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Psalm 19 Can Renew Your Faith In an Upside Down World

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Psalm 19 Can Renew Your Faith In an Upside Down World Empty Psalm 19 Can Renew Your Faith In an Upside Down World

Post  Admin on Thu 31 Oct 2019, 10:20 am

[url=https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/3-ways-psalm-19-can-renew-your-faith-in-an-upside-down-world.html?utm_source=&utm_campaign=Daily Disciples - crosswalk.com&utm_medium=email&utm_content=2978286&bcid=aca0ec8e3bea4e78ac0738d678528c86&recip=488938472]3 Ways Psalm 19 Can Renew Your Faith in an Upside-Down World[/url]
Kevin Carson  Author
 3 Jan    2019
1
3 Ways Psalm 19 Can Renew Your Faith in an Upside-Down World
As you take any time to watch the national news or surf the web today, it becomes vibrantly clear that this world is upside down. The government seems like a circus. People’s suffering hurts your heart as you read and consider it.
 
Where can you rest your heart? Where can you find some respite for your own soul? Let me suggest that Psalm 19 helps. There are two voices, two qualities, and two responses that can bring the spirit of Psalm 19 to life for you.
 
 
1.  Seek the two powerful voices of God.
The first voice is the heavens or the firmament. Psalm 19:1-6 teach the heavens speak daily and speak every language on earth. There is not one person who does not hear the voice. It further describes the heavens as the tent for the sun.
 
Every person alive is under its influence as it daily makes its way across the sky.
 
So, what does it say? It declares the glory of God – it points people to God’s eternal power and divine nature (Romans 1:20). Every day as we go outside and see or feel the effects of the sun, it is a reminder to us of God’s eternal power and His divine nature.
 
Our response is to recognize the glory of God.
 
 
The second voice is the Word of God – the Bible. Psalm 19:7-9 state that as we read God’s Word, it transforms us. It restores us, makes us wise, rejoices the heart, enlightens the eyes, and help us with truth and righteousness.
 
God’s Word tells us of mankind’s creation and fall, the possibility of redemption in Jesus Christ, and future redemption. Through it we receive wisdom, grow in discernment, and are transformed.
 
 
2. Explore the two qualities of God’s Word.
The first quality is intrinsic value. Psalm 19:10 states, “They [God’s words] are of greater value than gold, than even a great amount of pure gold; they bring greater delight than honey, than even the sweetest honey from a honeycomb.”
 
The psalmist used two very valuable objects to describe the intrinsic value of the Bible. It is of far greater worth than a great amount of the finest gold. In addition, it is sweeter – and thus more desirable – than the finest honey. When the Bible was written, before modern times with all the sweets available today, honey was a delicacy. Here, the psalmist says that God’s words are even of greater delight than that.
 
The second quality is personal value. Psalm 19:11 teaches that by them you are warned (or in other words, reminded, instructed, and exhorted) and in keeping them through obedience there is a great reward.
 
So, the Bible provides you two incredible benefits – you receive a warning to help you guard your heart and life, plus you receive great rewards when you follow what the Bible teaches. This instruction and reward, of course, begins with Jesus – the warning of rejecting Him and the reward of accepting Him to receive forgiveness of sin. However, the instruction and reward are actually so much greater as the Bible’s teachings touch every part of life.
 
 
3. Respond daily in two life-changing ways to God’s Word.
The first response is the prayer of personal repentance. In Psalm 19:12-13 the psalmist prays the following prayer, “Who can know all his errors? Cleanse me for the sins I am unaware of. Plus, keep me from committing flagrant sins, and do not let those sins control me. Then I will be blameless and innocent of blatant rebellion.”
 
 
In this prayer, there is a sense of self-awareness and self-reflection. The idea is that you read God’s Word and then use its teachings to carefully consider your heart and life. You desire to follow God in every way. Therefore, you ask God to cleanse you from those sins you are unaware of that exist and to keep you from allowing the sins you are aware of to control and dominate you.
 
