A Blameless Heart

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

Psalm 101_2a (1000 × 788 px)
Reading: Psalm 101:1-4

LORD God,
I want my will to be conformed to your will.
I want to lead a blameless life.
By Jesus’ blood, grant me a blameless heart
that is determined to love and serve you
for all my days.
Amen.

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

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Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and for those who love God’s word, it’s an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

A Blameless Heart

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Reading: Psalm 101:1-4
Of David. A psalm.
I will sing of your love and justice;
    to you, LORD, I will sing praise.
I will be careful to lead a blameless life—
when will you come to me?
I will conduct the affairs of my house
with a blameless heart.
I will not look with approval
on anything that is vile.
I hate what faithless people do;
I will have no part in it.
The perverse of heart shall be far from me;
I will have nothing to do with what is evil
(NIV).*

frozen wave against sunlight

Photo by Hernan Pauccara on Pexels.com

Reflection
Psalm 101 is a call to action or commitment. David, the author of this psalm, commits himself to a course of action. In this short opening portion of the psalm, David makes seven ‘I will’ statements. Each commitment is life altering in some way.

The first commitment David makes is to sing of the LORD’s justice and love. He is determined to praise his God with a full, joyous awareness of the LORD’s character. This is the true starting point of any sustained relationship with God. The LORD is both loving and just. If we emphasize aspects of God’s justice too much, we risk becoming legalistic. If we focus only on the love of God, His holiness is ignored resulting in a break down in personal responsibility. Within the Godhead there exists a perfect tension between His justice and His love. As God’s servants, we do well when we recognize and maintain that tension.

Twice David uses the word blameless. I will be careful to lead a blameless life—when will you come to me? I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart. With these words, David has set for himself a high standard—an impossible standard. Did David succeed in reaching his lofty goal? The biblical record leaves no room for doubt. He failed miserably. In his affair with Bathsheba, King David was guilty of both adultery and murder.

Well, what good is there then in setting lofty goals? Why make any ‘I will’ statements if I am doomed to fail? Why not freely look on the vile and indulge in it?

Actually, despite David’s stunning failures, there are many sound reasons for calling ourselves to a high standard. To put it bluntly, God expects it of us. He demands holiness from us—always has—always will. Will we succeed? Of course not. That’s why there’s the gift of repentance. That’s why there’s a Savior named Jesus. He’s the blameless one. I need his sinless record applied to my account.

Response: Dear God, I want my will to be conformed to your will. I want to lead a blameless life. By Jesus’ blood, grant me a blameless heart that is determined to love and serve you for all my days. Amen.

Your Turn: Should we set goals for ourselves? How do you measure the progress in your love for God?

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

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and for those who love God’s word, it’s an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

Entering with Thanksgiving

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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,
thank you for all your kindness.
You have been so good to us!
Help us to maintain an attitude of gratitude
all year long and not only on Thanksgiving Day,
but every day.
Amen.

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

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and for those who love God’s word, it’s an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

A Psalm of Thanksgiving

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Reading: Psalm 100
A psalm. For giving grateful praise.
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
  Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the L
ORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the L
ORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations
(NIV).*

making pumpkin shaped cookies

Photo by olia danilevich on Pexels.com

Reflection
When you grow up on a prairie farm, as I did, you appreciate the traditional aspects of Thanksgiving all the more. You are reminded each day that the food on your table does not simply come from a store. You are actively engaged in producing the nourishment that sustains your own life. Though today may be a long way from Thanksgiving, I know I need daily reminders to be thankful. How about you?

As a youngster I sat down to many a Thanksgiving feast, and almost all the food found on that groaning table was home-grown. I watched those vegetables growing in our garden in the hot summer sun. I even pulled the weeds from around those peas. And those mashed potatoes, I helped my mother hill those tubers in the spring and then dug them up after the frost hit in the fall.

My brother loved growing pumpkins, and mom would turn his favorite into the best pumpkin pie east of the Rockies. And how can you eat pumpkin pie without a mound of whipped cream on top? Well let me tell you, it tastes even better, when just that morning you milked the cows that produced that sweet rich cream. Oh, and that huge turkey—we’ll miss that pompous strutting gobbler out by the henhouse. But I’m sure we’ll get over it, somehow. For now, let’s just dig in.

Let’s all dig in, and give thanks to the God, who made all this possible. This sumptuous feast has been brought to you by Him. Now that’s Thanksgiving!

The great God in heaven has been kind to us. He has answered our prayers. He brought the warmth of spring and the rain of heaven. He caused his face to shine upon us. The rich earth responded to his touch. It brought forth its bounty, and now around this table we have gathered together as a family to celebrate God’s great goodness to us.

As the psalmist declares, “It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” So today with joy-filled hearts we enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. We give thanks to him and praise his name.

Response: Heavenly Father, thank you for all your kindness. You have been so good to us! Help us to maintain an attitude of gratitude all year long and not only on Thanksgiving Day, but every day. Amen.

Your Turn: What blessings from God’s hand are you most grateful for? Say a prayer of thanks right now.

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

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and for those who love God’s word, it’s an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

Looking for a Summer Read

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Are you looking for a can’t-put-it-down summer read?

Look no further.

