The Journey with Ron Moore

Psalm 38:9-22  

All my longings lie open before you, LORD; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes. My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away. Those who want to kill me set their traps, those who would harm me talk of my ruin; all day long they scheme and lie. I am like the deaf, who cannot hear, like the mute, who cannot speak; I have become like one who does not hear, whose mouth can offer no reply. LORD, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God. For I said, “Do not let them gloat or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.” For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me. I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin. Many have become my enemies without cause; those who hate me without reason are numerous. Those who repay my good with evil lodge accusations against me, though I seek only to do what is good. LORD, do not forsake me; do not be far from me, my God. Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior.

Lord, waiting on You is hard. The procedure took longer than I thought. And now I anticipate the results. My mind gets carried away with the “what if’s.” Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.

Lord, waiting on You is hard. Today he says that he will file the papers. How can all the years together—the home, children, memories—how can they all be packed away in his mind like seasonal ornaments stored in the attic? Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.

Lord, waiting on You is hard. Recovery wasn’t supposed to take this long. Why so many complications? Where is the healing? Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.

Lord, waiting on You is hard. I have had a peace since leaving the meeting where I learned the company was downsizing. I knew You would provide. I was confident that a new job…a better job…would come my way. I still am…but…the days have turned into weeks. Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.

Lord, waiting on You is hard. But I have learned the danger of running ahead…doing my own thing…trying to work my own timing. Please give me the will to wait for You and give me peace in the waiting. Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.

Psalm 38:1-8
A psalm of David. A petition.

LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. Your arrows have pierced me, and your hand has come down on me. Because of your wrath there is no health in my body; there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin. My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly. I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning. My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body. I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart.

Sin is a burden for the true believer. The guilt weighs heavy on the body and soul. David, the great warrior, likens it to being pierced with an arrow and having the wound fester. Certainly, sickness is not always the result of sin. But sin can impact one’s health. David felt “feeble and utterly crushed” due to his sin.

In today’s Christian culture this is not a popular truth. The talk that sells books goes like this: “We are all sinners. Thank God for His compassion. We are far from perfect. Thank God for His grace. You will sin but the loving God will not hold you accountable.” This contains bits of truth. God is compassionate, gracious, and loving…and…He does hold us accountable for our sin.

I am a sinner saved by grace and I thank God for His continual forgiveness but I cannot use that truth as an excuse to sin. As a believer I must be just as concerned about sin on the front end as I am thankful for forgiveness on the back end. Reread today’s passage (the psalm continues tomorrow with the same theme). David said, “My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.”

Father, please help me be as mindful of following hard after You before I sin as I am thankful for Your grace and forgiveness when I acknowledge my sin. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 37:34-40  

Hope in the LORD and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it. I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a luxuriant native tree, but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found. Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace. But all sinners will be destroyed; there will be no future for the wicked. The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

David said that during his life he watched “a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a luxuriant native tree.” Doesn’t seem fair, does it? But, in this passage, David works to move us from judging others into the presence of the Judge. There is no future for the wicked. They will be destroyed. But a future awaits the child of God who seeks peace.

Comparing ourselves to others is a losing proposition. Discouragement comes if we feel we are behind. Pride shows up when we believe we are ahead.  Keeping our eyes on the Lord should be the believer’s vision. Salvation comes from Him. He is our “stronghold in time of trouble.” He helps us and delivers us. He alone is our refuge.

So…here’s my challenge. Take a piece of paper and write down the name of a person who by wicked and ruthless means gets ahead. Now…in a safe place…put that paper to the flames. As it burns away turn your focus to the Lord. He is the final Judge to whom we must give an account. Envy is a futile way to burn energy. Let’s set our hearts on selling out in service to Christ.

Father, forgive my envy and jealousy. Turn my heart toward You. Help me use my mental, emotional, and physical energy to honor and serve You alone. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalms 37:25-33  

I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing. Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever. For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed; the offspring of the wicked will perish. The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever. The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just. The law of their God is in their hearts; their feet do not slip. The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, intent on putting them to death; but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked or let them be condemned when brought to trial.

