pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Praise the Lord

Reading: Psalm 150

Verse 6: “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord”.

Today’s passage opens and closes with the same line: “Praise the Lord”. In between it speaks first of where: in the sanctuary and in His heavens. Broadly interpreted, the sanctuary is all the places we find God. Yes, it is our church sanctuary, but it is also along the wooded path, by the bass pond, in the hospital room, on the open prairie, at the quiet desk. In between the psalmist speaks second of why we praise. We are to praise God for His acts of power and for His surpassing greatness. Yes, it is for how God sent Jesus as our example and for how God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit. But it is also for the safe travels home and for the personal nature of our relationship.

Lastly, in verses 3 through 5, the psalmist speaks of how we are to praise God. He lists the trumpet, harp, lyre, strings, flute, and cymbals as the instruments and he lists dancing as the action. Yes, it is this but also with the organ, keyboard, drums, guitars, and voices. It is also with arms raised up, with hands clapping, with heads bowed, and with hearts open. And it is in prayer as we go for a walk. It is in the conversations with one who is lonely or grieving. There are many, many ways to praise the Lord.

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord”. We have breath. May we praise the Lord today!

Prayer: Lord God, may all I do and say bring you praise today. May my every breath and action praise the Lord. Amen.

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Still Seeking Us

God does not expect perfection.  I just don’t think He ever expects us to get there in this lifetime.  Our God is a God of mystery – absolute and unconditional love for creatures who seem bent on sin and who must constantly be reminded of who we are in Him.  God will always love each of us with this amazing love.

Because of this love, God comes to meet us in all the ugliness of life.  He comes to us in our brokenness, in our failures, in our rebellion.  God does not seek out just the holiest of saints, but He seeks out each and every one of us.  That a God who is perfect in every way would seek to be in relationship with you and me is hard to comprehend.

Yet God meets us just right where we are.  His Spirit enters into our hearts and dwells within us.  In the constant battle with our inclination to temptation and sin, the Spirit never gives up, never tires of reminding us of God’s ways.  God sticks with us and continues to offer this divine presence, almost in spite of us.

It does require almost constant effort to keep us on track and on the path that God desires for our lives.  At times we take a great detour.  But it matters not – God is always there, waiting for an audience with us.  His patience must be almost as big as His love.  Each of us is capable of mirroring a glimpse of this great love and, like all good parents, God eagerly awaits those moments when His heart swells with pride and the angels cheer.  Soon enough though, we return to being just ourselves – human in all ways, imperfect in many.  Yet God still loves us.  God is still right there.  It is not about us in any way.  It is simply because of His great love.  For this, thanks be to God.

Scripture reference: 1 Kings 2:10-12 and 3: 3-14


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What Is Our Response?

In our culture today we view greatness in terms of superior athletic prowess or in terms of vast amounts of money in the bank or in terms of captivating beauty or musical talent or in terms of controlling a vast economic empire.  Yet for some they are one injury or poor decision from being just like the everyone else.  For others it is simply time that robs them of their greatness.

But the one who created the land and sky and creatures from the chaos and the one who raised His Son from the grave does not change.  His greatness remains.  The same God who spoke and created the world whispers in our ear through the voice of the Holy Spirit and through the words we read in the Bible.  The same God who allowed His Son to be crucified for our sins loves us as much today as He loved us that day.

And what is our response to God’s greatness?  To His unchanging and amazing love for us?  We seek to be humble by letting go of self.  We seek to be forgiving by letting go of judging.  We seek to be more prayerful by letting go of idle talk.  Through these things may we glorify our God!!

Scripture reference: Psalm 86: 8-10