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Author Topic: Prayer, Praise and Promises  (Read 80796 times)
nChrist
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« Reply #210 on: August 07, 2006, 07:53:47 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 89:11-29

The Joyful Sound

Read Psalm 89:11-29

"Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance. In Your name they rejoice all day long, and in Your righteousness they are exalted" (vv. 15,16). That describes how God's people ought to be.

We should walk in joy. Throughout the year the people of Israel heard joyful sounds. The trumpets would call them to a feast or remind them of the faithfulness and goodness of God. The psalmist is talking here about that festal blowing of the trumpet. Today we might hear a joyful sound--the sound of the trumpet, the voice of the archangel--and meet the Lord. God's people should be walking in joy. Every day should be a joyful experience of anticipation, excitement and enrichment.

We should walk in the light. "But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (I John 1:7). When you walk in the light, you see things as they really are. You don't stumble or cause someone else to stumble.

We should walk in faith. "In Your name they rejoice all day long" (v. 16). Why? His name can be trusted. Those who know God's name know victory and blessing.

We should walk in the heights. "In Your righteousness they are exalted" (v. 16). There's not only excitement and enrichment in our life with God, we are also exalted, lifted high. This doesn't mean that we are glorified instead of God. It means that He lifts us up.

Keep your ears tuned. You might hear that joyful sound today.

* * *

Do others know you are a Christian by your life? If you walk with joy and in the light, you will bless others and glorify God. Do you find your walk with God enriching? Enjoy Him to the fullest. Let Him exalt you.

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« Reply #211 on: August 10, 2006, 12:52:10 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Matthew 24:35 Psalm 119:89 1 John 1:9 Psalm 89:30-37

Unbreakable Covenants

Read Psalm 89:30-37

There is one thing that God cannot do--He cannot lie. When He makes a covenant, He keeps it, and we can hold on to His Word forever. This is what God said concerning David and his family: "If his sons forsake My law and do not walk in My judgments, if they break My statutes and do not keep My commandments, then I will visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless My lovingkindness I will not utterly take from him, nor allow My faithfulness to fail. My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips" (vv. 30-34).

God is faithful to His Word. He's not going to alter what He has said. "Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven" (Ps. 119:89). "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away" (Matt. 24:35). God's Word is not going to change, but it should change us.

God is faithful to chasten. He said, "If David's descendants don't live as they ought to live, I'll chasten them. My promise won't fail even though they fail." Even if we are not faithful, God is still faithful. He will not deny His Word. He is faithful to discipline us when we need it.

God is faithful to forgive. When we ask Him for His forgiveness, He forgives our sins and cleanses us from all our unrighteousness (I John 1:9). I'm glad I don't have to figure out every day what God's attitude is toward me. He doesn't change; He is faithful.
* * *

Have you experienced God's faithfulness in your life lately? Trust His Word, submit to His chastening and ask His forgiveness.

Copyrightę 1992, used with permission, all rights reserved.

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« Reply #212 on: August 10, 2006, 12:53:19 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 89:38-45

Down, Down, Down

Read Psalm 89:38-45

God did wonderful things for the people of Israel, and He gave them wonderful promises. We would expect the Israelites to be loyal followers of God, but they were not. They turned their back on Him and sinned, so God had to discipline them. This passage depicts His chastening.

What really happens when God disciplines His people? "You have renounced the covenant of Your servant; you have profaned his crown by casting it to the ground" (v. 39). God wants us to reign in life. Jesus Christ has made us kings and priests. But when God chastens us, He takes our crowns from us. Our authority is gone; the glory is gone; and the honor is gone. Instead of acting like kings, we live like slaves. When God chastened the Israelites, their crowns were cast down.

In verse 40 the walls were broken down. "You have broken down all his hedges; you have brought his strongholds to ruin." There is no security in what we build. God casts it down.

In verse 43 the soldiers were smitten down. "You have also turned back the edge of his sword, and have not sustained him in the battle." When we disobey the Lord, everything falls apart.

In verse 44 the glory ceased, and God cast down the king's throne.

Yet God will forgive. Don't lose your joy in the Lord. Let's live today with authority and security because we are walking with Him. If you find yourself down, look up. Ask Him to raise you up and restore you to victory again.

* * *

Sometimes God's discipline can be hard. Have you lost your joy in life because of His chastening? Regain the reign in your life. Look to God for forgiveness and restoration.

