The Word

Oh God,
Your Word is a lamp to my feet.
Your Word is a light to my path.
Your Word is profitable for teaching,
for reproof,
for correction,
and for training in righteousness,
that I may be complete and equipped for every good work.
You Law is perfect,
and sure,
and right,
and pure,
and clean
and true.
Oh God, why would anyone despise the learning of it.
Your Word is much to be desired.
It’s more precious than gold.
Sweeter than honey.
More valuable than anything.
Your Word is salvation.
Your Word is Jesus.
May I desire it more and more.
May I receive it with an open heart.
May I live it each and every day.
May I proclaim it with every breath.
May I not twist or distort it.
May Your Word sustain my life.
Oh God,
teach me and lead me and transform me.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen

The Pastor -|—

What is Acceptable to God? (Psalm 19:14)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord , my rock and my redeemer. [Psalm 19:14]

The words of my mouth.
The meditations of my heart.

Have you ever thought about those two things? Have you ever given any consideration about not only what comes out of your mouth but also what you are meditating on in your heart?

You see…

These two things are intimately tied together; for what you are meditating on in your heart is going to eventually come out in your words and/or actions. So it only makes sense that we ask God to let that which is in our heart be acceptable to God. What comes out of our mouth can be judged by others but only God can judge what is in your heart. But then again, if what is in your heart eventually comes out in your words and actions then eventually people are going to judge your heart as well. Right or wrong, they (and you) will judge the heart.

So do a preemptive strike and commit your heart to God.

Ask that your meditations be acceptable to God.
Ask that your words glorify God.
Ask that your actions point to our Rock and Redeemer.

Begin with your heart because that will direct your words and actions. When you don’t know what to say or what to do, what you truly believe in your heart will come out. When you are in moments that demand words then what you are meditating and dwelling on will be the first to emerge.

If you are dwelling on a hurt
If you are dwelling on a sin
If you are dwelling on hate
If you are dwelling on someone else’s mistake(s)

These things will eventually show its ugly head in your words/deeds.

So…

Meditate and dwell on God and His wonderful mercy and grace and compassion and love and forgiveness. If you are meditating on this then that which Satan would rather you meditate on will be pushed to the back burner and squashed.

May your heart be found acceptable to God.

Father God, heal my heart that it may meditate on that which is good and acceptable to You. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Morning devotions ~ God’s handiwork

[1] The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1 ESV)

Walk outside and take a good look around. How does one think there is no God when you consider the intricate design of creation? How does one think that everything we see is nothing more than randomness? How does one base their system of beliefs on a claim that there is no God? But worse yet, if you believe in God how does one not fall on their face in worship and awe?

All around the heavens declare the glory of God. And that right there should make us feel guilty when WE do not declare the glory of God.
Creation cries out that God is awesome but yet we busy ourselves with the cares of this world.
Creation declares the greatness of God and we try to explain it away.
Creation and the heavens bow down in worship and what do we do?

God’s handiwork is all around us; we just need to look. But the greatest handiwork of all time is what happened in the manger at Christmas.. Through faith in Jesus, God has made a New Creation:

YOU!

Christmas is about love and peace coming to the world to complete what God started in creation. Through faith in Jesus we have forgiveness of sins and thus New Life. So take a new and fresh look at the manger this Christmas season and see God’s handiwork work there. And don’t forget to join the heavens in declaring God’s glory; for God is indeed worthy.

Praise be to God!

The pastor -|—

You got to want it

I am working on a confirmation lesson plan about confession and as part of that lesson we are going to be reading Psalm 19.

[Pause here and go read that 15 verse Psalm.  Cue Jeopardy theme…]

Did you read it?  Seriously…did you read Psalm 19 and meditate on it?  I could make life easier for you and just include the text in this post, but part of me is feeling feisty today so no easy way out for you.  I want you to actually open your Bible to read the scripture text.  Online or on your smartphone is fine, just read the text.

O.K…I’m ready to move on…

I read Psalm 19 yesterday and started jotting down some teaching points for the class.  I wrote a couple questions that I want to ask.  I mulled over how the discussion might go.  I started anticipating some questions my students might ask.  But I got stuck on what the psalmist was doing.  Not stuck on how I want to teach this Psalm and the topic of confession, but I got stuck because of what it was saying to ME.

[Scripture has a funny way of doing that sometimes.]

In verses 1 – 6 I hear the psalmist saying how awesome God is.  When you look around you can’t help but see the majesty of God.  You can’t help but see the awesome power of God; written in the sky and in all of creation.  God is so worthy of our worship and praise.  And this I know, but when someone makes you stop and pay attention; it hits you…again.

In verses 7 – 11 I hear the psalmist singing the praises of God for how awesome His Law is.  God’s Law is right and just and perfect and trustworthy and radiant and pure and righteous and sure and…(I’m sure we could go on and on).  God’s Law is precious and worthy to be followed and obeyed.  And this I know, but once again it is being held up before my eyes as I see it anew.

Last but not least, the psalmist confesses his sins in verses 12-13.  And in verse 14 I am captured by these words: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” A statement pointing to the psalmist’s humility before God.

Wow…is this where I am at when I come before God confessing my sins?

If God is not awesome and worthy in your sight what motivation is there to confess anything.  Confession can’t be a checklist item.  It can’t be something done out of coercion.  Confession of sins needs to be a humbling and heartfelt act of worship before a holy and gracious God.  If it is anything less than that we are just fooling ourselves (and definitely not fooling God). Basically…you got to want it.

The power of God’s awesome forgiveness can only be known through a heartfelt sense of our unworthiness and  sinfulness.  Look around.  God is everywhere.  God’s glory is being proclaimed through creation.  Meditate on that. Meditate on the fact that you do not deserve forgiveness, but because of Jesus forgiveness is offered.

Wow…that is amazing! That is Good News!

So…have you read Psalm 19 yet?  Do it.  Confess for your sins.  And know God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ our risen Lord and Savior.

The pastor -|—