Let the Earth Be Glad

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“Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it.”

Psalm 96: 11

Did you know the creation praises God? For sure it does, time and again the psalmist speaks of things like the trees clapping their hands, the fields being jubilant, the ocean rejoicing, and why?

Because God is in charge of everything, and He is good to us. I think the creation is also a symbol of our hearts, fruitful, thriving, and praising the One who made us all.

Praise the Lord of all! Heavenly Father, thank you that we can have joyful hearts, as we look to all that You are doing in our hearts and lives! Thank you for the beauty of creation. Help us to rejoice, even when times are tough. May all creation praise You. Amen!

    

Prayer, Commentary, and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

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I Will Sing of Your Love and Justice

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“I will sing of your love and justice; to you, Lord I will sing praise.

I will be careful to lead a blameless life……”

Psalm 101: 1, 2a

Sometimes we have the wrong impression about God don’t we? We can often think of Him only as a loving God, where is like a doting Grandfather, winking kindly if we do wrong. Nope, that ain’t it!

But sometimes well-meaning people can be too harsh! They can almost sound glad that God will judge those wicked sinners! That ain’t it either.

We are each accountable for the things we do in this life. God is both love and justice, in fact, the perfect balance of the two.

Here’s an example: What parent would be a good parent if we allowed our children to play in a busy street, where there are cars going back and forth? We keep them safe by giving them parameters to live by.

And notice the response of the psalmist here. He praises God and wants to live a blameless life. He is very much connected in his relationship to the Lord God.

Heavenly Father, help us to live for You, remembering You want the best for us! Amen, and amen!

    

Prayer, Commentary, and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

Even in Darkness, Light Dawns

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“Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,

for those who are gracious

and compassionate and righteous.

Good will come to those who

are generous and lend freely,

who conduct their affairs with justice.”

Psalm 112: 4, 5

Wow, ain’t this so cool? One of the reasons I love the Psalms (in addition to the praise and magnifying of the Lord God) is the way they often focus on doing good.

In particular there is a focus on having compassion for others!

There is nothing here of saying a quick prayer, and now you’re ok with God.

A prayer to start with is good, but then we are to be filled with compassion and justice! Yes!!

So does your faith teach you to lend freely and conduct your affairs with justice?

Heavenly Father help us to have a strong faith, caring for others and having compassion! May our lives reflect more of who You are!! Amen, and let it be so.

Prayer, Commentary, and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

 

His Great Love

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“Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples.

For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness

of the Lord endures forever.

Praise the Lord.”

Psalm 117

So much in a few short words! This is the entire psalm, and is so packed with good things for us to dwell on.

When we think of God’s love toward us, it should spark us to celebrate!

And notice that the psalmist says for all nations to praise Him. Does that really mean all? Yep, regardless of where we are from. God is the God of all of us.

And the word extol, means to lift him up, another way to say praising Him. And I love the fact that His faithfulness lasts forever, and ever, and ever, and ever.

Heavenly Father help us to remember that your faithfulness lasts forever, and that we are safely in your hands. Help us to focus on praising You, in good times, and in the tough times. Amen!

    

Prayer, Commentary, and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

Before Dawn, Before the Birds Even Sing

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Before dawn, before the birds even sing,

a single light

in the window of a small kitchen

where a young mother prays,

for her sick child.

And in another town

a husband kneels by his bed

in the shadow of a hall light,

praying for his estranged wife.

So many know

the desperation

and the comfort of the Lord God

as they pray, before dawn

before the birds even sing.

     

Poem and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

Great Are the Works of the Lord

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“Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all

who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are his deeds,

and his righteousness endures forever.

Psalm 111: 2, 3

As we think about all that God has done in our lives, and all that He is doing, our faith is increased. We can trust in Him like no one else, and praise will fill our hearts as we think of all He has done.

Lord God Almighty, we thank you and praise You! Amen.

    

Prayer, Commentary, and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

Worship the Lord

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“Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord

glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name;

bring an offering and come into his courts. Worship

the Lord in the splendor of his holiness….”

Psalm 96: 7 – 9a

Here the Psalmist is caught up in the praise of our God! The word ascribe here means to give Him credit or impute to Him that he is the Lord. All credit is due to Him!

And notice here, He mentions all the families of nations. God has never been, and never will be for only one group! Ain’t that cool?? When we all stand before Him there will be so many tribes, languages, and nations. May we all worship Him!

Heavenly Father we lift up Your name and give You credit for being at work in our lives. We worship You and praise You!

Help us to remember You are the God of everybody! Amen.

    

Prayer, Commentary, and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

Acceptable Religion

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“Religion that our God and Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:

to look after orphans and widows in their distress

and to keep oneself

from being polluted by the world.”

James 1:27

 

I know you’re probably thinking, is it really that simple? That if we show compassion for people in need, and keep ourselves walking with God and doing what is good, that’s all we need to do?

Well in a way, yes. Notice James uses the word “religion” instead of faith. Our religion needs to focus on these two areas.

You know what these two areas remind of? – the Two Greatest Commandments, according to the Messiah, are to love God, and love our neighbor as ourselves.

You see, if you love God you won’t want to be polluted. Now I know we each have a different standard on this and that’s ok. But let me give you an example.

Many of us watch movies, and I happen to like science fiction. It’s great adventure, but it’s pretend. When there’s cruelty though, I will sometimes fast forward, regardless of what kind of movie it is. I do not like violence.

And as far as compassion, if we treated our neighbor as ourselves, we would make sure they have enough food to eat, a decent place to live, and even medical care! In other words, anything that we would do to take care of ourselves, we should help others to do, if they are unable.

Lord God thank you for working in our lives. Help us to love You, and to love those in need! Make us into the people you want us to be. Amen.

   

Prayer, Commentary, and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

Faith and Good Works

20170916_124237“What good is it my brothers and sisters,

if someone claims to have faith

but has no deeds?

Can such faith save them?

….in the same way, faith by itself,

if it is not accompanied by actions

is dead.”

James 2: 14, 17

So according to James, we need faith in order to be pleasing to Him. But this wonderful book of the Bible also tells us that good works are incredibly important!

We need faith and good works – both at the same time.

Did you know that some of the early church fathers wanted to remove this book from the Bible, and do you know why?

Because it focuses so much on doing right, and in their minds not enough about “grace”. 

Heavenly Father, help us to do good, so that we can show we have faith, not to simply be religious, or proud in any way, but to lift up Who You are!

Amen! Be blessed this weekend!

Prayer, Commentary, and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

 

Guide My Heart

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My God You know everything,

so please guide me, help me,

to make right choices,

to respond with faith

even in the most horrendous circumstances,

and may I always have the strength

to carry

compassion for others

within me.

Amen.

   

Prayer Poem, and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms