Come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to him, for he made it. His hands formed the dry land, too.
Come, let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, for he is our God.
We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care.
- Psalm 95:1-7 (NLT)
We love the image of sheep and a shepherd. We think of sheep all fluffy and white playing, eating, sleeping under the watchful eye of a shepherd. Really thought, sheep are dumb. They can get behind a rock and be lost. They can't run fast. They can't defend themselves. The truth is a sheep can't make it without a shepherd.
Neither can we! Praise God that He is our Shepherd.
Father, because You are our Shepherd we will worship and praise You. We will breathe in who You are and then as we exhale we will sing words of praise. Help us to do so with volume and emotion! Help us to see You deeper so that our praise will be louder.
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High.
It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning,
your faithfulness in the evening,
accompanied by the ten-stringed harp and the melody of the lyre.
You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me!
I sing for joy because of what you have done.
O Lord, what great works you do!
And how deep are your thoughts.
- Psalms 92:1-5 (NLT)
There are many things that thrill us. We are thrilled when we watch sports
or head to the great outdoors. Our kids thrill us (at least sometimes).
I had to ask myself - when was the last time I was thrilled with the LORD?
Take time to make a list of what God has done for you.
Father, I want to be overwhelmed by You. I want to encounter Your goodness in my life. Help me to see what You have done. I want to be thrilled by it all, not just the big things but also the small things that I often take for granted. Because of this breath I praise You!
I wait quietly before God, for my salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.
- Psalm 62:1-2 (NLT)
When life is difficult, what is the noise level? This is a psalm of trust. In the midst of chaos and conflict, the writer is quiet and calm before God because he trusts the Lord. Regardless of the difficulty he is not shaken because the LORD is his God.
God cannot be moved.
Father, You are immoveable. I never have to live in panic mode. I don't have to worry about trying to deliver myself from the situation or circumstances that I'm in because that is Your responsibility. When life is contrary to me, I have an anchor that is sure.
“Take it, my lord the king, and use it as you wish,” Araunah said to David.
“Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and you can use the threshing boards and ox yokes for wood to build a fire on the altar. I will give it all to you, Your Majesty,
and may the Lord your God accept your sacrifice.”
But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it, for I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.”
- 2 Samuel 24:22-24 (NLT)
If worship costs us nothing but is fashion to comfort our needs and preferences, it may not be worship at all. We have forgotten that what worship costs us is more important than how worship comforts us. What was the last thing that worship cost you?
Father, I confess that I thought worship was supposed to be about me.
I remember that what I give to You should carry some kind of a cost.
I pray today that my worship will not be cheap or even comfortable.
For the Lord God is our light and protector. He gives us grace and glory.
No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who do what is right.
- Psalm 84:11 (NLT)
God does not promise to give us everything we think is good,
but He will not withhold what is permanently good.
He will give us the means to walk along His paths,
but we must do the walking. When we obey Him,
He will not hold anything back that will help us serve Him.
Father, I acknowledge that You are a good God.
In fact, every good gift comes directly from You.
Give me the mind to see Your goodness so that I will live with an attitude of gratitude. Thank You for directing my steps and giving me exactly
what I need to do exactly what You desire.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.
- John 3:16-17 (NLT)
How do you tend to measure love? The greater the love, the greater the sacrifice.
No greater love has ever been evidenced than Jesus. He exchanged His life for our life.
It is because of His death, that we experience His life. For those who have trusted in the Gospel, perishing cannot enter our vocabulary.
Father, thank You for loving us. You gave Your Son to take my place so that I can have a relationship with You. We stood condemned but through Jesus You justified us.
Give me the strength to live not as I was, but who I now am.
O my Strength, to you I sing praises, for you, O God, are my refuge,
the God who shows me unfailing love.
- Psalms 59:17 (NLT)
Human love can be shallow. We fall into it or we fall out of it. Often, our love is based on nothing more than what someone has done or not done for us. We are a "what have you done for me lately: kind of people. The Psalmist knew something that makes all the difference - God's love is not like ours. His love is a never failing, always present kind of love. His love is not because of who we are, but because of who He is.
His love never fails and never gives up.
Father, please help me to understand Your love better and to experience it in a deeper way. When I remember that You know everything about me, but love me anyway I am filled with wonder and amazement. Not only do I want to be growing deeper in Your love, I want to share that same love toward those who are around me. Thank you, that in the darkest moments of my sinfulness, that Your love is still there.
Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
- Genesis 22:13-14 (NLT)
No one likes to be replaced. We hate being replaced on the job by someone else.
We hate being taken out of the game. We want to stand at the plate and hit.
We don't wand a DH to hit in our place. However, I believe there's one exception - the cross! Jesus' took our place. He died in the place we should have. He stood at the plate with our sins. He came into the game when we were beat. He won he victory.
The story of Abraham and Isaac was a mere picture of our story.
Father, I am humbled that You sent Your Son to take my place on the cross.
He took all my sins and gave me all His righteousness. If it was left to me, I would lose. Today, I live in Jesus' victory regardless of what is going on in my life right now.
I cry out with Abraham that You are the Lord who provides.
The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need.
- Psalm 23:1 (NLT)
Everyone is following someone. When you consider the fullness and satisfaction of your life, would say there is something that is missing? David is clear that following the Great Shepherd leaves us satisfied with whatever we have and wherever we are.
Father, I thank You for knowing and fulfilling my greatest needs. Help me to be satisfied completely in Jesus. You are my reward and portion, not just for eternity, but also in the present. I confess I've strayed and tried to find satisfaction apart from that which only You can give. I realize that by following You, I am helping others to know You as well.
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers
- the moon and the stars you have set in place -
what are mortals that you should think of us,
mere humans that you should care for us?
- Psalm 8:3-4 (NLT)
How much can you really do with your fingers? I mean really, the fingers can't do a lot on their own. The Psalmist declares that the moon and all the stars were "fingerling" work to God. No big deal at all. If the cosmos is that big yet God completed it like finger-work, then who are we that God should care for us? What a great question.
I don't know the answer, but I do know He cares.
Father, I am overwhelmed to learn and see the magnitude of Your creation, yet even in the midst of that to know that You care for me more. I can't fathom the idea,
but by faith I accept it and praise You every day.