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“Praise the Lord! For he has heard my cry for mercy” (Psalms 28:6).

February 4, 2018

Have you heard of the “Jesus Prayer?” It goes like this, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” When you don’t know how to pray, pray the Jesus Prayer. Call on Jesus to have mercy on you and He will answer your cry. This prayer hinges on the quality of Christ’s mercy, not our worthiness. For though our sins may be as scarlet, His mercy can wash them “white as snow” (Isa. 1:18).

“Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you” (Psalm 25:5 NLT).

January 30, 2018

David wore his heart on his sleeve in this psalm. He prayed to the Lord with passion and very personal connection. David’s prayer life was one of intimacy with God. His psalms are helpful to those of us who desire a similar prayer life. Today, I pray along with David, “Lord, my Savior, lead and teach me today. I will put my hope in You all day (not just part of the day) long.!”

“But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves” (Malachi 4:2 NKJV). “Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” (Revelation 22:7 NKJV). “Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!” (Psalm 150:2 NKJV). “Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come” (Proverbs 31:25 NKJV).

December 31, 2017

It’s become my habit to highlight a verse from each of the four daily readings in the One Year Bible on the last day of the year. So, on this last day of 2017, I offer a prayer for all of us from each of the readings:

From Malachi, I pray that we will receive healing and the power to go out kicking up our feet like young calves.

From Revelation, I pray that we will look forward to Christ’s return and be blessed by the promises of His Word.

From Psalms, I pray that we grow in our awareness and acknowledgement of God’s “mighty acts” and “excellent greatness,” so that we are always praising the Lord.

From Proverbs, I pray that as members of His Bride, the Church, we would be be clothed in “strength and honor,” always “rejoicing in time to come.”
I pray these prayers over all of us, knowing that His Word is true, His promises sure, and His ear, always listening, ready to answer the prayers of His people.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.

“He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite” (Psalms 147:4-5 NKJV).

December 28, 2017

Since the launching of the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have observed that there are an almost infinite number of stars in the universe. In our own Milky Way galaxy there are over 100 billion stars. And scientists estimate that there are at least 10 trillion galaxies with each containing a similar number of stars. When dealing with such incredible numbers, who could possibly count the stars? The Bible says that God can. He not only knows their number, “He calls them all by name.”

Ancient human observers gave the stars names like “Betelgeuse,” which in Arabic means “armpit,” describing its position in the constellation they called “Orion the Hunter.” Modern astronomers prefer more precise nomenclature, giving the star Betelgeuse the designation “HD39801.” I suppose they ran out of Greek letters and Greek gods rather quickly once the Hubble launched.

But an infinite God has no problem naming an infinite number of stars. He has yet to share these names with us, but I’m thinking that He prefers the ancient names to the modern ones.

“Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being” (Psalm 146:1-2 NKJV).

December 28, 2017

What was the psalmist’s resolution? To “praise the Lord!” The psalmist directed both his own “soul” and that of his audience to “praise the Lord!” This was a matter of firm resolve. He recognized the tendency of his soul to droop into discouragement and to focus on worldly things. Yet, he was determined that as long as he lived, he would live a life of worship.

In this season of making new year’s resolutions, perhaps we can join the psalmist. Let us resolve that while we “live” and have “being,” we will praise the Lord!

“Revive me, O Lord, for Your name’s sake! For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble” (Psalm 143:11 NKJV).

December 24, 2017

David asked the Lord for revival and rescue. He did not try and make the case that he had earned or deserved it. But rather, that the Lord should do it for the sake of His own name and righteousness. In other words, he prayed, “Lord revive me because I call on Your name. Rescue me because it shows Your righteousness.”

You may feel unworthy and beyond redemption. You may feel you must put things in order before coming to the Lord. But you couldn’t be more wrong. Stop focusing on your own shortcomings and inadequacies, instead focus on the character and adequacy of God. Your revival and rescue come out of God’s name and righteousness, not your own. Pray according to the character of the Lord.

Upon whose name shall we call? The name of Jesus (Acts 4:12). And upon whose righteousness shall we depend? Christ’s righteousness (Rom. 3:22).

“Though the Lord is on high, Yet He regards the lowly; But the proud He knows from afar” (Psalm 138:6 NKJV).

December 19, 2017

Though the Lord God is transcendent, high and holy above all creation, He draws near to the humble of heart. He “regards the lowly,” leaning in to “lift them up” (James 4:10). But the Lord “resists the proud” (James 4:6), fully aware of them, yet aloof.

Does God seem near or far from you today? If the distance seems great, God has not moved. Perhaps your pride has taken you afar. Turn and draw near. Repent of pride and self-effort. Humble yourself before the Lord in Jesus’ name. For our God is high and holy, but He is also humble, willing to stoop down and save sinners that call on His name.

“Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways” (Psalm 128:1 NKJV).

December 9, 2017

“Blessed.” One experiencing a condition of total joy and contentment under God’s umbrella of care.

“Fears the Lord.” One who has such awe and reverence for the Lord that they seek His pleasure and approval above all others including themselves.

However, by implication, the one who does not fear the Lord, but fears man instead, will not experience the blessing of God. For they will live as people-pleasers, always enslaved by the opinions of others.

As Christ-followers, we do not fear the Father’s wrath, for Christ has taken our punishment. But we are motivated by His great love that moves us to desire pleasing Him above all others. Fearing the Lord, we experience His blessing.

“He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:6 NKJV).

December 8, 2017

Those who are obedient to “go forth” in sowing even while shedding tears of hardship, will one day “rejoice” in the day of harvest. As the apostle Paul wrote, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Gal. 6:9).

Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted by faith. Keep sowing!