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« Reply #213 on: August 11, 2006, 04:49:44 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 89:46-52

A Few Reminders

Read Psalm 89:46-52

"How long, Lord? Will You hide Yourself forever? Will Your wrath burn like fire?" (v. 46). These questions come from the broken heart of a man who wondered why God's people were going through so much trouble. Several times we see the word remember in these verses. "Remember how short my time is; for what futility have You created all the children of men?" (v. 47). What could the psalmist possibly remind God about?

He reminds Him that life is short. God did not make us in vain. Sometimes we receive His grace in vain. Sometimes what He does for us is in vain. But that's our fault, not His. Life is short. That's good to remember the next time you are tempted to sin. Why waste time disobeying God?

Then he reminds God of His promises. "Lord, where are Your former lovingkindnesses, which You swore to David in Your truth?" (v. 49). This refers to the covenant God had made with David. It looked as though God had broken His promise. He doesn't break His promises, but He likes to have us remind Him of them.

Next, he reminds God of their reproach. "Remember, Lord, the reproach of Your servants--how I bear in my bosom the reproach of all the many peoples, with which Your enemies have reproached, O Lord" (vv. 50,51). Remember our reproach. Why? Because it detracts from the glory of God.

Let's remind ourselves that we are here to bring glory to His name. The psalmist ends on the mountains: "Blessed be the Lord forevermore! Amen and Amen" (v. 52). He starts with burdens and ends with blessing. He starts with sighing and ends with singing, because he lifts his broken heart to the Lord in prayer.

* * *

When you go through troubled times, remember God's promises and remind Him of them. He is faithful to His Word.

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« Reply #214 on: August 11, 2006, 04:50:51 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference 1 John 2:17 Psalm 90:1-6

Time and Eternity

Read Psalm 90:1-6

First there were sundials. Then came water clocks, hourglasses and mechanical clocks. Now we have digital clocks and watches that split time into hundredths of a second. Our culture certainly is concerned with time. That's why it's good to read what Moses says: "Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.... For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night" (vv. 1,2,4).

It's good to contemplate God's eternity in the light of man's frailty. We are creatures of time, but God is eternal. He is our dwelling place from generation to generation. The eternity we face is in His hands.

The psalmist also tells us that God is faithful. From generation to generation, from everlasting to everlasting, He has been faithful, and He will continue to be faithful. He's the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He's the God of individuals, the God of different personalities. He's the One we can trust.

Let Him be God in your life today. When you abide in Him and live for His glory, you are partaking of the eternal. The Bible says, "He who does the will of God abides forever" (I John 2:17).

* * *

When you compare time with eternity, you gain a bit of God's perspective. You can incorporate eternal values into this life. You can partake of the eternal by allowing God into your life. Is He your dwelling place? Have you partaken of His faithfulness?

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« Reply #215 on: August 12, 2006, 10:24:49 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Numbers 14 1 John 2:17 Psalm 90:7-11

Death: A Reason For Life

Read Psalm 90:7-11

Life expectancy in the United States is up to 75 years. That's good news; 25 years ago it was only 70 years. Perhaps it will keep going up, but in comparison to eternity, the human life span is short. That's why we read, "The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away" (v. 10).

That sounds like a rather doleful statement, but it's true. The setting of Psalm 90 is found in the events recorded in Numbers 14. God had brought the Jews directly to Kadesh-Barnea. He said, "Now go in and possess the land." And they would not do it. They doubted God's promise and questioned His wisdom. They did not believe He would enable them to conquer the land. As a consequence, God said, "All right, everybody 20 years and older is going to die within the next 40 years." And that's what happened--the world's longest funeral march. For the next 40 years the nation wandered in the wilderness, while that older generation died. Then God took the younger generation on a whole new crusade, and they conquered the Promised Land.

The older people knew they were going to die before they got to the Promised Land. But Christians today know that when we die we'll go to the place Jesus is preparing for us. It's important to make our lives count while we are on earth. Yes, our lives have their difficulties, and if the Lord doesn't return soon, our lives will end in death. But death will lead to eternity. And we can live a life of the eternal today. The Bible says, "He who does the will of God abides forever" (I John 2:17). Let's touch the eternal today by abiding in the Almighty and doing His will.

* * *

You need not die to bring eternity to the present. You do so by abiding in God and doing His will. Determine to make your life count. Invest it in eternity.

