June 24, 2018

Note, then, how the psalmist is not diminished by his worship of the LORD, but he truly comes to his full self. He sees the beauty of the LORD, speaks his praise, understands the promises, and truly comes alive. How blessed it is to praise the LORD! For it makes us what we were truly meant to be. So we join the psalmist and say, “Blessed be the LORD from Zion, he who dwells in Jerusalem! Praise the LORD!”

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June 17, 2018

We are also pilgrims. Our journey does not lead us to the earthly Jerusalem, but to heavenly Jerusalem. And we will count every step as blessing. Every step that leads us home, however hard the road may be, is a step that brings us closer to glory and joy. And while we make our journey, we will certainly pray for, and receive, help. But we will also bless the LORD. We will bless the servants of the LORD.

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May 20, 2018

How shall we respond to God’s mercy? We must not continue to think of him like a harmless trinket, as if he were a useful fool. We all want the God for forgiveness. But did you read what follows? “But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.” Now we must be broken before him, although in a different sense. We shatter our pride, stubbornness, selfishness, self-adulation, that we may find ourselves made whole in God. And so we will find his mercy made complete in us.

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May 13, 2018

So we sing and pray. May the LORD give us the grace to love and do good to those who hate us. In doing so we will grow ever closer to the LORD who daily loves and does good to us. But we can also sing and pray that all oppression come to an end and all oppressors be utterly rejected by God. In this way, also, we will grow closer to the LORD, who is goodness himself.

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March 11, 2018

But our pilgrim life is both already/not-yet. We laugh. But we also cry. We carry the cross and live a life of self-denial. But we are also seated with Christ in his glory where no wants and needs are denied. What has your pilgrim life been like? Would you say you are overwhelmingly a person who lives in the “already”? Then your worship is a call to remember the “not-yet,” to bow before the suffering Lord and look upon his cross. Or would you say that you are overwhelmingly a person of “not-yet”? Then your coming to worship is a call to be comforted by the Lord who has overcome, who sit glorious over death, suffering, and tears.

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March 4, 2018

Indeed, our pilgrimage is also fraught with danger. We are hard pressed in every way, and we often meet stiff resistance. We stumble in many ways, and the far-off heavenly Jerusalem feels all but unreachable. That is what discouragement is. We lose heart in life’s many trials, and our hearts sink at the thought of pressing on.

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February 25, 2018

Read slowly. Read deeply. Let these words sink in. Obey what you have learned. And see how this psalm leads us to our Savior. Jesus visited the temple as a 12 year old and surprised the learned and aged with the depth of his understanding. Surely it is because of vss. 99–100. “I have more understanding than all my teachers…I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.” Jesus obeyed. Shouldn’t you?

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February 11, 2018

A wise saint (Spurgeon?) once said, “He who has a bible that is falling apart has a life that isn’t.” In other words, the believer whose frequent study and mediation of God’s word has left his bible worn and tattered, will be known by the quality of his life. He makes wise decisions. People trust his character and word. There is an integrity about his life that is very attractive. God’s Word has produced good fruit for him.

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