Tuesday 31 March, 2015

Psalm 101

1 I will sing of your love and justice; to you, Lord, I will sing praise. 2 I will be careful to lead a blameless life— when will you come to me? I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart. 3 I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it. 4 The perverse of heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with what is evil. 5 Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate. 6 My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; the one whose walk is blameless will minister to me. 7 No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence. 8 Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the Lord.

I am convicted by what I watch on TV. What images do I allow to dance before my eyes without a second thought? Casual sex, adultery, murder, lies – the list goes on and on – in ever increasing depravity. It’s sin. It’s watching sin.

David had the right idea in verse 3..,

“I refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar”

Paul says in Eph 5:11…

“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness”

I’m sure viewing these deeds on telly would be included in this verse. How can I casually watch these things when Jesus paid such a high price to save me from them?

Lord Jesus, please forgive me for watching stuff that’s “vile and vulgar”. Please convict me Holy Spirit, moment by moment, and give me the strength to “turn it off”. May I never treat your sacrifice for me on the cross with contempt again.   Amen

Written by Boudy VanNoppen

1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    So true Boudy, If Psalm 101 had been written today commentators would have send it is about TV.
    A few years ago I had a God inspired realisation about TV.
    Simply, TV stunts your growth. That is, TV slows down a persons growth to Christian maturity.
    Thanks Boudy

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Monday 30 March, 2015

Psalm 100

1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his[a]; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

This Psalm is all about access to God. The Passion Translation [TPT] says “Lift up a great shout of joy to the LORD;…. Bring your gift of laughter to Him and be glad as you worship Him! Sing your way into His Presence with joy!

David encourages us to make praise the centre of our relationship with our Father God; and the means by which we gain access into His Presence.

There is such an air of excitement about this Psalm. An amazing procession! Link Psalm 98: 6 with Psalm 100-where it says, …..”with the harp & the sound of the singing, with trumpets & the blast of the ram’s horn – shout for joy before the LORD, the King”.

It’s infectious! You get caught up in this excitement and become part of the procession of praise. Imagine the scene! A great crowd of worshippers walking through the open gates into His kingdom. There are no restrictions, just the “password” of praise; for the Lord is always good & ready to receive you. He is so loving it will amaze you; so kind that it will astound you….everyone knows our God can be trusted to keep His promises to every generation.

And why wouldn’t a person want to praise Him? He is none other than our Creator! We didn’t make ourselves, He, & only He, is the one who has taken possession of us as His “sheep ”. He not only created us but He also loves us unconditionally.

LORD, we are so grateful that the way into your Presence has been secured by Jesus Christ your Son and our Saviour.

Written by Keith Bennett

1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    I have been thinking about what is required to live in the constant overflow of the Holy Spirit. Most likely there is many factors but one thing is for sure, without a Psalm 100 attitude it is not going to happen.
    Thanks Keith

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Sunday 29 March, 2015

Psalm 99

1 The Lord reigns, let the nations tremble; he sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake. 2 Great is the Lord in Zion; he is exalted over all the nations. 3 Let them praise your great and awesome name— he is holy. 4 The King is mighty, he loves justice— you have established equity; in Jacob you have done what is just and right. 5 Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy. 6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel was among those who called on his name; they called on the Lord and he answered them. 7 He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud; they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them. 8 Lord our God, you answered them; you were to Israel a forgiving God, though you punished their misdeeds.[a] 9 Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy.

This Psalm makes me think of Hebrews 11 and the ‘great cloud of witnesses’ that are described throughout the chapter. They are the reminders, their lives are the substance of the things unseen. They lived lives of faith in a God they could not see yet they knew Him and He knew them. This psalm is an appeal to consider these monuments of faith, to not lose heart, to know what God did for other people of faith he will do for me, for he does not change.

Dear Lord, thank you for the examples before me, stretching back to Noah, Abraham and Moses and stretching forward to the people around me at church. As I feel lost or lose heart, I will recall these people, speak with these people and be made strong through faith in the One who reigns over all.

