Sunday, 4 December 2016

Mercies in the heavens

Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O LORD, You preserve man and beast. – Psalm 36.5-6

For those of us who have been believers for any amount time few things stir up more gratitude that the wonderful mercies of God.

Jeremiah reminds us that it is only by the mercies of God that we are not consumed by the world, our flesh, and the devil. He writes that the mercies of God are new every morning.

But what would happen if we used up our mercy stores? What would happen if God ran out of mercy for us?

That might make sense if our mercies were based on earthly things. It might make sense if there was a human deciding how much mercy we deserve.

The great blessing for us is that God’s mercies are heavenly based, not earthly. Since heaven is an eternal place there is no chance that his mercies are anything less than eternal.

God’s mercy is far too great to be contained on earth or in the box of our mind. He mercy is in heaven and He pours it out to us day after and with daily newness.

That’s the focus for today, but it doesn’t stop there.

God’s mercy is in the heavens
God’s faithfulness reaches the clouds
God’s righteousness is like the mountains
God’s judgements fill the greatest deep


Our God is indeed an AWESOME God! 

Saturday, 3 December 2016

All day long

And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness And of Your praise all the day long. – Psalm 35.28

The psalmist writes about the joy of talking about God and His righteousness and speaking of God’s praises ‘all day long.’ What a blessed thought. What special times when we are on a spiritual high and the days passes and it has been a day full of talking about God and praising Him. Wouldn’t it be great if that would be the norm for us?

I don’t know about anyone else, but I have to admit that I can be so obsessed with the woes and worries and cares of the world that I can way to often forget about praise and righteousness.

And when that happens it is one person’s fault. It happens when I get my focus on me.

God is worthy of our praise every hour of every day of every month of every year. He is worthy of praise from sun up to sun down and all the moments in between because God is good every day and all the time.


God doesn’t change from my good times to my bad times. It is always me that changes. My task is to make sure that I continue to praise Him no matter what is going on in my life – because He is worthy all day long. 

Friday, 2 December 2016

Together

Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together. – Psalm 34.3

I think it is pretty obvious that God never intended for His people to worship Him all by themselves. Everything we read, from the very beginning, is that we are to do things together. God even said at the very beginning that it isn’t good for man to be alone.

That was true in regard to Adam, but it is also true for all of us. In the Old Testament God chose His people as a group to serve Him.

In the New Testament God gave us the church. One of the many reasons we come together is to magnify the Lord and exalt His name together. We are challenged in the book of Hebrews to not forsake assembling together so that in our joint praise and glorifying on God we can be encouraged.

It can seem like we are standing all alone in this world. It can seem like we might as well give up. Buy when we come together to magnify God and exalt His name we find great unity and sense of purpose and it can give us the boost we need to go back out into the world to serve our Saviour.


Let us exalt His name – together. 

Thursday, 1 December 2016

The word of the Lord is right

For the word of the LORD is right, And all His work is done in truth. – Psalm 33.4

What is right and what is wrong? Is there right and is there wrong? How do we know?

That is quite a question today. We live in age when there does not seem to be any sense of right or wrong. Rightness and wrongness seem like out of date terms. You have your sense of right and I have my sense of right and that is all well and good.

As least that is what ‘they’ say.

But God says differently. God says that there is right and that there is a wrong and that the source of right is the word of God.

I think there are two things to glean from that. First we can trust that the word of God can always be trusted because it is always right in every area it deals with. Since God spoke it, it cannot be wrong.

But it is more than that. Not only is God’s word right, as in correct, but it is the source of all right. The Bible declares what is right and what is true. Therefore it ought to be our test to decide what is right in our lives and what is right for our lives.


When we are in doubt we have a place to look for right. God’s word will never let us down. 

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

My hiding place

You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah – Psalm 32.7

We are seeing a lot in the news today about safe places and hiding places to deal with bad news. A lot of people have a lot of opinions about these ‘safe places.’

We can’t let all of these comments our ‘safe places’ distract us from the real truth that we all do need safe places, or as the psalmist puts it, a ‘hiding place.’

It is true that we have to engage with this world. There is no other way for us to reach it if we don’t engage it. That means we have to be out then in the world day after day.

And as we are out there we are going to encounter things that run contrary to our thinking and philosophy and beliefs and way of life. The pressure to submit or conform can be awesome.

But no matter where we are or what is going on around us we have a true hiding place of safety and security. Even in the midst of a ‘crooked and perverse’ generation we can run to our hiding place and commune with our God had find comfort and solace with Him.


We all need our hiding place from time to time – thank God we find our sheltered in His loving arms.  

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Our preserver

Oh, love the LORD, all you His saints! For the LORD preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the LORD.  – Psalm 31.23-24

Thank God for His mighty power of preservation, especially in the light of what is going on all around. We would have no power to preserve ourselves in this mess.

I think about me and how easily I can slip into the ways of the world. The evil corrupting influences of this world are seeking to get in. When we want to preserve food for a while we make sure that it is in a sealed and airtight container. If there is any way for bacteria to get in it will affect the food and eventually spoil it. Food producers add preservatives to keep food from rotting.

As Christians we are susceptible to rot setting in. We won’t be destroyed by it, but us sure can make us stink. If we don’t keep on guard and let God preserve us from this present evil generation we are going to find ourselves in trouble.

But we can rejoice that God will preserve us for the rot and the stench of the world. Because He preserves us we can be the ‘sweet smelling aroma’ that Paul writes about to Corinth.


We don’t have to be stinking Christians if we will trust God to preserve us from the rot around us. Then we can make a difference in that world. 

Monday, 28 November 2016

I shall not be moved

Now in my prosperity I said, "I shall never be moved." LORD, by Your favour You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled. – Psalm 30.6-7

I am old enough that whenever I read this words the first thing that comes to mind is the old song that was sung in the protest marches of the 60s. Even if people don’t remember it will have heard it.

We shall not, we shall not be moved
We shall not, we shall not be moved
Just like a tree that's standing by the water
We shall not be moved

Originally this was an African-American spiritual with its roots in slavery. It expressed the faith that no matter how bad things got the people’s faith would never be moved.

I suspect, though I don’t know, that the song was based on a passage like this one. The psalmist was sure that God’s favour made his mountain strong and because of that he would not be moved no matter what happened.

I wish my faith was more like that. Too many times I have been shaken by that phone call or that email or that text or that letter or that Facebook post. If I had the psalmist's faith I too would not be moved when this stuff happened.

There is a great old gospel song I love that we don’t hear much anymore. These words from ‘Beulah Land’ still encourage and bless me. We need not be moved when stuff happens to us. We can stand firm and solid with our God as our salvation.


Far away the noise of strife upon my ear is falling;
Then I know the sins of earth beset on every hand;
Doubt and fear and things of earth in vain to me are calling;

None of these shall move me from Beulah Land.