What’s My Job?

Today’s reading: 1 Samuel 16; Romans 14; Lamentations 1; Psalm 32

August 24th, 2016

I have heard it said that the Church of Christ needs to be known not by what it approves or disapproves of, but by the grace and salvation of Jesus. Yet, the scripture cries out to us to put certain things off and certain things on. What is the Church to do?

It is my understanding that all the prophets came to indict the culture; that Jesus did the same thing, helping the Israelites see the error of their ways, helping the humble realize their need for a Savior; that the Spirit came to give perfect remembrance to Jesus’s followers of His words and so these convictions continue to help us see the error of our ways and grow in Him. It seems clear to me that God judges perfectly, but what is the difference between God and His church?

The ESV gives Romans chapter 14 the heading Do Not Pass Judgment on One Another. It speaks to matters of conviction in food and special observance of certain days. Some felt all days were equal and others felt some special. Some felt certain foods unclean. Others felt all food clean unto itself. What then should we do? Should we eat or not, observe or not? Paul’s conclusion: Yes, let us live by faith.

If you are convicted that a certain food is unclean, do not eat it (Romans 14:14, Romans 14:23). If not, eat it. Unless by eating you may cause grief to him who thinks it unclean, then do not eat, or else you may cause them to stumble (Romans 14:15). Give way to their conviction and keep your conviction to yourself (Romans 14:22). Do not judge (Romans 14:13). Do not let food get in the way of the work of God (Romans 14:20). We are not fit to judge and for those who have struggled with feeling they need to come to the rescue of their neighbor by helping them remove the speck from their eye, Paul gives us the assurance that our LORD is their Savior, He will help them stand on that day (Romans 14:4).  

If my job is not to judge or to save, what is it? Am I doing my job in the church?

 

Extra credit.

  • Love has been written about many times on this blog. If you missed it, check out David LaFrance’s post Law of Love from yesterday.
  • When on a team not everyone does everything. Members have roles, different jobs. To understand the role of the Holy Spirit and how you can work with Him in your role I highly encourage you to listen to The Holy Spirit: God’s Prosecutor by John MacArthur. It starts this way…
  • This is a portion of Scripture that every preacher must understand: every preacher must understand, every pastor must understand, every parishioner, every Christian must understand. The text before us foundational to our mission. It is foundational to our cause in the world. It is the foundation of all gospel preaching and all gospel witness… Like many passages, however, in the Bible, it has a ring of familiarity to us, and people somehow think they know what it means, and they don’t really dig down to see the truth that is here. I want to be able to help you to understand it, perhaps, in a way you’ve never understood it before, and the way that it has to be understood in the context and the intention of our Lord. I think I’m safe in saying that most preachers don’t really get a grasp on this, as most Christians do not, and that is a crippling reality.

Law of Love

Today’s Date: 8/23/2016

The Beatles were onto something when they sang the song All You Need Is Love . But Paul says it best in Romans 13:8-14

Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 15; Romans 13; Jeremiah 52; Psalm 31

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8

Being asked to Love others is the only way we even come close to showing God our appreciation for sending His own son to die for us. Let’s refer back to John 3:16 where we find out exactly how much God loves us.  So as believers, we are asked to love one another.

How hard can it be? Honestly,.. hard, because naturally we attempt to make excuses as to why or what others do to not allow us to love them. We can gratify the desires of the flesh without understanding that the day could be on hand when our worldly bodies won’t be able to share this love.

God wants us to hold no debts except for the debt of Love to others.  So as we work diligently to cut out our own or our children’s financial debt never lose sight of the debt of Love that doesn’t impact any bank statement. Our only obligation here is to love our neighbors.

Loving others as ourselves is a deep love that covers everything to make sure all needs are met.  Helping and loving others means that your secure in yourself enough to make sure that you love your neighbors. James 2:8 says to love thy neighbor like thyself.

