I will praise Him!
A psalm of David.
LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person
but honors those who fear the LORD;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
will never be shaken.
(Psalm 15:1-5, NIV)
Reading: Psalm 145
The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.
The LORD upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing (NIV).
More than twenty years ago I went through a dark time in my life. It all began rather abruptly. I got up from the dinner table and went to put my dishes on the kitchen counter. Suddenly everything went dark. According to my wife, I hit the floor with a thud. That’s where she found me unconscious. She was able to revive me and help me to the living room couch. A quick trip to the doctor followed, but remaining conscious was a real struggle for me. The blackness kept closing in.
The diagnosis was a complete shutdown of my thyroid gland. Getting back to full health took quite some time. The severe depletion of the thyroid hormones in my body created a number of side effects. One of these side effects was clinical depression. Though I never blacked out again, I was draped in a lethargic blackness—a darkness of the soul that lasted for months. I needed an antidepressant to bring me back to balance. The medication provided the lift that I needed during this dark episode of my life. Eventually, I regained full health and I no longer needed the antidepressants.
My drug prescription provided the artificial lift that I needed during this transition back health. Today’s reading from Psalm 145 reminds us that the LORD is the true lifter. He lifts the fallen soul out of dark places. The LORD upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
We all came into this world with a sinful nature. Willful disobedience comes natural to us. Prompt, willing obedience to God and his commands is not my first inclination. You see, I have fallen—fallen into a life of sin. That’s why I need a Savior. I need an inner change that is propelled by the Spirit of God. Only the LORD can lift me out my condition and restore me to spiritual health.
When God reveals Himself to us as our loving Father, and our faithful provider, by His grace we can choose to put our trust in Him. The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.
Do you have a lifter? Not an artificial lifter like drugs or alcohol, but a genuine lifter like the Lord Jesus Christ. Before he was lifted up on a cross, he spoke these words, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32).
Is Jesus drawing you to himself?
Response: LORD God, thank you for lifting me out of the quagmire of sin. Jesus, you are my merciful Savior. Thank you for restoring my health and lifting me out of depression. You are faithful. Amen.
Your Turn: Has the LORD helped you through a dark period in your life?
Christ’s Passion Week…a familiar account? So you think you know this story? Think again. There are more twists in this plot than in the cruelest crowns of thorns. This author takes you on a fast-paced ride through Christ’s Passion Week-an eight-day ride you will never forget. Scheming Herod, the bloody Fox, has more than one trick up his sleeve. The high priest and the governor are at each other’s throats. Four kings, together in the holy city for one week, compete for one
throne. Now here’s a deadly competition.
Written from a soldier’s perspective, you see a familiar story in a whole new light. Here is the horror of the cross, up close and graphic. While remaining true to the scriptural account, the author weaves with startling realism a very human tale of intrigue and subterfuge. There is a more than a little passion here. Did we mention the terrorist connection? So, you think you know how this ends? Ha! Think again! Have you been to the foot of the cross lately? Come, if you dare.
Author bio: For a number of years now, David Kitz has been telling the soldier’s view of these events in a one-man play entitled, “The Centurion’s Report.”
For more information on the book visit: https://davidkitz.ca/centurion.php
For more information on the book purchase visit: https://www.davidkitz.ca/bookcart/index.php?route=product/product&path=62&product_id=58
For more information on the dramatization visit: https://davidkitz.ca/centurion.php
Reading: Psalm 145
The LORD is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
The LORD is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
All your works praise you, LORD;
your faithful people extol you.
They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations(NIV).
Adolf Hitler boasted that his rise to power would lead to the thousand-year reign of the Third Reich. Instead, his diabolical reign of terror came to an end after twelve years with millions dead and Europe lying in ruins. His brand of race-based nationalism ended in an unparalleled catastrophe.
Where did Hitler get his idea of a thousand-year reign? Undoubtedly, he stole the concept from the millennial rule of Christ, which is described in the revelation of Jesus Christ to John. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years (Revelation 20:6).
The contrast between the reign of Christ and his kingdom, and the reign of a tyrant like Hitler is stunning. In today’s reading from Psalm 145 we catch a glimpse of the reign of God. All your works praise you, LORD; your faithful people extol you. They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
What makes the reign of God so wonderful—so glorious? The answer lies in the character of the King. The LORD is gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.
Yes, the LORD is good to all. He is good even to the wayward and disobedient, including me. He shows compassion to those who don’t deserve it. His compassion isn’t based on race. But even more surprising, it’s not based on conduct or performance; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). No, God’s compassion looks beyond that. He is the God of grace—unmerited favor.
This unmerited favor flows from a King whose blood flowed to save us—flowed to purchase our redemption. A blood stained cross stood on a hill to declare these words to the world: The LORD is gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and rich in love. Have you surrendered to His love?
Response: LORD God, I thank you that I am a citizen of your kingdom. Your grace and compassion have won my heart. I want to serve you. Your dominion endures through all generations. I praise you. Amen.
Your Turn: Are you a citizen of the LORD’s kingdom—His everlasting kingdom?
Reading: Psalm 145
A psalm of praise. Of David.
I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness (NIV).
Have you ever tried to lift up something that is far too heavy for you? As a boy I remember trying to pick up a rock that was heavier than me. It’s a good thing that young bodies are resilient because I’m sure I would seriously harm myself, if I tried the same thing today.