The second response is the prayer of personal surrender. The prayer of Psalm 19:14 is a daily prayer for all of us to pray each and every day after we have stopped to read and consider God’s voice in the Scriptures. “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”
 
In this prayer, you essentially dedicate your words and your thoughts to God throughout your day.
 
Your goal is that God will be honored in all that you think and all that you say. By implication, this prayer means that there are no thoughtless moments or no idle words. Instead, you purposefully engage your mind throughout the day and intentionally use your words to bring honor to God.
 
Your thoughts reflect a spirit of worship that comes from your love of Christ; your words demonstrate a love of Christ and love of others as they seek to encourage, enrich, and embolden others.
 
Furthermore, this prayer reflects a humility that recognizes from Whom your strength actually comes – the power that only God provides in Christ through the indwelling Spirit.
 
 
Feel renewed in your response to our world.
As I reflect on Psalm 19, I want to live today in awareness of the two voices of God, two qualities of the Word, and the two responses to the Word. As you do this and daily become aware of God’s voice, the quality of God’s Word, and appropriate responses in prayer, your life will change.
 
It is impossible to reflect on God and His Word, to increasing desire His Word, and to pray in reflection of God’s Word without changing to become more like Christ.
 
 
What are some helpful ways you can remind yourself of this?
Go outside and walk around some. Look at the sun, trees, grass, and sky. Remind yourself of God’s voice. Take along your Bible or your Bible app and read some of your favorite Scriptures.
 
Write out the prayer of Psalm 19:12-14. Read it every day in prayer to God, rehearse it throughout your day, and read it before bed as a nighttime prayer (at night you might add “and the dreams of my night” to the prayer).
 
Before long, you will have memorized it, and it will become a daily part of your prayer life.
 
Kevin Carson is the Pastor of the Sonrise Baptist Church in Ozark, Missouri (www.sonrisebaptist.com). In addition to his pastoral ministry, he serves as the department chair of biblical counseling at the Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri (www.gobbc.edu). He also serves as a counselor at Sonrise Biblical Counseling Ministry, is ACBC Certified, IABC Certified, a council member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition, author, and is a frequent speaker at conferences, retreats, and seminars. He and his wife, Kelly, have four children.
 
This article originally appeared on KevinCarson.com. Reprinted with permission.
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Psalm 19 Can Renew Your Faith In an Upside Down World Empty 10 Lies of the World You Should Watch Out For

Post  Admin on Thu 11 Jun 2020, 10:23 am

10 Lies of the World You Should Watch Out For
DiAne Gates
GriefShare
2020  9 Jun
10 Lies of the World You Should Watch Out For
We were running late Sunday morning when husband let me out in front of the sanctuary. I noticed a disheveled woman sitting on a bench near the fountain and heard that urging in my heart, "Go talk to her. Invite her to come inside with you."

But my mind squirmed. We’re late. I had to find a seat so my husband could help with the offering, so I headed for the door.

I exchanged pleasantries with the greeter and rushed inside. But the Spirit prodded, "You need to talk with this woman." Shushing the voice, I headed for the escalator, rehearsing all the reasons I couldn’t obey. The choir was already singing the first hymn. I glanced at my watch. How could we have been so late?

Without meaning to, I listened to a lie of the world and put my needs above another’s. Here are 10 temptations we need to be aware of as Christians:


1. It's all about you.
My worship, my singing, my time with God. But God’s Word shouted, “If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, how will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?” (Jeremiah 12:5 NAS).

The realization of the choice I made rushed over me like a tsunami—choosing to rebel against God, rather than obey Him.

I begged forgiveness and promised I would speak with her—but she was gone and disobedience clung to my shoulders like a shroud. Being tempted is not a sin. But arguing with, and choosing my own understanding over God’s instruction is.

2. A little overspending won't hurt you.

“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave” (Proverbs 22:7 NAS).

With a gift card burning a hole in my pocket, and a sale sign in the window of my favorite boutique, I parked the car and promised not to spend a penny over the designated amount.