In order to show this love you need to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ“.  There are many references to putting on a new self. Ephesians 4:24 talks about a new self created in the likeness of God; In addition Colossians 3:14-17.  We can also show this in be baptized. Galatians 3:27. Second, we model the same qualities that Jesus had while on this Earth. (Love, Humility, Truth, Service) Here is where you could go with the acronym W.W.J.D. Ephesians 4:17-32

We must make sure we are getting dressed everyday – taking off sin and putting on the righteousness of Christ.  It is an everyday love that we need to put on new each day.  We need to keep God’s promise of a new self close to not allow  worldly things invite us to enter into jealousy, anger, mistrust, being negative against others for whatever previous mistakes you or they made.

The night is far gone; and the day is at hand.  So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Romans 13:12-13

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Dear Father, I am thankful that You are love. That You have woke us up from a sleep that only focused on ourselves. We rejoice that You demonstrated incredible love for us in the flesh through your son Jesus Christ. I pray that we share this great love with others. We are forever changed because of this love and I know that it extends to those around us because You have enabled us to love deeply. Today, I pray that You let Your love flow through us and touch those around us. May the love we give be a blessing and a light for Your kingdom. Amen

Love ~ Chris Tomlin

Perfect In His Eyes

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Today’s Readings: 1 Samuel 14, Romans 12, Jeremiah 51, Psalm 30

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)

 I am just loving these words for a Monday morning! Doesn’t this just make you wish you were one of the Romans? As much as I would love to meet Jesus, I think I’d put Paul on my top ten list as well. In just a few sentences he gives us so much wisdom that can truly sustain and fortify us. Once again, I left writing to the last minute this week, and I’m so glad I did. It’s almost as if God speaks to me so much more clearly when the “hour” is upon me! Let’s start at the beginning. Paul says, “I’m appealing to you by the mercies of God.” He’s picking up a thread previously woven in this letter. He’s reminding the Roman’s of God’s mercy in their lives:

  • Freedom from death (5:12-21)
  • Freedom from sin (6:1-23)
  • Freedom from the previous law that fosters sin (7:6-25)
  • The gift of the Spirit (8:1-17)
  • God’s plan to conform believers to the Son (8:29)
  • God’s faithfulness to keep promises, especially those made to Israel (11:25-29)

In other words, Paul is saying, look at all the great things God has done for us. Now, the least we can do is give our bodies over to him. He’s challenging us to push back against the urge to passively conform to this world. Rather, he wants us to be active in our pursuit of transformation through continuous renewal of our minds. I love what he says next, “…by testing we will discern what is the will of God” (Romans 12:2). This week we finally got a diagnosis for our 5 year old son, who has suffered with illness for months. When his physician called us to tell us he has Crohn’s disease, we didn’t shed tears. Instead, we felt relief. As parents, we felt that we could finally give Oliver’s body over to God’s care. We knew that we had run the “race” of medical testing and intervention for Ollie, now we leave it to Him. As I send my first born to Kindergarten tomorrow morning my heart is heavy with the knowledge that he has seen more pain, more suffering and more fear than most 5 year olds. But at the same time, I know that I will experience absolute joy when he bounds off to hug his little friends and be with the teachers he loves. He is our living sacrifice.

But God has given us freedom from death. He reminds us through Paul’s letter to the Romans that God is faithful and he keeps his promises. What may feel broken today; our bodies, our hearts or our minds will help us to discern the will of God tomorrow. Whatever sadness, whatever hurt or anger you have today, give it up to Him. Remember that through mindful, purposeful renewal of our mind we can discern what he wants for us. Know that you are good, acceptable and perfect in His eyes.

Who Won?

If I wanted to win the ultimate war, the war for my soul, where would I begin? The world was so confusing and God was so mysterious, but there had to be someway to figure it all out, so I tried. This is what I found.

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
-Romans 11: 33-36

In my freedom I became a slave, in my obedience I became free.

By faith, through grace I received the call. Was my choice predestined? Was the outcome? I understood victory in spiritual warfare for the hearts and souls of humanity had already been won, but the battle for my soul raged on.

I was armed to the teeth and knew I could claim victory in Jesus, but still I had to fight!

Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 13; Romans 11; Jeremiah 50; Psalms 28–29

The world is filled with intrigues, conflicts and wars, propelled and justified by self righteousness, self pity and lust for worldly things like personal power which is perhaps the most intoxicating thing over all. Even religion, at times, is used to justify a whole host of heinous activities. If we search our hearts we will discover the true battle ground is within us, it is there we either choose to surrender our lives to the greater glory of God, or refuse.

In a world like ours, I find it impossible to ignore the Bible, it’s the best selling book of all time and the spiritual history of the world. Finding truth in God’s word is an absolute joy. Discovering the source of its power is life changing. It has helped me to see how Jesus is the center of everything, even as the weight of our culture and the wiring of my flesh pulls me in the opposite direction.

In the text for Thursday I read about predestination in Romans 8: 28-30. While I’m not exactly sure what it means to be predestined, if I was or wasn’t isn’t the point. And while I hope that I was predestined to live in the grace and power of God, this is something I believe we all have the freedom to chose at some point in our lives. But this choice doesn’t take me out of my daily battle for truth and righteousness, it puts me in the center of it. That is where I choose to live, that is where I choose to fight.

Always on My Mind

 

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Today’s reading: 1 Samuel 12; Romans 10; Jeremiah 49; Psalms 26–27

Salvation that comes from trusting Christ – which is the message we preach – is already within easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, “The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart” (Romans 10:8 – Life Application Study Bible, Tyndale House Publishers).

This verse is Paul quoting Moses’ words to the Israelite people in Deuteronomy 30:14. I chose to reference the Life Application Bible version above because of its clarity.  This passage of Deuteronomy is Moses calling the Israelites to return to the Lord.  In the Old Testament these folks had a destructive pattern of turning away from God and worshipping idols.  When things got really bad, they came crawling back and pleaded with God to turn his favor toward them again.  Same story, different names, throughout the entire Old Testament.  God was faithful and kept his promises every time.  The context in Romans was a little different.  Here, Paul was telling believers that salvation through Jesus Christ was attainable.  It was available to both Jews and Gentiles back then.  It is available to us today.  But is it really close at hand?  Is it really on our lips and in our hearts?

As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in the church. My Dad was a pastor and my Mom was a Sunday School teacher (see picture of my Mom teaching my 3rd grade Sunday School class above).  Not just your average Sunday School teacher though, she had a very distinct role.  She was the memory verse lady, and her specialty was Middler Worship – 3rd and 4th graders.  I remember my Mom leading Middler Worship in the basement of our old church building at 1705 Towanda Avenue for years and years.  When I read Romans 10:8 this week, I could hear my Mom leading the weekly memory verse saying, “We are going to hide God’s word in our heart.  When we need it, he’s going to help us remember it.”

My Mom was right. Spending time in God’s word, and memorizing key messages from it, is the recipe for keeping the message close at hand, on our lips and in our hearts.  In his post this past Thursday, B.J. challenged us to understand the kind and quality of information that we are putting into our minds, as it directly impacts our words and actions. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).

God, I want your message to always be on my lips and in my heart.  Will you help me have the courage and discipline to wisely choose what I’m putting in my mind?  Let it be things of the Spirit, let it be pleasing to you. Amen.

My People

Think about a time when you’ve not fit in, when you weren’t a member of a certain group and no matter what you did, you would not be accepted. Not a good feeling. What about times when you do feel like you belong? Not because you’ve earned it but because you were given love, given an opportunity, given grace, or you were just born into it. These thoughts crossed my mind as I was reading today’s scripture so I thought about where this might have occurred in my own life.

I spent some time recently with Amy’s mom Cari, and Cari’s husband Chuck (Charles Keever). While the fact that Chuck is married to my mother in law should imply that I’m part of Chuck’s family, and it is in Chuck’s best interest to treat me as part of the family, technically he doesn’t have to. Chuck has his own grandchildrenchildren as well as grandchildren. He has his own people. However, Chuck from day one has treated me, my wife and our children, and everyone else I’ve seen him meet as family. This man bends over backwards to include us, to serve us, to make us feel loved and cherished. Chuck is a dentist and you should see his team smile as they talk about how he treats them like family (and their smiles are nice too because of his handiwork!).

