A restored soul in psalms - Applying the Cling Principle

“Applying the ‘Cling Principle”

Psalm 63:8 “I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.” NIV

This verse, has few words, but it brings so much comfort.

Let’s unpack CLING a little, by focussing, not so much on what we do, but who God is and how we can experience Him further.

C=Compassion—God is portrayed as a compassionate parent throughout Scripture and his compassion is embodied in the person of Jesus.

Isaiah 30:18 ‘Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him’

L=Loyal Love—“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is Good, His love endures forever.” Psalm 118:1 The Hebrew word translated as ‘love’ in Psalm 118 is ‘khesed’ The most famous use of ‘khesed is in Exodus 34:6, where God not only calls himself compassionate but abounding in ‘khesed’ and faithfulness. Whilst there isn’t an English word that sufficiently covers it, some translations use steadfast love; goodness; kindness; loving kindness; faithfulness; love; and my favourite: ‘loyal love’. It is an all encompassing, deep and never ending love.

I=Identity—It is in God that we have our identity. God is the great I AM and we are created in His image. (Gen 1:27). We are also part of his family and called His children.

‘Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.’ 1 Corinthians 12:27

‘See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are’. 1 John 3:1-3

N=Nurture– Our God is a caring, nurturing Father. Psalm 147: ‘He heals the broken-hearted and bandages their wounds.’ Isaiah 25:8 ‘The Sovereign LORD will wipe away all tears’.

Philippians 4:19 ‘This same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus’

G= Gracious. Without a doubt our God is gracious. Grace in Scripture shows us that there are different elements to it. It is generous; giving a gift of favour; not what is fair but rather favour. The ultimate act of grace from God is forgiveness and a promise to be with us. Over 40 times in the Psalms, people cry out for God’s grace.

In the New Testament we are told that Jesus is God’s glorious grace become human. Grace here is mercy and God is very generous with His mercy. When people admit their need for God, and ask Him, God generous give the gift of Himself.

Let us continue to cling to our Compassionate, Loving, and Gracious God, until Jesus comes again and we can be with Him for all eternity. Praise God!

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A restored soul in psalms - Applying the Satisfaction Principle

“Applying the ‘Satisfaction Principle”

Psalm 63:5

I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. NIV

The Psalms are beautiful, poetic and visually descriptive. The words paint the scene for us to clearly gain a picture of both the dangerous and desperate moments as well as the joyous and praise moments.

Here the words reflect a vision of banquet table filled with the finest and richest foods, a feast that satisfies. As a consequence the author is filled with joy and praise to the One who has provided.

In other words, it is a very picturesque way of putting the very plain truth, which we should be all the happier and better if we believed and lived by, that we can have as much of God as we desire, and that what we have of Him will be enough and we will be satisfied.

There is one search that is true and the seeker never fails to find. That is the search of the soul seeking after God. Our soul will be satisfied with God and His nearness to us, His infinite willingness to give Himself to us.

All it takes is for us to seek Him.

The result is pleasure and delight. Not only that it is nourishing like the fine foods.

Connection with a gracious God, gives our soul abundant satisfaction.

It is so wonderful our lips cannot help be overflowing with His praise. Not only to give God His due glory, but to share with others, how they too can have their soul satisfied.

Praising lips must be joyful lips. When we look at David, who was in continual danger, care and fear kept him awake at night; but he comforted himself with thoughts of God. The mercies of God, when called to mind, support the soul, making difficult and challenging circumstances cheerful.

May we all make that effort to commune with our God, to seek Him, to draw close to Him, so that our praise will be with joyful lips.

A picture of what is to come and more!

God of majesty and power,

Who spoke and this world was,

Who breathed and this world lived,

Who counts the hairs upon our head,

Who sees our thoughts and reads our hearts,

Who loves us more than we deserve,

How can we not bring today,

Our sacrifice of praise?

Loving gracious God, thank You for drawing near to us as we seek You. Thank You for Your amazing love and generous provisions. You meet our every need, as You know them before we do. Lord, thank You for Your Son Jesus that made the way to allow us to draw close to You. Creator, King, yet loving Father, we give you honour and praise. Help us to reflect that peace, joy and love that You fill us with, In Jesus name. Amen.

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A restored soul in psalms - Applying the REST Principle

Applying the ‘Rest Principle”

Psalm 62:5

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;

my hope comes from him. NIV

Today we are looking at Rest. This Psalm starts in verse 1 that the writer’s soul finds rest in God. By verse 5 the writer is affirming once again. Yes!, they write...my soul, find rest in God.

It seems to me that they are instructing their soul where to look for rest.

In other translations this verse shows us another way of looking at this rest. The King James and RSV records the verse as:

‘My soul, wait silently for God alone,

For my expectation is from Him.’

This gives us a delightful picture of how our soul can rest in God. Waiting in silence.

Life is a journey and we are often busy doing, as Rick Warren often says we are human beings not human doings, we need to concentrate on being. This Psalm reminds us that our souls need to just be, to stop, wait and listen to our God, as He is our hope, whom we can look to expectantly.

