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Psalms

“There’s nothing left for me. I’ve made such a mess out of my life that I have nothing to look forward to. And the tragedy of it all is that things looked great for so many years. Now, when I look into the future all I see is gloom and darkness. Where can I find anything to look forward to?” he asked.
“There is an answer - I can assure you of that,” I said. Turning to Psalm 112:4, I read, “Even in darkness light dawns for the upright.”
God will always provide His Light for those who seek it. No matter how far we have fallen or how little hope we may have, God can take the bitterness of defeat and despair and turn them into stepping stones of success. When we willingly face and acknowledge our faults and shortcomings, ask for and accept His forgiveness and surrender our lives to Him, He will bring victory out of defeat.
Consider the story of Peter. When someone asked if He was a follower of Jesus, he lied, saying, “I am not!” A few moments before His denial he attempted to protect Jesus with His sword. And there was Mark - the author of the second book in the New Testament. He started as a strong believer with complete trust in the message of Jesus. Suddenly, things grew boring and the excitement evaporated. So, he gave up the “call” and quit.
But in spite of their failures He did not give up on them. And neither will He give up on us. He forgave them, as He will us, and bring His light back into our lives.
Prayer: Help us, Father, to understand that “failure is not final” because Your grace provides a new beginning. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm112:4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.

Early each morning, often before the sun rises, a “rooster” who lives nearby sends a message announcing to his neighbors that “a new day has arrived - get up and go.”
For some, this is unwelcome news. But for others, it is an announcement that a new day has dawned and there are new opportunities of the way to serve and honor God.
How “roosters” got their name is interesting. All birds - and chickens are considered birds - “roost” at night. So, the one that wakes up first and “leaves the roost” and begins to “crow” is considered “the” rooster. What makes a rooster crow is not known. But how a rooster crows is.
A rooster never crows with his neck bent and his head down. Whenever he crows he lifts up his head proudly as if he is thanking his Creator. Roosters never crow with their heads bent.
Psalm 111:1 reminds me of the cry of a rooster as a good way to begin each day. “Praise the Lord! I will extol the Lord with all my heart.” Why? The Psalmist then gives thirteen reasons:
“Great are the works of the Lord.”
“Glorious and majestic are His deeds.”
“His righteousness endures forever.”
“The Lord is gracious and compassionate.”
“He provides food for those who fear - stand in awe - of Him.”
“He has shown His people the power of His world.”
“The words of the hands are faithful – trustworthy - steadfast - upright - just - and He provides redemption.”
Prayer: How great You are, Heavenly Father, for Your great gifts. May we shout of Your greatness every day! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 111:1-2 Praise the Lord. I will extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them.
Reading the Psalms to discover their meaning takes time. Reading them rapidly often makes them sound repetitious or unintelligent. Take for example the words, “But You, O Sovereign Lord, deal well with me for Your name’s sake; out of the goodness of Your love, deliver me.”
In this brief, one sentence prayer David recognizes several critical elements of prayer. The first one is that our God is sovereign. As our “sovereign” He rules and reigns over our lives as the Ultimate Authority. He is the Guard and Guardian over anything and everything that pertains to us or may have power over us and thereby is our personal protector and provider. Whatever invades our lives is there because He allows it to be there - and if things were to be different from the way they are, they would be.
And if it is “in” our lives, it is “in” there for His “name’s sake”. In other words, it is consistent with His nature and character and wisdom. God knows what is best for us what is in keeping with the plan He has designed for us. So, we can be sure of His ways, knowing that what He is doing in us, with us and through us is in His best interests to shape us into the likeness of His Son, our Savior and Lord.
“Out of the goodness of Your love, deliver me” gives us the assurance that God will never abandon us but will ultimately deliver us from what we think will destroy us. Whenever we want to give up on God remember that He did not spare His Son from the cross, but was with Him and delivered Him through the pain into His presence.
Prayer: Lord, we accept all things in our lives as a gift from You as You shape us into the likeness of Christ. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 109:21 But you, Sovereign Lord, help me for your name’s sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me.

