Archive for May, 2021

I Love Every Word of the Word (Psalm 119:89-176)

May 31, 2021

“The sum of your Word is truth, and everyone of your righteous rules endures forever,” Psalm 119:160

On this Memorial Day we pause both to remember and to be thankful. We remember the lives of those men and women who died so that we as a nation would remain free and so that many other nations would be free. We are called to be thankful for the rights of freedom we posses because others died for its impact.

I personally understand that I would not be able to preach and write as I do, if not for the sacrifice of others for my freedom. May we as a nation return once again to the truth of what freedom really is.

Today’s readings come to us from the second half of Psalms 119. The author has been freed from sins hold by the Living Word of God. As one reads through this amazing Psalm, there is a heightened viewpoint of God’s Word. The writer loves every Word of God.

I can say to you that I love every Word of God. There are so many reasons why I love His Word. From our text I want to offer you three reasons:

  1. God’s Word brought freedom to my life.
  2. God’s Word gives moment by moment direction to my life, 119:105.
  3. God’s Word keeps me on the path of freedom, Psalm 119:175

“Let my soul live to praise you, and let your rules help me.”

Father I praise you for the freedom I live in because of who you are. I praise you that Jesus is the Living Word of God who has brought life to me and daily lights my path. Brothers and sisters you and I have freedom from this dark world (John 1:1-5) because of the Word of God. Oh that we would love every Word of His Word.

Two questions:

  1. Do you love the Word of God?
  2. What passage of Scripture are you memorizing today?

Praises to His Name (I Kings 1-2; Psalms 37, 71, 94)

May 28, 2021

“When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul,” Psalm 94:19.

Each time I read the Psalms I find myself reflecting on the greatness of God. In every Psalm I am reminded of His great works toward and on the behalf of His people. I rejoice that even when people fail, God is still faithful to His promises (94:14).

The author of Psalm 94 knew “If the Lord had not been his help, his soul would have soon lived in silence,” 94:17. At the end of his life, King David praised the same God who had redeemed his soul out of every adversity (I Kings 1:29).

Dear friend, I join David and the author of Psalm 94 in praising God for His continual redemption. The Scriptures teach us to join with all the redeemed in singing praises to His name.

Here is a great question for Friday: In what ways has the Lord redeemed your life?

In my life the Lord has redeemed my soul, I Tim. 2:4-5; Rom. 3:24-25.

In my life the Lord continues to redeem my steps. “The steps of a man are established by the Lord in whom men delight in His ways,: 37:23.

In my life the Lord continues to redeem even my struggles. “When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul,” (Psalm 94:19).

Here is something amazing brothers and sisters: As I praise Him for all He has done, I am encouraged to place in His hands my present struggles. I know He will save me. I willingly carry out Psalm 37:5 which says, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him; and He will act.”

On this Friday I proclaim to you that our God alone gives joy and peace to those who serve Him. Friend, it is high time for you to praise the Lord!

The Steps of a Righteous Person (Psalm 111-118)

May 27, 2021

 [a] Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
    who greatly delights in his commandments! Psalm 112:1

As I sit before my computer with an open Bible to my left, I cannot keep from praising the Lord for who He is. By His grace I am able to do what the Psalmist directs me to do. Here was his direction given by the Lord:

“This is the day the Lord has made: let us rejoice and be glad in it,” Psalm 118:24.

Brothers and sisters, can you obey the Lord in this day?

As I think about all the different things that could happen today, I must confess, its not always easy to rejoice and be glad in every day. I am thinking about what a good friend is experiencing today as he is about to bury his father who is his best friend. I am thinking about a dear friend who is going through hell in their family. How can they worship the Lord in this moment?

I know this sounds simply like something a preacher would say, but it is really true: Those who look exclusively to God cannot keep from rejoicing in Him because He is the God who is greater than any storm we face. Consider just a few of the many blessings we have in Him. For our time I will just look at Psalm 112:

  • He is a perfect and all-powerful Lord.
  • He blesses generations of the righteous.
  • He offers mercy and grace daily to His people.
  • He lights even the darkest of paths we may find ourselves on.
  • He has given each of us a generous heart toward others.
  • He has given us a mind to live in righteous ways.
  • He is the God who cannot be moved.

