Today’s quote from Psalms 365
I want to live in your presence now and in eternity.
Establish my children before you.
They are gifts from your hand.
You are constant
and I want to live in constant praise of you.
Today’s quote from “Psalms 365” by David Kitz Some good news: 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 the book(s) visit Amazon and type David Kitz into the search bar.
Reading: Psalm 15
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 (NIV).*
Where are you living? Please note, I did not ask, “What is your address?”
For the Old Testament believer, God had an address. He lived in the Tent of Meeting on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Later this was the location of the great temple built by Solomon. But this entire psalm is based on the premise that we can live in the presence of God. Why else would David ask, “LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?”
It would appear that wherever we are, it is possible to live one’s life in the conscious presence of the LORD. What an awesome privilege. But how is that possible? On an intellectual level, this is a no brainer. God is present everywhere. We are continually living our lives in full view of an omnipresent God.
Am I always aware of His presence? No, not always.
What can I do to change that? The psalmist lists some requirements for living in the LORD’s presence. Apparently, God is vitally concerned with the way we walk out our life of faith—the words we speak, and our interactions with neighbors and friends. The list of requirements found in this psalm is all about practical day to day living, being true to our word, loving our neighbor, and being generous to those in need.
The day is coming when I will meet the LORD face to face, but can I see Him before that final day? Do I see Him in the face of my neighbor?
Response: Heavenly Father, I don’t want to come for an occasional visit. I want to live in your presence now and in eternity. Today, help me interact with others with the knowledge that you are watching every thought, word and action. I’m living with you. Amen.
Your Turn: When are you most conscious of God’s presence in your life?
* New International Version, Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica
I will praise the LORD!
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
But may you have mercy on me, LORD;
raise me up, that I may repay them.
I know that you are pleased with me,
for my enemy does not triumph over me.
Because of my integrity you uphold me
and set me in your presence forever.
Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.
(Psalm 41:10-13, NIV)*
* New International Version, Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica
Reading: Psalm 73
When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds (NIV).
I love the brutal honesty of the psalmist. I always like to think I am the smartest one in the room, but the truth is I am very capable of wrong-headed thinking. And wrong thinking often leads to hurtful words or unwise actions. Take a moment to consider the psalmist’s confession: When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.
That’s brutal honesty. Are we that honest with God when our reasoning goes off the straight and narrow rails? Or do we justify our thoughts and blame God or others when we are ticked off?
We need to come into God’s sanctuary to have our hearts and minds tuned into the LORD’s thinking. The LORD reminds us that He knows the big picture. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).
When we are in God’s presence, we can have our affections adjusted. All too often I have my priorities all messed up. What about you? The amazing truth about God is that He loves us despite our mess ups. The psalmist knows the power of that love. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
What a patient, loving God we serve! This should become our humble confession: Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Response: LORD God, I want to have your perspective. I want to see as you see. Set my thoughts on the right path. Remind me to take time to be with you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. Amen.
Your Turn: How do you get your affections in tune with God? What steps do you need to take?
Reading: Psalm 48
Within your temple, O God,
we meditate on your unfailing love.
Like your name, O God,
your praise reaches to the ends of the earth;
your right hand is filled with righteousness.
Mount Zion rejoices,
the villages of Judah are glad
because of your judgments.
Walk about Zion, go around her,
count her towers,
consider well her ramparts,
view her citadels,
that you may tell of them
to the next generation.
For this God is our God for ever and ever;
he will be our guide even to the end (NIV).
Have you watched a television newscast recently? Invariably at some point during that telecast you will see a cityscape—a grand view of the city skyline in all its glory. If experts from Montreal, Vancouver or Chicago are being interviewed, they will appear against the backdrop of a large photo of their city. Routinely, sports telecasts feature brief live shots of the arena and the host city’s downtown.
Why do broadcasters go to the trouble of filming these cityscapes and providing these skyline backdrops? A good part of the answer is identification. We identify a city by its skyline and by its landmark buildings and towers. Washington, D.C. is intimately linked to pictures of the Capitol, Paris with the Eiffel Tower and Toronto with the CN Tower. When the twin towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed, New York mourned not only the loss of lives, but also the loss of an element of its identity—the twin icons of its identity.
Psalm 48 is the Bible’s version of a cityscape telecast. Read the psalmist’s call: Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers, consider well her ramparts, view her citadels that you may tell of them to the next generation.
What is the psalmist asking us to do? He is asking us to identify with the city of God. What makes Zion unique in the earth is the presence of God within her. The psalmist clearly stated, “God is in her citadels.” Is God within you? Is He reigning in your heart and mind? Is He the master of your affections? Have you had landmark experiences with God that changed the course of your life? Have you climbed towers of prayer? Have you stood guard on the ramparts of your mind? Then with conviction you can say with the psalmist, “For this God is our God forever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.”
Response: LORD God, reign in me. Establish your capital in my heart. Govern my ways, now and forever more. I commit my thoughts and intellect to your service. Stir my heart and my affections. Amen.
Your Turn: Has Jesus come to rule your heart? Is the Lord enthroned there?
I will praise Him!