Psalm 26

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

The book of Psalms is commonly thought of as a collection of the worship music of the Israelites. They were meant to be sung. These are worship songs that God appreciated enough to make sure they were preserved for us. Let’s see if we can find out why…

Psalm 26
Vindicate me, O Lord,
    for I have walked in my integrity,
    and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
Prove me, O Lord, and try me;
    test my heart and my mind.[a]
For your steadfast love is before my eyes,
    and I walk in your faithfulness.

I do not sit with men of falsehood,
    nor do I consort with hypocrites.
I hate the assembly of evildoers,
    and I will not sit with the wicked.

I wash my hands in innocence
    and go around your altar, O Lord,
proclaiming thanksgiving aloud,
    and telling all your wondrous deeds.

O Lord, I love the habitation of your house
    and the place where your glory dwells.
Do not sweep my soul away with sinners,
    nor my life with bloodthirsty men,
10 in whose hands are evil devices,
    and whose right hands are full of bribes.

11 But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;
    redeem me, and be gracious to me.
12 My foot stands on level ground;
    in the great assembly I will bless the Lord.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Does this seem like a worship song to you?
Isn’t it more about how good you are than how great I am?
Why do you think I like it well enough to preserve it for you?
Would you sing this song to me? Why or why not?

My Weekend Picks for 7-1-2016

Picks Weekend

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

Seriously!

Why Can’t We Christians Laugh Anymore?
Leslie Leyland Fields
Why Can’t We Christians Laugh Anymore?What’s happening to us? We seem to have lost not only our sense of tolerance and civility, but worse, our sense of humor…

…We’re living in a comedy, friends, not a tragedy, that ends with a massive, jubilant wedding between Christ and his bride, the church. Someday we’re going to sit down to a giddy feast with our sisters and brothers. We’re going to sing songs and tell stories and jokes, likely even with a little hyperbole and satire. But I’m not waiting until then. I’m rejoicing now.


It’s good to be needed…

Grandparents, We Need You!Ryan Higginbottom
grandfather
Grandparents carry tremendous influence with their grandchildren. Here are three ways I’m praying my kids learn from their grandparents…

 


Some very interesting insights on the coverage of this situation…

Yo, journalists: Kentucky has solved its gay-marriage dilemma and Kim Davis is happyTerry Mattingly
Elite journalists were not going to consider this a “compromise” if Davis was happy with it. Now, what’s the implication of that statement?…

…This Reuters report, as carried by Religion News Service, notes that this action – the removal of the county-clerk signature slot – was the goal of Davis and her legal team all along. That’s good.

But what is still missing? If this is the case, then that means that the infamous Rowan County clerk’s primary goal was not – wait for it – stopping gay marriages from taking place in Kentucky.

Yes, Davis was opposed to gay marriage. However, from Day 1, her legal team backed a plan that would have immediately have made it possible for gay couples to receive signed marriage licenses in every county in the state. My point, once again: How is that not a victory for same-sex couples in Kentucky?…

…Here is my question: If we live in an age in which many complain that political compromise – often evidence of genuine tolerance – is all but impossible, does it make matters better or worse if journalists ignore, or mangle, stories about efforts among Democrats and Republicans seeking compromise?


It’s not, it’s really not…

Why America Is Not A Christian Nation: thoughts for the 4th of JulyTim Fall
The United States is not now and never has been a Christian nation.

How do I know? Because the founding document that provides the framework for all laws, rules, decisions and regulations ever passed, enacted or handed down by the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government nowhere mentions Christianity.*

It doesn’t even mention God. Not once…

…This is a wonderful country to live in, with a constitution that provides more for the benefit of its citizens than most people could ever imagine possible. But while these are blessings from God when carried out to help people, that doesn’t make this a Christian nation.

After all, nations aren’t believers in Jesus. People believe in Jesus. And that’s how God builds the kingdom of Christ. Through his people.


Been there. And it’s worth the time, energy, and effort…

A Challenge To The Frustrated Worship Leader
David Santistevan
please don't make me get out of bed.Here’s my encouragement to you: Enjoy your present as you work to build the future.

We all need to improve. We all need to go to the “next level.” But there’s something you can’t forget: Your goal isn’t to build a team that outsiders are impressed with. Your goal is to build people. Your people. The people you have right in front of you…


https://wronghands1.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/xenophobic-world-map.jpg
Source: Wrong Hands

Psalm 25

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

The book of Psalms is commonly thought of as a collection of the worship music of the Israelites. They were meant to be sung. These are worship songs that God appreciated enough to make sure they were preserved for us. Let’s see if we can find out why…

Psalm 25
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
    let me not be put to shame;
    let not my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
    they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
    teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are the God of my salvation;
    for you I wait all the day long.

Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love,
    for they have been from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
    according to your steadfast love remember me,
    for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!

Good and upright is the Lord;
    therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
    and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
    for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

11 For your name’s sake, O Lord,
    pardon my guilt, for it is great.
12 Who is the man who fears the Lord?
    Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
13 His soul shall abide in well-being,
    and his offspring shall inherit the land.
14 The friendship[b] of the Lord is for those who fear him,
    and he makes known to them his covenant.
15 My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
    for he will pluck my feet out of the net.

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
    for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
    bring me out of my distresses.
18 Consider my affliction and my trouble,
    and forgive all my sins.

19 Consider how many are my foes,
    and with what violent hatred they hate me.
20 Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
    Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
21 May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
    for I wait for you.

22 Redeem Israel, O God,
    out of all his troubles.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Why do you think your forgiveness would be for my sake? (vs. 7 & 11)
Is your guilt “great”? (v. 11)
Is it possible that it is greater than you think?
Do you consider me your friend? (v. 14)
What do you do to foster that friendship?