“God in the Old Testament”

Do you like the God of the Old Testament?  Now, I know that some of my acquaintances are sitting with a stunned look on their faces!  Wondering how I could even ask a question like that.  But it is a very real thought in the minds of some people, Christian people!

About four years ago, when our congregation worked its way through the Old Testament in “The Story”, the statement was made several times, “If the God of the Old Testament was the only One that I knew, I don’t think that I would like Him.”  Have you ever wrestled with that feeling?  It might have been while you were reading the Old Testament, or sitting in a Bible class.  I confess that growing up I believed that the God of the Old Testament was demanding, stern, judgmental, ready to punish for the slightest disobedience; and He changed into a loving, forgiving, understanding, grace-giving God in the New Testament.  It may have been because I knew very little about the Old Testament.  We were New Testament Christians, some just carried New Testaments to services, and many did not want to study anything but the New Testament Scripture and subjects.  I may have been the only one that ever thought that, but that was my perception and understanding from what I saw and heard.

The very first graduate course I took at Abilene Christian University, was Doctrinal Studies in the Old Testament taught by Dr. Tom Olbricht.  Looking back, I’m not quite sure what I expected; but it was not what I got.  In my mind, “doctrinal studies” would be learning how to make and defend doctrinal points from the Old Testament.  What it really was, was a class on the theology of the Old Testament — examining what we learn about God from the overall message.  First of all, he had us buy and read a book that he had written, He Loves Forever (not quite what I thought I would read for a class on the Old Testament study of doctrines).  Secondly, we started more than one class with the song, The Steadfast Love of the Lord Never Ceases — which I learned was based on Lamentations 3:22-26Everything we did in that class challenged some of my basic beliefs about the Old Testament.

Part of my reading in Psalms this morning, was Psalm 136.  I will not include the text in this devotional, but I will tell you that all 26 verses end with the phrase — His love endures forever (NIV).  You would be blessed to take the time to read the psalm, and, then, ponder and meditate over it.  I have used it several times as a responsive reading in the congregations where I preach.  In fact, thanks to Dr. Olbricht, every time that I read the Psalms, I am impressed with how much the steadfast love of the Lord is stressed — even in times of suffering, discipline, and doubt.

I would like to be able to tell you that all of the stories in the Old Testament make perfect sense to me, and that I can see the loving hand of God in all of them — but I can’t!  When I get to heaven, there are some questions that I would like to have explained.  BUT, I can tell you, that I now see that the God of the Old Testament was (and is) a loving, forgiving, understanding, grace-giving God — and that His love endures foreverPeace.

(This devotional first appeared on Facebook on July 1, 2016.  It has been updated, and posted on this site, as a part of our “Psalms for Saturday.”  It is my prayer that it is a blessing and encouragement to you.  Bill.)

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“Mom’s Watching”

Mothers are special in a lot of different ways.  This morning I want to recognize the built-in radar system they all have.  It seems that they have this way of KNOWING when the kids are doing something that they shouldn’t.   Our oldest son would start confessing to everything he had ever done, if his mom looked at him with that “I know what you have been doing” look.  If he tried to hide it from her, by not telling the truth; she would know what he was doing.

Now, my mother didn’t just have eyes in the back of her head, she had them on both sides.  She could SEE everything!  I just knew that if I did anything wrong, she would catch me.  Of course, that usually did not stop me — but, it always seemed like I got caught.  I must confess, that I grew up with the idea that mom watched what I did — just to see if she could catch me doing something wrong.  As much as she caught me, that just had to be the truth.

Sadly, that thinking carried over into my view of God.  Preachers would talk about God “seeing” everything that I did, and that I could not hide my actions from God.  We would sing songs about the “all-seeing eye watching you“, and I just knew that God existed to catch me doing something that I shouldn’t.  That really shapes a warped view of God to build your life around.  Sadly, I think that many have turned away from God altogether, because this is the perception of God that they grew up believing.

When you get something ingrained into you like that, it is hard to get out.  This morning, I want to share some thoughts with you from Psalm 121:3-8 (NASB).

