Inspirational

HOW COULD I FORGET THAT?


Best Verses: Psalm 77:11-12 “11 I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. 12 I will meditate on all Your work and muse on Your deeds.”

DEEDS FOR ME

We are so quick to forget all the Lord has done for us.  To begin with He saved us.  If He did nothing else, that’s enough.  But He doesn’t stop there.  He gives us the Holy Spirit to dwell in us to guide us daily.  He gives us the Church where we can fellowship with other believers.  And…I could go on and on.

We cry out to Him in times of trouble and forget Him as soon as it has passed.  Asaph, the writer of this Psalm, realizes that.  In fact, he recognizes that when he feels the Lord has changed, it’s his fault, not God’s.  He is the one who has moved.  He is the one who has forgotten.

TEACHING MOMENT

I guarantee you, your children have forgotten all you have done for them.  Most children take for granted that mom and dad are going to be there.  Most children, even the ones who are most grateful, forget all their blessings.  We should remind them, from time to time of the blessings God has given them.  

I don’t mean we need to make them feel guilty or try to shame them.  I mean truly remember and praise Him for His faithfulness.  How about the last time your child was sick?  Thank Him for healing.  How about finding the lost dog?  Thank Him for that, too.

We aren’t grateful most of the time.  Have you stopped and thanked God for your blessings? Have you given Him praise for all He has done in your life?  If not, do that right now.  Thank Him. Praise Him!  Glorify God!

I will praise You, O Lord, for all You have done for me.  You bless me when I don’t even realize it.  You are faithful even when I am not.

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BRIGHTNESS


Best Verse: Psalm 76:4 “You are resplendent, more majestic than the mountains of prey.”

HE IS LIGHT

To be honest, I had to look up the word “resplendent.”  Actually, I looked up the Hebrew word which is translated “resplendent.”  The word actually means “to be or become light.” That’s pretty cool.  So, the Psalmist is saying, “You are light.”

We can’t look directly at light with our eyes. It’s blinding.  And we have never seen true pure light, which is God.  That would certainly blind us.  But one day, we will see Him.  One day we will be able to look directly at Him with glorified eyes. His light will not only be bright, but it will also be inviting.

TEACHING MOMENT

Let’s perform an experiment with light.  Get a flashlight with your children and go in a dark room.  Shine it toward them.  Do it just for a second.  Don’t blind them.  But ask them to look directly at the light.  Then turn off the light and ask them if they still saw it briefly. Normally, we can still the light in our vision for a couple of seconds after the light is out.

Now think about that.  Your retina stores that image in your brain.  The light is gone, but you still see it briefly.  That’s how it should be with us and God.  If we are always looking at Him, at the brightness of His light in our life, then we should be able to maintain that light in the dark places.  The key is though is to keep looking at the light.  Never take your eye off of Him.

Have you lost the bright light?  Have you turned your attention to something else? Turn your sight back to Jesus.  Let Him shine in You.  Let others see His brightness in the way you talk and act. In that way, others will get a glimpse of His glory at work in you.  Wouldn’t that be marvelous?

Lord, You truly light up my life.  Let Your light shine in me.  Help me keep my eyes on You.

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DAY AND NIGHT


Best Verse: Psalm 74:16 “Yours is the day, Yours also is the night; You have prepared the light and the sun.”

Day or night, night or day – they both belong to God.  He is the One who created them.  He established the sun to rule by day and the moon to rule by night.  He placed the sun in its orbit and gave the moon the power to affect the tides of the sea.  

Don’t you realize the power that is in that? If these two lights were not exactly placed where they are the earth would either freeze or burn up.  The seas would either flood the earth or they cease from rising.  God’s plan is perfect.

TEACHING MOMENT

Have your children ever been to an observatory? They are pretty fascinating.  You sit in this dark room and they reveal the constellations and planets to you.  Of course, they explain everything in terms of science.  But we know better.  We know who put them all in their places.  

Explain to your children the importance of the placement of the stars, including the sun and moon.  Explain to them how God knew EXACTLY where to put them to give life on earth.  Explain how He had the exact same perfection when He placed them in your family.  They were put there purposely.  Pretty cool!

Do you struggle with accepting situations in your life?  Do you realize that, as a believer, everything that touches your life goes through God’s hands first?  The very hands that placed the sun and moon touches your life daily.  Won’t you let Him place you in the perfect spot He has for you?

As I look at the sun and moon, Lord, I am reminded of Your perfect plan for me.  Thank You for placing me perfectly.  Thank You for allowing only those things that You touch to touch me.

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TH-TH-TH-THAT’S ALL FOLKS!


Best Verse: Psalm 72:20 “The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.”

THE LAST WORD

This Psalm was supposedly the last Psalm written by David.  There may be others that come after this one in the book of Psalms, but they were probably written earlier and just placed later in the book.  This is a strange verse to use for a devotional, don’t you think? You may be asking what I was thinking.

Finality!  That’s what I was thinking.  Everything must come to an end.  The title today was the closing words spoken by Porky Pig at the end of the cartoon show. The show was over.  That was it.  That’s all folks.  One day we will all face an end, just like we face an end to things here on earth. Only eternity lasts forever. Everything else is temporal and will fade.

TEACHING MOMENT

Watching your little Johnny or Susie grow can be exciting.  Childhood will end.  They will reach puberty and become teens.  You may think that will NEVER end, but it will.  They will finish high school and college, and before you know it, they are married with children.  

