The Lord is Merciful and Gracious

The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.”
Psalm 103:6-10 NKJV

Don’t stop reading this Psalm there!!! Keep going!! This is sandwiched in our reading today and the Lord is SO GOOD to have us read all of this today! Why? Well, because again the Lord is speaking to me directly through His word. Probably to you as well.  And the primary thing He is saying is that He loves us and wants a relationship with us.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Psalms, chapters 102-104 (embedded below for your convenience).

We start with God’s eternal love – and it is true and good! Then we speak of His mercies. And finish with worshiping Him for His creation and providence. And after the night I had last night – this is exactly the formula I needed. I also needed verses 9 and 10 (above) put in perspective of the rest of these verses.

So let me tell you about my night. I am 2 days away from launching a business (when this publishes it will be one day)!! If you have been following along you know all the blessings and confirmations God has given so no one can say this isn’t of God (especially when there are attacks or issues).  

So, let us talk about the difference between an attack from the enemy and an issue.  The enemy’s nature is to kill, steal and destroy – to lie – and to bring confusion and chaos.  If it isn’t those things, it is probably human error and an issue. A trial, none the less; but these things happen.
So for example, when I needed a tax professional I had a struggle, then I picked on and her business’s building lost power (chaotic story not worth sharing) – this was an attack.  This poor woman was momentarily a victim of the enemy so she couldn’t help me. Long story, made short – I met with her. I am praying diligently for her and one of her assistants and God had ordained it to bless all of us!

Last night I had an issue. Human error. I dropped the ball with following up on the tax paperwork for the business. I do have a billion things going on and I am doing it all, with God’s help – and that doesn’t make it right that I did not write myself a note to follow up on such a crucial topic.  I realized at 10 pm. I had an initial moment of panic and I couldn’t even think how to get into the system or how to do it. I wasn’t thinking clear. So I took a deep breath – I literally googled how to and started from scratch knowing it would lead me into the state system where my answered were.  I got in and learned they were waiting on me to verify my email address again! And I had follow-up forms that needed to be completed. I stayed up and did all the forms and submitted them.  Received the confirmation that says I will get it in 5 to 10 days.

Then it was late. I was tired. I have been pushing myself too hard, but it is just for this week and it’s set up and done. I lay in bed. And think about the ramifications of this error.
The website won’t publish without it, because I have already set up my business with the host as a type of business that needs to collect taxes. I put all the time into marketing and advertising the grand opening and now it will be delayed. I am talking it out and invited God to listen – but I am not sure I was really talking to Him! I declared that I was well aware that God is bigger than New York State document processing centers and could make this happen quicker. I had complete and unwavering faith that He would somehow fix it or I would have to move the opening day back a few days. God’s will and God’s time. I was fine.

I was NOT fine with my careless error. I was entrusted all the components of this and I dropped the ball.  Since I was a child I was told I was too much of a spaz and couldn’t really do a million things at once successfully. I have always been told to just paint pretty pictures because I could never succeed at anything else. I was always told all the things wrong with me and why I couldn’t.  

DO YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED THERE???

And instead of saying: “Hold my anointing oil and watch what I can do through Christ who strengthens me and wait and see that the LORD is good!”
I instead said – yeah, I am a loser. 

“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 NKJV

So I tried to ignore the condemning voice – I focused on how I would market the opening day delay – find a way to spin it for good. I was thinking through what excitement I could stir about it and keep the interest up. But….

Instead I reasoned out how terrible of a sinner I was – and the sins I still struggle with and that time in fourth grade that I lied and never repented of! Oh yeah… it spun quickly out of control.  My bedroom became abnormally dark and the air was heavy. I went back to trying to pray – with no use. Why would God listen anyway – I am not worthy of His time.

I realized – I fear being outside of the Lord’s will and NOT having His hand on me. I fear Him rejecting me. I realize fear isn’t the spirit God gave us!

No! I shall fight. I got up and started quoting verses on the Holy Spirit! That is the spirit we are given! Sound mind, love and power!!! I changed the Facebook post that was scheduled for morning – and opened my Bible to find verses to swing (since the Word is a sword and I was in need of swinging a sword)!