During the same visit to the Keever house I was given the opportunity to pray over a family meal (they lovingly call me “Rev.”), and in that prayer I felt compelled to ask a special blessing on Chuck. I mentioned something about how we’ve all been beneficiaries of Chuck’s special gifts, and this typically silent-during-prayer group of people made sounds of affirmation (someone might have even said Amen!) and that gave me great joy because I sensed their love for Chuck as well. Chuck loves us not because he has to, he wants to, he freely gives it to those around him.

 1 Samuel 11; Romans 9; Jeremiah 48; Psalm 25

They are the people of Israel, chosen to be God’s adopted children. God revealed his glory to them. He made covenants with them and gave them his law. He gave them the privilege of worshiping him and receiving his wonderful promises. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are their ancestors, and Christ himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. (Romans 9:4-5)

Romans chapter 9 kicks off with Paul pleading for his people, his Jewish brothers and sisters to be saved. Verses four and five refer to the people of Israel as chosen and the recipients of much (covenants, the law, the privilege of worshiping God, and God’s promises). They were special and chosen. They were part of this promise by birth. Verse five reminds us that Jesus Christ was an Israelite from a human perspective.

Later in Romans 9, Paul references Hosea 2:23. The Jews are God’s chosen people, and so this verse is a promise for non-Jews, also known as the Gentiles that he will call them his people and love them.

I am not an Israelite nor was I born into a Jewish family, and therefore I’m not part of this special chosen group. However, God in his infinite mercy and grace had a plan for you and me, to call us to him, to call us his own.

Concerning the Gentiles, God says in the prophecy of Hosea,

“Those who were not my people,
    I will now call my people.
And I will love those
    whom I did not love before.” (Romans 9:25); taken from Hosea 2:23

Thank you God for revealing your truth to us, for putting people in our lives who love us unconditionally. May we see these people and these loving acts as an example of your love for us. Thank you God for your ultimate act of love in sending your son Jesus Christ to live as a human and die as a sacrifice for our sin. Jesus defeated death and saved us from our sin through his resurrection; there is no one like him, and we thank you God for this sacrifice and the amazing grace for all who choose to believe. Amen.

Garbage In, Garbage Out

Recycling ideas and environmental garbage management solutions and creative ways to reuse waste as old paper glass metal and plastic bottles shaped as a human head as a symbol for reusable thinking and conservation advice.

1 Samuel 10; Romans 8; Jeremiah 47; Psalms 23–24

I want to piggy back on Mike Somer’s post, Deadly Thoughts, from yesterday. Mike helps us to discover that the objects of our desire are often of a worldly nature. Today, I want to talk about another component to our wanting which is why we want the things we want. Seriously, when was the last time you stopped to consider why you want a new, car, camera, phone, or a sweater? The answer is found in a simple test of our focus.

Think back to yesterday. Starting from the time that you woke up, to the time that you went to bed, make a list of all the things that you did. In order to maximize the results, be detailed about it. For example, if you watched TV in the morning, what show did you watch? If you surfed the NET, what websites did you visit, if you read a book, what book did you read? The point is to understand  the kinds and quality of information that we are putting into our minds. As a participant in this exercise, I viewed my web browser’s history. It reveals that I visited my email and business sites the most and often interrupted them with Pinterest, facebook, HOUZZ, Amazon, Pantagraph and Atlas Obscura. I want to give you a golden opportunity to do the judging for me. Do you think these moments in my day qualify as Godly, or worldly? Wait, before you answer that, let’s get a true test from the Apostle Paul. He says, “those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5). Now what do you think? The answer I came up with stings a bit.