If I can’t lift up a heavy rock, how can I possibly lift up God? But that is precisely what David did and is calling me to do in Psalm 145. David begins with these words: I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever.
The keyword as we begin this psalm is the word exalt. Exalt means to lift, elevate, raise or boost. How can we as mere more mortals lift, elevate, raise or boost God, the creator of the universe? Is God feeling down? Does the Almighty need me to lift Him up—to give Him a little boost? That sounds absurd, and it is absurd.
Yet here and throughout the psalms we are encouraged to praise the LORD. Does the LORD suffer from a fragile ego? Is that why He wants us to praise Him? No, that can’t be the reason we see these frequent admonitions to praise God. We can’t exalt God higher than He already is. Will praising God make Him one scintilla more holy, powerful, magnificent or loving? Of course not. The only one who is changed by praising God is us. The only one who is lifted up by exalting the LORD is you and me.
We are lifted up by lifting others. It has always been this way. Help someone, and we ourselves are helped. That’s how life works. That’s how praising God works. In this life of hardship and struggles, praise lifts my head and my heart from its burdens. I am lifted up when I lift the LORD up. And rest assured no one lifts like Him!
Response: LORD God, I just want to praise you. Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. I will meditate on your wonderful works. You LORD are the lifter of my head. Amen.
Your Turn: Does heartfelt praise for the LORD fill you with joy? Do you need a lift today?
Reading: Psalm 144
From the deadly sword deliver me;
rescue me from the hands of foreigners
whose mouths are full of lies,
whose right hands are deceitful.
Then our sons in their youth
will be like well-nurtured plants,
and our daughters will be like pillars
carved to adorn a palace.
Our barns will be filled with every kind of provision.
Our sheep will increase by thousands,
by tens of thousands in our fields;
our oxen will draw heavy loads.
There will be no breaching of walls,
no going into captivity,
no cry of distress in our streets.
Blessed is the people of whom this is true;
blessed is the people whose God is the LORD (NIV).
Yesterday, my afternoon work routine was interrupted by visitors. First my oldest son dropped in. My wife and I worked to quickly put together a delicious lunch. After the meal we talked business for about an hour. Tim wanted some help and advice with his market gardening enterprise. It’s difficult and challenging work, and the busy spring season will be here soon enough.
Not long after, my youngest son and his wife dropped over for a visit. Their spring and summer schedule includes working tours to locations in the Yukon, the US, western Canada and the British Isles. They will be doing live history shows at museums and historic homes on two continents.
After everyone left I said, “I didn’t get much work done this afternoon.”
My wife replied, “You got the most important thing done—time with your family. You need to appreciate these times. You won’t be seeing them much next summer.”
Of course she is right. Time spent with family is precious. You can sense that same appreciation of family in today’s reading from Psalm 144. David, the psalmist, makes this observation: Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace. Our barns will be filled with every kind of provision.
That’s what I want for my family. We want peace and prosperity. These are blessings that come to us from the good hand of God. Yesterday I experience these things. Together, we are truly blessed.
Response: LORD God, I thank you for my family. In them and through them I am blessed beyond measure. You have been very kind to us. Blessed are the people whose God is the LORD. Amen.
Your Turn: Do you see family gatherings as a blessing, or as a burden?
Reading: Psalm 144
Part your heavens, LORD, and come down;
touch the mountains, so that they smoke.
Send forth lightning and scatter the enemy;
shoot your arrows and rout them.
Reach down your hand from on high;
deliver me and rescue me
from the mighty waters,
from the hands of foreigners
whose mouths are full of lies,
whose right hands are deceitful.
I will sing a new song to you, my God;
on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you,
to the One who gives victory to kings,
who delivers his servant David (NIV).
“Lord, why don’t you come and fix this mess?” Have you ever thought that thought, or voiced that prayer?
When we look at the world around us, there are a great many things that appear to be coming off the rails. This past week the abandoned body of a toddler was found in a church parking lot in Edmonton, Canada. Where are the parents? They haven’t come forward. Who would harm a child like that? Sadly, you can check the news services and see that cases like this occur all too frequently all over the globe. It appears that the love of many has grown cold. See 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
Here’s a chilling statistic. In America on average every month fifty women are shot to death by their male partners. Meanwhile gun advocates keep insisting that more guns will keep America safe—safe from whom? Sadly, a gun in the hands of their partner did not keep these women safe. It did just the opposite.
On the international scene, wars, violence and mass migration are creating havoc and instability in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Terrorists and dictators continually amp up their threats. Has the world gone mad?
In this context, David’s prayer in this portion of Psalm 144 makes a lot of sense. Part your heavens, LORD, and come down; touch the mountains, so that they smoke. Send forth lightning and scatter the enemy; shoot your arrows and rout them.
David is asking for the LORD to come down and fix this mess. Down through the ages believers have prayed similar prayers. Jesus did come down to fix this mess, and the world he created turned on him and had him crucified. But we can be sure a final day is coming when he returns again triumphant.
Response: LORD, I look forward to the return of Jesus. He alone can fix this mess. Lord, help me to do what I can to speed your return. Let your gospel be preached in the entire world as a witness. Amen.
Your Turn: Do you believe the Lord will fix this mess? Do we have a role to play in Christ’s return?