VIDEO Worship All the More – One thing have I asked of the Lord

For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.  Psalm 27:5

You wouldn’t think a song about trouble would become a Broadway musical classic. But “Ya Got Trouble,” from the 1957 Broadway musical The Music Man, did just that. It’s a rousing number in which a slippery salesman tries to convince the town to ward off the dangers to young people about temptations like pool halls: “Trouble starts with a capital t, and that rhymes with p, and that stands for pool!”

Instead of singing and dancing when trouble appears, most people adopt a more fearful perspective: What’s going to happen? Will I make it through? Ironically, the psalmist David poured out his troubles to God in song, though of a more serious type. And rather than retreat in fear, David advanced into songs of faith. In situations where he was most likely not to worship God—when hurting or in trouble—David demonstrated an amazing ability to worship Him all the more.

If you are in a trial right now, read Psalm 27 and let David’s words of praise be your words as well.

The best rubrics of worship are those which are written on broken hearts.  Charles H. Spurgeon


Psalm 27 • One thing have I asked of the Lord

Never Too Sinful

You are a forgiving God . . . abounding in love.  Nehemiah 9:17

 

“If I touched a Bible, it would catch fire in my hands,” said my community college English professor. My heart sank. The novel we’d been reading that morning referenced a Bible verse, and when I pulled out my Bible to look it up, she noticed and commented. My professor seemed to think she was too sinful to be forgiven. Yet I wasn’t bold enough to tell her about God’s love—and that the Bible tells us we can always seek God’s forgiveness.

There’s an example of repentance and forgiveness in Nehemiah. The Israelites had been exiled because of their sin, but now they were allowed to return to Jerusalem. When they’d “settled in,” Ezra the scribe read the law to them (Nehemiah 7:73–8:3). They confessed their sins, remembering that despite their sin God “did not desert” or “abandon them” (9:17, 19). He “heard them” when they cried out; and in compassion and mercy, He was patient with them (vv. 27–31).

In a similar way, God is patient with us. He won’t abandon us if we choose to confess our sin and turn to Him. I wish I could go back and tell my professor that, no matter her past, Jesus loves her and wants her to be part of His family. He feels the same way about you and me. We can approach Him seeking forgiveness—and He will give it!

By:  Julie Schwab

Reflect & Pray

Do you know someone who feels they’re too sinful for Jesus to forgive them? How does the truth that Jesus has come not for “the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17) speak to this way of thinking?

Dear Father, thank You for forgiving my sins and for Your assurance that no one is too sinful to be forgiven.

To learn more about forgiveness in the Christian life, visit ChristianUniversity.org/SF107.

God Alone Deserves Worship

James 4:4-8

For us, jealousy isn’t attractive, but for God, it’s a holy attribute. God is unhappy when we worship anyone besides Him. Only He deserves our praise.

When reading in the Old Testament, we may not understand why people would bow before idols—surely they didn’t think that these objects were living and powerful. But we make a similar mistake, placing too high a value on money, relationships, power, and the like. Though not bad in themselves, such things can become the focus of our worship. That’s why the Father is jealous for our heart.

There are two reasons God won’t tolerate our misplaced devotion. First, He deserves the glory. And second, there is nothing better for us than His love. Praising Him above all else is actually in our own best interest. Therefore, when our heart doesn’t belong solely to Christ, He will use discipline and reminders so we will prioritize Him.

This week, notice where you spend your time and money and what dominates your thoughts. Even if your pursuits seem good on the surface, pray about what might be an idol in your life. Confess any misplaced affection, and ask the Lord for help in making Him the object of your devotion

The Least in the Kingdom

“Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19)

The Lord Jesus was evidently speaking here not of the differences between saved and unsaved people but rather of degrees of reward in His future kingdom. The criterion for achieving “greatness” in the future life is simply to believe, teach, and obey the complete Word of God in this life, not just the major doctrines and general principles. Those who undermine any part of God’s Word, either in teaching or practice, will be relegated to “least in the kingdom of heaven.” In the words of the apostle Paul, such a person “shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (1 Corinthians 3:15).

Thus, no Scripture is unimportant, for “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable” (2 Timothy 3:16). In fact, the verse just previous to our text, providing the basis for the Lord’s warning about breaking even the least commandment, is His remarkable assertion about the verbal inerrancy of Scripture: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18).

There are many Christians (especially among intellectuals) who say they believe the Bible but are nevertheless quick to adapt their interpretations of Scripture to the latest speculations of scientists or to current fads of world living. This is insulting to God, who surely can say what He means! “Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).

If we aspire to greatness in the coming kingdom, then clearly we must believe and teach “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) according to His revealed Word. HMM

It’s Not Just Intensity of Prayer

Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

—1 John 3:21-22

 

Intensity of prayer is no criterion of its effectiveness. A man may throw himself on his face and sob out his troubles to the Lord and yet have no intention to obey the commandments of Christ. Strong emotion and tears may be no more than the outcropping of a vexed spirit, evidence of stubborn resistance to God’s known will….

No matter what I write here, thousands of pastors will continue to call their people to prayer in the forlorn hope that God will finally relent and send revival if only His people wear themselves out in intercession. To such people God must indeed appear to be a hard taskmaster, for the years pass and the young get old and the aged die and still no help comes. The prayer meeting room becomes a wailing wall and the lights burn long, and still the rains tarry.

Has God forgotten to be gracious? Let any reader begin to obey and he will have the answer.   SIZ020-021

Lord, help me to obey Your commandments. Help me to live in obedience, so I may know the Father’s love. Amen.

 

The Glorious Pursuit

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

—1 John 5:7

 

You and I are in little (our sins excepted) what God is in large. Being made in His image we have within us the capacity to know Him. In our sins we lack only the power. The moment the Spirit has quickened us to life in regeneration our whole being senses its kinship to God and leaps up in joyous recognition. That is the heavenly birth without which we cannot see the Kingdom of God. It is, however, not an end but an inception, for now begins the glorious pursuit, the heart’s happy exploration of the infinite riches of the Godhead. That is where we begin, I say, but where we stop no man has yet discovered, for there is in the awful and mysterious depths of the Triune God neither limit nor end.

Shoreless Ocean, who can sound Thee?

Thine own eternity is round Thee,

Majesty divine! POG014

JehovahFather, Spirit, Son

Mysterious Godhead, Three-in-One,

Before Thy throne we sinners bend;

Grace, pardon, life to us extend. Amen. HCL004

 

Sons of God

1 John 3:1

 

Now are we the sons of God!

Unfinished, uncompleted;

But He who reigns within our hearts

Shall never be defeated,

Till by His Spirit He refines

The work He has begun,

And in our human faces shines

The beauty of His Son.

Now are we the sons of God!

Resembling in our fashion

The first-begotten Son of God

In purity and passion.

His holiness, His humbleness,

Sincerity serene,

Shall by His Spirit’s presence

In our lesser lives be seen!

Now are we the sons of God!

In spite of human failing;

The pow’r of God at work in man

Is everywhere prevailing.

Imperfect samples of His grace

We still proclaim His story;

Incarnate in the sons of men

Are glimpses of His glory.

Now are we the sons of God!

The fam’ly likeness bearing

The followers of the Son of God

His saviorhood are sharing.

Blind to their selfish wantings

And disdainful of disaster,

In selfless service they become

A little like their Master.

John Gowans, O Lord Not More Verse!