Trust, commit and be still

Psalms‬ ‭37:3-7‬ ‭NLT‬‬ says, “Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.”

In this passage we see a number of things that God tell us to do and we see a number of positive outcomes.

1. Trust in the Lord and do good. Then we will live in safety and prosper (v3)

2. Take delight in the Lord. Then he will give us the desires of our hearts (v4)

3. Commit all to the Lord and trust Him. Then He will help (v5)

4. Be still in God’s presence. Then He will act on your behalf (v7)

In these points we see that if we look to God and put our hope and trust in Him, He will bless us with good things.

Prayer

Dear God, I give my life completely to You. I commit everything I am and have to You. Help me to continue to trust in You, take delight in You, and be still in Your presence. Amen.

God is the strength of my heart

I have been reading a lot of the Psalms that David wrote for my devotions recently. They have really been speaking to me afresh. I find that I relate in many ways to David, my namesake.

Today I read Psalm 73:21-26. It says…

“Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant— I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.”

In this passage three things stood out to me today.

1. David realised he was in the wrong place and had wrong attitudes. He was looking honestly at his situation when he said…

  • his heart was bitter
  • he was torn up inside
  • he was foolish
  • he was ignorant

2. David looked upwards towards God and said…

  • I still belong to You God
  • You still hold my right hand (stronger hand used in battle)
  • You guide me with Your counsel
  • You lead me to my destiny
  • Whom in heaven have I but You

3. After making a statement of where he was at and who God is to him he declared…

  • My health may fail
  • My spirit may grow weak, but…
  • God remains the strength of my heart
  • He IS mine forever

God really was the strength of David’s heart. He was a man who did great things for God. He even did some bad things that echo down through history, but God still described his as a man after his own heart (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22).

I think the things I love about David is that even though he was a fallen human being, he knew where his help and strength came from. His faith and trust was solely in God alone.

Today in my heart as I type, I know I need to be more like David. How about you?

Blessings,
Dave

 

 

Passage for 2020

Every year God gives me a passage or a verse as a theme. This year for the last week or so Hebrews 12:1-3 has been bubbling up in my spirit. Upon reading it I knew this was my theme for 2020.

It says…

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:1-3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Several things jumped out at me as I read. Some things to strip off and some things that will motivate me/us.

Things to strip off…

  1. Strip off every weight that slows us down – we all have things that slow us down of make us put our hands to the plow and look back (Luke 9:62). It might be bad habits, bad relationships or bad attitudes.
  2. Strip off the sin – all of us sin at times. 1 John 1:8 tells us that we are deceiving ourselves (and others) if we say we don’t. But the good news is the next verse tells us if we do confess it to God, he cleanses and purifies us. Then we ask for strength to stay pure.

Once we have stripped off the things that hold us back and slow us down, we can run with endurance.

When you think of a marathon runner they were light clothing and carry nothing. This helps them to run with endurance. They also need to pace themselves to last the whole journey.

Things to motivate me/us…

  1. The great cloud of witnesses. These are the heroes of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11. They have run and won their raises.
  2. Jesus as the author and perfector of our faith. He is always working on us and is never finished (Philippians 1:6). This gives me comfort knowing He loves me as I am, but doesn’t want me to stay this way.
  3. The suffering of Jesus. He left the glories of heaven to die on the cross for our sin. He moved heaven and earth for us and suffered greatly.

As I type I think of a hot air balloon. It cuts away the sandbags to rise high into the air. It needs to do this to allow the wind to take it where it needs to go. It is the same for us. If we cut away our “sandbags” we can let the Spirit take us to where we need to be.

Blessings for 2020,
Dave

Christmas sermons

I am not preaching this Christmas, but I thought I would share links to several of my Christmas sermons from the past.

The first two were peached in the church I Pastored. The last one was done at our community Christmas Carols. It has been slightly adapted for the website.

Blessings and Merry Christmas,
Dave

God IS our refuge and shelter

For my devotions this morning I read Psalm 91. This is one of my favourites that I have read many times.

Today I focused on verses 1-4 and 9-12. I thought I would share my dot point notes here as an encouragement…

  1. We find true rest as we live in the shadow of the Almighty (v1)
  2. David declared God alone is his place of refuge. He alone is my refuge too (v2)
  3. He rescues us from every trap and deadly disease – key word every (v3)
  4. He covers us and shelters us under His wings (v4)
  5. God’s promises are our armour and protection (v4)
  6. If the Lord is our refuge, then no evil will conquer us and no plague will come near our homes (v9)
  7. He orders His angels to protect us wherever we go (v11-12)

I got a lot of encouragement and comfort from Psalm 91 today. I would encourage you read it too.

God really Is our shelter and our refuge.

Blessings,
Dave

Mocking and blessings

I was reading Matthew 5:11-12 for my devotions recently. It says…

11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

In these verses, it lists four things we may experience because we follow Jesus. People may…

  • Mock us
  • Persecute us
  • Lie about us
  • Say evil things about us

But instead of getting down and dejected, God tells us to be happy and glad about it! Why? Because He promises to bless us. He even says a great reward awaits us in heaven!

The other thing these verses tells us is that we have something in common with the prophets of old. People persecuted, said evil things and mocked them too.

I hate when these things happen to me, my family or people I know, but it does give me comfort knowing that God promises blessings and rewards as a result of it.

Blessings,
Dave

Helping the poor honours God


I was just reading through Proverbs 14 and verse 31 jumped out at me…

“Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, but helping the poor honors Him.”

As I was dwelling on this verse I read the notes in my Life Application Study Bible. I found these to be really good too…

“14:31 God has a special concern for people who are poor. He insists that people who have material goods should be generous with those who are in need. Providing for the poor is not just a suggestion in the Bible. It is a command that may require a change of attitude (see Leviticus 23:22; Deuteronomy 15:7-8; Psalms 113:5-9; 146:5-9; Isaiah 58:7; 2 Corinthians 9:9; James 2:1-9).”

I want to be someone who helps both the poor and honours God in all I do. I was this to be a life legacy for me.

Proverbs 14:31 was a reminder and encouragement to me today. How about you?

Blessings,

Dave