Friday, June 19, 2020

One Thing! Psalm 27

I'm sure you've all figured out by now that SOMETHING happened to interrupt my blogging schedule... 😏 It did indeed! After weeks of wondering and near-inactivity, we have jumped into full VBS-mode! The problem hasn't been finding time to read and meditate on the Word - the problem HAS been finding a day to write about it. So, I hit the "pause" button... this week, last week, and probably next week... BUT, let's keep reading, studying, and meditating on the Psalms! You might take time to review what you've learned already and ask, "What does it mean that my God is                    

There are many passages in Psalms that speak deeply to me. I shared some thoughts on Psalm 18, and we covered another one a couple of weeks ago - Psalm 27. It's one of those passages that my Dad spent a lot of time in and consequently, so did I. Over the years, portions of it have filled my desperate prayers, schooled my heart in worship, and taught me much about the God who has called me out of darkness and into His marvelous light. So, just briefly, I'll share some of my notes with you...

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
    I praise you, oh Lord, for You are the One who dispels all the darkness. You calm my fears and give me a place of refuge - a place to rest in You and to take part in the victory I know You have already won!

When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet [in this] I will be confident.
    Though circumstances look bleak and I see no way through them, I know You are trustworthy. I have no need for fear, but can be confident that You are my refuge, You will save me. You will carry me through. You are the victor! Teach me to trust You fully.

One thing have I asked [desired] of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple. For He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent; He will lift me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
    Lord, my heart wants to want You more than anything, but the truth is that I often fixate on the things of this earth - on people, on problems, on tasks, on myself... Still, I know You are faithful. I know You are worthy of praise. I see Your beauty in Your ways and Your Word. I believe You, Lord. Yet, I still gaze at things far less lovely than You. Teach me to want You most of all. Lead me by the light of Your Word into the shelter of Your love. I WILL give You praise - no matter what the cost! Remind me hourly of that determination! I WILL sing praise and shout for joy - no matter what my circumstances are. Because You hold me close. Because You lift up my head so I will look on You! Oh Lord, how beautiful You are!!

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, "Seek my face." My heart says to You, "Your face, Lord, do I seek." Hide not Your face from me. Turn not Your servant away in anger, O You who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!
    You do hear me - and You answer in Your infinite grace. You command my full attention! Help me to attend to that command! Lord, it is YOUR face I seek! You are my help, and Your salvation is enough - I need nothing more. And yet You give still more...

For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in. Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence.
    No one is faithful like You are faithful, my God! No one has power like You have power to keep all Your promises and to do all You say will do! Even my own father and mother will fail, but You, oh Lord, will forever welcome me. You teach me. You lead me. You set my feet on a sure path. When all the earth heaves and shakes beneath my feet, Your path is firm and level. You only ask me to stay the course. Oh Lord, do not abandon me in my failings. Don't allow the enemy to triumph over me, but remind me that I am YOURS, and teach me to walk with You steadfastly.

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
    Lord, I do believe I will see You in all Your goodness, glory, and beauty... one day. But I also believe You will show Me Your glory, Your beauty, and Your goodness right here, right now - in Your Word and in Your works. Help me to see You clearly. I will not turn my eyes from watching for You, but will wait with courage for You to act. Lord, be my help. I will give honor to You!


How has the Lord ministered to your heart in the past couple of weeks? I know it's hard to be vulnerable when commenting on a public blog - You don't need to. Just tell us about the beauty you have seen in our precious Lord and Savior this week!

I love you and am praying for you always, sweet sisters!

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Praiseworthy God - Psalms 21-25

Today, I thought we might walk through a chapter in the Psalms together.

Each week, we’re reading 5 chapters or so with the intent of discovering (and re-discovering) the true nature of God – who He has revealed Himself to be through the Scriptures. Not letting our imaginations or others’ opinions shape our concept of the high and holy God, but letting the Word of God do that for us!

So, we are combing the Psalms looking for HIM! What have YOU found of our God in the first 25 chapters of Psalms?

I’m finding that my card file isn’t big enough! God doesn’t fit in my box! Every time I look at my growing list, I’m overwhelmed by the magnificence I find there. My God is so much bigger than I imagine Him to be and stunningly beautiful!

