Saturday 11 May, 2013

Psalm 15

1 Lord, who can live in your sacred tent? Who can stay on your holy hill? 2 Anyone who lives without blame and does what is right. He speaks the truth from his heart. 3 He doesn’t tell lies about others. He doesn’t do wrong to his neighbors. He doesn’t say anything bad about them. 4 He hates sinful people. He honors those who have respect for the Lord. He keeps his promises even when it hurts. 5 He lends his money without charging too much interest. He doesn’t accept money to harm those who aren’t guilty. Anyone who lives like that will always be secure.

The Bible is clear that God extends his love to all people equally, however this Psalm reminds us that there is a special place of intimacy and connection with God that is dependent upon how we choose to live our lives.  Closeness with God is not our right – it is a privilege!

While we do not (and indeed, cannot) ever earn our salvation, we do

need to earn the privilege of a close, intimate relationship with our holy God.

If we want to enter God’s holy presence, we ourselves must lead lives that are pleasing to God.  Speak the truth, refuse to gossip or to speak evil of our friends and keep our promises even when it hurts.

We need to regularly examine our hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to search and purify our hearts so that we can continue to grow in the special privilege of an intimate relationship with God.

This close relationship with God is a continual process and is not conditional on us never failing, but it is dependent on us being willing to obey His Word and the Holy Spirit’s conviction whenever we fail.

Thank you Lord for the privilege of entering into Your presence. May we continually have soft hearts towards You to follow Your Word and Your Spirit.

Written by Shelley Witt

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Friday 10 May, 2013

Psalm 14

1 Foolish people say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They do all kinds of horrible and evil things. No one does anything good. 2 The Lord looks down from heaven on all people. He wants to see if there are any who understand. He wants to see if there are any who trust in God. 3 All of them have turned away. They have all become evil. No one does anything good, no one at all. 4 Won’t those who do evil ever learn? They eat up my people as if they were eating bread. They don’t call out to the Lord for help. 5 Just look at them! They are filled with terror because God is among those who do right. 6 You who do evil make it hard for poor people to do what they plan to do. But the Lord is their place of safety. 7 How I pray that the One who saves Israel will come out of Zion! Then the Lord will bless his people with great success again. So let the people of Jacob be filled with joy! Let Israel be glad!

David was no stranger to evil – the psalms are full of references to those who live in opposition to God. He is clearly upset by them once again and pours out his heart here in this psalm. Despite the presence of evil and it’s out-working in people’s lives, David continues to highlight the nature of God and the character of his people.

God is with those who obey Him. He protects His people, He rescues them.

Personalising this for me means understanding that there is evil around

me everyday, but as I choose to seek God and to talk to Him and obey Him – He is with me, He protects me and He rescues me. Thanks be to God.

Written by Ps. Linda Quinn

1 (reply)
  1. Dimity Milne says:

    Hello, I like the way David says ‘how I pray that the one who saves Israel will come from Zion’ . He is referring to Jesus of course. He says that the people of Jacob should be filled with joy. Shouldn’t we also be filled with joy as we long for the return of Jesus and the final end to evil and injustice for the poor.

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Thursday 9 May, 2013

Psalm 13

1 Lord, how long must I wait? Will you forget me forever? How long will you turn your face away from me? 2 How long must I struggle with my thoughts? How long must my heart be sad day after day? How long will my enemies keep winning the battle over me? 3 Lord my God, look at me and answer me. Give me new life, or I will die. 4 Then my enemies will say, “We have beaten him.” They will be filled with joy when I die. 5 But I trust in your faithful love. My heart is filled with joy because you will save me. 6 I will sing to the Lord. He has been so good to me.
David here starts with clear distress in his heart, directed towards God. Feeling forgotten by God, feeling distant from God, feeling sorrowful and fearing being overcome by his enemies. I have experienced these kinds of feelings many times in my walk with God.
What encourages me is that David is determined to move his heart on from these difficult but real feelings. He pushes past these negative feelings, into trusting in God’s

love, rejoicing in His salvation, and singing His praises. I sense God is showing me that this progression is helpful in dealing with my own feelings of distance or fear before God. That first I am to go to a trusting position of heart; in that trusting position, I am to choose to start rejoicing in his saving mercy; and out of this, I am to sing of his goodness. It’s not natural, when you’re feeling distant from God, and in fear; but it makes sense that trusting, rejoicing and singing to God are faith based decisions of heart that move your heart close to God, in a position of faith instead.

