“Applying the ‘Satisfaction Principle”
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. NIV
The Psalms are beautiful, poetic and visually descriptive. The words paint the scene for us to clearly gain a picture of both the dangerous and desperate moments as well as the joyous and praise moments.
Here the words reflect a vision of banquet table filled with the finest and richest foods, a feast that satisfies. As a consequence the author is filled with joy and praise to the One who has provided.
In other words, it is a very picturesque way of putting the very plain truth, which we should be all the happier and better if we believed and lived by, that we can have as much of God as we desire, and that what we have of Him will be enough and we will be satisfied.
There is one search that is true and the seeker never fails to find. That is the search of the soul seeking after God. Our soul will be satisfied with God and His nearness to us, His infinite willingness to give Himself to us.
All it takes is for us to seek Him.
The result is pleasure and delight. Not only that it is nourishing like the fine foods.
Connection with a gracious God, gives our soul abundant satisfaction.
It is so wonderful our lips cannot help be overflowing with His praise. Not only to give God His due glory, but to share with others, how they too can have their soul satisfied.
Praising lips must be joyful lips. When we look at David, who was in continual danger, care and fear kept him awake at night; but he comforted himself with thoughts of God. The mercies of God, when called to mind, support the soul, making difficult and challenging circumstances cheerful.
May we all make that effort to commune with our God, to seek Him, to draw close to Him, so that our praise will be with joyful lips.
A picture of what is to come and more!
God of majesty and power,
Who spoke and this world was,
Who breathed and this world lived,
Who counts the hairs upon our head,
Who sees our thoughts and reads our hearts,
Who loves us more than we deserve,
How can we not bring today,
Our sacrifice of praise?
Loving gracious God, thank You for drawing near to us as we seek You. Thank You for Your amazing love and generous provisions. You meet our every need, as You know them before we do. Lord, thank You for Your Son Jesus that made the way to allow us to draw close to You. Creator, King, yet loving Father, we give you honour and praise. Help us to reflect that peace, joy and love that You fill us with, In Jesus name. Amen.
Applying the ‘Rest Principle”
Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him. NIV
Today we are looking at Rest. This Psalm starts in verse 1 that the writer’s soul finds rest in God. By verse 5 the writer is affirming once again. Yes!, they write...my soul, find rest in God.
It seems to me that they are instructing their soul where to look for rest.
In other translations this verse shows us another way of looking at this rest. The King James and RSV records the verse as:
‘My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.’
This gives us a delightful picture of how our soul can rest in God. Waiting in silence.
Life is a journey and we are often busy doing, as Rick Warren often says we are human beings not human doings, we need to concentrate on being. This Psalm reminds us that our souls need to just be, to stop, wait and listen to our God, as He is our hope, whom we can look to expectantly.
‘There are times when God seems so close that we cannot speak aloud, but are just silent before Him and breathe out our thoughts and desires.’ (F.B Meyer)
What a beautiful description of being still and knowing that I am God. (Ps 46:10)
Let us too, remind our souls to rest. To stop and silently wait on God. Allow His Spirit to minister, to comfort, to strengthen, to direct, to correct. We can rest assured because God has already provided us with everything we need, He is our Salvation, our rock, our defence, our refuge.
Let’s rest in His Word, breathe in His Scripture and really take it to heart and receive that rest that He gives us now, until we receive our final rest with Him in glory.
Heavenly Father, please help me to accept your invitation to come empty and receive the rest I need. Help me to willingly release my fear, my worries, my agenda, and my to-do list. Ease the tension and replenish my body. Silence the voices of doubt and speak Your words of truth. Remove the heaviness of my day and pour out abundantly into my life. Fill me with Your peace, joy, and love. Fill me until the overwhelming is consumed by Your grace, and my life reflects the beauty of resting in You. Amen.
Applying the ‘Awaken Principle”
Do you find getting up in the mornings easy? There are some of us that bounce out of bed the same time every day, ready for the daily routine to begin. Then there are some of us that hit that snooze button one more time to defer that moment just a bit longer.
Romans 13:11 Reads “The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”
So guess what, as Christians we can no longer be pressing that snooze button, as we are being called to wake up!
During the times of Paul's ministry, he was encouraging the people of God to wake up from their spiritual slumber. Those in the early Church were urged to get ready for the return of the Lord Jesus. And two thousand years later this instruction still stands, but is increasingly urgent. Every day that passes is one day closer to the day when the trumpet will sound, the dead in Christ will be raised from their graves and we who are alive and remain will be caught up to meet JESUS. Then we get to spend eternity with Him, face to face.
What precious encouragement to us as believers. How wonderful to be reminded that Jesus is coming back SOON. We have been given the blessed hope of His imminent return, and we are to establish it anew in our hearts, every moment of every day. Throughout our Christian life, our focus should always be on Christ, but as the time for His return draws ever closer we are exhorted to WAKE UP, from our spiritual sleep, and remember that our salvation... i.e. when we are transported into Christ's presence, is closer than the day when we first trusted in Him as Saviour.
