins with a declaration that the psalmist is going to praise the Lord all of his life!  Many are caught up in the idea of a king or politician who can save them!  But they will die and their plans come to nothing! (Psalm 146:3-4)  Only the God who created the heaven and earth can save!  He can be counted on by the poor, needy, oppressed and hungry!  He watches over the alien, widow, and the fatherless!  (Psalm 146:7-9)  God alone is worthy of praise!

Psalm 147 is a hymn of praise to the Lord for Jerusalem.  God has built up Jerusalem and gathered the exiles of Israel.  God’s people are to praise and honor Him for His mighty deeds on their behalf!  God’s delight is in those who fear Him! (Psalm 147:11)  He blesses them and protects them and deserves their worship!  (Psalm 147:12-14) He has given them His Word and laws, making them special among all nations!  (Psalm 147:19-20)

Psalms 148 commends all creation for their praise of the Lord!  Angels praise Him in the heights.  The sun, moon and stars praise Him.    (Psalm 148:3-6)  From the earth, sea creatures and fish, mountains and valleys, animals large and small praise Him!  (Psalm 148:7-10)  Man, too, praises the Lord!  Young and old, men and women, rich and poor all owe Him praise for His splendor is above all His works!  (Psalm 148:14)

Psalm 149 calls upon God’s covenant people, Israel, to praise the Lord!  They are to dance, sing, and make music with instruments!   The psalm then shifts from praise of God in their mouths to a double edged sword in their hands!  They are to praise the Lord as they inflict vengeance on the nations and peoples who have rebelled against the Lord and rejected His Love! (Psalm 149:6-9)  This is the “glory of all His saints.”

Psalm 150:6 sums it all up and closes the hymnal!  “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.”

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He lifted me out of the slimy pit!

Scripture reading for June 11th: Psalm 36-41

Sometimes life’s circumstances overwhelm us.  Our situation and the battles we face dominate our thinking and depression takes us into a slimy pit.   I have been there myself!  Someone once told me,  “sober up–you are drunk on the circumstances!”  The psalmist recorded a personal battle where he was in a slimy pit!

King David was sick in body with festering wounds because of sin and guilt in his life.  He had back pain that penetrated his being. (Psalm 38:5-7)  He was feeble and crushed in anguish of heart.  People avoided him because of his wounds and there were those plotting his ruin.  His enemies hated him without reason and slandered him for his good works!  (Psalm 38:19-20)  He asked God not to forsake him and come quickly and help! (vs 21-22) (This sounds like Jesus!)

David stated in Psalm 40 that after patiently waiting on the Lord, God heard his cry and lifted him out of the slimy pit that held him.  He set David’s feet on a firm rock and put a new song in his mouth, a song of praise to God!   But this psalm ends with another humble prayer for help!  God’s help to David was an attitude change, not necessarily a change in circumstances!

When we are in the ‘slimy pit’, like David, we should tell the Lord how we feel.  Honest evaluation and casting our cares on Him is a good thing to do.   We should also confess our trust in the Lord. (Psalm 38:22. 40:17)   The psalmist could not help himself–he had to wait on the Lord patiently! (Psalm 38:15) (Psalm 40:1)  Even though he asked that the Lord come quickly, God’s time is not always the same as ours. (Psalm 38:22)  David sang a new song of praise before the rescue.  Praise and testimony of God’s goodness always blesses the Lord and then us!   Faith brings us courage to trust God for victory!  Action on the word of God begins our journey out of the slimy pits of life!  If necessary, give yourself a little slap to remember not to be drunk on your circumstances!

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Everything that has breath: Praise the Lord!

Scripture reading for July 3rd: Psalms 146-150

The hymn book of the Old Testament concludes with some stirring songs of worship to the King!  Real joy and peace come from a life centered on the goodness and greatness of God the Creator!  Worship is not just singing a few songs at church on Sunday.  It is a universal privilege of everything that has breath!

Psalm 146 began with a declaration that the psalmist was going to praise the Lord all of his life!  He warned the people not to put their trust in princes, mortal men who cannot save!  Today, many are caught up in the idea of a president or ruler can save them! (Psalm 146:3-4)  Only the faithful God who created the heaven and earth can save!   He can be counted on by the poor, needy, oppressed and hungry!  He watches over the alien, widow, and the fatherless!  (Psalm 146:7-9)

Psalm 147 is a hymn of praise for Jerusalem, God’s holy city and it’s chosen people.  God has built up Jerusalem and gathered the exiles of Israel.  God’s people are to praise and honor Him for His mighty deeds on their behalf!  God’s delight is in His people, those who fear Him! (Psalm 147:11)  He blesses them and protects them and deserves their worship!  (Psalm 147:12-14) He has given them His Word and laws, making them special among all nations! (Psalm 147:19-20)

Psalms 148 commends all creation and the saints for their praise of the Lord!  Angels praise Him in the heights.  The sun, moon and stars praise Him.   God named them and set them in place!  (Psalm 148:3-6)  From the earth, sea creatures and fish, mountains and valleys, animals large and small praise Him!  (Psalm 148:7-10)  Men, made in His image,  praise the Lord!  Young and old, men and women, rich and poor all owe Him praise for His provision and splendor!  (Psalm 148:14)

Psalm 149 calls upon God’s covenant people, Israel, to praise the Lord!  They are to dance, sing, and make music with instruments!  The psalm then shifts from praise of God in their mouths to a double edged sword in their hands!  They are to praise the Lord as they inflict vengeance on the nations and peoples who have rebelled against the Lord and rejected His Love!  (Psalm 149:6-9)  This is the “glory of all His saints.”

Psalm 150:6 sums it all up and closes the hymnal!  “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.”

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