The part of the test that stings is that it reveals my focus.  I spend much of my time filling my mind with worldly things.  To be fair, some of this is important.  It helps me run my business and communicate with people.  I will not, however, allow those things to become an excuse.  I must consider the alternative use of my time.  What if, instead of retreating to Facebook and Amazon, I reflected instead on God’s word?   How would it change my attitude?  Would it change the things that I want?  According to Paul, the answer is yes.  He equates living according to the Spirit with setting our minds on the Spirit.  The end result of this thinking is Life and Peace.  Galatians 5:22 expands that list to include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

To be sure, this BibleJournal project is a good start for setting our minds on the Spirit.  I don’t know about you, but I can feel the Holy Spirit nudging me, ever so kindly, gently and lovingly to allow him into my mind more often.  I intend to do just that.  Will you?

If you would like to learn more about how we can allow God into our minds, I recommend reading A Mind For God, by James Emery White.  In it, he discusses the consequences of Christianity’s passive role in learning and building strong, Godly minds.  He explains his “mission to prepare [his] mind to not simply understand the ideas of the world but to engage the ideas of the world.”  The simple truth is that until we engage His word in more intellectual ways, we will never be able to fulfill His great calling on our lives.

 

Deadly thoughts

Today’s reading: 1 Samuel 9; Romans 7; Jeremiah 46; Psalm 22

August 17th, 2016

In today’s reading Paul wrestles with his sin.

For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. – Romans 7:14-15

Sin starts on the inside

When Jesus came he blew the lid off of religious pretense. The word became flesh (John 1:14), the word was truth and the truth could separate peoples’ thoughts and hearts from what is seen on the outside (Hebrews 4:12). Jesus knew what was happening on the inside and He called people on it. And the people were amazed! He did not raise the standard, He helped people understand that their religious leaders were blind to it. The Sermon on the Mount is not about virtuous living, it is about the truth and salvation. It is a true look at salvation. Jesus helps us understand how important the state of our thoughts and our hearts are when it comes to building the house of our life on a foundation of solid rock.

Thoughts, sin, death

Some call the book of James a commentary of the Sermon on the Mount. In James 1:14-15, we are taught the origin point of death. We are taught that death begins with thoughts, specifically lustful thoughts; desiring things of this world; wanting things for ourselves. When one lets their mind fix on getting things of this world, their heart follows after. The lust then graduates to sin as their life turns and shapes to take hold and position itself to claim what it desires (James 1:14). Sin, then fully mature, becomes death as it realizes itself (James 1:15). 

Battleground

Our thoughts are a spiritual battleground (Romans 12:2, 2Corinthians 10:3-5), on a realm of great importance (Proverbs 4:23). Thoughts mature into beliefs and beliefs shape our heart. The heart pursues itself with words(Luke 6:45) that then shape our lives (James 3:2-6). We must be aware of our thoughts and fight for the state of our hearts! Our hearts and our lives must belong to the LORD in truth. 

Foundation on the rock

As Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount, wise people will build the house of their life on the truth. The truth is our weapon against deadly thoughts (John 8:32, Ephesians 6:17). As we sharpen our swords consider with me the truth in Psalms 23:1:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

I have come to believe that this is not a verse about getting things. Instead, I believe this is a verse about giving our heart and thoughts to the LORD. Not a verse about us getting everything we want if we submit to the LORD as our Shepherd. Instead, a truth about not wanting anything because we trust in the LORD to provide us with everything. The rest of the chapter 23 goes on to help us understand what that state of perfect trust will look like in our lives.

So if sin and death have their beginnings in the desires of our heart and mind (James 1:14-15), and we know that trusting in the Shepherd will guard us from wanting improper things (Psalm 23:1), the question then becomes; what do you want? If someone asked you “if you could have anything, what would it be?”… What would it be? Would it be something to be realized in this world or in heaven? What are we trusting in, the promises of this world or God’s promises

God may we all trust in You with everything and not want anything this world promises. May our trust be wholly in Your promises. Amen.

 

Extra Credit.

  • Close your eyes and repeat Psalm 23:1 to yourself three times in a row:
    • The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    • First, I want to congratulate you on being able to read with your eyes closed. #Props
    • Now imagine how peaceful your life would be if you did not want. What would there be to stress about? 
  • I listened to this sermon from John MacArthur to prepare for this post. I highly recommend it: Sanctification and Sins of the Mind.

