20/20 Vision - A Guided Devotional

20/20 Vision is a guided devotional in the book of Psalms. Our goal is to take the first 20 minutes of our day for peaceful meditation in the word of God for 20 days. Some things do not come clean unless you soak them; your mind and spirit are like this.  It takes time in the presence of Jesus to bring cleansing and wholeness to our souls. Don't be discouraged if it takes a few days just to learn how to be still before God. We as Americans live very noisy, busy lives. But stick with it, you won't regret it. 20 days in the presence of God will awaken and or revive His dream for your life.

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Day Twenty: Psalm 100 – Shout to the Lord

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Download Today's Devotional: Day - 20 - Psalm 100 - Shout to the Lord

God’s exhortation to praise precedes Christianity, precedes the modern church age. God expects us to make praise and worship a part of our daily lives, not just an event once or twice a week.

Let's go to the Father in prayer:

Heavenly Father, I come to you this morning asking you for the revelation of who you are, the revelation of your awesome majesty; a revelation that will produce praise that is worthy of your great name. I ask this in the name and authority of your son Jesus Christ, Amen.

You have been spending the last 19 days in God’s presence, meditating on His word. Today as you are spending time with God in Psalm 100, I want to exhort you to make praise and worship a regular part of your devotional time with Jesus. It may seem a little awkward at first, and it may be a challenge finding a place you can sing early in the morning with waking up the rest of the household, but a challenge worth the effort.  I think you will be delighted to realize that God’s presence will manifest right here in your quiet place. God never intended that His presence would be locked up in a building, so He put it in the hearts of men and women. God’s presence can go with you everywhere you go and begins every morning as you seek His face.

Psalm 100

A psalm of thanksgiving.

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. [1]

Congratulations on completing the 20/20 Guided Devotional in Psalms!  You have taken the first step on the most amazing journey any human being can take; the journey into the heat and dream of God for your life.  I hope and pray that you will continue to make spending time in a presence a priority for the rest of your life.

As promised, you will no longer receive any blog notifications on this subscription, and again, thank you so much for taking time to be with us these past 20 days.  If you found these meditations helpful and would like to receive information on future devotional series as well as devotional posts by Pastor Doug, please click the link below to subscribe to “Notes from the Shepherd,” his blog.

 

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[1] Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 100). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Day Nineteen: Psalm – 37 – He Will Give You the Desires of Your Heart

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Download Today's Devotional: Day - 19 - Psalm 37 - He Will Give You the Desires of Your Heart

 

Can you imagine what it would be like to live a life wherein you consistently have your hearts desires? Would it be a dream or a nightmare?  I guess that depends on the nature of your desires.

Let's go to the Father in prayer:

Heavenly Father, I come to you this morning to receive insight and instruction from your word. You gave us the ability to desire deeply; and in so doing, gave us the capacity for deep disappointment when those desires go unfulfilled. I believe that it’s your desire that I would live an abundant life and not one of disappointment.  Help me to understand how to achieve that life. I ask this in the name and authority of your son Jesus Christ, Amen.

In the beginning of Psalm 37, the author exhorts us not to be envious or even absorbed with the exploits of the wicked. They seem invincible and are then suddenly gone. Don’t be vexed by the 24-hour news cycle, by the boasts of evildoers. Instead, trust in the Lord and do what you know is right. In so doing you are promised protection and prosperity. Commit your plans to Him, delight in Him, and He will give you the desires of your heart. What an amazing statement. But what if your desires are not for God’s best in your life?  What if you desire something that seems great now, but will end in heartache or disaster later?  This is why we delight in the Lord, commit to him, in verse seven we are told to sit quietly and wait patiently on Him. This is the key, when we wait on the Lord, which, by the way, you are doing right now, He will give you the desires; that is to say, He will give you Godly desires in your heart that can be fulfilled without regret!

Psalm 37

A psalm of David.

Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither. 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. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper - it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land. 10 Soon the wicked will disappear. Though you look for them, they will be gone. 11 The lowly will possess the land and will live in peace and prosperity. 12 The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance. 13 But the Lord just laughs, for he sees their day of judgment coming. 14 The wicked draw their swords and string their bows to kill the poor and the oppressed, to slaughter those who do right. 15 But their swords will stab their own hearts, and their bows will be broken. 16 It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and rich. 17 For the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the Lord takes care of the godly. 18 Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent, and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever. 19 They will not be disgraced in hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough. 20 But the wicked will die. The Lord’s enemies are like flowers in a field - they will disappear like smoke. 21 The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers. 22 Those the Lord blesses will possess the land, but those he curses will die. 23 The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. 24 Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. 25 Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread. 26 The godly always give generous loans to others, and their children are a blessing. 27 Turn from evil and do good, and you will live in the land forever. 28 For the Lord loves justice, and he will never abandon the godly. He will keep them safe forever, but the children of the wicked will die. 29 The godly will possess the land and will live there forever. 30 The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong. 31 They have made God’s law their own, so they will never slip from his path. 32 The wicked wait in ambush for the godly, looking for an excuse to kill them. 33 But the Lord will not let the wicked succeed or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial. 34 Put your hope in the Lord. Travel steadily along his path. He will honor you by giving you the land. You will see the wicked destroyed. 35 I have seen wicked and ruthless people flourishing like a tree in its native soil. 36 But when I looked again, they were gone! Though I searched for them, I could not find them! 37 Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace. 38 But the rebellious will be destroyed; they have no future. 39 The Lord rescues the godly; he is their fortress in times of trouble. 40 The Lord helps them, rescuing them from the wicked. He saves them, and they find shelter in him. [1]

[1] Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 37). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Day Eighteen: Psalm – 147 – Your Focus Determines Your Direction

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Download Today's Devotional: Day - 18 - Psalm 147 - Your Focus Determines Your Direction  

Have you ever had something go the opposite of the way you hoped and planned? And when you look back on the event, you’re not really sure where it took the turn in the wrong direction? Today we’re going to seek to understand why.

Let's go to the Father in prayer:

Heavenly Father, I come to you this morning to receive insight and instruction from your word. I want to learn to identify thoughts or actions that take off my desired path; away from my intended goals. Give me understanding, renew my mind with truth.  I ask this in the name and authority of your son Jesus Christ, Amen.

As we meditate on Psalm 147 this morning, I want you to pay particular attention to the psalmist’s focus. He beings the psalm with the exhortation to praise God.  Why?  Why praise God before everything else? Because nine out of ten times, it is your focus that determines your outcome.  It is not your intentions, it is not goals, but rather your focus.  The Bible tells us that those who keep their mind focused on the Lord will have perfect peace[1]. Not just peace, but perfect peace! The psalmist centers himself on God; as an act of his will, he turns his thoughts on God in recollection of his nature. He turns his emotions to God in acknowledgment of His great deeds. And he defines his circumstances based upon his relationship with God. He ends the psalm by stating that what God has done for him, He has done for no other peoples. God chose you.  He sought you out in the depths of your sin and darkness and paid a great price to have a relationship with you. That fact should influence every decision you make about yourself and others.  It should be the source of peace in spite of any situation.  It should be the deep still river that anchors you in any storm.

Psalm 147

Praise the Lord! How good to sing praises to our God! How delightful and how fitting! The Lord is rebuilding Jerusalem and bringing the exiles back to Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension! The Lord supports the humble, but he brings the wicked down into the dust. Sing out your thanks to the Lord; sing praises to our God with a harp. He covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, and makes the grass grow in mountain pastures. He gives food to the wild animals and feeds the young ravens when they cry. 10 He takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse or in human might. 11 No, the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love. 12 Glorify the Lord, O Jerusalem!

