Your Name Is Near

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I will praise the LORD!

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Pink morning sky on my brother’s farm — photo by David Kitz

(Psalm 75:1-5, NIV)*

We praise you, God,
    we praise you, for your Name is near;
    people tell of your wonderful deeds.
You say, “I choose the appointed time;
    it is I who judge with equity.
When the earth and all its people quake,
    it is I who hold its pillars firm.
To the arrogant I say, ‘Boast no more,’
    and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horns.
Do not lift your horns against heaven;
    do not speak so defiantly.’”

* New International Version, Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Volume III of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is available now. For a closer look at Volumes I and II click here.

The Rock on Which I Build My Life

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Today’s quote and prayer from
“Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer”
by David Kitz.Psalm 18_46
Reading: Psalm 18:46-50

Heavenly Father,
thank you for sending Jesus.
Thank you for his life, his death and his resurrection.
I love you, Lord Jesus.
You are the living Rock on which I can build my life.
Through you I am more than a conqueror.
Holy Spirit help me live this day
in praise of my Savior.

Amen.

Volume III of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is available now. For a closer look at Volumes I and II click here. Journey through the Psalms in a year.

My Living Rock

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Reading: Psalm 18:46-50
The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God my Savior!
He is the God who avenges me,
who subdues nations under me,
who saves me from my enemies.
You exalted me above my foes;
from a violent man you rescued me.
Therefore I will praise you, L
ORD, among the nations;
I will sing the praises of your name.
He gives his king great victories;
he shows unfailing love to his anointed,
to David and to his descendants forever
(NIV).*

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A tree growing around a giant rock, Gatineau Park, QC — photo by David Kitz

Reflection
The joyful exuberance of the opening lines of this final reading from Psalm 18 is well worth reflecting upon. David exults, The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!”

To my thinking, there’s nothing quite as dead as a rock. But here in the same breath, David praises the living LORD, his Rock and his Savior. Living rock seems to be a contradiction in terms, but our God is very much alive. He was alive and active in David’s life, and He is alive and active in your life as well—as active and alive as you allow Him to be.

But the LORD also wants to be the Rock of stability in your life—the solid foundation from which you draw strength. A life anchored in God can withstand the storms of adversity and the test of time. The LORD is that stalwart mainstay that actively trains us for eternity.

Most importantly, our LORD saves. He saved David from all of his troubles. It was God’s intervention in David’s life that brought him the victory time after time. God was not content to sit in heaven and cheer from the sidelines. The LORD got involved in David’s life. He responded repeatedly to David’s cries for mercy and help.

If David had ample reasons to praise God and be thankful, we who live on this side of the cross, under the new covenant, have far more grounds for praise. God intervened directly for us. We have a Savior in Jesus, who left his throne in glory. He put His own skin in the game. The Father sent His one and only Son to live as a man, and then suffer and die on our behalf. And Jesus did not remain dead. God the Father raised him from the dead. Now with David we can say, The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!”

Response: Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus. Thank you for his life, his death and his resurrection. I love you, Lord Jesus. You are the living Rock on which I can build my life. Through you I am more than a conqueror. Holy Spirit help me live this day in praise of my Savior. Amen.

Your Turn: Is the LORD your living Rock? How has He been your help? Has Jesus become your Savior? How will you honor Him today?

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

Volume III of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is available now. Journey through the Psalms in a year. For a closer look at Volumes I and II click here.

Spiritual Warriors

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Today’s quote and prayer from
“Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer”
by David Kitz.
Reading: Psalm 18:37-45

Heavenly Father,
help me rise up as a spiritual warrior for you today.
Help me to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Jesus everywhere.
Through the power of Christ,
I know that I am more than a conqueror.

Amen.

Volume III of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is available now. For a closer look at Volumes I and II click here. Journey through the Psalms in a year.

The Triumphant Warrior

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Reading: Psalm 18:37-45
I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
I crushed them so that they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.
You armed me with strength for battle;
you humbled my adversaries before me.
You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
and I destroyed my foes.
They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—
to the L
ORD, but he did not answer.
I beat them as fine as windblown dust;
I trampled them like mud in the streets.
You have delivered me from the attacks of the people;
you have made me the head of nations.
People I did not know now serve me, foreigners cower before me;
as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.
They all lose heart; they come trembling from their strongholds
(NIV).*
Centurion best

Reflection
Why do you enjoy sports? Why do you take pride in seeing your home team win? The answer is really quite simple: Inside you beats the heart of a warrior. I can deny that I have a warrior spirit, but in reality there’s a competitive, fighting spirit written into my DNA. It’s in your DNA too. In fact, that warrior spirit is essential to your success and survival.

David had an abundant supply of testosterone fueled warrior spirit, and in the psalm portion above, we see it on full display. David was a fighter and every competitive warrior signals his triumph. You do as well. This psalm was part of David’s victory celebration. For a scientific discussion of human response in moments of victory visit: Olympic victors‘ first reaction is dominance, not pride | TIME.com

For me as a follower of Jesus the question is not, do I have a warrior spirit? The question is how will I direct that warrior’s heart into a path that is pleasing to my heavenly Father?

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ twelve disciples turned the world upside down. Their response to Satan’s attacks was not merely defensive. Through prayer and proclamation they took souls captive to the obedience of Christ. The apostle Paul declares, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere (2 Corinthians 2:14). Paul was a triumphant warrior in the spiritual realm. David was triumphant in the natural realm.  What about you?

