Trust God (Psalm 125 Devotion)


A Song of Ascents. Those who trust in the LORD [Are] like Mount Zion, [Which] cannot be moved, [but] abides forever. 2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, So the LORD surrounds His people From this time forth and forever. 3 For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest On the land allotted to the righteous, Lest the righteous reach out their hands to iniquity. 4 Do good, O LORD, to [those who are] good, And to [those who are] upright in their hearts. 5 As for such as turn aside to their crooked ways, The LORD shall lead them away With the workers of iniquity. Peace [be] upon Israel!

PSALM 125:1-5


On a bend of the Marias River near where I grew up there is a steep bluff made of shale rock. In the rock you can find all sorts of fossils of leaves and sometimes critters. When I was a kid we would climb up the steep bank and look for fossils.

The only problem was that often the debris from the crumbling shale would pile up and it didn’t make a good foothold on a steep bank. We had a special way of walking across, but sometimes even if you did everything right, you would still slip down the bank. 

Sometimes you would climb a few feet only to fall a few feet further. We’d call this back sliding. Instead of making forward and upward progress, you’d fall back. Of course the real danger was that you’d fall so far that you’d end up in the swift moving current of the river bend. 

In the Christian life we also have something called back sliding. I have friends, people I know who were once so on fire for the Lord that have slid back in their relationship with God. For some it just seems as though things have cooled, for others it seems as though they never really knew the Lord. 

I’ve got friends and family members who we would say have backslidden. They are wounded and hurt, maybe even because of their own foolishness, but for whatever reason they have fallen back or fallen out.

In theology we have all sorts of debates and denominations over the question, can you backslide so far that you lose your salvation? In today’s text we will see the Hand of the Lord on the Nation of Israel. The Song that is sung here is that of rejoicing that it’s not our hands that saves us or keeps us, but it is the hand of the Lord that has kept His people. Had we been trusting in our own strength surely we’d fail. 

The image we get is of geography and politics. Back in those days they settled politics by the machines of war. If someone rolled in with a massive army, they would fight a battle and lay siege to a city. When they won the battle, they would be the new ruler. 

Jerusalem was a particularly difficult city to capture this way. It was a hill surrounded by hills. The only way to get to Jerusalem was through a pass. It was an easily defensible place because of the mountains surrounding the city. The Psalmist reminds us that just like mountains surround and therefore protect Jerusalem, the Lord surrounds and protects those who belong to him!

Stability doesn’t mean that we don’t grieve or weep when we go through the trials of life. It means that as we face them we do so with an abiding hope and confidence in the Lord. 

Throughout the history of the Nation of Israel, when they pressed into the Lord and trusted Him, He always came through, He never let them down. When they got full of themselves or hired foreign armies they would trust in false gods, or chariots, they became captive to their enemies. 

Two things we should note: Jerusalem will stand forever more. God loves this city and it’s people that all throughout scripture his hand is all over it, protecting it, preserving it. There will be a time when my town, Flomaton, doesn’t exist anymore. There will never be a time when there is no Jerusalem, even when Jesus returns in all his glory in the book of Revelation, he is bringing a new Jerusalem! God will always surround his people. 

The second thing we should note is that there were times that Jerusalem was taken captive by foreign kings. The people went into a 70 year captivity, but then the Lord brought them back. He never forsook them, even though they had forsaken Him. 

I believe that if someone is genuinely saved they cannot lose their salvation. There may be times in their life when they backslide and forsake God even… but God hasn’t forsaken them. He may let them wander off into the far country until they come back to their senses but he hasn’t forsaken them. They will know they should return and repent. They may wander in sin for a season, but they will never truly comfortable with it. When they come to a place of repentance there is always a way back home. 


Father, Thank you for your never stopping, never giving up, always and forever love. I don’t deserve your grace, but you have poured it out on me in abundance. I rejoice to know that I am surrounded by your love and your protection. Keep me from backsliding and trusting in false god’s and empty promises. Let me face whatever adversity comes my way with a real and secure hope in you. I pray today for those who I know who are living in sin and misery and are backslidden. Bring them back again to repentance and in the fold with your people. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

A Traveler’s Song (Psalm 121 Devotion)


A Song of Ascents. I will lift up my eyes to the hills–From whence comes my help? 2 My help [comes] from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD [is] your keeper; The LORD [is] your shade at your right hand. 6 The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. 7 The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. 8 The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.

