King Over the Flood

“The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever. The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” (Psalm 29:10-11, NIV)

Psalm 29 celebrates the glory and power of God on display through a massive storm. The storm sweeps in from offshore, and it’s one of those storms where the thunder seems to shake the earth itself. Trees are shattered, snapped, and twisted. Everyone who sees the terrible beauty and awesome power of the storm responds with one word: “Glory!”

Yet even a storm powerful enough to shake the earth and split living trees with its thunder and lightning doesn’t shake God’s people. The Lord sits on His throne over the flood, over the wind and rain. He strengthens and blesses us… with peace. Isn’t it ironic that as God shows His power through the storm, He reveals His greater power by giving us peace?

I often feel overwhelmed these days–that life is flooded and I’m just trying to stay afloat. Reading Psalm 29 this morning reminded me that even when life seems to spin out of control, God is still King forever! He is on His throne and gives peace during the chaos (my chaos is often beautiful, but beautiful chaos is still chaotic) to all who trust in Him.

My prayer this week is that God will remind us that He is enthroned over our flood and that He will bless us with peace as we turn our eyes to Him.

Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash

Wisdom Plans Ahead

So many of us spend hours and hours playing strategy games, where we have to think several moves ahead, and yet when it comes to real life, we simply live in the moment and fail to plan for the future. It’s wise to think about tomorrow today. That’s one thing Solomon teaches in Proverbs 27:23-27. We should think about the future, and intentionally change our actions today in light of that.

Sermon delivered at LakeView Church on 1/21/2018.

The Suffering of the Afflicted One

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1a, NIV)

Hanging on the cross, dying, Jesus quoted the opening line of Psalm 22. This was no coincidence! Going back to read Psalm 22 is like reading a description of Jesus’s crucifixion, written before crucifixion had even been invented, and written hundreds of years before Jesus walked this earth. The Psalm mentions such details as Jesus being scorned and mocked (vv. 6-7), even foretelling what the religious leaders of the day would say as Jesus hung on the cross (v. 8)! It describes how His hands and feet would be pierced (v. 16), and how they would cast lots for his garment (v. 18).

I can’t begin to imagine the suffering Jesus experienced as He hung on the cross. As I read Psalm 22, lyrics from an older worship song come to mind: I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross. Jesus suffered for me, and as Psalm 22 promises, His suffering was not in vain. The Psalm goes on to say:

“For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly…” (Psalm 22:24–25, NIV)

My prayer for us this week is that we will remember the suffering of the Afflicted One, our Savior, and lift His praise in our lives each day. Thank You, God, for saving me.

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Unsplash

Prayer for the Fools

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good. (Psalm 14:1, ESV)

We live in a society that largely has declared, “There is no God.” While it’s true that the majority of Americans claim to believe in God, it’s also true that the majority of Americans (including the majority of Christians in America) live as though God doesn’t exist. When we fail to acknowledge God, we not only overlook an entire Universe of evidence that He is real, we also reject the foundation of right and wrong. If there is no God, there is no morality–no real justice to build a society on.

We’ve all seen where the path of denying God leads. This is true whether we say He doesn’t exist, or whether we claim to believe and yet live as though He doesn’t matter. To deny or forget about God is to be a fool, and that will ultimately lead to “every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. [Those who ignore God] are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:29-32, NIV).

Sadly those words are a pretty accurate description of our society. This week, let’s pray for the fools who deny God (knowing that sometimes we’ll be praying for ourselves when our actions fail to acknowledge the Lord).

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Wisdom Guards the Heart

This week at LakeView Church we started a new series from the Book of Proverbs called Wisdom for the New Year. Proverbs 4:20-27 has a message written by King Solomon over 3,000 years ago—a message that is still relevant today. The Bible is filled with wisdom that will help us discover God’s design for life and live according to His plan.

Sermon delivered at LakeView Church on 1/7/2018.

The Praise of Children

“Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger” (Psalm 8:2, NIV).

Psalm 8 declares the majesty of the Lord’s name throughout all the earth. God has done marvelous things in Creation. Look at a sunset, gaze at a starry night, and tell me you aren’t moved by the glory of God! Not only that but when we see the immensity of God’s Universe and consider the vast power that is His, we realize our humble estate. What a great honor and privilege that the Creator would be mindful of us! He is worthy of our worship.

When I read verse 2, I couldn’t help but think of Jesus’s words in Matthew 18:3. “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Kids are so amazed by simple things we take for granted. They find wonder in little things we don’t even notice anymore. My son, Elliot, is fascinated by bugs. He loves to go outside and dig for worms and catch ladybugs. Watching them flit around in a jar brings him so much delight. When was the last time I was delighted by the things God has made for us to enjoy, even the simple things?

We get so busy with work and family obligations, so burdened by the cares and anxieties of life, that we sometimes forget that the praise of God is our stronghold in a chaotic world. The Lord is our Rock who doesn’t move among the shifting sands of society. Worship is the bedrock of our lives, and when we have the attitude of a child–amazed and delighted and filled with wonder by the beauty and majesty of our God–then we will find our footing sure and our hearts light.

My prayer for us this week is that we will be delighted by God and respond with praise.