Let’s look at Psalm 21 (reprinted here in the ESV) and I’ll show you a little of what my method looks like. Yours might be different and I’d love to hear about it!

1 O Lord, in your strength the king rejoices,

    and in your salvation how greatly he exults!

2 You have given him his heart's desire

    and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah

3 For you meet him with rich blessings;

    you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.

4 He asked life of you; you gave it to him,

    length of days forever and ever.

5 His glory is great through your salvation;

    splendor and majesty you bestow on him.

6 For you make him most blessed forever;[a]

    you make him glad with the joy of your presence.

7 For the king trusts in the Lord,

    and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.

8 Your hand will find out all your enemies;

    your right hand will find out those who hate you.

9 You will make them as a blazing oven

    when you appear.

The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath,

    and fire will consume them.

10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth,

    and their offspring from among the children of man.

11 Though they plan evil against you,

    though they devise mischief, they will not succeed.

12 For you will put them to flight;

    you will aim at their faces with your bows.

13 Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength!

    We will sing and praise your power.



My first read-through of the Psalm is simply to gain an understanding of the Psalmists’ overall intent in writing it. Footnotes can be helpful at times for this, as can the Psalm titles. Once I understand the overall flow or message, I read it again looking for how the Lord reveals Himself in it. I have a Bible I don’t mind writing in and make notes as I go, but you could also use a notebook to write down the characteristics and corresponding verse reference. Here’s a picture of a page from my Bible. I write in pencil so I can erase it later if I need to!

At this point, I grab my card file and start writing. Every characteristic has a “title card” and a card or multiple cards with the verses written out. Yes, I write them out – It helps me to meditate on God as He describes Himself, and it is meaningful when I go back to review or find a verse! Here are pics of my file box and a section of cards…


 

Now for Psalm 21 – Here are the characteristics of God I noted as I read:

Vs. 1: Strength, Joy-giver, Salvation

Vs. 2-3: Generous

Vs. 6: Joy-giver, Present with me

Vs. 7: Steadfast love, Most High

Vs. 8: Searches hearts

Vs. 9-12: Wrathful, Just, Victorious

Vs. 13: Strength, Power, Praiseworthy

As I meditated on these truths about God, I noticed once again that this is a Psalm that begins and ends with the Worthiness of our God. The fact that this is so common in Psalms demonstrates that my God is worthy of my praise AT ALL TIMES – because of who He is, not because of what I think or feel. When I need help figuring out what to praise God for, the Psalms help me and convict me! Just from the first and last verses of this one, I learn to praise Him because of His strength, power, and salvation! If for no other reasons than these, it is enough! And more of what we read this week lends itself to praising our God who is Worthy.

22:3 Our holy God is enthroned in the praises of His people

22:26 The Lord satisfies those who seek to praise Him

25:6-7 & 17-18 Confession of sin is a most necessary component of praise – in fact, you can’t help but turn to God in repentance when you see Him as He is because you will see what you are not!

In Psalm 21, I could clearly see the generosity of the God we serve, and I had to stop to consider with thanksgiving His generosity to me.

In Psalm 22, the picture of the high and holy God making His throne in the praises of His people brought me to my knees in worship and adoration. The picture of Jesus found there is a powerful reminder of His great work on the cross to purchase my salvation.

In Psalm 23, the Lord reveals Himself as my Shepherd. The depth of His love, attendance, and care are inconceivable. Yet He welcomes me in His mercy and goodness.

In Psalm 24, there is great rejoicing in the King of Glory – the LORD strong and mighty! Unapproachable in His holiness, yet who receives those who come to Him covered by the righteousness of Christ!

So, here’s a challenge for this week – As you study Psalms 26-30, write out a prayer of praise to God for who He is. Consider sharing it with us in the comments below! It is always encouraging to hear others give praise to our God – I learn from it, and my heart rejoices and overflows with yet more praise!

I am praying always for you!


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Psalm 18 - Worthy to be Praised


And here we are – at one very poignant place in Scripture for me – Psalm 18. Let me say, I loved all the Psalms we studied through this week, but the bulk of my time was spent in chapter 18.

What picture of our God was drawn in your mind as you read it?