PSALM 121:1-8


David Livingstone, the famous missionary to the African Continent, chose to read Psalm 121 along with Psalm 135 with his father and sister before embarking on his missionary journey. His mother-in-law, Mrs. Moffat also wrote to him and said that Psalm 121 was always on her mind when she prayed for him. 

In Psalm 121 the pilgrims were leaving behind pagan lands to come and to worship in the temple of God in Jerusalem. We took note that they were distinct from the people around them because they worshiped the LORD. There was a prayer that they wouldn’t believe all the lies around them. That they wouldn’t buy into the false god’s and pagan deities. We can pray that for us as well to pray with confidence that this place is not our home and to ask God for grace in the midst of everything. 

Where does our help come from? Why were the travelers here looking at the hills? The hills and high places were places of false worship. There were a variety of false god’s that would be worshiped in a variety of wicked ways on the hills. Worshipers of these false god’s would offer children as a sacrifice to Moloch, Baal was a harvest god but was also in charge of the weather, Ashtoroth was fertility her altars were giant phallic symbols and she had a cult of prostitutes that would meet you up at the high places. There were also smaller regional deities. Demons that liked to cause mischief like a stone under your foot to twist your ankle, etc… unless they were appeased by some sort of offering.  When these folks traveled they would see all of these places of worship to these false God’s on the hills.  Even in Israel these places were set up at different times by kings. Solomon had erected a temple on the mount of olives that overlooked the temple mount! People going in to worship the one true God would see their king and his wives going to worship a false god!!!

Listen to some of these verses about worshiping on the hills, also called high places, and under green tree’s. 

[Deu 12:1-5 NKJV] 1 “These [are] the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. 2 “You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. 3 “And you shall destroy their altars, break their [sacred] pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. 4 “You shall not worship the LORD your God [with] such [things]. 5 “But you shall seek the place where the LORD your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go.

[1Ki 3:3 NKJV] 3 And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places.

[Psa 78:58 NKJV] 58 For they provoked Him to anger with their high places, And moved Him to jealousy with their carved images.

[Isa 65:7 NKJV] 7 Your iniquities and the iniquities of your fathers together,” Says the LORD, “Who have burned incense on the mountains And blasphemed Me on the hills; Therefore I will measure their former work into their bosom.”

[Jer 3:22-23 NKJV] 22 “Return, you backsliding children, [And] I will heal your backslidings.” “Indeed we do come to You, For You are the LORD our God. 23 Truly, in vain [is salvation hoped for] from the hills, [And from] the multitude of mountains; Truly, in the LORD our God [Is] the salvation of Israel.

[Jer 7:31 NKJV] 31 “And they have built the high places of Tophet, which [is] in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into My heart.

As we travel through this life we will face hazards. The question that the Psalmist raises is where will you look for your help to come from? Will you look to God the maker of heaven and earth? Or will you look somewhere else (the hills high places) for your solution? 

The Psalmist declares he doesn’t trust in high places when his world falls apart or he is anxious about traveling. His hope is in the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.


Father, You are the maker of heaven and earth! I will look to you for my help and salvation. I will not seek false gods and idols that do not satisfy. It’s you who guards my steps and it’s you in whom I trust. Watch over my steps today. Lead me in the way everlasting. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

I Am Homesick For A Country (Psalm 120 Devotion)


A Song of Ascents. In my distress I cried to the LORD, And He heard me. 2 Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips [And] from a deceitful tongue. 3 What shall be given to you, Or what shall be done to you, You false tongue? 4 Sharp arrows of the warrior, With coals of the broom tree! 5 Woe is me, that I dwell in Meshech, [That] I dwell among the tents of Kedar! 6 My soul has dwelt too long With one who hates peace. 7 I [am for] peace; But when I speak, they [are] for war.

PSALM 120:1-7


This Psalm begins a run of 15 Psalms that are called the Psalms of Ascent. Jewish people had lived and settled outside of Israel for a variety of reasons. One of the key reasons was a forced relocation by invading armies. Over time these families lived in these far off places and would travel back to Jerusalem on three key holidays (Passover, Pentecost, and the Day of Atonement). 

Along the way they would sing these particular songs. If you read through them they take you on a journey from the far country all the way back to the altar in the temple of God. 

They were songs of celebration, hope, remembrance, and most importantly songs of confidence in God. They were discipleship oriented. To sing these songs were meant to instill the right ideas or thoughts into the minds of those who are traveling. Especially the children. 

