Thursday 20 November, 2014

Psalm 95

1 Come, let us sing with joy to the Lord. Let us give a loud shout to the Rock who saves us. 2 Let us come to him and give him thanks. Let us praise him with music and song. 3 The Lord is the great God. He is the greatest King. He rules over all of the gods. 4 He owns the deepest parts of the earth. The mountain peaks belong to him. 5 The ocean is his, because he made it. He formed the dry land with his hands. 6 Come, let us bow down and worship him. Let us fall on our knees in front of the Lord our Maker. 7 He is our God. We are the sheep belonging to his flock. We are the people he takes good care of. Listen to his voice today. 8 If you hear it, don’t be stubborn as you were at Meribah. Don’t be stubborn as you were that day at Massah in the desert. 9 There your people of long ago really put me to the test. They did it even though they had seen what I had done for them. 10 For 40 years I was angry with them. I said, “Their hearts are always going down the wrong path. They do not know how I want them to live.” 11 So when I was angry, I took an oath. I said, “They will never enjoy the rest I planned for them.”

When MH370 disappeared some experts believed it crashed into the Indian Ocean off the coast of Western Australia. The ocean out there is said to be 20,000 ft deep in places. The 777 flies at over 30,000ft above sea level and now could be almost the same distance under the sea. For the sake of the families of those who are missing I pray and hope they find this plane.

While these distances blow my mind, this Psalm reminds me this is nothing for my God.

He holds in his hands the depths of the earth. V4

20,000ft below sea level is nothing for Him! It fits in the palm of His nail-scarred hands.

May my praise ever rise to you Jesus my Lord and Saviour. For you are great and mighty beyond words. That you would hold the oceans in your hands yet die for me blows me away. I am undone in worship and praise.

Amen

 

Written by Boudy Van Noppen

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Wednesday 19 November, 2014

Psalm 94

1 Lord, you are the God who punishes. Since you are the one who punishes, come and show your anger. 2 Judge of the earth, rise up. Pay back proud people for what they have done. 3 Lord, how long will those who are evil be glad? How long will they be full of joy? 4 Proud words pour out of their mouths. All those who do evil are always bragging. 5 Lord, they crush your people. They beat down those who belong to you. 6 They kill outsiders. They kill widows. They murder children whose fathers have died. 7 They say, “The Lord doesn’t see what’s happening. The God of Jacob doesn’t pay any attention to it.” 8 You who aren’t wise, pay attention. You foolish people, when will you become wise? 9 Does he who made the ear not hear? Does he who formed the eye not see? 10 Does he who corrects nations not punish? Does he who teaches human beings not know anything? 11 The Lord knows what people think. He knows that their thoughts don’t amount to anything. 12 Lord, blessed is the man you correct. Blessed is the person you teach from your law. 13 You give him rest from times of trouble, until a pit is dug to trap sinners. 14 The Lord won’t say no to his people. He will never desert those who belong to him. 15 He will again judge people in keeping with what is right. All those who have honest hearts will follow the right way. 16 Who will rise up for me against sinful people? Who will stand up for me against those who do evil? 17 Suppose the Lord had not helped me. Then I would soon have been lying quietly in the grave. 18 I said, “My foot is slipping.” But Lord, your love kept me from falling. 19 I was very worried. But your comfort brought joy to my heart. 20 Can you have anything to do with rulers who aren’t fair? Can those who make laws that cause suffering be friends of yours? 21 They join together against those who do what is right. They sentence to death those who aren’t guilty of doing anything wrong. 22 But the Lord has become like a fort to me. My God is my rock. I go to him for safety. 23 He will pay them back for their sins. He will destroy them for their evil acts. The Lord our God will destroy them.

I am encouraged by the revelation the psalmist speaks of in verses 18-19 – of the help of the Lord in the midst of the turmoils that rise within. God is clearly felt to be very near, very helpful, and the one who reverses the turmoils in our hearts to joy. Oh, how helpful and encouraging is the psalmists revelation of God.

When the anxieties and worries come, which they do, I need to substantiate this psalm in my heart and circumstances. God supports my faltering step, and brings a soothing touch that restores my joy!

Thank you Lord that your consolation, your encouragement brings me joy. Thank you Lord for daily consolation to walk in the joy of the Lord and not be overcome by anxious worry. Amen.

Written by Ps Rob Waugh

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Tuesday 18 November, 2014

Psalm 93

1 The Lord rules. He puts on majesty as if it were clothes. The Lord puts on majesty and strength. The world is firmly set in place. It can’t be moved. 2 Lord, you began to rule a long time ago. You have always existed. 3 Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice. They have lifted up their pounding waves. 4 But Lord, you are more powerful than the roar of the ocean. You are stronger than the waves of the sea. Lord, you are powerful in heaven. 5 Your laws do not change. Lord, your temple will be holy for all time to come.

