The Journey with Ron Moore

Psalm 34:1-7  

Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left.

I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.

It was not David’s best day. Fleeing from Saul, David escaped into Philistine territory. There he was recognized as the one who had killed the Philistine hero, Goliath. He was “very much afraid” so he pretended to be insane. Like a madman he made marks on the doors and let saliva run down his beard. Abimelek’s response is classic. Seeing David’s behavior, he replied,  “Am I short of madmen?” and had David taken from his presence (see 1 Samuel 21:10-15).

Though David feigned insanity as a means of protection, this did not keep him from praising God for deliverance. Perhaps he was reflecting on when he contorted his face and let saliva run down his beard as he wrote, “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” He acknowledged that it was God who delivered him from all his fears.

Like David, we will not always be able to declare, “This was my best day ever!” But our failure and fear is not an excuse to wallow in self-pity. Even when we have our days we’d rather forget, we can still say, “This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.” God never forsakes us, even on our “less than best” days.

Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness to me even when fear drives me to failure. Thank You for hearing my prayer and providing deliverance. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 33:12-22  

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you.

In what or in whom do you put your confidence? What gives you hope? What causes you to breathe a sigh of certainty?

Too many people look in the wrong place for confidence. Some find comfort in the right political party, military muscle, or economic strength.  Personally, we strive for the right job or financial security. Let’s face it. We like to place our bets on strong charismatic people and our possessions.

God laughs at our misguided assurance.  Human strength, no matter how convincing or clever, is no match for God. He keeps His eye on those “whose hope is in his unfailing love.” At the end of the day He alone is our only Deliverer, our only Helper, our only Shield. The wise person waits in hope for the Lord.

Father, I confess, I am tempted to look to military strength, political leaders, and personal wealth as sources of confidence. Forgive me. May I always put my trust in You alone. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 33:6-11  

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

The absolute power of God is seen first and foremost in creation. God did not make something out of something. He created the world out of nothing (ex nihilo). He spoke the world into existence. He said, “Let there be…” and there was. If Genesis 1:1 were the only thing we knew about God, it would be more than enough to fear and revere Him.

God, however, did not set the world in motion and then back away to watch it spin. He is intimately involved in the affairs of man. God’s sovereign plans “stand firm forever.” Governments and individuals make great plans; God frustrates the plans that are not in line with His.

Our confidence is this: “The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” In the end, He wins! And we get to march in the victory parade with Him.

Father, thank You for the confidence found in Your sovereign power. Thank You that no person or thing can alter Your eternal plan. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 33:1-5  

Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.

Those who have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ should be the most joyful of all the people on Earth. We are sons and daughters of God! We are forgiven, secure, and made significant by the work of Jesus! It is “fitting for the upright to praise him.” We must make sure that we come to God with authentic and meaningful praise.

Praise must be spontaneous and fresh. Each day is a new day complete with new mercies from God! New mercies demand new songs. Today learn a new song of praise. Start a journal and list all of the things you are thankful for today. Take a walk in order to admire the beautiful creation of God. If you are in a rut, get out of it. Praise God in a fresh way.

Praise must be done with our best talents and energy. Notice the psalmist wants our new song to be played skillfully. While this may be directly applied to a talented musician the application doesn’t stop there. God demands our best. Leftover, distracted, lethargic praise is not fitting for the upright.

Father, today I turn over a new leaf of praise. Today I want to give You my best in everything I do at home, work, school, and in the community. And I want to praise You in a new and fresh way. Help me find and sing a “new song.” In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalms 32:8-11  

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him. Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart.

In the first seven verses of this psalm David felt the heaviness of unconfessed sin. It was eating away at him. It was depleting his strength. Then he owned up and confessed his sin to the Lord. And God responded in complete and full forgiveness. 

In today’s verses David is on the relief side. Because of forgiveness, David’s remorse has turned to celebration. He rejoices in God’s unconditional and unfailing love. David wanted to instruct and teach others from his self-learning.

As believers we will sin. The question is what will we do with our sin? Will we hold the guilt close allowing it to chain us to a pole of remorse and regret? Or will we confess our sins to the Lord and experience full release? Are you living with the guilt of sin? It’s time to confess and allow God to release you. It’s time to “rejoice in the Lord and be glad”.

Father, I confess my sins before You. Thank You for Your constant presence and for Your unconditional forgiveness. Help me walk in freedom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 32:1-7  
Of David. A maskil.

Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.  You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. 

Sin sits heavy on the soul. The offenses we have committed never wander far from our minds. When the memory of sin resurfaces…so does the guilt. Sin keeps us chained to a pole of shame, paralyzed with self-regret. And as long as we keep silent, there we stay…tethered.  

