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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A Moment of Clarity

June 26

(Psalms 73:1-20 NIV)  “A psalm of Asaph. Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. {2} But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. {3} For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. {4} They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. {5} They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills. {6} Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. {7} From their callous hearts comes iniquity ; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits. {8} They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression. {9} Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. {10} Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance. {11} They say, "How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?" {12} This is what the wicked are like-- always carefree, they increase in wealth. {13} Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence. {14} All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning. {15} If I had said, "I will speak thus," I would have betrayed your children. {16} When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me {17} till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. {18} Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. {19} How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! {20} As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.”

Sometimes we look at the narrow road of Jesus and wish it was more like the wide road of the world. Our feet can begin to slip off of the path of life. Those who spit in God’s face, live in luxury. Wealth and power come their way. There doesn’t appear to be any justice in this world; no scale on which godliness outweighs sin. We can begin to envy those who have much more than we do. Their lives appear carefree and their possessions increase. The pleasures they prescribe become more attractive by the day. And then, in God’s presence, we have a moment of clarity. The veil is pulled away and we catch a glimpse of the end. We see that they are the ones on slippery ground. Our feet are on the Rock. Their road leads to destruction and oblivion. Our path leads to eternal life and paradise. Stay on the Jesus way. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Prayers for the King

June 25

(Psalms 72:1-20 NIV) "Of Solomon. Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness. {2} He will judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice. {3} The mountains will bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness. {4} He will defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; he will crush the oppressor. {5} He will endure as long as the sun, as long as the moon, through all generations. {6} He will be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth. {7} In his days the righteous will flourish; prosperity will abound till the moon is no more. {8} He will rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. {9} The desert tribes will bow before him and his enemies will lick the dust. {10} The kings of Tarshish and of distant shores will bring tribute to him; the kings of Sheba and Seba will present him gifts. {11} All kings will bow down to him and all nations will serve him. {12} For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. {13} He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. {14} He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight. {15} Long may he live! May gold from Sheba be given him. May people ever pray for him and bless him all day long. {16} Let grain abound throughout the land; on the tops of the hills may it sway. Let its fruit flourish like Lebanon; let it thrive like the grass of the field. {17} May his name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun. All nations will be blessed through him, and they will call him blessed. {18} Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. {19} Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen. {20} This concludes the prayers of David son of Jesse."

The prayers for the king in this Psalm are like statements of faith regarding our Lord and King. He is the royal Son who will judge the Earth and see that justice is done. His righteousness is the model for all humanity to emulate. He cares for the needy and comforts the afflicted. His compassion is as vast as the oceans. He is marvelous in His love toward us. He is like the gentle rain that falls to water the fields. He blesses the land and it produces abundantly. All nations and all people owe their existence to Him. He rules over them all. His time has no end. He outlasts the sun, the moon, and the stars. He will endure forever. He is King of kings and Lord of lords. So we pray to Him. We put our trust in Him. We bring the finest of offerings to Him. We lay our very lives before Him. We praise His name and serve Him with gladness, and the Earth is filled with His glory. Amen! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Monday, June 24, 2019

Sky High Righteousness

June 24

(Psalm 71:19-24 NIV) “Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you? {20} Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. {21} You will increase my honor and comfort me once again. {22} I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. {23} My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you-- I, whom you have redeemed. {24} My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion.”

(Isaiah 5:15-16 NIV) “… man will be brought low and mankind humbled, the eyes of the arrogant humbled. But the Lord Almighty will be exalted by his justice, and the holy God will show himself holy by his righteousness.”

(Isaiah 6:3 NIV) “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

God’s love is deep and wide, but His righteousness is “sky high”. There is no other god like the God of Scripture. Holy, holy, holy is our Lord God Almighty! We may endure bitter hardship; we may be brought low and humbled by our own sin, but our righteous God will lift us up and restore us. His love is not only holy, it is eternally faithful. This is why we sing His praises with all our hearts. This is why we shout for joy to the Holy One. This is why we constantly witness to God’s love and righteousness. Our holy God is coming. The righteous One will return with His angels to judge the earth. We who have been made righteous by the blood of the Lamb will rise up to meet Him and the whole Earth will be full of His glory. Worship the Lord today. Praise Him for His “sky high righteousness”! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Our Lord from Birth to Death

June 23

(Psalms 71:1-18 NIV) “In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. {2} Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me. {3} Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. {4} Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of evil and cruel men. {5} For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. {6} From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you. {7} I have become like a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge. {8} My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long. {9} Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone. {10} For my enemies speak against me; those who wait to kill me conspire together. {11} They say, "God has forsaken him; pursue him and seize him, for no one will rescue him." {12} Be not far from me, O God; come quickly, O my God, to help me. {13} May my accusers perish in shame; may those who want to harm me be covered with scorn and disgrace. {14} But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. {15} My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure. {16} I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone. {17} Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. {18} Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.”

Whether or not we realize it, God has been our source of hope since conception. We have been under the care of our Sovereign Lord since the day of our birth. And He will continue to care for us until we are old and gray -- even until we take our last breath. God is not only the rock on which we stand, He is the rock we have hidden behind. We need His protection, because when our mouths are filled with praise, declaring the splendor of the Lord, we become a target for the wicked. When God shines out of our lives, His light threatens their cover of darkness. When enemies approach us, seeking our demise, the Lord is our deliverer and fortress. We were born with a purpose in life: to tell the next generation of God’s righteousness and power. We are here to declare God’s sovereignty and salvation. We were born for His glory; let us die with his praise on our lips. From birth to death, Jesus is Lord. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day