God shows me through Ps 13 that no matter how bad I feel, especially in my relationship with God, it’s not helpful to stay in the bad feelings. David is an example and encouragement to me that I need to push my heart past my feelings, past my troubles, and into a place of trust, rejoicing in, and even singing of God’s goodness.
God, give me the help of your Spirit and His empowering grace to give myself, especially in my darker moments, to trusting you, rejoicing in you, and signing of your goodness.
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh
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Wednesday 8 May, 2013

Psalm 12

1 Help, Lord! Those who do what is right are gone. Those who are faithful have disappeared from the earth. 2 Everyone tells lies to his neighbors. With his lips he praises others, but he doesn’t really mean it. 3 May the Lord cut off all lips that don’t mean what they say. May he cut out every tongue that brags. 4 They say, “We will win the battle with our tongues. Our lips belong to us. No one else is in charge of us.” 5 The Lord says, “The weak are beaten down. Those who are in need groan. So I will stand up to help them. I will keep them safe from those who tell lies about them.” 6 The words of the Lord are perfect. They are like silver made pure in a clay furnace. They are like silver made pure seven times over. 7 Lord, you will keep us safe. You will always keep sinners from hurting us. 8 Proud and sinful people walk around openly when the evil they do is praised by others.

As I read this passage, I realise that the psalmist could be speaking today!  As I look at all the legislative reform that is being pushed for right now in this country on euthanasia, abortion

and same-sex marriage, I think of this psalm – the “boastful tongues” who say, ”who is lord over us?” and “what is vile is honoured by the human race”.

Clearly the psalmist felt alone, surrounded by people who had given up on God and were apparently happier doing their own thing.  Society was going backwards in a big way!  And yet the psalmist knows that the Lord is the God of the poor and needy.   There is such a sense of faith in the psalmist’s words, “You, LORD, will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked”.

Regardless of the situations going on around me, I have to remember that God has not forgotten the needy and defenceless – the unborn babies, the elderly, the disabled, the children growing up not knowing both a mum and a dad.  “I will protect them from those who malign them” says the Lord.

Lord, help me to continue to pray for those in need, to continue to petition you about them, because Lord, your Word says, you do keep the needy safe, you do protect them from those who malign them and you do protect us from the wicked. Amen

Written by Ps. Jen Irving

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Tuesday 7 May, 2013

Psalm 11

1 I run to the Lord for safety. So how can you say to me, “Fly away like a bird to your mountain. 2 Look! Evil people are bending their bows. They are placing their arrows against the strings. They are planning to shoot from the shadows at those who have honest hearts. 3 When law and order are being destroyed, what can godly people do?” 4 The Lord is in his holy temple. The Lord is on his throne in heaven. He watches all people. His eyes study them. 5 The Lord watches over those who do what is right. But he hates sinful people and those who love to hurt others. 6 He will pour out flaming coals and burning sulfur on those who do what is wrong. A hot and dry wind will destroy them. 7 The Lord always does what is right. So he loves it when people do what is fair. Those who are honest will enjoy his blessing.

In this Psalm David starts with a statement – “I run to the Lord for Safety.”  And that’s it for David.  Regardless what anyone says to him or how much it seems the sinful are winning – that is Davids’ position.  He responds to those who tell him to run – that God

is on the throne and He knows exactly what’s going on –  before Him the sinful are done.   David knows where he stands before God – David knows that he will “behold His face” or “enjoy His blessing”.

How often do I forget all of these things!?

I love how black and white David is.  Solid, confident and uncomplicated …. I run to the Lord for Safety/refuge.”

Father, I ask that you would expand that statement in my heart, mind & life as I sit & meditate on those words … the calm & release that they bring.

Written by Suzie Hodgson

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Monday 6 April, 2013

Psalm 10

1 Lord, why are you so far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? 2 An evil person is proud and hunts down those who are weak. He catches weak people by making clever plans. 3 He brags about what his heart longs for. He speaks well of those who always want more. He attacks the Lord with his words. 4 Because he is proud, that evil person doesn’t turn to the Lord. There is no room for God in any of his thoughts. 5 Everything always goes well for him. So he is proud. He doesn’t want to have anything to do with God’s laws. He makes fun of all of his enemies. 6 He says to himself, “I will always be secure. I will always be happy. I’ll never have any trouble.” 7 His mouth is full of curses and lies and warnings. With his tongue he speaks evil and makes trouble. 8 Sinful people hide and wait near the villages. From their hiding places they murder those who aren’t guilty of doing anything wrong. They watch in secret for those they want to attack. 9 They hide and wait like a lion in the bushes. From their hiding places they wait to catch those who are helpless. They catch them and drag them off in their nets. 10 Those they have attacked are beaten up. They fall to the ground. They fall because their attackers are too strong for them. 11 Sinful people say to themselves, “God doesn’t pay any attention. He covers his face. He never sees us.” 12 Lord, rise up! God, show your power! Don’t forget those who are helpless. 13 Why do sinful people attack you with their words? Why do they say to themselves, “He won’t hold us accountable”? 14 God, you see trouble and sadness. You take note of it. You do something about it. So those who are attacked place themselves in your care. You help children whose fathers have died. 15 Take away the power of bad and sinful people. Hold them accountable for the evil things they do. Uncover all the evil they have done. 16 The Lord is King for ever and ever. The nations will disappear from his land. 17 Lord, you hear the longings of those who are hurting. You cheer them up and give them hope. You listen to their cries. 18 You stand up for those whose fathers have died and for those who have been beaten down. You do it so that no one made of dust may terrify others anymore.