Brothers and sisters, how can we do anything less than praise the Lord? I love Him this day and I am rejoicing in Him. I am also rejoicing in what He is about to do in your life today. Please join me today in making a praise chart with the blessings of who He is.

Two Questions:

  1. What is the one thing above everything else that you love to praise Him for?
  2. What new things have you discovered about God in your studies today?

He Did It All (I Chronicles 26-29; Psalm 127)

May 26, 2021

14 “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.  I Chronicles 29:14

What a person does at the end of their lifetime speaks volumes about who the person was and what they believed in. For example, Paul’s last acts of life were to write I and II Timothy along with the book of Titus.

I wonder, what would I do if I knew I had only one month to live?

You and I have a front row seat this morning as we discover the last acts of King David. If you have not read I Chronicles 26-29, do so now.

As I read through these chapters and also Psalm 127, I realized above everything else in David’s rich life, he loved the Lord. Notice three of the last things David did:

  1. He wrote out every detail of the House of the Lord that He wanted to build for His God.
  2. He organized the nation of Israel so that it would be secure after he was gone.
  3. He impressed upon Solomon the importance of obeying God in every way:

“And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever. 10 Be careful now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it.” I Chronicles 28:9-10.

David’s life came to an end in chapter 29. Here is an amazing reality. David ended his life as the Prophet Samuel predicted David’s life would be. God had sought after a man who would be after his own heart and David was this man all the way to the finish line.

Here is one truth God impressed on my heart: “It is vital that the Lord be the builder of the house from start to the finish!!!

Oh how I pray that others can say of my life and yours, “God did it all.”

2 questions:

  1. What does your life reveal about your faith?
  2. What would be on your to-do list if this were your last month on the earth?

More than I realize every day (Psalm 138-139; 143-145)

May 25, 2021

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them! Psalm 139:17

Brothers and sisters, have you ever considered all that God does in a twenty-four hour period? This morning as I read through Psalm 139 I found myself trying to wrap my mind around just a small piece of what God does every day.

When I turned to Psalm 145 I read the following:

The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand;
    you satisfy the desire of every living thing.

Our amazing God is producing crops in Africa while He is providing water in Egypt. God is producing electricity in America while He is causing the fruit to grow in Central America. We serve a God beyond our comprehension. This God who is doing all of these things cares above everything else for humanity. Here is what David wrote about God’s care for humanity:

The Lord is gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
    and his mercy is over all that he has made.

Take time to grasp the following truths about God:

  • When I consider the graciousness of God, I understand why the world is allowed to exist in-spite of its constant rebellion against God.
  • When I consider the mercy of God, I understand why the Lord provides rain and food for an ungrateful world.
  • When I consider the patience of God, I understand why God withholds His wrath from day to day.
  • When I consider the love of God, I understand why God is still saving people all over the world.

This day, I am in awe of who God is and what He does. This is all more than I can comprehend. I am crying out even as I write, Lord I want to know you more and more. This day I claim the words of David as my own:

Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God!
Let your good Spirit lead me
    on level ground! 143:10

Two questions:

  1. What can you say about God this day?
  2. How does His character challenge you today?

What is Your Part? (I Chronicles 23-25)

May 24, 2021

30 And they were to stand every morning, thanking and praising the Lord, and likewise at evening,  I Chronicles 23:30

Several days ago I sent to several of my accountability brothers a link to a certain sermon. The sermon focused on the need of awakening in the church. One of the brothers was convicted in the area of corporate worship. He wrote to us the following: “We need to tell our on-line audience that we do not want them to be on-line next week. You need to be in church somewhere next week.”

At first glance the rest of us thought, how insensitive this brother was. But the longer we chewed on what he said we were each reminded of how important it is to worship the Lord in His house.

