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Spiritual Thought for Today Archive Week #13


Who Will Dwell in Your Tent?

"O Lord, who will dwell in you tent
and reside on you holy mount?"
Psalm 15

The Psalmist ask an interesting question. Who can reside in God's presence?

What is the answer?

The person who lives right, does what's right, speaks the truth, controls their speech, looks down on evildoers, highly esteems God's servants, who keeps their pledge, doesn't charge interest on a loan and finally doesn't take a bribe against the innocent.

There are two ways to look at the list. One is that you need to do all of those things before you can enter the tent. The other is that the above are all a sign as to whether you are in the tent or not.

I like the second way better. #2

Love

"I Love you, O Lord, my strength." Psalm 18

When I think of what will make me strong, I seldom think of God. In fact when I think about what it means to be a believer in God I almost always give in to the heresy that being like Jesus means being weak.

Imagine what a perversion of Jesus it is to think of him in that way. Jesus who stood up to the powers of his time whether they were religious or political. Jesus who bravely walked to Jerusalem knowing what he would face there. Is all of this a sign of weakness?

No!

Following Jesus and being a believer in God is not for the weak of heart. It requires strength beyond our human capabilities. We all know that when we fall time and time again into our own sins.

Here is a mantra today when we sink into the weakness of following a "weak" Jesus made in our own image: "I love you, O Lord, my strength."

#3

Heart Praise

"Let my heart praise the Lord." Psalm 9

I find this verse interesting in that the psalmist doesn't just say,"Let's praise the Lord," but centers the activity of praise in his heart.

In my own journey in the spiritual life I realize that the constant battle is to not only "know" what is the right thing to think or do but also to "feel" it.

In the midst of troubles my head might be telling me to praise God anyway things will work out for the best but I may have a hard time feeling that.

Therein lies the reason that the psalmist prays for his heart to praise God.

If we are ever to become whole and move in the flow of life we need our heads and hearts to be on the same page. "Let my heart praise the Lord!"

#4

Praise

"When I observe the heavens,
the work of your hands,
the moon and the stars set in their place-
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you should care for him?"
Psalm 8

The psalmist reflection is one that you may have made yourself at one time or another.

When we meditate on our place in all of nature it is amazing to think that God could care for each one of us.

But God does. God empowers us.

"Yet you have made him a little lower than the angels;
you have crowned him with glory and honor."

What does it mean that God has crowned us with glory and honor?

I would invite you to repeat that passage throughout the day. Simply repeat throughout the day, "God has crowned me with glory and honor."

#5

Answer When I Call

"Answer when I call, O God, my justice!
When I was in distress, you gave me solace,
Have compassion on me and hear my plea." Psalm 4

In this season of Advent most people spend their time looking for the perfect gift for this or that person. But what is the perfect gift?

What will make us truly happy?

I feel sad for people who continually search for happiness someplace else.

Only God can provide what it is that we want. The Psalmist who evidently is not a timid fellow demands that God hear him in his need.

That strikes me as a good way to begin the season of Advent, demanding an appointment with God. We may find that God is waiting for us and is an appointment in our busy lives that is the difficulty.

#6

Like a Tree Planted by Streams of Water

Blessed is the person
who does not walk in the counsel of
the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his or her delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on God's law they meditate day and night.

He or she is like a tree planted by streams of
water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he or she does prospers.
(Psalm 1)

The psalmist highlights three sets of people to avoid.
1.The wicked (and their advice)
2.Sinners (and getting in their way)
3.Mockers (don't have dinner with them)

For the psalmist all three are the same person, a person who rejects God as the foundation for their life.

A person who wishes to be blessed should meditate (think/reflect) on the way of God day and night in opposition to hanging out with people who clearly are not God seekers.

The first two sets of people are self-explanatory but the third merits a little consideration. Mockers are people who find the present to be something to make fun of. Someone who is a God seeker seeks to find the message in the present, hence the meditation.

A person who does so will flourish and they will prosper.

What do I spend my day thinking about? Who do I spend my day with?

#7

What do you want?

"What do you want Me to do for you?" He said,"Lord, let me receive my sight." And Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has made you well."

This is a beautiful example of prayer. The blind man upon hearing that Jesus was passing by called out to him. The people around him told him to be quiet (including Jesus' disciples).

Yet the blind man had faith that Jesus could help him, so he continued to call out for him.

Jesus came to the blind man.

Are we that faithful? Do we continue to call out even when others tell us not to waste our time?

Jesus asks, "What do you want me to do for you?"