This Psalm is a lament about why the wicked seem to prosper.  It calls on the Lord to bring the wicked their justice.

All too often in life it seems as if God has disengaged from our lives and has let forces of evil take over.

This Psalm comforts us in the fact that throughout the ages men and women have felt this same abandonment and kept their faith.  God has intervened, vs. 14, there is a declaration of faith, vs. 16, and as such we know that in all things God brings victory.

Father, in our darkest moments, when it seems everyone is against us and even You are not for us, help us to faithfully declare, “the Lord is King forever and ever!”

Written by

Ps. Richard Botta

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Sunday 5 May, 2013

Psalm 9

1 Lord, I will praise you with all my heart. I will tell about all of the miracles you have done. 2 I will be glad and full of joy because of you. Most High God, I will sing praise to you. 3 My enemies turn back. They fall down and die right in front of you. 4 You have proved that I haven’t done anything wrong. You have sat on your throne and judged fairly. 5 You have punished the nations. You have destroyed evil people. You have erased their names from your book for ever and ever. 6 The enemy has been destroyed forever. You have leveled their cities to the ground. Even the memory of them is gone. 7 The Lord rules forever. He has set up his throne so that he can judge people. 8 He will judge the world in keeping with what is right. He will rule over all of its people fairly. 9 The Lord is a place of safety for those who have been beaten down. He keeps them safe in times of trouble. 10 Lord, those who know you will trust in you. You have never deserted those who look to you. 11 Sing praises to the Lord. He rules from his throne in Zion. Tell among the nations what he has done. 12 The One who pays back murderers remembers. He doesn’t forget the cries of those who are hurting. 13 Lord, see how badly my enemies treat me! Show me your favor. Don’t let me go down to the gates of death. 14 Then I can give praise to you at the gates of the city of Zion. There I will be full of joy because you have saved me. 15 The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug. Their feet are caught in the net they have hidden. 16 The Lord is known to be fair. Evil people are trapped by what they have done. Higgaion. Selah 17 Sinful people go down to the grave. So do all the nations that forget God. 18 But those who are in need will always be remembered. The hope of those who are hurting will never die. 19 Lord, rise up. Don’t let people win the battle. Let the nations come to you and be judged. 20 Lord, strike them with terror. Let the nations know they are only human. Selah

David writing again of what he knows God has done for him! David does a great job of remembering exactly what God has done and celebrating it. He also does a great job trusting God – he believes that God is in control and

that God’s plan is playing out and that the wicked will not be rewarded. Sometimes looking at the world that is hard to believe but in David’s time things looked just as grim as they do now – the rich and powerful were in charge and everyone else had to put up with it.

I am not great at remembering what God has done in my life and celebrating it is definitely not my forte. David did it over and over again. He didn’t let himself forget. He wrote it down regularly – given how many Psalms there are it seems like he took pen to paper every time he even thought of what had happened in his life and God’s part in it. (He probably didn’t actually do the writing but he came up with poems that he could remember and pass on to others.) Writing things down is such a good idea and we all seem to have gotten out of the habit – I know I have. Do you keep a record of God’s interventions in your life? Do you think it might help you remember, trust and celebrate more?

Verse 9-10 of this Psalm in The Message says “God’s a safehouse for the battered, a sanctuary during bad times. The moment you arrive, you relax; you’re never sorry you knocked.”

What a beautiful description! Do you remember to knock?

Praise you Lord for all that you do in our lives. That you help us even when we don’t see, that you hold us even when we don’t feel it and that you save us from our enemies. Help us to notice and remember and to celebrate!

Written by Therese Manning

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Saturday 4 May, 2013

Psalm 8

1 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in the whole earth! You have made your glory higher than the heavens. 2 You have made sure that children and infants praise you. You have done it because of your enemies. You have done it to put a stop to their talk. 3 I think about the heavens. I think about what your fingers have created. I think about the moon and stars that you have set in place. 4 What is a human being that you think about him? What is a son of man that you take care of him? 5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings. You placed on him a crown of glory and honor. 6 You made human beings the rulers over all that your hands have created. You put everything under their control. 7 They rule over all flocks and herds and over the wild animals. 8 They rule over the birds of the air and over the fish in the ocean. They rule over everything that swims in the oceans. 9 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in the whole earth!

