Tag: praise the lord

Vision to Stand Firm!

Scripture reading for September 4th:  Psalm 147-150, Philippians 3

Key Scriptures:  Philippians 3:20-4:1  “But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.  Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!”

As Paul was concluding his letter to the Philippians, he cast vision of Christ’s return and the expectation of believers.  Christ’s return would bring the ultimate transformation of human flesh to those who trusted in Him.  Lowly earthly bodies will be transformed into eternal heavenly bodies, just like Christ’s.  This is vision that enables faith and a firm stand.

Psalm 148:13-14 “Let them praise the Name of the Lord, for His Name alone is exalted; His splendor is above the earth and the heavens.  He has raised up for His people a horn, the praise of all His saints, of Israel, the people close to His heart. Praise the Lord!”

Prayer:  Lord, we praise You and Your Horn, Jesus Christ our Savior.  We look forward to Your return for us and the transformation that will take place at that time! Amen.

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Praise the Lord!

Scripture reading for July 12th:  Psalm 148-150, Proverbs 1-2

Key Scriptures:  Psalm 150:1-6  “Praise the Lord.  Praise God in His Sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens.  Praise Him for His acts of power, praise Him for His surpassing greatness.  Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, praise Him with tambourine and dancing, praise Him with the strings and flute, praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals.  Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord.”

Proverbs 1:7  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

The worship book of Psalms ends with a mighty call to praise the Lord!  Praise is due to God for who He is and for His mighty works.  Praise should come with instruments and from the breath of all living creatures.  God, alone, is worthy of all praise!  Proverbs begins with a call to wisdom marked by the fear of the Lord!  In Revelation, both come together as the wise worship the Lord of Creation!

Glory to His Name: “Great and marvelous are Your deeds, Lord God Almighty.  Just and true are Your ways, King of the Ages.  Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to Your Name?  For You alone are holy.  All nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.”  (Revelation 15:3-4)

 

 

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Universal Praise!

Scripture reading for July 3rd: Psalms 146-150

Life is to be lived in worship to the King!  Real joy and peace come from a life centered on the goodness and greatness of God the Creator!  Worship is not just singing a few songs at church on Sunday.  It is a universal duty of everything that has breath!

Psalm 146 begins with a declaration that the psalmist is going to praise the Lord all of his life!  Many are caught up in the idea of a king or politician who can save them!  But they will die and their plans come to nothing! (Psalm 146:3-4)  Only the God who created the heaven and earth can save!  He can be counted on by the poor, needy, oppressed and hungry!  He watches over the alien, widow, and the fatherless!  (Psalm 146:7-9)  God alone is worthy of praise!

Psalm 147 is a hymn of praise to the Lord for Jerusalem.  God has built up Jerusalem and gathered the exiles of Israel.  God’s people are to praise and honor Him for His mighty deeds on their behalf!  God’s delight is in those who fear Him! (Psalm 147:11)  He blesses them and protects them and deserves their worship!  (Psalm 147:12-14) He has given them His Word and laws, making them special among all nations!  (Psalm 147:19-20)

Psalms 148 commends all creation for their praise of the Lord!  Angels praise Him in the heights.  The sun, moon and stars praise Him.    (Psalm 148:3-6)  From the earth, sea creatures and fish, mountains and valleys, animals large and small praise Him!  (Psalm 148:7-10)  Man, too, praises the Lord!  Young and old, men and women, rich and poor all owe Him praise for His splendor is above all His works!  (Psalm 148:14)

Psalm 149 calls upon God’s covenant people, Israel, to praise the Lord!  They are to dance, sing, and make music with instruments!   The psalm then shifts from praise of God in their mouths to a double edged sword in their hands!  They are to praise the Lord as they inflict vengeance on the nations and peoples who have rebelled against the Lord and rejected His Love! (Psalm 149:6-9)  This is the “glory of all His saints.”

Psalm 150:6 sums it all up and closes the hymnal!  “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.”

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He lifted me out of the slimy pit!

Scripture reading for June 11th: Psalm 36-41

Sometimes life’s circumstances overwhelm us.  Our situation and the battles we face dominate our thinking and depression takes us into a slimy pit.   I have been there myself!  Someone once told me,  “sober up–you are drunk on the circumstances!”  The psalmist recorded a personal battle where he was in a slimy pit!

King David was sick in body with festering wounds because of sin and guilt in his life.  He had back pain that penetrated his being. (Psalm 38:5-7)  He was feeble and crushed in anguish of heart.  People avoided him because of his wounds and there were those plotting his ruin.  His enemies hated him without reason and slandered him for his good works!  (Psalm 38:19-20)  He asked God not to forsake him and come quickly and help! (vs 21-22) (This sounds like Jesus!)

David stated in Psalm 40 that after patiently waiting on the Lord, God heard his cry and lifted him out of the slimy pit that held him.  He set David’s feet on a firm rock and put a new song in his mouth, a song of praise to God!   But this psalm ends with another humble prayer for help!  God’s help to David was an attitude change, not necessarily a change in circumstances!