He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.
The Lord is watching me, watching me 24/7; not to catch me doing something wrong, but to protect me from falling.  He doesn’t relax, or leave me on my own — but He cares for me day and night.  Life gets a little simpler, knowing that when I am in need of help; I don’t have to explain to Him what is going on — He already knows!  Thank you, Lord, for caring about me!
Oh, by the way, I’m pretty sure that Mom took lessons from Him, because I know NOW, that is the reason she kept all her “eyes” on me.  Peace.
(This was first posted on Facebook on June 30, 2016, and has been reposted here as a part of the “Psalms on Saturday” series. It is my prayer that you will find helpful and encouraging.  Bill)

 

“Open the Eyes of My Heart”

Old Testament stories are so interesting, intriguing, and powerful.  The problem is that we often allow them to become stories with characters, instead of seeing them as people that are interacting with a Living God and what He wanted for their lives.  We find it so very difficult to place ourselves in those situations, that we can’t image any one else being there.

Two of my favorite incidents, that have had a great impact and influence on my life, are from Genesis 21 and II Kings 6.

The first story, from Genesis 21, is the story concerning the birth of Isaac, a child of promise to Abraham and Sarah in their old age.  You recall they had tried to help God fulfill the promise, by having Abraham father a child through Sarah’s handmaiden, Hagar.  Their attempt at helping, and the subsequent birth of Ishmael, just created more problems for everyone.  It got to the point, that when Isaac was born — Sarah compelled Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away.  Off they went into the wilderness, and after they had run out of water, Hagar sat the boy under a tree; and went and sat nearby, preparing to die!  Verse 19 says, Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. .. (NIV).  It seems as if the well was always there, she just could not see it UNTIL God opened her eyes.

II Kings 6 tells the story of the Arameans (Syrians) coming to Dothan to capture Elisha.  His servant gets up in the morning, walks outside, and sees that the Syrian horses and chariots have surrounded the city.  Because he is afraid, Elisha comforts him buy saying, Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.  Then Elisha prays:  ‘O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.’  Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.  (II Kings 6:17, NIV).  Again, it appears as if the horses and chariots of fire were there, the servant just could not see them.

What brought these stories to mind this morning, is what the psalmist says in Psalm 119:18, Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.  (NIV).  It would seem to me, that he is saying there are things that are there that I can’t see — UNLESS GOD HELPS ME!

Paul prayed for the disciples in Ephesus, …that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened … (Ephesians 1:18, NIV).  He then goes on to explain that they need to be opened to see they HOPE they were called to, the RICHES OF THEIR INHERITANCE, and God’s incomparably GREAT POWER.  Could it be that those things are there, and that we can’t see them until God opens our eyes.

J. M. Powell, in his book This Cause We Plead, tells of David Lipscomb saying that he had been a daily student of the Bible for over 50 years; and that every time he read the Bible he learned something new, that he had overlooked or not seen before.  You know, I don’t doubt that for one minute.  Could it be that the Father “opened his eyes” as he searched the Scripture?

I encourage you, the next time you sit down to read, meditate, and apply Scripture; that you begin by asking God to “open your eyes.”  Peace.

 

(First, I began by apologizing for not having the regular “Psalms for Saturday” for the last 3 or 4 weeks.  But the last 3 or 4 Saturdays have been extremely busy, and the next couple look the same way.  But I will do a better job of getting these posts up in a more timely manner.  This particular post was first posted on FACEBOOK, June 29, 2016.  It has been adapted and placed here, and it is my prayer that it will be a blessing to and for you.  Bill)

“They have Forgotten their Glory”

Our society is a mess!  That’s not really new is it?  We watch entertainment TV, we absorb the news on TV, read the newspaper, and just look around; and it appears that the human race is descending further and further into a cesspool of sin and degradation.  It is not even necessary to give examples of the sin that is overwhelming our country; as soon as you started reading this paragraph, your mind was filled with example after example of what is happening.

