Tag Archives: Life

Singing with the King (74) – Praise Enough?

Dancing in the Sun1Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever.  Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord? Who can ever praise Him enough? (Ps 106:1-2)

I’ve probably said this somewhere in this blog, but every time you see the phrase “Praise the LORD!”, it’s literally the English translation of the word Hallelujah! That’s not only a great way to begin the Psalm, it’s a great way to begin your day, because it puts your day into the proper context. The Lord is your focus, the Lord is your purpose, and your thoughts, words, deeds, and emotions are permeated with praise.

Since the Lord is our focus, and our purpose, we discover that the object of this praise and thanks (at least in this Psalm) is: He is good. And His faithful love endure forever. That’s something worth hanging onto, especially when surrounded by the uncertainties, sorrows, and pain that life brings. We need to remember “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5) And “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

When you ponder that verse from Lamentations, about a love that never ends, about mercies never cease, you then realize what the psalmist was writing in verse two: Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord? Who can ever praise him enough? Those are what you call rhetorical questions, because we can never list His glorious miracles, nor will we ever praise him enough.

There’s an old hymn called The Love of God, the final verse goes like this:

Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky
.

And notice that that’s just writing about the love of God. What about His other attributes? Such as His goodness, and His faithfulness. The end of the Gospel of John says something quantitatively similar:

This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things, and we know that His testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written. (John 21:24-25)

May you begin your day with His praise. Because His love endures forever, you may discover that His praise may occupy your day.

 

Singing with the King (66) – Fight for Life

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13)

Ps 139 Embryo Baby

I posted this picture on Facebook and was thoroughly dismayed for the “Near-nothing” response it gathered. Now granted, most of my Facebook buds are Christ-followers, but my posts are public and… nothing. So I thought I’d post it on my blog.

Psalm 139 is a celebration of God–His omniscience, His creativity, His care, and His involvement. And it is a celebration of LIFE! The following verse says: Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. The problem is our culture has forgotten the wonder of His work; they not only don’t know it well, they don’t know it at all. So it’s up to us to remind them.

So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

 But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. (Isaiah 40:31)

From the day I was born, I have been in your care, and from the time of my birth, you have been my God. (Psalm 22:10)

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. (Psalm 24:1)

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (Romans 5:5)

Will you fight for Life?

He made us in His image; we belong to Him; and He is thoroughly involved in our lives. So for 2016, I ask the LORD that planned parenthood will end, that parts for profit will cease, and the pall of this culture of death will evaporate. But toady,pray for His Mercy. Amen.

Singing with the King (54) – The Work of Man’s Hands

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they cannot speak… They cannot make a sound with their throat. (Psalm 115:4,5)

In the context of this Psalm, we have a radical turn, which changes the focus from the eternal, unchanging, transcendent, and living LORD God, to that of idols. This perhaps is the greatest of contrasts one can make. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man’s hands.

goldencalfWhen the Psalmist speaks of “Their”, he is speaking about the nations. And these nations had tangible, visible idols. These so-called gods were obviously important to them, because they were made of gold and silver; precious metals for precious gods. But as is often the case with mankind who has not been exposed to the principles and teachings of the Most High God, we get it wrong. Or in this case we get a completely backwards. Note that it says, The work of man’s hands. God is not the work of our hands; we are the work of His hands.

They have mouths, but they cannot speak. The Hebrew word for mouth not only refers to the physical mouth, but also the things that come out of the mouth including commands. The Hebrew word for speak is most translated as speak. But it also can be translated as promise or command; and yet this mouth can do none of those things—it cannot speak. No promises, no commands—nothing.

… they cannot make a sound with their throat. The Hebrew word for make a sound primarily means to meditate, ponder, and devise. It also means to make an utterance or a moan or growl.

So, these idols have mouths, but they cannot speak, command or promise. They have a throat, but they cannot make a sound, or meditate, ponder or devise. Why is that? Well, the answer is obvious. Idols do not have life. In fact we see the truth in that statement from the very first verse that enumerates the idols characteristics: The work of man’s hands.

Now the work of man’s hands can do many things: it can inspire, enrage, cause joy and sorrow, lift up and tear down, instruct and belittle. The work of man’s hands can do many things to enhance or detract from life, but it cannot give life. Nor is it something to worship.

Do the Nations miss the irony here? They devote all this time, taking up much of their lives and creativity for building something that is dead. Then don’t forget all the acts of worship; the pedagogy of that particular god; the accompanying temples, rules and observances; the personnel, such as priests and priestesses, prostitutes and whatnot; the maintenance team and the artists. And let’s not forget the spiritual enforcement team—a.k.a. the military. They have to encourage veneration, worship, giving, and sacrifice. The care and feeding of a false god, takes a lot of time, not to mention the construction, coercion, and deception. And it takes a lot of energy to maintain the lie.

BullIdols are pretty much no longer silver and gold, but they still are that which are either made by man’s hands or by his imagination. Idols are things which you pursue, instead of One True God. But, we are told: Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men. (Colossians 3:23) To do otherwise is a dangerous pursuit. More about that next week.

Singing with the King (24) – The Ways of the Lord

For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. (Psalm 18:21)

Walking On RoadFor us to keep the word of the Lord requires commitment, it requires the heart as well as the mind; is that not the nature of obedience? Two verses to put this into the proper context:

Jesus answered, “the foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The LORD our God is one LORD, and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and all your mind, and all your strength.’” (Mark 12:29-30)

If you love Me, you’ll keep My commandments. (John 14:15)

After reading that previous verse, it should be obvious what it is we are to keep, if we do indeed love the Lord. And in this Psalm, David kept the ways of the LORD.

Some of the definitions of the way, are path, journey, direction, manner, habit, course of life, and moral character. Do you see how this is so much more than simple obedience? Indeed, keeping or walking in His way defines us: how we think, what we think, what we do, our attitudes, our perception, our character, our ambition; indeed our very lives. Why is that? Consider the radical change that has taken place within us:

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions. (Colossians 2:13)

For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light. (Ephesians 5:8)

You have been radically transformed from death to life, from darkness to light. Go out there and live Christ, and light up the lives around you!