Good News

Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled. Psalm 65:1

When David wrote this, he had no idea that thousands of years later it would be fulfilled by Jesus. The event was called the Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem: Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44 and John 12:12-19. People laid their clothes on the ground to welcome Jesus. Arriving on a donkey was a sign of peace; whereas arriving on a horse was what kings did after a war. Jesus would be crucified only days later. It would probably have been a similar group of people calling for his death and to release Barabbas.

The passage of Scripture is called the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem but He didn’t arrive to establish an Earthly kingdom. The people were looking for a deliverer, someone who would remove the oppressive government and for Him to reign. But His mission was much greater than a local or regional kingdom. He had eternal purposes in mind.

It’s easy to focus on “little picture” stuff as it relates to Christ. For instance, we get caught up in seeking answers to prayer when the goal of prayer should be to seek Him instead. It seems like it’s a fine line, but it’s not.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is about Jesus Christ. It’s not about getting things or helping people or going to distant country to preach. Those are all commendable but it’s still not the reason Christ came. He came for one purpose: to save lost sinners.

Let’s not lose sight of that very important “big picture” item as we enter the Easter season.

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Grumblers Unite!

The righteous will rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him; all the upright in heart will glory in him! Psalm 64:10

What are you rejoicing in the Lord about today? What kinds of praises are you singing? I know it may come as a shock, but I don’t wake up every day all sunshine and roses. I’m a grumbler by disposition and it doesn’t take much to get my goat, so to speak. So, I have to work at rejoicing and praising. If it were easy, everybody would do it. Plus, add the spiritual warfare you are engaging in, and you’ll see why it’s not as easy as it sounds. I suspect it wasn’t easy for David either.

That said, what are you rejoicing in the Lord about today? What kinds of praises are you singing?

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I Ponder

All people will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what he has done. Psalm 64:9

By disposition I am a ponderer. I ponder heaven and hell and God’s mercy and His grace. I ponder poverty and wealth and justice and where I was born. It’s not possible to stare out into the stars at night and just wonder. When you see something absolutely spectacular in nature, you can’t help but ponder how it all came to be.

I recall a number of years ago when I was living in Alaska. The temperature was perhaps -20 and I was walking to a midnight shift across a soccer field. I looked up and watched the Northern Lights dance across the Winter sky and I pondered. When I arrive at work people noticed my prolonged smile. I was amazed at the beauty and greatness and brilliance of what I had just seen fifteen minutes before. I had seen the Northern Lights plenty of times before and many times after but that one instance caused me to wonder and ponder.

It’s not difficult to notice the “works of God”, and it isn’t just about the beauty of nature. A newborn baby, a radically changed life, a child bowing her head in prayer, or a wedding ceremony are all times we can stop and ponder the greatness of God.

As a nation we are so blessed in every sense of the word. Having our basic needs met fairly easily enables us to ponder deeper, more meaningful things about life. But it also gives us a greater responsibility to do something more meaningful, and not just to exist.

What would God have you do? The question I ponder more than anything is this: why was I born where I was born with the talents and gifts I now have?

Answer that one question honestly and it could change your life forever.

It’s something to ponder, isn’t it?

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A Perfect Judge

But God will shoot them with his arrows; they will suddenly be struck down.
He will turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin; all who see them will shake their heads in scorn. Psalm 64:7-8

David is echoing what Moses said centuries earlier.

“It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.” Deuteronomy 32:35

It’s easy to get discouraged when evil triumphs over good, and when bad people succeed in life. We don’t see the end result of their actions. We see what they’ve done but don’t realize that God is in control. He alone will repay.

I will be the first to admit that life just isn’t fair, it really isn’t. We tell that to our children but sometimes we also need to hear it.

Brothers and Sisters, there will be a day when wrongs are righted, when good triumphs over evil 100% of the time, when evil men and women will be judged. There is more to this life than this life. The final chapter has not been written yet, but when it has been, God will be the perfect judge over all the earth.

Nothing escapes his watchful eye.

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Thinking Like Them

They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.
They shoot from ambush at the innocent; they shoot suddenly, without fear.
They encourage each other in evil plans, they talk about hiding their snares; they say, “Who will see it?”
They plot injustice and say, “We have devised a perfect plan!” Surely the human mind and heart are cunning. Psalm 64:3-6

You and I (hopefully) are not able to think like truly evil people. We don’t know what motivates them, what energizes them, or how they think. It is completely foreign to us. We are just on different paths and wavelengths.

However, just because we can’t think like them doesn’t mean they are not in the world. Unfortunately they are in our midst though we haven’t a clue who they are or what they’re thinking, much like we didn’t have too much of a clue when the 19 September 11th hijackers were among us plotting and scheming. Experts are starting to admit that they (sleeper cells) may very well be in 49 states already.

We live in very different times than when this Scripture was written but the truth remains: evil men make evil and fearless plans.

Our prayer then is very clear and succinct and it echoes David’s earlier words:

Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words, for I see violence and strife in the city. Psalm 55:9

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