Category Archives: Psalms

Choosing to Praise

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“My heart is steadfast, O God! I will sing and make melody with all my being! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn! I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.” Psalm 108:1-4 (ESV)

God called King David a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22). There are many reasons God said this about David but Psalm 108 shows us one clear reason. David was fixed on praising God. He was fixed on praising God not because things always went his way. Not because he never suffered. Not because he was perfect. It was a choice he made. He told God, “My heart is steadfast!” To be steadfast is to be firm, stable, established, fixed. He was set on praising God and nothing would sway him from that. He said,

I WILL sing and make melody with all my being!

I WILL awake the dawn!

I WILL give thanks to you, O LORD!

I WILL sing praises to you among the nations.

David determined to sing for God with all his being. He chose to start his day praising God. He made the choice to give thanks to Him. He was set on praising God in his heart and also chose to praise Him among the nations.

Why? Why would he praise him in spite of trouble and oppression? Why would he praise Him in spite of his own weaknesses? Why would he praise Him in the midst of daily struggles?

“For your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!” Psalm 108:4-5

Why would he praise Him? Because God’s love is great above the heavens! His love never fails. His love is everlasting! Because His faithfulness goes on forever!

He deserves all praise and all glory! His love and faithfulness will never fail us.

Like David, I can choose to praise Him. I can say with David:

I will sing and make melody with all my heart!

I will wake up in the morning praising Him!

I will give thanks to you, O LORD!

I will sing your praises to those around me.

It’s a choice I can make. I can praise Him in spite of circumstances because He never changes. His character is firm in spite of my problems and struggles. I can praise Him because His love for me never fails. He will never love me any less. I can make the choice to sing and make music in my heart. I can thank Him everyday for all He does for me. I can also choose to praise His name to those around me. I can tell them how great He is.

God’s love for me is steadfast. It will never change. His faithfulness goes on forever. He is worthy of all my praise.

I will give thanks to you, O LORD! I will sing your praises to others. Praise your Holy Name!

This is a choice we can make every day! It’s a gift we give to our Lord.

I originally published this devotion at Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud

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You Can’t Be Labeled

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As one of a kind human beings,  let’s stop using labels to put each other in groups.

A label only tells us one small part of who a person is.

I’m an introvert but still different from every other introvert.

I’m a white female but that doesn’t fully define who I am.

I’m American but that doesn’t reveal my soul.

Because I vote a certain way doesn’t mean I’m like all others who vote that way.

To say someone is OCD, autistic, ugly or beautiful doesn’t tell me who he or she is.

We are individuals. One of a kind souls wrapped in bodies unlike any other. Each of us is a wonderful miracle. Assigning you a label doesn’t mean I know you. To know each other we must communicate, listen, understand and love. We need to look for the exquisite colors He put in each soul. Some of us hide them well so we need to be willing to take as long as we need to see.

“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;” Psalm 139:13-15 (NASB)

Father, Please help me to take time to see your unique design in each soul. Help me look for your fingerprints all around. Help me let go of labels and judging others without knowing them. Please love others through me and help me to see how much you love each thoughtfully created human being.

Most of us have the tendency to judge others based on appearance or an obvious label.(often one someone else has assigned)

Together let’s determine to know who each person is inside and show them God’s love.

“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27 (NASB)

“But now, O Lord, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64:8 (NASB)

*It’s estimated that throughout all of history, approximately 100 billion people have existed on earth.

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Originally published at Internet Cafe Devotions

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Who Will Lead Us?

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Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. . .. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God. — Psalm 146:3, 5 (NIV)

Injustice and violence fill the world. We hope that the next election, or leader will have the solution. My heart is gripped by fear and sadness when I see terrorism and oppression increasing. I want someone to rescue us and stop the evil. Yet, no matter which leaders are in power, evil grows. True, a wise leader is preferred over a foolish or evil one but we cannot place our hope in any mortal.

I find peace when I put my hope in Jesus. At a young age I trusted in Jesus Christ and believe He died and came to life again so that I can live with Him forever. We can find peace when we remember this world is temporary, as we talk to God, and meditate on truth:

Proverbs 19:21 “You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.” (NLT)

Daniel 2:21 “He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings…” (NLT)

We trust He is in control and that He will be with us no matter what happens.

Dear Father, thank you that you are sovereign over all. I place my trust in you alone. Our hope is in you! Amen

My hope is not in politicians but in the Lord God!

 

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When Depression Knocks

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When the darkness comes, reach for the light.

“I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.” Psalm 34:1 (NLT)

I tend toward the melancholy.

Awhile back I was struggling more often than usual with the temptation to depression, a lack of joy, and an oppression of the spirit. I know there are many others who struggle with this and I want to share what helps me most.

(To clarify: I’m NOT talking about chemical imbalance and I’m not discussing clinical depression here).

I’m talking about a feeling of sadness that comes for no obvious reason. Feeling gloomy or unhappy sometimes in spite of having things go well in life. It might be unexplained or it might come because of sin and suffering in the world or because of my own failings and weaknesses.

