Lent Spent with the Psalms Day Twenty Nine

imageIn one week we will be in the first days of Passion week. It will a time of mixed emotions; the joy of Easter is tempered and sometimes shadowed by the horror of the extraordinary cost of the Cross. The one innocent man to have walked the face of the earth must be sacrificed that we might live. Jesus the divine reveals God to us in human form and yet, we still struggle to grasp the necessity of the cross. We work to make the juxtaposition of mercy and sacrifice understood by our hearts but lack the words.

 The psalmist knows this duality well, speaking in Psalm 5,

You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;

In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple. (vv 6-7)

How rarely we see ourselves as those who speak falsehood or practice deceit and yet, like Nathan did for David, the Spirit reminds us that we are that man. We are the reason for the Cross, the reason that such an enormous cost must be paid. We continue forward toward Calvary in His mercy alone.

Grace and peace to you

image Leonard Matthews

Lent Spent with the Psalms Day Twenty Eight

image Fear is rooted in judgment. We fear being judged inadequate or our lives being judged not worthy of continuing. We fear the criticism of man. Fear paralyzes us and causes us to seek refuge in hidden places.

We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds.

You say, “I choose the appointed time; it is I who judge uprightly.” (Psalm 75:1-2)

The Cross grows bigger day by day as we walk toward Easter. What have you to fear? God has overcome all and made you an heir. What can man do?


Grace and peace to you

image jmtimages

Lent Spent with the Psalms Day Twenty Seven

imageBut you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.

To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. (Psalm 3:3-4)

Is your walk toward the Cross hesitant? Do you still live in the fear of the world that you had when it had you in its grip? Freeing ourselves from that bondage is a challenge that some never defeat. We live as though God has extended his grace to us as a one-time event and then left us to fend for ourselves.

God is our foundation and our ever-present shield. We have nothing to fear and He calls each of to live our His glory in that fashion. We are liberated creations, surrounded on all sides by the shield of the Lord. Nothing can snatch us from His hand.

Grace and peace to you

image by Loci Lenar

Lent Spent with the Psalms Day Twenty Six

imageLooking forward to Calvary our thoughts are often limited to the salvation that it brought. While we are rightfully reminded of the horrible cost of grace, we are not pressed to consider whether or not our practice of a grace-full life is commensurate with the scope of that grace. If we read Psalm 54 from the NIV we will see,

Save me, O God, by your name; vindicate me by your might.

Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth. (vv 1-2)

Save, vindicate, hear, listen; words that our hearts have processed so many times that we can allow them to be diminished in scope. Save me Lord! Turn my path from Hell to Heaven. To be redeemed means so much more than a ticket punch. The Voice book of Psalms retells the verses of the cry, retaining the idea but expanding the power of the language,

Liberate me, O God, by the authority of Your Name.

Vindicate me through Your legendary power.

Hear my prayer, O God; let the words of my mouth reach Your sympathetic ear. (The Voice, Psalm 54, Verses 1-2)

What does it mean to be liberated rather than just saved?

Grace and peace to you.


image zoe

Lent Spent with the Psalms Day Twenty Five


It’s easy to say ‘don’t be afraid’ and an entirely different thing not to be afraid, isn’t it? We trust in our unseen Father and in the grace that he extends to us. We’re challenged when something that can be seen and touched offers an alternative confidence. Which path will we follow; the one that leads to Cross or the path of our own making?

God knows our mind, he knows when we’re considering the alternative. Despite our outward appearances, where we try to make the world believe we have not doubts, God knows our heart. Can we embed it in our hearts such that we can walk fearlessly into the darkness that surrounds the Cross?

But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge. (Psalm 94:22)

We can process that statement, even repeat it to others but can we get rid of our doubt? Confidence replaces doubt as we grow closer in our relationship with God. The more time we spend with Him, the more we hide His word in our hearts, the more we see His truths in action, the more we will know that,

"For the Lord will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance. (v 14)

We will walk toward the Cross He ordains for us without fear..

When I said, “My foot is slipping, your love, O Lord, supported me.

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. (vv 18-19)


Grace and peace to you.


image rejik

Lent Spent with the Psalms Day Twenty Four


Do you really walk alone? It can feel like that sometimes. Those we thought were friends have moved on to other pursuits. Loved ones have issues with us, real or imagined. We echo the thought of the psalmist..

You have taken my companions and loved ones from me;

the darkness is my closest friend. (Psalm 88:18)

The modern church would prefer that this psalm disappear from the Psalter. It doesn’t fit the current paradigm of happy, happy, everything is going to be great all the time forever when I’m a Christian. Believers cannot understand how God would leave His people in the midst of incredibly difficult struggles, perhaps even for the entire span of their lives.

Look to the Cross. Jesus hangs alone. The skies darken like night. No one rises to His defense. The Father alone is in control of a History that we sometimes cannot understand. We must walk toward the Cross despite the darkness, despite the fact that we might walk along. We walk in trust that the Father’s ultimate will is for the good.

Grace and peace to you.

image BostonBill

Lent Spent with the Psalms Day Twenty Three

imageWho journeys with you toward the cross? Jesus surrounded himself with a close-knit band of traveling companions, knowing that one of them would eventually be his betrayer. Despite that, he invested Himself fully in them. King David shared our more human perspective on a similar situation;

But is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with who I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God. (Psalm 55:13-14)

It would be easy to consider the painful betrayals we’ve suffered and decide to walk alone. To walk by oneself means we don’t have to risk betrayal any longer, we’re safe.

Except we weren’t designed to do that.

We were meant to be in community. The travelling companions we surround ourselves with complete us in bringing along those things that we lack. But, we say, I’m not alone, I have the Father as my companion. True, but look to see if He is alone or in communion with the Son and the Spirit.

Grace and peace to you…

image sergeant killjoy

Lent Spent with the Psalms Day Twenty One

imageMost believers would say aloud that grace is not cheap. Whether out of habit, training, or true belief, the sentiment is expressed in our voices and writings. We ask ourselves today, is it apparent to those outside of the family? When the lost look at our lives and our churches do they see the same thing expressed?

Or have we forgotten this?

In Psalm 81, the psalmist reminds Israel never to forget what God had done for them..

Hear, O my people, and I will warn you—if you would but listen to me, O Israel?

You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not bow down to an alien god.

I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it. (vv 8-10)

Our prayers can rehearse the way in God has brought each of us up out of our personal bondage in Egypt. We can humble ourselves before the crucifix on the hill at Calvary. Or we can forget and cheapen the grace bestowed upon us, taking it for granted and blending back in with the world.

Grace and peace to you…

image paco CT

Lent Spent with the Psalms Day Twenty

imageTell yourself the reason for the Cross today. Look ahead four weeks to the Easter weekend and explain to yourself the reason that Christ is sacrificed. It certainly isn’t rooted in anything we have or can do. It’s not that we are worthy of that sacrifice.

It is grace, pure and simple.

Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed;

he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. (Psalm 20:6)

We place our trust in this grace and it induces an increase in our humility. We are reduced as the magnitude of this gift is realized. We are drawn closer to the giver of the gift.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. (v7)

Grace and peace to you…

image julian nistea