I write this for those who are between jobs, looking for a job, or needing to find a different job. I understand the challenges. The networking…and waiting…the interviews…and waiting…the disappointment when you learn that you were not chosen for the position…and waiting for another opportunity. There is a verse in today’s passage that is just for you.

David said, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging for bread.” David says that he never saw a time in his entire life when God failed to provide for his children. I don’t know when the job will come but I know God keeps his promises. His timing will be perfect and he will give you the opportunity that will meet the needs of your family as well as the blessing to share his resources with others.

So…keep networking. Keep interviewing. Keep chasing down the leads. And…know that God is right by your side. Depend on him. He will take care of you. And…you will be amazed at what he delivers.

Father, I pray for those in the job search. Keep their minds and hearts focused on you. Keep their emotions in check by your Spirit. Remind them that they are not alone in the search. You are right there with them. You will always provide exactly what is needed. Give them your peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 37:18-24  

The blameless spend their days under the LORD’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever. In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty. But the wicked will perish: Though the LORD’s enemies are like the flowers of the field, they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke. The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously; those the LORD blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be destroyed. The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

The Lord cares for His children. There will be times of challenge and disappointment. We will not be exempt from the strong winds of hard storms. But our eternal inheritance will endure forever. In times of need the Lord will always provide.

The Lord cares for His children. We don’t have to hoard God’s resources. Nor should we spend God’s resources selfishly—for bigger, better, and faster stuff. We can give generously knowing that our gifts to others are out of what God has given to us.

The Lord cares for His children. The terrain of our journey is challenging. The potholes of the world rattle our lives and Satan is always taking aim. But the Lord walks with us to steady our steps. Even when we stumble, we will not fall, because “the Lord upholds [us] with his hand.”   

Father, thank You for walking with me every step of my journey. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 37:7-17  

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret —it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity. The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming. The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright. But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken. Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked; for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.

Why does it seem like the corner-cutters always get ahead? Like the person who cheats through school and then lands a great job. Like the person who schmoozes at work and ends up with a promotion. Like the one who doesn’t exhibit integrity but that never seems to affect their lifestyle. You can add to the list. Corner-cutters are irritating. When God’s law is clear about blessing following obedience, why do people succeed in their sinful ways?

Today’s passage says, “Relax.” Remember life is a video comprised of years, not a snapshot capturing one moment. Be still and wait patiently for the Lord. Life is short; eternity is forever. A person will reap what they sow.

Instead of being irritated at the wicked, pray for them. Those who serve themselves as their own god will meet a hellish end. The swords they use to slash toward worldly success will “pierce their own heart.” Keep eternity in mind—“the power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.”

Father, help me keep my focus on You instead of on people who seem to get ahead by sinful schemes. Help me pray for their eternity as I thank You for mine. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 37:1-6  
Of David.

Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.

What do you dream about? What fills your mind? What ignites a fire in your heart? When you say, “This is what I was put on earth to do!” what is the “this?” Today’s passage provides three steps to making our desires a reality.

Take delight in the Lord.
Inappropriate fires cannot burn in my soul when I savor my relationship with the Lord.  When I delight in the Lord, He becomes the focus of my heart. I will desire to honor Him and please Him.

Commit your way to the Lord.
I like to plan my work and work my plans. And…that’s where I mess things up. I must hand my plans over to God, wait for Him, and follow His leading.

He will give you the desires of your heart.
When my heart beats with God’s, we share the same desires. His plans are mine. I am on His timetable. Those things He values impassion me. I can shed the weight of empty aspirations.  He captures the inner fire and makes my righteous rewards shine!

Father, please make my desires Your desires, and let’s fulfill them together. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 36:5-12  

Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, LORD, preserve both people and animals. How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart. May the foot of the proud not come against me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away. See how the evildoers lie fallen—thrown down, not able to rise!