We live in a microwave society. We want things to happen our way, right away. It may be a good recipe for customer service when offering a burger, but it’s not great when it comes to developing a life long commitment to God. 

Our society is filled with shallow Christians who haven’t put in the time to really experience the power of God in their lives. We used to have to work hard for our food. We used to have to keep the cow milked to get our milk. We had to plant our garden, wait for rain, get rid of the weeds, protect against bugs, be patient for it all to ripen and then harvest within a narrow window. This long process is what it took to produce fruit or for a plant to come to maturity. Similarly true, gospel discipleship takes time. It takes consistency in the same direction. 

Often look for discipleship to happen in a matter of a few minutes. We give it one or two Sundays a month and hope that something turns up. We expect as all things to happen in a matter of a few minutes and we wonder when our children are heathens. 

We live in a place filled with lies… Lies about who we are. Lies about God. Lies about what our purpose is. Lies about our humanity. Lies about our gender/ sexuality. Lies about what constitutes a life.  Lies about marriage. Lies about creation. Lies about the seriousness of sin. Lies about how our sin impacts others. 

God hears our prayers. Our prayers will be answered (v4), but patience is required. 

As they march up to Zion they are claiming, “we are not like the people around us who live by lies. We live by the truth of God’s word. We are set apart not for destruction, but for the Lord. We are his people. We bear a responsibility to tell the truth even when we are surrounded by those who live by lies. We must share the good news with others. We want them to know! “


Father, Thank you for your word today! I am reminded that we live in a fallen world. A world filled with sin and lies. It is difficult to know who is telling the truth anymore and it is easy to become sinical. Keep me rooted in your truth. Refresh me again with the reminder that there will come a day and I will be in a place where there are no more lies. Where truth abounds and good news isn’t debated but loudly shouted everywhere. Give me grace to live as a foreigner in this world. Let me live as a citizen of that country in this country. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

A Song of Salvation (Psalm 118:15-29 Devotion)


The voice of rejoicing and salvation [Is] in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly. 16 The right hand of the LORD is exalted; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly. 17 I shall not die, but live, And declare the works of the LORD. 18 The LORD has chastened me severely, But He has not given me over to death. 19 Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go through them, [And] I will praise the LORD. 20 This is the gate of the LORD, Through which the righteous shall enter. 21 I will praise You, For You have answered me, And have become my salvation. 22 The stone [which] the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. 23 This was the LORD’s doing; It [is] marvelous in our eyes. 24 This [is] the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity. 26 Blessed [is] he who comes in the name of the LORD! We have blessed you from the house of the LORD. 27 God [is] the LORD, And He has given us light; Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar. 28 You [are] my God, and I will praise You; [You are] my God, I will exalt You. 29 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for [He is] good! For His mercy [endures] forever.

PSALM 118:15-29


The voice of rejoicing here means that we need to be shouting loud! This is not a quiet simple melody. This has the boom of large bass drums and trumpets blaring! This is a joyful exuberance. The psalmist doesn’t want us to miss this!

I was watching my daughter the other day when she had to stay home from school. she was sitting in my lap talking to me and I was checking my messages on my phone, not paying as much attention to here as she deserved. What she has to say was really important to her and so she grabbed me by the cheeks and put her face in mine and in a dramatic way told me everything she had to say… 

That is what the psalmist is saying and doing here! Pay attention. What he has to say is important!

The Psalmist says it three times here, but he wants us to know that he was saved by the Lord’s hand. This is personal. He wasn’t saved by his word or decree, but the Lord Himself intervened. He intervene with his right hand. His dominant hand. His stronger hand. His most skilled hand. His favored hand. Don’t miss this, the Psalmist says. This is how we know God loves us, because he has moved on our behalf!

Verse 17 really jumped out at me today as I read prayed over it. John Wycliff the bible translator was on his death bed and a few men who had persecuted him gathered to offer him a chance to recant his position. They prayed for his health, then they prayed for his soul as it looked like he was getting sicker and sicker… Then finally he sat upright in the bed and grabbed the nearest one and quoted this verse. “I shall not die, but live.” And a few days later he recovered and went about the work of bible translating! 

Martin Luther was a German monk who had begun translating the bible into German and he had a lot of people who were looking to kill him. He was protected and kept in hiding by a wealthy prince who had befriended him. He was one who was familiar with persecution as he became perhaps the loudest voice of the protestant reformation. One of his biographers said that this verse 17 hung in his study.  

