Day 120

Today’s Reading – Psalms 102-104
I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.  Psalm 104: 33-34
Ever have one of those days?

You know a day when you try to have a “quiet” time with God only to come away empty.

A Sunday of worship that seemingly leaves you empty.

A time of Bible study that seems a waste of time.

The Psalmist is here today to remind us in those moments – during those days …

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Wake Up!
It isn’t about you!
May my meditation be pleasing to God.
Meditations are to please God . . . Not You!

All that we do . . . worship . . . quiet time . . . study . . . etc

We do to please God.

God desires your attention – that is pleasing to Him.

In those moments when YOU aren’t getting it – Pray that God is . . .

Tomorrow’s Reading – 2 Samuel Chapter 5 and I Chronicles Chapters 11-12

Day 119

Today’s Reading – I Chronicles Chapters 7-10

In earlier times Phinehas son of Eleazar was the official in charge of the gatekeepers, and the LORD was with him.  I Chronicles 9:20

Our reading today continues with a list of genealogies and I laughed when I read the name Phineahas.

romper_s640x602Because on our house, I am the one that is always switching the channel to watch Phineas and and Ferb.

I don’t know exactly why? – I find it entertaining and good humor.

So, if you stop by and ask, “Whatcha doooing?” I just might answer, “Watching Phineas and Ferb!”
Now back to my point.

These lists of names represent generation after generation of Jewish lives.  Just like the leaders of Judah and Israel recorded in 1 and 2 Kings, some individual people lived in obedience and love of the LORD, while others preferred the beliefs and cultures of their neighbors.

Just as being related to or descended from a faithful person didn’t work to save Judah from punishment from the LORD, we cannot expect the same today.

Studies reveal that the Christian community is losing an entire generation.

The “church” is trying to figure out how to respond and stop the trends.

This in part is where I have a problem . . .

Research is currently placing the blame for the problem on the irrelevancy of the current church.  The church is not responsive to young adults . . . The church is too judgemental for young adults . . . The church is too anachronistic for young adults . . . The music is not attracting young adults . . . The list goes on and on.

How about this one . . . being born to parents of faith will not automatically create a new generation of faithful followers.

We have long gotten this and are now paying the price.

It is not the sole responsibility of the church to teach the next generation faith.

Parents and church, wake up we are not born Christian.

We need to teach the next generation how to live a life a faith.

We need to teach the next generation what faith is.

We need to teach the next generation that faith matters.

With a generation lost and questioning, we need to stop pointing fingers and take responsibility.

Give and answer for your faith.

Share your faith with someone else today.

 

Tomorrow’s Reading – Psalms 102-104

Day 118

Today’s Reading – Psalms 81, 88, 92-93

“But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. “If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways, how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes! Those who hate the LORD would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever. But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”  Psalm 81:11-16

Most often words of lament include “if only” . . .

If only I would have . . . I could have . . . I would have . . .

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You get the picture.

You have been there.

If only . . .

Things could have been so much better!

So here’s the rub.

God says, “my people won’t listen to Me.”

And God lets us do our own thing.

And then we complain about how bad things are . . .

So then . . . God laments . . . If Only . . .

Why not stop your own lamenting and start listening to God.

Things could be so much better …

Just sayin . . .

 

Tomorrow’s Reading – I Chronicles Chapters 7-10

Day 117

These are the men David put in charge of the music in the house of the LORD after the ark came to rest there. They ministered with music before the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, until Solomon built the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem. They performed their duties according to the regulations laid down for them.  I Chronicles 6:31-32 NIV

The sons of Levi had been chosen by God for spiritual service in the tabernacle.

This chapter points out the importance of worship. It also points out that worship was to be done according to God’s instruction.

worship_Pic_1.jpgI Chronicles 6:32 reminds us of the importance of song as a method of worshiping and praising God.

We seem to be lost today as to what it means to worship.

We spend out time debating what type of music?

What language or liturgy we should use?

Which version of the Bible to read from?

What style of preaching?

What format for worship?

The reality for me is that God instructed music to be a part of our worship.

Interesting for me is that the only thing we have left of their worship is the words they used (ie: The Psalms).

What we don’t have is the music.

Could that mean that God is more concerned with the words we sing than He is the music that accompanies it?

We don’t have an order of worship from the First Church of Corinth.

Could that mean that our format and style of worship should reflect our culture and our language?

Let me finish my “rant” by adding this: Perhaps our problem with worship today is that we have made it all about our wants and our desires . . . when worship was never intended to be about us.  Worship was a duty we were to perform according to God’s instruction.

Perhaps our worship needs less us (you and me) and more HIM.

Tomorrow’s Reading – Psalms 81, 88, 92-93

Day 116

Today’s reading – Psalms 73, 77-78

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I don’t know about you, but there are times when I sit down to pay bills that I get frustrated – frustrated that there are people who live lives of indulgence, sin, and corruption and seemingly don’t worry about how to pay the vet bill.I confess there are times, I am frustrated by the lack of resources for my family.

I wonder does it matter? Does God even care?

I confess that there are moments that I feel alone against the world.

And then (I love the “and then” moments) . . .

God speaks to me through an ancient voice – through a psalm of Asaph and I realize I am not alone in my thoughts.

I realize I am not wrong – God is listening.
God does care.

And in the end, when it really matters, God Wins!

Psalm 73
1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.
3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
5 They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity; their evil imaginations have no limits.
8 They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression.
9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.
11 They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?”
12 This is what the wicked are like — always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence.
14 All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments.
15 If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children.
16 When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply
17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.
18 Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin.
19 How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!
20 They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.
21 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.
23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.

Tomorrow’s Reading – I Chronicles Chapter 6

Day 115

Today’s Reading – I Chronicles Chapters 3-5

These were the heads of their households: Epher, Ishi, Eliel, Azriel, Jeremiah, Hodaviah, and Jahdiel—mighty warriors, famous men, heads of their households.   I Chronicles 5:24 CEB  

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Sounds like these guys had the world in hand … mighty warriors … famous men …

This would be a great story … IF the story ended in verse 24.

But that’s the problem with some stories … they don’t end where we want them to.

And so we read on

But they were unfaithful to the God of their ancestors and faithlessly followed the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them.

Blue sky with clouds.

And there it is.

Their story is our story.

The quest for fame and fortune isn’t the problem.

It is the choice to pursue other things instead of God that get us in trouble.

The story of making idols is as old as time.

And yet, we keep making the same mistakes … over … and over … and over again.

I am thankful for a patient and loving God that remains faithful to His promises even when we (I) am not.

How do I know?

Have you read the rest of the story?

Tomorrow’s Reading – Psalms 73 and 77-78

Day 114

Today’s Reading – Psalms 43-45, 49, 84-85, and 87

A Psalm for Hope from the Past … A Psalm of Easter for Today
I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself. You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant, ‘I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.’” The heavens praise your wonders, LORD, your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings? In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him. Who is like you, LORD God Almighty? You, LORD, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.   Psalm 89:1-8 NIV

God’s plan is fulfilled.
DSC_0010.JPGThe tomb is empty.

The price is paid.

Death is defeated.

God’s faithful promise endures.

Sing forever of God’s love.

Tomorrow’s Reading – I Chronicles Chapters 3-5