The Calming Voice Speaking into My Life

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Reading: Psalm 107
(Verses 23-32)
Some went out on the sea in ships;
they were merchants on the mighty waters.
They saw the works of the L
ORD,
his wonderful deeds in the deep.
For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
that lifted high the waves.
They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
in their peril their courage melted away.
They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
they were at their wits’ end.
Then they cried out to the L
ORD in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.
Let them give thanks to the L
ORD for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people
and praise him in the council of the elders
(NIV).*

powerful wavy ocean washing picturesque coast with trees

Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

Reflection
There is something very primal or basic about our understanding of God and storms. We know that we cannot control the weather. Storms and floods are acts of God well beyond our limited power. All we can do is call out for God’s mercy just as the men in this vignette from Psalm 107 did. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress.

Jesus’ disciples found themselves in an identical situation one day. Fear of drowning is one of those fears that haunts all of us.

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm (Mark 4:37-39).

For the disciples this was one of those experiences that confirmed the deity of Jesus. They were not following an ordinary man, but rather God clothed in human flesh.

Response: LORD God, I want to see Jesus and experience him in my life. Open my eyes to who you really are. Jesus, please still the storms that roil the seas on which I sail. I need to hear your calming voice speaking into my life. Amen.

Your Turn: Are you being hit by the storms of life? Have you called out to God in your time of need?

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

The first volume of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is now available. For a closer look at this 262-page daily devotional book click here.

Send Your Word

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Today’s quote and prayer from the Psalms
Psalm 107_20
Heavenly Father,
send your word.
Send your word and heal those who are sick.
Send your word and save
and transform those who are hostile to you.
Send your word and resurrect those
who are spiritually dead in their trespasses and sins.
LORD God,
send your living word.
Amen.

The first volume of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is now available. For a closer look at this 262-page daily devotional book click here.

Rescued from the Grave

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Reading: Psalm 107
(Verses 17-22)
Some became fools through their rebellious ways
and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.
They loathed all food
and drew near the gates of death.
Then they cried to the L
ORD in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them;
he rescued them from the grave.
Let them give thanks to the L
ORD for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
Let them sacrifice thank offerings
and tell of his works with songs of joy
(NIV).*

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All the nations are your inheritance — photo by David Kitz

Reflection
There is a verse in Psalm 107 that holds deep significance for all eternity—past, present and future. Here is the verse: He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave (Psalm 107:20).

I was introduced to this wonderful verse at the funeral of my maternal grandfather. Psalm 107:20 was the sermon text. This Bible verse might seem like an odd choice for use at a funeral. After all, in the end the deceased was not healed. In the case of my grandfather, he made it to the ripe old age 92 years, but death triumphed in the end. Or did it?

The pastor pointed out that throughout his life, on countless occasions, God sent out his word and healed my grandfather, and God who is faithful would do it again. But on the next occasion the LORD would raise my grandfather from the dead.

This is the great hope of all who believe in Jesus Christ. He is our forerunner. He suffered death on our behalf, but he also experienced resurrection—the same kind of resurrection that every believer will experience.

The God who in eons past spoke galaxies into existence can send His word and resurrect my grandfather, and all who have put their faith in the resurrected Savior. With each passing day that awesome moment draws nearer. That’s the ultimate healing and it happens through the power of God’s word.

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

Response: Father God, send your word. Send your word and heal those who are sick. Send your word and save and transform those who are hostile to you. Send your word and resurrect those who are spiritually dead in their trespasses and sins. LORD God, send your living word. Amen.

Your Turn: Who springs to mind when you pray for God to send His word? Take a few moments to pray for someone now.

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

The first volume of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is now available. For a closer look at this 262-page daily devotional book click here.

                                                

Walking in Your Light

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Today’s quote and prayer from Psalms 365
Nothing and no one shines like Jesus 365 Psalm 107b
Heavenly Father,
today I want to walk in your light.
Thanks for the light of salvation
that we receive in Christ our Savior.
Please show me your way forward.
Lord, you brighten my life.
Amen.

