Psalm 142:1-7 In the old days stores had complaint departments. These departments are now called Customer Service, but the name change has not changed the function of these departments. Customer service usually handles disgruntled people who have purchased something they are not satisfied with and have brought it back to the store for an exchange or for their money back. Those who stand behind the desks of customer service think they have a tough job, but their job does not compare to the job Moses had. He had over 600,000 complaining, murmuring Israelites at his throat day and night. At one point in the travels through the wilderness Moses asked the Lord to show him favor by just killing him. He had had it with their complaints, and he knew God was weary of it also.
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Psalm 141:1-10 David knew how important the words we speak are. Throughout the Psalms, he prays for God to help him control his tongue. He prays in this psalm, "Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips" (v. 3).
Proverbs 17:22 In recent years some medical doctors have used "laugh therapy" with their patients. I heard a story about a lady who was healed through laughter. Her doctor prescribed a steady diet of "The Three Stooges." She was instructed to watch the videos of their old films as much as possible. It worked. She actually laughed her way to health. This secret was known by Solomon, who writes, "A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones."
Psalm 139:1-24 Yesterday we talked about how God can perfect everything that is a concern to us. Today we see how God is concerned for us and knows us intimately. In fact, God knows my needs before I even share with Him these needs in prayer. David writes, "For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether" (v. 4).
Psalm 138:1-8 Everyone alive has concerns, and it amazes me that God knows about each concern we have. More than that, He is able to perfect those things that are a concern to us. David writes, "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me: You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerns me: Your mercy, O Lord endures forever; do not forsake the works of Your hands" (vv. 7-8).
Acts 12:24-13:15 This passage in Acts reveals some of the secrets of multiplying the church through the spread of the gospel. The first verse says, "But the word of God grew and multiplied."
Proverbs 17:14-15 We talked yesterday about the holy rain that descends when we praise the Lord. Today's proverb talks about strife and compares it to the letting out of water. We have a dam close by us, and on certain days the dam is opened to let out the water into the river. Before this happens, an alarm sounds to warn all those on the river to go to shore to avoid the rushing current that is about to be released. If anyone ignores that warning alarm and does not reach shore, he runs the risk of having his boat capsized by the raging currents, and he could drown.
Psalm 135:1-21 When I read this passage about the vapors ascending from the ends of the earth, I recall one of the funniest yet most penetrating sermons I ever heard. The psalmist writes, "He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightnings for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasures" (v. 7).
Proverbs 17:9-11 It is the nature of man to cover for himself when he has done something wrong. When Adam and Eve sinned, the first thing they noticed was that they were naked, and they were ashamed. They were vulnerable. They dressed themselves in fig leaves to cover their nakedness. Before this time Adam and Eve wore glory clothes. God's glory light shone around them and protected them from being vulnerable. We are created in God's image to show forth His glory, but since the Fall, Satan has used shame as a false covering for those who sin. The good news is that Jesus bore our shame on the cross. He became vulnerable and naked for our sakes so that we might be covered with His blood and robe of righteousness and thereby be protected from shame.
Acts 10:1-23 We sat in the amphitheater under a cloudless sky. We were seated in an amphitheater built by Herod in Caesarea centuries ago. My husband read the account from Acts 10 to the people on our tour of Israel. As he read this story, I realized the great victory Peter had over prejudice in his life. We all need such a victory.
Proverbs 17:6 As I am reading this proverb, I am also watching my husband walk his first grandchild. He is smiling from ear to ear as he strolls this crown princess. Children's children are the crowns of old men. I know my husband would prefer his grandchildren over ten thousand crowns. Each of our grandchildren is a crown of glory to my husband. Also as a father to three fine sons, he is the glory of his three sons. Glory! Glory!
Proverbs 17:4-5 This proverb shares how God looks at the poor. Anyone who mocks the poor reproaches God. "He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished" (v. 5).
Psalm 130:1-8 Have you ever been offended? Most of the offenses I experience are those that I take up for others. The Bible is clear, however, that love is not easily provoked or offended. I have come to ask God's forgiveness for not walking in His path of love, and then to ask Him for the power to get back on that path. When we are personally offended, it is always because our pride has been hurt. Knowing this has helped me to stay on the path of love. The moment I am offended, I confess pride because I know it was my pride in some way that was hurt.
Acts 7:51-8:13 As Stephen was being stoned he prayed. "And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep" (Acts 7:60, KJV).
Psalm 128:1-6 Throughout the Word of God there are many blessings listed that come to those who fear the Lord. We fear the Lord when we stand in awe of Him and desire to obey Him because we know His great love. When we fear the Lord, we desire to be obedient and walk in His ways. Some of the blessings that will overtake us as we fear and obey Him are listed in this psalm.
Psalm 127:1-5 One of the seminars I teach is called "BUILDING A FAMILY FOR GOD." I wrote a short book about this, and many of the principles I share in this book and seminar are presented in this psalm.
Psalm 126:1-6 One of the fruit of the Spirit is joy, and whenever we sow love into the lives of others, we can expect to reap joy. There is nothing in this life that brings more joy to me than to see my children blessed and serving the Lord with faithfulness. If this brings joy to my heart, can you imagine the joy God experiences when He sees His children walking in love with others?
Psalm 125:1-5 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people" (v. 2). This psalm has great meaning to me since I have had the opportunity to see the mountains surrounding Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a city set on a hill, but there are mountains round about it. The way Jerusalem is positioned gives it a natural security system.
Acts 4:1-37 Most of us remember the days in grammar school when we would have "Show and Tell." Our homework assignment was to bring to school something we wanted to show the class, and then we were to share with the class all we wanted to about whatever we brought to school. The items often included a baby sister or brother, a favorite pet, a special rock, etc. There is something about the combination of seeing and hearing that makes an indelible imprint upon the brain. In this passage in Acts we see how it was now show and tell time for the disciples.
Acts 3:1-26 It was about three in the afternoon when Peter and John encountered a lame man begging at the Gate Beautiful as they entered the temple courtyard. Peter looked into the man's eyes and said, "Silver and gold I do not have but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk" (v. 6).
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