I read this and think: the world need to know this. My family, friends and the people I come into contact with need to know this. God is not dead, insipid, irrelevant, obsolete or a figment of the imagination… He is in control, strong, everlasting, majestic, reliable and holy. He alone is worthy of being number one in our lives.

God, help me push into your greatness, expect more of you and give you plenty of room in which to be great. In my day to day life please open up opportunities for me to share with others how great you are. Help me to communicate you in a way people can understand. May people encounter your greatness through me and see your greatness firsthand in their lives. Amen.

 

Written by Beth Waugh

1 (reply)
  1. Kim Fleming says:

    I love how God uses images of the sea to compare with His greatness. It can be a force to be reckoned with, but God is greater,stronger & more in control than the wildest oceans-that’s ultimate control!

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Monday 17 November, 2014

Psalm 92

1 Lord, it is good to praise you. Most High God, it is good to make music to honor you. 2 It is good to sing every morning about your love. It is good to sing every night about how faithful you are. 3 I sing about it to the music of the lyre that has ten strings. I sing about it to the music of the harp. 4 Lord, you make me glad by what you have done. I sing with joy about the works of your hands. 5 Lord, how great are the things you do! How wise your thoughts are! 6 Here is something a man who isn’t wise doesn’t know. Here is what a foolish person doesn’t understand. 7 Those who are evil spring up like grass. Those who do wrong succeed. But they will be destroyed forever. 8 But Lord, you are honored forever. 9 Lord, your enemies will certainly die. All those who do evil will be scattered. 10 You have made me as strong as a wild ox. You have poured the finest olive oil on me. 11 I’ve seen my evil enemies destroyed. I’ve heard that they have lost the battle. 12 Those who do what is right will grow like a palm tree. They will grow strong like a cedar tree in Lebanon. 13 Their roots will be firm in the house of the Lord. They will grow strong and healthy in the courtyards of our God. 14 When they get old, they will still bear fruit. Like young trees they will stay fresh and strong. 15 They will say to everyone, “The Lord is honest. He is my Rock. There is no evil in him.”

Have you ever felt an overwhelming desire to praise God? In this Psalm the poet expresses this desire so well, “It’s so enjoyable t0 come before You with uncontainable praises spilling from our hearts! How we love to sing our praises over and over to You……Matchless God high and exalted over all! [Passion Translation]

Isn’t that kind of praise the kind which the Father delights in? In a sense the psalmist is saying that not a moment goes by without praise being on his lips, to express gratitude for “all You have done for me!” What a way to live! In fact, it’s the only way to live!

This Psalm is so appropriate for our world today. Praises build supreme confidence in the power and sovereignty of the Lord. We are reminded that no matter how dominating the wicked might be, there is always an end for “they will all perish, forever separated from You!” But for the righteous – in beautiful poetry, the Psalmist describes the prosperity they will enjoy right through their life.

Lord, You have so generously poured out your anointing on us. We lift our hearts in praise to thank you for blessings which accrue as we live our lives in Your Presence; “He is our Rock, perfect in every way!” We praise You enthusiastically.

Written by Keith Bennett

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Sunday 16 November, 2014

Psalm 91

1 The person who rests in the shadow of the Most High God will be kept safe by the Mighty One. 2 I will say about the Lord, “He is my place of safety. He is like a fort to me. He is my God. I trust in him.” 3 He will certainly save you from hidden traps and from deadly sickness. 4 He will cover you with his wings. Under the feathers of his wings you will find safety. He is faithful. He will keep you safe like a shield or a tower. 5 You won’t have to be afraid of the terrors that come during the night. You won’t have to fear the arrows that come at you during the day. 6 You won’t have to be afraid of the sickness that attacks in the darkness. You won’t have to fear the plague that destroys at noon. 7 A thousand may fall dead at your side. Ten thousand may fall near your right hand. But no harm will come to you. 8 You will see with your own eyes how God punishes sinful people. 9 The Lord is the one who keeps you safe. So let the Most High God be like a home to you. 10 Then no harm will come to you. No terrible plague will come near your tent. 11 The Lord will command his angels to take good care of you. 12 They will lift you up in their hands. Then you won’t trip over a stone. 13 You will walk all over lions and cobras. You will crush mighty lions and poisonous snakes. 14 The Lord says, “I will save the one who loves me. I will keep him safe, because he trusts in me. 15 He will call out to me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in times of trouble. I will save him and honor him. 16 I will give him a long and full life. I will save him.”

