Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Oct 1 - Psalm 43:2,1

For you are God, my only safe haven.

Defend me against these ungodly people.

Psalm 43:2,1


In my Bible reading this morning, I was reading about Elijah. The story is familiar. And a pattern repeats. 


·         According to the word of the Lord, Elijah declares a drought. 

·         The he runs and hides from an angry King Ahab. 

·         And God provides for Elijah in the wilderness. The ravens feed him. Then a widow's miraculously bottomless jar of meal feed him. 


·         A few years later, Elijah, by the word of the Lord, brings trouble to King Ahab again. He challenges. Queen Jezebel's priests to a "duel" on top of Mount Carmel. Which god -- the real God or Baal -- can set an altar on fire. 

·         When the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jesus prevails, Elijah runs again from these angry monarchs of rebellious Israel.  

·         And again, God provides for Elijah in the wilderness. This time it was an angel who fed him. 

And then -- after my scripture readings in 1 Kings -- I turned to the next Psalm in our sequence. And while this Psalm surely wasn't written about Elijah, a pattern repeats. 


Psalm 43 is very short. I'm going to invite you to read the whole thing. 

I'm going to invite you to invite you to imagine that they were written specifically for Elijah -- because in a sense they were. The Psalms are written for every one of God's children, encouraging, alternately, courage in the midst of trials, hope in the face of despair, and praise in seasons of blessing and joy. 

I'm going to invite you to contemplate being like Elijah: 1) Confronting evil and lies; 2) expecting opposition from wrong-headed authorities; 3) trusting that God will provide for you his servant when you have stood up for his name; and 4) praying this desperate Psalm, pleading for God's rescue and victory to finally reign. 

I'm going to invite you to read this whole short Psalm ...

1 O God, take up my cause!

Defend me against these ungodly people.

Rescue me from these unjust liars.

2 For you are God, my only safe haven.

Why have you tossed me aside?

Why must I wander around in darkness,

oppressed by my enemies?

3Send out your light and your truth;

let them guide me.

Let them lead me to your holy mountain,

to the place where you live.

4There I will go to the altar of God,

to God -- the source of all my joy.

I will praise you with my harp, O God, my God!

5 Why am I discouraged? Why so sad?

I will put my hope in God!

I will praise him again

-- my Savior and my God!

In Christ's Love,

a guy who wants to be known as Elijah

-- standing up for truth regardless of the consequences

... and trusting just as boldly in God's provision

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sept 30 - Psalm 42:4

My heart is breaking

as I remember how it used to be:

I walked among the crowds of worshipers,

leading a great procession to the house of God,

singing for joy and giving thanks –

it was the sound of a great celebration!

Psalm 42:4

When I read this verse, I wondered immediately what David was "remember[ing]." His "heart" was obviously "breaking." He was missing the "great procession" of yesteryear.

What was it? That was my first question.

It turns out that this was the wrong question. "Who was it?" would have been a better first question.

Who? While David wrote most of the Psalms, he didn't write them all. The "descendants of Korah" wrote 25 -- or a sixth -- of the Psalms, including Psalm 42 (see scripture's annotation at the beginning of this song/prayer).

Korah was an infamous member of the family tasked with caring for sacred items in the tabernacle, including the ark of the covenant. Korah was infamous because of a minor (and fatal to himself) rebellion against Moses in Numbers 16.

God, nevertheless, did not abandon the descendants of Korah. From this line would come Samuel, the great prophet who, seven generations later, would anoint David as king over God's people.

The descendants had a more general job as well. They were doorkeepers (gatekeepers) to the tabernacle. Still handling the holy things, they may have been the ones who carried the ark -- in "the great procession" -- up to Jerusalem. Certainly, they were part of David's great band of musicians and song leaders, who devoted their life to helping God's people praise the Lord.

The annotation at the beginning of this Psalm does not give any indication as to why these song leaders are not currently able to lead God's people in praise. Was this Psalm written after David's death and a new king in a new generation would not permit them to lead the song? Was this written when Absolom rebelled against his father, David, causing the king (and his musicians) to flee the holy city?

The cause doesn't matter as much as the fact that ministers had their song silenced ... and it hurt.