With 4.8 on Amazon’s 5 star  rating scale The Soldier Who Killed a King will not disappoint.4485 SHARABLE-1

Here is the most recent review:

Rarely have I been so captivated by a book! Well researched and highly credible. It should be made into a movie. By coincidence, I started reading it on Palm Sunday, and as the week progressed, each day of Holy Week coincided with the day in the book. I will read it again and again during Holy Week in years to come and will highly recommend it to friends.   — Eugene Aucoin

Better yet, the paperback edition of The Soldier Who Killed a King  is now available at 64% off on the American Amazon website.

For details click here.

May My Meditation Be Pleasing to Him

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I will praise the LORD!

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Backyard Peonies — photo by David Kitz

Reading: Psalm 104:31-35

May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
    may the LORD rejoice in his works—
he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,

    who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
I will sing to the LORD all my life;
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,

    as I rejoice in the LORD.
But may sinners vanish from the earth

    and the wicked be no more.
Praise the LORD, my soul.
Praise the LORD.

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

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and for those who love God’s word, it’s an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

Finding Shelter: A Child’s Memoir of WWII

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I’m a history buff, or some may call me an armchair historian. I have read dozens of books on theimg_20220624_1547378 Second World War, but none of them have been written from a child’s perspective. That’s why I found “Finding Shelter” by Angelina Fast-Vlaar so fascinating.

Fast-Vlaar takes us back to her rural, childhood home in the Netherlands. This was a happy home. But soon the carefree joy of childhood was tainted by war. The invading German army cast a dark shadow over the family and community. The German occupation brought many restrictions and hardships—hardships that were felt even by young school-age children.

We see all the events of the war through the eyes of a child. There is a growing darkness as this story develops. Eventually, the war begins to go badly for the Germans, and the oppression worsens. After D-Day the school Angelina attends is closed and used by the occupying army. Food is scarce. Hungry people arrive at their door. Day and night bombers fly overhead. Soon with deadly force the war arrives at their doorstep, as Canadian soldiers battle to drive out the Nazis.

Above all this is a story of faith, courage, and perseverance. It’s a unique unseen perspective that I appreciate. Thank you Angelina Fast-Vlaar for your childhood memoir of WWII. It had me enthralled.

All Creatures Look to You

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I will praise the LORD!

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Reading: Psalm 104:27-30

All creatures look to you
    to give them their food at the proper time.
When you give it to them,

    they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
    they are satisfied with good things.
When you hide your face,

    they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
    they die and return to the dust.
When you send your Spirit,

    they are created,
    and you renew the face of the ground.

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

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and for those who love God’s word, it’s an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

I Am Needy

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

Psalm 99_9

Reading: Psalm 99:6-9

LORD God,
you are holy.
I want to live in a way that honors you.
You know my failings and shortcomings.
Forgive me as I call on you.
I am needy,
but in you I find all that I need.

Amen.

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

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and for those who love God’s word, it’s an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.

A Forgiving God

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Reading: Psalm 99:6-9
Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
Samuel was among those who called on his name;
they called on the L
ORD
and he answered them.
He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud;
they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them.
LORD our God,
you answered them;
you were to Israel a forgiving God,
though you punished their misdeeds.
Exalt the L
ORD our God
and worship at his holy mountain,
for the L
ORD our God is holy (NIV).*

wood typography business design

Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

Reflection
David’s name appears in the text of several of the psalms, but this is the only psalm that lists other heroes of the faith. Moses, Aaron, and Samuel, three heavy hitters of the Old Testament, are honored here. They are honored because they called on the LORD and he answered them.

I could quibble with the choice of these three. Moses struck the rock in anger when he was told to speak to it and thereby bring forth water for the people. As a consequence, he was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. Aaron gave into the people’s will and fashioned an idol—the golden calf. Samuel appointed Saul as the first king of Israel—a man who became a disappointing, disastrous leader who descended into witchcraft.

But… But then can I claim to be error free in the way I have lived my life? Like Moses I have lost my patience in more than one situation. If God treated me like Moses, there would be little hope of me reaching the Promised Land. Like Aaron, I tend to be led astray by the crowd, and like the prophet Samuel, at times I have backed people who stumbled badly and betrayed the Lord.

I have not lived a flawless life. That’s why I take comfort in these words: LORD our God, you answered them; you were to Israel a forgiving God, though you punished their misdeeds.

I need a forgiving God. I need a God who forgives my transgressions—those times when I think I know better, but of course I’m wrong. And if I am truly honest, I also admit that I need a God who punishes my misdeeds. If there are no consequences for my wrongdoing, my transgressions will escalate. I need the discipline of the LORD, or I will go astray by following my own selfish desires. Just like the ancient people of Israel I need to live under the wise and loving rule of a holy God. How about you? Do you need a forgiving God?

Response: LORD God, you are holy. I want to live in a way that honors you. You know my failings and shortcomings. Forgive me as I call on you. I am needy, but in you I find all that I need. Amen.

Your Turn: If there were no consequences for sin would that change your life and conduct? Do you fear the consequences that come from wrongdoing?

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

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer has won the 2021 Best Book of the Year Award and for those who love God’s word, it’s an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. For a closer look at Volumes II and III click here.