In my reading this morning, there was a passage that helped me to see what the problem really is:

They made a calf in Horeb,                                                                                                                         and worshiped the molded image.                                                                                 Thus they exchanged their glory                                                                                                              into the image of an ox that eats grass.  (Psalm 106:19-20, NKJV)

We all know the context the story that is told in that reading.  The Israelites had been led out of the captivity in Egypt by the power of God; and instead of reveling in what God has done, there is continual whining and complaining about the difficulties they face.  When they get to Horeb (Sinai), Moses goes up on mountain to learn what God has planned for them.  While he is gone, the people persuade Aaron (unbelievable) to fashion for them an idol.

They forgot the God who saved them,                                                                                                    who had done great things in Egypt,                                                                                      miracles in the land of Ham                                                                                                                    and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.  (Psalm 106:21-22, NKJV)

The key thought is from verse 20, when they psalmist says “they exchanged their glory”.  As a part of creation, we have no glory but God!  Without God, we are really no different than any of the other parts of creation.

Our society has exchanged their glory for the desire to live by their own lusts, desires, and pleasure — trying to glorify themselves.  They have ignored God, and now they are reaping the harvest of what that means.

Electing different government officials, passing more laws, or giving in to more of our lusts and pleasures will not change anything.  In fact, it will just get worse.  The only hope for God’s creation is for them to recognize God as their Glory!

The only way that happens, is for the remnant of God’s people to begin a revival of the Glory of God!  Peace.

(This was first posted on Facebook, June 24, 2016.  It has been revised, and posted here as part of our “Psalms on Saturday”.  I hope that you are benefited and strengthened by it.  Bill)

“Is God Gonna Get You for That”

When you are traveling west on I-20 in Mississippi, you will cross the river at Vicksburg and enter Louisiana.  Not far after you enter the state, you can turn north on U.S. 65 and head toward the great state of Arkansas.  You will go through the communities of Tallulah, Transylvania, and about fifteen miles from the state line, you will come to the community of Lake Providence.  Now you can get a speeding ticket in any of those communities, but Lake Providence has the reputation (according to one website) of being the “most notorious” speed trap in the state of Louisiana.

It appears to me, that they angered one driver to the point that they posted a warning sign in town.  As you are driving north through town, you will come to a stop sign where you make a left turn.  There is a sign at that location, that doesn’t look like a municipal or state sign.  It is a LARGE (approximately 4’x6′) sign, with large white letters  on a red background (I think), that has three lines.

OBEY ALL SPEED LAWS

SLOW DOWN

SPEED TRAP

I did not take a picture of the sign, so we are trusting my memory about the color, size, and the exact wording — but, you get the idea.  When you see that, you know that you need to pay attention to how heavy your foot gets.  It is likely that the Lake Providence police do not have a reputation for giving warnings, or even being remorseful about having to ticket a driver.  I would dare say, that the person who put the sign up, or had it put up, thinks that that they delight in catching those who break their traffic laws.

George Jones and Tammy Wynette sang a song several years ago entitled “God’s Gonna Get You for That”.  The title, and the words to the song itself, imply that God is just watching, and waiting, for the opportunity to catch us doing something wrong.  I believe the Christian world has given the impression to the non-believer, that God delights in punishing us.  These passages jumped off the page at me this morning:

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,                                                                                    slow to anger, abounding in love.  (Psalm 103:8, NIV)

He does not treat us as our sins deserve                                                                                      or repay us according to our iniquities.   (Psalm 103:10, NIV)

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,                                                                        so great is his love for those who fear him;  (Psalm 103:11, NIV)

As a father has compassion on his children,                                                                              so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;  (Psalm 103:13, NIV)

But from everlasting to everlasting                                                                                               the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,    (Psalm 103:17, NIV)

I believe that we ought to preach the goodness and the severity of God.  I believe that eternal separation from God is the absolute worst thing that could ever happen, and is beyond our ability to comprehend.   BUT,  I also believe, that when we talk to those outside the body of Christ, we ought to let them know that God LOVES them and WANTS them to be saved.  The Gospel is Good News!  Right?

 

(This was first posted on Facebook, June 23, 2016.  It has been edited, and reposted here, as a part of the “Psalms for Saturday” series.  It is my prayer that you have been blessed by it.  Bill).  