I'm a minister of the Lord. I'm accustomed to singing God's praise (more through preaching and teaching than through song). And I can't imagine the grief of not being able to preach, teach, praise, and proclaim. I certainly enjoy a few days of vacation ... but I'm bored and empty if I go more than a few days without leading the praise in one form or another.

It's like trying to imagine Rhonda, our music director, NOT SING. Praise is part of her. It is part of me. It was a joyful addiction experienced by the descendants of Korah. They longed to praise God "as the deer longs for the water brooks" (verse 1). They are dry without it.

Are you dry and incomplete without praising God and proclaiming his name?

If you're reading this, my guess is that there really is a hunger in you. Don't be content to satisfy that hunger with junk food. Keep pushing through until prayer, praise, and/or proclamation becomes a joyful addiction.

In Christ's Love,

an honorary descendant of Korah

-- my "heart is breaking"

whenever I am not

"among the crowds of worshipers"

"leading" and "singing for joy"

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sept 29 - Psalm 42:1,2

As the deer

pants for the water brooks,

So pants my soul for You, O God.

My soul thirsts for God,

for the living God

Psalm 42:1,2

Do deer pant?

I don’t know.


But here’s what I do know. My dogs pant. Run them in the field, and their tongues are hanging out. They look totally happy. And totally goofy. Their eyes say, "Thank you," for the simple pleasure of play. 

And then as soon as we walk inside, they make a bee line for the water dish. 

And they get the whole floor all wet because they're lapping so furiously. 

So what about a deer? When humans are hot, our bodies cool themselves by sweating. Dogs cool themselves by hanging their tongues out, panting, and running eagerly to the water dish after a joyful moment of play. 

So what about a deer? One that lives with the Psalmist in the Judean desert. It’s hot. It’s dry. Are they probably aren't playing like my dogs. For a deer in the wilderness, life is more about survival. And in the desert, water is necessary. It is literally life. 

Has your life ever been more about survival than about play? Has your hope ever been dashed and your soul parched as dry as a desert? Have you ever needed "something" ... desperately? Desperately! Have you ever been thirsty for "something," and not realized that your greatest hunger was really for God?

I can imagine David … being chased by Saul through the desert, like a deer is chased by a lion. His mouth is parched. His soul is desperate. And yet, even while his fugitive physical needs mount, he realizes that his greater need is for God's provision: "As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God."  

Indeed, did you ever stop to think that David's logic here is the reason that people fast and pray. We intentionally put ourselves into a place of physical hunger so that … in our state of vulnerability, we might start attending also to our deeper thirsts: "As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God."

The next time you’re hungry for "something" and desperate for peace, sing this Psalm!

In Christ's Love,

a guy who sings ...

Here in this worn and weary land
Where many a dream has died
Like a tree planted by the water
We never will run dry

So living water flowing through
God, we thirst for more of You
Fill our hearts and flood our souls with one desire

Just to know You and to make You known
We lift Your name on high
Shine like the sun, make darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives
Its time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive






Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sept 27-28 - Psalm 41:12

But you have upheld me

because of my integrity, and

set me in your presence forever

Psalm 41:12

Do you know my favorite definition of "integrity"?

It's what you do

when no one is looking.

Isn't that a great definition?!

And yet as much as I love definition, do you notice the one thing it forgets?

God is always looking!

So what if we define integrity -- instead of as an action done in secret as “an action done for an audience of One?

What do you think of this definition: Integrity is bringing glory to God.


When we act out of concern for what God thinks (rather than what man thinks), we're living with integrity. We’re following in obedience. We acting on our faith.

And this isn’t legalistic. Indeed, it’s not about our actions. It’s about the attitude of our heart!

And guess what God promises in response. Read the rest of the verse: When we live with an integrity that is based on a genuine faith, heart, and obedience God then rushes joyfully to reward us, "set[ting us] in his presence forever."

In Christ's Love,

a guy who hopes you'll

close your eyes and

quit looking at others

(because only God's opinion

ultimately matters)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sept 26 - Psalm 40:10

I have not hidden your

saving help within my heart,

I have spoken of your

faithfulness and your salvation;

I have not concealed

your steadfast love and

your faithfulness from

the great congregation.