Charles Spurgeon wrote in his commentary, “No bullet will find it’s billet in our hearts until we have finished our allotted period of activity.” 

The song that came to mind today as I read over the second half of Psalm 118 is “Soverign Ruler of the Sky.” I’ve got it on a playlist of hymns that play over and over. Part of the song goes like this:

“Plagues and deaths around me fly, 

Till he please I cannot die;

Not a single shaft can hit,

Till the God of love sees fit.”


Father, You are my salvation! There is no other name by which men are saved! I thank you for your grace in my life today! I praise you for you are worthy of praise! Thank you for grabbing my attention with your word today and causing me to focus on the marvelous benefits of trusting in you! You are a God who delights to save his people. I recognize in my own life how I have been through many valleys and faced various hardships, but it was your hand that delivered me from even my own sin. I celebrate your goodness and rejoice in your salvation and am blessed with a grateful heart this day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

He Does Whatever He Pleases (Psalm 115 Devotion)


Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth. 2 Why should the Gentiles say, “So where [is] their God?” 3 But our God [is] in heaven; He does whatever He pleases. 4 Their idols [are] silver and gold, The work of men’s hands. 5 They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see; 6 They have ears, but they do not hear; Noses they have, but they do not smell; 7 They have hands, but they do not handle; Feet they have, but they do not walk; Nor do they mutter through their throat. 8 Those who make them are like them; [So is] everyone who trusts in them. 9 O Israel, trust in the LORD; He [is] their help and their shield.

PSALM 115:1-9


I never had an imaginary friend growing up, but I had a friend who had one. When ever we were deciding to play something he would say that his imaginary friend voted with him to play whatever he wanted to play. Even as a kid, I knew something was fishy. I was stuck with a conundrum, either I had to acknowledge his imaginary friend and give him double voting power or refuse to recognize his friend was real. Sometimes his imaginary friend made him go on quests. I feel like the whole thing ended up as either a power play or a sad process to avoid reality.

I imagine having a false god or idol is like having an imaginary friend. They are made in your image and so they think like you do at best, or at worst they are a sad delusion that keeps you from experiencing reality. The psalmist recognizes that false gods have no real power. The nations around Israel celebrated idols and attributed all sorts of power to them, but in the end, they were just stones carved by a mans hand.

The one true God of Israel was different. He couldn’t be reduced to an idol. He doesn’t think like we think. He made us, we didn’t make Him and because of that He has the right to expect us to fulfill our God-given purpose! He doesn’t give us glory, we give him glory! He doesn’t have to love His people, but He has chosen to love His people which really defines covenantal love.

As I reflect on these verses this morning I am grateful that the God of scripture is real. He moves as He chooses throughout history, including my own life. He is not bound by me or propped up by me but He holds us up by his mercy and goodness. This God who can’t be reduced to an idol can hear because he made the ear, he can speak because he made the tongue, he can hold because he made hands.


Father, All glory, honor, and power belong to you! You are truly great in all that you do. There is no one like you. You are not an idol fashioned by the minds of men to manipulate other, but we are indeed created after you and in your image. You are worthy of all of our worship and praise! I rejoice in your sovereignty. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

Into the Dark (Psalm 105 Devotion)


He turned their heart to hate His people, To deal craftily with His servants. 26 He sent Moses His servant, [And] Aaron whom He had chosen. 27 They performed His signs among them, And wonders in the land of Ham. 28 He sent darkness, and made [it] dark; And they did not rebel against His word. 29 He turned their waters into blood, And killed their fish. 30 Their land abounded with frogs, [Even] in the chambers of their kings. 31 He spoke, and there came swarms of flies, [And] lice in all their territory. 32 He gave them hail for rain, [And] flaming fire in their land. 33 He struck their vines also, and their fig trees, And splintered the trees of their territory. 34 He spoke, and locusts came, Young locusts without number, 35 And ate up all the vegetation in their land, And devoured the fruit of their ground. 36 He also destroyed all the firstborn in their land, The first of all their strength.

PSALM 105:25-36


How does God harden the heart of an individual and send them into the dark? He does it with the Light! Note John 3:19-21 says, “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (John 3:19-21). Or how about Isaiah the prophet who says, “Here am I! Send me!” and what is the promised result for this evangelistic fervor? Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here [am] I! Send me. And He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ “Make the heart of this people dull, And their ears heavy, And shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And return and be healed.” (Isaiah 6:8-10).

