Today’s blessings passage is from Psalm 34. David wrote this psalm after experiencing God’s rescue from his situation with the Philistine king seen in 1 Samuel 21. David praises God for his deliverance and protection. David praised God for his blessing -protection and divine favor in preventing his great misfortune. Psalm 34:4-10
I sought the Lord, and he answered me David knew God answers prayer
and delivered me from all my fears. and that God delivers.
5 Those who look to him are radiant, David knew seeking God leaves
and their faces shall never be ashamed. one glowing with hope.
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him David knew God hears him.
and saved him out of all his troubles. David knew God could save him
7 The angel of the Lord encamps David knew God protects.
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! David knew God blesses.
9 Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, David knew God supplies without fear.
for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger; David knew by placing his trust in
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. God he would never be lacking.
Do you know, like David, that God answers prayer, delivers, gives hope, hears, can save, will bless, has resources beyond measure, can be trusted and will never leave you lacking for anything? That is an amazing list that gives me hope and assurance that God in His Sovereignty will take care of me. I am blessed if I can learn to take refuge in Him!
As you journey through this day, praise and thank God that He alone is your refuge and receive His blessings as you trust in Him.
The Messiah continues today with prophecies from the Psalms about the coming Messiah’s fate. Psalm 22:7-8 “All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; 8 “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him.” This psalm by David spoke his anguished prayer to God as he was pursued and persecuted by Saul for years on end. It is frequently quoted in the New Testament as it readily applies to Jesus. Verse 7 tells of mocking and ridicule the psalmist is receiving from his enemies. This found fulfillment in Matthew 27:39 “Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads.” Verse 8 speaks of the psalmist’s trust in God, deliverance and rescue that is assured because he knows that God loves and cares for him. Jesus knew this to be true and it was partially quoted in Matthew 27:43 “He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
What encouragement do we receive from these prophecies today? I am encouraged that God knows what I am going through just as He knew David’s and Jesus’ situations. God is accessible and will hear our anguished prayers. He is filled with compassion and love as He listens to us. I am also encouraged that my trusting in God delights Him and He promises deliverance. Each deliverance looks different as we are all are in various situations but God keeps His promises and will bring us through.
Be encouraged today as you walk with Him and thank Him for sending Jesus to bring the ultimate deliverance which is from sin and death. These thoughts make Christmas even more special and give us HOPE.
Psalm 119:57-64 is a testimony from the psalmist that God is His true place of fulfillment and contentment. He can rely upon God to sustain, fill and be his all in all just as He promises in His Word.. “The Lord is my portion; I promise to keep your words.” Later, in verses 63-64, he concludes that God is his friend and he will be a friend to anyone who trusts in God and lives by His Word. He realizes that His love can be found everywhere on earth. He asks the Lord to teach him as he knows that God’s Word will sustain and strengthen him. “I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts. 64 The earth is filled with your love, Lord; teach me your decrees.”
How do you chose your close friends? Do you choose people that align with your beliefs in God? The psalmist proclaimed that he is a friend to all who know and follow God’s Word. Paul spoke of this in Romans when he urged all believers to be united in Christ. He prayed for them in Romans 15:5-6. “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Is this a prayer you could pray for your fellow friends in Christ? To really show the world our Savior, we need to be of one mind and voice as we glorify God. The psalmist says that his true friends in the faith follow God’s Word and are teachable. Does that describe you? Are you open to learning from God’s Word?
Take this prayer of Paul’s and claim it for your life. Pray for your friends of the faith, to come alongside you and join together as one mind and one voice to witness to the dying world around us.
Proclaiming the gospel in love,
Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I am united with Jesus in Spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:17 “But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.” Jesus spoke of His Spirit that was to come in John 15 and told us that His Spirit would comfort, guide and reveal the truth of the Father to us. John 7:38-39 “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” His spirit bears witness to our spirit and is living within us. Romans 8:11 clarifies and defines this spirit we received from Jesus by faith. “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” His Spirit is life giving and eternal. It is faith in Jesus that brings His Spirit to live within us and unites us to Him. Romans 8:9 in the New Living Translation states it plainly, if you know Christ, His Spirit lives in you, if you don’t He doesn’t. “But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) This uniting with the Holy Spirit gives us the power to live for Christ and reject our sinful nature, reject temptations and focus on living for Christ.
So what about you? Are you living a Spirit controlled life with serving and glorifying God your main goals? Are you serving and worshiping God but want things your own way and want to tell God what is best? Are you unaware of the Spirit in your life? Lent is a time of self-reflection and prayer. Take a close look at your goals and motives and see where you place God. If He is not at the center, ask Him to reveal to you what you need to do. Pray as we are directed in Matthew 7:7-8 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Being united to Jesus is a joy,