Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Devotions 31-07-07

Ps 150:6
Let everything tha has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!

It was a year ago that I wrote on this Psalm about the instruments and what they indicate in my praise to God. I did memorize the Psalm and have meditated on it often. Just recently I became aware that I had missed the last group to praise the Lord which is the most important.

The last group to praise the Lord is everything that has breath. It is living beings of which me and you are the ones that can have a vital personal relationship with God. Instruments are great and some do require our breath to play but even more personal is that as a living being that I praise the Lord with my words and the breath that God gives to me.

I think this praise from my personal being is the highth of my praise to God. Instruments are good but my words and my thoughts are so much better in expressing how much I truly appreciate and value God in my life.

Lord, I do want to express to You personally all You mean to me and all that I have because of You. There is no one in all creation that loves me as You do or has given to me treasures that are eternal. Lord, help me to grow in my Praise to You and learn to express this praise continually and with all my heart and soul and strength.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Devotions 26-07-07

Ps 147:1
Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God for it is pleasant and praise is becoming.

Our need is to be praising the Lord in words, songs or in whatever way we can. The Psalms include dancing, instruments and the actions of nature. The wind, the storms and the waves of the seas.

It is good to sing these praises to God because it is attractive and it is beautiful to see in action. Even praise to others is good to observe when they are truly worthy of the praise. Of course our praise of God is so right because God above everything and anyone is worthy of our highest praise.

Lord, my praise to You today is out of desire to keep You first in my life. I need Your help in the activities of this day. I do give You praise for all that You have done for me in my life. Lord, may my ministry to others bring You the praise that You deserve.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Devotions 25-07-07

Ps 146:1-4
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation. His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

I was created to give God praise! Why is it so difficult to do that consistently? I can even say it but down deep in my soul there is many times the words are just words and I know that is not right. I want to say it with a burning passion from deep within my soul. I long for it to be a vital part of my day, every day. Not only do I want to say it but I want to sing it with joy and gladness of soul and spirit.

I can not trust in leaders of men because there is no lasting salvation that they can give me. They will die just like me and need salvation from God just as I do. Other men have the same limitations basically as I do and can give me only limited help. God can give me unlimited help because He is God.

Oh, Lord help me to see and understand with a deep conviction that You are worthy of my praise every day. I must spend time in praise and worship as often as I have the opportunity but at least several times a day. It is not a routine or a duty but it must be passion in my heart and soul that bubbles out of my life because of what You mean to me. You are a loving God who does mighty things beyond what anyone can possibly imagine. You are good and only does what is good. I Praise You Lord and give You Thanks!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Devotions 24-07-07

Ps 142:7
Bring my soul out of prison, so that I may give thanks to Your name; the righteous will surround me, for You will deal bountifully with me.

It has been a few days since I was doing Ps 142 and I never got to finish the last verse. It is the conclusion of the Psalm and the writer makes his closing comments to the Lord.

Many times I feel like I am in prison with my problems and things that are heavy on me. I struggle with this when I cannot solve the problems but must leave them all to the Lord. A little thing like the color is not working on my blog is something hard to be content with and to keep going. In my mind I just want to quit and forget the whole thing but that is not the way to handle difficulties. I must move forward and give thanks when the problem is fixed or even if it is not fixed. There are some problems I must live with for a longer period of time that may never go away. There is a need to always be thankful for what God does and even when He does not deliever me from my difficulties.

It is great to be confident that God will deal bountifully with me because He is good and does what is good. God is not limited in His goodness but always does far more than I could ever imagine. When I have this attitude then I will be among the righteous and that is where I desire to be with all my heart.

Lord, thank You for all You are teaching me even in my old age. Give me wisdom and the heart to stay thankful no matter what is happening to me or around me. Keep me always seeking You and crying out to You and doing my best to do what is right and honoring to You.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Devotions 17-07-07

Ps 142:4-6

Look to the right and see; for there is no one who regards me; there is no escape for me; no one cares for my soul. I cried out to You, O Lord; I said "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living. Give heed to my cry, for I am brought very low; deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me."

In many and maybe most cultures the place to the right is the place of authority. You look for the person who is on the right for help and deliverance. In a military parade the command is eyes right when you are passing the reviewing stand. The commander of the whole parade and who he represents, which may be the King, is who you are saluting and the commander will return the salute.

The psalmist is saying you do not see anyone to my right who is concerned for me. There is no escape for me and no one cares for my soul. Then he cries out to the Lord for help. You are my refuge, Lord. You are my security in the land in which I live. Please listen to my pleas because I am really discouraged. I am being persecuted and I have no power against them.

I often feel this overwhelming weakness in doing what I feel God is asking me to do. I need to get my focus back on the Lord who is my refuge and who is well able to handle all that is coming at me.

Lord, I am thankful for Your faithfulness to help me so see how inadequate I am but that You are well able to handle all that I face. I am grateful for all You have done for me and still doing for me. Help me, Lord, to follow You and Your ways and not try to do Your work in my strength. It is only You who can accomplish the task that are before me. I must rest in Your strength and give You praise for Your Love and Grace and Power.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Devotions 16-07-07

Ps 142:1-3

I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord; I make supplication with my voice to the Lord. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You did know my path. In the way where I walk they have hidden a trap for me.

I have felt like this was me several times in my life. I may be in this situation even today. I face issues that I feel overwhelmed in knowing how to handle and I need the Lord's help and answers.

