Do You Know God?

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Reading: Psalm 36:10-12
Continue your love to those who know you,
your righteousness to the upright in heart.
May the foot of the proud not come against me,
nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
See how the evildoers lie fallen—
thrown down, not able to rise!
(NIV)*

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Photo by David Kitz

Reflection
Do you know God? Are you well acquainted with Him and His ways? Are you in regular conversation with Him? I ask these questions because in this concluding portion of Psalm 36 David prays, “Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart.”

Knowing God is or should be the great quest of our lives. This is our raison d’etre—our reason for being. We were created to know and love God. The Garden of Eden was first and foremost a place of communion with God. Yet so often we see ourselves running from God, or ignoring His invitation to draw close.

Jesus gives us this warning, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:21-23).

From Jesus statement here, there appear to be two requirements for entering the Kingdom of Heaven: doing the will of the Father and knowing Jesus. I would argue that truly knowing Jesus helps us to discover and do the will of the Father. If you know someone really well you know what they want—what will please them—without even asking. We need to aim for that kind of intimacy with God.

We come to know the mind of God because we have drawn close to the heart of God through time spent with Him. Two-way prayer and meditation on His word acquaints us with God’s will and His ways—ways that do not change according to the whim of man.

God is not impressed by our prophetic or miraculous powers. He is not impressed by our power over demons. These after all are gifts from Him. God is impressed by our obedience as we seek His face and do His will.

Our God is faithful. He will continue His love to those who know Him. His righteousness will constantly flow to the upright in heart.

Response: LORD God, give me a humble heart that seeks after you. Show me your ways, O Lord. Give me a hunger for your word. I want to know you more and more. Help me to do the Father’s will today. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Your Turn: How do you get to know God better? What practices or activities grow your faith and knowledge of God?

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

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Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

A Poetic Feast for the Mind, Soul and Spirit

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Why dig into the Psalms? The Psalms are a poetic feast for the mind, soul and spirit. In them, you will find intimacy with God. ForRGB300Kitz2AWARD a hundred generations, hungry souls have found nourishment there.

Psalms 365 is specifically designed to help you develop a life of worship and prayer like the biblical David. Let award-winning author, David Kitz, take you on a journey—a journey to a deeper understanding of God’s will and his ways for your life. Each daily reading provides insight and inspiration for practical Christian living, allowing the Good Shepherd to guide you to the center of his will.

Endorsements:
I’m not certain I’d be alive without the Psalms. While my wife was losing her family to Huntington’s disease we lived in its inspiring pages. We still do. David’s devotional is a welcome companion on this journey, particularly for those needing a fresh shot of hope.

Phil Callaway
award-winning author & Christian humorist, www.laughagain.org

The main body parts for reading the Bible aren’t the eyes and brain; it’s the hands and feet. This theme is woven throughout Psalms 365. As it should be! The focus on living the Word, or as James puts it, “doing it” (James 1:25) is what makes this study in the Psalms top-notch.

Dr. Lawson Murray
President, Scripture Union Canada

For a closer look at this three-book series click here.

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Are You Drinking from the River of Delights?

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Reading: Psalm 36:5-9
Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
You, L
ORD, preserve both people and animals.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light
(NIV).*

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In your light we see light — photo by David Kitz

Reflection
As mentioned in my previous post, Psalm 36 is a psalm of contrasts. David compares the wickedness of man with the amazing goodness of God. The opening portion of Psalm 36 touches on the depravity of man. In today’s reading we behold the awesome love and kindness of God.

Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. The beautiful poetry of those words sends me off on a Rocky Mountain high.

God’s love is reflected in the beauty of his creation. He nestled us into a world of incredible beauty and variety. From the grandeur of the mountains to the minute sea fauna, God is there—sustaining all—reigning over all. You, LORD, preserve both people and animals. How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!

God’s unfailing love stands in sharp contrast to man’s rapacious capacity for hate and destruction. We glory in war, death and bloodshed as though these are great accomplishments, when in fact they are a failure in love and forgiveness—the attributes of God. Yet despite these failures God showers us with His love and goodness. People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.

It is worth noting that God is the source of the river of delights. Just as any good father enjoys bringing pleasure to his children, so too our Heavenly Father delights in bringing joy to us. He is not stingy in His love, but overflowing with generosity, in many cases providing more than we can handle.

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. The LORD is the author and source of all life. “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day” (Genesis 1:31). Only in Him and through Him do we see the light of day and the light of life. To God be praise forever more!

Response: LORD God, thank you, thank you, thank you for your great love and faithfulness to me. Let your light shine in me and through me today. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Your Turn: Have you been drinking from God’s river of delights? List some things that bring you God given joy.

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

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Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

The Right View of Myself

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

Psalm 36_1-4 -365Reading: Psalm 36:1-4

LORD God,
help me to see a true picture of myself.
If I see sin in my life,
help me to change.
Grant me the gift of repentance through Jesus,
who loved me to the point of death on a cross.
Amen.

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and is an ideal Christmas gift for those who love God’s word. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

Is Self-flattery Your Worst Enemy?

