Psalm 49

Psalm 49
Day 49: Be blessed
What is the reason for your life?
Is it to battle the fear of man? v5
Is it to accumulate in order to leave it behind? v10
Is it to have a name that continues on? v11
Is it to simply die? V14
Is it to grow rich? V17
Is it to be praised by man? v18

Author Randy Alcorn recalled a two-month missions trip that he and his family took some years ago that included a visit to Egypt. While in Egypt, Alcorn’s hosts took him to visit an abandoned graveyard located at the end of a garbage-lined alley. The host pointed out one tombstone in particular—that of William Borden (1887-1913), heir to the Borden dairy estate. William was a millionaire by 21, but he renounced his fortune, giving nearly all his wealth to missions. His heart’s desire was to take the gospel to Muslims in China. On his way to China, William stopped in Egypt to study Arabic, but four months later he contracted spinal meningitis and died at the age of 25.
Alcorn writes:
I dusted off the inscription on the headstone of Borden’s grave. After describing his love for Christ and his commitment to and his love for the Muslim people; and his sacrifices for God’s kingdom; the inscription ended with some words I wrote down on the spot—and I have never forgotten them to this day. The inscription ended with, “Apart from faith in Christ there is no explanation for such a life.”
Then Alcorn wrote, “And I thought, Lord, what’s the explanation for my life?”
Randy Alcorn, “Money and the Disciple,” 2004

The reason for your life is Christ’s costly ransom to God for you.
No man could pay the high payment necessary for your eternal state, v7-9.
But Christ has done it.
The reason for your life is to spend it in light of the truth that God will take you to be with Him when you die, v15.
So live life to the full today in light of that fact.

Psalm 48

Psalm 48
Day 48: Be blessed!
Beautiful for situation says the KJV.
You are beautiful and the church where you meditate on His unfailing love and where you praise Him and rejoice in Him is beautiful also (v9-11).
Over the years I have met many who criticise what God calls beautiful, “this church isn’t this, doesn’t have this, cannot do this.” They have forgotten that they criticise what God calls beautiful.
Over the years I have met many who belittle their own life and circumstances of it, “if only things would change I could do this, I could be more, better, I hate my life.” They have forgotten that they attack what God calls beautiful for situation.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and God is looking at you and describes you so.
One day, rummaging through a dusty old attic in a small Austrian town, a collector comes across a faded manuscript containing many pages of music. It’s written for the piano. Curious, he takes it to a dealer. The dealer phones a friend who appears a half hour later. When he sees the music, he becomes excited, then puzzled. This looks like the handwriting of Mozart himself. But it isn’t a well-known piece. In fact, he’s never heard it before. More phone calls. More excitement. More consultations. It really does seem to be Mozart. And though some parts seem distantly familiar, it doesn’t correspond to anything already known in his works.

But [the manuscript] seems incomplete. There are gaps in the music. Just where it seems to come to a climax, it seems to stop and then pick up again later. Gradually the truth dawns on the excited little group. What they are looking at is indeed by Mozart. It is, indeed, beautiful, but it’s the piano part that involves another instrument or perhaps other instruments. By itself, it is frustratingly incomplete. It is a signpost to something that once was there and might still turn up one day.

That’s the position we are in when we are confronted by beauty. We stand before a great painting. When you stand before the most amazing sunset or when you see the beauty of a human face, whether it’s a little baby or a lovely wise old person, there is a haunting quality to it, as though it’s not just complete in itself. It’s a signpost to a larger truth that is just around the corner, just out of sight. We can’t grip it, can’t get our hands on it. It’s as though we’re hearing the echo of a voice, and we’d love to hear whose that voice is and what story it’s telling. Part of the joy of beauty is the realization that it is part of a larger whole, most of which appears to be just out of sight. We are drawn forward toward something and left waiting, wondering.
N. T. Wright, quoted in Eric Metaxas, Socrates in the City (Dutton, 2011), pp. 207-208

Beautiful and Blessed!