I love You, O Lord, my strength
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18:1-2

There is a ton to meditate on right in those two verses! But David goes on for 50 VERSES about who our God is and what He is like! It’s stunning!! And verse 3 confirms that David was thinking the same thing…

I call upon the LORD (my rock, fortress, deliverer, God, rock, refuge, shield, horn of salvation, stronghold!) who is WORTHY TO BE PRAISED, and I am saved from my enemies!

David had enemies that were visible and sought to take his life. They pursued him relentlessly and for no reason except jealousy and hatred.

Who are your enemies? Eph. 6:12 reminds us that our enemies are NOT flesh and blood! So, who are they? Maybe your enemy takes the form of a temptation, or an illness, or a worldly attitude that plagues you. Maybe your adversary works to trip you up through a neighbor, a co-worker, or even a family member. But what does Psalm 18 teach about the God we serve?

Victory begins with praise! Praise for who you know God to be! Look again at the first two verses. Who does David know God to be? For these reasons, he calls the Lord WORTHY of praise! Suffering and hardship notwithstanding – GOD WILL SAVE!

…He heard my voice …my cry reached His ears

David moves on to paint a breathtaking picture of his God who came to rescue him – Think about it…
The earth reeled and rocked. The mountains trembled and quaked BECAUSE HE WAS ANGRY!
Smoke coiled up from His nostrils, devouring fire poured from His mouth, and glowing coals flamed out from Him!
He bowed [inclined, bent] the heavens and came down. Thick darkness paved the way under His feet. He flew, riding on a cherub, coming swiftly on the wind. Thick storm clouds surrounded Him like a cloak. Hailstones and coals of fire broke through His clouds in unbearable brightness. His war cry thundered through the heavens – the sound of the Almighty’s voice spewed still more hailstones and fire! His arrows flew like lightning – with speed and surety to rout the enemy! The force of His breath split open the sea and laid it bare!

What image of God does that description evoke in your mind?

Why was God so angry? What was His righteous intent?  Consider verses 16-19…

He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters.
He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me.

The Lord swooped in, scooped up His beloved child, rescuing him – because the Lord delighted in him.

This whole chapter feeds my girl-need for a knight in shining armor, and the Lord meets that need emphatically, in terrible reality, over and above my imagination! In temptation and trouble, I feel the tension of David’s suffering and his inability to free himself. He NEEDS to be rescued. In his distress, he called on the only One who could rescue him. And his Rescuer swept in like a flood!!

The last line of verse 20 nearly always moves me to tears – “He rescued me because He delighted in me.”

Sister, the Lord delights in you. You are His! What battle are you facing right now? Where do you long to see your Knight swoop in to save? What do you learn from these verses about the God you serve? In your distress, call on the Lord!

There’s something else about Psalm 18 though, that you should notice. God does swoop in to rescue, but He also equips you and me for the battle!

For by You I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.
This God – His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.
For who is God but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? – the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless.
He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You have given me the shield of Your salvation, and Your right hand supported me, and Your gentleness made me great.
You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.
I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and did not turn back till they were consumed.
I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise; they fell under my feet.
For You equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me. (verses 29-29)

Your God doesn’t just swoop in to rescue, He puts a sword in your hand and teaches you to stand and fight! Make no mistake – HE gets the victory! And He gives you and me strength to stand in faith and bend the bow that fires the arrow that destroys the enemy! He gives us a part in His victory! Why? I don’t know except that it delights Him. He delights in His children. He delights in restoring us to the purpose for which He created us. He delights in proclaiming His name before us as He did for Moses on the mountain…

RIGHTEOUS
FAITHFUL
VICTORIOUS WARRIOR
ROCK
DELIVERER
FORTRESS
REFUGE
SHIELD
HORN OF SALVATION
STRONGHOLD
GENTLE
AVENGER
EQUIPPER
MERCIFUL
JUST JUDGE
STEADFAST LOVE

We heard in the Word this past Sunday that we are called to put to death the deeds of the flesh – THAT’S the battle our God is training us to fight! How do we mortify the flesh? Start by gazing on, filling your mind with, loving and looking to THIS GOD WHOSE WAY IS PERFECT! Let Him train your hands for war as you seek Him in His Word! Call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised!

