Psalm 97:10-12 9/6/16

IBS

9/6/16

Psalm 97:10-12

“Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, who are righteous, and praise his holy name.”

Thank you for making this verse stick out to me Lord. Please teach me, I’m here, and I’m listening.

The writer of this Psalm is left unsaid and I like that. If it said David wrote it, I would be inclined to say it easy for him to talk about “faithful ones” and the “upright in heart” because, though he made his fair share of mistakes, David was considered a “man after God’s own heart.” But this Psalm reveals no writer at the beginning so its left anonymous. I don’t have any excuse.

“Let those who love the Lord hate evil.”
That would be so much easier if
Righteousness was remotely easy to act out
As wickedness is now what’s accepted as civil.
Accepted by the world as standard.
Standards lowered until nonexistent.
Nonexistent commitments to God’s foundations.
Foundations in the Lord are seen as insufficient.

The Lord says those who love me should hate evil.
As soon as my eyes open in the morning,
Why is it that I must fight so hard to hate that very evil?
Joy quickly drying out, turning to mourning.

Sin is hard to hate, as it is my appetitive nature.
It’s much harder to love Him who is greater.
So in turn I do what I hate,
And what I know I should do I don’t, sealing my fate.

But, “He guards the lives of his faithful ones,”
“And delivers them from the hand of the wicked.”
The beauty is, that though the fight against wickedness is raging
I’m not alone in the honorable fight against my flesh daily waging.

The Lord guards my life so long as I seek his help.
Seeking the Lord in those moments is just the start.
As his Word promises, light shines on the righteous
And joy on the upright in heart.

It’s hard when I look at my own life,
And see not the slightest hint of righteousness.
Then I remember Romans 3:10.
“There is no one righteous, not even one,” and I’m reminded again.

It’s not about me, but the one who created me
It’s not my deeds, but the one who loves me,
The one who credited to me his own righteousness,
To give me life and rid me of my lawlessness.

Therefor, I am righteous.
Not because of me, but because he is gracious.
I’m no longer hopeless, joyless, or loveless.
But because of His sacrifice, with him I share in oneness.

He takes my sin and gives me grace.
He tells me to seek his face.
Your face Lord I will seek.
You are strong when I am weak.

I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will praise His holy name.
I give thanks because I am now made righteous.
Not because of me, but because of him who is most gracious.

Don’t you see?
It’s not about me and you
It’s not about what we can do.
It’s about how we were made brand new

He gave us life and truth
That no matter what I’m going through,
He has my back, Lord thank you!
You’ll never leave me but you’ll always pursue.

Lord I love you, give me strength to hate evil.
Give me speed to flee from the punishable.
Guard my life and deliver me from wickedness
In your hands, Lord, help me stay malleable.

Thank you for making me righteous,
That light may shine on me.
Thank you for holding my heart upright
That I may have joy and be set free.

To you I will rejoice always.
I will praise you who are near and never far.
Not just for what you’ve done,
But because of who you are.

Application: I am not righteous. But because of Jesus I am. So this verse is more than applicable to me. It’s so hard to hate evil. But the Lord “guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.” As I get closer to the Lord he helps me see just how wicked my sin is. He helps me better identify what is of Him and what is not. Lord, please give me strength to hate evil. I want to be faithful to you. Help me practice your presence, as the realization of your presence is the greatest weapon I have to use against the enemy.

How: Today I wrote “Presence” on my hand. I read Psalm 114 today as well and it speaks of trembling in the presence of God’s mighty presence. Realizing He’s there. He’s here. He is always with me. So today, when I look at my hand and see “presence” I will be reminded of just how close he is to me. I am in his midst.

 

Thank you Jesus. It is because of you that that is possible.

Hebrew 4:16 8/19/16

IBS

8/19/16

Hebrews 4:16

“Let us than approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

I’m ready to listen Lord.