The first volume of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is now available. For a closer look at this 262-page daily devotional book click here.

5 Reasons to Read and Study the Psalms

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What benefit can you gain from reading and studying the Psalms? Here are five direct benefits as I see them:

  • The Psalms model prayer–prayer as it should be. The Psalms are the “Prayer Book” of the Bible.
  • The Psalms model praise and worship for us. How are we to worship God? The Psalms provide the pattern. They have inspired thousands of songwriters. The Psalms are the “Hymn Book” of the Bible.
  • The Psalms are prophetic. With uncanny accuracy they point to the advent, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. The Psalms trumpet the authority and authenticity of God’s Word.
  • The Psalms hold up a mirror to our souls. They reflect the trials and triumphs of the human condition. The Psalms are about life–life lived with our Creator.
  • The Psalms are relational. They model how we are to live with God and others. They are intended as two-way communication at the deepest level. The Psalms connect us with God.

Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer is a wonderful way to daily get into reading and meditating on the the Psalms. To learn more click here.

Some Sat in Darkness

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Reading: Psalm 107
(Verses 10-16)
Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,
prisoners suffering in iron chains,
because they rebelled against God’s commands
and despised the plans of the Most High.
So he subjected them to bitter labor;
they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
Then they cried to the L
ORD in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness,
and broke away their chains.
Let them give thanks to the L
ORD for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
for he breaks down gates of bronze
and cuts through bars of iron
(NIV).*

stars at night

Photo by egil sju00f8holt on Pexels.com

Reflection
Darkness comes in various forms. Darkness is of course an absence of natural or artificial light. A certain amount of darkness can in fact, be very pleasant. Have you ever tried to sleep in a brightly lit room? On a recent trip I was driving through the wilderness of northern Ontario with a full moon—a super moon beaming down. On such occasions you appreciate the soothing benefits of darkness.

But spiritual darkness is another matter. In today’s vignette or snapshot from Psalm 107, we see a picture of prisoners sitting in utter darkness and subjected to bitter labor. This darkness, however, is self-inflicted, because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the plans of the Most High. 

There’s a lot of self-inflicted darkness and suffering in the world. One could argue that since the time of Adam and Eve, all suffering and spiritual darkness is in some respects self-inflicted. In our blindness and self-generated wisdom, we harm ourselves, rather than calling out to the LORD.

Have you harmed yourself by walking down a dark path? Have you despised the plans of the Most High? I have. In my foolish rebellion, I thought my plans were better than God’s plans, but God’s ways are higher than my ways, and He knows the best way because He lights the way.

Sometimes we insist on generating our own light—artificial light. The religions and philosophies of this world are artificial light. We will see that they are pale imitations on that day when the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays (Malachi 4:2). Nothing and no one shines like Jesus. John testifies to this truth. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:4-5).

Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD (Isaiah 2:5).

Response: Father God, today I want to walk in your light. Thanks for the light of salvation that we receive in Christ our Savior. Please show me your way forward. You brighten my life. Amen.

Your Turn: Have you been guilty of generating your own light rather than calling out to the LORD? How do you walk in the true light?

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

The first volume of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is now available. For a closer look at this 262-page daily devotional book click here.

You Intervened in My Life

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Today’s quote and prayer from the Psalms
Psalm 107_2-3
Heavenly Father,
I am thankful
that I have a story of redemption.
You intervened in my life.
Today I thank you for satisfying my thirst
and filling my life with good things.

Amen.

The first volume of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is now available. For a closer look at this 262-page daily devotional book click here.

Brief Stories of Redemption

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Reading: Psalm 107
(Verses 1-9)
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
from east and west, from north and south.
Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty,
and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the L
ORD in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the L
ORD for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things
(NIV).*
Psalm 105_4 (2)

Reflection
This psalm is different. It’s unique among the 150 psalms in the Bible because it presents us with various vignettes of redemption—brief stories or scenes where the LORD rains down his mercy and rescues the wayward and downtrodden.

