Monthly Archives: February 2013

Praying Psalm 34:1-10

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praying through psalmsPraying Psalm 34:1-10

Dear Father,

I will bless and praise at all times. Your praises will be unending from my lips. My soul’s desire is for You, and You alone. Those around me will see my love for You and they too will desire You. Together we will exalt Your great name. Thank-you that You hear us when we call out to You. You deliver us from all our fears and troubles. Our salvation is found only in You. In You there is no shame or embarrassment. Wonderful is the knowledge that the angel of the Lord encamps all around those who respect and reverence You. You are kind, and Your mercy and grace are forever. Thank-you for meeting all my needs and heart’s desires. With You, I lack no good thing. By the power of the Holy Spirit may I keep my eyes on your face and not Your hand. Help all my heart’s desires to line up with Your will for my life.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Psalm 34:1-10  NKJV   “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.
I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.”

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Praying Psalm 33:12-22

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praying through psalmsPraying Psalm 33:12-22

Dear Father,

Thank-you for Your Word and all Your promises. Your Word tells us that blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. By the power of the Holy Spirit, cause us to truly make You the Lord of our lives. When You look upon us may You see a people whose hearts are turned toward You. Speak to our hearts and change our lives. It is You in whom we place our trust. Fill our nation with reverence and respect for You, O Lord. We rejoice in You, for You fill us with hope, shower us with mercy, and deliver us from our enemies. You are our help and our shield.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Psalm 33:12-22  NKJV    “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance. The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works. No king is saved by the multitude of an army; A mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name.
Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, Just as we hope in You.”

Esther and Purim

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food for thought - Copy

          Purim is a festival (holiday) from the book of Esther that celebrates God’s protection for His people. The word Purim is an Aramaic word meaning “lot”. Lots, somewhat like drawing straws, were chosen in the book of Esther to determine the date in which the Jews were to be destroyed. Haman, an enemy of the Jews, had sought to destroy them. Purim was instituted when God lead the enemies of His people to their own destruction. Purim is therefore about deliverance.

 

Purim Is A Reminder of God’s Faithfulness.

The feast of Purim is an annual reminder of God’s faithful on behalf of His people. It is celebrated on the fourteenth and fifteenth day of Adar.

Esther 9:18 NKJV    

“But the Jews who were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day, as well as on the fourteenth; and on the fifteenth of the month they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness. Therefore the Jews of the villages who dwelt in the unwalled towns celebrated the fourteenth day of the month of Adar with gladness and feasting, as a holiday, and for sending presents to one another.”

Purim Is A Reminder of God’s Providence and Protection.

We can learn many things from the story of Esther and from the feast of Purim. As a child of God, we too, are in the hand of God’s providence and protection. God intervenes on our behalf. As we look back on our life we can see where God has been working on our behalf.

Psalm 37:23  NKJV    

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.”

     Just like the Jews in the book of Esther, we too, have an enemy that is out to destroy us.

I Peter 5:8  NKJV   

  “Be sober, be vigilant;because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

      God’s hand of providence and protection on behalf of His people is evident throughout the book of Esther even though His name does not appear once in the book. The hand of God, working on behalf of His people is seen throughout the entire book. God’s plan of deliverance saved the Jewish people from a plot to destroy them. Just like the Jewish people in Esther, God has planned a way of deliverance for us from Satan, our enemy too.

 

Purim Is A Time Of Celebrating God’s Promise To Preserve His Children.

Purim has evolved into a holiday about rejoicing. Traditionally on Purim the entire book of Esther is read from a megillah (scroll). As the book of Esther is read the children make a noise with a noise maker every time the name of Haman is read. Also, the name of Haman may be written on the bottom of their shoes and then they stomp their every time the name of Haman is read.

Purim plays are popular. The story of Esther can be acted out in many different ways, and the people really have fun doing it. A custom of Purim is , Mishloach Manot, the sending of gifts. It is very popular and important. These gifts usually take the form of festively wrapped food to your friends and gifts to the poor.

Children around the world celebrate Purim in many different ways. Sometimes children celebrate Purim by dressing up as Queen Esther, Mordecai, and Haman and parading through the streets. People sometime wear costumes on Purim because Esther had to keep her identity a secret when she first became queen. Some people have a bonfire and burn a replica of Haman.

Purim usually ends with a party that includes a lot of music and good food, including a special triangle-shaped cookie called Hammentashen (Haman’s ears).

No matter how you may choose to celebrate Purim, you should always remember that God’s promise to preserve His children cannot be overcome. God is in control, even while He is concealed,

Purim Is A Time To Reflect On What We Can Learn From The Book Of Esther.

* God will lead our enemies to their own destruction.

* When we take time to find out what the King of Kings likes, what pleases Him, we will find favor in His sight.

* We must prepare ourselves to go into our Kings presence.

* When we take time to find out what our King likes and prepare ourselves to go into His presence, we will be able to be used by Him to deliver others.

* We must be properly clothed (we must cloth ourselves with the righteousness of Christ) – we must prepare ourselves to look like the bride of Christ.

* As we stand before our King, properly clothed and prepared, we will not be separated from His presence by death.

* God’s promise to preserve His children cannot be overcome.

* God is in control, even while He is concealed.

* God is faithful to His people.

* As a child of God, we are in the hand of God’s providence and protection.

* God intervenes on our behalf, even when we are unaware of it.

* You must realize that you are in danger, know who can save you, then go to the person that can save you. Our salvation comes only from God.

* We should never stop rejoicing in the salvation that God has given us.

 

Like Esther We Must Realize That We Are In Danger.

Esther was made aware of the fact that the Jews lives were in danger. A plot had been made to kill them.

