pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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God, Our Help

Reading: Psalm 30

Verse 2: “O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me”.

Today’s Psalm is a great reminder of how God works in our lives and of how we should respond. God saves and rescues and redeems us; we exalt and praise and bring honor and glory to God. Both the action and reaction are built upon the same foundation: love.

The psalmist begins by recalling a time when God rescued him from the depths – from his enemies and from death. To gain rescue, he cried out, “O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me”. God saved him. God rescued him. The response? To sing praises to God and to acknowledge that God’s favor “lasts a lifetime” and that because of God, joy comes in the morning. At times, God will also save us from the chains of death. At times, God turns us from the path that leads to death and guided us back to the narrow road that leads to life. As we reflect on those times, may we too praise our God of love.

In verse 8, the psalmist cries out to God for mercy. God’s mercy is something we do not deserve, but that God offers anyway. Our sins deserve punishment, but out of God’s great love for us, we are extended grace instead. Again the psalmist cried out for God’s help and faithfully God responded. This turns the psalmist’s wailing into dancing and he sings with joy to the Lord. May we also join in and sing our thanksgiving to God.

We have known God’s rescue and God’s redemption. For both we are eternally grateful. In the middle of the Psalm, in verses 6 and 7, there is another feeling we know. At moments the psalmist felt secure in life, good about himself and his situation. All seemed to be good. We’ve been there. We’ve begun to coast, to rest on our laurels. The psalmist writes, “when you his your face”. It feels like that when life again gets hard – we question God and God’s presence. But the reality is that we drifted, we got comfortable and complacent. As soon as we realize that and return to God, as soon as we cry out, like the psalmist experienced, God is present. God is our ever present help. May we too run back to God when we drift, remembering that God is always near, ready to love on us once again. Thanks be to God.

Prayer: Lord, I am powerless. Without you, sin and death would rule. You are all-powerful. You have defeated that which I cannot – the power of sin and death. So reign in me, O God; walk with me, O Lord. Rescue and redeem me so that I can sing of your love for me with joy. Thank you for your presence in my life. You are an awesome God! Amen.

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How Deep and Wide

As Christians, we have this idea in our minds that God rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked.  God blesses those who love Him.  He brings consequences to those who fail to walk in His ways.  We like to feel that we are on the righteous end of this continuum, but the reality is that we do at times sin and can tend towards the wrong end of the scale.

When our faith is strong and we are walking close to God in our daily lives, we sense His presence, we feel we are being fruitful in the world, and we feel His protection.  We feel centered and confident that we can handle what life brings our way.  God feels like a good friend.  Then we drift.  Or maybe we fall hard into sin in what feels like an instant.  We look up and feel like God is nowhere to be found.  The source of life feels like a distant memory.  Then we are like chaff, blown easily this way and then that way.  Yet there is hope.  There is always hope.

Jesus Christ is the living water, the way, the truth, and the life.  When we are lost, He gives direction.  When we are empty, He fills us up.  When we are confused, He pours wisdom into us.  When we sin, He offers grace and forgiveness.  As inconsistent and changing as we are, Christ is as rock-solid and unchanging.  As often as we stumble and fall, Jesus is there over and over and over again, extending us that grace and love that never ends.  How deep and wide is His love!  He calls us to walk in His ways, to be His disciples, and to love as He loves.  May we reflect His love today.

Scripture reference: Psalm 1