On-line worship is for those who cannot come to church or for those who do not have a Bible-believing church around them. Plus it is also a place for those without Christ to explore faith and to come to genuine faith in Christ.

In-person corporate worship is more valuable than words of pen can write. The Psalmist David understood this. Over and over in his writings we are called to corporate worship. For example, Psalm 122:1 “I was glad when they said, let us go into the house of the Lord.”

David so believed in corporate worship that his last duties as king were to organize the leaders for worship:

  • David organized the Levites to direct the program and care of the worship service, 23:24.
  • David organized the Priests to lead in sacrifice and intercession in the worship service, 24:1-30.
  • David organized the musicians to lead in the worship in the worship service, 25:3,7.

Brothers and sisters, you and I both have a role to play in worship. Jesus said, “the hour has come for the true worshippers to worship the Lord in Spirit and Truth,” John 4:23.

The truth of who God is will fuel your worship and the Spirit of God will empower your feet to carry you to the house of the Lord for the very purpose of worship. My prayer for my life and yours is as follows:

Dear Father I want to daily worship you personally and I want to lead in worship in my home. Dear Lord I want to lead in my workplace and in my church and ultimately I want to worship you before all men.

What Did You Hear? (Psalm 95,97-98)

May 21, 2021

For he is our God,
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    and the sheep of his hand.
Today, if you hear his voice, Psalm 95:7

It sometimes happens in a flash and at other times it happens like a down-pour. You ask, what happens. Sometimes a persons slight comment will strike your heart like a flash of lightening. At other times it will be in a heated conversation that will destroy your spirit like a down-pour from a flash flood.

It is what we hear that often dictates how our day will proceed. This morning I had the honor of spending my first two hours alone with God. His was the dominate voice in my ear. I am so thankful for all the flock at Jackson First Baptist who provide for my family so that I can spend two hours with God. My day is so much better because I know who He is, what He says, and what He will do in the day.

I know some who read this have already been bombarded with work, worry, and the war-fare of life. I know your life is far harder than mine. I know that you are a great warrior in Christ. But I also know that the enemy is always trying to put a seed of doubt or discouragement in your ear. I know he is trying to cloud your mind and heart.

There is a sure way to overcome him. Daily set aside time to read and heed God’s Word. Before us in Psalm 95 is an example of how the Word of God can win the day for you.

The Psalmist begins by challenging the reader to praise the Lord (Vs: 1-2). Someone said, “Attitude determines altitude.” This is so true. But it is an incomplete statement. Here is a better statement: Being attentive to God changes your attitude so that your altitude is in the Heavens where God speaks louder than does our enemy.

We see this in Psalm 95.

Be attentive to who God is:

  • He is great.
  • He is the greatest King.
  • He is God above all other Gods.
  • He has perfect wisdom.
  • He is the creator who is in complete control of His creation.
  • He calls His followers His sheep.
  • He cares for His sheep.

Question: Did you need to hear this today?

When we are attentive, it affects our attitude. Now we have reason to praise the Lord. As we praise the Lord our confidence in Him for our day grows. Suddenly our altitude has taken us above the clouds of worry, work, and war-fare!!! Now we are ready to face the day.

Brothers and sisters, if your altitude is low, get in a place where you can listen carefully to God. What’s next will be amazing.

Where Is Your Light? (II Samuel 22-23; Psalm 57)

May 21, 2021

For you are my lamp, O Lord,
    and my God lightens my darkness. II Samuel 22:29

Brothers and sisters, how can we possibly begin this day apart from praise to our God who has not only brought us into the light, but has lead us in the light. Join me in an exercise of personal praise this morning. We praise the Lord for:

  • being the Great King of our salvation.
  • every victory He has won in our lives.
  • everything good in our lives.
  • being holy and just in all of His deeds.
  • equipping us for battle.
  • for giving us the Spirit of Life and the Spirit of truth.

Brothers and sisters, this was just a taste of what we realize when we are in God’s light. Take a moment and make your own personal praise list this morning!