Esther 4:7-8  NKJV    

“And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasuries to destroy the Jews. He also gave him a copy of the written decree for their destruction, which was given at Shushan, that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her, and that he might command her to go in to the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for her people.”

     Every person born is in danger of separation from God because of sin. Every person has sinned. Every person has an enemy that would love to see them thrown in the Lake of Fire (away from God’s presence.) You must realize and admit that you have sinned.

1 John 1:8  NKJV   

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

 

Romans 3:23  NKJV  

  “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

 

Romans 6:23  NKJV 

  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Like Esther We Must Know Who Can Save Us.

Esther knew who could save her and her people. She knew that the king held the power to save them.

Esther 4:16  NKJV  

   “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”

    We must know who can save us. Jesus is the only way we can be saved. It is only through His blood that our sins are washed away.

John 14:6  NKJV    

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

 

Romans 10:9  NKJV  

   “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Acts 16:31  NKJV     “So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Like Esther We Must Go To The Person That Can Save Us.

Esther went directly to the king to tell him about the plot to destroy the Jewish people. She did not send a message to him by someone else. She went personally to the king.

Esther knew her life would be put in danger by going to the king personally. At first Esther was not willing to do what she knew that she had to do. She did not go to the king. Then Esther realize that if she did not go to the king that she would be separated from His presence forever by death.

Esther 4:13  NKJV  

   “And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews.”

     Many times we are like Esther. When the Holy Spirit tries to draw us to the King (God) for salvation, we think of excuses not to go. We are afraid of loosing our own life. But the truth is, if we don’t go to the King (God) for salvation we will be separated from His presence forever.

At Jesus’ death the veil in the temple was torn into, from the top to the bottom, by God.

Matthew 27:51  NKJV  

   “Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split”

     Today you are to go directly to God (in prayer) to receive salvation through the blood of Jesus. There is no man, church, or religion that has the power, or authority, to save you. You can’t send word by someone else that you want salvation. Salvation is a personal thing. You must go directly to the King (God) yourself.

Hebrews 10:19-20  NKJV   

  “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh”

1 John 1:9  NKJV   

  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Praying Psalm 33:1-11

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praying through psalmsPraying Psalm 33:1-11

Dear Father,

As I look upon all that You have created, I stand in awe. By Your very Word the entire universe and everything in it was made. The earth is full of Your goodness. I will praise You for all Your mighty acts, and I will worship You for who You are. You alone are God and all Your Words are true. By the power of the Holy Spirit help me to have an even greater respect and reverence for You, O Lord. May I draw closer to You and help me to see and understand Your plans. Let me never cease to worship You with everything within me.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Psalm 33:1-11   NKJV      “Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful. Praise the Lord with the harp; Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy. For the word of the Lord is right, And all His work is done in truth. He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations.”

Praying Psalm 32:1-11

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praying through psalmsPraying Psalm 32:1-11

Dear Father,

It brings me great joy knowing that You have forgiven my transgressions and washed my sins away. Thank-you that through Jesus’ sacrifice, and accepting Your gift of salvation, I am not held guilty – my iniquities are gone. By the power of the Holy Spirit help me to be quick to  acknowledged my sin to You. Help me not to behave in an unjust or immoral manner. Thank-you that when I do fall short, and miss the mark, that You are there beside me, convicting me and drawing me to forgiveness. Teach me Your ways, O Lord, and guide and direct me onto the path that I should walk. Thank-you that You surround me with Your mercy. You  preserve me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. I will be glad and rejoice in You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Psalm 32:1-11  NKJV    “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit.
When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters They shall not come near him. You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you.
Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”

Praying Psalm 31:19-24

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praying through psalmsPraying Psalm 31:19-24

Dear Father,

Thank-you that You shower those who reverence and respect You with goodness. I place my trust in You, for I know that You have only good things prepared for me. You hide me in a secret place in Your presence, and shield me from the schemes and plans of the enemy. I will bless You, O Lord, for You are a mighty fortress. Thank-you for hearing my cry, filling me with hope, and strengthening me. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to remain faithful to You. May I be unwavering in my belief of You and in Your Word.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Psalm 31:19-24  NKJV         “Oh, how great is Your goodness, Which You have laid up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You In the presence of the sons of men!
You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence From the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion From the strife of tongues.
Blessed be the Lord, For He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city!
For I said in my haste, “I am cut off from before Your eyes”; Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications When I cried out to You.
Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person.
Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord.”

Praying Psalm 31:9-18

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praying through psalmsPraying Psalm 31:9-18

Dear Father,

Thank-you for the mercy that You show me when I am in trouble. Even when I have brought the trouble upon myself. You replace grief and sorrow with joy, and You replace my weakness with Your strength. No matter how dark the situation is, You never abandon me or forget me. Thank-you that Your eyes are upon the righteous and their cries will not go unanswered. I will trust in You, O Lord. You are my God and You hold me in Your hand. By the power of the Holy Spirit help me to always turn to You for my help. And may Your face shine upon me.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Psalm 31:9-18   NKJV      “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; My eye wastes away with grief, Yes, my soul and my body!
For my life is spent with grief, And my years with sighing; My strength fails because of my iniquity, And my bones waste away.
I am a reproach among all my enemies, But especially among my neighbors, And am repulsive to my acquaintances; Those who see me outside flee from me.
I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel.
For I hear the slander of many; Fear is on every side; While they take counsel together against me, They scheme to take away my life.
But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, And from those who persecute me.
Make Your face shine upon Your servant; Save me for Your mercies’ sake.
Do not let me be ashamed, O Lord, for I have called upon You; Let the wicked be ashamed; Let them be silent in the grave.
Let the lying lips be put to silence, Which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.”