Praise your God, O Zion! 13 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates and blessed your children within your walls. 14 He sends peace across your nation and satisfies your hunger with the finest wheat. 15 He sends his orders to the world - how swiftly his word flies! 16 He sends the snow like white wool; he scatters frost upon the ground like ashes. 17 He hurls the hail like stones. Who can stand against his freezing cold? 18 Then, at his command, it all melts. He sends his winds, and the ice thaws. 19 He has revealed his words to Jacob, his decrees and regulations to Israel. 20 He has not done this for any other nation; they do not know his regulations. Praise the Lord! [2]

[1] Isaiah 26:3

[2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 147). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Day Seventeen: Psalm – 139 – God Knows the Depths of Your Heart

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Download Today's Devotional:  Day - 17 - Psalm 139 - God Knows the Depths of Your Heart

 

God is omniscient. Omni = all, scient = knowing.  God knows everything, about everyone. God knows everything about you. So why would you try to hide something from God?

Let's go to the Father in prayer:

Heavenly Father, I come to you this morning, because you know my heart better than I do, and I want a clean heart. Please give the me the grace and courage to allow you into every area of heart. I ask this in the name and authority of your son Jesus Christ, Amen.

He knows more about you than you know about yourself. He knows every area of your heart. He even knows your thoughts before you think them. As we continue to meditate on keeping our hearts pure before God it is important that we know that there is now thought, no secret, no deep recess of our heart that is hidden from Him. That’s why it is foolishness to try and hide anything from God. He knows everything that is going on in your heart, and He only wants you to bring them to Him so they can be forgiven and your heart can be made whole. As you revisit Psalm 139 today, allow the Holy Spirit to come into every area of your heart. Meditate on these verses again, take the Holy Spirit to places that you are afraid to go alone.

Psalm 139

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up.

You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. 11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night - 12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. 13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. 17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! 18 I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! 19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked! Get out of my life, you murderers! 20 They blaspheme you; your enemies misuse your name. 21 O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you? 22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.[1]

[1] Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 139). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

 

Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 77). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Day Sixteen: Psalm – 77 – Freedom From Discouragement

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Download Today's Devotional: Day - 16 - Psalm 77 - Freedom From Discouragement

Some days discouragement can come as an overwhelming flood; it feels as though you will never overcome a crushing situation.  What can you do?

Let's go to the Father in prayer:

Heavenly Father, I come to you this morning, because I need learn how to deal with discouragement. I know that you are faithful, but sometimes, I can't remember that in the heat of the moment. Please teach me walk in truth, not in feelings. I ask this in the name and authority of your son Jesus Christ, Amen.

Today as you are meditating on Psalm 77, consider the life of the author, Asaph.  In this Psalm we see a formula for overcoming fear and discouragement.  In the first three verses we see his first reaction to his distress. He cries out to God for help.  In verses four through six, he challenges his feelings with facts; he re-evaluates his present based upon his past experience with God.  Then in verses seven through nine he again cries unto God with fresh determination to again see His faithfulness.  Then again, in verses ten through twelve he chooses to direct his thought toward God's past provision rather than his present pain.  And finally, in verses thirteen through 20 he begins to magnify his God to diminish his problems and fears.  Think about it; how many times have you been in a difficult situation where you saw no way out?  And yet, here you are today; having found a way. God will always make a way where this is no way.  He's God. Our challenge?  Don't let the pain of your past engage your emotions in the present, and rob you of your future.

Psalm 77

For Jeduthun, the choir director: A psalm of Asaph.

1 I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me! 2 When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted. 3 I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help.

Interlude

4 You don’t let me sleep. I am too distressed even to pray! 5 I think of the good old days, long since ended, 6 when my nights were filled with joyful songs. I search my soul and ponder the difference now. 7 Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will he never again be kind to me? 8 Is his unfailing love gone forever? Have his promises permanently failed? 9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he slammed the door on his compassion?

Interlude

10 And I said, “This is my fate; the Most High has turned his hand against me.” 11 But then I recall all you have done, O LORD; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. 12 They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.13 O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you? 14 You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations. 15 By your strong arm, you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

Interlude

16 When the Red Sea saw you, O God, its waters looked and trembled! The sea quaked to its very depths. 17 The clouds poured down rain; the thunder rumbled in the sky. Your arrows of lightning flashed. 18 Your thunder roared from the whirlwind; the lightning lit up the world! The earth trembled and shook. 19 Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters -
a pathway no one knew was there! 20 You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep, with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.