This is one of my favourite Psalms of all time. I took on the challenge to memorise this entire Psalm when I was 18 years old and it has been a source of comfort and strength ever since.

When times have been tough I have remembered the verses of Psalm 91 reminding me that God is my refuge and strength and that whatever comes against me ultimately cannot harm me if I place my trust in Him.

For me, this is a timely reminder – not only in the power of this particular Psalm, but also of the value, in general, of memorising scripture. I have had over 30 years of encouragement and enjoyment from an investment of a relatively small amount of time to memorise this Psalm all those years ago.

So I am challenging myself to get back into memorising scripture in a more focused way. Can I encourage you to do the same?

Written by Shelley Witt

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Saturday 15 November, 2014

Psalm 90

1 Lord, from the very beginning you have been like a home to us. 2 Before you created the world and the mountains were made, from the beginning to the end you are God. 3 You turn human beings back to dust. You say to them, “Return to dust.” 4 To you a thousand years are like a day that has just gone by. They are like a few hours of the night. 5 You sweep people away, and they die. They are like new grass that grows in the morning. 6 In the morning it springs up new, but by evening it’s all dried up. 7 Your anger destroys us. Your burning anger terrifies us. 8 You have put our sins right in front of you. You have placed our secret sins where you can see them clearly. 9 You have been angry with us all of our days. We groan as we come to the end of our lives. 10 We live to be about 70. Or we may live to be 80, if we stay healthy. But all that time is filled with trouble and sorrow. The years quickly pass, and we are gone. 11 Who knows how powerful your anger is? It’s as great as the respect we should have for you. 12 Teach us to realize how short our lives are. Then our hearts will become wise. 13 Lord, please stop punishing us! How long will you keep it up? Be kind to us. 14 Satisfy us with your faithful love every morning. Then we can sing with joy and be glad all of our days. 15 Make us glad for as many days as you have made us suffer. Give us joy for as many years as we’ve had trouble. 16 Show us your mighty acts. Let our children see your glorious power. 17 May the Lord our God show us his favor. Lord, make what we do succeed. Please make what we do succeed.

Moses truly knew what it meant to be a traveller and foreigner. He grew up as an adopted Israelite in Pharaoh’s court, escaped to the desert of Midian for decades and then led Israel’s Exodus from Egypt for 40 years.

We too are only foreigners in this world order, our true home is heaven, our true home is God!

We have nothing to hold onto in this world, and our lives in it are so brief. Our Lord alone is our home, now and forever. He is our hope and to him we cry out for all we need. He will replace all our mourning with singing.

“My God, I have no inheritance in this world that will not one day be gone. You are my greatest possession, Lord I thank you for giving me your promises and your presence. May you alone be my hope, otherwise I will have trusted in things and people that will fail.”