Then I see a note about praying and interceding for others – and understanding who God is.  I had opened to Ephesians 1.

I said I know my God loves me, but if I am wrong and He has run out of grace for me and I am going down…. Then like Sampson, I am hurting the enemy while going down! And If I am not going down, I am still taking him down!!!  I said one more quick prayer of repentance to make sure I was as right with God as I can make myself – it is up to Him to apply the Blood of Christ and wash me clean – it is up to Him to count it righteousness.  As I tried to pray my throat closed and I felt choked. It was so dark except for the light of my clock showing me the night was almost over!  And I thought, if I cannot speak and cannot breathe, I will pray in my head until my heart stops.

I thought of my list of people I am praying for – and one by one in my head I named them and claimed them for Christ! I named them and plead for Jesus to intervene. I named them and prayed Ephesians 1:15-21 (thanks Mark for the brief conversation on it yesterday and God leading me there).  And I prayed and cried out and prayed and prayed….

The alarm on the clock buzzed at 5:30 as usual.  I had fallen asleep at some point but it had to have only been a couple hours, if that, of sleep. 

I woke up hungry for God. Hungry for grace. Hungry for love. Was it a “Good Morning”? I don’t know. I felt disjointed. Frustrated. I did not feel like I won – but I was awake, so I did not lose.  “Having done all, stand.”

I had to get to work on figuring out what next – how to shift the business – how to make the coffee which all took way to long.  I watch morning prayer time with pastor 2 times because my mind wandered off during the first time I tried to pray with him. He focused on healing – heal me lord from the hurts that cause me to be vulnerable to this type of attack from the enemy!

The tax glitch was human error – not an attack. The chaos through the night started with a whisper in my ear and I surrendered to it a little, giving the enemy room to come in and hit me hard. God won. God always wins. He knew – He was there before it, He was there through it – He was here in the morning. He is still here and still in control.

I turned on the laptop later in the morning, to find an email from the state. They processed my paperwork and will send me the results via snail mail. I immediately start digging for a way to contact them, maybe get it emailed or faxed. I go back to the website tax form to see what information I need. I find the state updated my online profile with approval info and I am able to dig around and get all the info except for one thing. I research it online and through the help resource on my website building tool and finally around noon it was all worked out. God is so good. SO GOOD!

So today we read about God’s eternal love, His mercies and grace, and understanding Him as the creator and understanding His providence. And I have a very real experience with it all. He is so good.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Hebrews 2:14 – Jesus defeated the devil!
NKJV – “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NAS – “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
ESV – “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NLT – “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.”
NIV – “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Psalms 102-104 NKJV

The Lord’s Eternal Love

A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed and pours out his complaint before the Lord.

102 Hear my prayer, O Lord,
And let my cry come to You.
Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my trouble;
Incline Your ear to me;
In the day that I call, answer me speedily.

For my days [a]are consumed like smoke,
And my bones are burned like a hearth.
My heart is stricken and withered like grass,
So that I forget to eat my bread.
Because of the sound of my groaning
My bones cling to my [b]skin.
I am like a pelican of the wilderness;
I am like an owl of the desert.
I lie awake,
And am like a sparrow alone on the housetop.

My enemies reproach me all day long;
Those who deride me swear an oath against me.
For I have eaten ashes like bread,
And mingled my drink with weeping,
10 Because of Your indignation and Your wrath;
For You have lifted me up and cast me away.
11 My days are like a shadow that lengthens,
And I wither away like grass.

12 But You, O Lord, shall endure forever,
And the remembrance of Your name to all generations.
13 You will arise and have mercy on Zion;
For the time to favor her,
Yes, the set time, has come.
14 For Your servants take pleasure in her stones,
And show favor to her dust.
15 So the [c]nations shall fear the name of the Lord,
And all the kings of the earth Your glory.
16 For the Lord shall build up Zion;
He shall appear in His glory.
17 He shall regard the prayer of the destitute,
And shall not despise their prayer.

18 This will be written for the generation to come,
That a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.
19 For He looked down from the height of His sanctuary;
From heaven the Lord viewed the earth,
20 To hear the groaning of the prisoner,
To release those appointed to death,
21 To declare the name of the Lord in Zion,
And His praise in Jerusalem,
22 When the peoples are gathered together,
And the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.