When our first daughter, Brittany, was born I was surprised to feel a new channel of love open up in my heart. I thought I had expended all of my love on my wife, Lori. I didn’t know I had the capacity to love another person that much. And when we found out another baby was on the way, I wondered how I could love a second child as much as Brittany. But when our son was born, I learned that my love for him didn’t “borrow” from my love for Brittany. A new reservoir of love was released for Garrison…and then for Lara….and then for Mackenzie.

The capacity to love our children gives us just a hint of God’s great love for us. It cannot be contained. It has no bounds. It has no limits. It is unconditional and unfailing. There is nothing we as true believers can do to make God love us more; there is nothing we can do to make God love us less. His love is perfect.

Eugene Peterson says it like this in The Message:

God’s love is meteoric,
his loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic,
his verdicts oceanic.
Yet in his largeness
nothing gets lost;
Not a man, not a mouse,
slips through the cracks.

Father, thank You for loving me with an unfailing and limitless love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 36:1-4  
For the director of music. Of David the servant of the Lord.

I have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before their eyes. In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin. The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful; they fail to act wisely or do good. Even on their beds they plot evil; they commit themselves to a sinful course and do not reject what is wrong.

One country invades another. Ethnic cleansing targets innocent victims. Murder. Prostitution. Addictions. Adultery. Abuse. Where does the desire for these shameful acts that steal dignity, end lives, and destroy families come from?

Sin comes from an unwillingness to accept who God is. David says of the wicked, “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Sinners are wrapped up in what they want. They do not hate their sin for that would involve hating what they desire. The wicked are as dangerous asleep as awake. Even “on their beds” they are plotting the next day’s sinful course of action.

Sin is an insidious disease that causes us to put God out of our minds. Unfortunately believers can fall into this trap. Forgetting God is refusing to fear Him and when we decide to put God out of our minds, we are putting ourselves (and those we love) in danger.

Father, keep us dependent on You. Help us to honor You with our lives. Don’t let us ever forget Your presence that surrounds us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 35:22-28  

LORD, you have seen this; do not be silent. Do not be far from me, Lord. Awake, and rise to my defense! Contend for me, my God and Lord. Vindicate me in your righteousness, LORD my God; do not let them gloat over me. Do not let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!” or say, “We have swallowed him up.” May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion; may all who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace. May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, “The LORD be exalted, who delights in the well- being of his servant.” My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises all day long.

Those who had been on David’s side now opposed him. What caused the shift of alliance is not explained, but the very people David had invested in turned on him when he needed them the most. They responded to his situation with slander.

Maybe today you feel alone…like David did. There are family members or former friends who seem to be gloating over your distress, delighting in your difficult stretch. Instead of helping you up they seem intent on keeping you down.

If you can relate to David, I encourage you to pray his prayer in your own words.

Dear Father,

You see everything that is going on. You know the injustice being done. Do not be silent in this situation. Please come near to me. I need to feel You by my side. Please come and defend me. You are my God and Lord. I am in this with You. Fight with me. Fight for me. When You deliver I will declare Your praises all day long. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 35:11-21  

Ruthless witnesses come forward; they question me on things I know nothing about. They repay me evil for good and leave me like one bereaved. Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting. When my prayers returned to me unanswered, I went about mourning as though for my friend or brother. I bowed my head in grief as though weeping for my mother. But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee; assailants gathered against me without my knowledge. They slandered me without ceasing. Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked; they gnashed their teeth at me. How long, Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their ravages, my precious life from these lions. I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among the throngs I will praise you. Do not let those gloat over me who are my enemies without cause; do not let those who hate me without reason maliciously wink the eye. They do not speak peaceably, but devise false accusations against those who live quietly in the land. They sneer at me and say, “Aha! Aha! With our own eyes we have seen it.

Ever had a friend betray you? Someone you cared for? A person in whom you invested time and energy? When they were down you were there with them; but when you needed help, they were nowhere to be found.  

That’s what happened to David. He had invested his life in a person. He prayed fervently for him. He wept for him “as though weeping for my mother.” Then David stumbled and this “friend” joined the slanderers and mockers.

