The Lord is Great

5 I know that the Lord is great,
    that our Lord is greater than all gods. Psalm 135:5

Some have suggested that the Lord is just a bit more powerful than Satan, but that is absolutely false. To begin with, Satan is a created being, an angel. Yes, it is true that Satan has power in this world, but only as much as God has given him.

But more than that, He is much greater than our present day gods as well: money, fame, glamour, sports. The loose definition for god in this instance is anything that is given higher priority over Almighty God.

Take a few minutes to commit this verse to memory. This is one of those verses that an all powerful God can use in your life in the future. Repeat the verse throughout the day and dwell on its meaning.

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For the Lord is Good

3 Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
    sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant.
4 For the Lord has chosen Jacob to be his own,
    Israel to be his treasured possession. Psalm 135:3-4

Dr. A.W. Tozer wrote in The Pursuit of God, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

is He kind?
Is He mean?
Is He trustworthy?
Is He Good?
Is He faithful?
Is He all powerful?
Is He fun?
Is He distant?
Is He a mystery?
Is He real?
Is He a loving father?

The world has a very different view of God than we have, although that may not be true.

Obviously how we view God paints how we view the world and His work in the world. There are times, if we’re honest, that any number of those attributes are true in our lives. It may not be true but it can seem to be that way.

The psalmist wrote that the Lord is good.

Today, as you consider these words, think about His goodness in your life. Think about the many blessings He’s given you and your family. Think what life would be like without Him loving you and guiding you.

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Your Pastor

Psalm 134

1 Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord
who minister by night in the house of the Lord.
2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary
and praise the Lord.

3 May the Lord bless you from Zion,
he who is the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 135

1 Praise the Lord.

Praise the name of the Lord;
praise him, you servants of the Lord,
2 you who minister in the house of the Lord,
in the courts of the house of our God. Psalm 134:1-3, Psalm 135:1-2

Blessings of God come in different forms. One blessing, though, often gets overlooked: that of having a Biblically-sound and caring pastor.

Their job is difficult, even more so than herding cats!

They’re expected to have it all together all the time.

They’re on call more than they should be but they don’t complain.

They love doing what they do else they wouldn’t continue doing it.

They also need your prayers because they come under spiritual attack often. They need to know that others are praying for them.

So, today write a quick email or card and let your pastor know you are praying for him and his wife. They will both appreciate it.

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Unity

How good and pleasant it is
    when God’s people live together in unity!

2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
    down on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
    even life forevermore. Psalm 133

Recall the phrase to the old song, “they will know we are Christians by our love.” I don’t think we fully understand how powerful it is when the church unites.

As Evangelicals we agree more than we disagree with those in other Evangelical denominations. A case in point is the Assemblies of God and the Southern Baptists. Perhaps 90-95% of their doctrine is identical. They would both completely agree with the Apostle’s Creed.

But, when was the last time they came together for a worship service or community outreach in most cities in the U.S.? For the most part they don’t join together for worship or fellowship. Why is that? How do non-church people see all the separate denominations? How does God view it?

Or worse yet, how do non-church people view church splits? Does the world see unity? Do we care that they don’t see unity?

We should.

“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

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A Light in the Midst of Great Darkness

17 “Here I will make a horn grow for David
    and set up a lamp for my anointed one.
18 I will clothe his enemies with shame,
    but his head will be adorned with a radiant crown.” Psalm 132:17-18

Throughout David’s life, he was a prosperous and blessed man. Also through the years Israel has prospered despite being in darkness for many years.

Today Israel is clearly a light in the midst of great darkness. There are not many prosperous nations in that part of the world, and Israel – despite its tiny size – stands head and shoulders above others in that region. Most of them have the same terrain, climate, and natural resources, but God blessed Israel.

Some could point to the entire Middle East with their vast reserves of oil, but that seems to be all they have. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of industry not related to oil that has sprung up in that part of the world. Well, hatred towards Israel and the West is a large enough “industry” but nothing that puts bread on the table and food in the bellies.