Written by Andrew Mellor

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Saturday 28 March, 2015

Psalm 98

1 Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. 2 The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. 3 He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. 4 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; 5 make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, 6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn— shout for joy before the Lord, the King. 7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. 8 Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; 9 let them sing before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.

I am grabbed by the very first line of this Psalm – sing a new song to The Lord. Why does it matter if we sing a new song, especially if there is nothing particularly wrong with our current one? Perhaps because it means we have to become more intentional, and dig a little deeper, rather than rely on the same praise & thanksgiving we have previously offered up to God. While no genuine praise towards God is wrong or bad, it is easy to become complacent in the manner in which we praise and thank him.

Are there new things happening in our lives that we can consider as wonderful blessings from God, and praise him accordingly? Or are there new perspectives we can take on our everyday, normal lives that allow us to see blessings where we may have overlooked them? I am reminded to constantly be intentional and active in praising God, and in finding his blessing in my life. He does not hide or disguise his goodness in my life – rather He has made known His power to save and has shown His faithful love. I just have to be open to seeing it, and respond to the wonderful things he has done!

Thank you God that you are constantly working for good in my life, even when I overlook the blessings you place before me. May I have open eyes to see the wonderful things you are doing, and praise you in new and fresh ways.

Written by Madelaine Tarasenko

2 replies
  1. Bethany says:

    Wow, that is such a good reminder of why we are called to sing a new song. What energy it brings when we determine to look for the blessings in our lives and then see all around us evidence that God IS at work and IS answering our prayers. Thanks Mads.

  2. Justin Ware says:

    Whenever I read this Psalm, I am reminded of a very old hymn (ironically) that I sang in church when I was younger. Even then, I found it ironic that we would sing such an old song “sing a new song unto the Lord” in old King James English! Thank you Lord that we are able to sing worship to you in modern, fresh, contemporary, culturally relevant ways.

    Great insights Mads!

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Friday 27 March, 2015

Psalm 97

1 The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice. 2 Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. 3 Fire goes before him and consumes his foes on every side. 4 His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles. 5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth. 6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all peoples see his glory. 7 All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols— worship him, all you gods! 8 Zion hears and rejoices and the villages of Judah are glad because of your judgments, Lord. 9 For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods. 10 Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. 11 Light shines[a] on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. 12 Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name.

Psalm 97 describes how glorious and powerful God is. His might is overwhelming, “mountains melt like wax before the Lord” (v5), and as a result “those who worship idols are disgraced” (v7).

It is so easy to hear this declaration and agree with it, but then not live in the truth of it day to day. It doesn’t take me long to think of times when I’ve melted like wax before the mountains in front of me, forgetting who God is. So many times I’ve strayed to idol worship – whether that looks like loving money, getting too caught up in my own lofty thoughts at the expense of time with God, giving in to lusts of the flesh, the list goes on!

Verses 10 to 12 are an important reminder in how to live out the truth. We are to hate evil, making sure our hearts are right, and rejoice in the Lord, praising His holy name. These are not actions to be done religiously, but describe the lifestyle of those who love the Lord. The result is that He protects our lives, He rescues us, and His joy and light shine on us!

God, help me to live a life of hating what is evil, with my heart humble and open before You. Let me find increasing joy and ease in rejoicing in You and praising Your name.

Written by Matt Samperi

1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    You can always tell Psalm 97 people. They are quick to follow God’s rules cheerfully.

    Thanks Matt

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Thursday 26 March, 2015

Psalm 96

1 Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. 3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 4 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary. 7 Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. 9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of his[a] holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. 10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. 11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. 12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. 13 Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.

David, who wrote this Psalm was a man of contrasts. He was single mindedly committed to God, yet guilty of some of the most serious sins recorded in the Old Testament. One thing I love about David is his joy that he had in the Lord, which is so evident in his psalms, (especially in this one). He knew who God was and knew of his freedom and salvation.