“Strengthening Faith in the Tough Times”

Insomnia can be a miserable experience, but it can be productive if we let it.  One of the dogs decided that they needed to go outside about 12:30 this morning (I had been sleeping for about 2 1/2 hours).  Well, when one goes out, they both do.  After about 20-25 minutes — I had to go out, track them down, and bring them in.  They laid down and went right to sleep, 45 minutes later I was laying wide awake in bed!  So about 1:30 I got up; did my devotional reading for the day, prayed some of the Psalms that I had read, prayed about some of the people that were on my mind, and, now, trying to share some of the “musings” about what and where my mind has been.

He will cover you with his feathers,

and under his wings you will find refuge;

his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 

You will not fear the terror of night,

nor the arrow that flies by day,

nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,

nor the plague that destroys at midday. 

A thousand may fall at your side,

ten thousand at your right hand,

but it will not come near you.

 (Psalm 91:4-7, NIV)

That reading tells me, that the tragedies and difficulties of life should not cause my faith to vanish.  That my God is willing and able to cover me, and provide shelter!  I would like to tell you that I never struggle believing that — but, even though my mind intellectually accepts that as truth, my experiences in life cause me to doubt.  Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!

As I reflected on this passage, and all the implications of it to my life; I was reminded of a sermon that I had the privilege of hearing this past Sunday.  Malia and I got up and went to the early services of the Mount Comfort church, and Nathan Jorgenson blessed me with the things that he had to say.  His sermon began in Hebrews 11, and then moved to Exodus 14; and the story of the children of Israel leaving Egypt and crossing the Red Sea.  There are times, even the stories that we have heard for years, strike a new chord and we learn something new and are blessed by it.

There they were — a sea they can’t cross in front of them, and an army they can’t defeat behind them.  Sounds like a recipe for disaster, doesn’t it?  I’m pretty sure that we ALL know that feeling!   But the Lord has told Moses, …I will gain glory for myself through Pharoah and all his army, … (Exodus 14:4, NIV).  There were people standing there, I’m sure, who doubted the truthfulness of that.  I may not understand, or be able to explain, WHY things happen the way that they do; BUT I DO KNOW THAT GOD CAN USE ME, AND ANY SITUATION, FOR HIS GLORY!  Psalm 91 says that I do not have to be afraid, or be defeated, by the difficulties of life.  The only way that I can accomplish that, is by having the faith that God can use everything for His glory.

I want to wrap these thoughts up, with a couple of quotes from Tim Keller’s devotional book on the PsalmsThe Songs of Jesus.  These quotes come from the devotional for June 21, which was taken from Psalm 74:1-8.

The first is from Elizabeth Elliot, and her book, Through Gates of Splendor:  “God is God.  If He is God, He is worthy of my worship and my service.  I will find rest nowhere but in His will, and that will is infinitely, immeasurable, unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to.”

The other is from Keller’s prayer for the day:  “Lord, I praise you that you not only bring glory out of darkness, strength out of of weakness, and joy out of sorrow; but often make good things richer and more powerful through those bad things.  Help me so that my mind and heart rests in this truth.  Amen.” (page, 172).

Peace.

 

(This was first posted on Facebook, June 21, 2016.  It has been edited, and revised, for use here as a part of “Psalms on Saturday”.  It is my prayer that it has been a blessing to you.  Bill)                                                                               

“He Loves Me”

There are verses in the Bible that when we read them, we ask (probably to ourselves), “Why in the world is he saying that?”  One such verse, in my opinion, is when Paul tells Titus to …teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.  Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands(Titus 2:3-4, NIV).  It puzzles us because we are nearly 2000 years removed from that time, and because we live in an age when the courtship and marriage traditions are completely different.

Often we read that verse, and we may think — that they shouldn’t have to be taught to love their husbands, that’s why they got married in the first place.  Of course, we then stop and think that their marriages were arranged by their parents, and that the couple that got married may have barely known each other.

I don’t know enough history to be able to tell you when the customs changed to the present system.  I’m pretty sure that there are still places in our world, where the marriages are still arranged by the parents.  If the truth were told, I think that there are arguments that can be made for the strength of either system.  BUT, we live in a society where people are guaranteed the right to pursue happiness, and we will never go back to arranged marriages.