May I ask, how did it go? May I also ask, are you in the light this morning?

One of the ways I find myself more in the light is by lingering in the Word of God. David’s praise in II Samuel 22 will lead you and I to deeper praise and death defying victory in the trials we are presently facing.

Because of David’s praise and because of David’s honoring of God, the light shinned through his life. Did you notice it in chapter 23? Here is David’s praise to God:

The God of Israel has spoken;
    the Rock of Israel has said to me:
When one rules justly over men,
    ruling in the fear of God,
he dawns on them like the morning light,
    like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning,
    like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.

If you desire to enlighten, strengthen, and equip others you must get in the light and reside in the light of God.

Here is an important footnote: The Devil wants to keep you from the light through worry, busyness, and what if’s. Yours is the task of simply placing yourself in the light. He will do the rest.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the lightas he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

Where Is Your Hope? (Psalm 5; 38; 41-42)

May 20, 2021

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:11

As I sit down before this laptop, I know where my hope is. My hope in in the Heavens. This God in the Heavens has sent His Holy Spirit (John 14:27) to walk alongside with His people. Our hope is firmly planted on the rock of Jesus. He has given us the Holy Spirit to reveal His truth to us.

Before you read the above Psalms, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to you. Do it now. Did you read the Psalms or are you relying on this blog first? Please read the Scripture first.

Now that you have read the Scripture I want to point out to you that in each Psalm there was some trial or so tribulation taking place.

In Psalm five the writer is asking God to be his shield (5:14). We picture the writer going into God’s house with confidence knowing God is His shield.

In Psalm thirty-eight the writer is asking God for mercy because the writer has done foolish things (38:5). The enemy has seized the high ground, but the Psalmist places all his hope in God.

In Psalm forty-one the writer is asking God for His grace (41:13). The writer knows God will uphold him.

In Psalm forty-two the writer longs to be in the presence of the Lord (42:1). The Lord knows God will deliver him at the right time.

Question: Are you going through anything today? If so, I wonder, on what ground are you standing? The writers of today’s Psalms had learned from their failures that standing on anything other than Christ is sinking sand. The writers also came to understand that victory was sure if they stayed on the rock which is Christ.

Brothers and sisters, our Lord is our Rock and He is our Foundation!!!

16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper,[f] to be with you forever, John 14:16

Thank You!!! (II Samuel 19-21)

May 19, 2021

32 Barzillai was a very aged man, eighty years old. He had provided the king with food while he stayed at Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy man.  II Samuel 19:32

Let me say with all sincerity, “thank you for serving the Lord.” Paul admonishes Christians everywhere to “give honor to those who honor is due,” Romans 13:17. This morning I realize that each of you who faithfully follow this blog are in the service of the Lord. Each of you have unique roles you play in God’s Kingdom building. I want you to know that each of you play an essential role in the Kingdom Agenda of God.

Maybe you ask, why are saying this now? As we read together our focal text it became clear to me that David had been blessed by countless people who served the purposes of God for their generation. I was truly gripped by all of this.

Here is one example:

“Barzillai provided food for David’s team as they hid in exile.” II Samuel 19:31-41.

When David was being restored he wanted to repay his friend. But his friend refused to be repaid because the honor was in getting to serve David.

In the New Testament, Paul offers an illustration of how this looks in the church. Check out I Corinthians 12:12-27.

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts,[e] yet one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Paul uses the body as his example. Each part of the body is unique and each part is vital to the success of the whole. Brothers and sisters, this is exactly how it is with each of you. Consider the following:

  1. You are important-so thank you for serving the Lord.
  2. You are needed-if you do not serve, the other parts of the body and the whole is hindered greatly.
  3. You are like Jesus-He Himself modeled the life of a servant, Mk. 10:45.

As you and I serve together we are a beautiful picture of the love and power of God at work. When this happens, people will be drawn to Christ!!!

I love each of you! Thank you for being so important to the Body of Christ!!!

2 questions:

  1. What role do you play in the Body of Christ?
  2. Are you giving your all to your role?