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Psalm 79 verse 13 stood out to me today - "Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will thank you forever and ever, praising your greatness from generation to generation." I like that imagery of being sheep in God's pasture. And Jesus, of course, is our Good Shepherd. Are you content with the idea of being a sheep in God's pasture?
Psalm 80 verse 19 today is powerful - "Turn us again to yourself, O LORD God Almighty. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved." I like that opening - "turn us again to you God." I don't believe that God turns himself away from us - but that we do indeed turn ourselves away from God. And like the Psalmist, maybe sometimes we literally need to pray that God will turn us back toward him. I kind of come up with the imagery of us maybe sometimes being like pouty kids with our arms folded and our backs toward God - and God is looking at us lovingly - all we simply need to do is turn our face toward God and his grace will heal that pout and whatever is troubling us immediately... If you need to, will you turn yourself again toward God?
I always like reading verses like 1 & 2 in Psalm 81 today - verses that speak of music & God - "Sing praises to God, our strength. Sing to the God of Israel. Sing! Beat the tambourine. Play the sweet lyre and the harp." Do you sing praises to God? Is God your strength? I'll go off on a tangent here, which is always a risky thing to do... :) I'll admit that I am a music junkie. Really. I have loved music immensely ever since I was a pre-teen and heard K-TEL's Hit Explosion with such songs as Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger." :) Well, ever since then music has played an interesting role in my life - both positive and negative. Bottom line is that I think God used music to bring me to Him. Seven years ago I ended up at a rock & roll postmodern evangelical church where I really first heard songs about Jesus in a rock song! It was a paradigm shifter for me... I ended up accepting Jesus as my Lord & Savior at that church two months later - thanks in large part to an amazing pastor there at the time and thanks in large part to the rock & roll worship. I have to confess that I do love any opportunity I can get to flat out worship God in a rock & roll worship way! :) I do realize the risks of high energy rock music... it can propel people to do very dumb things. But I think it can also propel people toward Jesus. Maybe music is like anything else - it's a double edged sword. I will share with you that a buddy of mine shared with me how he threw out every single one of his worldly / secular rock & rap CD's after becoming a Christian. He said he didn't want to be fed by that garbage anymore. I tried following his lead on this - and actually threw a few CD's in the trash... but I pulled them out before taking them to the dumpster. :) I'm starting to think though that I have a few CD's that need to get to that dumpster here sooner rather than later... I don't listen to them. But why keep them around at all? Hope you don't mind this long tangent. Does anyone else have any music / God experiences that you would be up for sharing with us all? Please post up in the Comments section below! (And please forgive me for this image below... I couldn't resist... :)
I love Psalm 82 verses 3 & 4 - "Give fair judgment to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people." I realize these verses were spoken to Israel's judges. But, I think they can speak to you and I today as well. Particularly, "rescue the poor and helpless" stands out to me today. What are some ways you are rescuing the poor and helpless in your life today? How are you delivering them from the grasp of evil people? This actually reminds me of a couple of friends of mine who are so passionate about rescuing young girls from the sex slave industry in some Asian countries - I think Thailand is where they do most of their work. Clearly, young girls that have to sell their bodies in this type of situation are under the grasp of evil people. And I am so humbled by my friends' work toward delivering girls from this grasp. My friends are only able to do this really well because of their relationship with Jesus. Jesus is the true rescuer - first of my friends and now through my friends to these young girls. But, wow, it makes me wonder if I am truly allowing Jesus to rescue the poor and helpless through me? How about you?
Worship God: Psalm 79:13's discussion of praising God from generation to generation reminded me of the importance of loving our children well and modeling for them life in Christ. This reminded me of the great song by Steven Curtis Chapman about his daughter called "Cinderella:"
Are you dancing with God? Click here to dance!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. " Psalm 82:3 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you are defending the weak and the fatherless. Pray that you are upholding the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Pray for more opportunities in your life to defend the weak and the fatherless.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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