We in the West continue to enjoy blessings from God, in my opinion, because of our support of Israel. If we ever stop that support, “all bets are off” for us as a nation.

Continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, “May those who love you be secure.” Psalm 122:6

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Blessing Him

13 For the Lord has chosen Zion,
    he has desired it for his dwelling, saying,
14 “This is my resting place for ever and ever;
    here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.
15 I will bless her with abundant provisions;
    her poor I will satisfy with food.
16 I will clothe her priests with salvation,
    and her faithful people will ever sing for joy. Psalm 132:13-15

Many jokes have been made about why God chose to “set up shop” where He did and with the people He chose. I suppose it didn’t matter on both accounts. The land and people God chose would have been blessed because He chose them. In times of darkness many Jews have lamented just like Tevye said in Fiddler on the Roof, “I know we’re a chosen people, Lord, but for just once, could you choose someone else?”

Being the chosen people had its rewards and challenges. Israel “earned” many of the challenges because of their disobedience and stubbornness. While they would never admit it, they thought they knew more than God. They questioned and disobeyed many of the laws and rules God gave them to live a blessed life.

As I write this, I can clearly see similarities to our own lives. Everything I’ve said above about the nation of Israel could easily be said about us. And we have a lot more revelation about many spiritual things.

After you read these words, spend a few moments thanking God for what He’s done in your life recently. Bless Him as He has blessed us.

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He’s Got This

10 For the sake of your servant David,
    do not reject your anointed one.
11 The Lord swore an oath to David,
    a sure oath he will not revoke:
“One of your own descendants
    I will place on your throne.
12 If your sons keep my covenant
    and the statutes I teach them,
then their sons will sit
    on your throne for ever and ever.” Psalm 132:10-12

It’s pretty clear that David had a special relationship with the Lord. He had his struggles and problems, but in the end, David was a man after God’s own heart.

David lived by faith. He had to.

Even as he saw the problems his sin caused his family, he had to question what the Lord told him. If he had grandkids and great grandkids who were like his own children, there’d be no way his lineage would continue!

But obviously the Lord knew what He was doing when He made that promise to David. He knew what He had to do to keep the lineage from sabotaging itself.

I write this today to simply remind us all that despite what it looks like on the outside and all around us, God knows what He’s doing. Nothing nations or world leaders do surprises Him. He doesn’t sit around fretting about the messes we’ve caused.

He’s got it under control. Rest easy in these troubled times.

He’s got this.

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Clothed in Righteousness

6 We heard it in Ephrathah,
    we came upon it in the fields of Jaar:
7 “Let us go to his dwelling place,
    let us worship at his footstool, saying,
8 ‘Arise, Lord, and come to your resting place,
    you and the ark of your might.
9 May your priests be clothed with your righteousness;
    may your faithful people sing for joy.'” Psalm 132:6-9

There are at least nine references to being clothed in righteousness in the Bible: in Job 29:14 we find this verse: “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban.”

“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,” Romans 3:22

It’s important to remind ourselves that our own righteousness is like filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6

Apart from Christ we really are a helpless people.

In that state, we prance about thinking we’re something, but the storms of life come and we turn to mush.

I’ll let Joni Earackson Tada explain it in a four minute audio clip:

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Promises Promises

2 He swore an oath to the Lord,
    he made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
3 “I will not enter my house
    or go to my bed,
4 I will allow no sleep to my eyes
    or slumber to my eyelids,
5 till I find a place for the Lord,
    a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.” Psalm 132:2-5

King David promised the Lord that he would do whatever it took to find a dwelling place for the Lord, that is, the ark of the Lord.

Now, did David go for weeks and months without sleep in order to do this? Probably not. It’s similar to us saying, “We will not rest until that person is brought to justice!”

It’s a tireless pursuit that drives a person forward.
It’s a reason for existing.

This was David’s promise.

Promises are a good thing when they’ve been thought through to the end. However, the Bible does caution us about making promises and not keeping them.

But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned. James 5:12

Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one. Matthew 5:38

It’s easy enough to make a promise at the end of an inspiring sermon only to forget about it the next day. Just be careful when making promises.

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