Today we finish the Psalms and begin Proverbs (Psalm 145:1-Proverbs 1:7). The change of genre is noticeable, like leaving a mountain road and passing through a grassy river valley. Each has its special beauty and attractiveness. Psalms speak to my heart and Proverbs to my head. One prepares me for all kinds of emotional experiences; the other for a variety of relational and personal challenges.
I need both. Praise God for providing such thorough equipment for our spiritual lives (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
It’s summertime. Mary and I will be enjoying time with family this week. That doesn’t mean we stop Bible reading and prayer, but I am going to take a little break from daily blogging. Here are our readings through Sunday.
Today is Independence Day in the USA. Americans celebrate 240 years since declaring independence from England. Our readings (Psalms 108-114) have bearing on the fact that it is proper for believers to be engaged in the study of history as we see it as the wondrous works of God (Psalm 111:2-4). Although the United States was not founded as a Christian nation, it was founded by many Christians who believed in freedom of religion and speech. For that we should be grateful.
Celebrate God’s providence in the history of your nation for He is sovereign over all the earth. Happy birthday to the USA!
Why do we say that God is unchanging? Because He is perfect and thus He can neither improve nor decline. Our reading today (Psalms 96-102) proclaims His eternal, perfect existence. In Him we are secure. All that He has made is wonderful but He is the One to whom we owe our worship and in whom we trust.
In our faith and practice, should we emphasize heart or mind? There’s an ongoing tug-of-war between believers who are more intellectual and those who are more emotional. Today’s reading (Psalms 86-89) shows that both the mind and the heart are important. The psalmist (Psalm 86:11) didn’t prioritize heart over mind or intellect over emotions. Both are part of our human nature and both are to be submitted to the worship of God.
When a scribe asked Him to identify the most important commandment of all, “Jesus answered, ‘The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31 English Standard Version).
Don’t be distracted by the false dichotomy of mind and emotions. Let truth impact your thinking and love guide your actions as you walk in God’s ways.
In today’s reading (Psalms 80-85), we again find the psalmist comparing his relationship to the Lord with every other person, thing, or activity. Sometimes we are offered many distractions and attractions. If you know the joy of being in God’s presence, you know what it means to say “…a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere” (Psalm 84:10a).
May your time with Him be rich, filled with soul-satisfying fellowship with our Creator.
What if your nation’s hero were God? In today’s reading (Psalms 78-79), we get a lengthy review of what God did for Israel in spite of her failures and rebellions. There were good times and bad but God remained faithful to His covenant and to His character.
Modern pluralistic democracies don’t have official religions, but that does not stop disciples of Jesus Christ from worshiping God and holding Him as our personal hero. Be sure He is enshrined in your heart, even though He doesn’t get recognized in your nation’s history. We are citizens of another kingdom.
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” Philippians 4:20-21.