11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
    may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
    my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
    and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased to save me, Lord;
    come quickly, Lord, to help me. Psalm 40:11-13

We all have days and weeks when we’re in way over our heads! We truly can relate to David’s words. Sometimes it’s our own doing, but other times, well, life happens to us and catches us by surprise. It’s at times like these that we just have to stop what we’re doing and ask for God’s refreshing.

Take a moment now and ask for that renewal. The Lord will give you strength and joy and peace and patience when you need it the most.

Often, it’s now.

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Teens and You

9 I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
    I do not seal my lips, Lord,
    as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
    I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
    from the great assembly. Psalm 40:9-10

One thing I’ve noticed in the social media arena is that there are quite a few bold teens who are really displaying their love and passion for Christ. They get into meaningful discussions, proudly proclaim their allegiance, and are unafraid to share who they are. I think we as adults can certainly learn from their boldness. What we forget is that they have peer pressure like the rest of us. They get rejected and depressed and ridiculed probably more than we would ever, plus they’re still trying to figure out life.

In David’s words today, we see that he was not afraid to lay it all out for the public to see. Yes, he was King and could do and say whatever he wanted, but he chose to proclaim the Glory of the Lord.

If you know a teen or two, encourage them in their faith today. Their road is hard and full of dangerous traps. Just let them know you’re praying for them, and then pray for them!

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Obedience vs. Sacrifice

6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
but my ears you have opened—
burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.
8 I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:6-8

If you think about it, it’s fairly simple to sacrifice things. We do it all the time.

  • If we want to lose weight, we forgo a little food and engage in some strenuous activities (exercise) to shed some weight.
  • Parents sacrifice careers by staying at home to raise children.
  • In the business world, people sacrifice money for things or services.

In God’s view, though, we can do all those things and much more, and still not be enough. He wants obedience and a willing heart. The sacrifice will come as a result of the obedience, but the obedience comes first.

This Keith Green song illustrates the point. The music starts at the 2:00 mark.

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The Wonders

5 Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare. Psalm 40:5

Will we ever know all the wonders He has performed? In Heaven will that be the case? It’s doubtful because there are just so many out there, and each of us are only able to see bits and pieces of those wonders: the sunrise and sunset, a newborn, a life changed for Christ, the wisdom of a grandmother, nature, the skies at night, and microscopic organisms to name a few.

On earth we get to explore these wonders each day, that is, if we want. Maintaining a healthy curiosity for things we don’t understand is a great way to explore these wonders. Appreciating the beautiful things we see is another.

The New Testament puts it a slightly different way:

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Philippians 2:1-4

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Back to the Basics

4 Blessed is the one
    who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
    to those who turn aside to false gods. Psalm 40:4

When Coach Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers was first introduced to the team, this was his speech:

“This is a football.” He paused, and then he explained:

“As a team last year we were horrible at the fundamentals of the game of football. Nobody here knows how to block and nobody knows how to tackle. All I saw last year was grab, grab, grab!

“What we’re going to do now is go back to basics and we’re going to learn, drill and practice the fundamentals until we become better at them than anyone else in the game. If you do this with me, I will make you champions.”

In two years time, the Packers went from winning one game to winning the national championship. How? They went back to the basics and fundamentals of football.

Trusting in the Lord is getting back to the basics of our faith. It’s a daily, relentless pursuit of God and His Word. Often it’s a battle between our own wills and what God wants. Sometimes we don’t know what He wants. But I’m convinced He wants us to ask and seek and knock.

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