A Look at Psalm 37 (verses 20-24) We’re at the halfway mark!

Psalm 37:20-24 (NIV), “20 But the wicked will perish: Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field, they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke. 21 The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously; 22 Those the Lord blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be destroyed. 23 The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; 24 though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

Wow! We’re halfway through Psalm 37! Thanks for reading it with me. I hope you’re enjoying the journey. It’s been exciting sharing it with you. Like I mentioned in the beginning, it’s my favorite Psalm. I’ve read it many times. But this is my first time, taking time to write about what God is showing me as I read it.

Throughout Psalm 37, the fate of the wicked is constantly being compared to the fate of the righteous. Bottom line is that you’re blessed or you’re cursed. You’ll live or you’ll die. We know that sin when full grown leads to death (James 1:15). But Jesus Christ is Life (John 14:6).

The wicked borrow and do not repay, in other words, they steal. However, the righteous give generously. As the saying goes, “We are blessed to be a blessing.” Our wells will never run dry because our Source is Jesus Christ. As long as we stay connected to Him, the True Vine, we will produce good fruit (John 15:1-4).

Our God knows we are human. That’s why He said we will at times stumble, but He also said He will not let us fall. An occasional stumble keeps us humble. It keeps us aware of our need for Jesus. As the old hymn says, “Prone to wander Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.” Unfortunately we are naturally prone to go in the direction of the world, but by living supernaturally through Christ, we can stay on the life giving path that He has personally prepared for us.

Corinthians 12:7(NIV), “…Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.

I, like many people, have often wondered what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was. God chose not to take it from him so that He would not be tempted to become conceited and full of pride. Can you think of struggles that you have had that kept you humble and caused you to grow in Christ? It’s through our weaknesses that we learn our true strength is found in Him (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

Never forget, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength (Philippians 4:19)!! Anything He instructs us to do, He will equip us to do. Is there something that God is instructing you to do, but fear keeps holding you back? Trust God to make your steps firm as He promised. Then boldly move forward in Him, one day at a time!

Feel free to comment if you have any additional thoughts to add or any insight to share on what God is teaching you.

A Look at Psalm 37 (verses 16-19)

Psalm 37:16-19 (NIV), “16 Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked; 17 for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous. 18 The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever. 19 In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.”

The plenty that God offers us far outweighs what the world has to offer. The things of the world are fleeting, here today and gone tomorrow. The inheritance God offers us through Christ will endure forever.

God will provide.

I remember a time when I was in between jobs and didn’t have health insurance. I needed to go to the doctor but was afraid of the bill. I felt inside that I needed to trust God and go. Long story short, at the end of my appointment, the doctor looked at me, smiled, and said no charge. I was stunned! Our Heavenly Father intervened to provide me with exactly what I needed. For me it was a time of “famine” because I didn’t have insurance, but for God it was a time to uphold His child and provide. He always has plenty. His resources never run out.

When we are in His care, no matter what state the world may be in, He promises that even in times of lack we will have plenty. Plenty isn’t just material things, it encompasses all of our needs. He will give us plenty of peace, plenty of joy, or plenty of strength so we can endure the trials of life.

We can’t let fear of the unknown keep us from trusting in God. No matter what your situation is, remember He is the God of plenty and He will always provide for His children.

When You Feel Like You’ve Failed God

We’ve all had these moments, days or even seasons where we feel we have failed God. When we go through these times where we feel like we are “less than” in God’s eyes, He still loves us. He doesn’t have the ability to stop loving us. His love for us endures forever.

pexels-photo-1161268When we fail, it can cause us to want to draw away from Christ, but instead of drawing away, He desires for us to draw closer to Him. He always fully accepts us, just as we are. Remember His love perseveres through our setbacks, our anger, our disappointments, and even our rebellion. His dreams for you don’t go away because you have failed. He never gives up on you. He is a perfect Father who loves you perfectly.

When we fall into sin, it breaks His heart if we choose to ignore His love for us and go the other way. He wants us to know Him intimately enough to understand that even in our sin, His love for us still persist. After all, Jesus died for us while we were sinners.

Romans 5:8 (NLT), “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Does He desire for us to repent and refocus on Him? Yes He does. He wants us to abandon our sinful ways the same way we want our loved ones to do better when things are wrong in their lives. God really, really loves us. If need be, He will discipline us to get our attention when we insist upon disobeying His instruction. Hebrews 12:6 reminds us that the Lord disciplines those He loves, just like we as earthly parents discipline our children.

One thing is for certain, God’s discipline will always be done with unconditional love. His discipline is intertwined with His mercy, and is measured out according to what He knows will benefit us most. I’ve been on the receiving end of God’s discipline. Although it doesn’t feel good, it is good for me. I’m thankful for His discipline, because it has helped me to become a better woman. I want to be all He wants me to be, and I know you do too. Part of us walking in our purpose is submitting to God’s divine discipline in our lives.

Thank you Lord for your loving discipline and your sweet mercy!

 Are you feeling like you’ve failed God today? Maybe it’s something that you did last night or last week. Maybe it’s something from your distant past that you can’t seem to shake. Whatever the case, God loves you and regardless of how you may feel right now, He has never stopped loving you. Just repent, receive His forgiveness and allow His love to begin healing your heart. His healing may happen instantly or it may happen slowly, one day at a time. Which ever way The Holy Spirit of God chooses to work in your life, He will bring healing and restoration if you will only trust Him.

 

The Last Will Be First

Matthew 19:30 reads, “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”

Years ago I was traveling with my mom and daughter along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. We were on our way to our family reunion which was being held in Philadelphia. At some point, we came to a stretch of road on the turnpike that was lined with dead trees. The strange thing about it, was that although the trees on the front row were all dead, immediately behind them, as far as the eye could see, were beautiful, vibrant, healthy green trees. However, these lifeless trees on the front row, stood very tall and erect almost as if they possessed an inner confidence. Because of the green background behind them created by the other trees, they appeared to stand out even more. Odd as it may seem, even though these trees were dead, they were still very much alive. They had a mysterious beauty radiating from them that drew attention to their presence.

As I continued to observe this peculiar scene, God brought to my mind these words, “The first will be last and the last will be first.” I have no idea what natural events may have occurred that caused those trees to end up like they were. But to me they represent many people who may not measure up to the world’s idea of beauty. But because they follow God’s ways He has elevated them to a certain level. Like those trees, you may never know what someone has endured to get to where they are, but because they did endure, God has shown them favor. Never underestimate what God is doing in someone’s life just because things appear a certain way on the outside. As Christians, we should have an inner beauty that radiates from our hearts and changes the world around us. People should be able to sense a distinct difference and want to know more about us and our lifestyles. Ultimately who we are should lead people to want to know more about the God we serve.

Those of us who call Jesus Savior, need to take a stand and be all that God has called us to be for the sake of the cross and the glory of the One who died there.  2 Corinthians 6:17 says, “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord, then I will receive you.”

If those trees could speak, I know the stories about life on the “Penna” Turnpike would be unforgettable. The good news is that you and I can speak. We can speak life to those around us. Not only with our words, but through our actions. We must let the life we live speak for us. Ask God to show you how you can “come out from among them and be separate.” When you are serving God, even if you think you are last, in God’s eyes you are first. We need to make sure that wherever we are standing, is the place God really wants us to be. When we are where we should be, we can then be effective and make a true difference.

Father,

Please let the beauty we have in you through your Holy Spirit shine brightly so that those around us may be inspired and changed. Help us not to get caught up in things that do not matter but instead to focus on what matters most to you.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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