Psalm 40:10

What is the most important word in this verse?

Most modern Americans would say that it is "I."

Look at it. There are essentially three sentences in this one verse.  And (at least in this translation) each of these "sentences" starts with the word "I" -- "I have done this," and "I haven't done that," and "I sure won’t do the other thing."

It would be natural, therefore, for us modern Americans to suppose that this verse is about me, myself, I, and each of us individually.

But before we rush to focus on "our," "ourselves," “me,” and "we," let's stop for a moment and notice the second "person" in this verse. Yes, before we point to ourselves, let's focus first on God's role in this Psalm (and in our lives).

According to Psalm 40:10, what does God offer to us?

·       His "saving help" for us

·       His "faithfulness" to us

·       His gift of "salvation" upon us

·       and His "steadfast love" toward us

God is generous to us. Indeed, although every one of these "sentences" begins with "I," the actor in these "sentences" is not "me," "us," or "we." The actor is God. He is saving, helping, loving, and faithful. And the "I" in this verse simply responds to this generosity ...

·       because God is faithful (first), I, therefore, should speak of his generosity and integrity (in response).

·       because God saves (first), I should (in response) proclaim God's powerful, saving work.

·       because God (first) rescues me, I shall never keep this help hidden (in response).

·       and because God's love is (first) steadfast and true, I shall never (in response) conceal the wonder of his grace.

God initiates … and we respond.

Here’s the point: Scripture is always and ultimately about God. Our place is not a starring role. At best we respond. And our response of worship, service, proclamation, and truth telling is truly the best we can ever give.

In Christ's Love,

a guy who responds by

shifting my praising mouth into drive

(instead of my brain into neutral)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sept 25 - Psalm 40:1

I waited patiently for the Lord;

he inclined to me and heard my cry

Psalm 40:1

"Incline" has a few meanings.

As a noun, it's a hill. (But we're not going to be talking about nouns!)

As a verb, "incline" is a motion. It is, indeed, a motion of the heart. What are you "inclined to" do? That's the same thing as saying, "What is your heart set on?"

Me ... ?

·       I'm inclined to ... turn on mediocre TV shows at bed time -- inoffensive little shows that are just interesting enough to take my mind off a busy day ... but not so interesting that it keeps me awake.

·       I'm inclined to ... cheer for the N. C. State Wolfpack -- especially since my son is a freshman at my old alma mater.

·       I'm inclined to ... support my sons.

·       I'm inclined to ... love my wife.

·       I'm inclined to ... serve my Lord.

·       I'm inclined to ... invite you to see the progression -- a motion of the heart to attend to deeper and more productive things.

As a verb, incline also means to bend down. “The father inclined to kiss his daughter on the head.” Indeed, “Good fathers are often inclined to incline to kiss their daughters” (Wow, two uses of the same word in one sentence. But do you get the two separate meanings?!)

In today's verse, God acts like a verb.

He inclines to us. It's a motion of his. heart. He's inclined to love you ... walk with you ... encourage you ... comfort you ... help you ... challenge you ... bless you ... enjoy you ...

He also bends down -- inclines. From the throne of heaven, God literally came (and still comes) down. He is walking beside you. He is carrying you when you can't carry on alone.

But did you notice the condition?

Read today’s verse again. The precondition for his coming down is our attentiveness, our “waiting” upon him. We are called to wait quietly. To wait patient.

This involves listening. It is sitting with his Word (because he speaks powerfully and personally through this Word of his).

Waiting patiently also includes a conversation -- prayer. After all, God inclines to us to hear us when we reach up to him in prayer.

In Christ's Love,

a busy guy who needs to

do better at patience and waiting

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sept 24 - Psalm 39:4-5

Lord, remind me how brief

my time on earth will be.

Remind me that

my days are numbered,

and that my life is fleeing away.

My life is no longer than

the width of my hand.

An entire lifetime is just

a moment to you;

human existence is but a breath.

Psalm 39:4-5

What do you waste time doing?




This life is too brief.


At every moment, we ought to be asking: Is this blessing my family? Is this enriching my life? Is this drawing me closer to God?

We focus on this earth. But it is fleeting. Only faith lasts forever. Faith ... and some friends (“some” being the operative word). 