Victory in Battle

Today’s Reading:1 Samuel 7–8; Romans 6; Jeremiah 44; Psalms 20–21

Victory In Battle

Do you remember the song, Victory in Jesus? What a time tested song that has truth embedded throughout.  As we read today in Psalms 20-21 I reflect on that victory song and the sermon Mike Baker did this past week on, Rider on the White Horse and being victorious. When we find our victory through Him, we need to praise Him.

Unfortunately, we can often find trouble based on our own desires to conform to certain desires of the flesh.  Romans 12:2 reminds us not to conform  but in the testing we receive in battle, it can can help us see the desires of the Lord.  I pray we see the will of God in these moments.

Psalm 20:1 May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble! May the God of Jacob protect you!

Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

Challenge upon challenge can come at you at any moment without any kind of warning. What is our response? Taking a trip down memory lane can reveal the many times I trusted in myself, chariots or horses.  In these times I would struggle, make excuses, and continue the pattern. My prayer is that we turn to our Lord for everything and especially in our troubles.  In the heat of a moment I still can fall back to this old selfish pattern.  I will continue to pray for a faith that is present in all moments, has enough presence to change my heart, and present to the point it’s my first choice at all times.
So in our times of challenge by yourself, in your home, work, or community turn to God. Ask for Holy Spirit help and Psalm 20:4 says may he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!

Behind these deceptions is Satan who desires us to make bad choices and turn away from God. A spiritual battle that without God will sadly have one result.  In this battle we need our Lord and Holy Spirit to bring us to victory.

Psalm 20:8 They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.

And when the victory is our Lord’s we will be like Psalm 21:13 Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power.

Romans 12:12 – Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

It can be done, the short term victory is yours but the long term victory is HIS. God bless your Tuesday. If you missed last week sermon I have attached the message that shows how we can be victorious with HIM.

What Cannot be Heard

1 Samuel 5-6, Romans 5, Jeremiah 43 and Psalm 19

I’ve never written a journal entry on a Psalm. Mostly because I think they are pretty deep and the narrative text is far easier for me to connect with. Today, I decided to give myself (and you) a little challenge. I love the message we heard in Romans but I suspect it’s not your first time there. Instead, I decided to really pray on and connect with Psalm 19. As soon as I began reading the words, my mind heard a melody. Does that happen to you? So many church songs we grew up to are revealed to us in print when we study the bible. The author, presumably King David opens with:

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1)

That line is one we’ve heard so often that it’s easy to breeze past it. David is literally saying here that the tangible vision we have of the open sky, the mountains, the seas and all the earth’s creatures is a proclamation of God’s work. The next part is what got my mind working today:

“Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. (Psalm 19:2-3)

I want to stop and just dwell there today. There is so much in Psalm 19 but something in these two verses really resonates with me. In verse 2, the phrase “pour out” literally means to gush or bubble up. This phrase is often used in the Bible to describe springs or fountains of water. David uses the metaphor of an endless fountain or bubbling stream to depict the endlessness of God’s speech in our world. Then, in verse 3 a paradox. He literally says, “There is no speech, nor are there words…” There it is. The very definition of faith. As Christians we must connect with our Heavenly Father and his word without really hearing his words first hand. We must look for the message and with practice, obedience and patience we of course will hear him through the Holy Spirit.

This isn’t a new concept for us to struggle with. Paul writes about it to the Roman’s, even quoting Psalm 19:

“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:19-20)

 So we are without excuse. Sometimes I feel a little jealous of those Old Testament guys like Moses that got to actually hear God’s real voice. But as David and later Paul reminds us, the mark of our Father is absolutely everywhere we look. He is present in our lives and he wants connection with us. As the summer draws to a close and we all get into the rhythm of a new school year may we commit to getting into a rhythm with God. No, we cannot hear Him as Moses once did but we’ll be able to feel Him with cooler crisp breezes and see Him with changing leaves. Psalm 19 is inviting us to worship and honor him by attending to the glory of his creation. Listen for his voice in new ways and we will hear His call.