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Monthly Archives: January 2010

“One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done.” -Psalm 62:11-12

This verse has been a witness to me this past month. I have felt so alone, so confused, broken, weak, unloving, and worse….unloveable…yet through all this, the God of the universe offers His strength and love to me.

There is not much that needs to be said. Take five mins and read that verse over and again. Listen to this Jon Foreman song called, ‘Your Love Is Strong‘ as well (I recommend listening to it while reading the verse). They go hand in hand pretty well.

Praying for you my brothers.

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psalm 61:2-3 lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge.

psalm 62:5 my hope comes from him.

It’s strange to try and remember what I found hope in before I knew Christ. While my tween-years probably weren’t too trying, I remember being afraid much of the time, of whatever, but simply afraid. And when I let myself get caught up in doubt now, I find the same result: plaguing fear.

Its time and time again that I overlook my failure to place my burdens, even my own doubts in faith, at His feet. That has above all been the most recurring theme in the last eight years of my walk: his faithfulness to me. I am constantly seeking a higher rock, a refuge, or a strong grasp of hope, and Christ is always the only working provision. Even one moment of me understanding what that means, and not forgetting it, is always enough.

Psalm 58:3 “Even from birth the wicked are wayward and speak lies”

Psalm 59:12 “For the sins of their mouths, for the words of their lips, let them be caught in their pride. For the curses and lies they utter.”

Psalm 62:4b “With their mouth they bless, but in their hearts they curse.”

Isaiah 29:13 “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”

James 2:18 “But someone will say, “You have faith, I have deeds.” Show me your faith without your deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.”

Faith without deeds is a dead faith. And we know from Luke 6:45 that “out of the heart, the mouth speaks.” So the psalmist is saying in chapter 59 that those people who give lip service will be caught and exposed. In 62, I think that the Word is saying that people “attempt” to put up a front and be sing praises when their heart is still deceptive. The message that is hitting home for me personally is that there needs to be an accordance between my heart and my lips/actions/thoughts. I don’t want to appear Christian. I want to live Christ.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart.” -Psalm 51:17

We’ve talked about this before, but I so often go to God saying, “Look what I’ve done for you!” and expect something in return.  When Jesus talks about a childlike faith, I believe He is referencing our nature in that we are broken and unable to do anything for ourselves (salvation wise) and must look to God.

God wants us to come to Him as we are.  I think Brennan Manning once said that, “You can’t dazzle God with your accomplishments.”

Is it hard for you to go to God as you are? Do you try to fix things in your life first? Or do you come as you are? (please comment)

This song has ministered to me a lot lately and draws from the text I am speaking about.  May this song bless you the way it has me: White As Snow

but to the wicked, God says: “What right have you to recite my laws or take my covenant on your lips.” 50:16

I don’t know how I feel about that. Not saying I disagree of course, just saying that I may not understand. What does it mean to be wicked? are not each of us wicked everyday, and saved by the grace of God; or does wicked refer to those who are unsaved? If this wicked person is takingthe covenant, then does he not believe that he is saved, that he is fact not at all wicked?

Verses like this always get to me. I can’t help but think of the countless ways in which I’m not fully living up to who maybe I’m supposed to be, and the countless other ‘non-essentials’, as Aaron used to put it, that we disagree upon in the Church, and the countless number of issues we disagree upon regarding whether they are essential or non-essential. And I just keep thinking, someone is right, right? one of these parties is living in the law, and one is not, and while were saved regardless, it frustrates me to no end to live in such doubt.

So often I think this is why I avoid the bible. I hate constantly coming upon verses like these that scare me into believing that I am the wicked.

Simply put, “In God I trust.” ~ Psalm 56:11

In God I trust means more than a slogan on a dollar bill.

In God I trust means more than a banner after 9/11.

In God I trust means more than a cliche religious saying.

What does in God I trust mean? Does it mean stepping out in faith to love another? To live out our faith in action? To live for Christ daily? I think so…

Psalm 43:7 “No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him”

I must admit that I have become frustrated with some of my closest friends when I have made attempt after attempt to encourage them in their faith and they blow me off. I say to myself, “I can’t force them to get into the Word, to love Jesus, to stop sinning.” After reading this scripture, I realize that I really can’t. On the day of judgment, I will kneel before the Lord by myself and so will you. Each of us will take responsibility for our own actions. I can’t blame my parents, my friend or my pastor (if when I don’t go to church for a couple of weeks).

To by honest, I really have no idea what Psalms we were supposed to read this week. I think I’m on Psalm 118, but I have no idea where we’re supposed to be. I think I skipped some pages or something.

I usually don’t read Psalms straight through like this. I’ll usually just read a Psalm or two if I don’t feel like reading the next chapter in whatever book I’m reading. I often find the Psalms very repetitive.

“God, You are so good. Your love endures forever.”

“God, why did this awful thing happen to me? Your love endures forever.”

“God, damn my enemies. Your love endures forever.”

It’s sort of the same idea every couple of chapters. When I read through them straight through, it’s like God is beating me over the head with these ideas.

God is in control. God will carry me through this. God will punish my enemies. God is so good.

His love endures forever.

“No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him- the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough-that he should live on forever and not see decay.” -Psalm 49:7-9

This is an excellent reminder for me.  I care so much about my friends and their relationship with Christ, but I have to draw the line.  I can’t be the middle man.  That’s what Jesus came to wipe out.  He established the ability to have a direct connection to God through the Holy Spirit.  I can’t open the door or push people through it.  I can only lead them to the door.

“I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation.”  -Psalm 40:10

Too often, I feel like I am storing up God (if that were possible).  I read the Word, listen to music, sing, write….but don’t share.  Of course, I guess I share Christ by my actions at times, but I need to learn to be more vocal about Christ.  I need to speak of his faithfulness and salvation more often.

A girl I work with lives out this verse.  Everything comes back to God and his love and faithfulness.  And not in a cheesy or overwhelming, Bible-beating kind of way…but in a genuine fashion.  Her life is complete in the sense that Christ permeates all areas of her life.  Spiritual life is not a compartment added to the list of work life, dating life, home life….but rather, life is spiritual. Period.

I am praying that we can all live out this verse and be more real with our faith.