Just before verse 16, Paul tells the Hebrews of the great high priest we have in Christ Jesus. We have a high priest who can empathize with us. Jesus left the presence of God. He left his heavenly home. He left and came down to earth for his filthy disappointing creation. He lived a life, like you and me. He was “tempted in every way, just as we are,” Paul says. “Yet, he did not sin.” He knows what we are going through. No battle is too tough for him. No battle is new to him, he has already overcome it and is ready to help you and me overcome the same as he did. Paul continues into verse 16 encouraging the Hebrews, with this knowledge, to approach God’s throne with confidence because God is ready to help us. When I sin, often times the last thing I want to do is go to God about it. In my sin I feel that I am so unworthy of God’s love, of his acceptance, of his attention. But the reality is, my first action when I mess up should be to go to God. The truth is I am unworthy of all those things, but that makes Jesus even more beautiful. Because of him I can go before the throne of God. His throne of grace. I can go before the creator of the universe and ask for forgiveness and find restoration. I can receive mercy and find grace and receive help in my time of need. I can receive help from the one true, most powerful God of the universe.

Application: Its hard to go to God when I feel unworthy of his love, but Paul encourages us here that we can, and with confidence because from him radiates grace and mercy. And because he was tempted in every way here on earth, he can best help us through the daily struggles of life.

How: Today I also read Psalm 101. It is a pledge to the Lord on how David will follow the Lord. Verse 2 specifically talks about living a blameless life with a blameless heart. This is impossible for me to carry out, unless my power and help come from the Lord. Today I wrote “blameless heart” on my hand to remind myself throughout the day to go before the Lord’s throne to ask for help to have a blameless heart.

Thank you Lord for your help in my life, every day. Thank you Jesus I can go before your throne with confidence because of your beautiful act of salvation.

Thank you Lord for your grace and mercy and thank you for your never failing help.

2 Corinthians 4:7 8/5/16

IBS

8/5/16

2 Corinthians 4:7

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

I’m here and ready to listen. Please speak to me Lord.

Paul in his letter to the Corinthians makes a great point in talking about the fact that we are weak as humans but God still chooses to fill us with his power. Paul says, “we have this treasure.” What treasure? Jesus. The power of Christ inside of us. In verse 10 of chapter 4 Paul says we carry, in our bodies, the death of Christ, so that the life of Christ might also be revealed in our bodies. I believe Christ died for my sins after living a perfect life, and then rose from the dead conquering death. I carry the fact that he died and rose for me so that the life of Christ might shine through me. That I might live in a way that reflects Jesus Christ. But this is so hard. Of myself, I am nowhere near an example of Christ. As Paul continues in verse 7, I am a jar of clay. A fragile human. I can’t please God by myself. A jar of clay in it of its self is nothing special. It is only as special as the potter who makes it. Praise the Lord I have the greatest potter who made me and now lives inside of me! As Paul says in verse 7, we have the treasure of Christ in us, passing jars of clay, to show that “this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” Paul uses perfect imagery to illustrate his point. A clay jar cannot just be beautiful. How did the clay form into a pot? On its own? No, by the potter who put his time and energy into it. The clay cannot be anything by itself it needs the potter to be anything, to be beautiful. The same is true about us. God presents his power in us, mere jars of clay, so that there is not question whose power is actually revealing itself in us. I know, and God knows I know, it’s not my power. This “all-surpassing” power Is from God and not from me!! Praise you Jesus that the power I have to operate in doesn’t have to be my own.

Application: Thank you Lord that you choose to fill me with your spirit, and let me operate in Your power. Though I am a sinner. Unfit to be in your presence. Yet, you choose to fill this jar of clay with your all-surpassing power. Praise you Jesus

How: Today I wrote “Not Mine But Yours” on my hand to remind myself once more that the power I need to operate in is in fact not mine, but the Lords.

2 Corinthians 6:3-10 7/26/16

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7/26/16

2 Corinthians 6:3-10

“We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.”

Make real to me Your Word Lord. I am listening. I’m having trouble seeing what you want me to see in these verses. Help me. You are forgiving and good, abounding in love to those who call on you, Psalm 86:5. I am calling on you. Please show yourself to me. I desire to hear from you. Please reveal to me the mysteries and secrets of your word.