I find this passage a bit of a “to-do” list. Despite what I am going through that day or that week, I need to sing a new song, to get out of my grizzling or whining and proclaim His goodness and remember the things He has done for us. The act of singing itself means to me there is joy behind it. I don’t think one can burst out singing without it.

I love in vs 9 how David is telling us to “worship the Lord in the splendour of His holiness…”. I find myself sometimes complacent of his glory, forgetting His hugeness and almighty power. This psalm is a good reminder of that.

Verses 11-13 creates a beautiful picture. To imagine all creation rejoicing, praising and worshipping the Lord – what joy that would be, I must admit though, I sometimes struggle to believe this.

Lord I ask you to help me remember Your almighty glory and splendour. Remind me in every season to dance and sing a new song like David did. Thank you that there is always a reason to praise Your name, to proclaim Your goodness and faithfulness. Help me to see where I have idols in my life, things that I am “worshipping” that are not of You. Please forgive me for not fearing you at times and help my unbelief to see all creation worshipping your holy name. Thank you that there is freedom and joy to be found in You.   Amen.

Written by Sophie Stewart

1 (reply)
  1. Kim Fleming says:

    I love this, Psalm too how often do i forget to sing out His awesome splendor & proclaim His goodness all the time. Thanks Soph for those thoughts

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Wednesday 25 March, 2015

Psalm 95

1 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. 3 For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; 7 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear his voice, 8 “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, 9 where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did. 10 For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.’ 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”

This Psalm strikes me by its contrast. It begins in great reverence and worship. It finishes with a warning to not go astray in our hearts for we will not be able to enter into God’s rest. What is most striking – in the appeal of God, God’s focus is on the human heart. God wants a soft heart, a heart that stays focused on learning and knowing His ways. But the warning of this Psalm is – the heart goes hard if it is allowed to wander astray, and this arouses the anger of God and the exclusion of God from the good promise of His rest.

Knowing who God is, and putting Him in His right place in our hearts, our days, and our lives, appears to be, by inference in this Psalm, what keeps our heart soft and open to learning from God. In other words, worshipping and exalting God in our hearts keep our hearts from going astray, becoming hard, and angering God. This makes sense. When you realise who God is – Creator and Lord of the Universe – then you are not only awestruck, but your heart becomes focused – wanting to know and live His plan for your life.

Lord, I lift you up in my heart. There is none like you, none other than you, none who can be compared to you. You alone are God, are King of all Creation, Lord of this vast and wonderful universe. Teach me to live a life of worship, and Lord keep my heart soft and hungry to learn about you and your ways all the days of my life. Amen.

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

2 replies
  1. Richard Botta says:

    What a great Psalm of praise, a call to worship par excellence. Not only a call to what we are to do, ‘Come let us sing for joy to the Lord’, but why, because ‘the Lord our God is the great God, the great King above all gods’.

    Of course the Psalm goes on, that we should kneel, in submission, because He is the King and we are the sheep of His pasture.

    There is a tinge of rebuke in the Psalm, reminding the people of their behaviors in the wilderness and that they needed to ensure that praising God was part of their lives.

    How much is praise and thanksgiving part of my life? Do they roll off my tongue, or do I have to push them out? Am I one who needs to hear a warning from the Lord because of my grumbling and complaining. Am I using the antidote of praise for grumbling?

    Father help me to live in praise and thank You for all You are and do in my life.

  2. Justin Ware says:

    The hardness or softness of my heart is something that I find needs constant correction through hearing from God’s word and regular conviction by the Holy Spirit.

    I find that I can even go through the motions of being a devoted husband, loving father, caring friend and good worker, but still begin to harden my heart towards God. As we can all see from the narrative of Exodus that is highlighted in this Psalm, hardening my heart towards God will always have a negative impact on my worldly relationships and my life eventually because of the natural consequences of sin.

    This Psalm highlights that I can even hear God’s voice and still harden my heart. God is constantly speaking and I can hear him in one form or another, but there is constant tension in how I respond.

    Lord, may I not only listen for your voice and hear it correctly, but also do what you call me to do with a softness of heart that is maintained by your love for me.

