Old Testament In a Year: July 27 – Psalms 99, 100, 102

Psalms 99, 100, 102
Focus Verse: Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. – Psalm 100:3

It is always good to remind ourselves of who we are and whose we are. We are redeemed, not condemned; friends, not servants; sons and daughters, not outcasts. And we belong to God.

It is God who made us. We are His.

Therefore, it is God who loves us, hears us, answers us, forgives us, comforts us. Anything we need or want, He provides. Both now and forever.

God takes care of His own.

Old Testament In a Year: July 26 – Psalms 96, 97, 98

Psalms 96, 97, 98
Focus Verse: Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. – Psalm 96:2

We are told repeatedly to sing to the Lord because of the importance of such an act. Singing brings praise and gives glory to God, Jesus the Christ, and to the Holy Spirit. They love to be worshiped through song and music.

Then, we are told to bless the name of the Lord. In other words, we are to speak well of Him. Every name of God speaks to His goodness, His grace, His glory, His excellence, and His might. Abba, Alpha and Omega, El Shaddai, Immanuel, Jesus – all these names remind us that God is the one and only God. There is no one like Him, and we should bless Him for this.

Finally, we are to tell of the salvation of the Lord. Not every week or once a year, but from day to day. Our thoughts, our words, and our actions should be a reflection of the salvation that God has wrought in our lives. We should proclaim the good news that this same salvation is available to anyone who believes in Him. It is our duty to point sinners to the Savior, to share our faith that is free for all to partake in, and to do this from day to day.

Women of the Word: the Woman Who Was Crippled

One Sabbath, Jesus the Christ was teaching in a synagogue when He spotted a woman in the listening crowd. This woman was a cripple. Luke 13:11 says “she was bent over and could not straighten up at all,” and she had been this way for eighteen long years.

If you know anything about Jesus, you know that He couldn’t let this woman remain in the state she was in any longer. When He saw her, He put His teaching on pause, called her forward, and said, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then Jesus put His hands on her, and the woman was immediately healed. Her body straightened up. Her bent disappeared. She could walk with her back upright and her head held high.

Imagine how incredible it must have been for her to have been set free in less than eight minutes after being bound for eighteen years. The woman, however, didn’t just rush to enjoy the newfound freedom she had in her limbs. When she saw that she was no longer a cripple, her first reaction was to praise God. Besides this, what other things can we learn from the woman who was crippled? Continue reading

Old Testament In a Year: July 25 – Psalms 93, 94, 95

Psalms 93, 94, 95
Focus Verse: For the Lord will not forsake His people; He will not abandon His heritage. – Psalm 94:14

You belong to God. You are His son, His daughter, His heritage.

God holds the depths of the earth and the heights of the mountains in His hands. And He holds you in His hands, too.

God designed the waves of the sea and formed the dry land with wisdom and might and glory. He designed and formed you in the same manner, as well.

You are His.

He will neither forsake you nor abandon you. He will rise up for you against those who seek to harm you. He will stand up for you against any evil that aims to destroy you. Because God is your help, you will dwell in the land of the living. And when your foot slips, His steadfast love will hold you up.

Old Testament In a Year: July 24 – Psalms 89, 92

Psalms 89, 92
Focus Verse: For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord? Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord? – Psalm 89:6

He cannot be replicated or mimicked or surpassed. His creation is unparalleled, and all of it proclaims His glory. No one can be compared to God. No one, in earth or in Heaven, is similar to Him. There is no one like our God.

Old Testament In a Year: July 23 – Psalms 67, 71

Psalms 67, 71
Focus Verse: Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. – Psalm 71:3

There is no limit to how many times you can go to God.

As his rock of refuge, David went to God “continually.” Continually means regularly or without interruption; constantly. David was going to God on his good days and on his bad days. We was before God each day, regularly. He was making his requests known to God and pouring out his heart before God constantly. He did not allow anything or anyone to interrupt his communion with God.

Don’t just go to your rock of refuge when there is a storm in your life. Don’t only go to God when you need something or when you want deliverance from a problem, but go daily. Be before God continually. Commune with Him constantly.

Even when you have no requests to make of Him, talk to Him about how much you love Him and how much you appreciate all He has already done for you. God loves for you to be in His presence.

Old Testament In a Year: July 22 – Psalms 33, 43, 66

Psalms 33, 43, 66
Focus Verse: Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. – Psalm 43:5

Why are you depressed? Why are you in doubt?

Place your faith and your trust in God. Hope in Him, for He is your salvation and deliverance. When you turn to God, He will alleviate your worries, lift up your soul, and calm the turmoil within you.

Old Testament In a Year: July 21 – Psalms 1, 2, 10

Psalms 1, 2, 10
Focus Verse: Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? – Psalm 10:1

It is easy to find ourselves asking such questions of God when nothing seems to be going right in our life and He appears not to hear our voice

We ask for clarity, but receive chaos. We pray for a miracle, but are handed a mess. We request a blessing, but are given bad news instead.

God, where are You? we ask. Why are You so far away? Why are Your ears closed to my prayers? Why are You hiding Yourself when I need Your help?

In truth, God is never far away from us. He is always near. His ears are always open to our prayers. But God doesn’t always answer as quickly as we would like Him to or in the way that we think He should; and sometimes, He doesn’t answer at all. We shouldn’t mistake His silence for standoffishness or His refusal as revulsion of us. Through His silence, God often strengthens our faith and increases our love for His voice so that when we hear it again at last, it is all the more sweeter.

Old Testament In a Year: July 20 – 2 Kings 24, 25

2 Kings 24, 25
Focus Verse: And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. – 2 Kings 24:19

Even though he was aware of the negative consequences that the kings before him had faced for doing evil, Mattaniah (called Zedekiah by the king of Babylon) still did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. Even though both Israel and Judah were being torn apart and destroyed because the people refused to obey and follow God, Mattaniah still led them in doing what was evil.

He did not learn his lesson. Instead of repenting and deciding to do what was right, he chose to continue in the way that was wrong even though he knew it led to darkness and destruction.

When those before us and when those around us do wrong, it is easier for us to join them. But it is more excellent for us to resist them and choose to do what is good in the sight of God instead of what is evil; to walk in the light instead of the darkness; and to stand for right instead of wrong.