I believe Paul, in this portion of his letter to the Corinthians, is speaking about living in a way that is above reproach. He starts verse 3 by saying “We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.” Live in a way that no one sees your ministry and decides to write it off because they see the “other side” of your life stile. Ministry is not a job or an opportunity to volunteer. Ministry is a lifestyle. And Paul is urging the Corinthians to live in a manner that leaves no question about who they are living for. He continues, “Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way,” and then continues on in a long list. The key word there is every way. Do I live above reproach in every way? In great endurance in troubles, hardships and distresses? Thankfully I have not had to endure beatings, imprisonments and riots, but I pray to the Lord that I would count it joy to suffer in that way for his namesake. Continuing on, do I live above reproach in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger? In purity, understanding, patience and kindness? In the Holy Spirit and in sincere love, in truthful speak and in the power of God? I’ll tell you right now, no I don’t. I fail daily to do all those things. I operate in my flesh instead of the Holy Spirit. I trust in the power I think I have on my own instead of the power of God. The question wanders through my mind, though I already know the answer, “How?” How do I live above reproach? The simple answer is Jesus. Look at the life of Jesus. Flawless, in every way. Jesus is the epitome of what this group of verses talks about. After Paul speaks of living above reproach in all these ways, he exhorts the Corinthians to do so not just when it’s easy. He says through glory and dishonor, bad and good report. Even when regarded as a fake; when regarded as unknown. Not just when it’s easy Paul says. Though all these things, live above reproach. Live in away that backs up your claim of ministry. This is difficult. It has to be a daily cry to the Lord for me. Asking God for the weapons of righteousness that Paul mentions in verse 7. I want to live in a way that leaves no question who I serve. That leaves no question of what kind of man I am. That leaves no question of why I claim one thing and live another. I want to live a life that can be an example to others. Not for my own glory, though that is a fight every day, but for the glory of God. My name is under Christ. Those who know me know this. If I’m not living in the way Paul speaks of here, I am giving Christ a bad name. I am misrepresenting my creator, my friend, my Savior, my God. That is the last thing I want. I want to live exemplifying Christ

Application: God help me live with integrity in every aspect of my life, no matter what. Not just when it’s easy, not just when it’s rewarding, not just when it’s for my benefit, but in every way, all the time.

How: Today I wrote some words from Psalm 86:5 on my hand so I can remember the verse. It says, “You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.” When I don’t live above reproach, when I mess up, when I slip off the path, He forgives me. He brushes me off with his love, cleans me with his blood and gets me back on me way. Every time I see this verse today I will be reminded to call on my Lord and Savior to help me live in a way that is above reproach, in a way that truly honors him. I cannot do it on my own.

Thank you Lord for your promises. Thank you that you are forgiving, good, and abounding in love to all who call on you. Love you Lord.

 

 

Titus 3:1-3 7/19/16

IBS

7/19/16

Titus 3:1-3

“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.”

Please speak to me Lord, I am ready to listen.

Subject to rulers and authorities. Obedient. Ready to do whatever is good. Slandering no one. Peaceable and considerate. Gentle toward everyone. These 3 verses start out with this list. As Paul is writing Titus he tells Titus to remind the people of these things. These qualities must be important for why else would Paul be telling Titus to remind the people of these things. I would say that I try and do all of these things. It is a natural response to Jesus living inside of me and the way that my parents have raised me. Though, the reality of it is I live more in verse 3. Foolish. Disobedient. Deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. Malicious and envious. And filled with hate. It sounds gross and detestable but it is the nature of my appetitive flesh. We are born into sin. As a baby you cry because you want things. Some of the first words learned are “no” and “mine.” You only think of yourself and your own needs. We don’t have to be taught to lie, how to steal, how to cheat. These things come coded in our sin nature. But as we grow in the grace of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, he rewrites that code that is on our hearts. He fills it with wisdom instead of foolishness. Obedience instead of disobedience. Truth instead of deception. Love and contentment instead of envy. Freedom instead of enslavement to our flesh. What gets me is not these first 3 verses in chapter 3, that is just life. What gets me is the next 4 verses. Verses 4-7 say, “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having hope of eternal life.” I love it. Yes, I am filthy, But Jesus. I am all those terrible things, But Jesus. I am justified by his grace. I am justified by his righteousness not my own, Romans 8:3-4. I also love how Paul calls God our Savior, speaks of the rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, and then with the same breath calls Jesus our Savior. They are one. God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one. Paul ends verse 7, that through all three “we might become heirs having hope of eternal life.” And this hope isn’t the same hope that I would have in the rain so I can sleep more peaceably tonight. No this hope describes something you know is going to happen and you can hold on to it knowing it to be true.

