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…


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.


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


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?


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.


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


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…


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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)