In verse two the psalmist declares, “Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story.” Then as the psalm progresses, he goes on to describe five scenes or stories of redemption. The desert-stranded traveler is rescued; the prisoner is set free, the rebellious are brought healing and encouragement, those lost in a storm-tossed sea find a safe harbor, and prosperity returns to the inhabitants of a parched wasteland. In every situation, the great God of heaven hears the cries of His people and shows them His plenteous mercy.

What a good God we serve! With the psalmist we exclaim, “His love endures forever!”

If you are a follower of Jesus, you too have a story of redemption to tell. He rescued you from a downward hellish spiral just as real as those described in this psalm. Some rescues come in the nick of time; others come early on, before we sink neck-deep into trouble. We might call them preemptive rescues. Whatever your personal story, it’s a testimony worth telling. God intervened in your life, and the good news is He stands ready to intervene again at the very moment you cry out to Him.

He loves to redeem His people. It’s in His nature. Spiritually, are you in a desert place? Call out to Him.

Response: Father God, I am thankful that I have a story of redemption. You intervened in my life. Today I thank you for satisfying my thirst and filling my life with good things. Amen.

Your Turn: Do you have a story of redemption to tell? Was it preemptive or in the nick of time?

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

The first volume of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is now available. For a closer look at this 262-page daily devotional book click here.

Beyond Comprehension

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Today’s quote and prayer from the Psalms
Psalm 106_47Heavenly Father,
I give up on understanding your mercy and grace.
It’s beyond comprehension.
Thank you for loving me despite my sinful bent.
Your love is amazing.
Thank you, Jesus.
Amen.

The first volume of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is now available. For a closer look at this 262-page daily devotional book click here.

Bent Nails Bent on Rebellion

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Reading: Psalm 106
(Verses 40-48)
Therefore the LORD was angry with his people
and abhorred his inheritance.
He gave them into the hands of the nations,
and their foes ruled over them.
Their enemies oppressed them
and subjected them to their power.
Many times he delivered them,
but they were bent on rebellion
and they wasted away in their sin.
Yet he took note of their distress when he heard their cry;
for their sake he remembered his covenant
and out of his great love he relented.
He caused all who held them captive to show them mercy.
Save us, LORD our God, and gather us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.
Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Let all the people say, “Amen!”
Praise the LORD (NIV).*

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Winter ice trail — photo by David Kitz

Reflection
Have you ever tried to drive in a crooked nail? You are asking for trouble if you make the attempt. If the nail has even a slight bend in it, it will either buckle or be misdirected as it enters the wood. Over the years I have hammered home a lot of nails. And only straight nails stay true.

Today’s final reading from Psalm 106 reminds me of bent nails. The psalmist laments the corrupt ways of the nation of Israel despite the LORD’s mercy and patience. Many times he delivered them, but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin.

Many people are like bent nails. Despite many blows—many hard knocks—they refuse to run true. They are bent on rebellion and they waste away in their sin. Their troubles are self-inflicted, but rather than acknowledge their errors, they blame God or others for their circumstances. Repentance or self-correction never enters their mind.

But… But God remains merciful. Yet he took note of their distress when he heard their cry; for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented. 

Why would God have mercy on bent nails? Maybe it has something to do with the bent nails that held Jesus, His son, in place on a wooden cross. That’s where mercy flowed down over this bent nail—this flawed human. Oh, what love He showed!

Response: Father God, I give up on understanding your mercy and grace. It’s beyond comprehension. Thank you for loving me despite my sinful bent. Your love is amazing. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

Your Turn: Is rebellion part of your nature? Can we self-correct or do we need God’s help?

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

The first volume of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer by award-winning author David Kitz is now available. For a closer look at this 262-page daily devotional book click here.