When we are in the ‘slimy pit’, like David, we should tell the Lord how we feel.  Honest evaluation and casting our cares on Him is a good thing to do.   We should also confess our trust in the Lord. (Psalm 38:22. 40:17)   The psalmist could not help himself–he had to wait on the Lord patiently! (Psalm 38:15) (Psalm 40:1)  Even though he asked that the Lord come quickly, God’s time is not always the same as ours. (Psalm 38:22)  David sang a new song of praise before the rescue.  Praise and testimony of God’s goodness always blesses the Lord and then us!   Faith brings us courage to trust God for victory!  Action on the word of God begins our journey out of the slimy pits of life!  If necessary, give yourself a little slap to remember not to be drunk on your circumstances!

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Everything that has breath: Praise the Lord!

Scripture reading for July 3rd: Psalms 146-150

The hymn book of the Old Testament concludes with some stirring songs of worship to the King!  Real joy and peace come from a life centered on the goodness and greatness of God the Creator!  Worship is not just singing a few songs at church on Sunday.  It is a universal privilege of everything that has breath!

Psalm 146 began with a declaration that the psalmist was going to praise the Lord all of his life!  He warned the people not to put their trust in princes, mortal men who cannot save!  Today, many are caught up in the idea of a president or ruler can save them! (Psalm 146:3-4)  Only the faithful God who created the heaven and earth can save!   He can be counted on by the poor, needy, oppressed and hungry!  He watches over the alien, widow, and the fatherless!  (Psalm 146:7-9)

Psalm 147 is a hymn of praise for Jerusalem, God’s holy city and it’s chosen people.  God has built up Jerusalem and gathered the exiles of Israel.  God’s people are to praise and honor Him for His mighty deeds on their behalf!  God’s delight is in His people, those who fear Him! (Psalm 147:11)  He blesses them and protects them and deserves their worship!  (Psalm 147:12-14) He has given them His Word and laws, making them special among all nations! (Psalm 147:19-20)

Psalms 148 commends all creation and the saints for their praise of the Lord!  Angels praise Him in the heights.  The sun, moon and stars praise Him.   God named them and set them in place!  (Psalm 148:3-6)  From the earth, sea creatures and fish, mountains and valleys, animals large and small praise Him!  (Psalm 148:7-10)  Men, made in His image,  praise the Lord!  Young and old, men and women, rich and poor all owe Him praise for His provision and splendor!  (Psalm 148:14)

Psalm 149 calls upon God’s covenant people, Israel, to praise the Lord!  They are to dance, sing, and make music with instruments!  The psalm then shifts from praise of God in their mouths to a double edged sword in their hands!  They are to praise the Lord as they inflict vengeance on the nations and peoples who have rebelled against the Lord and rejected His Love!  (Psalm 149:6-9)  This is the “glory of all His saints.”

Psalm 150:6 sums it all up and closes the hymnal!  “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.”

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Praise the Lord, O my soul!

Scripture reading for June 22nd: Psalms 98-103

Praise and worship must be in spirit and in truth.  (John 4:24)  We must worship from our spirit man and from a mind renewed with the truth.  I have used Psalms 101 and 103 often in my personal life and in ministering to those in various kinds of troubles.

Psalm 101 praises God for His love and His justice.  Both of these character traits work together to bring wholeness or holiness to God’s character.  Love without justice is some sentimental emotion that lacks integrity.  Justice without love is harsh and bitter.  Balanced as they are in God’s character, we worship Him and sing praise!

The holy fear of God’s justice caused the psalmist to be careful with his life and character.  He sought to live a blameless life because he did not know when God might come in judgment.  He vowed to keep his eyes from vile things.  He knew this would defile his heart.  He hated evil and sought to live in truth and surround himself with those who were faithful.  He promised to eliminate from his house any who were false or wicked.  I have Psalm 101:3 on my computer to remind me of my need to keep my eyes on what is good!

Psalm 103 begins by praising  God for all of His benefits.  First of all God forgives us all of our sins!  (Psalm 103:3)  He not only forgives our sins, but forgets them and removes them far away!  (Psalm 103:12)  God also heals all of our diseases and sicknesses, and our God does not change!  God redeems our life from the pit–a place of destruction and punishment!  We must bless Him from the depths of our soul!  He also renews our youth and satisfies our desires with good things from His house!  He works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.  He is full of love and abounds in mercy and compassion.  God is a loving Father and we are His special children.  His love promises us that though our life is short and fragile, we who fear Him will enjoy His love forever and ever! (Psalm 103:14-17)

Psalm 103 ends with David exhorting a chorus of angels to praise the Lord.  The heavenly hosts are called upon to praise Him as well as all His works in the whole universe!  We joyfully join in: “Praise the Lord, O my soul!”

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Breathing Praises!