So … what are you doing to inspire eternity in others? 1 Corinthians 3 tells us that while God is responsible for “the growth” in people’s faith – “the results” that come from our sharing of faith -- Paul says that we are responsible for the planting and watering. Yes, we are responsible for the sharing and caring and witnessing and encouraging. 

Your life is short.


So are the lives of the people around you.


What do you waste your time doing? And how are you investing it in the only thing that really matters?

In Christ's Love,

a guy who was playing

Candy Crush before writing this

(15 minutes I won't get back)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sept 23 - Psalm 38:17-18

I am on the verge of collapse,

facing constant pain.

But I confess my sins;

I am deeply sorry

for what I have done

Psalm 38:17-18

I didn't want to write about sin today. 

David (and our progression through the Psalms) gave me no choice. 


Read all of Psalm 38. In our culture, sin is a joke. It's mostly measured in calories (as in "sinfully delicious" or a "guilty pleasure"). Few people blush anymore. 


But not David. He grieved over sin. Read all of Psalm 38.


·         Because of sin -- verse 1 -- he worries about God's "rage" and "rebuke."

·         "Discipline" -- verse 1 -- is what he says he deserves. 

·         His own awareness of his own sin make David feel like he's been "struck deep [by] arrows" and "crush[ed by vicious] blows" -- verse 2. 

·         "3 My whole body is sick ... because of my sins."

·         "3 My health is broken because of my sins. 

·         For David -- verse 4 -- sin is an impossibly "heavy" load that is "overwhelm[ing]."

·         His "5 foolish sins" are like "wounds [that] fester and stink.

·         His awareness of sin "ben[ds him] over and rack[s him] with pain" and fill[s his] days with grief" -- verse 6. 

·         Sin "br[eaks his] health"; indeed, it's like a "raging fever [that] burns within [him]" -- verse 7. 

·         "Exhausted," "groan[ing]," "anguished," and "completely crushed" -- verse 8 -- is David's ultimate condition. 


See ... David wouldn't let me avoid talking about sin. 


And ... do you see how seriously he takes it?


How about you?


Let me offer you a challenge:


·         Think of the worst sin you've committed this week. 

·         Read the list above again. 

·         And challenge yourself to feel just like David did over this sin. 

·         It's only when we truly grieve over our sin that we truly understand God's holiness. And it's only when we comprehend God's holiness that we truly begin to grow in faith. 


In Christ's Love,

a punching bag

(my sin does that to me)


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sept 22 - 2 Samuel 22:26-27 (Psalm 18:25-26)

To the faithful

you show yourself faithful,


to the blameless

you show yourself blameless,


to the pure

you show yourself pure,


... to the crooked

you show yourself shrewd


2 Samuel 22:26-27

(Psalm 18:25-26)

If you didn't see a pattern in this passage, read it again … out loud. 


God often reflects back to us what we give to him. 


·         When we are faithful to him, he delights in being faithful to us ... rather than constantly having to discipline us. 

·         When we are pure, we discover in him a beauty in life that transcends the perversity of this world. 

·         And when we are honest and blameless, we discover the same freedoms that children who walk in the paths of righteousness and integrity do in the eyes of their parents. Trusted children are given increasing freedoms and are showered with unexpected blessings. 


But the pattern breaks with the fourth phrase. God doesn't return crookedness (perverseness or wickedness, according to other translations) with crookedness or perversity. 


You say, "obviously," right? But this is important ... and even important for understanding the first three. 


Our actions don't determine God's actions.


We can't coerce him or obligate him. He is always "shrewd."


The Pharisees tried to manipulate God with outward purity. Jesus called them "whitewashed tombs": outside they looked white and pure; inside, said Jesus, their hearts were filled with death and decay. 


God will always be shrewd. He knows our motives. He understands our hearts. 


But God also delights! Like a good Father, he's always looking for an excuse to bless us. And he is eternally and joyfully faithful to the faithful. 


In Christ's Love,

a guy who is glad that God is

shrewd rather than manipulatable



Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sept 20-21 - 2 Samuel 22:47,4 (Psalm 18:46,3)

The Lord lives! Blessed be my rock!

May God, the rock of my salvation, be exalted!