23 He weakened my strength in the way;
He shortened my days.
24 I said, “O my God,
Do not take me away in the midst of my days;
Your years are throughout all generations.
25 Of old You laid the foundation of the earth,
And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
26 They will perish, but You will [d]endure;
Yes, they will all grow old like a garment;
Like a cloak You will change them,
And they will be changed.
27 But You are the same,
And Your years will have no end.
28 The children of Your servants will continue,
And their descendants will be established before You.”

Praise for the Lord’s Mercies

A Psalm of David.

103 Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord executes righteousness
And justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 For He [e]knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
16 For the wind passes over it, and it is [f]gone,
And its place remembers it no more.
17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
18 To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.

19 The Lord has established His throne in heaven,
And His kingdom rules over all.

20 Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Who excel in strength, who do His word,
Heeding the voice of His word.
21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You [g]ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
22 Bless the Lord, all His works,
In all places of His dominion.

Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Praise to the Sovereign Lord for His Creation and Providence

104 Bless the Lord, O my soul!

O Lord my God, You are very great:
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment,
Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain.

He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters,
Who makes the clouds His chariot,
Who walks on the wings of the wind,
Who makes His angels spirits,
His [h]ministers a flame of fire.

You who [i]laid the foundations of the earth,
So that it should not be moved forever,
You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
The waters stood above the mountains.
At Your rebuke they fled;
At the voice of Your thunder they hastened away.
[j]They went up over the mountains;
They went down into the valleys,
To the place which You founded for them.
You have set a boundary that they may not pass over,
That they may not return to cover the earth.

10 He sends the springs into the valleys;
They flow among the hills.
11 They give drink to every beast of the field;
The wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 By them the birds of the heavens have their home;
They sing among the branches.
13 He waters the hills from His upper chambers;
The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works.

14 He causes the grass to grow for the cattle,
And vegetation for the service of man,
That he may bring forth food from the earth,
15 And wine that makes glad the heart of man,
Oil to make his face shine,
And bread which strengthens man’s heart.
16 The trees of the Lord are full of sap,
The cedars of Lebanon which He planted,
17 Where the birds make their nests;
The stork has her home in the fir trees.
18 The high hills are for the wild goats;
The cliffs are a refuge for the rock[k] badgers.

19 He appointed the moon for seasons;
The sun knows its going down.
20 You make darkness, and it is night,
In which all the beasts of the forest creep about.
21 The young lions roar after their prey,
And seek their food from God.
22 When the sun rises, they gather together
And lie down in their dens.
23 Man goes out to his work
And to his labor until the evening.

24 O Lord, how manifold are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all.
The earth is full of Your possessions—
25 This great and wide sea,
In which are innumerable teeming things,
Living things both small and great.
26 There the ships sail about;
There is that Leviathan[l]
Which You have [m]made to play there.

27 These all wait for You,
That You may give them their food in due season.
28 What You give them they gather in;
You open Your hand, they are filled with good.
29 You hide Your face, they are troubled;
You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
30 You send forth Your Spirit, they are created;
And You renew the face of the earth.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
May the Lord rejoice in His works.
32 He looks on the earth, and it trembles;
He touches the hills, and they smoke.

33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
34 May my meditation be sweet to Him;
I will be glad in the Lord.
35 May sinners be consumed from the earth,
And the wicked be no more.

Bless the Lord, O my soul!
[n]Praise the Lord!

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 102:3 Lit. end in
  2. Psalm 102:5 flesh
  3. Psalm 102:15 Gentiles
  4. Psalm 102:26 continue
  5. Psalm 103:14 Understands our constitution
  6. Psalm 103:16 not
  7. Psalm 103:21 servants
  8. Psalm 104:4 servants
  9. Psalm 104:5 Lit. founded the earth upon her bases
  10. Psalm 104:8 Or The mountains rose up; The valleys sank down
  11. Psalm 104:18 rock hyraxes
  12. Psalm 104:26 A large sea creature of unknown identity
  13. Psalm 104:26 Lit. formed
  14. Psalm 104:35 Heb. Hallelujah

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