Then there is the curious case of Judas Iscariot who walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, and saw him perform sign after sign. He sat at Jesus’ feet when he was teaching. He experienced casting out demons in Jesus’ name. Yet, we are told that Satan entered into his heart and just moments after Jesus had looked him in the face, shared a meal, and washed his feat, Judas walks out on those same two feet into the night to betray Jesus.

In today’s passage we see how God used the plagues in Egypt to plunge Pharaoh and his servants into darkness. Not just metaphorically, but physically as well. Was this judgement or was it grace? On the one hand God has come against Egypt in such a way as to demonstrate that all their god’s are worthless idols beginning with their pagan sun worship all the way down to honoring pharaoh as a god himself (by taking his first born son). It was grace to show that the Egyptians had placed their hope in false gods, but it would become judgement. When their gods were proven to be false and the LORD was proven to be true, they didn’t forsake their false gods for worshipping the LORD. Isn’t this what Jesus said in John 3:18? “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).

So as God delivered Israel from Egypt and softened the heart of his people (and a few Egyptian converts along the way) he also hardened the hearts of Pharaoh and many other Egyptians. But we note it was the same miracles, the same signs, the same plagues, that were to bring about the salvation of one nation and the judgement of another.

The sobering reality is that this is how God does his work. We must respond to what light we have today so that we are not plunged into darkness later. Our reaction to Jesus matters. Am I pressing in to him or am I running from His persistent grace? God’s word doesn’t return void. As one African theologian put it, “The same sun that melts the wax hardens the clay.”


Father, Thank you for your persuasive grace that opens eyes to see and hearts to believe. I want to always be pressing into the light of grace that you have shed on my heart. I want to draw near to you. I want to drink deeply from your grace and mercy. Keep me from ever hardening my heart to you. I pray for those even now who have appeared to harden their hearts. I ask that you would soften them to receive the light of your gospel and grace, rather than shrink back from the holy, I pray that they would press into your grace and mercy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

You Have Made To Play There (Psalm 104 Devotion)


O LORD, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions– 25 This great and wide sea, In which [are] innumerable teeming things, Living things both small and great. 26 There the ships sail about; [There is] that Leviathan Which You have made to play there. 27 These all wait for You, That You may give [them] their food in due season. 28 [What] You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good. 29 You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. 30 You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth. 31 May the glory of the LORD endure forever; May the LORD rejoice in His works.

PSALM 104:24-31


The movie “Chariots of Fire” about Olympic athlete and missionary, Eric Liddell, has a scene that always moves me. The character playing the role of Liddell says, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast! And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” I’m not so much moved to say the same thing in my own life because I’m not that fast and I’m out of shape… Generally speaking I feel pain, not so much God’s pleasure when I try and run these days (I just started back the other day).

What moves me in that quote is the thought that God is glorified in using our bodies the way he has created them. There is some hope that God is glorified in my singing not because it is “good,” but because I am able. It is a thing for which the human body is capable, is natural, and right. I see the same thing when my son plays sports. He is using the body the LORD has given him to his capacity and in that I think God is honored!

In today’s Psalm I couldn’t help but note that the Leviathan (sea creature, probably a whale?) is made to play. This activity that for the most part was seldom ever seen by human eyes, points to the joy and celebration of God the creator. There are millions upon billions of things that happen all over the world in dark tiny crevices on the ocean floor, in quiet forests, and other places where God is present, but no human eye can see (Not to mention the furthest reaches of space). To fathom that out in the Pacific ocean today, whales are playing to the glory of God and no other helps me to see the bigness of God. Yet to consider that he still has time to hear my prayers and that he is delighted in my praise brings a profound humility as well.

I couldn’t help but be carried back to the sermon on the mount today as I reflect on the magnitude and magnificants of God:

“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 “and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, [will He] not much more [clothe] you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 “For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day [is] its own trouble.