Application: Verses 1-3 are great reminders to live as Jesus did, but the reality of this life is my appetitive nature takes over and succumbs to sin. So, what is the remedy? Verses 4-7 make it clear, Jesus. God our Savior, the Holy Spirit, Jesus our Savior, His grace. I have eternal life. I am an heir of Christ. Praise you Jesus

How: I read Psalm 76 as well today. It talks about the fear of God. What drives that fear? This healthy fear of the Lord that Asaph talks about in Psalm 76 should only be a natural response to the salvation we have through Christ that Paul speaks of in Titus 3:4-7. Today I wrote “Fear God” on my hand so every time I look at it I will be reminded of the countless reasons I do indeed fear the Lord. Because of him, I am an heir and I have eternal life. Praise you Jesus.

Thank you Lord that though my flesh and heart fail, you are the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:26.

 

Psalm 50:23 6/24/16

IBS

6/24/16

Psalm 50:23

“Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me, and to the blameless I will show my salvation.”

Please speak to me Lord. I want to hear and know. Give me eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart to accept.

Psalm 50 is the first psalm in the book of Psalms by Asaph. Of all the verses in chapter 50, this last verse stuck out to me. Asaph says, “Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me,” and I know I sure as heck want to honor God. This verse reveals one of the keys in doing so; thank offerings. What is a thank offering? Today I wouldn’t go to an alter and sacrifice an animal to give thanks to the Lord. Because of Jesus there is a New Covenant and a new Law. Literal sacrifices are no longer needed. However, I do think I can still lift up an offering of thanks, a sacrifice if you will, to the Lord. As I look to the Lord and offer him thanks, I am essentially making a sacrifice. It is so easy for me to be negative. Do I like to be negative? No, but it’s a human and it is a default mode that comes stock on all humans. It’s so easy to complain about situations or outcomes that are uncomfortable or not ideal. The easiest thing to do is see situations only how they will effect me. So to take my eyes off my self is a sacrifice. To raise my eyes to heaven and thank the God of the universe, my creator and savior should be the natural inclination of my heart. But because of my flesh, it’s not. It’s difficult to be Christ minded throughout the days. Have Jesus at the for-front of my mind. A battle rages every day from my mind. My flesh versus my spirit. I would love to say that my spirit dominates on the regular but that’s just not the case. At first glance my flesh has the upper hand being that I am naturally inclined to sin in my flesh. But looking again, I have to realize who I have fighting for me on my spirit side. Over and over in the Psalms it talks about God fighting for his people. He fights my battles for me, I just have to ask for his help and let him. So many times I am being bombarded by my flesh, physically, mentally, and I don’t allow the Lord to save me from my self. With all that being said, it’s hard to keep a mindset of thankfulness because it goes against my natural appetitive desires. So it literally is a sacrifice to give an offering of thanks to the Lord. Sometimes it’s easier than others but to do so I have to sacrifice my flesh; put it to death so that I can fill my mind with the Lord.

The next part of this verse says, “and to the blameless I will show my salvation.” At first glance this seems like a bleak sentence. Blameless is on the opposite side of me on the spectrum. I won’t begin to rip myself to shreds because that won’t bring the Lord any glory but what I will do is tell you why I don’t see this part of the verse as bleak as one would at first see. It says “to the blameless.” Is that me? Lord knows it’s not. But you know who is? Jesus Christ. As Romans 8:3-4 says, “For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Jesus came and lived the perfect life that I never could! He came lived and died for me. But it doesn’t just stop there he didn’t stay dead. Death couldn’t hold him. Hades couldn’t contain him. He rose from the dead. He is alive now and he is coming back for me! The righteous requirement was met in me. Not by me. By Jesus Christ’s blood I am seen as righteous, holy and blameless because when God looks down and sees me, he doesn’t see my stained innards, but he sees the blood of Jesus Christ and all else fades away. That’s it. Period. Jesus Christ, all else fades away.

Application: Thank offerings are essential in my walk with God. Looking up to God and praising his name for not just what he’s done, but for who he is.

How: Today I wrote “Thank Offering” on my hand so every time I look at it I will send a thank offering up to heaven.

Thank you Lord. Thank you that Jesus is everything I need.

 

Psalm 34:17-18 6/17/16

IBS

6/17/16

Psalm 34:17-18

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Lord, please speak to me as this verse has stuck out to me. Show me what you desire me to learn and take away.