When I fall into this kind of depression, these choices help me the most:

  • Singing praise to God out loud. Spending time alone with God and singing praise songs to Him is powerful. There’s more power in singing out loud but listening to praise music is also healing.
  • Prayer. Our greatest resource. We can tell God exactly how we feel. It’s important also to confess our sins. We can tell Him what we desire Him to do in our lives. If I feel powerless to pray, I pray the Psalms. Some that have helped me: Psalm 37, 34, 32, 23, 27, 40 and 42 but any of the Psalms are helpful.
  • Reading and meditating on Scripture. Reading God’s Word is essential. Quoting Scripture out loud helps to focus our minds on the truth. “For the word of God is alive and powerful…” Hebrews 4:12a (NLT) His Word is supernatural and meditating on its truth can bring peace and calm to our souls.
  • Resisting isolation. When I feel depression coming in my spirit, often my first temptation is to isolate myself and shut others out. This only makes things worse and amplifies the darkness. Reaching out to someone we trust and can share our hearts with will often drive the dark feeling away. I’ve found that the more I keep my negative thought patterns to myself, the stronger they get. But time and time again when I share those thoughts, just saying them out loud to someone exposes them as lies.
  • Keeping a balance between physical exertion (exercise/work) and rest. If we go for a period of time without doing anything that requires physical exertion, it can lead to a depressed feeling, but if we’re always on the go and never take time to rest, that also can leave us depressed. We need balance.
  • Remembering we are in a war. We’re all in a Spiritual battle but those who seek to get closer to Jesus will meet the enemy head on. Satan will attack anyone who follows Jesus. Peter warns us, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT). However, we overcome him through the power of the blood of Jesus Christ, our testimony and prayer. (Revelation 12:11) “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 (NIV)

One particular morning I was feeling the darkness. I read my daily devotions and meditated on His truth. Later, I remembered about praising God. By choice, not by feeling I began to sing praises to Him. I put on praise music and exercised while praising Him. I poured out my heart to Him. He lifted me from the pit (Psalm 40)!

Some experience depression that goes beyond what they can deal with by themselves. It may even be caused by a chemical imbalance. At those times, it is important to seek help from a counselor or a doctor. There was a time when my depression became so persistent that I went to a counselor for some months. God used her to help me tremendously! There’s nothing wrong with needing help. God created us as beings that need each other.

May God give grace and peace to anyone reading this who is suffering from depression or persistent sadness. Please use it Lord. Use it to bring them closer to you. Please shine your light into their darkness.

Please comment below if you need prayer to get through a season of depression. He loves you with an everlasting love!

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Originally published at Internet Cafe Devotions

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Everything is His

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I love you Lord!

All that I am.

All that I have.

It’s all yours.

Everything belongs to you.

Everything is under your control.

Every knee will bow and

Every tongue will confess that

Jesus is Lord!

Your purposes will be fulfilled.

You knew before you created the world

Before you ever said, “Let there be light!”

You knew each soul you would create.

You knew each problem we would face.

Each struggle.

Each doubt.

You knew the day you breathed life into Adam

that one day you would create the DNA

that would be our son.

You knew you would place him in our arms.

You knew I would be his mom.

You knew every mistake I would make and you already planned

to use it all for your glory.

All things will be made right.

You knew every person who would be broken.

Every struggle, challenge and obstacle we would face

because of sin and evil.

You knew evil could corrupt this world and that Satan

would seek to steal, kill and destroy.

You knew and planned in advance for our Savior and Redeemer

To come and rescue us.

Praise you Father!

Praise your Holy name!

You are worthy of our praise.

May all glory go to your name.

May I decrease as you increase.

Please let your will be done not mine.

I know nothing.

My finite mind cannot see past this moment.

You know the end from the beginning.

I love you Lord!

I trust you Jesus.

You are everything to me!

“The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Psalm 24:1

Genesis 1:3; Psalm 24:1; Romans 14:11; Ephesians 1:11; Psalm 139;

John 3:16; John 3:30; John 10:10; Isaiah 46:10; Galatians 1:4

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Unfathomable God

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S – “Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever…One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts…The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.” Psalm 145:2,4,8

O – Every day I will praise you.
One generation tells the other about you.
He is RICH in love.

A – Every day of my life is to be filled with praise to God. And why not?! The reasons to praise Him are countless. As part of the older generation, my goal should be to tell the younger generations all that God has done. Am I?

In this chapter – The LORD is:
Great
Worthy of praise
Unfathomable
Majestic
Good
Righteous
Gracious
Compassionate
Slow to anger
Rich in love
Everlasting King
Trustworthy
Faithful
Near
Watching
Holy
Eternal

Why would I not be praising such a wonderful God?

P – Glory to your name oh LORD! Glory to your name. May your name be lifted up throughout the earth. Be exalted oh Lord. Be exalted in my heart, in my life, in my thoughts and in my words. Be exalted Jesus. May my life bring you honor and praise.

To learn more about using the SOAP method of Bible Study, please go to this link: Discover One Thing

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Loved…Warts and All

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I get so discouraged because of my weaknesses and faults. It’s true I am my own worst enemy. I’ve known about the Lord Jesus since I was a baby in the church nursery learning to sing, “Jesus Loves Me” and I have been a Christian (having trusted my all to Christ) for almost fifty years.

Shouldn’t I be further along than this?

Shouldn’t I be more loving, more kind, more bold in sharing His love, more mature, more…like Him? I keep falling into the same petty sins. Struggling with jealousy, comparison, selfishness and sometimes just not wanting to give to others. I can be so self-focused I don’t even see the people around me. God must be so disappointed in me. He knows every ugly thought and feeling I have.

When I read Psalm 139, David assures me that God does know every thought and feeling I have. He knows more about me than I do! Verse 3 stands out to me:

“You…are intimately acquainted with all my ways. (NASB)

He knows all my quirks, my personality, my hidden sins, and my habits. There are no surprises. He doesn’t think, “I can’t believe she did that.” Jesus knows every nuance of my heart and personality and He still was willing to live and die for me. He still loves me with a perfect and unfailing love. Does that mean He just overlooks those sins and faults? No, but he doesn’t condemn me. He is continually working in my heart to help me. His goal is to lead me to maturity and eternity with Him not to condemn. Jesus took care of the condemnation on the cross. He restored me when He rose again.

I am His forever.

Yes, I am a work in progress but one He is lovingly working on every day!

Please share your thoughts here or at Living by Grace.

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