T H I S D A Y | Mar 24 Devotional with Paul Sands
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I want to encourage you over these next number of days, while we may not meet corporately for worship, this is an opportunity for each of us to grow truly closer to God in worship. David was a man after God’s own heart. He worshipped God while he was alone in the night watches as a shepherd. He would sing and pray to the Lord, cherishing His time with God. David loved God. “I Love you, O Lord, my strength.” (Psalm 18:1) He trusted God. “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1) Obedience to God’s Word was important to him. “Give me understanding And I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.” (Psalm 119:34) He was repentant. “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51 -read the whole Psalm) We too can cultivate that same heart of worship before the Lord. Cherish your time alone with the Lord – He will meet you where you are. You can sing along with a recording (also using spotify or youtube) or sing without any accompaniment; God puts a song in our hearts as we spend time with Him. Read aloud scriptures of praise to God and tell Him from your own heart. Meditate on His word. This will help you to fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2) Although in the Bible, God commands us to sing, (over 400 references to singing & 50 direct commands) “Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His Name; tell of His salvation from day to day.” (Psalm 96:1-2) “Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!” (Psalm 47:6) Worship is more than singing. It is a life-style. The greatest commandment is “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind.” The second is “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22:37-38) So, during these days, each morning as you begin your day, give the first fruit of your day to the Lord – worshiping Him (in song and in spoken word), spending time in His word and in prayer. As you do this, you will come into His presence; His praise will fill your heart and His Word will come alive to you. He will keep you in His peace and you will be sensitive to His voice about how to reach out to those around you in His love and care. I would like to leave you with Psalm 34, a Psalm of David. 1 “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul will [...]
As we wade into waters that seemingly no one has ever stepped foot in, it can be really difficult to know what to do, how to respond to the changes, and really how much of our uncertainty and concern we should show in front of our kids or our spouse. I saw a meme the other day that most men seem to think is the goal in all of this craziness…on the outside there’s the image of calm, cool, and collected as to not incite fear or concern from those around us, but on the inside the anxiety of how to pay bills, how to protect our families, how to deal with homeschool/e-school, what happens when we run out of the necessities: bread, eggs, milk, and the oh so elusive toilet paper!! Many of us are internally battling how to handle all of these things, and still trying to be a good husband and a good father and a good friend. It is stressful enough to try to be those things when there isn’t a pandemic putting the world on lock down, but now we are being forced to navigate these roads while panic and fear surrounds us. My hope is that as we walk this road, we can do it together (even if it has to be at a distance). Here are some things that I think are good reminders for us as we take steps forward: You are not alone! I mean this on at least two different levels…there’s a physical and spiritual level. You physically have others around you that can help whether that’s through conversation, running an errand for you, or something else along those lines. On the other side, I want to make sure that you hear this…God has not forsaken or abandoned us in this current situation. One of my favorite passages of scripture growing up was found in Isaiah 41:8-10 8 But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; 9 you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; 10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Be comforted in knowing that God will not leave us to walk alone. Do not go silent! So many men want to internalize everything and shut off the world around them. They don’t like it when someone sees beyond the exterior and the natural instinct is to self-insulate and protect by shutting down. All this does is hurt those around you that you love and are so concerned about. Find ways to keep conversations going and encourage family and friends by engaging conversations instead of retreating behind a screen or turning on the TV. What would it look like to [...]