Praying the Psalms ~ Psalm 121

Psalm 121 is favorite for many. It is a great reminder to me that God is the only true Helper in this life. Yet, we all too often look to other things and people of this world for help, but they will all let us down. God, though, never rests. He never tires. He never takes time off. God will always stand guard over you. God will never fail. Let us give Him thanks and praise for being our Helper…

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My Helper, oh my Helper,
the defender and Keeper of my life,
my eyes often scan the horizon of this life,
Looking,
Searching,
Seeking,
Trying to find anything and anyone to make things right.
But You, oh my Helper, my Lord and my God, I give You thanks for,
You are always here.
You are never distant.
You are never oblivious to my needs.
So why, oh why would I look elsewhere?
After all, You are the maker of everything.
You are the giver of life.
You are the great I Am.
You, oh my God and Helper,
You never get tired.
You are never distracted.
You never take time off to recuperate,
for You are the sovereign God,
and I am Yours,
thus nothing will ever strike me.
Evil,
Death,
Satan,
Nothing! Nothing, will ever strike me with You by my side,
for my life is hidden with Jesus Christ in You.
As my eyes rise to see the horizon of my life,
may they see You as my Helper, Lord and God.
In all that I do,
In everywhere I go,
Now and forevermore,
You are my God.
Amen.

Peace and Division

Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. [Luke 12:51 ESV]

Seems like a strange thing for Jesus to say. After all, isn’t he the Prince of Peace? Doesn’t he give peace that surpasses all understanding? When the disciples see him after his resurrection Jesus says, “Peace be with you“. So why would Jesus say something like this? Well, look carefully at what he says, Do you think that I have come to give peace ON EARTH? That’s the distinction. Here on earth, there will be division on account of the Gospel. Jesus didn’t come with the intent to divide people but rather knowing that the Gospel would do just that because people are sinners. In John 15, Jesus warned his disciples that if the world hates him they will hate them. And isn’t that the truth. Yet, many people are so afraid of division. Can’t we all just get along? I am all for getting along with people, but when it comes to the Gospel, we must stand firm. We must respect people. We must love people. We must listen to people. But when it comes to the Gospel, if division occurs, then so be it. It is better to be at odds with the world than with God. Amen? The Gospel will produce division. That we have seen, but don’t mistake what Jesus says. He IS still the Prince of Peace and he DOES give a peace that surpasses all understanding. Standing firm on God’s Word in Jesus name, you can have peace in the midst of division. May your witness then, bring peace to people who are at odds with the Gospel. Amen!

Hope and Life

The following chalk art was created by my imaginative 6-year-old daughter. It used to adorn the sidewalk in front of our home. Knowing that the lawn sprinklers would soon wash this masterpiece away, I made sure this was digitally preserved. This artwork, from the heart of a 6-year-old, inspired the following poem. To God be the glory!

Through death to Life,
You give me hope.
Through dark to light.
I can now cope.
For the cross rises above this broken world
and life rises from within.
I now have hope and strength for through Jesus Christ
eternal life now begins.
The sun shines,
The flower blooms,
Oh Lord my God my final place is not the tomb.
And now my heart leaps for joy,
I just can not contain it.
My face radiates with love,
Something that will never quit.
So may the cross brightly shine,
A hope for the world to see.
My sins have been wiped away.
That is Your loving decree.

Amazing Forgiveness

God’s forgiveness of our sins is amazing when you consider what we deserve. We deserve death and condemnation, but through faith in Christ there is forgiveness. Wow! But to go about one’s life, refusing to forgive others means you really don’t understand God’s forgiveness of your own sins. That’s why clear, consistent and frequent Gospel proclamations are so necessary, lest we forget what God has really done through Jesus Christ. With that, I present the following poem. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…

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The command is given
The sign is clear
Do not do this
and do not go amiss.

But yet I disobey
I just ignore
I disregard
the command I discard.

And now I deserve wrath
from God my Lord
I’ve disobeyed
For it’s God I’ve betrayed.

Punishment is certain
for my trespass
I deserve it
for that I must admit.

Oh God, please forgive me
in Jesus name
for my trespass
would Your wrath please surpass.

Your grace is amazing
Your love complete
my soul You’ve spared
even though I have erred.

So now may I forgive
and show much grace
as You have done
to show how You have won.

Oh God You’re amazing
Me a sinner
Jesus my King
Oh God, what a nice ring.

Winning Side

God shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered; and those who hate him shall flee before him!
Psalms 68:1 ESV

When you are in Christ, you are on the winning side. God’s victory and reign is not a yet-to-be-decided type of thing. It has been determined and settled. God has triumphed over the world through the cross and the empty tomb. Jesus’ resurrection means sin, death and the power of Satan have been defeated. And thus, those who oppose God will go by the way of Satan and his minions. They will flee defeated and eventually be judged and condemned. Those who are in Christ are victorious by virtue of Jesus’ love and grace. So stand firm in Christ and rest in the fact that as Christ was raised so you shall be also. Nothing can oppose those take refuge in God our Father. Spread the Good News. Jesus lives. God reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Our Father

Our Father who art in heaven,
and yet You reside close to me.
You are never ever distant,
that You guarantee.

You are my Bread winner;
Jesus Christ the Bread of Life.
You are my Defender;
willing to die to save my life.
You are my Creator;
the Breather of the breath of life.

You are all of this and more,
as my Father You never ignore.
But you are not just mine,
for I am just one fruit of the vine.
There are many that reside,
in Your family we all abide.
But I am never just another face,
for You’re the Father and we all have first place.

And so as You are in heaven,
through Jesus I will be too,
with my brothers and sisters,
all our praise will be for You.

The One

You are the Way, the Truth and the Life.
You and only You,
You are holy and true,
You are my hope and salvation.
There are no other gods who can stand,
all have been outdone,
none can prove to be the one.
Many try to dethrone You,
but all fall short,
incomplete
impotent
Ineffective.
Only You is praise wholly due.
But the battle rages on,
my soul is conflicted.
Wolves in sheep’s clothing,
trying to pull off a big con.
I become deceived,
straying from the way.
Listening to the lies,
oh God, my soul is grieved.
Forgive and restore,
remake, for You I adore.
May it be You who I follow,
for there is no other way.
The gods of this world,
are nothing, only hollow.
So dethrone the gods I’ve crowned,
Show me again,
That Jesus, only Jesus,
is the way to truly abound.