God urges me to open my mouth and with my voice let Him know how I feel. He says this twice so I must not fail to tell God verbally what is bothering me. I must begin with a humble entreaty since I am not sure what I should do. Next I can be honest with God and complain to Him how I am picturing all that is happening and in the process maybe I can see the real trouble or issue that I need God's help on.

Even though I may feel overwhelmed I can be confident that He knows where I am on my path of life and is with me. I may feel that the enemy of my soul and those he may use to cause me to fall have laid a trap for me along the path I am taking.

All this gives a picture of hopelessness but I know in prayer that God is able to give me answers in my hopelessness. I will take the next few verses tomorrow and show how God delivers me.

I think these first three verses of Ps 142 or so important for me to see and under-stand so I can be honest with God in my prayer to Him. God is not impressed with beautiful words that do not match up to what is going on in my heart. Lord, help me to be true and honest with You and recognize my helplessness and to look to You as the only One who has the answers to all my problems. I may feel alone but I know that I am not alone. I thank You and give You Praise!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Devotions 11-07-07

Ps 139:23-24

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.

I sort of know the answer before I pray this prayer. Yes, there is a lot of garbage in my heart and although I try not to be anxious about anything it creeps in. Also I have a lot of hurtful things in me just waiting for the opportunity to come out of me. So why do I pray this? Maybe it is a good way to evaluate where I am today and take care of those things I know are not pleasing to the Lord. I do want to be lead in the everlasting way or the way that is honoring and pleasing to God.

My heart should be fixed on the Lord and trusting in Him for everything. I should give all my anxieties to Him because He does love me and cares for me. If His love is dwelling in me I will have the strength to love my enemies and pray for them to know the love of God and turn from their hurtful ways. I must be determined to begin my days in praise, thanksgiving and confession of all that is wrong in me. I must long to walk with Him each day to do His will.

Lord, you know that I must get out a news letter for those who pray and support us in this ministry in Estonia. You know how my funds are getting less each month due to the falling dollar and the rising cost of living. Then there are the food supplements that are constantly being blocked by customs and we are not able to get them for our health and well being. Lord, I plead with You to give me wisdom in what You want me to do. I need You to encourage me someway today.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Devotions 09-07-07

Ps 138:1-3

I will give You thanks with all my heart; I will sing praises to You before the gods. I will bow down toward Your holy temple, and give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word together with Your name. On the day I called You did answer me; You did make me bold with strength in my soul.

My flesh is so ungrateful because it is always wanting more; it is never satisfied. I must purpose to be grateful even when I do not feel like it and express it as often as I can. I Thess 5:18 "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." When I am grateful it is easier to sing praises to the Lord and to bow down before Him. The name of the Lord brings to my mind His lovingkindness and His truth. He has honored His Word together with His name and He answers me when I pray. All this makes me bold in the strength of my soul.

Lord, I read and write these words but oh how I long to live these truths out in my life. Oh, to be a gracious man who is able to express genuine thanks for all that You bring into my life. I want to offer up praise to You before all that are around me. I want to honor Your name and Your word because they go together. The living Word (Jesus) is inseparable from the written Word (the bible); they must always stand together!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Devotions 06-07-07

Ps 135:5-6

For I know that the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.

How do I know He is great? First I have experienced His greatness in my life and in the life of my family. He has done great and marvelous for all of us. Second, I know He is great because His Spirit confirms with my spirit; He has done all these marvelous things I have seen and experienced as I have walked with Him. Third, I know He is great because of the testimonies of others from all over the world and from all different cultures who have the same confidence as me; they possess the same character and love that God has given me in Jesus Christ. Fourth, I know He is great because the Bible tells of His greatness in ages past and He is the same God who exists today.

I also know that God does whatever He pleases in heaven and in the earth and whatever He does is good because God is good. I may not understand His goodness but if I pray and ponder the event I can generally see the good. If not then I must accept it by faith and rest in His Love and Grace.

There is such great peace and rest in knowing that I have no control in all that happens in my life but there is a loving and merciful God who has complete control over everything. He has proven His love to me and to the whole world and by faith I can experience Him so fully and completely. It is hard to live this out but it can be lived with a deep faith and a personal relationship with God through His Word and Prayer.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Devotions 04-07-07

Ps 135:1-3

Praise the Lord! Praise the name of the Lord; Praise Him, O servants of the Lord, you who stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God! Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praises to His name, for it is lovely.

I sometimes think it is to trite to praise the Lord in words only. I think I must do something great for the Lord to really give praise to Him. But then I end up doing nothing and that is even worse. I must give Him verbal praise whenever it comes to my mind. Especially as a servant of the Lord I should be expressing praise to Him. I may be in the house of the Lord or in the courts outside the house of God I should not fail to express praise to God.

I give praise to the Lord because he is good and does good. This phrase, I must never forget and hang on to it as solid truth even when I do not understand the situation happening to me or around me. I also must seek to sing praises to His name because there is no name like the name of my Lord. It is lovely, beautiful and a name to be adored and worshiped.

Lord, thank You for refreshing my heart today. My heart has been so cold the last few days and I just had nothing I could write. I wanted to worship You but the words just stayed in my mind and would not come out. On this 4th of July, the day of American independence, I worship You as the one who has given me freedom from the bondage of sin. Lord, I am so grateful for all You have done for me and my family. I should be praising You every day of my life and with greater and greater boldness.