The first four words of these two verses say, “The righteous cry out.” David does not write that everyone cries out and the Lord hears them. David says the righteous. And what else does he do for the righteous? David writes “he (God) delivers them from all their troubles.” I know I am not righteous, nor will I claim to be. As Paul says, I don’t do what I want to do and what I do I hate. God knows I am a sinful human being. I could go on and on about how I grieve the Lord every day, but I want the devil to take no victory from this writing. The battle rages, but the war is won! Jesus has already did it. He knows my heart. Do I fail to commune with him daily? Yes but he knows I desire to. Do I fail to take captive all my thoughts and give them to him? Yes but he accepts my apology and takes the ones I do give him. Do I say things and act in a way that displeases the Lord everyday? Yes but his blood washes all of that away. Praise you Jesus for the victory I have in you. “In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; Let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.” Psalm 31:1 says. Your righteousness, not mine. Because of Jesus death on the cross, as Romans 8:3-4 says, the righteousness requirement of the law has been met in me. Praise you Jesus you came, humbled yourself in the greatest of extents to show your love for me and to fulfill the law so that I don’t have to live a perfect life to get to heaven. Thank you Jesus that your righteousness has been imparted to me. Thank you Jesus that I am seen as righteous in Gods eyes because he doesn’t see me, but he sees you. So yes, I am righteous, but it is not me it is Jesus in me. So the Lord hears my cries; he does deliver me from all my troubles. I can attest to this first verse being completely accurate. Praise you Jesus for when you lead me to a valley of dry bones, you never fail to lead me through and out the other side having taught me countless things.
This concept from verse 17 flows right in and through verse 18. It says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” It doesn’t just say, the Lord hears the cries of the righteous and delivers them right away. Many times it’s a slow process of patience, perseverance, and learning. Often times its painful. When I cry out to the Lord I want him to rescue me from whatever I am going through right away, as soon as possible. But often times, like Daniel in the lion’s den, the Lord doesn’t necessarily deliver me out of the hardship, but he delivers me in the hardship. My heart breaks in those times rendering many times the unwarranted question why. My spirit takes on the weight of a thousand anvils. It crushed beneath the immense pressure. But as verse 18 of Psalm 34 says, the Lord is close to me as my heart is broken and my spirit is crushed. As he promises many times in his word, he will never leave me nor forsake me. He cares for me and will not let me go through those periods of my life alone. He takes my hand, and when necessary drags me through as I do everything I can to not let go of his hand. If I am honest, most of the time the Lord has to pick me up on his shoulders and carry me. As much as I want to credit myself with even the smallest amount of glory, it’s just not the reality of it. The Lord’s saving help, his salvation, is my shield. His help, as Psalm 18:35 says, has made me great. Not my own. It is the Lord who fights for me. He is the warrior I strive to be. He went up directly against the enemy as a human here on earth, and won. You know what his greatest weapon was? The Word of God. Nothing is stronger. It is “sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart,” as Hebrews 4:12 says. Recently my prayer has been asking the Lord to help me be more knowledgeable in the scriptures. I want to have every arrow in my quiver to be able to fire back at the enemy as he sets his aim on my heart, mind, and soul. It’s not going to happen enemy. I am the Lords and no being or entity can change that.

Thank you Lord, for reminding me that you are close to me when my heart is broken and you are close when my spirit is crushed. When I need you most, you are never far away. Your hand is always outstretched waiting for me to saddle the back of your horse to ride in battle, together.

Application: This verse was a beautiful reminder that I am not righteous, but because Jesus’ righteousness was imparted to me, the Lord hears my cries and he delivers me from all my troubles. Jesus is the reason, nothing I have done. Also as the Lord is delivering me from my troubles sometimes it is not instant so to realize that during those times of downcast heart and spirit, the Lord has never been closer waiting to pick me up and carry me along. Praise you Lord.

How: Today I will take time to praise the Lord specifically for how he has never left me and is near to me when I need him most, all the while being reminded that it is in fact not because of me or anything I have done, but it is because of Jesus’s righteousness that I can even have a relationship in the first place with the God and creator of the universe.

Thank you Jesus, may I always follow you closely behind into the battles of everyday. Praise you that though the battle rages everyday, You have already won the war.

 

Isaiah 26:3-4 6/10/16

IBS

6/10/16

Isaiah 26:3-4

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”

Lord, I am listening.