I will call on the LORD, who is worthy of praise,

for he saves me from my enemies

2 Samuel 22:47,4

(Psalm 18:46,3)

In my daily reading I worked my way to 2 Samuel 22. It is near the end of David's life, and  couldn't help but notice a certain symmetry. 


·         David's public life began by battling the Philistines and upending the giant, Goliath. 


·         As his life was drawing to a close -- chapter 21 -- he was battling Philistines again. And he was battling giants again -- some of Goliath's descendants who were seeking revenge. And he was victorious again. 


In victory, he sang a song of praise. And I said to myself, "Hmm, that sounds familiar."


In our church, for example, we sing these words often in worship. There's a familiar chorus by Michael O'Shields, an itinerant music minister in the 70's. According to stories, O'Shields crisscrossed Texas and Oklahoma, calling regularly on the name of the Lord, desperate to make ends meet.

Yes, I knew these words from a song of praise, but aside from a short refrain, the entire prayer, I knew, was familiar. Indeed, 2 Samuel 22 is an echo of the more famous Psalm 18 -- almost word-for-word. But there's one major difference …

Scripture tells us that Psalm 18 was written at the beginning of David's kingship (see the annotation at the beginning of Psalm 18), while 2 Samuel 22 occurs at, literally, the very end

Beginning and end. What should this tell us? That this is David's "lifesong"! (Or at least one of his lifesongs.)


Even though he was beloved of God and spent much of his life as a powerful king, the course of his life was also haunted by enemies. Saul's pursuit. Giants’ taunts. Foreign invaders. Betrayals and rebellions. Apparently, calling upon the name of the Lord was a regular desperation ... and therefore a regular discipline. And that repeated and practiced dependence upon God -- as a rock and deliverer -- built David's faith daily. 


So here’s the question: What is your "lifesong"? 


What prayer or praise do you keep coming back to regularly?


Read Psalm 18 (below) and discover the intricacies of trust in the face of fears, thanksgiving for victories, cries for help, confidence in the power of God, etc. 


In Christ's Love,

a guy who loves watching choir members:

week-by-week they gain

a greater vocabulary of praise


Psalm 18

1 For the choir director: A psalm of David, the servant of the LORD. He sang this song to the LORD on the day the LORD rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul. I love you, LORD; you are my strength.2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold.3 I will call on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, for he saves me from my enemies.4 The ropes of death surrounded me; the floods of destruction swept over me.5 The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death itself stared me in the face.6 But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears.7 Then the earth quaked and trembled; the foundations of the mountains shook; they quaked because of his anger.8Smoke poured from his nostrils; fierce flames leaped from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him.9 He opened the heavens and came down; dark storm clouds were beneath his feet.10 Mounted on a mighty angel, he flew, soaring on the wings of the wind.11 He shrouded himself in darkness, veiling his approach with dense rain clouds.12 The brilliance of his presence broke through the clouds, raining down hail and burning coals.13 The LORD thundered from heaven; the Most High gave a mighty shout. 14 He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies; his lightning flashed, and they were greatly confused.15Then at your command, O LORD, at the blast of your breath, the bottom of the sea could be seen, and the foundations of the earth were laid bare.16 He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters.17 He delivered me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me.18They attacked me at a moment when I was weakest, but the LORD upheld me.19 He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me.20 The LORD rewarded me for doing right; he compensated me because of my innocence.21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD; I have not turned from my God to follow evil.22 For all his laws are constantly before me; I have never abandoned his principles.23 I am blameless before God; I have kept myself from sin.24 The LORD rewarded me for doing right, because of the innocence of my hands in his sight.25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity.26 To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the wicked you show yourself hostile.27 You rescue those who are humble, but you humiliate the proud.28LORD, you have brought light to my life; my God, you light up my darkness.29 In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall.30 As for God, his way is perfect. All the LORD's promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.31 For who is God except the LORD? Who but our God is a solid rock?32 God arms me with strength; he has made my way safe.33 He makes me as surefooted as a deer, leading me safely along the mountain heights.34 He prepares me for battle; he strengthens me to draw a bow of bronze.35 You have given me the shield of your salvation. Your right hand supports me; your gentleness has made me great.36 You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping.37 I chased my enemies and caught them; I did not stop until they were conquered.38 I struck them down so they could not get up; they fell beneath my feet.39 You have armed me with strength for the battle; you have subdued my enemies under my feet.40 You made them turn and run; I have destroyed all who hated me.41 They called for help, but no one came to rescue them. They cried to the LORD, but he refused to answer them.42 I ground them as fine as dust carried by the wind. I swept them into the gutter like dirt.43 You gave me victory over my accusers. You appointed me as the ruler over nations; people I don't even know now serve me.44 As soon as they hear of me, they submit; foreigners cringe before me.45They all lose their courage and come trembling from their strongholds.46 The LORD lives! Blessed be my rock! May the God of my salvation be exalted!47 He is the God who pays back those who harm me; he subdues the nations under me48and rescues me from my enemies. You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies; you save me from violent opponents.49 For this, O LORD, I will praise you among the nations; I will sing joyfully to your name.50 You give great victories to your king; you show unfailing love to your anointed, to David and all his descendants forever.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sept 19 - Psalm 37:1