Psalm 47

Psalm 47
Day 47: Be blessed
Loud noises today!
Clapping hands, shouting to God, cries of joy, shouts of joy, trumpets sounding, singing praises!
In fact singing praises is mentioned 5 times within 2 verses. Why?
This Psalm is no doubt riding on an amazing victory that God’s people have just experienced. The Jews will even now talk about their greatest victory being that of the destruction of Sennacherib in 701 BC. This king of the vast Assyrian army invaded the territory of God’s people to destroy them. On paper the outcome was inevitable, God’s people would die. But through the focused prayer of Hezekiah and the people, God intervened and killed 185,000 Assyria troops in one night. Therefore today when the Jews celebrate that victory they use this Psalm to do so.
However, once again we amazingly find a Psalm that is prophetic, that speaks of Jesus!
God has ascended, v5.
Therefore He must also have first descended. He did.
The Son, Jesus Christ, came down from heaven to earth to accomplish salvation, to rescue, to set free, to destroy the works of the enemy.
Then He ascended.
There is no event past, present or future that will surpass this momentous occasion of the Incarnation and then the Ascension of Christ. It is the foundation of our victorious life.
He reigns. He is in control on His throne. He owns the world. Jesus our Saviour, Jesus our Victory.
He has brought the Gentiles into the Kingdom of God alongside the Jews, v9. Paul stated in Galatians 3 that there is neither Jew nor Greek.
So this is why we are loud!
He has ascended. And because He did:
It was the sign that all He came to do was accomplished.
It was the sign of a new work of Christ, that of an interceding High Priest.
It was the sign that He will come again in exactly the same way as he left, visibly and bodily.
It was the sign that you too will ascend to Heaven.
Sing praises, sing praises, sing praises, sing praises, sing praises! We are blessed!

Psalm 46

Psalm 46
Day 46: Be blessed!

According to alamoth meaning to be sung at the level of soprano, it was a musical term meaning “maidens”. The Psalmist is asking that the women sing this Psalm.

To be truly BLESSED every Church needs women to sing such a song.

The Elim Pentecostal Church in the UK was founded in 1915 by George Jeffreys. Jeffreys and a group of friends, known as the Elim Evangelistic Band, preached, planted churches and witnessed a move of God that was characterised by miraculous healings and an explosion in the number of people becoming Christians. However, within only 4 years Elim began sending missionaries across the world. Who were these people? Single women missionaries with a steely determination and raw passion to take the gospel to those who have never heard. In 1919 Miss Dollie Phillips sent to Mahim, now Mumbai. In 1929 Miss Marion Evans and Miss Marion Point again sent to India and were mightily effective for over 25 years! Today Elim are still sending out inspirational women of God and it is a joy to witness the power of the Spirit in and through their lives.

History speaks so loudly of the powerful inspiring action of women who left everything and gave everything they could because God had called them.
Without doubt everyone of these women will have been empowered by the same Holy Spirit who came upon Mary the young virgin girl who received her calling with the words, “The Lord is with you”.
700 years previously someone wrote this song:
God is an ever-present help in trouble
God is within her, she will not fall
God will help her at break of day
The Lord Almighty is with us
The Lord Almighty is with us

The Church needs women to truly believe these words. Let them be your food today.
Struggling with your workload.
Doubting your place in this life.
Wondering what tomorrow may hold.
GOD is with you!

The Church needs women to sing loudly:
We will not fear, v2
We will not fall, v5
God is in control v8-10

If you are a man reading this then send it to a woman and encourage her to sing the alamoth. Tell her the church needs her more than ever. If you are a woman, will you be this woman?

Psalm 45

Day 45: Be blessed

This is a wedding song, a love song.
It could be between Solomon and a lady. It is definitely prophetic of The Lord and you.
If you have been a Christian for sometime then it is possible you have lost the passionate love between you and the Lord as a wife may do of her husband. It is important to get this back. This Psalm helps.
(V1-9 is the bride speaking to the groom. V 10-15 is the reverse ending with a couple of verses of the bride speaking again).
Today let your love for the Lord increase:-

1. Let your heart be stirred once again as you speak to Him, v1.
The Bible says your heart can become hard, deceitful and sinful. Even after you are saved your heart can become broken, bruised and downcast. There are times like today when we have to stir our hearts towards Him who is passionately in love with us.

2. Begin to use new words as your stir your heart towards Him, v2-4.
Speak of His excellence, His grace, His might, His victory, His truth, His humility and His righteousness.

3. Magnify God within your life. He cannot get bigger but He can within your thinking, v4-9.
Think on His strength, His ability to do great things.
Pray outside of your situation, for God to destroy His enemies, for nations to surrender to Him
Build the picture of Him within your life. What He loves, who He is, a royal picture.

