Tag Archives: the book of Psalms

“Lord, the Lord Almighty, may those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me; God of Israel, may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me.”  (Psalm 69:6, NIV)

As children of God, we represent the “family name.”

All that some people know of God — particularly those who do not know God — is what they see of God in us; and what they hear of God from us. For this reason, it should be our ambition to grow to maturity in the grace and knowledge of God.

Today’s psalm is attributed to David, of whom it was written that he was “a man after God’s own heart.”  (1 Samuel 13:14)

David didn’t always live up to his potential as a warrior (although he was a peerless warrior); as a king (although he was a great king); as a father, or as a husband.  However, when David failed he didn’t make excuses for his failures.  He fought to regain sight of God’s standard, turned his heart toward the Lord, and owned-up to whatever personal sacrifices and behavior changes he needed to return to fellowship with his Creator.

David knew, as we should know, that we are always under observation.  When our children watch us, as they do, what do they see?  When our co-workers watch us, as they will, what do they see?  When our casual acquaintances think of us, as they shall, does integrity, self-control, fairness, gentleness, patience, peace, faithfulness, and love come to mind?

The world watches the children of God.  Does what they see of us; and what they hear from us speak well of our family name?  – Luther

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“The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.”  (Psalm 135:6, NIV)

“Unbossed and unbought” was the slogan of the late Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005).

Chisholm was the first black woman elected to the U. S. Congress (New York – 1968); the first black candidate from a major political party (Democratic) for the U. S. Presidency (1972); and the Democratic party’s first female nominee for President.

I remember well the appeal of Congresswoman Chisholm: Direct, truthful, principled, and — of course — “unbossed and unbought.”  Many in the electorate who were on the margins of political influence and financial power were energized by Chisholm’s history and her message.

The psalmist’s description of God is of One who is truly sovereign.  Sovereignty is defined as “the quality of having supreme, independent authority” in a particular realm; or, as the psalmist says: Doing “whatever pleases him in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.”

It should cheer us to worship a God who is sovereign over (and in) everything because He can never be “bossed,” and He can never — ever — be “bought.”  – Luther

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“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”  (Psalm 119:11, NIV)

For disciple of Jesus, walking the narrow path that leads to life (please see Matthew 7:13-14 for full scripture reference) is as natural as breathing; but it doesn’t begin that way.

It may take years for us to reach the place where we are naturally in stride with the will of God, and we will never arrive at that point without first subjecting our ambitions, habits, preferences, prejudices, and pastimes to the scrutiny God’s word — and modifying our actions accordingly.

To sin is to miss the mark.  There are some deficiencies in our living that are the result of ignorance, but these instances are few — and become fewer and fewer with each year of life!

Most of the shortcomings in our relationship with God are the result of willful disobedience.  We yield to our bad habits, craven ambitions, and prejudices because it is far more comfortable to continue living there than to change-up our lifestyle and come alive to God’s plan.

The key to staying in stride with our heavenly Father is to read His word; to heed His word; and to hide His word in your heart.  – Luther

 

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