Prayer, for some, is a force that enables them to approach God in worship and wonder or in times of need for the necessities of life. For others, prayer is utter and complete foolishness because they believe it is foolish and a waste of time.
In the life of David, it was a powerful force. Whenever he was hurt by harmful words, received a wound from a battle or had a need that was beyond his limitations he turned to God in prayer. Listen carefully to his words: “I am a man of prayer.”
It is always interesting to listen carefully to someone introduce themselves: “I am a doctor...I am the CEO of...I am a sales representative at...I work for...I am the one who...I set a record by...I am the owner of.” We seem to want others to recognize us for what we have done not who we are.
But with all his power and prestige, wealth and wisdom, David wanted others to recognize him as someone who was completely dependent on God: “I am a man of prayer.”
Prayer was a force in the life of David. As we read his prayer in the Psalms we discover that he had no definite time of prayer, no specific place to pray, no particular position he assumed when he prayed and it seems as though most of the time when he prayed he was alone.
David realized that prayer was a force in his life. It brought forgiveness when he sinned, peace when he was anxious, and victory when he was embattled and constant joy.
Prayer: Father, may we see the need for prayer in our lives when we see the results of prayer in the life of others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 109:4 In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer.
An atheist confronted a young believer in a park and began to ridicule him for his faith in God. He dared the Christian to refute any of his arguments that he believed disproved the God of believers.
Quietly, another Christian, who had been watching the exchange between the atheist and the Christian, stepped forward and stood next to the young believer.
He did not say a word as he took an orange from his pocket and started to peel it. “What are you doing, fool. If you have something to say, then say it. Otherwise let ‘the believer’ defend his faith.”
After he finished peeling the orange he asked the atheist, “Tell me, is this orange sweet or sour?” Angrily the skeptic shouted and waved his fist and said, “How should I know. I haven’t tried it.”
“Then,” said the Christian, “you would be wise to stop criticizing the Word of God until you’ve tried it.”
Major General Lew Wallace is the author of Ben Hur, the most influential Christian novel of the nineteenth century. At one time in his life he was considered to be an atheist. However, in answer to that statement he wrote, “As a result of my own personal research and many years of study, I became convinced that Jesus Christ was not only a Savior of the world, not only the Savior of the world, but that He was my Savior, too, and being thus convinced I wrote Ben Hur.
“Whosoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the Lord,” wrote the Psalmist.
PrayerThank You, Father, for Your Word that no one can destroy or diminish, and is the source of our salvation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 107:43 Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.
Canute was the king of the Danes in the eleventh century. Under his leadership, they overran Britain, the King of Denmark and then the King of Norway. He was recognized as the most powerful man of his time.
One day while standing at the seashore with the waves gently rolling back and forth over his feet, a group of his subjects stood before him and called out, “You are all powerful, O King! There is no one who dare disobey you and nothing can ever stop you.”
As the waves lapped about his feet he asked, “Will the sea obey me?”
“Command it, O King, and it will!” they responded.
“Sea,” he shouted in a loud voice, “I command you to come no further. Waves, stop your rolling. Do not touch my feet!” Suddenly a large wave erupted from the sea and swept over him.
“Learn a lesson,” he said as he took off his crown. “There is only one King who is all-powerful. It is He who rules the sea and holds the ocean. It is whom you ought to worship and praise and serve above all others.”
How powerful is this “only one King?” The Psalmist wrote, “He stilled the storm to a whisper. The waves of the sea were hushed.”
Often our lives are as troubled as an angry sea. Far too frequently the waves attack us and would wash us into the depths of the unknown. Thunder echoes in our ears and lightning strikes nearby filling our hearts with fear.
Then, just before we are swept under, He stills the storm.
Prayer: We thank You, Father, that the winds of life and the waves of disaster cannot destroy Your beloved. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 107:29 He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.
Johnny Bartek grew up in Freehold, New Jersey. He attended one year of high school before “flunking out” at age 16. For the next several years he worked at various jobs but could not find one that he enjoyed. Dissatisfied with his opportunities at home he decided to join the Army Air Force soon after turning 18. He became a flight mechanic and was aboard the aircraft carrying Captain Eddie Rickenbacker that was lost at sea because of bad weather and inadequate navigation equipment. The crew spent three weeks at sea in a crowded life raft and all but one survived the horrific, harrowing ordeal.
Very few supplies were on the raft and after three days they ran out of food and water. One of the few items on the raft was a Bible. The inscription in the Bible read “A Sacred Token, to John F. Bartek by the First Baptist Church, Freehold, NJ, April 7, 1942.”
On the eighth day, a few minutes after they read a portion of Scripture from the Bible, a seagull landed on the head of Captain Rickenbacker which became food and fish bait to help keep the men alive until they were rescued. The men on the raft believed that it was a sign from God.
What verse did they read? “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’...for...your Heavenly Father knows that you need them.”
Many years before those eight men on that raft needed nourishment the Psalmist wrote, “He sent forth His Word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave.”