Matthew 6:28-34


Father, I marvel at all creation and how it bares your name. It all points back to you! I take joy in the gift of breath and life. I marvel to know that you are bigger than my feeble mind can comprehend, yet you are never far from those who call out to you. I am humbled and grateful that you hear my prayers. I am incredibly blessed by the way you have provided for me. May my heart beat for your glory! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

Praying God’s Word (Psalm 103 Devotion)


[A Psalm] of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, [bless] His holy name! 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good [things], [So that] your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The LORD executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. 8 The LORD [is] merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. 9 He will not always strive [with us], Nor will He keep [His anger] forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, [So] great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; 12 As far as the east is from the west, [So] far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father pities [his] children, [So] the LORD pities those who fear Him. 14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we [are] dust. 15 [As for] man, his days [are] like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. 17 But the mercy of the LORD [is] from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, 18 To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them. 19 The LORD has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all. 20 Bless the LORD, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word. 21 Bless the LORD, all [you] His hosts, [You] ministers of His, who do His pleasure. 22 Bless the LORD, all His works, In all places of His dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!

PSALM 103:1-22


I love my job/ calling! There is a whole lot to it so it’s hard to define when someone asks, “What do you do?” So I usually just tell kids and others who ask, “I tell other people about Jesus and remind them of his promises in a whole lot of different ways.” (You can see an older post here that outlines a little more about what a pastor does).

One of those ways I get to speak the gospel into peoples lives is through taking time to CARE, having a verse or passage to SHARE, and offering a PRAYER. I simply get to listen to folks and hear the stories of their lives, the circumstances they are facing, and challenges they encounter. I then take a moment to share a little bit of scripture that applies to what they’ve said that the Lord brings to mind. And then I pray through the passage and their circumstances.

I’ll be honest the person I do this with the most… is me! I constantly need to unload to the LORD about all that is going on in my life. I’m a bit of an introvert and so sometimes I have to get out of my own head and just pray out loud. Then the Lord brings the passage to my mind and He’s really good about speaking directly to my circumstances through His Word. I don’t need a man made word, I need God’s Word in my life! Then of course the prayer and this is so sweet when we pray searching for God’s will using God’s word

In this Psalm today, David reminds himself and others about God’s character. If we aren’t careful we will let our circumstances determine the course of our prayers, but David shocks us awake out of a slumber or circumstances and commands us to remember who we are praying to and whom we are praising! It’s not as though we don’t know anything about Him. God’s character should determine how we pray, not our circumstances (because God’s character won’t change, but our circumstances will).

I recently caught myself worrying about some things that I have no real control over and the Holy Spirit brought me to Matthew chapter 6. I was reminded that God takes care of His own, the details of my anxiety were in His hands and I could trust Him. So today with David I echoed this Psalm as my prayer. “Bless the LORD, oh my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name!”


Father, there is such a great benefit in remembering to whom we pray as we pray. I am so grateful for your work in my life. I am so grateful for your word that helps me understand who you are and how you love your own. I am filled to the brim with joy, celebration, and blessing at knowing you and experiencing your work in my life, As I have walked with I have learned more of you and have never been disappointed. I marvel at how quickly I lose sight of you when challenging circumstances happen in my life, I am reminded today that things may change, but you never do. Your love remains the same and in that I am greatly blessed! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

Proclaim The Good News Of His Salvation (Psalm 96 Devotion)


Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. 3 Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. 4 For the LORD [is] great and greatly to be praised; He [is] to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the peoples [are] idols, But the LORD made the heavens. 6 Honor and majesty [are] before Him; Strength and beauty [are] in His sanctuary. 7 Give to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Give to the LORD glory and strength. 8 Give to the LORD the glory [due] His name; Bring an offering, and come into His courts. 9 Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth. 10 Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns; The world also is firmly established, It shall not be moved; He shall judge the peoples righteously.” 11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; Let the sea roar, and all its fullness; 12 Let the field be joyful, and all that [is] in it. Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the LORD. 13 For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, And the peoples with His truth.

PSALM 96:1-13


New songs are sung after new occasions that call for praise. When God delivered the Israelites through the Red Sea and drown the Egyptian army, they sang a new song. When Sisera was defeated, Deborah wrote a new song! As long as God is active in the world, all the praise songs have not been written yet. New songs recounts God’s faithfulness to new generations and remind us that God still delights in saving and redeeming his people!

In this song, the whole earth is called to praise God for His coming deliverance. The nation of Israel is to sing this song so that the nations will hear the good news of God, forsake their idols, and come worship Him (The only true God)! In a sense it is a missionary song. It gives God glory for His salvation.

