KG April 17-23

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April 17, Sunday

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Reasons to Praise — This is a psalm of exuberant praise to the supremely worthy God.  It twice commands us to worship this way: “Shout to God!” (v. 1) and “Sing praises to God!” (v. 6).  We are to be enthusiastic in our worship.  Why?  The psalmist said one reason was because of what God had done in the past: “He subdued peoples under us, and … He chose our heritage for us” (vv. 3-4).  God had given the Promised Land to His people and, especially under David and Solomon, had made them masters over many other national groups.  Another reason for praise is because of who God is: “For God is the King of all the earth” (v. 7).  That is still true today, even though it might not look like it.  God is controlling nations and directing history toward its final climax.  Although most nations are too self-centered to serve the true King, He is still “the King of all the earth.”  At the end of the psalm, we are told that another reason we are to praise God is because of His future rule.  This looks ahead in prophecy: “The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham” (v. 9).  They will gather to worship.  That has already begun with the Christian era as Gentiles are coming by the thousands to a saving knowledge of Christ and worshiping as “the people of God.”  God’s family is no longer composed primarily of Jews, and eventually everyone will acknowledge Him as King.  Paul quoted these words of God from Isa. 45:23: “As I live, says the Lord, to me every knee will bow and every tongue will give praise to God” (Rom. 14:11).

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April 18, Monday

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Serving the Neglected — Two days ago when we read Psalm 24, I suggested that it might have been written for the event of bringing the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem.  Today’s Psalm 68, also written by David, seems to have been written for the continuing parade of the ark into the temple (“Your procession … into the sanctuary”—v. 24).  Did you notice who was at the front of that procession?  It was “Benjamin, the least of them, in the lead” (v. 27).  This reminds me of the characteristic of God’s concern and care for the underdog.  The tribe of Benjamin was the smallest of the twelve tribes of Israel and could easily have been neglected, but they were put in an honored position at the front of the parade.  There are several indications of that trait of God in this psalm.  God is “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows” (v. 5).  Orphans and widows tend to be neglected in today’s busy and selfish society.  The Timothy Initiative (www.ttionline.org), starting in 2008, is a growing ministry of disciple making and church planting around the world with over one million people having been won to Christ.  In 2014, a significant addition to their ministry was the care of orphans and widows.  They are serving the neglected as well as reaching the lost.  Another indication of God’s tender heart toward neglected people is this: “God settles the solitary in a home; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity” (v. 6), and “… you provide for the needy” (v. 10).  He helps settle lonely people into families and helps set former prisoners on a better path.  That is the serving heart of God.  How are you serving neglected people in your community?  Look for opportunities!  Be like God to them!

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April 19, Tuesday

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Eternal Promise — Do you have problems with keeping promises?  All of us fail sometimes in not following through with a commitment.  Not God!  His promises are guaranteed to last.  This psalm emphasizes His promise to David about maintaining his royal heritage forever.  It lasted throughout the kingdom history of Judah, but did it end at the Babylonian exile?  No, David’s descendants continued for centuries more without a king until Jesus was born, the Son of David, the ultimate and final King, who would reign for eternity.  Gabriel promised Mary that “…the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David … and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:32-33).  God kept His promise to David.  In our reading from Psalm 89, God’s “faithfulness” was mentioned seven times, His “steadfast love” six times.  Both are expressions of the trustworthiness of God.  We can always trust Him.  We are told to sing about and share the wonder of these two attributes of God (v. 1).  What forever-promises has God made to us?  Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be with us forever (John 14:16).  John wrote that “the truth that abides in us … will be with us forever” (2 John 1:2).  And the last chapter in the Bible promises that the servants of the Lord “will reign forever and ever” (Rev. 22:5).  That’s God’s promise—an eternal promise.