PrayerHow faithful You are, Father, to keep Your Word, meet our every need and protect us from danger. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 107:20 He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.


Have you ever watched a cow, lying beneath a tree, quietly looking through its leaves at the puffy clouds that are passing across the soft blue sky? They seem to be concentrating on something far beyond themselves, yet important to them. Their stillness reflects a sense of peace and confidence that “all is well in my world and there’s nothing for me to worry about.” All the while they are chewing on “cuds” - round balls of grass that they bring up from their stomachs and chew some 30,000 times each day to get all of the nourishment out of them.
Could that not be a picture of meditation for the Christian to adopt? A time when we quietly “chew” on a piece of Scripture that God brings to our minds from His Word that we have hidden in our hearts.
Imagine how our lives would be different if we sat quietly and brought a verse of Scripture from His Word into our minds and then looked to Him to give us all the nourishment that it contains. Imagine the changes that would take place in our lives if we would invest even a small amount of time “chewing” on a verse or two from His Word each day asking Him to “nourish our lives” with its meaning. Imagine the peace and comfort that could be ours if we simply asked His Spirit to use His Word to calm our fears, lift our depression, eliminate our doubts, change our attitudes and convict us of our sins.
If we can imagine it we can do it! God troubles our hearts and minds to get our attention. Then we must submit to His Spirit to work in us as we meditate on Him.
PrayerLord, speak to our hearts and change our lives as we willingly ask Your Spirit to guide and guard us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 104:34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.
When Herbert Hoover was president he asked Rudy Vallee to sing at the White House. He was very impressed by the famous “megaphone crooner” and entertainer and at the end of his performance said, “You are great, Mr. Vallee. If you can sing a song that would make people feel good, forget their problems and relieve their depression, I will give you a medal.” However, Vallee did not have a song that he could sing that would bring about those results.
But there is One who can do that. David said, “I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praises to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to Him as I rejoice in the Lord.”
The Hebrew word for meditate includes two words from the English language: one is “think” and the other suggests “speech” or “audible thinking.” If we put them together they can bring about amazing results!
Imagine how our lives would be different if when we thought about God’s Word we would begin to talk to Him. For example, if 1 John 1:9 came to mind during a time of meditation, we might say something like, “Oh, thank You Lord for Your forgiveness. How grateful I am that if I come to You, confess my sin, ask You for Your forgiveness and repent, You will forgive me. Thank You for the assurance of Your grace and mercy. How much I need it. And please, Lord, fill my life with Your Spirit so that when I am tempted to sin, I can ask You to give me the strength to overcome the temptation!”
Prayer: Father, fill my mind with Your Word. Let it speak to my heart and then may my heart speak to You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 104:33-34 I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.
If God said “it ”we can believe it. And if He did “it” we know it is right. And when He created this planet we have His assurance that it will never be moved from its orbit. It is safe, stable and secure until His “plan for the ages” is complete. The Psalmist was convinced of this when He wrote in Psalm 104:5, “He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.”
There is nothing as important as the foundation of a building if it is to withstand the blasts of tornadoes and tremors of earthquakes. Foundations are essential and are designed and built to withstand the violent acts of “nature.” Many building codes have been revised after buildings have been destroyed and people killed. However, no guarantee is given that they are beyond some damage. Not God’s creation, however. He guarantees His work!
God gave us a guarantee that the foundation of this earth is secure. Isaiah wrote of another foundation: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts (in this Foundation) will never be dismayed.”
This Foundation is the Messiah, the one in whom we have our salvation and on whom we build our lives for eternity. Even as the foundation of this earth has God’s guarantee that it cannot be “moved,” so does our salvation in Him have His guarantee that this same power is ours for this life and the one to come.
Prayer: What a blessed assurance is ours, Lord, to know that nothing is as secure as Your Eternal Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 104:5 He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.
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