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“Who will rise up for me against the wicked?  Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?  Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.  When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.  When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”  (Psalm 94:16-19, NIV)

Reflecting on the role of power and influence in our world, comedian Woody Allen said: “The race may not go to the swift, or victory to the strong, but that’s how you bet.”

Today’s reading, however, reminds us that although the wicked co-exist with the righteous — and often have the stronger hand — God is the champion of the righteous.

Were it not for the Lord God’s help, we would be dead.  When we slip or stumble, God’s unfailing love supports us.  When we are severely anxious,  God’s consolation fills our dreadful heart with joy.

The odds-makers and betters will always prefer the swiftest and the strongest.  The Lord God backs the slow and the weak, when they put their faith in Him.  -Luther

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“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.  They rejoice in your name all day long; they celebrate your righteousness.  For you are their glory and strength, and by your favor you exalt our horn.”  (Psalm 89:15-17, NIV)

Learning to “acclaim” the Lord requires both discipline and practice.

Discipline, because it is something that is contrary to our ego-centric selves.  Practice, because it is only through repetition that it becomes our nature to give God the glory that is rightfully His.

In life, we take so much for granted.  If we only thought for 60 seconds of all of the things that God gives us as a matter of His grace: The air we breathe; the water we drink; the food we eat; longevity; the love of our family members; the fidelity of our friends. . ., we would rejoice in His “name all day long.”

As it is, these simple gifts are seldom noticed, until we are at risk of losing them; or, until we have begun to “walk in the light of [His] presence.”

As large as the blessing may be in the receipt of God’s gifts; a larger blessing is knowing that God’s reservoir of grace is inexhaustible.  – Luther

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