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« Reply #216 on: August 14, 2006, 06:44:18 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Matthew 6:11 Proverbs 4:23 Psalm 90:12-17

A Heart of Wisdom

Read Psalm 90:12-17

"So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" (v. 12). Moses' words summarize what we need to know if we want to make our lives count.

We live a day at a time. Usually, we don't number our days; we number our years. When you have a birthday and someone asks how old you are, you tell them your age in the number of years. But we'd better number our days, because we live a day at a time. "Give us this day our daily bread" (Matt. 6:11). God has ordained that the entire universe functions a day at a time.

We live from the heart. "So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." We need to take care of the heart. That's why Solomon wrote in Proverbs 4:23, "Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it spring the issues of life." What is in your heart will direct your life.

We also live by God's wisdom. Wisdom is knowing and having discernment, so that we can apply the truth of the Word of God at the right time, in the right way, with the right motive. Wisdom comes from the Word of God and from getting to know Him and ourselves better.

* * *

Moses gives the secret of making life count--live it a day at a time. You need God's help to apply His Word to your life. Live as though this may be your last day. Ask God for the wisdom you need and apply it by faith.

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« Reply #217 on: August 14, 2006, 06:46:00 PM »

Daily devotions for 08-14-2006:

Title: Safety in the Shadow
Author: Warren Wiersbe
Devotion: Psalms
Scripture References:
Psalm 91:1-8


Title: Safety in the Shadow

Read Psalm 91:1-8

I wonder what the safest place in the world is. A bomb shelter? A bank vault? Perhaps a prison surrounded by an army? According to Psalm 91, the safest place in the world is a shadow. "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty" (v. 1). "He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler" (v. 4).

What does this mean? The psalmist refers to the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle and the temple. In the Holy of Holies, two cherubim were over the mercy seat, and their wings touched each other. "Under his wings" means at the mercy seat, where the blood was sprinkled, there in the presence of the glory of God. The Holy of Holies was God's throne. It was the place of God's glory. In other words, the safest place in the world is in fellowship with God--not just visiting the Holy Place, as the high priest did once a year, but dwelling in the Holy Place. The psalmist is urging, "Live in the Holy of Holies."

According to Hebrews 10, we have an open invitation to come right into the presence of God and dwell in the secret place--under His wings, at the mercy seat. This is where God meets with us, where His glory is revealed, where He gives us His guidance and shows us His will. My shadow is not much protection for anyone. But when it belongs to the Almighty, a shadow is a strong protection. Live in the Holy of Holies, under the shadow of the Almighty.

* * *

God invites you to fellowship with Him--to live in the Holy of Holies. What an invitation! You may come into the safety of His presence and receive His mercy, guidance and protection. Do you live under God's shadow?

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« Reply #218 on: August 16, 2006, 01:06:24 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 91:9-16

Guardian Angels

Read Psalm 91:9-16

"For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways" (v. 11). This is the promise Satan quoted to Jesus when he tempted Him in the wilderness.

This promise speaks about our security. We can't see the angels. But they are God's messengers, servants sent to help us. If we are in the will of God, we have the protection of His army. He is called the "Lord of Hosts" (the Lord of the armies). The hosts of the heavens are under His control--the stars and planets and all the universe. But so is the great host of angels--thousands and thousands of angels, God's creation, His army sent for our ministry.

When the child of God is in His will, then he is immortal until his work is done. This suggests that we have a responsibility--"to keep you in all your ways"--to be in the will of God. "Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place" (v. 9). When you are dwelling with God, abiding in Him, then He says, "No evil shall befall you" (v. 10). It doesn't say we won't be hurt; it says we won't be harmed. We may have to go through the valley, go through the battle or go through difficulty. But it will not bring evil to us.

Our security and our responsibility lead to our victory. What kind of victory does God give us? "You shall tread upon the lion and cobra; the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot"

(v. 13). Satan is the lion and the serpent. The psalmist tells us that because we are abiding in the Lord, because His truth is our shield and our buckler, we have victory. We can call upon Him, and He will answer. It's wonderful to know that God gives us security as we fulfill our responsibility.

* * *

Angels are God's messengers sent to help and protect you. As you think about angels and their ministry, keep in mind your responsibility to stay in the will of God and abide with Him. Thank God for the "invisible" ministry of His angels and for the part they have in your victory over Satan.

