pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Right with God

Reading: Psalm 26

Verse 2: “Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind”.

Psalm 26 is a cry of the innocent, of the unjustly treated. David is crying out to God, seeking for God to be on his side, for God to ‘vindicate’ him.

At some point in our life we have all been where David is. We have all been falsely accused. We have all been treated poorly and unfairly. We have all felt the frustration of being stuck in these situations, feeling as if there were no end in sight.

David’s case begins with an invitation to God to “test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind”. David knows that he is not at fault and he wants God to know for sure as well. David goes on to list the ways in which he has avoided the evil men – those who perhaps would do what he has been accused of or slandered about. David also professes his faith in God. It is a faith that leads David to proclaim God’s praise and to express his love for God. We too may think along these lines. We do so when we wonder how bad things could happen to good people. We question, how could this happen to your faithful servant? How can this happen to someone who so loves God?

The Psalm closes with a plea for God to redeem him and to be merciful to him. At times we are here too – we can do no more and we rely on God to take it from there. We please with God to take up our case because we have hit the bottom. As he closes, David again reiterates his way innocence. He is standing on level ground – all is good within him. He is right with God. From this place of the heart, he will praise the Lord. We too can be in this place. We too can make our heart totally right with God. With a clean and right heart may we praise the Lord with our life today.

O Lord, hem me in with your love and mercy, that I may walk a blameless life. When I falter, may your grace and compassion draw me back in quickly. With a clean and right heart may I bring glory and honor to you this day. Amen.


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Offering All

Reading: Isaiah 55: 6-9

When we first moved to South Dakota, we lived five miles outside of a town of 150 people.  It was dark at night.  On those nights when the moon was but a sliver, the night sky was simply amazing.  In that remote location, on nights with a definite lack of man-made light and little lunar light, the stars were awesome.  To sit outside and stare at the sky filled me with the wonder of God.  To gaze up at the layers of stars that went on forever gave me a glimpse of the power and majesty of God.  Although His power and presence filled me, it was but a glimpse.  It gave me just a little peak into how high and powerful God’s ways are.

In realizing how big and powerful and majestic God is, I also realize how small I am.  This realization brings awareness of how much I need God and His Light and Love, made known to me in Jesus.  Yet as big as God is, He still knows me by name.  He formed me uniquely in my mother’s womb and He knows every hair on my head.  God hears each and every word of each and every prayer I lift up to Him.

This same God knows each sin and impure thought and … that I have.  This brings me to frequent times of repentance and committing again to strive for becoming more like Christ.  It leads me to examine what I am offering to God and what I am holding back.  Almost always I see that I am less that I could be, less than He calls me to be.  May I lay aside all within me that elevates self over God.  May I offer all of myself to the One who gave His all for me in His life and on the cross.


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Counted?

At the end of a log day Jesus and the disciples are gathered around the table for a meal.  The evening had begun with Jesus, their teacher and leader, washing their feet.  He set for them the example of how to follow.  In this humble gesture, He illustrated that being a follower of Christ must include a willingness to serve.

As they are relaxing and taking this teaching in, Jesus announces that one of them reclining there at the table will betray Him.  Can you hear the awkward silence fall over the group?  I imagine some looking down and inwardly questioning if it will be them.  They honestly face their doubts.  Others at the table would be quick to dismiss such a thought and would begin looking around the table, wondering who else it could be, sure of themselves that it would not be they who betrays Christ.

Jesus quickly identifies Judas Iscariot and he slips off into the night to do the deed.  But the conversation quickly turns to Peter – the bold one, the one willing to step out on the water, one of the inner three.  Jesus tells Peter that soon even he will deny Christ – not once but three times!  At this all of their minds must have been swimming.  All must have questioned themselves and their faith in this Jesus if Peter, the rock-solid one, would deny Jesus.

On this day of betrayal and denial, may we too honestly look within and examine the strength of our own faith.  Each of us will probably have an opportunity today to identify ourselves publicly with Christ.  Will we boldly stand for Him or will we let the opportunity quietly slip by?  If not today, then surely tomorrow.  May we be prepared to stand and be counted as one ready to bring glory to our Lord and Savior.

Scripture reference: John 12: 21-32