October 29, 2018
THE DISCIPLINE OF THE EYES
David wrote this psalm, beginning nearly every verse with the personal pronoun, “I.” The psalm shows his desire to have a predetermined and settled code of conduct in facing certain situations that might tempt him to sin. In verse 3, he declared a determination to practice a discipline of the eyes. When anything vile and vulgar crossed his path, he would refuse to look at it. The Hebrew word here translated “vile and vulgar” is “belial,” which can also be rendered “wicked, ungodly, evil, or worthless.” David couldn’t help it if something “belial” appeared before him, but he could refuse to set his eyes upon it for any length of time.
The temptation to look too long has plagued us from the beginning. Didn’t Eve gaze at the forbidden fruit too long, seeing that it was “pleasant to the eyes” (Gen. 3:6)? And so, she and Adam seeing it, decided to eat it, plunging all of humanity into darkness.
Holy Spirit help us to be determined as David was to discipline our eyes. We can’t help what the world and its media parades before us, but depending on Your divine power, we can decide in advance to avoid looking too long. We can refuse to set our eyes on belial.
October 14, 2018
THE LORD GOD IS OUR ALL IN ALL
The Lord God is our sun. He gives light that we might see His paths of righteousness. The Lord God is our shield. He protects us from the evil that would harm His beloved. The Lord God gives grace. He strengthens and empowers us freely. The Lord gives glory. Nothing done for the Lord is forgotten. He remembers and rewards every sacrifice done by faith. He does not withhold good from us, but gives bountifully to those who do right. The Lord God is our all in all.
September 26, 2018
PRAYING ACCORDING TO THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD
David connected his prayer requests to God’s attributes. He called on God to answer his prayer based on God’s wonderful unfailing love. He appealed to God’s plentiful mercy as the basis for asking God to care for him.
We can do the same. God described David as “a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22). I think we can be pursuers of God’s own heart too. How? Connect your requests to God’s character. Not as some sort of formula, as if it would force God’s hand. But as a means of seeking God’s face and God’s heart when you pray. For we can depend on God’s unfailing love and mercy. They are wonderful and plentiful!
September 22, 2018
DOES UNCONFESSED SIN HINDER PRAYER?
Have you ever felt as if your prayers are bouncing back to you off the ceiling? That your prayers are being hindered? There are many reasons your prayers might feel impeded. For instance, a husband mistreating his wife will find his prayers hindered (1 Pet. 3:7).
In fact, if you do something to offend a family member or friend and you don’t ask for forgiveness, doesn’t it hinder your communication with them? Certainly it does. Similarly, when we offend God, it affects our communication with Him. Because sin is an offense against God. Sin separates. It hinders communication. And isn’t that what prayer is? Communication with God? So, unconfessed sin absolutely hinders our prayer life.
Yet in confessing, we agree with God that we have offended Him and that we need His forgiveness. Confessing our sin, God hears our prayers and answers. As the apostle John wrote, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
So let us join with the psalmist and confess our sins, that our prayers might not be hindered. And that we might experience the forgiveness and cleansing of God’s “unfailing love” through His Son, Jesus Christ.
September 20, 2018
RESPONDING TO BITTER WORDS AND THREATS
David asked the Lord to protect him from the threats and bitter words of his enemies. Instead of responding in kind, he asked the Lord to defend him. He described those who assaulted him with threats as as “evil mob,” and a “gang of wrongdoers.” He accused them of using their words as weapons, portraying their tongues as “swords” and their bitter words as “arrows.”
The one who said, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” must’ve never heard hurtful words. The truth is that words can do great damage. How do we respond? We can respond like David by lifting up our hurts and complaints to the Lord. Let the Lord defend you. Let God be your shelter and protection from the threats and bitter words of others.
August 22, 2018
WHERE DO YOU GET ADVICE?
Most people ask advice of those who will tell them what they want to hear. Rarely does one ask the godly. For the godly counselor will tell them to do what is right. And people rarely want to do what is right. They want to do what they want. This is why the wrong way is broad and well traveled. And why the right way is narrow and few choose to travel it.
August 21, 2018
TAKE MY HAND, PRECIOUS LORD, LEAD ME ON
David trusted the Lord to guide and direct him. He had no doubt that the God of the universe had interest in the details of his life. He had learned that God not only delighted in directing him, but the Lord was also always present to lift him up should he stumble.
David’s intimate relationship with the Lord can be ours through Jesus Christ. Reading this psalm today, I am reminded of my mother’s voice singing that old spiritual written by T.A. Dorsey, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.”
🎶 “Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m lone
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home”🎶
August 17, 2018
TELL DEM BONES TO PRAISE THE LORD!
David declared his intent to praise the Lord “with every bone” in his body in anticipation of the Lord’s rescue. David would not offer the Lord half-hearted worship. He was a whole-hearted worshiper, and out of that came a commitment to whole-bodied praise. David would hold nothing back from God in his worship. As he told his wife after she attempted to shame him for publicly dancing before the Ark of the Lord, “I will be even more undignified than this” (1 Sam. 6:22). David didn’t care for the opinion of others. He sought the applause of the One.
Just as God told Ezekiel to preach to the bones and the bones came to life (Ez. 37:4-5), so David preached to his own bones that they would worship the Lord!
What are your bones doing today? Tell “dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones” to hear the Word of the Lord! And to come alive in worship!
August 10, 2018
PRAYING GOD’S ATTRIBUTES DOWN ON US
David knew how to request God’s help based on God’s attributes rather than on his own worthiness. He didn’t negotiate with God, offering to make a sacrifice or some other payment. No, he based his supplications on God’s ability and willingness to bless. Notice how David prayed, asking God to “shine” on him according to God’s “favor” (“Your favor”). And asking God to “rescue” him according to God’s “unfailing love” (“Your unfailing love”).
We can do the same. We can ask for God to shine down on us and rescue us based on His divine favor and unfailing love. In fact, we can pray in the Name of Jesus, upon whom God’s favor rests and in whom He has expressed His unfailing love.