Start by listening to the sermon from Sunday – Christian Assurance Part 2 – Romans 8:12-17 – at https://www.parksidebible.com/teachings/video

How has our God revealed His name to you this week, sister? I long to hear!

I am praying always for you, dear sister! Stand fast and see the salvation of your GOD!


Monday, May 18, 2020

Desire of Our Soul - Psalms 11-16


In the path of Your judgments, O Lord, we wait for You; Your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul. My soul yearns for You in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks You. For when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. Isaiah 26:7-9

Lots of people are talking about the “new normal” – What is it? What will it look like? Who gets to say?

We find ourselves faced with questions and dilemmas unlike any we personally have faced before. It seems like everyone has a different perspective and opinion. The ground feels soggy beneath our feet, the truth seems malleable, and the way forward feels uncertain and full of danger.

What is God doing? We have only to look to the Scriptures where God’s nature and ways are revealed to find the answer to that question.

My God LOOKS FOR THOSE WHO WILL SEEK HIM:

The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes see, His eyelids test the children of man. Psalm 11:4
The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. Psalm 14:2

But Psalm 14 makes it clear –
…there is none who does good, not even one. (v.3)

“But God…” – Two little words that hold an abundance of hope for all who put their trust in Christ… HE has intervened on our behalf! HE has purchased salvation for His people! Oh, praise His name! May He be glorified forever!! My God is unchanged, but oh my sister, how He changes us! Because of His salvation, we can know –

My God is PRESENT:

…for God is with the generation of the righteous. Psalm 14:5

My God is a REFUGE and place of SAFETY:

…but the Lord is his refuge. Psalm 14:6
 Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, ‘I will now arise,’ says the Lord; “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.” Psalm 12:5

My God RESTORES:

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores the fortunes of His people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad. Psalm 14:7

The world may be changing, but my God has NOT changed! His steadfast love and salvation are unrelenting. What must our response to such a great God be?

My God is STEADFAST LOVE and SALVATION:

But I have trusted in Your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. Psalm 13:5

I will TRUST Him. I will REJOICE in Him. The ground is NOT soggy under the feet of God’s children. Our way forward is NOT uncertain. We have no cause for fear. Though we might not see it – He does! He sees. He hears. He answers. Our path is firm. Our way is sure. He tests us so that we will grow in righteousness.

My God TESTS:

The Lord tests the righteous… For the Lord is righteous; He loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold His face. Psalm 11:5a & 7

I’m not sure who said it, but this quote comes to mind: “God is the One who measures the chain that determines the boundaries of the lion who seeks to devour us. He does so with great thought, great care and great love.”

My God does not unleash trouble and then stand back to watch. He is actively involved to bring victory and glory to His name. He shelters His people, and He calls us to praise.

My God is WORTHY:

I will give to the Lord the thanks due to His righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High. Psalm 7:17
 I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me. Psalm 13:6

My God is MY PORTION:

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; You hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. Psalm 16:5-6

I choose Jesus daily because He chose me at the cross. No matter what circumstances I face, He holds my future, my present, and my past in His hands of love. My hope is firm in Him. Indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance in Christ!

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
“It is well, it is well with my soul!”

This passage often comforts my heart:
Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.”
 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:19-26)

Oh Lord God, may Your name and remembrance ever be the desire of our soul!

Be sure to watch or listen to the sermon from this Sunday! You can find it at

Don't forget to share in the comments below how God has revealed Himself to you this week!

Next week: Psalms 16-20

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” (Philippians 4:23)

Monday, May 11, 2020

Is Your God Big Enough? A Journey in Psalms 1-10


Listening to this past Sunday’s sermon (Romans 7:14-25: Understand Christian Sin at https://www.parksidebible.com/teachings/video) reminded me of a quote from John Piper that I keep in the front of my Bible. It and the sermon call me to know God more deeply and love Him more completely:

“Wimpy theology simply does not give a woman a God that is big enough, strong enough, wise enough, and good enough to handle the realities of life in a way that magnifies the infinite worth of Jesus Christ.”

What is your theology like? Is your God big enough, strong enough, wise enough, good enough? Is He sufficient for every reality of your life – every situation, every decision, every emotion? Is He able to accomplish what concerns you, to guard what He has entrusted to you?