Let us joyfully embrace these revitalising words of Paul and rouse ourselves from any spiritual slumber, into which we may have drifted. And let us become alert and ready - watching and waiting for His soon return. And let us seek to use the time we have left on earth.. wisely.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your promises on which I can rely. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Lord, as I wait for Jesus’ return, please help me to be ready to make the most of the time left to serve You by serving others. Help me to wisely use the moments You give me to speak about Your love and the need for salvation. Prompt me to pray as You have taught in Your Word. I wait with an expectant heart to see Your glory, In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
The Psalms of David which were penned many thousands of years ago, are still so relevant in todays world. As we look around we can clearly see that society is full of self oriented people who are only looking out for their own gain. In other words a sinful world.
This is the same predicament we were in, back in Jesus’ day. And David knew first hand what it was like to be betrayed and for his soul to suffer deep distress.
My guess is, either you can relate personally or certainly know of someone who is going through times of overwhelming heart break, grief, anguish and or deep emotional stress. It was what David was experiencing when this verse was recorded:
Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken. NIV
David, like us, felt burdened and despondent, to the point of feeling overwhelmed by his difficulties. Yet despite this David was enabled to turn his eyes on the Lord, and to cast his burdens and cares upon Him. David knew that God would sustain him through every difficulty he faced, for God will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
We too, are increasingly subject to fears, threats, despair and many other trials. But, here is the thing...throughout the Word of God we are reminded not to fear, for the Lord our God is with us, whatever our circumstances, we are encouraged to cast all our cares upon Him, because He cares for us.
Wow, isn’t that such a comfort! Jesus not only suffered the consequences of our sin, so we could be saved to experience eternal life with God—He looks after us in the here and now as well. Why? Because He cares for us. That’s love, true love.
Heavenly Father, thank You that no matter what dangers and evils threaten me, I can cast my burdens upon You, knowing You will sustain and strengthen me. Thank You for the reassurance that through Christ I need never be shaken. I praise You God, that You are greater in me, than he that is in the world. Help me to leave all my cares with You,
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
The Easter period is bag of mixed emotions for us as Christians, isn’t it. We can only imagine what is was like for the disciples who experienced first hand the emotional roller coaster. We have the benefit of knowing how it ends—unlike the disciples.
Yes, they were told, but they didn’t ‘hear’.
Just like most of us today. We have information, but often, we just don’t get it. There are those who are yet to know Christ as their personal Saviour. They may or may not know the facts, but their heart has not yet opened to the truth.
This Easter it is so very important to know, hear and understand the Good News, and furthermore share it!
Jesus did suffer a cruel and painful death, beaten, shamed and tortured in our place. We know He understood the horrible lot before Him, as we read in Luke 22:42 Jesus prayed ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
Jesus, with God given strength, willingly faced those who wanted to kill Him. He didn’t raise His voice or a hand, yet, although suffering immense pain and anguish, allowed Himself to die on the cross. The Good News for humanity, yes all of us, is that when our Saviour was in the tomb and everything seemed to be over, God had yet to have His final word! Jesus rose from the dead, giving us affirmation of God’s promises, hope for our souls and an opportunity for an eternal future with Him.
‘He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.” 1 Cor 15:3-4
Jesus knows and understands you and me, perfectly. Because of the events of Easter and Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection we can be taken from devastation to life just as Jesus was.
Jesus shows us how He can take us
from anguish to peace
from addictions to freedom
from rejection to love
from depression to joy for life
from darkness to light
Jesus is alive today. He is here for you. He is here to transform you too, through the miracle of the resurrection. Let Him heal your body, restore your soul, and renew your mind. He loves you!
God, thank You for saving me. It is really freeing to realise that I can stop trying to do it myself – cos I just can’t. Thank You Jesus, that You are the one who saves. Thank You that nothing can separate me from Your love. Thank You for the freedom, peace, love, joy and light in my life, through You. Help me to understand more deeply your love and truth. I commit to letting the truth change the way I live. Help me to show others Your love and truth, in Jesus name I ask,
This week starts with rejoicing! It’s a celebratory time. People of the day are cheering, and welcoming this ‘hero’. In their minds, this was the man who was going to be king, the Messiah and fix everything.
Crowds joined in with the others and were carried away with the fanfare and triumphal atmosphere.
The moment arrives...they see him coming! That’s strange, he is riding a donkey. Where is the royal horse-mounted king?
Jesus allowed the people to openly praise Him—this was a first, as until now, it wasn’t the right time. But amongst the crowd were the Jewish and Roman leaders who were not happy. Who does he think he is!
We know that Jesus was coming to fulfil the prophecies and the promises told for centuries. Although this appears a joyous moment for Jesus and the people, it is bitter-sweet. Jesus knows He was marching to His death.
He was not simply making an entry, He is giving glory to His Father. I wonder as He viewed the faces in the crowd, did His heart not break for each one, knowing that without His death, we would all die.
Yet His desire to do His Father’s will and his love for us drove Him forward, even into the hands of those who only wanted to cruelly bring Him down.
