…watched last night a program on PBS’ Frontline. (a great program by the way, if you can watch it)
Last night was on the global sex trafficking travesty. It was terribly sad, and hard to watch. Some of the things that were done to the women were nothing less than vile.
Did not know what to do after the program ended, except to pray.
I then read this Psalm this morning…
Psalm 15 A psalm of David.
1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy mountain? 2 Those whose walk is blameless, who do what is righteous, who speak the truth from their hearts; 3 who have no slander on their tongues, who do their neighbors no wrong, who cast no slur on others; 4 who despise those whose ways are vile but honor whoever fears the LORD;who keep their oaths even when it hurts; 5 who lend money to the poor without interest and do not accept bribes against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken.
Eugene Peterson says this about Psalm 15
Moral habits are like building stones. One by one they are added together to form a solid structure, a character that is “steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the world of the Lord” (1 Corin 15:58)
Prayer: Even as you have shown me the way, O Christ, help me to walk in it. Help me to acquire the habits that will make me dependable in your service as I follow in the steps of my Savior. Amen
Psalm 27: 1 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? 2 When the wicked advance against me to devour[a] me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. 4 One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. 5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. 6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me;
at his tabernacle I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.
Fear responds to danger by burying us beneath thick layers of self-defense, where we can only cower in shadows. Faith responds to danger by trusting God & lives head high out in the open w/ ‘shouts of joy’ (vs. 6).
Prayer: I refuse, O god, to live fearfully or cautiously. I name my fears one by one & turn them over to you, & find them simply trivial when set alongside your majesty. With lifted head I will live in your light & salvation, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
…this morning, with much on my mind – I named (& listed out) my fears, one by one in my journal. I felt like it was an exercise in faith as I committed today (or at least simply in this moment) – to not live fearfully, or cautiously in the areas of my life that I listed, but trusting my heavenly father.
1 I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came over me;
I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the LORD:
“LORD, save me!”
“It is marvelous that God speaks to us –life-giving, world-creating words. This marvel is matched by another–that he listens to us. His listening gives all our words significance and makes all our prayers personal.” E.Peterson
…he heard my voice. he heard my cry for mercy.
He hears me today. He hears (& responds) – to me.
That is the Good News that my soul needed to hear and press into early this morning, as the concerns of the day – came rushing at me.
may it be the same for you today
This makes your prayer-words, and any words you speak to God – significant.
dont forget that today.
read Psalm 112 early this morning & it brought me back to maybe 20 years ago & one of the earliest passages of Scripture that I had memorized….
Such a (person) will not be overthrown by evil circumstances. God’s constant care of him will make a deep impression on all who see it. He does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For he is settled in his mind that Jehovah will take care of him. That is why he is not afraid, but can calmly face his foes.
Not fearing bad news….
Not living in dread of what may happen…
But to be settled and centered – that Jehovah will take care of me.
Then & only then – will I live unafraid.
1 Praise the LORD, my soul. LORD my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
2 The LORD wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent 3 and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind. 4 He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants. 5 He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved. 6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. 7 But at your rebuke the waters fled, at the sound of your thunder they took to flight; 8 they flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valleys, to the place you assigned for them. 9 You set a boundary they cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth.
“Significantly, there are no ‘nature psalms’ in the Bible, only ‘Creator psalms’ — passages that develop a rich vocabulary of praise to God out of the stuff of his creation. Observations on the visible world become elements of adoration to the invisible maker.”
Prayer: Like the wind, O God, you are invisible; yet all your effects are visible –from the genttle breeze that cools and comforts , to the roaring hurricane that moves and rearranges. I ready myself to respond to every aspect of your creative work in me: ‘Breathe on me, breath of God’. Amen
HT: Eugene Peterson
Psalm 85 (For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.)
1 You, LORD, showed favor to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people
and covered all their sins.
3 You set aside all your wrath
and turned from your fierce anger.
4 Restore us again, God our Savior,
and put away your displeasure toward us.
5 Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
6 Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
7 Show us your unfailing love, LORD,
and grant us your salvation.
Psalm 85 – Revival – Out of a bleak situation this psalm leads up to a point at which a gloriously fertle stretch of country comes into view.
A thought from Eugene Peterson:
‘Nothing suffers from time quite so much as religion. The skeletal structure of obedience becomes arthritic, and the circulatory system of prayer become sluggish. The prayer ‘revive us again’ keeps the body of Christ youthful & responsive to every new mercy and grace in God’
Prayer: O God, when my faith gets overladen with dust, blow it clean with the wind of your Spirit. When my habits of obedience get stiff and rusty, anoint them with the oil of your Spirit. Restore the enthusiasm of my first love for you and the alacrity of my first obedience to you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
today’s daily text…
Leviticus 2,3; Mark 1:9-20
16 Your sons will take the place of your fathers;
you will make them princes throughout the land.
17 I will perpetuate your memory through all generations;
therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever.
“These words could be simply the formal good wishes appropriate to a king, like the greeting, ‘live forever’. But the Messianic oracle of verses 6f. prepares us to take them as a foretaste of god’s brining ‘many sons and daughters to glory’ (Hebrews 2:10, 13), who will ‘reign on earth’ (Revel. 6:10) with their master, whose praise will be as endless as this benediction makes it.” -Derek Kidner