There are no two ways about it—when a friend turns on you it hurts. But these times are great reminders that people will always disappoint us. However, there is One who sticks closer than a brother. There is One who will never leave or forsake us. There is One who died so that we could live. We desire good friends but there is only One who deserves our worship.

Lord Jesus, You have made us to want and need good friendships. Help us keep this in proper perspective. May our worship and focus always be on You—our Friend for eternity. In Your name I pray. Amen.

Psalm 35:1-10  
Of David.

Contend, LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. Take up shield and armor; arise and come to my aid. Brandish spear and javelin against those who pursue me. Say to me, “I am your salvation.” May those who seek my life be disgraced and put to shame; may those who plot my ruin be turned back in dismay. May they be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the LORD driving them away; may their path be dark and slippery, with the angel of the LORD pursuing them. Since they hid their net for me without cause and without cause dug a pit for me, may ruin overtake them by surprise—may the net they hid entangle them, may they fall into the pit, to their ruin. Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD and delight in his salvation. My whole being will exclaim, “Who is like you, LORD? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them.

David was a warrior who expressed the challenges of life in terms of a battle. He knew what it was like to go up against a formidable enemy and he never wanted to fight alone. He asked God to contend with him, to join him in the struggle.  He wanted to hear four words from God: “I am your salvation.”

David wanted God to come to his aid where the battle was the fiercest. He petitioned God to “take up shield and armor,” “to brandish spear and javelin.” He needed divine and natural intervention. He prayed that God send an angel to chase the enemy down dark and slippery paths into the pits they had dug for David.

All of us are engaged in a battle, albeit not against flesh and blood on a battlefield. We are no match for our enemies and the circumstances of life. But God is by our side. He is the One who rescues the weak from those too strong for them. Aren’t you thankful you are not fighting alone? Aren’t you thankful that God is contending for you?

Father, on my own I will lose the battle every time. Thank You for being by my side and fighting with me. Thank You for rescuing me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 34:17-22  

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. The LORD will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Broken hearts come in many forms. And we all will at some point experience a broken heart; that’s for sure. Some are crushed by a spouse who walks out on the marriage. Heartache comes from the rejection of a dear friend or family member; by reckless words that pierce like a sword. Some hearts are broken when the job is lost; others when the retirement watch doesn’t quite justify the years of sacrifice. Sometimes kids go astray. Sometimes loneliness sits heavy on the heart. Or discouragement settles in and you’re not sure when or why it came. Sometimes you come to the harsh realization that what you desperately wanted is just not going to happen.

And there is another thing that’s for sure—the Lord will be right there with you. God is always close. If you are a follower of Jesus, He lives in you! But there is something about a broken heart that highlights His presence. There’s something about a crushed spirit that amplifies His voice. When our hearts hurt we hear God more clearly.  

It’s not like we go out looking for a broken heart or excitedly anticipate a crushed spirit. But they will come—unforeseen, uninvited, unwelcomed.  And when they do the Lord is close with comfort. The Lord is there with hope. He never lets go of His children. He saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Father, thank You for being close to the brokenhearted. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm 34:8-16  

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Fear the LORD, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth.

David wrote these words after a close call. In his attempt to escape from Saul he traveled to the land of the Philistines. He was spotted right away. The Philistines recognized him as the one who killed their hero, Goliath. David was “very much afraid” and pretended to be insane in order to protect himself. It was not David’s best day (see 1 Samuel 21:10-15).

David’s fear and feigned insanity did not stop him from praising the Lord. He knew that regardless of his scheming, God was the One who brought deliverance. Perhaps David was thinking of his trickery when he wrote, “keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.”  Running from Saul was wearing him out. But even as David was running, he recognized that God provides good things to those who seek Him.

Maybe you can relate to David’s fear, even his deceit. Circumstances have caused you to pretend to be someone you’re not. You have been living out of character. Don’t keep pretending. Heed David’s advice: Turn from evil. Do good. Seek peace with God. He is always attentive to your cry for help.

Lord, thank You for not turning Your back on me during my less than stellar stretches. I am turning from evil. I seek Your forgiveness, and long to hear You whisper, “Welcome home.” In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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.

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