One of the problems with the way that our society goes about choosing a mate — is that as a suitor, parent, grandparent, sibling, or just a caring individual; we have to endure the pain of broken hearts of rejected individuals.  Rejection is a terrible feeling.  Individuals become convinced that this is the one for them, but the one being pursued is not convinced of that.  Breaking up has become a phrase that we hate to here, especially from those around us that we care about.

Sometimes, I believe that in our relationship with God, we pursue Him as we would a “romantic” interest.  We have convinced ourselves that we have to do everything that we can do, to convince God to love us, or “earn” his love.  That the love of God is as fickle as that of in the relationship of a teenager.

Read very carefully what the psalmist has to say:  Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!  (Psalm 66:20, NIV)

It is entirely possible that we need to go back and “re-study” the love of God.  We would learn that He loved us before He created the world; that He loved us when He chose Abraham to be the father of the faithful; that He loved us when He made a great nation of Israel; that He loved us when He sent Jesus; that He loves us now; and, will continue to love us!

I believe that Scripture teaches that I can love myself and my wants, more than I love God.  That I can choose not to love God, and never have the relationship with Him that He desires.  That I can allow my desires to supersede His place in my life, and walk away from my relationship with Him.  I also believe that Scripture teaches that my relationship with God will never be broken, because He quit loving Me.  Peace.

 

(This was first posted on Facebook on June 7, 2016.  A few minor changes in the text have been made, and it is being re-posted here as a part of our “Psalms for Saturday”.  It is my prayer that it will be a blessing to you.  Bill)

“Why I Believe”

Faith is one of those subjects that has always been of great interest to me.  Why do some people have faith?  Why do others reject faith?  I suppose from a Biblical standpoint, the question is — What is the difference in the soil on the path, and the good soil; as mentioned in the parable that Jesus told in Luke 8?

When this argument has manifested itself in our world, there have often been lots of harsh charges and accusations from both sides.  I’m not interested in an argument, or even verbal jousting with those that differ; but I do want to mention what I see and believe.

Faith in Jehovah God has never been difficult for me.  There seems to have always been times when living that faith was difficult — but not hard to have.  Everything that I see, persuades me concerning the things that I don’t see.  I am sure that the environment, and the atmosphere, where I was raised made that possible.  Just as I am sure, that the environment were others were raised make it difficult.

I am convinced that the difference in the good soil and the bad soil in Luke 8; is that those represented by the good soil WANT to believe; and those represented by the bad soil (path) represents those who DON’T WANT to believe.  There could be a lot of reasons for not want to believe — not wanting to change a lifestyle, wanting to do certain things without feeling guilty, the attitude and behavior of those claiming to have faith, the testimony of unbelievers (that are regarded as exceptionally smart), the inability to accept anything that you can’t understand, explain, or duplicate, and a litany of other matters.

I will gladly confess that I WANT TO BELIEVE!  I want to believe that there is a God that loves me.  That everything that He has ever done has been for my benefit and blessing.  That He created me (and everyone else) that we might have a loving relationship.  That He wants me to be free from the guilt of failing to live in the love of that relationship.  That He was willing to give His Son to pay a ransom that I could not pay myself.  That He want to have a good life now, and an abundant life later.  That because of all of that, I don’t have to fear death, and, that there is a life with Him in eternity.  That the life with Him in eternity is free from sorrow, pain, disease, death, and grief.  Everything within me wants to believe that!

The question that is there, that everyone must answer is; if I choose to believe, and I am wrong, what has it cost me?  The temporary pleasure of indulging in sin, some intellectual freedom that I believe that I should have, or something else along those lines.  BUT, if I choose to believe, I have been given a peace in knowing that an eternal God cares about me, the love of a church family that wants what is best for me, and the hope that this world is not the end (or the best that there is).

So, the opposite side of the question has to be asked:  If those that choose not to believe are wrong, what has it cost them?

I recognize that religion, under the guise of Christianity, has done things over the centuries ( and still do) that are repulsive to our standards of what is right, wrong, decent, and fair.  But that is not the fault of God, or faith!  It is the fault of sinful men trying to live that faith according to their own wants and desires.  It is sort of like American politics of the 21st century:  probably, the way that things are being done, are no where near what the founding fathers had in mind.