 

Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 77). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Day Fifteen: Psalm – 139 – Guard Your Heart

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Download Today's Devotional: Day - 15 - Psalm 139 - Search My Heart

We now know that we need to ask Father God to create in ourselves a clean heart. But the Bible also tells us that we don’t know our own hearts.[1]  So how can we ask God to remove something we don’t know exists?

Let's go to the Father in prayer:

Heavenly Father, I come to you this morning, continuing to pursue a heart that pleases you. But I know that often I’m not aware of things lurking beneath the surface of my mind, will, and emotions. Teach me this morning how I can cooperate with your Holy Spirit in the process of presenting my heart for healing and wholeness.  Help me today to walk consistently before you with a clean heart. I ask this in the name and authority of your son Jesus Christ, Amen.

God called David a man after His own heart; think about that for a moment.  David, a man with a string of failures on his resume. And yet God called him a man after His heart. God did not identify David with his shortcomings, but rather with his pursuit. Meditate on that this morning. Allow it to free you to be transparent with God about your struggles. He’s not recording them, he’s removing them! Hold nothing back!

Psalm 139

For the choir director: A psalm of David. O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, 10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. 11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night - 12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. 13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. 17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! 18 I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! 19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked! Get out of my life, you murderers! 20 They blaspheme you; your enemies misuse your name. 21 O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you? 22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. [2]

 

[1] Jeremiah 17:9-10

[2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 139). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

 

Day Fourteen: Psalm – 51 – Guard Your Heart

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Download Today's Devotional: Day - 14 - Psalm 51 - Guarding Our Heart

The Bible tells us to "guard our heart" because the condition of our hearts determines the quality of our life and destination of our souls. But how do we do that; how do we "guard" our hearts?  Let's go to the Father in prayer:

Heavenly Father, I come to you this morning with a desire to have a heart that pleases you. But often my heart seems to let us both down; my feelings and faith are up one moment and down the next, like some sort of crazy roller-coaster.  Help me to understand today how I can walk consistently before you with a clean heart. I ask this in the name and authority of your son Jesus Christ, Amen.

Psalm 51 is one of my favorite psalms. It so speaks to my need for transformation by the renewing of my mind by the Holy Spirit. The greatest war we fight as believers is not against Satan, but rather against our own minds. The war between what we believe and what we feel.  Often pain, need, lack, offense, all feel more real than the truth of God's word; this is a result of heart wherein the love of God has not yet been fully embraced. David wrote this psalm after one of this greatest failures; failure as a king, failure as a military commander, failure as a husband, and failure as a worshiper of God. From the depths of his grief and shame, he cries unto the Lord.  Pay particular attention to his heart; he isn't making excuses for his sin. He isn't minimizing his offenses.  He is crying out in anguish over his sin against a Holy loving God.  The end of the psalm is the key; it's not about your ability to keep the external law - making you constantly think about what to do and what not to do, it's the condition of your heart. Have you let the Holy Spirit in?  Have you been transparent and intimate with God?

Psalm 51
For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time Nathan the prophet came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

1 Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. 2 Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. 3 For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. 4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. 5 For I was born a sinner- yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. 6 But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there. 7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me - now let me rejoice. 9 Don’t keep looking at my sins.  Remove the stain of my guilt. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. 14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. 15 Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you.16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. 18 Look with favor on Zion and help her; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit- with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings. Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.

 

Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 51). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Day Thirteen: Psalm – 8 – The Crown of His Creation

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Download Today's Devotional: Day - 13 - Psalm 8 - The Crown of His Creation

This Psalm speaks of the glory that is our Father’s creation. But do you know what is the crown of that creation?  Let’s begin by going to God in prayer.

Heavenly Father, when we take time to slow down from our hectic lives and enjoy your creations, we can only marvel at the works of your hands. Give us the revelation of our place in your creation. Help us to walk in the identity which we are destined to achieve from the foundation of the world.  We ask this in the name and authority of your son Jesus Christ, amen.

As you read through Psalm 8 this morning, take some quiet and deliberate time to meditate on God’s design and intent with His creation.  Contemplate the place He has given you in His creation. I pray that a deeper revelation of your identity in the heart of God will allow to more fully live as true son or daughter of God

Psalm 8

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by a stringed instrument.

