The Face of God Shining Down

Make your face shine on your servant
and teach me your decrees. Psalm 119:135

I love the visual of these words. In other words, bless me so I can learn your Word.

Oh, that would be our cry today and every day.

What would the light of God shining on us reveal?

Would we be more faithful or would we be ashamed?
Would we love Him more or be fearful of our own wayward paths?
Would we be fearful of that light or would we actually want to run to it more?

I don’t know those answers exactly.
I wish I could answer 100% in the positive, but I’m not there yet.

It is a prayer we should pray, and while we’re at it, pray over others. They too need the light of God to shine on them, no matter their situation.

We all do. We just don’t know what it will reveal.

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Purity 101

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By living according to your word. Psalm 119:9

In the past, I’ve noted an inscription that’s written in the front of many Bibles:

This Book will keep you from sin
Or sin will keep you from this Book.

It’s so simple really.

Bless those who’ve taken the time to pen those meaningful words inside those Bibles. The message lasts longer than the ink does.

Of course, living according to the Word of God is different than just reading it or knowing it. The art of digging deeper seems to be a lost art. We’re all so rushed and hurried we don’t time to ponder stories and life applications anymore.

Still, though, the first step is getting into the Word and praying the Holy Spirit waters the seeds of those words.

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Praying for Wisdom In These Odd Times

12 Extol the Lord, Jerusalem;
praise your God, Zion.

13 He strengthens the bars of your gates
and blesses your people within you.
14 He grants peace to your borders
and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.

15 He sends his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
16 He spreads the snow like wool
and scatters the frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his hail like pebbles.
Who can withstand his icy blast?
18 He sends his word and melts them;
he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow Psalm 147:12-18

I heard this passage this morning and wanted to comment. The portion that stood out was verse 14: “He grants peace to your borders…”

I’ve included a screen shot of the active wars and conflicts in the world today. While you can’t see any details, that’s not what’s important for this illustration. If you hadn’t seen this graphic, you might think that there is relative peace around the world. Not so. Peace is just not in the vocabulary of warring factions.

From the foundations of the world, conflict has been a part of the human condition. Brother against brother, territory against territory, nation against nation.

Strife, conflict, war.

In fact, the Bible even tells us that we have had a conflict going on inside of us since the fall of man (Romans 6-8).

Something odd is going on in the Western World right now. It’s hard to put a finger on it, but it seems as if the Spirit of the Age has lined up his forces and is trying to control finances, health, travel, and other major industries. Yes, it has to do with the vaxxed and unvaxxed but it seems broader than that, and quite irrational. There’s a general sense of turmoil and strife, though mostly without the need for bullets or fire power.

Believers need to pray for wisdom during these times, regardless of where you stand on the vaccine and virus. Many can sense the spirit but don’t know what’s on the horizon.

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Freedom in Prison

1 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered!
2 How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit!
3 When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away
Through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah.
5 I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I did not hide;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”;
And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.
6 Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.
7 You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:1-7

David understands the power and relief of forgiveness. It’s a human condition regardless of lot in life or belief system. Despite being on the run a lot, David knew freedom.

You see this kind of freedom of Christian pastors who are in jail for their faith.

Yes, of course, they have their moments of “what did I do?” or “why me, Lord?” but they understand true freedom.

Despite their horrible living conditions, they know that nothing man does to them matters in the end. Humiliated, degraded, families threatened, beaten, forced to confess to made-up crimes, hungering, thirsting, and all because they don’t think the way they’re supposed to think. These men an women of God have and need the strength only God can provide.

They are faceless and nameless in our eyes, but certainly God knows them. He hears their prayers in ways we can only fathom.

They definitely need our prayers today and always.

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Hitting Rock Bottom

“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me all your waves and breakers swept over me.

I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’ The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit.

“When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.'” Jonah 2:2-9

Jonah is always a fun character to study. It seems we we learn something new every time we read about him.

He’s a “mixed bag,” though. In that, he’s like us. We love; we hate. We’re selfish, we’re generous. We’re uncaring; we’re kind. We’re ungrateful; we’re thankful.

In this prayer, we find Jonah in repentance. When you’re in the belly of a whale, you’re bound to be at youu rock bottom. At this point in his life, Jonah could only rely on God for help.

Sometimes you have to pray for people to actually be at their rock bottom in order form them to look up. It’s a bold prayer and shock others who hear it, but it has biblical scripture to back it up. Jonah is just one person we think of. David seemed to constantly be at his rock bottom. Abraham, Elijah, Isaiah, Paul, and many others found themselves hitting rock bottom. When we’re there, it’s a terrible place to be, but sometimes people have to hit it before their life changes.

There are people in your life who need to hit rock bottom before they wake up. They know the truth but are stubborn enough to reject it at every level. And while it’s tragic to watch as it occurs in real time, ultimately it’s the best thing.

They need someone who cares about them enough to pray for them to hit it. They need your prayers.

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