How quick we are sometimes to pray for something. We’ll ask God for safe travel, we’ll have a near miss, and instead of giving God the glory we’ll say something like, “Wow, I guess I got lucky on that one.” Rather than having our conversation seasoned with the salt of the gospel (good news of Jesus Christ). We are tempted to go out of our way and dismiss the fact that God answered our prayers.

To write new songs we must be aware of God’s good news applied to our lives and invite others to praise God too. New Songs in this sense give God all the glory for answered prayers and deliverance of His people. It ties our modern world to the truth of God’s character and His Word. As time goes on, those new songs become our old songs as we recount God’s more recent activity in our lives, but they still serve to help us see God in all of our circumstance and give Him the Praise He deserves.

I couldn’t help but be enamored with Chris Tomlin’s song, “How Great is our God” this morning as I was reading this Psalm and so I’ll share a few lines of the song to stir your heart to worship. This melody will be on my mind all day no doubt.

The splendor of a King
Clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice

He wraps Himself in light
And darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

How great is our God
Sing with me
How great is our God
And all will see
How great, how great is our God

– Chris Tomlin, “How Great Is Our God”


Father, How great are you! You are worthy of all praise, honor, and glory. You have saved my life from heart disease and Covid Pneumonia in the last few years. You have done great things in my life, the most important thing you did was to save me from my sin. I ask that I would always be passionate about your gospel and proclaiming your name! Help us not be shy about trusting you and let us be quick to give you all the praise, honor, and glory that others may see you and come worship you too! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

Unbridled Praise (Psalm 95 Devotion)


Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. 3 For the LORD [is] the great God, And the great King above all gods. 4 In His hand [are] the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills [are] His also. 5 The sea [is] His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry [land]. 6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. 7 For He [is] our God, And we [are] the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice: 8 “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, As [in] the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 When your fathers tested Me; They tried Me, though they saw My work. 10 For forty years I was grieved with [that] generation, And said, ‘It [is] a people who go astray in their hearts, And they do not know My ways.’ 11 So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ “

PSALM 95:1-11


A few years ago I broke out in a rash from head to toe. Every inch of my skin was on fire with an unsatisfiable itch. I was in agony. It was beyond my control. As much as I tried to put “mind over matter” I couldn’t. My body was apparently responding to something I ate. Finally the doctors subdued my symptoms with some medication but it boggled my mind how my body could have such a loud response to something in my diet. (We still don’t know exactly what caused it, but we suspect a pesticide on one of the plants I ate was to blame)

When we meditate upon the LORD, who He is, what He has done, and His enduring character it should provoke us to unmitigated praise. There is room for a loud response to God. When we see just a little bit of who He is, it should provoke a reaction in our heart that is all consuming! If a little bit of chemical in my food can cause a rash, then understanding that God made the world and everything in it should cause us to break out into loud joyful praise.

Today as we open up Psalm 95 we see the psalmist call us to a loud response of worship to the praiseworthiness of God! We may be used to mild mannered singing or responsive readings, but those won’t do in this moment. The Psalmist calls for us to shout joyfully! Sure there are worshipful moments of quiet reflection and meditation that fit the bill of worship… but there are also times and celebrations that call for unbridled praise! There are moments were we are to let our praise be loud and obnoxious!

The Psalmist shares truth after truth in rapid succession and our hearts should be leaping out of our chest to praise God and say amen! One of my habits when someone else is praying is to amen the words they use to express the sentiment of their heart. It’s as if I’m saying, “That’s my prayer too Lord!” So when we hear these words describe the goodness and faithfulness of God our hearts should be leaping with unbridled praise, “Yes! Amen! It’s True!”

There is room for joy in the Christian life, indeed we are commanded to joy! Indeed Paul wrote these words chained to a prison guard in Rome, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4)! And he tells the Thessalonians church to, “Rejoice always” (I Thessalonians 5:16). This doesn’t even take into consideration the numerous psalms that call us to praise God and shout for joy!

I hope you are able to see all that you have to be grateful to God for and it spills into loud, joyous praise of the LORD! I hope the Lord puts a melody in your heart and you are provoked to praise. I hope that even when you don’t “feel it” that you do your best to offer God your best praise and in doing so come away from moments of personal and corporate worship encouraged and blessed!


Father, you are worthy of worship! You are worthy of all of our loudest praise! I am grateful that you lead us like a shepherd! I am grateful for your kindness and mercy that has been poured out upon us today! I choose to rejoice in your goodness and kindness today! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.