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Tuesday 24 March, 2015

Psalm 94

1 The Lord is a God who avenges. O God who avenges, shine forth. 2 Rise up, Judge of the earth; pay back to the proud what they deserve. 3 How long, Lord, will the wicked, how long will the wicked be jubilant? 4 They pour out arrogant words; all the evildoers are full of boasting. 5 They crush your people, Lord; they oppress your inheritance. 6 They slay the widow and the foreigner; they murder the fatherless. 7 They say, “The Lord does not see; the God of Jacob takes no notice.” 8 Take notice, you senseless ones among the people; you fools, when will you become wise? 9 Does he who fashioned the ear not hear? Does he who formed the eye not see? 10 Does he who disciplines nations not punish? Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge? 11 The Lord knows all human plans; he knows that they are futile. 12 Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord, the one you teach from your law; 13 you grant them relief from days of trouble, till a pit is dug for the wicked. 14 For the Lord will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance. 15 Judgment will again be founded on righteousness, and all the upright in heart will follow it. 16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers? 17 Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. 18 When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. 19 When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. 20 Can a corrupt throne be allied with you— a throne that brings on misery by its decrees? 21 The wicked band together against the righteous and condemn the innocent to death. 22 But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge. 23 He will repay them for their sins and destroy them for their wickedness; the Lord our God will destroy them.

Often we want God to beat up those who don’t do what we want or who do things we don’t like. This is what the Psalmist is asking for God to do – to beat up on the evil people. There are so many examples of evil people we would like to be put out of action.

But here the Psalmist reminds us that God stands by us when we are in difficult situations. God’s unfailing love supported him. God is our rock even when we don’t understand why the world works the way it does. It’s easy to get distracted from that. God sees things we cannot but He is trustworthy and we should build our lives on Him.

Lord thank You that You are standing right beside each of us all the time. Help us to remember that and to reach out for Your support. Thank You that you do not abandon us. Thank You for Your unfailing love. 

Written by Therese Manning

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Monday 23 March, 2015

Psalm 93

1 The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength; indeed, the world is established, firm and secure. 2 Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity. 3 The seas have lifted up, Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. 4 Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea— the Lord on high is mighty. 5 Your statutes, Lord, stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days.

The Bible is constantly exhorting me to praise God (more than a hundred times in Psalms alone). But it always seems strange to be telling God things that he already knows, especially when my description of His character is so inadequate compared to His reality.

I don’t think He needs my praise of Him, but I’m pretty sure I do.

He doesn’t forget how mighty He is, but sometimes I do. He is never unsure, but sometimes I am. He needs no encouragement, but I often do. When the ground I stand on seems fragile and shifting, I need to remind myself that what God has put in place will never be shaken. When the floods have risen around me and roar like thunder, I need to remind myself that God is mightier. Whatever feels like it’s going to overwhelm me is no match for my God!

And sometimes the world needs to be reminded “forget your violent raging: God is mightier than you!” Satan often needs reminding. Proclaiming it to the world is important. I think it has a tangible impact.

Praise is often associated with entering God’s presence. It’s not just that there’s not much else to talk about when you are surrounded by infinite glory, it changes how I enter His presence: being honest about who He is and who I am. To enter His presence in that right relationship is a joy.

Father, thank you that you do put on majesty like a robe and strength like a belt. It makes me safe. I’m so glad my God is so worthy of praise.

Written by David Cornell

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Sunday 22 March, 2015

Psalm 92

1 It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, 2 proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, 3 to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp. 4 For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done. 5 How great are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts! 6 Senseless people do not know, fools do not understand, 7 that though the wicked spring up like grass and all evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever. 8 But you, Lord, are forever exalted. 9 For surely your enemies, Lord, surely your enemies will perish; all evildoers will be scattered. 10 You have exalted my horn like that of a wild ox; fine oils have been poured on me. 11 My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries; my ears have heard the rout of my wicked foes. 12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; 13 planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, 15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
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