My thoughts of Him are constantly being spurred by Scripture to press into Him, to remember His works, to consider HIM. When we meditate on who He reveals Himself to be, we begin to see Him as He is rather than as we simply suppose Him to be.

And how exquisitely lovely He is! My mind and heart are overwhelmed at all that is revealed about our God just in the first 10 chapters of Psalms! They are things I have known about our God but don’t always stop to consider in the moments of life. When I am overcome; speechless; scandalized by sin and pride; weak; feeling lost, useless, bored or edgy… I want to see HIM – I need to see HIM! Oh sister, come and gaze on His beauty with me! Behold Him as He proclaims His name for us in the Psalms…

He is the GOD WHO SEES AND DEFENDS

Ps. 10:14  But You do see, for You note mischief and vexation, that You may take it into Your hands; to You the helpless commits himself; You have been the helper of the fatherless.

He is MAJESTIC & ALL-GLORIOUS

Ps. 8:1  O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens.

He is the JUST JUDGE

Ps. 9:7-8  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.

He is GRACIOUS & He HEARS OUR CRY

Ps. 4:1  Answer me when I call O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.
Ps. 4:3 – He hears when I call; 3:4 – He hears and answers from His holy hill; 5:3 – He hears my voice and receives my worship; 6:8 – He hears the sound of my weeping; 6:9 – He hears my plea and accepts my prayer; 10:17 – He hears the desire of the afflicted.

He SUSTAINS

Ps. 3:5  I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.

He STAYS

Ps. 9:10  And those who know Your name put their trust in You; for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

He HATES EVIL

Ps. 5:4-5  For You are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with You. The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all evildoers.

He is the AVENGER

Ps. 9:12  For He who avenges blood is mindful of them [those who seek Him]; He does not forget the cry of the afflicted.

He is the JOY-GIVER

Ps. 5:11  But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may exult in You.

He is WORTHY

Ps. 7:17  I will give to the Lord the thanks due to His righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.

He is KING OVER ALL

Ps. 9:7  But the Lord sits enthroned forever; He has established His throne for justice.
Ps. 10:16  The Lord is king forever and ever; the nations perish from His land.

He is JESUS

Ps. 2:7  I will tell of the decree: the Lord said to me, “You are My Son; today I have begotten You.”

Our God is BIG enough, STRONG enough, WISE enough, and GOOD enough for every reality of life! What needs to grow is our understanding of Him! As we grow in grace and knowledge of Him, we will also grow in faith.

In the daily realities of life, meditating on who He is has meant a greater capacity for me to walk in faith by grace. He has granted me patience when I had none. He has given strength and forgiveness in weakness and failure. He has given hope in place of frustration. He has demonstrated His astounding goodness over and over and over. He has covered me with His favor – not because I deserve anything, but because Jesus Christ has redeemed me! In Him, every believer is set apart for God and is covered (surrounded and protected) with the favor of God!

Ps. 4:3  But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for Himself; the Lord hears when I call to Him.

Ps. 5:12  For You bless the righteous, O Lord; You cover him with favor as with a shield.

It is these thoughts of Him that drive me to my knees in praise! Oh, how beautiful He is!

How has the Lord revealed His name to you this week? Keep your heart and mind focused on Him as we continue on through Psalms 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 this week!

You are ever in my prayers – and we know God hears our prayers!


Monday, May 4, 2020

My God KNOWS - Psalms 1 thru 5


How was your journey through Psalms 1-5 this past week? Did you feel a little lost trying to figure out what this is supposed to look like? Starting something new always feels a little awkward but keep going! God wants you to know Him more fully!

As we started this study in Psalms, I questioned – Would you do it? Would you think it was too simple? Maybe it was a silly idea… But my heart and mind are fixed on knowing God even more now...

Halfway through writing this, I had to run an errand. As I drove, I turned on a podcast from Revive Our Hearts. It reminded me that knowing God must come first – before we talk about who we are or what God is calling us to do. 2 Peter 3:18 commands us, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and to the day of eternity.” (emphasis mine). We are to KNOW HIM more – not as we suppose Him to be, but as He has revealed Himself in His Word.

