Daily Word

Psalm 36

Read Psalm 36 – If they only knew…. Beloved, do you remember the old you, prior to Salvation? The old me was guilty of the :1-4 accusations. On the outside I was a nice person, but on the inside there was no fear of God, I was prideful about my sin and did not reject the things that were wrong to God.

There is an analogy about sheep standing on a vibrant green hillside. They look so white and pristine, but then the snow fell and their filth was apparent in contrast to the pure white snow.

Owning who we were apart from Jesus is essential to our surrender, Salvation, and celebration of who God is… Then the snow continued to fall, and the dirty fleece was covered in pristine white… as we emerge, clothed in Jesus Christ – hallelujah!

Verses :5-9 is a shift of focus from the wicked to the glory of God. There is a song by the band, THIRD DAY, and they sing these verses. If you know it you might find yourself reading to the tune.

“Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains. Your justice like the great deep.” :5-7

Do you feel the change in your heart as you read these verses of adoration? Do you feel the weight of this world lighten as you turn your focus to Jesus?

“How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. ” :7

God bless your day.

Daily Word

Psalm 18

Read Psalm 18 – My God is…. How do you complete that statement? Will you spend some time on this? Will you write it down? It’s one of the most important things one can do… have a clear perspective on who God is to oneself, personally.

David says, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” :2

I woke up excited to discover what the Lord has for me today. I opened to our Psalm 18 and read, and read. It is wonderful, this summary of the LORD, His rescue, His promises for the righteous and the wicked. Imagine the scene David paints as God responds to his distress in :6-12! And in :19 we learn why God did this, for His own delight. Wow, right? It’s one giant wow after the next.

I won’t take up any more of your time, as Psalm 18 is one of the longest and a delight the whole way through. Enjoy, Beloved, then finish the sentence, “My God is…”

Daily Word

Psalm 16

Read Psalm 16 – Read about pleasure and joy. Do you ever think about eternity? It is that moment when we escape this world and discover what true life really is. It is that moment when time stops, when we see Jesus face to face, when we look upon every earthly trial with true perspective and know the value of what we once thought of as suffering. Oh, Beloved, the best is yet to come, yet here on earth is our only chance to shine for Christ upon those who do not know him, whose eternal destiny might be destruction, but for our impact.

David makes the very most of his days on earth beginning in verse one – asking the LORD to keep him safe and be his refuge. David tells God, “You are my Master. Every good thing I have comes from you.” :2 He speaks of the godly on earth, his true heros, those he is pleased to be with. And he speaks of those who chase after other gods, their troubles multiply. (:3-4) Have you seen how life does not make sense to those who chase after other gods? Be it money, power, spirituality, they seem so on top until trouble comes.

Verse :5 is priceless! It is the one I will be holding on to today because it reminds me that the LORD is with me now and the best is yet to come! Which verse did the Holy Spirit speak to you through? I would love it if you shared.

Daily Word

Psalm 11

Read Psalm 11 – Faith changes your line of sight.

Riding a motorcycle on Southern California roads and highways is different than riding in a car. On a motorcycle each lane has many ways out and must pay complete attention to the road, the drivers, the upcoming merges all while taking in the beauty, the birds, the trees, the sky… I’ve never been to war like David, but I do ride a motorcycle. David expresses a level of faith in the LORD that I lean into. The LORD knows the number of our days. If the LORD has more work for us then we have nothing to fear from arrows, distracted drivers or anything that threatens! “In the LORD I take refuge. How then can you say to me: ‘Flee like a bird to your mountain.’” :1

David asks, “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” :3

And he answers his own question with some truth about God. God is on the throne. God sees and examines what the sons of men are doing.

“The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates. On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot.” :5-6

When I read the words ‘his soul hates’, I held my breath without realizing it. There are evil people in this world and the LORD doesn’t miss what they do in secret. It is an overwhelming thing to think of what our righteous LORD will do to the evil he HATES.

“For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face.” :7

When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? They can trust in the LORD, knowing he is righteous, he loves justice and those who walk with him in Jesus will see his face.

And while it is comforting to hold on to this, it also stirs my heart to more mercy, love and truth for those around me who are perishing. Do you know there is not a middle ground? There is heaven for those who are clothed in Christ Jesus; there is hell for all who reject him, and that’s it. There is no place in the middle for what one might think of as the ‘not so bad’, and it’s not a balancing act of good outweighing bad… because “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), Jesus is the only way. Is there someone you need to reach out to today?

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

Deuteronomy 19

Read Deuteronomy 19 – Refuge and justice – the LORD established a system of justice, allowing for accidents, with cities of refuge.   

The thing that stands out to me about these cities is that one had to take personal responsibility for the death of another, even if it happened by accident without any malice.  Scripture gives the example of two going out to chop wood and the axe head falls off and kills one. (:5)  Though that was an accident, the survivor would then run to a city of refuge, tell the elders, and live within the city of refuge, protected from revenge by the dead person’s family.  

The LORD also knew that some would seek this protection in an unworthy manner, after killing someone deliberately, then seeking refuge.  In that instance the elders of the murderers hometown were to send agents to retrieve him, so that he could be put to death. (:12)

There was a system in place for false accusations, and I wonder how we got away from such a thing.  In our modern system of justice, anyone can sue anyone with no repercussions should the charges be found false.  In God’s system, the false accuser would receive the punishment intended for the accused. (:19) 

God’s justice serves the community by action and reputation.  Things were dealt with in a very present time frame, and the community would learn what happens when evil is done and be afraid to do such things. (:20).

It is incredible to me that the LORD holds no false hope about humanity.  We are sinners and a system of justice is necessary.  He gave us Jesus, sending him to pay our ransom, to be justice for us so we could be redeemed children, co-heirs with Jesus. (See Romans 8:17)

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 4

Read Deuteronomy 4 – Hear it. Know it. Do it.   The Lord is giving instructions through Moses. 

Verse :2 is where most organized religions and all belief systems outside of Christianity mess up.   As humans we want to make our mark, traditions are added, legalism is infused,  but the LORD is clear:  DO NOT ADD OR TAKE AWAY FROM WHAT GOD COMMANDS. 

America would be well served to remember,  repent and cling to verses :7-8. 

The Lord issues a strong warning against idolatry (:15-20). Beloved,  idolatry can slip in so easily… It can be fame,  fortune, cars,  clothes,  food,  even good things like your children or charity if your pride in them goes above your love for Jesus…. Anything you hold in esteem and leave God out of is dangerous territory.  And notice :19, the Lord includes the worship of His creation, the sun,  moon and stars,  in things we are not to bow down and serve. 

Beloved, non- believers will suggest the Bible is a book of rules and no fun.   I pray as you comb through you will see God’s immense love and protection…. Somewhat like parenting and traffic laws protect us,  every “Do not” is there for your good and God’s glory. I have a favorite quote by Pastor John Piper, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. ”  I pray you delight in His Word and statutes!