Written by Andrew Mellor

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Friday 14 November, 2014

Psalm 89

1 Lord, I will sing about your great love forever. For all time to come, I will tell how faithful you are. 2 I will tell everyone that your love stands firm forever. I will tell them that you are always faithful, even in heaven itself. 3 You said, “Here is the covenant I have made with my chosen one. Here is the promise I have made to my servant David. 4 ‘I will make your family line continue forever. I will make your kingdom secure for all time to come.’” Selah 5 Lord, the heavens praise you for your miracles. When your holy angels gather together, they praise you for how faithful you are. 6 Who in the skies above can compare with the Lord? Who among the angels is like the Lord? 7 God is highly respected among his holy angels. He’s more wonderful than all those who are around him. 8 Lord God who rules over all, who is like you? Lord, you are mighty. You are faithful in everything you do. 9 You rule over the stormy sea. When its waves rise up, you calm them down. 10 You crushed Egypt and killed her people. With your powerful arm you scattered your enemies. 11 The heavens belong to you. The earth is yours also. You made the world and everything that is in it. 12 You created everything from north to south. Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon sing to you with joy. 13 Your arm is powerful. Your hand is strong. Your right hand is mighty. 14 Your kingdom is built on what is right and fair. Your truth and faithful love lead the way in front of you. 15 Blessed are those who have learned to shout praise to you. Lord, they live in the light of your favor. 16 All day long they are full of joy because of who you are. They praise you because you do what is right. 17 You are their glory. You give them strength. You favor them by honoring our king. 18 Our king is like a shield that keeps us safe. He belongs to the Lord. He belongs to the Holy One of Israel. 19 You once spoke to your faithful people in a vision. You said, “I have given strength to a soldier. I have raised up a young man from among the people. 20 I have found my servant David. I have poured my sacred oil on his head. 21 My powerful hand will keep him going. My mighty arm will give him strength. 22 No enemies will require him to bring gifts to them. No evil person will beat him down. 23 I will crush the king’s enemies. I will completely destroy them. 24 I will love him and be faithful to him. Because of me his power will increase. 25 I will give him a great kingdom. It will reach from the Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates River. 26 He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father. You are my God. You are my Rock and Savior.’ 27 I will also make him my oldest son. Among all the kings of the earth, he will be the most important one. 28 I will continue to love him forever. I will never break my covenant with him. 29 I will make his family line continue forever. His kingdom will last as long as the heavens. 30 “What if his sons turn away from my laws and do not follow them? 31 What if they disobey my orders and fail to keep my commands? 32 Then I will punish them for their sins. I will strike them with the rod. I will whip them for their evil acts. 33 But I will not stop loving David. I will always be faithful to him. 34 I will not break my covenant. I will not go back on my word. 35 Once and for all, I have made a promise with an oath. It is based on my holiness. And I will not lie to David. 36 His family line will continue forever. His kingdom will last as long as the sun. 37 It will last forever like the moon, that faithful witness in the sky.” Selah 38 But you have turned your back on your anointed king. You have been very angry with him. 39 You have broken the covenant you made with him. You have thrown your servant’s crown into the dirt. 40 You have broken through the walls around his city. You have completely destroyed his secure places. 41 All those who pass by have carried off what belonged to him. His neighbors make fun of him. 42 You have made his enemies strong. You have made all of them happy. 43 You have made his sword useless. You have not helped him in battle. 44 You have put an end to his glory. You have knocked his throne to the ground. 45 You have cut short the days of his life. You have covered him with shame. Selah 46 Lord, how long will you hide yourself? Will it be forever? How long will your anger burn like fire? 47 Remember how short my life is. You have created all people for such a useless purpose! 48 What man can live and not die? Who can escape the power of the grave? Selah 49 Lord, where is the great love you used to have? You faithfully promised it to David. 50 Lord, remember how my enemies have made fun of me. I’ve had to put up with mean words from all of the nations. 51 Lord, your enemies have said mean things. They have laughed at everything your anointed king has done. 52 Give praise to the Lord forever! Amen and Amen.

The psalm begins typically with praise for God because of His love, faithfulness and mighty power which exceeds everything in heaven and earth. Justice and righteousness are the foundations of His nature and out of this He made a covenant with King David. The covenant was Gods promise to always be on David’s side, to honour and perpetuate his throne down the generations.  The psalmist reminds God that as part of the covenant He said that although He may punish the succeeding kings if they are disobedient, He will never withdraw His love, betray His faithfulness, nor violate or change His covenant. Then the tone changes; the psalmist accuses God of doing the very things He said He would not do. Of rejecting them, abandoning them in battle, shaming and defiling the crown of His king. It appeared to the psalmist that God had renounced His covenant.
On one hand he praises the unchanging nature of God and on the other hand he complains that God has caused all His troubles in some vindictive way.  There is frustration and despair here, but not a lot of logic. He feels sorry for himself and the status and wealth he has lost. But… It is still God to whom he directs his lament and he still ends the tirade with ‘praise be to God forever’.
What silly people we are when we start accusing God of doing things in our lives which are not in His unchanging nature to do. God does not go back on his own promises, he will not withdraw his love from us even when we do the wrong thing, and He will always be on our side.  He is faithful, powerful, just, wise and totally reliable.
Please help me God to see my circumstances in perspective and not to see my misfortunes as evidence that you are against me. I want to hold onto the solid rock of your love and faithfulness to me no matter what happens.

Written by Dimity Milne

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Thursday 13 November, 2014

Psalm 88

1 Lord, you are the God who saves me. Day and night I cry out to you. 2 Please hear my prayer. Pay attention to my cry for help. 3 I have so many troubles I’m about to die. 4 People think my life is over. I’m like someone who doesn’t have any strength. 5 People treat me as if I were dead. I’m like those who have been killed and are now in the grave. You don’t even remember them anymore. They are cut off from your care. 6 It seems as if you have put me deep down in the grave, that deep and dark place. 7 Your burning anger lies heavy on me. All the waves of your anger have crashed over me. Selah 8 You have taken my closest friends away from me. You have made me sickening to them. I feel trapped. I can’t escape. 9 I’m crying so much I can’t see very well. Lord, I call out to you every day. I lift up my hands to you in prayer. 10 Do you work miracles for those who are dead? Do dead people rise up and praise you? Selah 11 Do those who are dead speak about your love? Do those who are in the grave tell how faithful you are? 12 Are your miracles known in that dark place? Are your holy acts known in that land where the dead are forgotten? 13 Lord, I cry out to you for help. In the morning I pray to you. 14 Lord, why do you say no to me? Why do you turn your face away from me? 15 I’ve been in pain ever since I was young. I’ve been close to death. You have made me suffer terrible things. I have lost all hope. 16 Your burning anger has swept over me. Your terrors have destroyed me. 17 All day long they surround me like a flood. They have closed in all around me. 18 You have taken my companions and loved ones away from me. The darkness is my closest friend.

