Daily Word

Psalm 20

Read Psalm 20 – I feel as if each Psalm is a brand new gift to open. Other books of the bible tell of an era, while each Psalm is whole and complete on its own. Psalm 20 is a prayer offered before a battle. In King David’s sense it was a literal battle. In Jesus’s sense it was that night in the Garden of Gethsemane as he prepared to lay down his holy life in sacrifice for you, me, and all who call upon his mighty name.

My friend welcomed a new granddaughter into the world yesterday, for the mother, the battlecry was labor… endless hours of pushing her body further than any other day would require, and the victory was so excellent, the pain and exhaustion faded to the background.

For others it could be sickness or family upheaval.

David’s Psalm was for the nation of Israel, and we would be wise to offer steady prayers for our nation as well. No matter how things look, remember: “Some nations boast of their chariots and some horses, but we boast in the name of the LORD our God.” :7 Pray with vigilance for our nation because God is greater than anything in this world!

Beloved, are you facing a battle? What are you trusting in?

Daily Word

Psalm 17

Read Psalm 17 – Marvelous lovingkindness, unfailing love, steadfast loving-kindness, the wonders of your great love… these are the words that appear in different translations on 17:7 “Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways. By your mighty power you rescue those who seek refuge from their enemies.” (That was from my NLT) Bible commentator, David Guzik notes, “Many of us ask for or only expect God’s moderate lovingkindness. We make our prayers, our faith, and our expectations small. David shows us a pattern to expect and ask from God marvelous lovingkindness.”

I am feeling very convicted by this and will be putting the matter to prayer today. Jesus has shown me that he does not answer prayers ‘just a little’; no, he answers prayers in big, undeniable ways! I am wondering where my limits have come from because I need BIG things. I need his full and marvelous lovingkindness to carry me through this life – how about you?

David has the hope of heaven on his heart when he closes this beautiful psalm in :15, “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” That alone is a statement of faith far beyond the common man. David did not have Pauls words, “And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.” Galatians 3:27 David had the kind of faith that simply knew.

Isn’t it so true, that the trials and hardships of this life grow dim against the backdrop of heaven and the hope that is ours in Christ? It’s been said – don’t tell God how big your troubles are – tell your troubles how big your GOD is!

Daily Word

Psalm 12

Read Psalm 12 – There is nothing new under the sun. David’s son, King Solomon, would write those words in the book of Ecclesiastes, yet here we see them shining in truth. David could very well have written this psalm after watching a news broadcast in our day, or that of our parents, grandparents, greats and so on because every generation seems to experience a season where it feels as if the godly are no more.

I can get dismal by what I see happening around me, but then I hold on to the fact that the LORD always has a remnant of his faithful children no matter how bad the culture gets.

There is a handwritten note in my bible from 2007 on verses :3-4 that wonders if this was pointing to a book that was popular at the time. Now it is 2022 and it is still pointing to things as much as 2007 and all the way to when David wrote it.

Today, verse :5 is speaking to my heart the loudest, “Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,” says the LORD. “I will protect them from those who malign them.” Our cry stirs the LORD to action! That is an incredible thing. Verse :8 closes our psalm with, “The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.” Are we there yet? It certainly feels that way.

Let’s take this psalm as our call to action. There are godless people making abominable claims all around us. Cry out. Let the LORD hear your concerns as you voice your prayers to the courtroom of heaven. Abba, we need you! The wicked are rampant once more; save us with your unfailing love and your righteous right arm. Amen and amen!

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 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 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.

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 12

Read Deuteronomy 12 – Wasn’t that a lovely break we took in Psalm 40 when I last wrote?  May you always be mindful of when your heart needs to pause from the ‘should’s’ of life.  The Lord truly cares about your heart above all else.  Okay, shall we get back on course with our chapter?  

The Israelites are given some preparation instructions for worship.  Step one is to clean house (:2-3).  The Lord commands that all the places of worship created by the previous inhabitants be utterly destroyed.  He is protecting them from being led astray.

The Lord assures them that He will select the place where they are to offer sacrifices, and grants permission for them to kill and eat as needed apart from an act of worship. This is a freedom, a liberty the Lord is expressly granting them, with the only warning to ensure there is no blood (:15,16,20-25).

They are commanded to provide for the Levite; that is the tribe set aside as priests. (:12,18-19).