For David, the guilt of sin took a physical toll. His bones wasted away through the constant groaning. He felt God’s hand heavy on him. Sin sapped his energy like the sun on a hot summer’s day. Sin is not simply a spiritual issue. It wears on our bodies, spirits, and minds. 

Worn out by sin, David turned to the only One who could bring relief. When he confessed his sin, God “forgave the guilt.” He removed the heavy burden and replaced it with peace. He will do the same for you—He will forgive the guilt of your sin.  

Father my sin is heavy. I am tired of carrying it around and covering it up. I confess my sin to You. I ask for Your forgiveness. Please replace the guilt with songs of deliverance. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 31:19-24  

How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues. Praise be to the LORD, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege. In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight!” Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help. Love the LORD, all his faithful people! The LORD preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

Do you feel like you are living in a besieged city? Circumstances of life have you surrounded on all sides and there is no relief in sight. You feel like your situation has alienated you from God, cut off from His sight.

That’s where David was in today’s passage. The enemy had him cornered with no way of escape. But in the midst of the seemingly helpless situation, God shows David the wonders of His love. He heard David’s cry for mercy. He provided a refuge, shelter, and the needed help to break free.

God can do the same for you. Your siege is not too much for Him. Your cries for help are heard. He “preserves those who are true to him.” He will come to you, remove the blockades, and put you in a safe place. Be strong! Take heart! Keep your confidence in the Lord!

Father, I feel surrounded with no way out. In front and behind, to my right and left, circumstances of life have me trapped. So, I put my hope in You. Please show me the wonders of Your love. Please hear my cries for mercy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.  

Psalm 31:6-18  

I hate those who cling to worthless idols; as for me, I trust in the LORD. I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. You have not given me into the hands of the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place. Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief. My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak. Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors and an object of dread to my closest friends—those who see me on the street flee from me. I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery. For I hear many whispering, “Terror on every side!” They conspire against me and plot to take my life. But I trust in you, LORD; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me. Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love. Let me not be put to shame, LORD, for I have cried out to you; but let the wicked be put to shame and be silent in the realm of the dead. Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous.

Ever feel confined? Hemmed in? Restricted? Maybe the feeling comes from a broken relationship. Or you feel trapped in your marriage. Maybe you are struggling to find meaning in your job. Maybe a health problem has put limits on your life. Maybe grief makes it hard to breathe.

I don’t know David’s specific situation but something caused him great affliction which he described as “anguish of my soul.” He is in distress. Sorrow and crying has made his eyes weak. Grief has exhausted his body and soul. But notice what God did.

David said, “You have not given me into the hands of the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.” God took David away from danger, the place where he was limited, and put him in a spacious place where he was free to run unfettered. God can do the same for you.

Father, I feel imprisoned by my situation. My mind and body are heavy from the burden that weighs me down. Please put me in a spacious place where I will be free to run. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 31:1-5  
For the director of music. A psalm of David.

In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.

Around every corner the devil sets a trap. He is not omniscient but he is a student of human behavior. He knows our weaknesses and our tendency to sin. There is no temptation that is unique to man, so he does not have to be creative. When it comes to sin, old traps work just as well as new ones.

There is only one remedy for Satan’s traps. On our own we will be lured in every time. If we can resist one trap by our strong self-discipline, the trap of pride is ready to clamp down on our next step. Such is the insidious nature of sin. Left to our own devices the escape hatch for one sin leads to the snare of another.  

The only remedy is the Lord. He is our only hope of refuge. He will keep us from shame. He will come to our rescue. He will hide us in His fortress. He alone is our faithful God. We can commit our weak spirit to Him.

Father, I am no match for temptation. Left to myself I live trapped so right now I commit my spirit to You. Please deliver me. Show Yourself faithful…again. Keep me away from the trap that is set for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 30:6-12  

When I felt secure, I said, “I will never be shaken.” LORD, when you favored me, you made my royal mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed. To you, LORD, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: “What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? Hear, LORD, and be merciful to me; LORD, be my help.” You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever.

Security comes in a variety of packages: Steady income, a comfortable portfolio, good health, a solid relationship, an intact family, a loving spouse…the list goes on. Every person has that “thing” that makes them breathe a sigh of confidence.  For some the confidence turns into self-sufficiency…and danger.

Security, in the wrong things, results in foolish boasts like “I will never be shaken.” “I’ve got this life under control.” “I can handle things on my own.” “I don’t need anything or anyone.” These, of course, are false boasts and invite trouble.   

Security in stuff is a losing proposition. Think downsizing, stock drop, illness, divorce…. Only God can make our life stand firm. Only God can turn wailing into dancing and clothe us with joy. Real security is found in God alone. His favor is the only thing that can make our life stand firm.

Father, forgive me for the sin of self-sufficiency. Forgive me for thinking that I am somehow responsible for the good things from Your hand. I desire Your mercy and Your favor. Keep my mountain firm. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Psalm 30:1-5  
A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple. Of David.