Until the gimmes took control. The plastic in my wallet crooned, “It’s such a good deal. You’ll never find all this at such a great price again.” And a split-second temptation won, and this borrower became a slave to plastic. Again.

3. Righteousness isn't as important as it used to be.

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34 NAS).

Scripture states God never changes, so could righteousness become an obsolete word? Wisdom says it’s not. But Satan still whispers, “Indeed, has God said…” If we buy the deceptive lie there is no absolute truth, how will we have the ability to stand when righteousness becomes a life or death decision?


4. You can say whatever you think.

“And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell” (James 3:6 NAS).

Today we are held captive by the violence of uncontrolled tongues. Tongues set on fire by rulers, powers and spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places—from the White House, to the school house, into our homes. But listen to the wisdom of the psalmist’s words: “For the churning of milk produces butter, and pressing the nose brings forth blood, so the churning of anger produces strife” (Proverbs 30:31 NAS).

Maybe we should learn to shut our mouths, rather than spewing the defiling vomit of anger on those in our path.

5. It's a free country; you can do whatever you please.

“There are six things which the Lord hates… Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers” (Proverbs 6:17-19 NAS).

In plain language, God hates those who think they’re better than others, liars, murderers of innocents, wicked hearts, and strife spreaders. We are all sinners—either saved or lost. We will not be perfected until Jesus transforms us, but the habitual patterns of our life indicate to whom we belong—not your name on a church roll.

  
6. A good job and money provides the happiness you need.

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity” (Proverbs 2:6-7 NAS).

The choice is money or integrity, which would you choose? Money vanishes in a heartbeat, but integrity is the substance of who you are and is a gift from God. “Do not be anxious, saying, What shall we eat? Or what shall we drink? Or with what shall we clothe ourselves? But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:31, 33 NAS). God provides for His own people.


7. You can watch a movie or TV without agreeing with the message.

“Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worth of praise, let your mind dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8 NAS).

The eyes are a window to the heart, and traffic flows both ways. Garbage in. Garbage out!


8. You don't need to discipline your children.

“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15 NAS).

We’ve all seen the scenario of a screaming child and a stressed out parent who gives the child what they want. But bad behavior at any age is unacceptable “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth” (Psalms 127:3-4 NAS). What are you aiming your children to become?

 9. You don't have to study the Bible to be a Christian.

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 NAS).

If your sweetheart wrote you a love letter, would you leave it unopened? The Bible is God’s love letter—His story and your story. A life, death, life story! Reading, studying, and memorizing these words enable the Spirit of God to transform us into the image of Jesus. Without God’s Word in our hearts and lives, we don’t stand a prayer of victory in these evil times. “Whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4 NAS). The first time you picked up a trigonometry book you didn’t understand that either—it took study.


10. Loving others isn't important.

“By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious; anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10 NAS).

If we took a mug-shot of how God sees us before Jesus’ blood, we would be horrified, and humbled. Jesus said, “Your self-righteousness is like filthy rags.” Disgusting. But He loved us enough to hang on that torturous cross. Ridiculed. Made a public spectacle. Suffered and died for you and me. Jesus was born to die… and so are you and me…that life, death, life amazing plan. Would you deny such marvelous news to anyone? We are created in the image of God. And only through the power of His Spirit in us can we love. That’s why we were created—“To love the Lord our God with all our hearts, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.”


DiAne Gates illustrates and writes fiction for children and YA, and serious non-fiction for the folks. Her passion is calling the church’s attention to how far we’ve catapulted from God’s order as evidenced by her blog Moving the Ancient Boundaries. DiAne worked as a photographer and writer for the East Texas Youth Rodeo Association magazine, giving birth to her western rodeo adventure series, ROPED, (available on Amazon). The sequel, TWISTED, will be released by Prism in early 2017. She also facilitates GriefShare, an international support ministry for those who’ve lost loved ones. 


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