Hello friends, and happy Lord's Day to you all! Some of us have the privilege of worshipping together in person today, and some - like us - are still in quarantine. Wherever you fall along that spectrum, I pray that the Lord would bless you and keep you safe - that He would preserve your life and give you a wonderful gathering today. I am excited about our own church gathering, even though it is livestream. At our church - Valley Baptist Church in Salinas - we have had some wonderful times 'meeting' together over the internet - primarily because so many church members have been able to participate. We have great times of interactive prayer and so many encouraging testimonies and words have been sent in - we've even had multiple worship leaders lead us via video. It's not as great as being together in person, but I still look forward to our gathering every week. We'd love to have you join us at 11am Pacific on Facebook live - just go to VBC Salinas on Facebook, like our page, and you will be alerted when we go live...or just check out the recording.
Today, Robert Murray M'Cheyne - the original author of the Bible reading plan we are following this year - decided to get a little bit creative. Creative, or crazy...I'm not sure. Our readings are Numbers 19, Psalms 56-57, Isaiah 8 and 9:1-7, and James 2. Tomorrow the readings are even more, uhm, interesting. Do remember that the next few episodes might be a little shorter than normal, as I am preparing for a brief road trip this week and recording some episodes ahead of time. Yesterday was a fake shorter episode that ended up being average - this episode will likely be shorter. That said - NEVER, EVER trust a preacher's estimate of time, and mine in particular. I'm not very good at estimating how long something will last.
I have found that the Psalms have been particularly comforting to me as we have gone through this pandemic/quarantine time. I don't live and fight daily battles with anxiety and fear, but these past eight weeks have definitely increased the levels of those horrible things in my life, and maybe yours too. As things have progressed, I have found great comfort and assurance in reading through the Psalms and praying through them. I learned from Ben Patterson, via Kevin DeYoung, an excellent way to pray through the Psalms that I'd like to share with us now:
Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make the biggest difference. For many years I’ve used the 3 R’s I learned from Ben Patterson to pray through Scripture. This simple tool has helped me pray the Bible more than any other single strategy. I’ve used in my devotional times and have employed it often in leading others in prayer.
With every verse in the Bible we can do one (or more likely, all three) of these things. We can rejoice and thank God for his character and blessings. We can repent of our mistakes and sins. We can request new mercies and help.
Let's take that and apply it to Psalms 57:
Be gracious to me, God, be gracious to me,
for I take refuge in you.
I will seek refuge in the shadow of your wings
until danger passes.
2 I call to God Most High,
to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
3 He reaches down from heaven and saves me,
challenging the one who tramples me.Selah
God sends his faithful love and truth.
4 I am surrounded by lions;
I lie down among devouring lions—
people whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.
5 God, be exalted above the heavens;
let your glory be over the whole earth.
6 They prepared a net for my steps;
I was despondent.
They dug a pit ahead of me,
but they fell into it!Selah
7 My heart is confident, God, my heart is confident.
I will sing; I will sing praises.
8 Wake up, my soul!
Wake up, harp and lyre!
I will wake up the dawn.
9 I will praise you, Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10 For your faithful love is as high as the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches the clouds.
11 God, be exalted above the heavens;
let your glory be over the whole earth.
Psalms 57: 1-11
Are you the creator of this podcast?
and pick the featured episodes for your show.
Connect with listeners
Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fansYes, let's begin connecting
Find new listeners
Understand your audience
Engage your fanbase