Don't envy those

who do wrong.

Psalm 37:1

On the day I wrote this, Hollywood stars were in the news. Young multi-millionaires in trouble with the law ... again. "Don't envy those who do wrong."

The next verse says, "For like grass, they soon fade away."

Yes … most young Hollywood stars do fade quickly. Childhood stars often become a mess before they are twenty. Most beautiful young actresses are forgotten by the time wrinkles crinkle the corners of their eyes. The lives of NBA superstars routinely peak when they're 24.

But the truth is bigger ... we're all grass.

If you're following along with this fall's congregational study, you'll learn that we are all cut branches ... like cut flowers. Cut flowers may open up beautifully and smell wonderful for a while (childhood starlet) ... but what's a cut flower's inevitable trajectory? "Don't envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away."

Fortunately, there's an alternative. We can be like "trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail. [Our] leaves never [have to] wither, and in all [we] do [and with God's provision, we can] prosper" (Psalm 1).

Therefore, today's Psalm invites us flowers to be rooted by the river of life and quit envying the cut flowers who seem to blossom ahead of you. (It’s only temporary.)

Instead, this Psalm invites us to "3 trust in the LORD and do good ... 4 and he will give you your heart's desires. 5 Commit everything you do to the Lord ... and ... 6 he will make your innocence as clear as the dawn. 18 [Because] day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent, and they will receive a reward that lasts forever."

In Christ's Love,

a guy who realizes that

envy is a four-letter-word

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sept 18 - Psalm 36:3a,5a

Everything they say is

crooked and deceitful.

Your unfailing love, O LORD,

is as vast as the heavens

Psalm 36:3a,5a

For the last few days, we've been reading through Psalm 36. Verses 1-4 talk about us -- humans. And in four short verses, look at the words scripture uses to summarize humanity:

sin ...

wicked ...

no fear of God ...

[no] restrain[t] ...

blind conceit ...

crooked ...

deceitful ...

refuse to act wisely ...

hatching sinful plots ...

never good ...

no attempt to turn from evil.

That's us.

Yes, we're made in God's image. Yes, occasionally measures of light and niceness shine through. But our sin continually corrupts things too. And that's what scripture describes for four straight verses.

And then ... whiplash occurs.

Without even a breath, the camera angle changes. The focus shifts from earth to heaven ... from us to God.

We see that in the second half of our "verse" for today -- "your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens."

Re-read that list of human attributes ... and then (whiplash and conversely) read how this Psalm describes God's character ...

unfailing love ...

faithfulness ...

righteousness ...

care for people ...

precious ...

shelter ...

feed ...

rivers of delight ...

fountain of life ...

light ...

pour out ...

In life, we have a choice.

·       We can be proud and stubborn and do things our way ... and continue to reap the fruit of our sin continuing to corrupt things.

·       Or ... we can turn our whole lives over to the One who is (and who brings) unfailing love ... faithfulness ... righteousness ... care for people ... shelter ... rivers of delight ... light ... and fountains of life.

In Christ's Love,

a guy who looks

at that list and thinks,

"How dumb am I to ever want

to do things my way"