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« Reply #219 on: August 17, 2006, 07:59:50 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 92:1-6

An Ideal Day

Read Psalm 92:1-6

As we begin each day, we trust we'll still be around at the end of the day. What happens in between depends on how we start in the morning and how we end in the evening. Verses 1 and 2 describe an ideal day: "It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night."

That's how we ought to live each day. When you wake up in the morning, remember His lovingkindness. Don't wake up grouchy, saying, "Oh my, another day." Wake up saying, "Today the Lord loves me, and His lovingkindness endures forever. God has my life in His hands. There's nothing to be afraid of."

During the day offer praise and thanksgiving. "It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High." Find every reason you can to praise Him--even for little things like parking places, phone calls that bring a blessing to you or perhaps news of a friend.

At the close of the day, remember God's faithfulness. In the morning we look forward to lovingkindness. During the day we experience that lovingkindness. And at the end of the day, we can look back and say, "God has been faithful." No matter how difficult this day may be for you, when you get to the end, you're going to be able to look back and say, "Great is Thy faithfulness."

* * *

Each day has its own set of burdens, blessings and challenges. How you begin and end a day determines what kind of day you will have. Begin your day with lovingkindness. Praise God and thank Him during the day. In the evening, remember His faithfulness during the day. What a great recipe for living a day at a time!

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« Reply #220 on: August 17, 2006, 08:01:04 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 92:7-15

Fresh and Flourishing

Read Psalm 92:7-15

Someone has said that there are three stages in life: childhood, adolescence and "My, you're looking good." We can't stop aging. But no matter how old we grow, we ought to continue growing in the Lord. "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing" (vv. 12-14). I am greatly encouraged by those words, because as I get older, I want my life to count more and more for Jesus.

God tells us to be like palm trees. That means we should be planted--"planted in the house of the Lord." We must abide in Christ, whose roots are in the spiritual. What a tragedy it is to get older and move into the world and into sin, abandoning what you were taught from the Word of God.

We should also be productive. "They shall be fresh and flourishing"--fruitful trees to the glory of God. Palm trees stand a lot of abuse, storms and wind. The wind that breaks other trees bends the palm tree, but then it comes back up. Palm trees have roots that go down deep to draw up the water in the desert area. They can survive when other trees are dying. And palm trees just keep on producing fruit. The fruit doesn't diminish; it gets better and sweeter.

Finally, we should be flourishing "in the courts of our God." When some people get old, they get grouchy, mean and critical. Let's not be like that. Allow the Lord to make you fresh and flourishing. Have roots that go deep. You can stand the storms and still be fruitful, feeding others from the blessing of the Lord.

* * *

God wants you to grow like strong, productive trees that bear much fruit. He wants your roots to grow deep to draw nourishment from His hidden spiritual resources. Are you planted and feeding on the Word of God daily? Are you producing fruit and bringing glory to Him? Are you flourishing and feeding others?

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« Reply #221 on: August 21, 2006, 09:17:55 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Matthew 14:28-31 Psalm 93:1-5

Looking Above the Flood

Read Psalm 93:1-5

While I was ministering at a Bible conference in the Pacific Northwest, I watched the ocean as it moved in. The last day of the conference was rainy and stormy. The ocean waves looked as though they were right at our back door. The scene reminded me of verse 3 in today's passage: "The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves."

What do you do when you find yourself threatened by the floods of wickedness? Do what the psalmist did. He looked at God's throne. "The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty. The Lord is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength. Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved. Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting" (v. 1). No waves or floods can disturb the throne of God. But often we don't look high enough. We see the floods, but we don't see God. We see the waves getting higher and higher, and we don't lift up our eyes by faith and see the eternal, established, secure, strong throne of God.

The psalmist also heard God's testimonies. He didn't listen to the sound of the waves. Today, you might hear a lot of threatening sounds. Don't pay any attention to them. "Your testimonies are very sure" (v. 5). The psalmist heard God's testimonies and said, "I can trust the Word of God."

This psalm also reminds me of Peter when he walked on the water (see Matt. 14:28-31). He took his eyes off the Lord and forgot His promise. Jesus said to him, "Come." That's all Peter needed. He should have said to himself, "If Jesus says, 'Come,' I can come"--because His commandments are always His empowerments.

* * *

God's throne is established, and His testimony is sure. When you see the flood approaching, lift your eyes higher to see the throne of God and open your ears to hear His Word. Put your faith to work and trust His promises of strength and power.