I will exalt you, LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. You, LORD, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit. Sing the praises of the LORD, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

No person is spared from some trips down into the valleys but God lifts us out of the depths. No one is immune from illness but God comes to our aid. Life has its share of pits but God directs our paths around them or lifts us out of them. We are constantly calling for help. And…God never ignores our cries.

Even when we sin…even when the consequences come…even when we experience God’s displeasure, it is only for a moment. Like a loving father, His discipline is quick and to the point. But…His favor…His favor is experienced during our entire lives.

Tears will come…for a time. But it is only for a time. Rejoicing follows closely behind. Be encouraged. Your night will soon be over. The sun is rising on your life. A time of joy is on the way. Rejoicing will come in the morning.

Father, I can’t see Your plan in the darkness. Stay by my side as I wait for the coming morning. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 29:10-11  

The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever. The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood…
God never checks out. He never spins the earth like a top and lets it go.  He sits enthroned, sovereign, reigning as King…even over the flood.

The Lord is enthroned as King forever.
God will never abdicate His rule. He reigns as the King of Kings. And His kingdom is without end. He is the eternal One who has always been and will always be.

The Lord gives strength to his people…
The sovereign eternal King does not sequester Himself to His throne room. He moves in the midst of His people dispensing His strength. His might, supplied by the Holy Spirit, gives His people everything they need to do what He is calling them to do.

The Lord blesses his people with peace.
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

Father, I acknowledge You and You alone as the sovereign God enthroned forever. You alone are my source of strength. You alone are my peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 29:1-9  
A psalm of David.

Ascribe to the LORD, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD thunders over the mighty waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning. The voice of the LORD shakes the desert; the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

The voice of God is heard in the storm. As the clouds build up and the thunder rumbles and the sky fills with blinding flashes of lightning, the power of God in creation is heard in surround sound and seen in HD. God’s voice is powerful and majestic. One bolt of lightening can twist mighty trees and shake the floors of the desert.

The voice of God is heard in the storm. As the dark clouds of difficult circumstances cover our lives God’s voice is unmistakable. Pain has a way of alleviating distractions and opens our ears to what God is saying with unusual clarity.

C.S. Lewis famously said, “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” (The Problem with Pain) The voice of God is heard in the storm.

Father, thank You for speaking clearly when I am in the midst of a life challenge. May my ear be tuned to hear You everyday.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 Psalm 28  
Of David.

To you, LORD, I call; you are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit. Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place. Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who do evil, who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts. Repay them for their deeds and for their evil work; repay them for what their hands have done and bring back on them what they deserve. Because they have no regard for the deeds of the LORD and what his hands have done, he will tear them down and never build them up again. Praise be to the LORDfor he has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.

David was a warrior and his shield was one of his primary pieces of protective equipment. The shield was made of a wood or metal frame covered with leather, sometimes coated with brass, copper, or gold. Shields came in two sizes. A smaller shield was used for hand-to-hand combat. The larger shield extended from a soldier’s feet to his chin. This shield stopped projectiles such as arrows.

The shield also was a sign of commitment when carried by an armor-bearer. In his historical novel Day of War, Cliff Graham gives an account of an experienced armor-bearer training his replacement. He explains, “The rule is: never leave your master in battle . . . It will get bad, and then it will get worse, and you still never leave him . . . Stay next to him.”

God is our strength and shield. By His Spirit, He provides us all we need to stay in the battle. And He is our armor-bearer. He never leaves us. He is always right by our side. He fights with us and protects us against the arrows of the enemy. Like an armor-bearer in battle, God is always there with us.

Father, I thank You for being my strength and my shield. Thank You for never leaving my side in the heat of the battle. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 27:7-14  

Hear my voice when I call, LORD; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior. Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. Teach me your way, LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations. I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

When you feel like God is not listening…
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

When it seems like God is refusing to act…
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

When you are ready to give up…
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

When the lure of temptation seems irresistible… 
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

When you feel like running to the land of disobedience…
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

When those closest to you have hurt you…
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

When you feel like you are carrying a fifty lb. backpack of discouragement…
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

When anxiety saturates your mind…
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

When grief hits you like a rogue wave…
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

When you don’t feel like waiting…
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Father, give me the strength to wait for You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 27:1-6  
Of David.

The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.

My most dangerous times are unfocused times. Pursuits, activities, and responsibilities—all good in and of themselves—pull me in many different directions and cause me to lose focus.  Spurgeon said it well: Divided aims tend to distraction, weakness, disappointment. I have experienced that to be true.

But King David, a man with much on his plate, focused his sights on “one thing.” This singular endeavor was his heart’s desire and active quest. David wanted a heart ignited with a burning passion to follow hard after God. He was not content to just read about God or think about God or talk about God. David desired to experience God’s presence every day of his life.