Use the time you have in each season of life wisely.  Ask the Lord what His purpose is for you for that time.  As the seasons of our life change so can His purpose for you.  I know my own ministry has changed over the past four decades.  Bring them each to a finality that honors Him.

Are you nearing the end of a “season”?  Look for the ways to end it well.  Perhaps you are entering into a brand, new time of your life.  That can be exciting and terrifying.  Embrace it with the knowledge that God is with you.

I am excited, Lord, at how you walk with me through every time of my life.  I pray I will end well.  I pray I will complete the tasks You have for me.

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OLD AND GRAY


Best Verse: Psalm 71:18 “And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.”

STILL USE ME

It happens to us all, if we live long enough. We get old and gray.  You may color your hair to hide the gray, but underneath it all, it is still gray and you’re still old.  Age has a way of doing that.  And that’s okay.  Getting old is just part of the cycle of life.  I don’t mind at all.

Like the Psalmist here in Psalm 71, I want to be used by God even when I am old and gray.  Why?  How?  I want to declare Him to the next generation. I want to pass on the faith.  I want to see them come to know Him and live for him.  And any believer can do that.  They can pass on the knowledge God has given them.

TEACHING MOMENT

Teaching our children, passing on the truths of God’s Word to the next generation, is our job.  We are called by God to instruct and train them.  This doesn’t stop when our children leave home, though. This task continues until God calls US home.  We have the opportunity to invest in our grandchildren and even, if God allows, our great grandchildren.  What a privilege.

We declare His strength and power. How?  By living it daily.  As we age our bodies get weaker.  Duh, right? I mean, if you are over 50 and not feeling your age, more power to you.  By relying on the Lord’s strength and His power, you are a living testimony to Him. Your family and friends will see that. 

So, how are you doing with this whole aging thing? Are you old and gray?  Are you still sharing with the future generations? God has given you a task to perform. You aren’t finished yet.  Take on each day with a vengeance.  Let Him empower you today.

Lord, there are days when I am physically weary.  I can accept that.  But don’t let me ever get spiritually weary.  Give me Your power and strength today.

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HURRY UP GOD


Best Verse: Psalm 70:1 “O God, hasten to deliver me; O Lord, hasten to my help!”

DON’T YOU KNOW I NEED YOU?

How many times have you prayed that?  You find yourself in a world of hurt, either due to your own bad decisions or no fault of your own.  So, what do you do?  You start praying for help.  But you have your own idea of the correct time table.

David is begging for the same thing.  Do you remember how long it took God to deliver him from Saul?  Saul chased him around the country trying to kill him for years.  We don’t know the exact amount of time, but it was for a while. Don’t you know David got tired of that? After all, God had already told him he was going to be king.

TEACHING MOMENT

Most children don’t have a lot of patience.  “Are we there yet?”  “When will we be going to Disney World?”  Question after question.  They can’t wait to get somewhere, or they can’t wait to get that special present.  It seems it’s always hurry, hurry, hurry.

One thing we need to help them learn at an early age is patience.  And we won’t do that if we are always giving in to their incessant questions.  There is nothing wrong with questions.  But some things just take time.  God does everything in His perfect time.  He will do it when it is the perfect time and not before.  That’s a lesson we should all learn.

Are you anxious about something today?  Are you asking God to hurry up and do something? I’ve been guilty of that.  I’ve begged God to just do something.  Allow God to work.  He has His perfect reason for waiting for the perfect time to do the perfect thing. Perfection is not rushed.

O Lord, forgive my impatience.  I will wait on You.  I know You know what and when is best for me.

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WHO DRINKS VINEGAR?


Best Verse: Psalm 69:21 “They also gave me gall for my food and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”

NASTY!

Many people drink vinegar for their health. Even I have fallen into the habit a time or two.  But man…that stuff is nasty.  I know what they say.  Vinegar can cleanse your system.  It can help regulate your body’s Ph.  It can…do miracles.  But getting it past the nostrils is a challenge.

You may read this verse and think of Matthew 27:34 where Jesus is being crucified and was offered vinegar to drink.  Many commentators point back to this verse as a Messianic prophecy.  Whether it is or not, the picture is clear.  Those who offered the vinegar were NOT trying to quench Jesus’ thirst. As the saying goes, “With friends like that…”

TEACHING MOMENT

At your next family dinner why don’t you pour everyone a little sip of vinegar in a cup?  Read this verse and talk about the prophecy.  Then ask all those who are brave enough to drink the vinegar.  It’s not going to hurt them.  Promise them that.  See who can drink it and keep it down (you might want to have a spit pail handy, lol).

Vinegar is bitter and can burn your throat and mouth. People can be bitter and cause you to want to spew that bitterness right back at them.  This is the lesson for today.  But like Jesus, we should NOT receive that bitterness (He didn’t drink it when offered).  Just like Jesus, we should not return bitterness with bitterness.  What did He do?  He died for them.  He gave His life for those who offered Him that vinegar.  We should be willing to do the same.

Is there someone in your life who is causing you to be bitter?  Now, hang on. NO ONE can make you bitter.  That is your choice.  Don’t fall into that trap. Don’t receive that bitterness from them. Don’t return it.  Pray for the sweetness of Jesus to come out of your mouth. Bless those who curse you.

O Lord, it is hard to return sweet words to those who spew bitter ones.  But Lord, I know if I die to myself and allow Your Holy Spirit to control my tongue, I can do that.  Thank You!

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