Daily Word

Psalm 34

Read Psalm 34 – The first thing we are told is that this was written as a praise to God right after David pretended to be insane before Abimelech…. And that is a grand adventure covered in 1 Samuel 21 if you are stirred to know more.   Suffice to say, it was an ‘only God’ kind of escape from certain death, and David is quick to respond in praise and encouragement for others to do the same.  

“I sought the LORD and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. ” :4-5

Have you seen that?   Who comes to mind when you think of someone who walks closest to Jesus? What about their countenance stands out? You can see it,  right?   Jesus offers this to all who seek him, including and especially you!   (I say that because this is one gift each person must say yes to personally. )

“The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. ”  :7

Will you strive to carry that thought with you? In Christ, you do not walk alone. 

“The LORD is close to the broken hearts and saves those who are crushed in spirit. “:18

The life preserver is right there in Jesus. Take hold and rejoice! 

Daily Word

Psalm 31

Read Psalm 31 – Beloved, I cannot begin to tell you what a strength this psalm has been to me.  I was in a season of trial a few years back.  It was a time so heavy from many directions that I did not know how I would survive. It was a time of my deepest despair.  Can you recall a time like this?  If not, be ready.  Trials come upon all of us.

God knows there is something about seeing the perseverance of another and the faithfulness of the LORD that gives us strength.  David cries out, “Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief.”

This is a season, and David graphically pours it out to the LORD… sometimes we need to get it all out.  And then we see a shift beginning in verse :14, and these are the words that I hold close in my heart:

“But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’  My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me.  Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.” :14-16

And from there, beginning in verse :19 David can’t stop talking about the goodness of God.  When you feel yourself sinking, try shifting your focus from your troubles to the goodness of God, who he is, past answered prayers, his love, glory, faithfulness and so on.  

David closes with a call to action, “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” :24

Daily Word

Psalm 25

Read Psalm 25 – We last spoke of who God is in Psalm 24.  Now, in Psalm 25, David entrusts himself to the LORD.  (:1-2)

David recognizes that many are his enemy and their behavior is treacherous. David was a man of bloodshed with a life’s purpose to be king according to God’s plan.  I am much more ordinary than that, yet still need a healthy awareness that those who hate Jesus are enemies. (Jesus said in John 15:18-19, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you.”)  Beloved, we must love our enemies with wisdom and grace, not simple naivete and wishful thinking.  

“Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are my God, my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” :4-5  Beloved, with this desire you will not be led astray!

David goes on, recalling God’s nature, asking for forgiveness from the sins of his youth and iniquities for God’s namesake… not David’s merits, but for God’s own namesake.  David even speaks about some dark days… David is not a stranger to anxieties, but he also knows where to take them.

Beloved, can you carve out some alone time today, search your soul, as David did, and lay it before Jesus, our Savior.

Daily Word

Psalm 10

Read Psalm 10 – It’s hard to watch, isn’t it?  Sometimes wicked people prosper while the faithful struggle.  David observes the arrogance and utter lack of humanity of the prosperous as he intercedes for the afflicted.

As you were reading, was your heart stirred to anger for the lack of reverence for God and man David described?  Or did you find yourself jealous of their success?  Yikes, right, that makes it personal.  Beloved, let those questions hit home.  Let the Holy Spirit open your eyes to your own heart as you read God’s Word.

The psalm closes with, “The LORD is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land.  You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.” :16-18  First of all, whose land is it?  That’s right – the earth and everything in it belongs to God.  And what does God do for the afflicted?  That’s right – he hears, encourages, listens and defends!  Scripture says, “If God is for us, who can stand against us?” Romans 8:31

Daily Word

Psalm 9

Read Psalm 9 – I had been walking with Christ for just a few weeks when my crew was reassigned one more flight at the end of a long day. The passengers had been waiting for hours as a plane was repaired and flown down from our headquarters 3 states away.  There was no catering on the aircraft,  not so much as a paper cup for tap water.

Upon learning this my colleague asked, “Are you Christian? ”  I said yes.   She grabbed me by the hands and said we were going to pray about this and proceeded to lift our catering delima up to Jesus.

Our competitors soon  came steaming in with snacks and cases of drinks.   We ended up with more than enough. Our inconvenienced passengers were filled with gratitude instead of attitude!

That was the day I learned how much Jesus cares about the little things as much as the big.   Nothing is too hard for him and He never seems to bless ‘just a little’.

There’s a women’s event I wanted to go to tomorrow, but I was scheduled to fly.  The trade box was full and no one seemed to be picking up.   I asked a few of my Sisters to pray for me, remembering what Jesus did way back when. Sure enough, I got the day off.

I’m Psalm 9, David recounts the wonderful deeds of God in answer to his prayers. I pray this sparks your own memories of answered prayers,big and small. Our faith grows when we remember the Lord’s faithfulness.