An ignited heart is not cloistered in a commune. The fire burns in the normal activities of life. This focused fire blazes with a passionate desire to follow God in the twists and turns, up the mountains, and down the valleys of life’s journey.  Whether we are running at full speed or standing still to catch our breath; whether we are carefully positioning our feet for the climb or maneuvering the steep descent, we have this “one thing” desire. O God, let the fire burn!

Father, that is my prayer and desire. By Your Spirit, let Your fire burn in my heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 26:8-12  

LORD, I love the house where you live, the place where your glory dwells. Do not take away my soul along with sinners, my life with those who are bloodthirsty, in whose hands are wicked schemes, whose right hands are full of bribes. I lead a blameless life; deliver me and be merciful to me. My feet stand on level ground; in the great congregation I will praise the LORD.

A few summers ago a friend took my son and me fishing for walleye. Twenty miles out on Lake Erie our boat was bounced around by “three-footers” and “four-footers” as we steadied ourselves to reel in the catches from four hundred yards out. We were thankful to be hit only by the waves and not by seasickness. And, as much fun as the fishing was, I’ll admit it was a good feeling to step off the boat and be standing on level ground.

David was a warrior. He knew the sensation of shaky footing. Hiking through the rocky terrain, climbing up steep hills, sleeping in tents on the hard ground, David and his men felt the stability and confidence that comes when your feet are standing on solid, level ground.

Today you may feel that your life is being bounced about by “four-footers.” You may feel like you are on a rocky climb that is challenging your strength or on a treacherous decline where with each step you are in danger of slipping. Accept David’s invitation to enter into God’s house—the place where His glory dwells. Take a break from the struggle, close your eyes, and invite the Father to calm you, refresh you, and give you strength for today’s journey. Whatever your circumstance, you will be standing on level ground enveloped by the presence of the living God.

Father, I thank You for the glory of Your presence. Thank You for delivering me to level ground. Help me to keep standing firm.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 26:1-7  
Of David.

Vindicate me, LORD, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the LORD and have not faltered. Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness. I do not sit with the deceitful, nor do I associate with hypocrites. I abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked. I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, LORD, proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds.

All of us are aware of our propensity to sin and our need for God’s continual stream of grace. At the same time, by God’s grace, there are (or should be) some solid stretches of obedience. We decline the offer of sin. We spend time in God’s Word. We enjoy close friendship with the Father. Like a downhill skier we hit the marks and finish standing strong.

That’s what is going on in David’s life as he wrote this psalm. He is having a good run. He has lived with integrity. He has trusted God and relied on His faithfulness. Staying mindful of God’s work in his life, David had made good decisions to stay away from those who live a lie. To make sure he is not rationalizing a hidden sin, David asks God to test him, try him, and examine his heart and mind. David celebrated spiritual victories. So should we!

Thank God today for a good run of obedience. Praise God for an act of obedience. Thank God that by His grace you stared down an opportunity to sin and did not flinch. Thank Him for helping you not say what was on your mind. Tell a good friend about a transformational truth you discovered in God’s Word today. Celebrate each victory one at a time.

Father, thank You for giving me victory through my Lord Jesus Christ! In His name I pray. Amen.

Psalm 25:16-22  

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. See how numerous are my enemies and how fiercely they hate me! Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, LORD, is in you. Deliver Israel, O God, from all their troubles.

God has your back. You can trust Him. Even when you feel alone, He is there. God graciously meets you right where you are.

God has your back. You can trust Him. He comes and relieves the troubles of your anguished heart.

God has your back. You can trust Him. He never turns His back on your affliction. He meets you in times of distress.

God has your back. You can trust Him. He takes away all of your sins!

God has your back. You can trust Him. When you wander off to dangerous places, He rescues you.

God has your back. You can trust Him. You can take refuge in Him.

God has your back. You can trust Him. God is your Protector. You can put your hope in Him and know that you will never be put to shame.

Thank You, Lord, for always having my back. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 25:8-15  

Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant. For the sake of your name, LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great. Who, then, are those who fear the LORD? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose. They will spend their days in prosperity, and their descendants will inherit the land. The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare.

God has your back. You can trust Him. Everything He does is good and right.

God has your back. You can trust Him. He teaches those who listen about His ways.

God has your back. You can trust Him. He is love and all His ways are loving.

God has your back. You can trust Him. He is faithful to all His children.

God has your back. You can trust Him. Even when your sins are great, He forgives.

God has your back. You can trust Him. Like an intimate friend, He confides in those who fear Him.

God has your back. You can trust Him. He will come to your aid and release you from whatever has you trapped.

Father, thank You for having my back. Help me to trust You more. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Prayer

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RON’S SERMONS

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