In this podcast, a young mom who is weeks from dying of cancer – and knows it – urges what is most on her heart – KNOW GOD. She said, “There is a natural tendency within us to try and make God who we think He is or who we think He ought to be. If all is well in our world, our view of God is unchallenged. He is good. He is loving. He is fair. But when things start to go awry, that is when our true view of God is revealed.”

She quoted Steve Lawson (in his book Made in His Image), “Whenever we lose a right view of God, everything else gets out of perspective. Essentially, our view of God will inform our view of everything else. It will be the lens through which we perceive reality, and it will shape our thoughts, worldview, attitudes, and perceptions.”

She cited Romans 12:2 – “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” – “which is to say,” she added, “we are changed by what we know.”


So, here we are trekking through the Psalms on a quest to discover and recall who God is in truth – to KNOW Him as He has revealed Himself to be.

After the second day, I tossed my notebook – too cumbersome – and changed to notecards. I am writing out the verses on cards indexed by the “God-truth” found in them. Mind you, they are certainly not comprehensive! So, be encouraged – use whatever works best for you so you can remember the things God is teaching you about Himself!

I also start each day with a review. This helps me meditate all day long on who my God is. It has given me comfort, hope, strength, and purpose; and has resulted in me speaking these truths about Him to others. And I’ve seen hearts conform to the image of Christ because of the truth revealed in the Word.

What did I learn? First of all, that I too often take the Word for granted. Psalm 1 is quite familiar, and I was annoyed at how quickly I sped through it thinking I knew what was in there. It’s the first whole chapter of Scripture that I committed to memory AND it’s a beloved Psalm!! Zip! Done! I was through Psalm 1 – But wait! There’s supposed to be more! What did I learn of God in that psalm? Well…

My takeaway was stated in verse 6 –
“for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
My card reads very simply – MY GOD KNOWS. But my understanding of this God-truth was informed through the entire psalm…
  • God calls all people to delight in His law (Scripture), meditating on it day and night. That must mean God KNOWS His law is good, and He delights in it, also.
  • He said the righteous (those who delight in God’s law) are like trees… planted, watered, and producing fruit… sustained, not by their own hand, but by that which God provides. God KNOWS what is best.
  • He is the God of judgment. He KNOWS how to separate sinners from the righteous.
  • He KNOWS the way of the righteous that leads to life and fruitfulness; He KNOWS the way of the wicked that leads to destruction and death.


It is a truth that has captivated my mind all week. What does God know? He knows the way of the righteous – He knows where His children came from, where they are right now, and where eternity will lead them. He knows those who are planted in Christ. Because I am in Christ, He knows me, and He knows my way. He knows when I choose to delight myself in Him and His law. He knows when I am tempted to extend a tentative root and take counsel in the world, away from His river of life. He knows that tendency will lead to death, and He warns me for my good. Away from His sustenance, I will wither and blow away like chaff. “O Lord, hear my cry! Keep my roots deep in Your law that I may be sustained by the living water found only in Your living Word, Jesus!”

The thought that MY GOD KNOWS nourishes my heart and magnifies my joy in knowing Him.

That was ONE God-truth I meditated on this week. I won’t share the other 20 here (aren’t you glad?), but you’re welcome to ask 😊 Be forewarned though – I’ll expect you to share what you found, too!

Be sure to check out the sermon from this past Sunday, The Law, Sin & Me from Romans 7:7-13 (https://www.parksidebible.com/teachings/video). Here again, I was reminded that my God KNOWS – He knows my frame, He knows my bent toward sin and away from Him. So, He provided the only way I could be free from the destruction I rightly deserve and be restored to right relationship with Him – He punished His Son, Jesus, in my place. My God KNOWS – Psalm 2 tells me my God is JESUS and those who take refuge in Him are blessed. Psalm 3 tells me SALVATION belongs to my God! He is the JOY-GIVER of chapter 4 and the God of RIGHTEOUSNESS in chapter 5. Oh, praise His name!! I’m so grateful that my God KNOWS.

What are you grateful for? How did our God proclaim His name to you this week? Please share in the comments below!

YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Continue on this week through Psalms 6,7, 8, 9 & 10.