Response: Heavenly Father, help me rise up as a spiritual warrior for you today. Help me to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Jesus everywhere. Through the power of Christ I know that I am more than a conqueror. Amen.

Your Turn: Are you personally gaining ground in the spiritual battle all around you?

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

Volume III of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author, David Kitz, is available now. Journey through the Psalms in a year. For a closer look at Volumes I and II click here.

Fighting the Good Fight

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Today’s quote and prayer from
“Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer”
by David Kitz.
Psalm 18_30

Reading: Psalm 18:30-36

Heavenly Father,
help me to fight the good fight of faith.
Today, I put on the armor of God
to fight the attacks of the enemy.
Give me your strength
in Jesus name.

Amen.

Volume III of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is available now. For a closer look at Volumes I and II click here. Journey through the Psalms in a year.

The Warrior’s Armor

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Reading: Psalm 18:30-36
As for God, his way is perfect:
The L
ORD’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
For who is God besides the L
ORD?
And who is the Rock except our God?
 It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You make your saving help my shield,
and your right hand sustains me;
your help has made me great.
You provide a broad path for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way
(NIV).*

black steel helmet near black and gray handle sword

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Reflection
There’s a principle of biblical interpretation that goes something like this: The natural comes first, and then comes the spiritual. We can see this illustrated in Paul’s comparison of the first man, Adam, with the new man, Christ, in 1 Corinthians 15. Similarly, the natural Kingdom of Israel is replaced in the New Testament by the spiritual Kingdom of God, which has no physical or geographic boundaries.

In David’s time natural Israel had borders, which needed to be defended from attack by flesh and blood enemies only too eager to take advantage of any perceived weakness. In the same way today, the church and every born-again believer must be on guard, because Satan and his demons are lying in wait, ready to attack.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Devil. And he has marked you as his target. He has spiritual murder as his top priority—your murder. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

But God did not leave David or natural Israel defenseless. The LORD provided His matchless word and His impenetrable shield of faith against the foes attack. Furthermore, there was strength for the battle. David declares, “It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure… He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.”

This portion of Psalm 18 has its New Testament spiritual counterpart in Ephesians 6:10-17, where Paul the apostle, calls us as spiritual warriors to put on the armor of God. Like David, we are in a battle.

Response: Heavenly Father, help me to fight the good fight. Today, I put on the armor of God to fight the attacks of the enemy. Give me your strength in Jesus name. Amen.

Your Turn: How does Satan try to bring you down? What weapons are you using to counter his attacks?

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

Volume III of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is available now. Journey through the Psalms in a year. For a closer look at Volumes I and II click here.

Seeing into the Realm of the Spirit

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Today’s quote and prayer from
“Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer”
by David Kitz.
God becomes visible Psalm 18d

Reading: Psalm 18:25-29

Heavenly Father,
give me a pure heart.
I want to see you.
I want to see you, Lord Jesus,
alive and active all around me today.
Give me eyes that see beyond the natural
and into the realm of the Spirit where you are at work.

Amen.

Volume III of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is available now. For a closer look at Volumes I and II click here. Journey through the Psalms in a year.

How Do You See God?

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Reading: Psalm 18:25-29
To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
You save the humble
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
You, L
ORD, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
 With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall
(NIV).*

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Monarch butterfly — photo by David Kitz

Reflection
How do you see God? How do you perceive Him to be? The opening lines of today’s psalm reading tell us plainly that the state of our heart determines our perception of God. God reveals Himself to us according to the condition of our soul. Therefore, David makes this observation: To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.

The truth expressed in this straightforward observation has enormous implications for every human on the planet. Our relationship with God is shaped by our perception of Him, and our perception of Him is reflective of the state of our heart. For example, one person goes through a period of hardship and loss and becomes bitter and angry toward others and God. Another person goes through a similar period of hardship and loss, but emerges passionately in love with his Creator. How can this be?

The answer can be found in David’s observation: To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd. The blameless assign no blame to God, but the sin-darkened soul blames Him for even the slightest adversity.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8). Do you want to see God at work in your life? Then ask the Lord Jesus to give you a pure heart. God shows Himself—becomes visible—to those with a pure heart. The pure in heart see God in the glory of the sunset, in the face of a child, in kindness of a stranger. The sin-polluted soul can view the same scene—experience the same events—and see God in none of it. He is blind to God.

Our eyes open the moment we humble ourselves before God. David’s words ring true today. You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty. You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.

Response: Heavenly Father, give me a pure heart. I want to see you. I want to see you, Lord Jesus, alive and active all around me today. Give me eyes that see beyond the natural and into the realm of the spirit where you are at work. Amen.

Your Turn: Did you see God today? How did He show Himself to you?

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

Volume III of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is available now. Journey through the Psalms in a year. For a closer look at Volumes I and II click here.

Those Who Diligently Seek You

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Today’s quote and prayer from
“Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer”
by David Kitz.
God is keeping score Psalm 18c

Reading: Psalm 18:16-24

Heavenly Father,
I want clean hands
and a pure heart before you.
I put my trust in you.
You reward those who diligently seek you.
Jesus, wash me clean.
I put my faith in you.

Amen.

Volume III of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is available now. For a closer look at Volumes I and II click here. Journey through the Psalms in a year.