God is known by observing his wonderful creation.  The Psalm starts this way and also concludes in the same vein.  His greatness is clearly evident, even children and infants acknowledge God.  He cannot be ignored, no excuses!

Talks of a big God verses the smallness of man

yet God has given us charge over the world he created.  Amazing!  Not only that, we are crowned with glory and honour!

Not to take God’s creation for granted.  It is truly breathtaking and deserves our praise.  We need to take wonder in God’s creation like kids do.  We get busy, the beauty and the one who created it can go unnoticed. We’ve also been given charge over it and need to look after it.

It also is a reminder to the value God places on a human life.  We are crowned with glory and honour.  God cares for each life, even the people we dislike or find difficult.

Lord help me to never forget the brilliance of your creation and mankind’s’ role.  Help me to value people the way you do, Amen.

Written by Ainslie Woods

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Friday 3 May, 2013

Psalm 7

1 Lord my God, I go to you for safety. Help me. Save me from all those who are chasing me. 2 If you don’t, they will tear me apart as if they were lions. They will rip me to pieces so that no one can save me. 3 Lord my God, suppose I have done something wrong. Suppose I am guilty. 4 I have done evil to my friend. Or I have robbed my enemy without any reason. 5 If I have done any of those things, let my enemy chase me and catch me. Let him walk all over me. Let him bury me in the dust. Selah 6 Lord, rise up in your anger. Rise up against the great anger of my enemies. My God, wake up. Command that the right thing be done. 7 Let all the people of the earth gather around you. Rule over them from your throne in heaven. 8 Lord, judge all people. Lord, judge me. But remember that I have done what is right. Most High God, remember that I am honest. 9 God, you always do what is right. You look deep down inside the hearts and minds of people. Bring to an end the terrible things sinful people do. Make godly people safe. 10 The Most High God is like a shield that keeps me safe. He saves those whose hearts are honest. 11 God judges fairly. He shows his anger every day. 12 If evil people don’t change their ways, God will sharpen his sword. He will get his bow ready to use. 13 He has prepared his deadly weapons. He has made his flaming arrows ready. 14 Anyone who is full of evil plans trouble and ends up telling lies. 15 Anyone who digs a hole and shovels it out falls into the pit he has made. 16 The trouble he causes comes back on him. The terrible things he does come down on his own head. 17 I will give thanks to the Lord because he does what is right. I will sing praise to the Lord Most High.

This Psalm is for all who are suffering at the hand of injustice – when the circumstances of life

are far from fair. Here’s David’s prayer process…
1. He states what he needs from God v1
2. He highlights what will happen if God doesn’t come through v2
3. He pleads his innocence v3-5
4. He DEMANDS action from God v6-9
5. He reminds himself of God character v10-16
6. He worships v17

What’s amazing about this prayer is not the process so much as the reason behind the process. God will bring justice. He has too. His character and nature demand it. And David knows this. The reason for the process was not to convince God to move but to convince David of the truth.  God will come through for him.

Dear Heavenly Father, you will never leave me or forsake me. I know that for certain. Please help me strengthen my faith. From this day forward may You catch me praying great prayers of faith in my times of need. And through it all I will worship You.

Written by Boudy van Noppen

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Thursday 2 May, 2013

Psalm 6

1 Lord, don’t correct me when you are angry. Don’t punish me when you are burning with anger. 2 Lord, have mercy on me. I’m so weak. Lord, heal me. My body is full of pain. 3 My soul is very troubled. Lord, how long will it be until you save me? 4 Lord, turn to me and help me. Save me. Your love never fails. 5 People can’t remember you when they are dead. How can they praise you when they are in the grave? 6 My groaning has worn me out. All night long my tears flood my bed. My bed is wet because of my crying. 7 I’m so sad I can’t see very well. My eyesight gets worse because of all of my enemies. 8 Get away from me, all of you who do evil. The Lord has heard my sobbing. 9 The Lord has heard my cry for his favor. The Lord accepts my prayer. 10 All of my enemies will be troubled and put to shame. They will turn back in dishonor. It will happen suddenly.

In times of trouble and difficulty, it is a good idea to cry out to God for help!! Whether the cause of our trouble is God disciplining us or the results of a sinful and fallen world, it is so important to turn to God rather than any unhelpful or sinful practices to deal with our troubles.

In Psalm 6, David uses poetry to cry out to God. I love the line “All night long, I flood my bed with weeping” as it is so extreme! I know that I can tend to thinking of everything as a catastrophe when a few minor problems arise in close succession!

In spite of the levels of David’s grief over his

situation, it is clear that he has faith that God will answer his prayer.

God, help us to cry out to you when we are in trouble and help us to depend on you more each day with strong faith.

Written by Justin Ware

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