Monday, March 5, 2012

19 Days To Go!!!

Well, I've fallen a little behind on the writing about the Psalms. The last few days have been so great, I start writing & I just don't think I am doing them justice. I really want to go back & cover them all another time but as far as the last few days, there is so much in there, to do it right, I'll just have to spend a great deal more time on them than I have at the moment. Suffice it to say, one day I will cover the Messianic prophecies of Psalms 22, the apocalyptic prophecy of Psalms 21, and the eschatological (end times) descriptions of Psalms 20. Those are some mighty, mighty passages.

As for is T-19 days. 

We have pretty much everything taken care of except me actually paying people & ordering more tables, chairs, & all. That's what I'm working on this week. It is kind of a strange feeling. I feel like the last few weeks I've been stressing & running about crazy trying to get everything done & now that almost everything is done, I don't really know what to feel. I feel like I should be stressing about something but I can't think of what & that kind of stresses me out. LOL. Oh well...time for some Bible reading...time to bring me back to what REALY matters. 

Psalms 19

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
(Psalm 19:1-6 ESV)
I use to work nights & get off work at 7 am. I saw some of the most beautiful sunrises in my life. When I had pulled away from God, I would see those sunrises & think, "How nice. Clearly there is a God." But, once I had come back to Christ & I was assured of my salvation, I would see those sunrises & my heart would almost burst. It was everything I could do not to dance through the parking lot like a loon. 2 Samuel 6:14 talks about how David "danced before the Lord" in praise as he brought the Ark of the Covenant back to the City of David. I could empathize with David. I still can. Seeing the majestic beauty of God's creation is a humbling & praiseworthy moment. 

My sister & I went on a road trip several springs ago. It was one of the best trips I have ever been on. One of our stops was Arches National Park. I have never really cared much for the desert. It just seems so boring & dead. What could be beautiful there? Boy was I surprised. Our mouths were gaping the whole time we were there. I have never beheld such beauty. We kept taking picture after picture but just could not seem to capture what we were actually beholding.

The Lord has made his existence known to the whole world through His creation. 

The heavens declare his righteousness,for God himself is judge! Selah(Psalm 50:6 ESV)

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
(Romans 1:19-20 ESV)

That is why it says in Psalms 14:1 "The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” And, Romans 1 continued after vets 20 to say:

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
(Romans 1:21-25 ESV)
I love the language used here in the first part of Psalms 19 in comparing a sunrise to a "bridegroom." To remind you, it says, "which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy." 

When a bridegroom leaves his house, his chamber, I doubt there have been many that did so in a bored or unenthusiastic manner. No. You picture a young man barely able to control his eagerness. You almost picture him bursting out of his house & running down the street to his bride, running with joy written all over his face...or at least that is what I picture. 

The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the LORD is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the LORD are true,
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
(Psalm 19:7-11 ESV)
Here David, is praising God's word. He is praising God for His righteousness & acknowledging the Lord as Master over his [David's] life. He is stating that it is God's law that is the standard for what is right & good & true. No manmade law can surpass or nullify God's law.

Verse 8 goes back to the quote by CS Lewis that I used in the "27 Days Left...Psalms 27" post.
 "Anyone who is honestly trying to be a Christian will soon find his intelligence being sharpened: one of the reasons why it needs no special education to be a Christian is that Christianity is an education itself." (Mere Christianity: Book Three: Christian Behavior: The 'Cardinal Virtues')

The thing about the Law is that it is impossible to keep. From birth we are evil people. I know it is hard to believe that when you see a cute little baby that smells so nice & coos at you. But, think about it, is it necessary to teach a child to be selfish? Do you need to teach a toddler to steal from another child? Do you have to teach a 2 year old how to throw a temper tantrum? No, of course not. We are wired in our sin nature to put our selves first. We are evil to the core.

But, thankfully, Jesus came & fulfilled the law (Matthew 5:17) and His sacrifice has saved (John 3:16) us from the damnation of the law (Romans 6:23).

Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
(Psalm 19:12-14 ESV)
Have you ever tried to confess every sin you could think of to the Lord? I could go on for days & still forget some. The "big" sins, those that even worldly people consider immoral are easy to remember, such as stealing or lying. But what about those that the world doesn't really think much of, like thinking a mean thought about someone you don't really like, or cursing at the person that cut you off on the way to work this morning, or lusting after the handsome actor on your favorite TV show? Those are the kickers, "the ones that got away," our secret sins.

For evils have encompassed me
beyond number;
my iniquities have overtaken me,
and I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head;
my heart fails me.
(Psalm 40:12 ESV)

You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
(Psalm 90:8 ESV)

teach me what I do not see;
if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more’?
(Job 34:32 ESV)

David, pleads with the Father to not let his sins build up on him & take over him. Bad habits are not difficult to learn. It is easy to come home & plop onto the couch & not move for the rest of the night. It's even easier the next evening. And, then the next. Pretty soon, laziness has taken you over. You become a slave to laziness. No matter how much you want to go home & do something productive, you just don't have the energy. Sin is the same way. "Give it an inch, & it will take a mile." However, if we are truly saved by grace through faith in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8), sin cannot regain control of our lives.

Keep steady my steps according to your promise,
and let no iniquity get dominion over me.
(Psalm 119:133 ESV)

For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
(Romans 6:14 ESV)

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.”
(John 10:28-30 ESV)
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.(Titus 3:3-7 ESV)

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
(Ephesians 2:4-9 ESV)
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:38-39 ESV)

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