Aug 2, 2013
Psalm 59:1-2,9-10a,16-17 “GOD IS MY DEFENSE”
1 Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
Defend me from those who rise up against me.
2 Deliver me from the workers of iniquity,
And save me from bloodthirsty men.
9 I will wait for You, O You his Strength;
For God is my defense.
10a My God of mercy[c] shall come to meet me;
16 But I will sing of Your power;
Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning;
For You have been my defense
And refuge in the day of my trouble.
17 To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises;
For God is my defense,
My God of mercy.
Music Copyrighted 2013 by Esther Mui.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.
Video background image copyrighted by Esther Mui.
Tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Proverbs 4:20, MSG
If your old clunker was built in 1980, you probably need a tune-up every 15,000 miles. If you have a car from the 1990s, you can go 30,000, on average, between tune-ups. Newer cars may only need tune-ups at 100,000-mile increments.
When it comes to our internal engines—our hearts and habits—we need spiritual tune-ups frequently. September is a great time for a tune-up. With summer ending and fall around the corner, it’s a perfect time to revisit our attitudes and routines. If your priorities and patterns shifted during vacation, take a few minutes today to recalibrate them. If the last few weeks have disrupted your progress, let this weekend be a “Back to God” weekend.
Have you been skipping church? Start back. Has your daily devotional period fallen by the wayside? Begin at once to reclaim it. Has a bad habit slipped into your schedule? Confess it and turn from it. Get back to square one, and tune your ears to God’s voice. Keep His message in plain view at all times.
Cars specify periodic checkups … (and) the Christian’s spiritual condition needs a regular checkup too…. Have you ever had a spiritual checkup? Have you ever asked for one? J. I. Packer
Our ability to hear the Lord is directly related to our relationship with Him. For example, without hearing the call to repentance and salvation in Jesus Christ, an unbeliever cannot become part of God’s family. Unless this vital step has been taken, nothing else God does or says to that person will make a difference.
But what about believers? How does a Christian’s closeness with God impact his or her listening? This is primarily an issue of identification. Once we receive Christ as Savior, then we certainly have salvation and are eternally secure in Him. But beyond that, God wants us to grow and mature in our faith.
We grow in Christ by identifying ourselves more and more with Jesus. That continual process brings us closer to God. And so when we pray, we are not talking to some distant god out there somewhere. Instead, we are praying to a God who loves, sustains, and molds us into His own image.
That changes how we approach Him, doesn’t it? Instead of crawling facedown before Him, mourning and wailing because of our sin and pleading for His mercies, we can come to Him boldly and joyfully, assured that He loves us, forgives us, and rejoices in our prayers.
When we have unimpeded fellowship with the Father, we definitely hear Him better. As we grow closer to Him, our spiritual hearing continues to improve. Through Jesus, we can have unimaginable clarity and intimacy in our two-way communication with almighty God. Let the Lord know that is your desire.
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
Shortly before his death, Moses restated the law and the covenant between God and His people summed up in the greatest commandment: “Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deuteronomy 6:5).
Furthermore, Moses claimed that “this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven. . . . Neither is it beyond the sea” (Deuteronomy 30:11-13). Nothing about it was hard to understand. “But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it” (Deuteronomy 30:14).
Indeed, the evidence that God is Creator, Judge, Provider, and Redeemer is all around us. Our text informs us that “heaven and earth” are witnesses of God’s nature. We have more than enough information than we need in order to respond. In fact, these things “from the creation of the world are clearly seen” so that those who reject are “without excuse” (Romans 1:20). Indeed, to ignore the evidence of creation and the Flood, one must be “willingly . . . ignorant” (2 Peter 3:5). Rejection is foolishness.
“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil” (Deuteronomy 30:15). The choice is between blessing (v. 16) and cursing (v. 19). All lines of reasoning point toward the God of the Bible as the one true God. “Therefore choose life,” as our text encourages us, “That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life” (v. 20). JDM
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. —Psalm 46:1
I delight in the inward knowledge that Jesus Christ, the Son of God and our coming Lord, will be sufficient for every situation which is yet to come to pass. We will never panic along with this present world system as long as we are fortified with our knowledge of who Jesus Christ really is. The Word of God is the foundation of our peace and rest. Even in these dangerous and dramatic hours:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble… (Psalm 46:1).
Notice that this is the kingly strength and dominion of our Lord—not the United Nations!… “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us” (46:10-11). Fear not, little flock—it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
And the gates of hell cannot prevail against it!
Lord, help me to be still as I meet alone with You today. Grant me a very real sense of Your strong presence, of the refuge I have in You. Amen.
As he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation. (1 Peter 1:15)
What is the Apostle Peter saying to us in relaying to us God’s exhortation: “Be ye holy as I am holy, and because I am holy”?
First is our own responsibility to bring our spiritual lives into line so that God may settle upon us with the Holy Spirit—with that quality of the Wonderful and the Mysterious and the Divine. This is not something that can be humanly cultivated. This is something that we will not even be conscious we have. It is this quality of humility invaded by the Presence of God which the church of our day lacks.
Oh, that we might yearn for the knowledge and Presence of God in our lives from moment to moment, so that without human cultivation and without toilsome seeking there would come upon us this enduement, this sweet and radiant fragrance that gives meaning to our witness!
I am willing to confess in humility that we need this in our day.
Surely if there be a happy verse in the Bible, it is this—”My Beloved is mine, and I am his.” So peaceful, so full of assurance, so overrunning with happiness and contentment is it, that it might well have been written by the same hand which penned the twenty-third Psalm. The verse savors of him who, an hour before he went to Gethsemane, said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Let us ring the silver bell again, for its notes are exquisitely sweet: “My Beloved is mine, and I am his.”