4. Then Listen. Let the words of this Psalm speak to you. Allow the lyrics to form around you and within. Consider not in a light way but chew them over, meditate on them, hold them, turn them over, be affected by them. Don’t be distracted by your situation, v10.
5. Focus on words such as:
The Lord is captivated by you, He thinks you are beautiful, v11.
The Lord is your Lord, v11.
He is arranging gifts to be brought to you as a bride receives on her wedding, v12.
He invites you into the chamber, into the place of intimacy, where you can share happiness with the King, v13-15.
6. Tell others, v17.

Psalm 44

Day 44: Be blessed!

Do things ever go wrong in your life?
Of course they do!
There are times when God seems to be nowhere and everything is going wrong.
This Psalm describes these feelings.
There is no nice ending to this song. “We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground. Rise up and help us; rescue us because of your unfailing love”. v25,26.
Why does it end like this? Why doesn’t it end with a brighter hope? Simply because life doesn’t always have happy endings the way we think it should.
So how do we make sense of such bad times when there is no end in sight?
The answer is in v22 “Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered”.
This verse Apostle Paul quoted in Romans 8. He writes, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us”. Romans 8:35-37
Paul’s point is that it doesn’t matter about the outward circumstance so long as the inward is so strong. He refers to the Psalm to show that no matter what goes wrong in our lives, even with no happy endings, within us is the ability to stay strong, because of what the Psalmist describes as “unfailing love”.

Psalm 43

Day 43: Be blessed!
This would certainly appear to be either the second part of Psalm 42 or closely connected to it.
The Psalmist calls to be vindicated, defended, rescued and guided.
However, the way to alter is on the altar, v4.
The altar in Hebrew means “a place of slaughter or sacrifice”.
Clearly foreshadowing Calvary and Jesus the Lamb of God, sacrificed for the sin of the whole world, it was and is the ultimate place of worship.
Worship is everything and changes everything. A person is never the same after worship, a death has occurred.
But for some believers altering their lives has become such a passion that they have forgotten the altar. They just want change. “Why am I rejected? Why am I oppressed? Why am I downcast?” They will do almost anything for improvement to their life. Pray more, read the Bible more, give more, go more and even worship more. But zeal alone is not enough.
We have done worship for so long, but let us become worship.
Don’t do it, be it.
If you want to alter anything then you have to be on the altar.
This is the joyful, delightful, blessed life.

Psalm 42

Day 42: Be blessed

Even before you met anyone today, before you have heard the sounds from the radio or television, before the hustle and bustle of your daily life, before all of these things you have already been listening. But what you have been paying attention to is not always all that positive.
Martin Lloyd-Jones wrote: “Have you realised that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?”
Maybe the greatest battle of faith is the struggle within.
The psalmist certainly seems to be having this struggle. He is drowning in thoughts of an absent God, depression is the order of the day. His past seems better than his present.
Do you know these kind of days?
v5 “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God”.
The psalmist shows us a model for holding on to our blessing.
It is to preach to your own heart. Speak to your feelings. Command your thoughts. Raise faith from within by declaring the truth of God’s Word.
Listen self: Put your hope in God.
Listen self: He is my Saviour and my God.
So go ahead, say something.
Preach it and stay blessed!

Psalm 41

Day 41: Be blessed!

This last week I was privileged to visit the Oudong community just outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia. They are a people displaced. A people betrayed by their own government. Their story can be told all across the world.
Have you ever been betrayed?
Have you known a close friend abandon you?
You trusted that person and told them things about you that no-one else knows. You shared yourself and you shared meals together. But then they stabbed you in the back. It hurts, yes?
David knew this. One thousand years before Christ, David was speaking from experience but at the same time prophesied about future events.
Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me, v9.
This became a Messianic prophecy. For Jesus had a trusted friend in Judas.
If it happened to David and it happened to Jesus, then it will happen to you, it may have done already!
If it has then your life is a mirror of Jesus!

Psalm 40

Day 40: Be blessed!

Wait a bit longer, hold on, trust Him and He will turn to you.
Keep waiting for He has heard your prayers.
It may be difficult now, the pit always is, but soon He will lift you out of it.
Wait a bit longer, you will be standing strong soon, it’s going to get so much better, remember the rock!
It’s time for a new song and you will be singing again.
God will be praised!
Wait a bit longer you will influence others and they will copy your life.

Just wait a bit longer