Scripture reading for July 3rd: Psalms 146-150

Every one of these last psalms begin and end with “praise the Lord”!  That Hebrew word is “Hallelujah” and is familiar to Christians from use in many hymns and choruses.  It is fitting that this Hebrew book of worship would end in a crescendo of praise to the awesome God of heaven!

“Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul.  I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.” (Psalm 146:1-2)   This psalm is a personal statement of the psalmist’s choice to praise the Lord personally.  It is something that comes from his soul and inspires song.  Praise is a life-long pursuit and not optional for those who know Him as “my God”.

“Praise the Lord.  How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him!  The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the exiles of Israel.  He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:1-3)  The nation, as well as individuals,  praises the Lord with joy and singing.  God builds up Jerusalem, His holy city, filling it with the redeemed who worship Him freely!

“Praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise Him from the heights above.  Praise Him, all His angels, praise Him, all His heavenly host. Praise Him sun and moon, praise Him all you shining stars.” (Psalm 148:1-3)  Praise flows from the angels and all of the heavenly creation to God as well.  Like a rock dropped into still water, praise resonates from individuals to the nation and then to the heavenly hosts!

“Praise the Lord.  Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise in the assembly of the saints.  Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King.” (Psalm 149:1-2)  The saints particularly praise their Lord with creativity by composing a “new song”!  This song is a joyful song of gladness and praise to God for His mercy in redemption and for the King and their kingdom!

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.” (Psalm 150:6)   The last verse of the last psalm commands everything that breathes to give the Lord praise!  All mankind owes its breath and life to the One who breathed life into them.  Man alone can give God the praise that is due Him!

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Remember His Benefits!

Scripture reading for June 23rd: Psalms 98-103

One of the reasons that we praise the Lord is for all He does for us.  When we think of the Lord, we remember all His past blessings and from the depths of our being, praise begins to flow toward His throne!  These benefits are not just in the past, as a part of history, but also continue on into eternity!  They are gifts that keep on giving benefits and blessings.  Truly, “the blessing of the Lord brings wealth and He adds no sorrow to it.” (Proverbs 10:22)

“Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all of His benefits–who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.” (Psalm 103:2-5)

God’s love gives us what we really need, not just what we think we need.  A primary need for a relationship with God is forgiveness of sin, and all men have sinned.  (Romans 3:23)  Sin brings separation from God.  God is holy and cannot look on sin.  Sin has a penalty set by God–death and ultimately the pit of hell.  (Romans 6:23)  (Revelation 2014-15) God in his mercy offers forgiveness of sins by providing His own Son Jesus Christ to bear our sins on the cross.  Since the penalty of death was paid by Jesus, we by faith can be forgiven freely and justly!  Praise the Lord!

Not only did Jesus Christ redeem us from the penalty of our sins and offer forgiveness, but he also provided for our healing.   “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.” (1st Peter 2:23)  That healing is available to all who will humbly receive.  Praise the Lord!

As we contemplate these benefits given by God through His love, our inmost being cries out in thanksgiving and worship!  But it is not just His benefits, but His glorious presence with us that is most precious!  We are being renewed and transformed daily in order to live in that presence for eternity!  We will soar with the eagles! “Praise the Lord  O My soul, and all that is in me, praise His holy Name! ” (Psalm 103:1)

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Escape from Death!

Scripture reading for June 17th: Psalms 67-72

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.  Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.” (Psalm 68:19-20)

God, our Savior, is a burden bearer.  We can come to Him each and every day with all of our burdens and troubles and cast them upon Him.  He is honored when His people depend on Him. (Psalm 50:15)  Throughout history, God’s people have come to know and trust God as their only hope of protection and escape from death.  God is the only one with power to save us from death and from eternal separation from Himself.  This separation is the second death, which all men who do not put their trust in God as their Savior and burden bearer will experience.

This “Sovereign Lord” is the King who resides in the sanctuary.  He is moving in a majestic procession lead by singers, musicians and maidens playing tambourines.  The great congregation follows, led by the smallest tribe of Benjamin and the princes of Judah, Zebulun, and Naphtali.  The sanctuary is the temple in Jerusalem; nations are in subjection to the King and they bring Him gifts.  Nations that love war are scattered and humbled. It is plain that the psalmist is talking about God as the ultimate King of Kings who will rule the earth!

“Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth, sing praise to the Lord, to him who rides the ancient skies above, who thunders with mighty voice.  Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the skies.  You are awesome, O God, in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to His people.” Psalm 68:32-35

Worship and singing are the response of God’s people to the power and majesty of their God and King!  He is again pictured as riding the clouds and speaking with His mighty voice that rumbles like thunder!  When God speaks, we are strengthened and empowered by faith to do His will.  Faith praises God for His awesome Person, the daily burden bearer as well as the escape from death.  Christ Jesus is the King who will soon appear on the clouds of heaven!  His mighty voice will thunder, calling His people to life eternal and worship in the heavenly sanctuary!  What a joyous day!

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