Daily Word

Psalm 7

Read Psalm 7 – What kind of bible do you read? There are many different translations available. I first fell in love with Jesus with a New International Study Bible(NIV). It contained lots of explanations to help me along. I now use the English Standard Version (ESV) most of the time, but sometimes I will try a passage in several different versions to really get to the heart of things. The internet has made this very easy, so if you ever get stuck or simply want a richer understanding, try a few different versions.

David is surrounded by those who wish to harm him. In his anguish, he considers if this is perhaps the result of something he did. (:3-5) It is always wise in times of calamity to search one’s heart to ensure it is clean.

With that assurance, he moves to petition, “Arise, O LORD, in your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies. Awake, my God; decree justice.” :6 David relies on who God is, “My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart.” :10 He goes on from there to state a few wonderful attributes of the LORD.

Remember yesterday, when I said I wanted a hero? The LORD is the hero. If we look to humans we will discover that Romans 3:23 is right every time, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” There is one who never fails and never forsakes and that is Jesus Christ our LORD. May verse :17 be a light for you, whether in a storm or not – “I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.”

Daily Word

Psalm 6

Read Psalm 6 – Early in my bible studies I realized that nearly every character is flawed with sin. I really wanted a hero I could look up to, yet most were a mess like, well, me. The LORD calls David a man after His own heart, but his sin is clearly recorded and on display in the bible. The LORD has an extraordinary relationship with him anyway.

We don’t know why David is being chastised in our Psalm, just that he is. As earthly fathers discipline their children, so does our Heavenly Father, and David is crying out to him.

Like yesterday, David’s plea is centered on the LORD’S unfailing, steadfast love. He doesn’t claim to deserve it or justify himself.

He displays his suffering eloquently (:6-7). We do this a bit too…. Wallow for a moment, but don’t stay there. As David shifts gears in :8, from wallow to rescue he finds mercy.

Beloved, God’s Word says we will encounter trials of various kinds and that we are to consider them pure joy because they are developing our perseverance! (See James 1 for more on this) May Psalm 6 draw your heart close to Jesus, our Rescuer.

Daily Word

Psalm 5

Read Psalm 5 – “You and me against the world… sometimes it feels like you and me against the world….” Excuse me while I entertain myself with this Helen Reddy song. David seemed to be in a “You and me against the world” state of mind when he penned Psalm 5, and for us, it serves as a breathtaking model for prayer.

David approaches the LORD with great reverence as O LORD, my King and my God. (:1-3). He focuses of the LORD’S character; the LORD abhors wickedness, and those who are evil, liars, bloodthirsty and deceitful…. David aligns his heart with the LORD as he speaks. Beloved, pray by this example, consider who you are speaking to. Examine your heart, and if you see anything displeasing, confess it before any petitions.

“But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you.” :7

David draws near to God by God’s very own steadfast love, and not his own merits. His petition is simply, lead me in your righteousness, my enemies are terrible.

And he closes the Psalm with a reminder of how good the LORD is to those who take refuge in Him.

Beloved, the LORD went to the greatest of lengths for your heart to be near him. He is the one who will never leave you or forsake you. The world may be against you, yet in Christ you will never walk alone.

Daily Word

Psalm 4

Read Psalm 4 – Selah is a beautiful word. It sort of means ‘think about it’, but in a peaceful and reverent manner. Say it out loud… it even feels tranquil on the tongue.

Our David was in some kind of a jam when he called out to the LORD asking for mercy, relief and to be heard. My bible notes speculate it was either when his son, Absolom, was rising against him, or a time of natural calamity like drought…. It is interesting to speculate on the specifics, but when I read my heart is drawn to David’s heart. I find that I also cry out like he did, and am comforted to know that God hears these prayers.

David asks his men how long will they love delusions and seek false gods? Selah…. What do you discover when you ‘selah’ over this? Are there delusions or false gods in your life? Do you esteem career, money, or maybe a relationship over Jesus?

“Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him.” (:3) Does your heart agree with this? Do you lean into Jesus or doubt he hears you?

“In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your heart and be silent. Selah” (:4) Whoa – yes, anger will happen, handle it with care.

Our Psalm ends with a reset. It started out with the laying down of burdens and ends with a reminder of the joy, peace and security one has when they trust in the LORD. Selah, Beloved, selah.

Daily Word

Psalm 3

Read Psalm 3 – Get God’s Word in!  For your good and God’s glory, read your bible.  Life is so chaotic.  Many things and many thoughts happen beyond our control. Setting your mind on the glory, love, power and compassion of the LORD will strengthen you for the trials of life.  The more you know and love the LORD, the easier it is to lead your life with peace, joy and wisdom.

David is in one of those trials where things are rising up against him. (:1) It would be normal human nature to let his thoughts run rampant with what his enemies are doing, but he calls on the name of the LORD,  “But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.”

Verse :5 is a powerhouse.  Sleep is one of the most challenging things when your heart is riled up, yet David says, “I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.”  Try that as your mantra the next time you find yourself sleepless with worries.  David did not lie down and analyze his problems; he spoke victory over them with the pure truth that the LORD sustains him.

Beloved, thank you for showing up today and setting your heart on things above.