As we reflect over this joyous occasion, may we too rejoice and give praise to our Saviour. Without Jesus, we would all perish—yet instead, for those of us who choose Him, we have life!
What do you value in life and what is it that we consider precious?
Most people would put money—gold and silver pretty high up on the list. We know particularly in the business world that money talks.
Even in our own daily lives we know that silver and gold are items that are highly valued by the rich and poor alike. But depending on the stock markets etc the value of gold and silver can fluctuate from moment to moment and drop un-expectantly and eventually they will perish.
In God’s economy though, He places value on you and I as higher even than gold or silver. Let’s read from
1 Peter 1:18-19 in The Passion Translation.
“For you know that your lives were ransomed once and for all from the empty and futile way of life handed down from generation to generation. It was not a ransom payment of silver and gold, which eventually perishes, 19 but the precious blood of Christ—who like a spotless, unblemished lamb was sacrificed for us.”
If value is determined by price, we are incredibly valuable! God took the most precious treasure of heaven to buy us out of sin and death and adopt us into His family. Silver and gold pale in comparison to that value. What’s more, the value of His love never diminishes, fluctuates or perishes.
In the previous verses of 1 Peter we are called to be holy. Verse 15 “But just as He who called you is Holy, so be Holy in all you do.”
We are to be Holy because Jesus is Holy. Not to think of ourselves more than we should, but just as Jesus values each one of us, we too need to value people. On our wall is the 6 words of our mission statement. With the centre 2 words ‘valuing people’. You will note it comes after Discovering Jesus. Once we discover for ourselves the immense and priceless cost that Jesus willingly paid for us, it is life changing.
If we are honest, we do sometimes forget that we need to value people just as Christ does. So let us take this opportunity to reflect on the value that God has put on us, put on you personally. As we allow this knowledge to fill with awe of His amazing grace and love, let us use that to fuel us as we share with others. Share this amazing value that God puts on each one of us and the length He went to, to show us His love and value for us.
Holy God, Thank You for your love in sending the most precious treasure to die in our place. May I live each day more aware of my inestimable value to You. May my words, thoughts and actions be permeated with Your sense of my worth — not so that I may seem important to others, but so that I may live in holiness and honor to Your precious gift to me. Through him I pray. Amen.
Applying the ‘’Refuge Principle”
Do you ever feel that God is too big? Or maybe you are just too small? Too small for a majestic and powerful God to notice that a small person, feeling insignificant, is hurting immensely?
Scripture tells us a different story. It deals in what God thinks and who He is and not our misgivings and anxious thoughts.
Psalm 56:1 “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
Last week Pastor Bill spoke to us about life being full of ups and downs, but that we always have hope in Jesus. Part of that hope is provision of refuge.
The Bible speaks of many affirmations of God as our refuge for our soul—here are just a few to meditate on and use as prayers to restore our confidence, and shift our focus on the One who is and will always be:
Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.”
Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms”
Psalm 27:5 “For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock”.
Psalm 18:3 “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Speak out this next verse as your declaration for your soul and make it your promise to yourself and God:
Psalm 91:2 “I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”
Dear Lord, I am seeking You to be my refuge! Sometimes I feel so defeated I even forget to look to You. I am so sorry. I trust You Lord, and I love You so much. Thank You for always being there for me! Thank You for comforting me when I am downcast, for strengthening me when I am weak, and for filling me with wisdom when I lack understanding. You are my Rock and my Redeemer. May You continue to be my refuge forever and ever in Jesus name AMEN!
Applying the ‘Hope’ Principle
Psalm 43:5: “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.”
What is hope in God? It is the confident affirmation that God is faithful, that He will complete what He has begun. It is also a confident expectation that waits patiently and ardently for God’s purposes to be fulfilled.
In other words we can have hope in God because he has proved over and over again, He can be trusted.
God is faithful, He is reliable, trustworthy and ever true to His promises—He can be depended on, and through Him you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Cor 1:9)
We can have hope in God because He is all knowing. The bible describes God as being omniscient—All knowing. His understanding is infinite; His understanding is inscrutable; no creature is hidden from His sight; He knows the number of stars and has named them (Ps 147:5; Isa 40:28; Heb 4:13 Ps 147:4)
We can have hope in God because of Jesus. God gave His one and only Son so whosoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life. Every Sunday we commemorate Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection during communion. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we know we too will rise and be with our Lord for eternity. Here is our hope!
Today, let us focus on the hope we have in Jesus. We live in a fallen world, that is full of trials, temptations, difficulties and danger, but let us turn our attention to Jesus. We have a hope that is founded on nothing less than Jesus Christ and His perfect righteousness—praise His holy name!
Heavenly Father, we praise and thank You for the Word of God and the wonderful truths it contains. Thank You for not only unveiling Your gracious character and eternal goodness to us through Your Word.. but that it was written to instruct us on how to live and to teach us all that You would have us learn. Help me to live in this fallen world with hope and patience as I look to Jesus and thank You for the glorious hope I have in Christ Jesus my Lord. Praise His holy name.. for it is in Him alone that we have a blessed hope, AMEN.