Sunday, June 29, 2014

God's Paintbrush

God let your glory be displayed......

In His Grace,

JJ Jesu Jura: Jesus Help
SDG Soli Deo Gloria: To God be the glory!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sabbath Sanctuary: Our God Reign

The Lord reigns, let the peoples tremble; He is enthroned above the cherubim, let the earth shake! The Lord is great in Zion, and He is exalted above all the peoples. Let them praise Your great and awesome name; Holy is He. The strength of the King loves justice; You have established equity; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt the Lord our God and worship at His footstool; Holy is He” {Psalm 99:1-5 NASB}.

Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome, ‘do your worst, for I will do mine!’” The Count of Monte Cristo (2002).

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Sabath Sanctuary : After The Storm

He gives rain on the earth And sends water on the fields Job 5:10 NASB

When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” Matthew 8:23-27 NASB

Rest even in the midst of the storm...

In His Grace,

JJ— Jesu Juva Jesus help!
SDG— Soli Deo Gloria— to God be the glory!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Psalms To See Me Through: Psalm 9—Thanking Him With My Whole Heart

To the choirmaster: according to Muth-labben. A Psalm of David.

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heartI will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High {vs. 1-2 ESV}.

My heart is full, and I am thankful to Him. He has spoken into the depths of my soul and awakened me to His life. I was dead, lifeless. God's goodness is immeasurable—it never ceases. He has performed miracles in my life; in the driest desert and in the midst of drought, and He has filled me with Living Water. David is not praising one specific act of God’s deliverance; rather, it seems to be a summation of many.[1] We, too, have experienced many good things from the hand of the Lord; some are gloriously magnificent, and some more subtle. Perhaps it comes in the way of a friend offering encouragement or a note saying that you have been lifted before the Throne of Grace. His comfort is always near when we are in a trial. Wisdom would have us remember both the magnificent and the subtle and give Him all the praise and glory. 

God’s praises should always be upon our lips, “‘Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’” writes the beloved disciple in the book that bears his name (Jn. 7:38)He saved me; filled me with His Spirit and gave me hope and a future and an expected end (see Jer. 29:11). How can I stand before God, absent of a heart filled with gratitude? How can I not thank Him with my whole heart?  

When my enemies turn back, they stumble and perish before your presence. For you have maintained my just cause; you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgment. You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish; you have blotted out their name forever and ever. The enemy came to an end in everlasting ruins; their cities you rooted out; the very memory of them has perished {vs. 3-6}.

David praises the Lord for the destruction of the nations and his enemies, which implies their long-ago destruction, most likely during the conquest of the promised land. David does not let this pass from memory and still brings it for a thanksgiving offering. In the face of enemies who seek his destruction, he knows that Yahweh is sovereign.

But the Lord sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for justice, and he judges the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with uprightness. The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you {vs. 7-10}.

Is this not reason enough to be grateful before Him? He is my refuge and fortress; He does battle on my behalf. He is the Righteous Judge the Shohet. He has plans of ruin for the wicked. He has a purpose for the righteous. He is God, and He rules sovereign over all the world. His justice is rooted in His very character and nature. He is the Judge over all the earth and, therefore, the only One who can measure hearts and motives. When David prays to the Shophet he is addressing the One whose righteousness demands perfect justice.[1] We should look forward to this judgment, for He is a stronghold for the oppressed, avenges blood, and responds to the cry of the afflicted.

Sing praises to the Lord, who sits enthroned in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds! For he who avenges blood is mindful of them; he does not forget the cry of the afflicted. Be gracious to me, O Lord! See my affliction from those who hate me, O you who lift me up from the gates of death, that I may recount all your praises, that in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in your salvation {vs. 11-14}.

What a beautiful promise for the righteous. David anticipates being delivered from the gates of death and delivered to the gates of the daughters of Zion.

 God is worthy of all praise, honor, and glory. He is wonderful and glorious. He is Elah Eloah—the Adorable One. He is the King of Glory. He is more than deserving of our praise. The Lord remembers those who fear Him. He remembers those who are thankful for His deliverance. God is always present in our lives, even during times when we may be in despair due to our circumstances. We all face times of darkness, but He is always there when we call upon Him. He is ever faithful. He hears those with a thankful heart who give Him praise for His goodness and mercy.

Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name {Mal. 3:16}.

God has not forgotten those who fear Him; He has not forgotten those who don’t:

The nations have sunk in the pit that they made; in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught. The Lord has made himself known; he has executed judgment; the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion. Selah

The wicked shall return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God. For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever. Arise, O Lord! Let not man prevail; let the nations be judged before you! Put them in fear, O Lord! Let the nations know that they are but men! Selah” {vs. 15-20}.

He remembers those who remember Him and forgets those who do not; “for since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse {Rom. 1:20}. 

The last five verses call upon God’s justice and mercy. The nations need a paradigm shift—they are but dust. Higgaion means meditation or consideration, and probably an interlude giving musical expression to the feelings uttered by the psalmist. God wants this to be deeply rooted in our thoughts and hearts, to meditate on His judgment and His mercy for the nations and for men. We are but dust…

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” {Mk. 12:30 NIV}.

Cultivate a grateful heart. We must thank Him for what He has already so generously and graciously given. Was His salvation not enough? He has performed wonders in our lives and loved us when we were filthy and unlovable. We must remember Him and how He has delivered us from darkness. How can I not thank Him with my whole heart?


[1] Craig C. Broyles, Understanding The Bible Commentary Series: Psalms (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1991), 75.

[2] Ann Spangler, Praying The Names Of God (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004), 256. 

To read all the Psalms in this series, click here: Psalms To See Me Through

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