Lent Spent with the Psalms Day Nineteen

imageThe closer we stay to the steps and path of the Shepherd as He helps us to negotiate the dangerous way through this world, the more confidence we have. Strengthened in this way, the inevitable struggles that appear do not perturb us. They are no longer insurmountable challenges that we have to confront on our own. Our Shepherd knows the way and will lead us through. We have peace.

You still the hunger of those you cherish; their sons have plenty, and they store up wealth for their children.

And I—in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness. (Psalm 17:14b-15)

As you enjoy the security and calm, count the cost as well. Look forward to Calvary and the know the darkness that had to be faced on that Friday and Saturday before the joy of the first light on Sunday.

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Lent Spent with the Psalms Day Eighteen

imageMy steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped. (Psalm 17:5)

We contemplated our trust in the Shepherd yesterday, knowing that even when He leads us through dangerous territory we are ultimately secure. Fear dissolves as we follow hard on the steps of the Shepherd, our steps are secure. To wander is to face the world on our own.

The Lent season is a period set aside by the church for focused meditation on the cost of Salvation. Have you taken the time to check your commitment to the undeserved righteousness you’ve received? The Shepherd leads us but paid an enormous cost. He didn’t turn away and nor should we. Our commitment to a life of holiness must be equal to the price lest we cheapen the Cross.

Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin. (v 3)

Stay close to the path.


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Lent Spent with the Psalms Day Seventeen

imageApproaching the Cross at Calvary, the contemplative Christian cannot help but be struck by the juxtaposition of horror and joy portrayed in the event. The abuse and death of the Savior lead to the unspeakable joy of the Lord’s return. Logically, we can’t have one without the other. Our lives are similar in this division. We live with struggles in the midst of great promise. One of the best known of the psalms speaks directly to our condition. Most people, even non-Christians, know the first couple of lines by heart,

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. (Psalm 23:1-3a)

Yes, this is what we want Lord! Peace and well being and communion with you. Why then do the troubles continue to pop up each day? Why are we still challenged? Because, brothers and sisters, we’re called to be His people in the midst of a fallen world. Our lives show the strength of our Shepherd. They show that despite the challenges that surround us, our Shepherd has prepared a safe place for us, he has spread a table before us. We are able to face anything knowing that we are secure in His hand. We have peace, knowing that Easter morning is coming.

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Psalm 59 God Will Go Before Me

image Deliver me from my enemies, O God; protect me from those who rise up against me.

Deliver me from evildoers and save me from bloodthirsty men. (vv 1-2)

These have become familiar refrains from David as he implores God to release him from the constant harassment of his enemies. Time after time we hear him turn to God in need of protection, shelter, and safety, describing his enemies in the harshest terms. In this psalm we share David’s apprehension as his home is watched by Saul’s men who are intent on killing him. To place this in historical context, refer to 1 Samuel 19. Does David succumb to the temptation to rid himself of Saul? No, he righteously refuses to touch God’s anointed, a lesson that the modern lesson can learn as member are tempted to attack and destroy a pastor.

God will go before me and will let me gloat over those who slander me.

But do not kill them, O Lord our shield, or my people will forget.

In you might make them wander about, and bring them down. (v 11)

Rather than see them destroyed, David wishes that they might simple lose their way. Possibly he hopes that they will realize how far astray they have gone in hunting down God’s chosen king. He follows with a plea that their pride might be realized and they might turn back. We can be thankful that our intercessor please for one more minute for us to repent despite our manifold sins, even though they are injurious to Him. Ultimately, the redemption of a horrific sinner such as myself brings more glory to the King than my immediate destruction, though it would be well deserved.

Then it will be known to the ends of the earth that God rules over Jacob. (v 13b)

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