“You will keep in perfect peace…” Perfect peace, one the most wanted things in this life. Everything is go go go. Everyone is stressed out. There is no time to waste only rushing and anxiety, no such things as perfect peace let alone peace at all. This verse contradicts the mindset of the majority of the human beings with just the mere mention of perfect peace. Isaiah says “You,” being God, “will keep in perfect peace those, whose minds are steadfast…” Steadfast. What is steadfast? Unwavering, unswerving, unfaltering, dedicated, committed. Steadfast is straight ahead. You know what you’re focused on and you do everything in your power to not move from chasing it. In this case it’s my savior. Jesus Christ. God himself. Isaiah says those whose minds are unmoving on God, He will keep in perfect peace because they trust in Him. I’ve been holding on specifically to verse 3 for a couple years now. It is so easy for me to get caught up in the busyness of this hectic life that no peace can dwell within my soul and I miss the opportunities and blessings that God has for me in the present moment. I get stressed out by things that don’t matter. I worry about situations that will get resolved. I put too much weight in what people think of me. My mind so easily gets consumed by meaningless things. God says keep your mind on me and let me take care of every situation in your life. When my mind is focused on the Lord, when it is “steadfast” as Isaiah talks about, I experience perfect peace. Verse four cements this concept of keeping your mind and it’s trust on and in the Lord. It says, “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” The Lord is the Rock eternal. When you’re in a ripping current, the only thing to hold onto is a rock. The rock saves you from having to succumb to the rushing power of the water. The rock keeps you unmoving amidst the ripping current. That’s what I picture when I read these verses. When my mind is swirling with the worries of the day, I can honestly say I have found peace in letting it all fade away and focusing on God in the moment. I have not mastered this by any means. I get bogged down by stresses everyday but this verse reminds me the greatest weapon I have in combatting the enemy when he tries to stress me out. Unfortunately, so many times I entertain and dwell on the lies the enemy gives me to make me worry or stress. I neglect God’s help and wallow in my anxieties. I refuse to look up for help. I let myself drown when help is offering me a life raft and towel. “You make your saving help my shield.” Says the first part of Psalm 18:35. Satan offers a ring buoy made of lead. It looks like a regular ring buoy but when you grab it, it sinks you down to the depths of the ocean. The more you try to let go the fast and faster it sinks. God offers a life raft actually made of life. New life. Renewed life. Praise you Lord thank you for always throwing me the raft no matter how many times I fall, or jump off of the boat.

Application: The only way to find peace is to fully fix my mind on Jesus. Thank you Jesus that all I have to do is trust in you.

How: I drew a ring buoy on my hand so when the enemy tries to drown me in anxieties and worries I will remember where perfect peace comes from, and how God is always reaching out to pull me from the raging waters.

Thank you Jesus that you will always pull me out.

 

Psalm 51:8 6/3/16

IBS

6/3/16

Psalm 51:8

“Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.”

Please speak to me Lord. Reveal to me the secrets of Your Word.

“The Joy of the Lord is my strength.”
It’s the truest of trues.
The salvation of Jesus is priceless.
He has paid all my dues.

I can’t get through just one day without him.
Though I try daily,
He never leaves my side;
He never leaves my heart or my mind.

A war for my mind wages every second of every day.
A battle over what to dwell on, what to do and say.
I need you to fill me with you.
Don’t let any part of me be lacking truth.

Your truth, surely not mine.
Speak to me your words of Life.
The knowledge that comes from your lips,
Is the sweetest of honey as it drips.

Fill my mind with thoughts of you because
I confuse myself daily.
The spirit is willing but my flesh overtakes.
I fail but you’re never failing.

What do you truly want?
You want my whole heart.
That I would not withhold anything,
Giving myself, giving my whole heart.

God you want my heart,
And that means change.
Change means pruning,
And pruning means pain.

Give me strength to fight God,
I’m tired of relying on my fleeting strength
You died for me so I could rely on yours
For me you went to the greatest length

I’m tired fighting like I have to alone
Though I refuse your help time out and time in
You don’t stop coming every time
And showing me that when I let you, I win

“Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me;
Fight against those who fight against me.”
This is what your word has said,
“Take up shield and armor; arise and come to my aid.”

I don’t want to fight alone any longer.
Spill into every crevice of my life,
Fight not only with, but fight for me
Because fighting alone leads only to strife.

Drown me in your blood
Carbon monoxide
Because it’s for this very reason
That for me, you died.

 

“For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength
And keeps my way secure
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
He causes me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
My arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You make your saving help my shield,
And your right hand sustains me;
Your help has made me great.
You provide a broad path for my feet,
So that my ankles do not give way.”
Psalm 18:31-36

Application: I cannot fight alone. But sometimes the Lord allows my bones to be crushed to bring me to a place of full reliance on Him, and not myself. So as the verse says, the bones that are crushed, are crying out to the Lord, “Fight for me.”