May our God continue to show you His ways and reveal His goodness as you listen to Him proclaim His awesome name – “The LORD!” – through His holy Word. May your prayer always be, “LORD, please show me Your glory.”

“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.” (1 Corinthians 16:23-24)

Monday, April 27, 2020

My God Is - Psalm 4


What did you find to be true about God in your journey through Exodus 32-34 last week? What made you pause to gaze on Him and His beauty? I’d love to hear the “what” as well as the “how” – How did God use it to capture your heart?

One small example from my life and then please share yours in the comments below:

I’ve had trouble sleeping lately. That’s NOT usually a problem for me! But it used to be – Anxiety would consume me, but God delivered me from paralyzing worry many years ago as I studied Psalm 4. I read it and parked there for a long time until the truth of it sank deeply into my heart and mind. Verse 8 often comes to mind, but lately… well, let’s just say that sleep has been a struggle.

BUT – gazing on the Lord this week has been a beautiful treasure worth staying awake for! As I read God’s promise to Moses in Ex. 33:14, I was reminded of Psalm 4. God told Moses, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” My breath caught with wonder as Psalm 4:8 sprang to mind. I turned to Psalm 4 and began to read the familiar words…

1Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have given me relief when I was in distress.
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!

2O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah

3But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for Himself; the LORD hears when I call to Him.

4Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah
5Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD.

6There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
Lift up the light of Your face upon us, O LORD!”
7You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.
8In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

So, when I can’t sleep, I turn my thoughts to the beauty of the God who made and redeemed me through the blood of Jesus Christ. I remember who God is…

MY GOD IS GRACIOUS!
MY GOD HEARS!
MY GOD GIVES PEACE!
MY GOD GIVES REST!

And in seeing these truths about God, I also see how He calls me to respond! But how would I have known these things if I hadn’t previously seen them in Scripture? Perhaps I would have thought, “Isn’t that nice that God met Moses and comforted him. I wish He would do that for me… but I’m not Moses…” Perhaps I would have missed that the promise IS for me as a child of God – He hears. He answers. His presence brings peace! Psalm 4 tells me so! And because I did notice (thank You, LORD!), those awake times are shorter and far more pleasant. I can ponder HIM and be silent. I can lie down and sleep in safety.

A small thing, but it tells me that KNOWING WHO GOD IS MATTERS!!

So, I have a challenge for you!! Get yourself a blank notebook and come along with me on a journey to know God more through the Psalms! Over the coming weeks, we will look for truths that reveal who He is, what He is like, what pleases Him, what displeases Him, and how He works. In fact, the notebook is so you can keep a journal – each time you encounter a verse that tells you something about God, write it down. Head each page “My God                          ” or “My God is                          ” and fill in the blank. Each time you come across a verse that tells you this truth about God, write it on that page. Start a new page for each topic. For example, I would record Psalm 4:8 on two pages! Once under “My God Gives Rest (or Peace)” and again under “My God Is a Refuge”. I might record verse 1 under “My God Is My Righteousness”, and verse 3 under “My God Hears”.

This week, work your way through Psalms 1-5, recording as you go. Throughout the day, call to mind the truths God has shown you. If you get parked in one psalm or even on a few verses – stay there. Keep praying and considering the beauty of the Lord you see there. You’ll get to the rest of the Psalms – but for the moment, fix your eyes on the wonder God shows you as you ask Him, “Show me Your glory, LORD!” He will! By revealing Himself to you in beauty and holiness, in ways you can’t anticipate, in the circumstances of your life, in the silence or the noise.

But you’re not done yet!! Come back here and leave a comment! It might simply be a verse reference and a “My God Is                             ” statement, or it might be a story about how God has used that truth to lead you, grow you, strengthen you…

I can hardly wait to hear, because your walk with God strengthens my walk with Him, too! Let’s encourage one another to know God more and more deeply! Give a blank journal to a friend and invite her to come along with you!

(The idea for this study came from this book: What Do I Know about My God by Mardi Collier. Her journey encouraged me to invite you!)

“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” (2 Thessalonians 3:16)

Be sure to check out the sermon from this past Sunday: The Just Justifier, Romans 3:21-26, https://www.parksidebible.com/teachings/video

I am praying always for you!