Standing On the Promises – YouTube

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April 20, Wednesday

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Responding to Glory — This psalm is filled with examples of the attributes of God: His glory (vv. 3, 7), greatness (v. 4), “Splendor … majesty … strength … beauty” (v. 6), holiness (v. 9), sovereignty and justice (v. 10), and “righteousness … and … faithfulness” (v. 13).  All of this contributes to “the glory due his name” (v. 8), which suggests that we ought to respond.  The psalm also tells us how to respond: “Sing to the LORD, bless his name” (v. 2), “tell of his salvation” (v. 2), “Declare his glory” (v. 3), “Ascribe to the LORD” (vv. 7-8), “Worship the LORD … [and] tremble before him” (v. 9), and declare Him “among the nations” (v. 10).  Our response is basically to worship God and share with those who don’t know Him.  What is our normal response to experiences like falling in love or buying a new car?  We want to talk about it, telling others about our good news.  If we have fallen in love with Jesus, we should want to talk to others about Him as well.

Glory To His Name – YouTube

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April 21, Thursday

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Worship from the Heart — This psalm tells us both why and how we should worship God.  There are several reasons why: He made us, both physically and spiritually (“It is he who made us, and we are his”—v. 3), and He is good and always loving and faithful (v. 5).  Please pause right now to acknowledge and thank Him for those character qualities that contribute to His greatness.  Those are reasons why we should worship.  There are also many instructions regarding how we should worship: It should be joyful and loud (v. 1), with glad hearts and singing voices (v. 2), and with thanksgiving and praise while we “bless his name” (v. 4).  That is grateful and exuberant worship.  Even if we have a hard time carrying a tune, we should sing loudly.  It might disturb someone in front of you in church, but you are singing to God, not to them.  (Sit in the front row!)  Notice that worshiping joyfully “with gladness” (v. 2) and “with thanksgiving” (v. 4) have to do with attitude.  We are not to just make noise in worship, but it must be genuine—heartfelt.  Do you ever have to stop singing because you are emotionally tearing up?  Good!  You are thinking about and feeling what you are singing.  That is worship from the heart.

Give Thanks – YouTube

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April 22, Friday

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Continually Seeking — The first five verses of this psalm concentrate on worship: “… give thanks … call upon his name … sing praises to him … Glory in his holy name … rejoice … Seek the LORD!”  That section concludes with a command that sounds almost impossible to do: “…seek his presence continually!” (v. 4).  Paul repeated this idea for us Christians: “…pray without ceasing!” (1 Thess. 5:17).  How does one do that?  Our psalm for today follows the “continually” command with a helpful suggestion: “Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered” (Ps. 105:5).  That says that recalling what God has done in the past should present many reasons for us to praise Him.  The psalm looks far back in Israel’s history to the experiences of Abraham when he lived in the land that God promised to give to his descendants: “To you I will give the land of Canaan … for an inheritance” (v. 10).  It also recalls how God “allowed no one to oppress them” (v. 14).  God’s promise and His protection are two things for which to praise God.  We only read the first third of this psalm today.  If you want to see many more examples of the ways God cared for His people, read the rest of the psalm.  Then get a piece of paper and write down at least five things that God has done for you in the past for which you can thank Him in praise.  Leave that list out in some conspicuous place that you will notice often today.  Each time, pick it up and review the blessings you remember.  That exercise will help you to “seek his presence continually” today.

All Creatures of Our God and King – YouTube

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April 23, Saturday

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Trusting God — Wow, what a great psalm!  It is filled with the attributes and actions of God.  I counted six attributes and 18 things He does.  This would be a good psalm to memorize and use in worship of our amazing God.  With all these activities of God, what does David suggest as the believer’s responsibility?  I saw only four: “I lift up my soul” (vv. 1, 15), “I trust” (v. 2), “I wait” (vv. 5, 21), and “I take refuge in you” (v. 20).  That is a pretty good balance—God doing more than four times what we are to do!  And the four things we should do are all pointing ourselves toward God—to His love and power.  They are all about looking to God for what we need.

Unto Thee, O Lord – YouTube

Published by abibleread

This website honors the Bible as the inspired Word of God through which God speaks to us as we read and study it.

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