‘There are times when God seems so close that we cannot speak aloud, but are just silent before Him and breathe out our thoughts and desires.’ (F.B Meyer)

What a beautiful description of being still and knowing that I am God. (Ps 46:10)

Let us too, remind our souls to rest. To stop and silently wait on God. Allow His Spirit to minister, to comfort, to strengthen, to direct, to correct. We can rest assured because God has already provided us with everything we need, He is our Salvation, our rock, our defence, our refuge.

Let’s rest in His Word, breathe in His Scripture and really take it to heart and receive that rest that He gives us now, until we receive our final rest with Him in glory.

Amen.

Heavenly Father, please help me to accept your invitation to come empty and receive the rest I need. Help me to willingly release my fear, my worries, my agenda, and my to-do list. Ease the tension and replenish my body. Silence the voices of doubt and speak Your words of truth. Remove the heaviness of my day and pour out abundantly into my life. Fill me with Your peace, joy, and love. Fill me until the overwhelming is consumed by Your grace, and my life reflects the beauty of resting in You. Amen.

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A restored soul in psalms - Applying the Awaken Principle

Applying the ‘Awaken Principle”

Do you find getting up in the mornings easy? There are some of us that bounce out of bed the same time every day, ready for the daily routine to begin. Then there are some of us that hit that snooze button one more time to defer that moment just a bit longer.

Romans 13:11 Reads “The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”

So guess what, as Christians we can no longer be pressing that snooze button, as we are being called to wake up!

During the times of Paul's ministry, he was encouraging the people of God to wake up from their spiritual slumber. Those in the early Church were urged to get ready for the return of the Lord Jesus. And two thousand years later this instruction still stands, but is increasingly urgent. Every day that passes is one day closer to the day when the trumpet will sound, the dead in Christ will be raised from their graves and we who are alive and remain will be caught up to meet JESUS. Then we get to spend eternity with Him, face to face.

What precious encouragement to us as believers. How wonderful to be reminded that Jesus is coming back SOON. We have been given the blessed hope of His imminent return, and we are to establish it anew in our hearts, every moment of every day. Throughout our Christian life, our focus should always be on Christ, but as the time for His return draws ever closer we are exhorted to WAKE UP, from our spiritual sleep, and remember that our salvation... i.e. when we are transported into Christ's presence, is closer than the day when we first trusted in Him as Saviour.

Let us joyfully embrace these revitalising words of Paul and rouse ourselves from any spiritual slumber, into which we may have drifted. And let us become alert and ready - watching and waiting for His soon return. And let us seek to use the time we have left on earth.. wisely.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your promises on which I can rely. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Lord, as I wait for Jesus’ return, please help me to be ready to make the most of the time left to serve You by serving others. Help me to wisely use the moments You give me to speak about Your love and the need for salvation. Prompt me to pray as You have taught in Your Word. I wait with an expectant heart to see Your glory, In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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Applying the ‘Sustain-er’ Principle”

The Psalms of David which were penned many thousands of years ago, are still so relevant in todays world. As we look around we can clearly see that society is full of self oriented people who are only looking out for their own gain. In other words a sinful world.

This is the same predicament we were in, back in Jesus’ day. And David knew first hand what it was like to be betrayed and for his soul to suffer deep distress.

My guess is, either you can relate personally or certainly know of someone who is going through times of overwhelming heart break, grief, anguish and or deep emotional stress. It was what David was experiencing when this verse was recorded:

Cast your cares on the Lord

and he will sustain you;

he will never let

the righteous be shaken. NIV

David, like us, felt burdened and despondent, to the point of feeling overwhelmed by his difficulties. Yet despite this David was enabled to turn his eyes on the Lord, and to cast his burdens and cares upon Him. David knew that God would sustain him through every difficulty he faced, for God will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

We too, are increasingly subject to fears, threats, despair and many other trials. But, here is the thing...throughout the Word of God we are reminded not to fear, for the Lord our God is with us, whatever our circumstances, we are encouraged to cast all our cares upon Him, because He cares for us.

Wow, isn’t that such a comfort! Jesus not only suffered the consequences of our sin, so we could be saved to experience eternal life with God—He looks after us in the here and now as well. Why? Because He cares for us. That’s love, true love.

Heavenly Father, thank You that no matter what dangers and evils threaten me, I can cast my burdens upon You, knowing You will sustain and strengthen me. Thank You for the reassurance that through Christ I need never be shaken. I praise You God, that You are greater in me, than he that is in the world. Help me to leave all my cares with You,

In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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Resurrection Sunday

Resurrection Sunday:

The Easter period is bag of mixed emotions for us as Christians, isn’t it. We can only imagine what is was like for the disciples who experienced first hand the emotional roller coaster. We have the benefit of knowing how it ends—unlike the disciples.

Yes, they were told, but they didn’t ‘hear’.

Just like most of us today. We have information, but often, we just don’t get it. There are those who are yet to know Christ as their personal Saviour. They may or may not know the facts, but their heart has not yet opened to the truth.

