Monday, January 18, 2021

The Greatness of God

Martin Luther once wrote to a friend, “Your thoughts of God are too human!” That certainly was not true of David. 

David saw the greatness of God and the glory of His creation: “O Lord, our Lord the majesty of Your name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens!” Perhaps he was thinking about the time when there was nothing and no one but God. Perhaps he was allowing his mind to wander and entertain the idea that God chose to make Himself known to man. It may have been that David was “awe-struck” to think of the possibility that he could actually communicate with God or get His attention by calling on Him.  

And he continues His thoughts about the greatness of God when he writes of His “majesty and glory” – the power that He has over the heavens, the earth, and all that is in and on the planet. Nothing, thought David, is beyond Him. 

Notice two very important things: David begins with “O Lord” – describing his personal relationship with God. He knew that by “speaking” His name he would get God’s attention. How impressive is that! This powerful God is present with him at that moment and is personally concerned about him and will respond to him if he calls upon him. And this is just the beginning. 

Notice that “O Lord” is followed by “Our Lord” which includes all of us. God, speaking through David, wants us to know that He, this “majestic” God, is always thinking about us, watching over us, concerned about us, and willing, waiting, wanting, and able to save and help us. 

Prayer: O Lord, Our Lord, how humbling it is to know that You, our Creator, are also our Redeemer, our Comforter, our Companion, and our Source of life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Scripture For Today: O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. Psalm 8:1 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Life's Boomerangs

The aborigines are given credit for being the first tribe to develop boomerangs. Although there are many different types and varieties of boomerangs, most of us are familiar with what is called the “returning boomerang.” Shaped like a bent arm, when properly thrown, it will return to the one who threw it. Initially, they were used for hunting and war. Now, for many, they have become a recreational object. 

David made an interesting observation about life’s boomerangs: “The trouble he causes recoils on himself, his violence comes down on his own head.” Not a pleasant thought for the one who wanted or intended to harm another person. 

Remember Haman? He was a conceited and corrupt prime minister. He is a great example of how life can “boomerang.” 

Haman was determined to destroy every Jew in Persia, especially Mordecai. But when Mordecai and his people heard of this diabolical plot, they called upon the Lord for His help. Esther, the queen, decided to give a party and invited Haman to join her and the king. He was elated! His heart swelled with pride! He thought he had it made!  

While enjoying the festivities, Queen Esther stood before the king and exposed Haman and his plot. What he had planned for Mordecai “boomeranged.” By nightfall, Haman was hanging on the seventy-five-foot gallows that he had built for Mordecai. No one came to his funeral. In fact, no one liked Haman, except Haman. 

Paul said: “The man who sows to please his sinful nature will reap destruction.” 

Prayer:  Help us, Father, to understand and accept the simple fact that whatever we sow, we will certainly reap. Give us pure thoughts and helpful motives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Scripture For Today: The trouble they make for others backfires on them. The violence they plan falls on their own heads. Psalm 7:16 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Head, Heart And Hands

Justin came home from school with a note from his teacher. After handing it to his father, he stood quietly as his Dad read it out loud. “Mr. Brady, Justin started a fight during recess today and was sent to the principal’s office. Please discuss this matter with him and decide what punishment he should receive.” 

After reading the note, his father looked him in the eyes and said, “Justin, I’m really disappointed in you. I never thought you would do something like that!” 

“Dad,” cried Justin, “it wasn’t my fault. It was Danny’s. He hit me first. Cross my heart and hope to die if I am not telling the truth!” 

No one enjoys being judged for wrongdoing. We all want to believe that we live a life that reflects clean hands, a pure heart, and a mind free of evil thoughts. But if we were to be questioned and asked if we lived up to those character traits, not many of us would “cross our hearts and hope to die” if challenged. 

David knew that his hands were not clean, nor his heart pure or his mind free of evil thoughts. So, he appealed to the mercy and grace of God and cried out to Him and said, “Declare me righteous, O Lord, for I am innocent, O Most High.” 

That wonderful declaration of David was finally and fully answered in Christ. When he called for the righteousness of God to declare him innocent, he knew that it was in God’s nature to forgive him for his sins and deliver him from his sinful behaviors. He’ll do it for us, too! 

Prayer: How grateful we are, Father, for Your love that saves us, Your grace that forgives us, Your spirit that cleanses us, and Your Word that guides us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Scripture For Today: The Lord judges the nations. Declare me righteous, O Lord, for I am innocent, O Most High! Psalm 7:8

Friday, January 15, 2021

The Answer To Insults

No one is or ever has been immune from being hurt or harmed by arrows of anger that come from those we thought were our friends. Sometimes the statements that shame and slam us even come from members of our own family. And, unfortunately, some of us may even be guilty of doing to others what they have done to us and caused them pain and sleepless nights as we seek revenge. We all know the feelings of pain and panic that come from “word wounds,” and the problems they have caused us. 

David faced the same issues. He spoke of those who persecuted him and wanted to tear him to pieces as a lion destroys its prey. They raged and did wickedness, brought iniquity and spoke falsehoods, and caused him trouble. Those powerful words leave very little to the imagination. He was not reporting any second-hand observations or stories that others told him of things they had experienced. People were out to get him, and he knew it. 

And he responded to them in a way that sets the Christian standard for revenge. He turned the matter over to God! He began by affirming his relationship to God by declaring, “I come to you for protection, O Lord my God. Save me from my persecutors.” 

He knew exactly where to go, what to say, and what to do to solve his problem and heal his wounded heart: He went to His Lord knowing that only He could save him from the harm that others would do to him if they could. 

We must do as David did. We must call upon the Lord to be our Defense and Defender in times of need. 

Prayer: Lord, we claim the promises of Your Word, knowing that You will guide us and guard us forever against the harm and hurt of others. But we must believe! In Jesus’ Name. Amen. 

Scripture For Today:  I come to you for protection, O Lord my God. Save me from my persecutors - rescue me! Psalm 7:1 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Prayer Does Work!

“Jeb,” asked Steve, “do you ever pray?” 

“Pray?” thought Jeb. “Nope. I don’t pray, and I don’t carry a rabbit’s foot either. Neither one works.” 

King David had a different opinion. “The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.” 

Do you remember the prayer of Noah? God spoke to him and told him that He would destroy the world with a flood. During their conversation, God advised him to build an ark that would save him and his family. He listened to God, and when the flood came, they were saved. 

Moses prayed and asked God to part the waters of the Red Sea. God answered his prayer, the seas were parted, and God saved His people from destruction by the enemy. 

Samson prayed one last time for enough strength to accomplish one last task. God granted him that request. 

Solomon prayed for God to grant him wisdom. And we see the answer to that prayer on the pages of the Bible and in the lives of the people he ruled. 

Elijah was hungry. He asked God for food, and God heard his prayer and gave him food for his body and His nourishment for his soul. 

Daniel was thrown into a den filled with hungry lions. He asked God to protect him and He sealed their mouths. 

Hezekiah was on his deathbed when he asked God to extend his life. God responded, and he lived for fifteen more years. 

A thief prayed on a cross for God to remember him, and God did. 

Prayer:  Your Word, Lord, reminds and assures us that You not only hear our prayers but will answer them if we ask in faith and believe. Teach us to pray! In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Scripture For Today:  The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will answer my prayer. Psalm 6:9