It is said that this is the darkest, saddest psalm of all the Psalms.

When I read this Psalm, I walked away with so heavy of heart that I did not wish to read this Psalm again…. How can anyone possibly go through such grief, distress with no one to turn to? Even the closest of friends have abandoned him. Tears, sorrow and hopelessness come crashing like waves; never ending.

What has this man done to deserve all these? God and men have totally abandoned him.

As I read this Psalm, I am reminded of the time when our Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross. It was ‘darkest day’ of His life. It was the time when the sin of the whole world was laid on Him. All his closest friends have deserted him, even God His Father has abandoned him.

“From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

As I reread this Psalm with the mental picture of Jesus dying on the cross for me, I cannot but thank the Son of God for His ultimate sacrifice. He was condemned, punished and abandoned so that I am made clean. When the Son of God gave His life for us, what should our response be? How should we live our lives that is pleasing to Him?

Lord Jesus, you are the King of Glory. Yet you are willing to give up your Heavenly throne to die a criminal death for me. Who am I to deserve this ? What kind of God are you? to touch and reach out to a sinful race. I am grateful. I am thankful. I am willing to follow such a Wonderful God whole heartedly. Thank you for loving me….

Written by Shin Liu

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Wednesday 12 November, 2014

Psalm 87

1 The Lord has built his city on the holy mountain. 2 He loves the city of Zion more than all of the other places where the people of Jacob live. 3 City of God, the Lord says glorious things about you. Selah 4 He says, “I will include Egypt and Babylon in a list of those who recognize me as king. I will also include Philistia and Tyre, along with Cush. I will say about them, ‘They were born in Zion.’” 5 Certainly it will be said about Zion, “This nation and that nation were born in her. The Most High God himself will make her secure.” 6 Here is what the Lord will write in his list of the nations. “Each of them was born in Zion.” Selah 7 As they make music they will sing, “Zion, all of our blessings come from you.”

Zion is the holy city of God. It was the foundation set by God and represents God’s glory. God loves Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.

Egypt, Babylon, Philistia, Tyre and Cush represent the cities of the world. They are the enemies of God/God’s people.

One day, Zion will be a community centre of all believers, including people from other cities of world. God will write in the register of the people: This one was born in Zion.

No wonder the Psalm writer said: Better to live one day in your house than a thousand elsewhere. And King David also said: I will live in the Lord’s house for the rest of my life.

The challenge of this passage to me is:

  1. In my heart, where do I live? Zion or other places?
  2. Am I fully aware that my name is registered in God’s census book?
  3. Do I have all my fountains in Jesus?

Dear Lord, thank you for writing my name in your census book. Thank you for always being my shelter and my rock. You are holy and seated among the praises of Israel. Help me to always check that my heart is living in Zion the holy city of God. Amen.

Written by Allen Leu

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Tuesday 11 November, 2014

Psalm 86

1 Lord, hear me and answer me. I am poor and needy. 2 Keep my life safe. I am faithful to you. You are my God. Save me. I trust in you. 3 Lord, show me your favor. I call out to you all day long. 4 Bring joy to me. Lord, I worship you. 5 Lord, you are good. You are forgiving. You are full of love for all who call out to you. 6 Lord, hear my prayer. Listen to my cry for your favor. 7 When I’m in trouble, I will call out to you. And you will answer me. 8 Lord, there’s no one like you among the gods. No one can do what you do. 9 Lord, all of the nations you have made will come and worship you. They will bring glory to you. 10 You are great. You do wonderful things. You alone are God. 11 Lord, teach me how you want me to live. Then I will follow your truth. Give me a heart that doesn’t want anything more than to worship you. 12 Lord my God, I will praise you with all my heart. I will bring glory to you forever. 13 Great is your love for me. You have kept me from going down into the grave. 14 God, proud people are attacking me. A gang of mean people is trying to kill me. They don’t care about you. 15 But Lord, you are a God who is tender and kind. You are gracious. You are slow to get angry. You are faithful and full of love. 16 Turn to me and show me your favor. Give me strength and save me. 17 Prove your goodness to me. Then my enemies will see it and be put to shame. Lord, you have helped me and given me comfort.
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