May the Father above, help His people to make the God of the Bible, the Gospel, and faith attractive.  May they present the beauty of it, so that all may WANT to believe.  Peace.

“Confidence from God”

One day last week I was listening to one of the local sports talk radio show, and, as to be expected this time of the year, they were talking about the upcoming Razorback football season.  The discussion turned to the wide receivers, who are expected to be one of the strengths of this years’ team.

The question was asked of the hosts of the show, if they thought one particular receiver would have the opportunity to play at the next level.  They did the standard discussion about how difficult it was, the talent level of the NFL, and the challenges that would be presented.  Then one of the hosts made this statement, “I may not have the confidence that he can play at that level — BUT, I guarantee you that HE does not have one doubt that he can!” (NOTE:  This was written about 18 months ago, and since that time that particular player had graduated and was not selected in the NFL draft.  BUT, he did get signed by an NFL team for camp, and made the practice squad)

Confidence!  That is really an intriguing subject.  Sometimes, we can get turned off by someone that has way too much.  Then, there are those times, when we someone fail because they did not have enough confidence.

In my reading this morning (Psalms 27-32), throughout those individual psalms (all written by David) there was a theme of the confidence that David had in his relationship with God.  Listen to just a few things that he says:

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.  (Psalm 27:1, NIV)

Though an army beseige me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.  (Psalms 27:3, NIV)

I am still confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  (Psalm 27:13, NIV)

As those words were soaking in, I have to admit that I wondered if I had that kind of confidence in my relationship with the Lord.  All too often, doubt and fear characterize my ability to do what I need to do, and be what I need to be!  But the Father knows my needs, and He helped me to understand HOW I could be confident.

The Lord is the strength of his people, … (Psalm 28:8, NIV)

The Lord gives strength to his people, the Lord blesses his people with peace.  (Psalm 29:11, NIV)

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God. My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me.”  (Psalm 31:14-15, NIV)

Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.  (Psalm 32:10, NIV)

I can have confidence in my relationship with God!!! But not because of who I am, my inherent strength, or my ability — BUT because I serve a great God who is my strength, gives me strength, and who power and unfailing love surround me!  Peace.

This was first posted on Facebook, May 31, 2016.  It is being updated, edited, and re-posted here as a part of our “Psalms for Saturday.”  It is my prayer that it will be a blessing for you.  Bill.)

 

“David and his Prayers”

Many of you, that are reading this devotional this morning, have sat in my Bible classes.  If so, you probably have heard me say as we looked at a letter written by the apostle Paul — I sure would like to have seen his prayer list.  It seems as if in every letter Paul lists a number of people that he is praying for, and the things that he asks for that particular church.  Studying the prayers of Paul, and the lists of people that he is praying for, is a fascinating study.

One of the most enlightening aspects of reading the Psalms, is to be able to read the prayers of the people, particularly David.  The whole spectrum of human emotion can be found in the prayers of David — praising an awesome God, pleading for direction in his life, lamenting his present condition, anger at the enemies trying to kill him, impatience with God for leaving him in the situation, asking for forgiveness for his stupid mistakes, expressing confidence in God to get him through the difficulties he faces, and everything else in between.  Eugene Petersen once said, Everything that a person can possibly feel, experience, and say is brought into expression before God in the Psalms.  Amen?

David was not perfect, but he was “seeking” the heart of God for his life.  His journey in trying to get there, getting there, and staying there; serve as a powerful learning experience for Me.

This morning’s reading, Psalm 25 jumped off the page at me.  The whole chapter appears to be a prayer from David, as he seeks direction and assistance from the Father.

In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.  (Psalm 25:1-2, NIV)

Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.  Guide me in your truth and teach me for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.  (Psalm 25:4-5, NIV)
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.  Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish.  Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins.  (Psalm 25:16-18, NIV)
Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.  May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you.  (Psalm 25:20-21, NIV)
Peace.
(This was first posted on Facebook, May 30, 2016.  It has been revised and adapted for use as one of our “Psalms on Saturday.”  It is my prayer that it will be a blessing to you.  Bill)