Tag Archives: salvation

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 21

21

O Lord, in your strength the king rejoices, and in your salvation how greatly he exults!
You have given him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips.          Selah
For you meet him with rich blessings; you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
He asked life of you; you gave it to him, length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great through your salvation; splendor and majesty you bestow on him.
For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord, and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.
Your hand will find out all your enemies; your right hand will find out those who hate you.
You will make them as a blazing oven when you appear.
The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath, and fire will consume them.
You will destroy their descendants from the earth, and their offspring from among the children of man.
Though they plan evil against you, though they devise mischief, they will not succeed.
For you will put them to flight; you will aim at their faces with your bows.
Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength!
We will sing and praise Your power.

The first thing that jumps off the page with me here: the king is not rejoicing in the kingdom that God has given him. He isn’t rejoicing in the riches, fame, women, glory that all come with being a king. He is rejoicing in the Lord’s strength and the salvation that God has given him.

That’s it.

“He asked life of you; you gave it to him.”

Man. I wish that were the simple prayer off my lips.

Instead, I’m asking for temporary satisfaction. I’m asking for God to remove trials from my life – trials that very well may be drawing me closer to Him than I realize, and I want them GONE. I’m asking for Him to pat me on the back with affirmation of how good I’ve done avoiding sin.

I’m asking Him to approve of me with all the kewl stuff I’ve done on His behalf.

I’m not asking for Him.
I’m just asking for what He can give me to keep me happy.

I am so challenged by the simplicity of these prayers and psalms of God’s great goodness and steadfast love. I find myself getting so wrapped up in begging for what I want, being disappointed that I don’t have what I want, and missing the profound beauty of a God who has given me life. Abundant life. Righteous life. Through the blood of the Perfect One, God’s wrath has been swallowed up on my behalf.

We are 25 days in to 2017 and I find myself already saying, “Yes!! Freaking yesssss!!!” to God’s character and truth found in this psalm.

“Though they plan evil against you, though they devise mischief, they will not succeed.” 

God has already shown up in big, big ways this year and I can’t wait to see how he kicks satan in the teeth in the days to come.

His glory truly is great and we will sing and praise His power.

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psalm 20

psalm 20.png

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion!
May he remember all your offerings and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices!
Selah
May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!
May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!
Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.
O Lord, save the king!
May he answer us when we call.

This psalm has taken me by surprise a little bit tonight.

I didn’t grow up thinking that the Lord would do the things that David is petitioning Him to do here. Did I think He could? Of course! I was a good Christian girl!

Did I think He would? No. Because I was really an undeserving sinner and how dare I ask bold and mighty things of a loving, merciful, and gracious God. Tisk tisk, Smith.

Thanks to some books that are currently ruining my life (just kidding. kinda.) and a reminder from my friend on her blog today, I can proclaim and ask bold, big things of and from my good, loving God. I can say things like, “May He grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!”

And not only can I say it, I can believe it.
And not only can I believe it, I can expect it.

Now, don’t roll your eyes all the way back in your brain at me. I’m not saying that if you speak it and believe it, it will happen. I’m not telling you to make a vision board or go all Secret with your dreams and desires.

But I am saying that God loves me, and loves you, and desires to give good things to His children.

Which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

– Jesus, Matthew 7:9, 11

I’m reading one of those books that’s ruining my life with a friend and we recently talked about having to let our dreams die so that God dreams can be birthed.

And it scared the crap out of us.

It’s hard to believe that we can boldly open our hands, lay our dreams/desires/lives down, and expect something better.

But we can. Because, “Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand.”

I’ll leave you with this thought from a recent sermon (that you should listen to after reading to the end…): “We have no right to come to God. Yet, because of Jesus, we are told to bang on the door and expect an answer.” We can declare all that David has declared here, because the Lord our God has answered His children from heaven by sending His Son Jesus. We get to shout for joy over your salvation.

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psalm 13

psalm13

I’ve said this before, and I’ll probably say it 1,578,829 more times, but one of my favorite descriptions of the psalms is that they are where emotion and theology meet.

I sometimes feel a smidge of guilt when I want to throw some shade God’s way. There are days and moments when I want to throw my hands up and say, “For serious, Lord?!”

And in those moments I think, “crap. I’m not supposed to react this way. I’m always supposed to be happy and smiley and all the ‘pretty’ emotions because God has saved me from an eternity separated from Him….ya ta ta…”

But then…then I come upon the psalms. And I read David’s emotions. And I know, at the end of the day, it’s okay for me to be frustrated. For me to doubt. For me to have some questions for the Creator of all the things (emotions included).

The tricky part is if I let that shade turn into bitterness toward my Loving Father. I can bring my hurt and let-downs to God. I can have a hard conversation with Him. But I can’t let my emotions control who my God is. God is God and God is good, even on days when I don’t feel it.

And that’s where psalm 13 steps in:

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Amen & amen.

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