This Easter it is so very important to know, hear and understand the Good News, and furthermore share it!

Jesus did suffer a cruel and painful death, beaten, shamed and tortured in our place. We know He understood the horrible lot before Him, as we read in Luke 22:42 Jesus prayed ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

Jesus, with God given strength, willingly faced those who wanted to kill Him. He didn’t raise His voice or a hand, yet, although suffering immense pain and anguish, allowed Himself to die on the cross. The Good News for humanity, yes all of us, is that when our Saviour was in the tomb and everything seemed to be over, God had yet to have His final word! Jesus rose from the dead, giving us affirmation of God’s promises, hope for our souls and an opportunity for an eternal future with Him.

‘He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.” 1 Cor 15:3-4

Jesus knows and understands you and me, perfectly. Because of the events of Easter and Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection we can be taken from devastation to life just as Jesus was.

Jesus shows us how He can take us

from anguish to peace

from addictions to freedom

from rejection to love

from depression to joy for life

from darkness to light

Jesus is alive today. He is here for you. He is here to transform you too, through the miracle of the resurrection. Let Him heal your body, restore your soul, and renew your mind. He loves you!

Prayer:

God, thank You for saving me. It is really freeing to realise that I can stop trying to do it myself – cos I just can’t. Thank You Jesus, that You are the one who saves. Thank You that nothing can separate me from Your love. Thank You for the freedom, peace, love, joy and light in my life, through You. Help me to understand more deeply your love and truth. I commit to letting the truth change the way I live. Help me to show others Your love and truth, in Jesus name I ask,

Amen.

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A restored soul in psalms - Applying the ‘’Value Principle”

What do you value in life and what is it that we consider precious?

Most people would put money—gold and silver pretty high up on the list. We know particularly in the business world that money talks.

Even in our own daily lives we know that silver and gold are items that are highly valued by the rich and poor alike. But depending on the stock markets etc the value of gold and silver can fluctuate from moment to moment and drop un-expectantly and eventually they will perish.

In God’s economy though, He places value on you and I as higher even than gold or silver. Let’s read from

1 Peter 1:18-19 in The Passion Translation.

“For you know that your lives were ransomed once and for all from the empty and futile way of life handed down from generation to generation. It was not a ransom payment of silver and gold, which eventually perishes, 19 but the precious blood of Christ—who like a spotless, unblemished lamb was sacrificed for us.”

If value is determined by price, we are incredibly valuable! God took the most precious treasure of heaven to buy us out of sin and death and adopt us into His family. Silver and gold pale in comparison to that value. What’s more, the value of His love never diminishes, fluctuates or perishes.

In the previous verses of 1 Peter we are called to be holy. Verse 15 “But just as He who called you is Holy, so be Holy in all you do.”

We are to be Holy because Jesus is Holy. Not to think of ourselves more than we should, but just as Jesus values each one of us, we too need to value people. On our wall is the 6 words of our mission statement. With the centre 2 words ‘valuing people’. You will note it comes after Discovering Jesus. Once we discover for ourselves the immense and priceless cost that Jesus willingly paid for us, it is life changing.

If we are honest, we do sometimes forget that we need to value people just as Christ does. So let us take this opportunity to reflect on the value that God has put on us, put on you personally. As we allow this knowledge to fill with awe of His amazing grace and love, let us use that to fuel us as we share with others. Share this amazing value that God puts on each one of us and the length He went to, to show us His love and value for us.

Prayer:

Holy God, Thank You for your love in sending the most precious treasure to die in our place. May I live each day more aware of my inestimable value to You. May my words, thoughts and actions be permeated with Your sense of my worth — not so that I may seem important to others, but so that I may live in holiness and honor to Your precious gift to me. Through him I pray. Amen.

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A restored soul in psalms - Applying the Refuge Principle

Applying the ‘’Refuge Principle”

Do you ever feel that God is too big? Or maybe you are just too small? Too small for a majestic and powerful God to notice that a small person, feeling insignificant, is hurting immensely?

Scripture tells us a different story. It deals in what God thinks and who He is and not our misgivings and anxious thoughts.

Psalm 56:1 “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”

Last week Pastor Bill spoke to us about life being full of ups and downs, but that we always have hope in Jesus. Part of that hope is provision of refuge.

The Bible speaks of many affirmations of God as our refuge for our soul—here are just a few to meditate on and use as prayers to restore our confidence, and shift our focus on the One who is and will always be:

Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.”

Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms”

Psalm 27:5 “For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock”.

Psalm 18:3 “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

Speak out this next verse as your declaration for your soul and make it your promise to yourself and God:

Psalm 91:2 “I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”

Prayer:

Dear Lord, I am seeking You to be my refuge! Sometimes I feel so defeated I even forget to look to You. I am so sorry. I trust You Lord, and I love You so much. Thank You for always being there for me! Thank You for comforting me when I am downcast, for strengthening me when I am weak, and for filling me with wisdom when I lack understanding. You are my Rock and my Redeemer. May You continue to be my refuge forever and ever in Jesus name AMEN!

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