Our chapter ends like it began, instructing the Israelites to:  “take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? – that I also may do the same.’ “ :30  The Lord HATES the abominable things these nations did to serve their gods.  They even burned their children alive as human sacrifices to their gods. (:31)

I pray you do not get lost in these instructions to the Israelites about things that may seem far removed from Christian life today.  Blood sacrifices are no longer required as Jesus shed his blood as our once and for all sacrifice.  And we are still not to dabble in occult practices, even under the guise of curiosity, lest we be led astray. Remember, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  Hebrews 13:8  He desires a life of joyful worship from us, as he did for our ancient brothers and sisters.  “And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God in all that you undertake.” 18b.

Daily Word

Psalm 40

Read Psalm 40 – Beloved, I am in a season. I have been rereading Deuteronomy 12 and my mind wanders. Heavy things are happening in my life and I am desperate for something more intimate than the cautions to the Israelites.
I share this, not for pity, but that you may also be attune to times when you need to change gears… God’s Word is not labor. It is His gift to us that we may know Him and how he delights to draw us near.
When I was pouring out my heart this morning and feeling like a disappointment; he drew me to Psalm 40. “I waited patiently for ADONAI, till he turned toward me and heard my cry. He brought me up from the roaring pit, up from the muddy ooze, and set my feet on a rock, making my footing firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will look on in awe and put their trust in ADONAI.” 40:1-3. I am using my COMPLETE JEWISH STUDY BIBLE today… there’s something about the richness of their word for the LORD, ‘ADONAI’, that makes my heart swoon.
And the air around me was feeling like muddy ooze – life can get so heavy – and knowing that God’s Word can relate to my heart does give me the ‘song of praise’ King David mentions.
“How much you have done, ADONAI my God! Your wonders and your thoughts toward us – none can compare with you! I would proclaim them, I would speak about them; but there’s too much to tell!” :4 Beloved, gratitude changes the very air we breathe!
My friends, can you join me today in this life giving Psalm? How is the LORD, ADONAI, reaching out to your heart in these precious 17 verses? He is great and glorious, our helper and rescuer, there is joy to be had for all who seek him… I’ll let you go on your own treasure hunt for these; they are all found in Psalm 40.

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 9

Read Deuteronomy 9 – Today is the day.  Before you go forward, remember that every lesson that has brought you to this moment is because the LORD is your God.

Beloved,  as you read this passage consider the two layers.  On one layer,  Moses is speaking to the Israelites before they cross into the Promised Land that the LORD will hand them.  The other layer is to read this passage as a model for your own life.  Remember you are under the LORD’s care and control.  A healthy fear of the LORD, and surrender of any pride that would usurp Him is the right way to live.

In verse :4 the Israelites were clearly warned not to brag about their righteousness as the LORD brings them victory against the Anakim giants and their fortified cities.  And the LORD is doing this because of the wickedness of these nations, and His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not because of any earned merit on the part of Israel.

They are reminded of their stubbornness and some of the poor choices they have made that provoked the LORD to anger (:6-25).  Likewise we should never get ahead of ourselves.  God’s Word says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus”  Romans 3:23-24

Moses’ prayer in :25-29 changed the LORD’s wrath over the golden calf incident.  Look closely at the prayer as a model for your prayers.  Moses humbles himself, laying prostrate for 40 days before uttering a word.  He exalts the LORD; he reminds Him of the great things He has done because of who He (the LORD) is!  Moses reminded God of His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

Beloved, when you pray, get your thoughts quiet and focused before you celebrate the holiness of the Lord your God.  Thank Him for all He has brought you through.  Remind Him of the promises found in His Word, and then humbly present your petitions.  Pray like Moses.

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 8

Read Deuteronomy 8 – Remember that it is the LORD who provides.  Do not lose your way on the stumbling blocks of pride.  The LORD cautions the people to be careful and obey all the commands he is giving them today.  And He gives a reason why:  “Then you will live and multiply, and you will enter and occupy the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors.” :1

He goes on to say their time in the wilderness was a time of testing, when God humbled them by letting them hunger, then feeding them manna.  He taught them that “man does not live by bread alone; rather we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” :3

Jesus used this verse when Satan tempted Him to turn the rocks into bread just as we are wise to use Scripture to stand against the attacks of the enemy. (see Matthew 4/Luke 4)

God explains that He acts as a parent disciplining a child, for your own good. :5

Beloved, each of us is wise to note the danger of good times, when life is abundant.  This is a gift from God, but a lack of gratitude makes us easy prey for pride to steal our hearts away.  Why don’t you offer a prayer of thanksgiving today, remembering all the blessings God has given you.