Monthly Archives: March 2017

psalm 24

psalm 24

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.*

Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory!

*que youth group song that I now cannot get out of my head. (if you don’t know, you are so blessed.)

Over the past few years as I’ve sat down on a semi-weekly basis to write, I’ve usually approached the keyboard with a general thought or theme that’s been running through my mind for a few days. For however long it’s been that I’ve been going through the psalms, it’s been fairly easy to read the passage and say, “Yes! That’s the thing for the week!”

But tonight is different.
It’s a little more difficult.

I read this psalm and the only thing I can think about is Jesus. He is the only “theme” that is coming to mind. He is the “thing” for the week.

And, as I started to type, I felt kinda Aunt Linda about it.

aunt linda

 

Like, “ah geez. These people are probably sick of me saying the same thing overandoverandoverandoverandover again.”

I felt oddly inadequate – as though I’m not a good enough writer to pull some hyper-spiritual truth that will change the world ONCE AND FOR ALL from this text.

But then, I’m like, “uuuhhhhh wut?! Isn’t He the point? Isn’t Jesus TRULY the THING?! Like…the only thing that really matters? Isn’t His life, death, and resurrection THE POINT of this whole thing?”

Who can ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in His holy place?

JESUS.

It’s Jesus, you guys.
The One they call the Christ.

I feel inadequate because I am inadequate.
I cannot claim to have clean hands and a pure heart and to have never lifted my soul up to that which is false.
I fail consistently at seeking the face of God.

But the thing that brings me to tears is that Jesus still loves me – even though I am inadequate and dirty and impure. And not only that, HE makes me adequate, clean, and pure. He gives me that part of Himself.

I may sound like a broken record, and you make be tired of the same-ol’-same from dear ol’ Kayla, but I need this truth to be told to me constantly.
I need to be reminded that Jesus has completed the work it takes to pay my debt of sin & rebellion against a Holy God.
I need to be reminded that I am loved and valued because He said so.
And that the only One that can stand in His holy place, does stand in His holy place, interceding on my behalf until the day He returns again.

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psalm 23

psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

I read this psalm and I imagine David, as he’s writing/singing/praying this to his Almighty God, taking a long, deep breath and settling into a seat with his favorite view of the countryside in front of him.

I picture David realizing – for the first time, or even being reminded yet again – that all his striving and working and laboring doesn’t matter. That he is safe and secure because he belongs to the Lord.

I picture him reminding himself that it is the Lord who has done all the great things in his life.

I picture David doing this, because that’s what I’m doing. I’m breathing deep, taking all of God in and being reminded that the end of me is where He can step in and fill up. That it is there where my cup overflows.

Recently my church held a discipleship cohort where we discussed Bible reading and study, asking questions of the text to better know God and know ourselves through Scripture. The last question we ask is: What do I need to hear?

And tonight, my answer? That the Lord leads me beside still waters. He settles me. He draws me in and fills the space that only He can fill. He restores the broken parts in ways only He can restore.

I do nothing.
He does it all.

I work for nothing.
His work is complete.

So, for His name’s sake, I’m going to cling to that and live in the freedom of knowing that the Just and Justifier has called me His and redeemed me by the blood of His Son on the cross. And because of Jesus, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

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psalm 22 (the final part)

psalm 22 pt5
From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will perform before those who fear him.
The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord!
May your hearts live forever!
All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lordand all the families of the nations shall worship before you.
For kingship belongs to the Lordand he rules over the nations.
All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive.
Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.
(v. 25-31)
I’m continually challenged by David’s words and posture toward the Lord. I’m amazed after all his struggle and doubt and heartache, he is able to turn back toward the Lord. He is able to remember that the afflicted shall eat and be satisfied.
Yes, we all know that David screwed some things up majorly during his time, but he is also the one known as the man after God’s own heart. We know that he is a sinner among sinners, but he is also a man who understands he is not outside of God’s sovereignty or redemption.
My natural bent is when I screw things WAY up or fall into sin and rebellion, I tend to believe the lie that God isn’t big enough to forgive me this time. That, with this one thing, I’m just too far gone.
David’s words remind me that I am never too far gone. That those who seek Him shall praise Him. That God has done a great thing and continues to do great things for His children.
I’m reminded that Kingship belongs to the Lord – that Jesus, the One they call the Christ, has lived, died, and risen again on my behalf and now rules over darkness and death. They have no power. Sin has lost its sting. Jesus is King!
May this truth be told of the Lord to the coming generation!
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psalm 22 (pt. 4)

psalm-22-pt4

But you, O Lord, do not be far off!
O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog!
Save me from the mouth of the lion!
You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!
I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you: You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.

(v19-24)

Remember last week when David was surrounded by many bulls and had no way out? When his heart was like wax?

Well, here we are…at the turning point. Redemption and rescue on the horizon.

David is starting to remember who his God is. He’s remembering that he can call upon the name of the One who is mighty to save – and he will be rescued!

Why does he remember this? Because his God has done it before…

“You have rescued me…”

Have.
Past tense.

And David can trust that this God – the Creator of all – has not despised or recoiled from the affliction of those that are afflicted. That He has not hidden his face from his people.

No.
He has actually heard when we cry to Him.

Man, how many times have my bones felt dried up, my heart like wax, and I just sat in the crap. I’ve been so focused on myself that I’ve forgotten who my God is. I complain and commiserate about my situation and ignore the truth that Yahweh Himself has heard my cry.

I love this section of the psalm – that David has lamented, but is now moving toward praise in who his God is. It is a great reminder for me: it’s okay for me to lament and cry out; in fact, I think God welcomes it. But I also need to listen to the still, small voice saying, “Oh, my child, do you not remember who I am? Do you not remember that I have rescued you before and will do it again?”

I do remember. And praise Him indeed that He has not recoiled from my affliction, but walks with me in it – granting love and mercy all along the way.

Rescue and redemption are on the horizon.

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