How: Today, I drew a sword on my hand so when I am waging war in my mind today I will be reminded of the greatest weapon I have, God himself.

Thank you Jesus that your Word is true and that you never fail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John 1:16-17 5/24/16

IBS

5/24/16

John 1:16-17

Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Lord Jesus, please speak to me despite my wicked heart. My flesh is strong, kill it.

We have all received grace. But not just grace, grace in place of grace already given. What does that mean? God, by sending his son, Jesus, to this earth demonstrated the greatest measure of grace ever given. I use the word given and not rewarded very purposefully. I have done nothing to deserve such an act of grace. The true light came to the world to give light to all. His people did not recognize him. His own creation rejected him. God’s grace says, “You are forgiven, go and sin no more.” But instead, my sinful nature lords over me. I continue to sin. I reject the grace and forgiveness that God has given me. How humbling a thought this is. I, constantly sinning, in doing so am rejecting the most beautiful gift my father in heaven has bestowed upon me. Thus, more grace is needed on a day by day, minute by minute, second by second, basis. We have all received grace in place of grace already given. The grace already given is Jesus’s victorious death and resurrection; and more grace is the daily forgiveness that he never ceases to grant me.

God I am so thankful for the grace in abundance that you show me constantly. Help me to live like am. So many times every day I reject your incredible act of grace; I reject you. I use your grace and forgiveness as a license. I think I am better than people. I have terrible thoughts. I do things that you abhor and I grieve the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to reject you or your grace. I want to live a life that reflects the gratitude I have for you. I want to live a life that points to you. I don’t just want to live like that in the open, but in the closed times, with no one around. Give me constant communion with you. Give me sober judgment of myself so I have to constantly come to you and line up my life. Line up my words, my actions, and my motives with your will.

Verse 17 says, “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” Grace and truth, through Jesus Christ. Moses presented the Law, in the Old Testament, but Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law in the New Testament. Jesus fulfilled the Law in his perfect life here on Earth. He followed the Law perfectly so I don’t have to. So often though, I use that as a license. I know he will forgive me when I sin. I know you already have forgiven all my past sins and all the sins I will ever commit for the rest of my life. God help me. I don’t want to live in a way that grieves you counting on your forgiveness as if it were some kind of magic eraser that makes my sin as if I didn’t commit it. I know that’s what grace is. Your grace is making it just as if I had never sinned, but I don’t want to grieve your Holy Spirit. I don’t want to put you back up on that cross Jesus. I want to be holy. I realize that holy is not a destination but a journey Lord so help me stay the path. Sanctify me in your blood. Clean my stains with the permanent staining of your blood. Remind me every day of this Lord. Wash me in your blood. Cleans my spirit, as so often I desire to do the wrong thing. Overwhelm the darkness inside of me with radiant light. Fill me with your grace and truth. Keep my feet on the path you have set before me. I’m tired of looking side-to-side and falling into ravines on either side. I know your hands are on my face keeping it looking straight ahead. Give me strength to fight the desire to take your hands off so I can look away. David says in Psalm 18 that you make my feet like the feet of a deer so I can stand on the heights. Jesus stop me from jumping off. I know you steady me on the heights. I know you keep me ankles from giving way. Help me not give in to my appetitive fleshly desires to jump off the heights you have me on. This morning I experienced Psalm 18:35. It says, “You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great.” You helped me fight the devils temptations. No, actually you fought the devil for me. I was ready and willing to fall into temptation. But you Lord, my gracious and all-powerful father fought on my behalf. You made your saving help my shield from the enemy. You blocked the fiery arrows from the enemy and you fired your own. Your right hand sustained me definitely not my own. “…Your help has made me great.” Certainly not my own. Your help, the only reason I can do anything. Your grace, the only reason I have the opportunity. Your love, the only reason I can keep going.

Application: In using God’s grace as a license to sin I am rejecting the death and resurrection of my friend, God, and Savior. I do not want to grieve my Lord. I want to live a life filled with life.

How: I drew a shield on my hand today so that all day I can be reminded of Psalm 18:35 in the trenches of war today.

“You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great.” Psalm 18:35

Thank you Jesus for your help, your grace, and your love. Give me the aptitude to channel your strength. Remind me constantly to rely on you. Not my strength but yours Lord.