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Reading: Psalm 36:1-4
For the director of music. Of David the servant of the LORD.
I have a message from God in my heart
concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:
There is no fear of God
before their eyes.
In their own eyes they flatter themselves
too much to detect or hate their sin.
The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful;
they fail to act wisely or do good.
Even on their beds they plot evil;
they commit themselves to a sinful course
and do not reject what is wrong
(NIV).*

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Photo by David Kitz

Reflection

Psalm 36 is a psalm of contrasts. David compares the wickedness of man with the amazing goodness of God. This opening portion of the Psalm 36 touches only on the depravity of man. The picture we see of ourselves is not particularly flattering.

According to David the problem begins with our eyes. He states, “There is no fear of God before their eyes. In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin.”

The sinful person has a vision problem. He cannot see the dire consequences of his sin. Sin exacts a terrible price. Consider the lives wrecked by addiction to alcohol, drugs or pornography. Furthermore, the damage is not limited to those caught in the terrible grip of sin. It overflows and contaminates all those around. Sin blinds the eyes so we cannot see the suffering we are causing to ourselves and others.

Over time, even so called “small” sins can exact a heavy toll on our lives. Often in subtle ways sin robs us of intimacy, peace and joy. While we are blind to the problem, sin interferes with our relationship with God and those who are near to us. Daily, we should be asking, “Do I have the right view of myself? In my mind am I flattering myself too much to detect or hate my sin? Have I become blind to my faults—faults that may be obvious to others?”

There is a biblical prescription for the blindness caused by our sinful condition. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding (Psalm 111:10). The fear of the LORD opens our eyes. The fear of the LORD leads to repentance and the fear of the LORD enlightens our understanding.

What is keeping you from intimacy, joy and peace? Is it a plethora of secret sins that blind and bind you into unhealthy patterns of thinking? Ask God to give you a right view—an unflattering view of yourself—so that with His help you can change.

Response: LORD God, help me to see a true picture of myself. If I see sin in my life, help me to change. Grant me the gift of repentance through Jesus, who loved me to the point of death on a cross. Amen.

Your Turn: In our mind, all of us flatter ourselves. How do you maintain a right picture of yourself?

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

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Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

He Promises Peace to His People

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I will praise the LORD!

mountainous valley with evergreen forest against misty sky

Photo by Krivec Ales on Pexels.com

(Psalm 85:8-9, NIV)*

I will listen to what God the LORD says;
    he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—
    but let them not turn to folly.
Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
    that his glory may dwell in our land.

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

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

Revive Us Again

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I will praise the LORD!

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At a crossroads — photo by David Kitz

(Psalm 85:1-7, NIV)*

You, LORD, showed favor to your land;
    you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of your people
    and covered all their sins.
You set aside all your wrath
    and turned from your fierce anger.
Restore us again, God our Savior,
    and put away your displeasure toward us.
Will you be angry with us forever?
    Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
Will you not revive us again,
    that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your unfailing love, LORD,
    and grant us your salvation.

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

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

A Heart that Needs Some Renovation

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

Psalm 35_26-28 -365Reading: Psalm 35:26-28

Father God,
give me a heart of thanksgiving.
Grant me a pure heart
with pure motives.
May I always delight
in the well-being of your servants.
Amen.

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and is an ideal Christmas gift for those who love God’s word. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

We Advance Ourselves by Advancing Others

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Reading: Psalm 35:26-28
May all who gloat over my distress
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who exalt themselves over me
be clothed with shame and disgrace.
May those who delight in my vindication
shout for joy and gladness;
may they always say, “The L
ORD be exalted,
who delights in the well-being of his servant.”
My tongue will proclaim your righteousness,
your praises all day long
(NIV).*

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Bracket Fungus — Photo by David Kitz

Reflection
Psalm 35 draws to a close with this warning against schadenfreude: May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion; may all who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace.

So what is schadenfreude you ask? Dictionary.com defines schadenfreude as satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else’s misfortune. It is a compound German word: schaden harm + freude joy. In other words, schadenfreude is the joy you may feel when hearing about another person’s calamity. Schadenfreude can be viewed as the ladder-climber’s delight in seeing others fall behind or off the ladder entirely. Far too often it manifests in the false assumption that we can advance ourselves by putting others down. The truth is we advance ourselves by advancing others. Advancing by putdowns has no firm foundation because it hurts others and creates hostility. It usually ends badly because pride precedes a fall, just as darkness follows sunset.

Are you exalting yourself at the expense of others? If so, take some time to repent. Do your best to repair the damaged relationships that result from such behavior.

Paul, the apostle, gives us this advice: Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited (Romans 12:14-16).

Take joy in the success of others rather than resenting their achievements. Let their successes ignite within you a desire for self-improvement. With God’s help change what you can within yourself before looking to change others. We all have a place in our heart that needs some renovation.

Then with David we can rejoice when others succeed. May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, “The LORD be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant.”

Response: Father God, give me a heart of thanksgiving. Grant me a pure heart with pure motives. May I always delight in the well-being of your servants. Amen.

Your Turn: Have you suffered from a bad case of schadenfreude? Do you rejoice when others succeed or are you envious?

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

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

Give Thanks to Him

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

Psalm 100_4

Reading: Psalm 100

LORD God,
we have so much to be thankful for.
You are our great provider.
Above all we thank you for sending Jesus
to be our Savior,
and the author of our salvation
Amen.

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and is an ideal Christmas gift for those who love God’s word. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.