 O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens. You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you. When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers - the moon and the stars you set in place - what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority - the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents. O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! [1]

 

 

[1] Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 8). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Day Twelve: Psalm – 91 – Abiding With the Father

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Download Today's Devotional: Day - 12 - Psalm 91 - Abiding With the Father

Yesterday we meditated on the many promises of protection found in Psalm 31. Continuing in the theme of security, let us look in Psalm 91 to find the key to possessing that security. First, let us go to our God in prayer;

Abba Father, your promises are all iron clad, and yet, I have not always realized the benefits of these promises in my life. Give me revelation; bring me on a journey into the depths of your love and provision. Teach me the keys to walking in your blessings. I ask this in the name and authority of your Son, Jesus Christ, amen.

Verse 1 is the key to understanding Psalm 91. We have to make the decision to “live” in the shelter of the almighty. How can we do that?  The good news is, you have already taken the first step. By choosing to give God the first portion of your day, you begun the process of living with the abiding presence of God in your daily life. The more you become aware of God’s presence in any circumstance, the more you will manifest His promises in those circumstances.

Psalm 91

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished. If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, 10 no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. 11 For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. 12 They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. 13 You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! 14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. 15 When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. 16 I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”[1]

 

 

[1] Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 91). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Day Eleven: Psalm – 31 – Do You Struggle to feel safe?

For your convenience, we have added a soundtrack to the background as you meditate on the word of God. You are welcome to keep this playing in the background that will end after 20 minutes followed by closing prayer.

 

Download Today's Devotional: Day - 11 - Psalm 31 - Do You Sometimes Feel Unsafe

Sometimes the world feels like a dangerous place. Between the fear-fueled 24-hour news cycle, alleged climate change, social unrest, wars, and more, it all just seems scary. Let us begin by talking to the Father:

Father God, some life seems so fragile and I feel so vulnerable.  Nevertheless, you promised me that you are my heavenly Father, and that you would protect me. Today Father, please help me sense your protection, your provision, your loving arms around me, all the time. I ask this in the name and authority of your son Jesus Christ, amen.

Sometimes you almost wish you could be a kid again, feeling protected in the world.  Well the good news is, you can.  God is your heavenly Father, and He has promised to watch over you, to protect you. His word is full of promises for protection. Today in Psalm 31, share your fears with the Lord, ask Him to address each one. He delights in watching over you.

Psalm 31

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

O Lord, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced. Save me, for you do what is right.

Turn your ear to listen to me; rescue me quickly. Be my rock of protection, a fortress where I will be safe. You are my rock and my fortress. For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger. Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me, for I find protection in you alone. I entrust my spirit into your hand. Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God. I hate those who worship worthless idols. I trust in the Lord. I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to my enemies but have set me in a safe place. Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress. Tears blur my eyes. My body and soul are withering away. 10 I am dying from grief; my years are shortened by sadness. Sin has drained my strength; I am wasting away from within. 11 I am scorned by all my enemies and despised by my neighbors— even my friends are afraid to come near me. When they see me on the street, they run the other way. 12 I am ignored as if I were dead, as if I were a broken pot. 13 I have heard the many rumors about me, and I am surrounded by terror. My enemies conspire against me, plotting to take my life. 14 But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, “You are my God!” 15 My future is in your hands. Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly. 16 Let your favor shine on your servant. In your unfailing love, rescue me. 17 Don’t let me be disgraced, O Lord, for I call out to you for help. Let the wicked be disgraced; let them lie silent in the grave. 18 Silence their lying lips— those proud and arrogant lips that accuse the godly. 19 How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world. 20 You hide them in the shelter of your presence,

safe from those who conspire against them. You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues. 21 Praise the Lord, for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love. He kept me safe when my city was under attack. 22 In panic I cried out, “I am cut off from the Lord!” But you heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help. Love the Lord, all you godly ones! For the Lord protects those who are loyal to him, but he harshly punishes the arrogant. 24 So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord! [1]

[1] Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 31). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

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