Tag: sing for joy

Oct 26 You control…

personwaterarmsup.jpegFather, at the time Babylon captured Your people Judah, she was just a tool in Your hand. Not the end-all power she believed she was. And she will be judged and punished, even as she was used as the tool to punish Israel. All the kingdoms You sent prophecies about fell as You said they would.

You sent Jeremiah carefully chosen words to describe the coming destruction of other kingdoms, and they all came true: ”Concerning Damascus…troubled like the restless sea”. “Concerning Kedar and Hazor…scatter to the winds”. “I will bring against Elam the four winds from the four corners of heaven”.   “Concerning Babylon…I will kindle a fire…that will consume all…a drought on her waters”. They remind me that You are in total control of Your creation! You control the winds, fire, drought and seas.

They responded at Creation when You made them and set their limits over the earth. When You walked the earth, You stood in a boat and spoke to a storm, commanding the winds and rain: “Peace, be still”.   And today’s Psalms speak of the earth being glad and rejoicing!

What a picture! “Clouds and thick darkness surround You…fire goes before You…Your lightening lights up the world.” All at Your command. You are still in control, holding authority over all the earth! The earth responds to You: “the earth sees and trembles…mountains melt like wax…heavens proclaim Your righteousness…seas resound…rivers clap their hands, mountains sing together for joy.”

If this is the response of the earth, how can I do less? Father, I shout for joy! I burst into jubilant song. I make music with whatever instrument I can – all to glorify my God! You are the only god who is the real God! I exalt You over all things, all people, all powers. I rejoice because You are a righteous and just God. Because You carry out Your judgments in righteousness. Because You are loving and faithful. Because You have saved me! You are the One True Almighty God. And there is no other! Amen

Jeremiah 49:23-50:46; Psalm 97:1-98:9

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Apr 12 I confess and You bless

O Almighty God! O Lord who is omnipotent, all powerful, omnipresent, at all places at all times, and omniscient, knowing all things. It is hard to imagine the scope and depth of Your power and presence because it is so beyond anything that is humanly possible.

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Forgive me when I forget that You know all things, and try to hide my sin from You. How foolish of me to think that I can keep something hidden from You and go on like it never happened. You knew that some of the Israelites held back plunder from the victory at Jericho. And there were consequences for their disobedience. It cost thirty-six men their lives in a battle, and ultimately, the lives of all those who hid their sin.

It is so human of me, and yet so wrong, to think I can ask You to answer my prayers with blessing, when I am hiding sin. I cannot expect You to bless me in my marriage, for instance, when I am gossiping, spreading disunity among my friends. Before I can ask for Your favor, there are things I need to confess.

It’s not that I am telling You something You don’t already know. The Greek word for confess is ‘homologo’ It means ‘same word’ So I am simply agreeing with what You already know; and with Your assessment that my action or attitude is sinful.

And You promise that when I confess my sin and turn from it, You are faithful, and will forgive my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness and guilt.

Just like the Prodigal Son, when I return to You and confess my sin, You run to me, throw Your arms around me and celebrate my return to right relationship with You!

O Father, I desire miraculous victories like the Battle of Jericho! Keep me from temptation. Help me quickly see sin for what it is and turn from it. And if I ever stray from You, bring me to my senses and set my feet back on the path to You.

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I sing for joy to You, my Strength! I shout aloud to You! You are the Lord my God! And You satisfy me with all the best! Thank You! Amen

Joshua 5:1-7:15; Luke 15:11-24; Psalm 81:1-16; I John 1:9