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« Reply #222 on: August 21, 2006, 09:19:16 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 94:1-10

Trust God's Timing

Read Psalm 94:1-10

"Lord, how long will the wicked . . . triumph?" (v. 3). I'm sure you also have asked that question. This sentiment is expressed many times in Scripture. The great saints of God cried out, "O Lord, how long?" When David was being chased by King Saul, many times he said, "How long, O Lord, before I get my throne? You've promised it to me."

The psalmist tells us that God has His plan. He hears our prayers and sees our need. He knows exactly what is going on. The wicked think that they have everything under control. "Yet they say, 'The Lord does not see, nor does the God of Jacob understand"' (v. 7). "God can't see what we're doing; God's not going to do anything." That's the false confidence of the wicked. But the psalmist answers that with inspired logic. "He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see? He who instructs the nations, shall not He correct, He who teaches man knowledge?" (vv. 9,10). In other words, is God dumber than we are? He sees what's going on in this world. He hears the cries of His own people and disciplines those who need discipline.

Our tendency, of course, is to take things into our own hands. Moses tried that approach, and it sent him to the wilderness for 40 years to learn how to trust God's timing and method. When you find yourself crying out, "How long, O Lord, how long," focus on God and remember that He knows as much about the situation as you do--probably more. Then wait on Him. Watch and pray. You can be sure that He will keep His promises.

* * *

Learning to trust God's methods and timing is a lifelong course. When you need to wait patiently for God to act, first look to Him and lay hold of His promises in Scripture. Then rest in His care. He knows your situation, and He keeps His word. He will act at the right time.

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« Reply #223 on: August 21, 2006, 09:20:23 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 94:11-23

Pray, Wait or Act?

Read Psalm 94:11-23

Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?" (v. 16). I wonder what kind of an answer we would give to these questions.

There are times when we only pray about a problem. There are times when we wait. There are times when God says, "Not now--I'll take care of it later." But there are times when we must act, as when Moses had to stand up and lead the people out of Egypt, or when David had to perform the judgment of God. There are times when we who are the light of the world must stand up and shine, when we who are the salt of the earth must apply that salt to the decay in the world today.

How easy it is to be a spectator and say, "Well, I'll pray about it." Good--be sure you do. But God says, "Who's going to stand up for Me against the workers of iniquity?" The answer: those who know that God is their Help. "Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul would soon have settled in silence" (v. 17). "But the Lord has been my defense, and my God the rock of my refuge" (v. 22). When God is your Help, when you have the strength of God that comes from His Word, you can stand up against the sin in this world.

Those who are separated from sin are also called to action. "Shall the throne of iniquity, which devises evil by law, have fellowship with You?" (v. 20). We have laws today that provide defense from a lot of sin. Yet those who are separated from sin must stand up with God against iniquity--those who believe that He will give us the ultimate victory. We may lose a few battles, but thank God we're going to win the war!

* * *

Christians are never to become complacent about evildoers. We deal with them by praying, waiting and acting. God wants you to be an influence for Him. Be an active witness where He has placed you. Ask for His leading in knowing when to pray, wait or take a stand.

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« Reply #224 on: August 21, 2006, 09:21:37 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 94:1-7

Responding to Greatness

Read Psalm 95:1-7

"For the Lord is the great God, and a great King above all gods" (v. 3). That's a great affirmation of faith the psalmist wrote as he looked at the heathen gods of other nations.

In his book Your God Is Too Small, J. B. Phillips affirms the greatness of God. If you have a small God, you'll have small faith; if you have a great God, you'll have great faith--not great faith in your faith but great faith in a great God. If God truly is a great God, then how should we respond to His greatness?

First, thank Him. "Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms" (v. 2). Be thankful that He is a great God. Note that His greatness extends to creation. "In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the heights of the hills are His also" (v. 4). Isn't it good to know that God is a God of the depths as well as a God of the heights? When we're living on the mountaintop, He is there. When we're down in the valley, He is there. "The sea is His, for He made it; and His hands formed the dry land" (v. 5). I'm glad that my God is God of the changing places, such as the sea, and of the stable places, such as the dry land. No matter where we are, we can experience His greatness.

Second, sing to Him. "Oh, come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation" (v. 1). And worship Him. "Oh, come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker" (v. 6).

* * *

The greatness of God is the answer to the smallness of man. When you see great sin and great disappointment or when you have a great burden to carry, remember that you are worshiping a great God. As you kneel before Him, He becomes even greater.

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