November 21, 2017

CHRISTLife — An Intentional Quiet Time (Part 2)

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Each Saturday for the next few weeks, we will look in-depth at a few of the most important aspects of having a quiet time—or as some folks call it—a devotional time.  Last week we talked about one aspect of a quiet time—reading the Bible. This week we will focus on recognizing how vital it is to include singing praises to God as part of our quiet time.

If you are like me, you have found that singing and praising through song is so uplifting; don’t you think?  Almighty God is the point…He is the focus…keeping my mind and heart set toward Him is my aim.  He is the reason why I sing praises to Him!

Psalms 147:1, 7
Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God,
for He is gracious and lovely; praise is becoming and appropriate.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
sing praises with the harp or the lyre to our God!

There are more reasons to praise our God than we have words enough to do so!  Here are just a few of His attributes:
• He is full of glory (Psalm 138:5)
• He is great (Psalm 145:3)
• He is wise and powerful (Daniel 2:20)
• He is good (Psalm 107:8)
• He is merciful (Psalm 89:1)
• He is faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9)

And just some of His wonderful works:
• He is the One who saves us (Psalm 18:46)
• He keeps His promises (1 Kings 8:56)
• He pardons sin (Psalm 103:1-3)
• He gives us our daily food (Psalm 136:25)

There is a day coming when all will praise God by bowing to Jesus the King!

Philippians 2:10-11
That in (at) the name of Jesus every knee should (must) bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
And every tongue [frankly and openly] confess and acknowledge
that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Almighty God is oh-so-worthy to be praised!  Psalm 107 would be a great place to look to be encouraged with reminders of what God has done for His children! Throughout this particular psalm are listed proof after proof of God’s goodness.

Psalms 107:8, 15, 21, 31
Oh, that men would praise [and confess to] the Lord for His goodness
and loving-kindness and His wonderful works to the children of men!

The Book of Psalms has been called the ‘Praise Book’ of the Bible.  In it are literally hundreds of examples of praises and reasons why praise is oh-so-very important. Did you know that every single one of the 150 psalms included in the Book of Psalms is an actual song?  Steve Pearson, a wonderful singer and songwriter, has written and recorded many songs using the words of the Psalms and his own inspired musical accompaniment. To my knowledge, he has now written and recorded a melody to each of the 150 psalms!  Here is a link to his website  www.psalmistry.com  Check it out!  Click on a song you have chosen to listen to…this will give you the particular songs words.  then click on “mp3 or midi” (I usually choose midi and listen to a piano rendition of the song). Also you can choose to view (and print!) the sheet music for the song.  I would love to hear how these wonderful songs and website have been a blessing to you!

As I read the Scriptures, one thing is clear: singing our praises is a good thing!

Join Miss Amy Grant as she sings Sing Your Praise to the Lord!

Psalm 92:1
It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High…

Psalm 138:1-5
I will confess and praise You [O God] with my whole heart;
before the gods will I sing praises to You.
I will worship toward Your holy temple and praise Your name
for Your loving-kindness and for Your truth and faithfulness;
for You have exalted above all else Your name and Your word
and You have magnified Your word above all Your name!
In the day when I called, You answered me;
and You strengthened me with strength
(might and inflexibility to temptation) in my inner self.
All the kings of the land shall give You credit and praise You, O Lord,
for they have heard of the promises of Your mouth [which were fulfilled].
Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the Lord
and joyfully celebrate His mighty acts, for great is the glory of the Lord.

Keep worshipping Him and enjoying your quiet time with your Lord!  As you seek Him, He will be found…He promises!

Hope Came That Holy Night

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The Israelites watched and waited hundreds of years for The One Who would come as a Deliverer from their bondage. The Psalmist expressed this desire for help when he said, “Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!” (Psalm 14:7). They didn’t know when or how. They didn’t understand the exact Who or the complete why, but they continued to wait and hope.
Oh, the Hope that rang out across the world when baby Jesus’ first cry pierced through that silent, holy night in Bethlehem when He was born! I can’t help but think of Mary and Joseph on the first night they looked into the eyes of baby Jesus. They weren’t sure of all that the future would look like, but they had the words of angels to remember and hold on to. Through the words of angels that were spoken before Jesus was born, they knew they were picked by God for a divine purpose, and they both fully accepted their places in God’s Plan.
As Mary held that precious baby in her arms, did she fully realize the unending Hope He offered? When Gabriel had appeared to tell Mary about the birth of Jesus, he said, “You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name ‘Jesus.’ He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:32-33).  The angel had proclaimed a promise of Hope in Jesus!  And there on that holy night, Mary saw that Hope had come when this Child was born!
As Joseph looked down on this little baby boy looking back at him, I wonder if Joseph thought about what the angel of the Lord had said to him in a dream, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name of Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel-which means, ‘God with us’ ” (Matthew 1:20-23). The angel had proclaimed a promise of Hope in Jesus! And there on that holy night, Joseph saw that Hope had come when this Child was born!
As they both looked down on baby Jesus, I wonder if Mary and Joseph remembered the words from the Old Testament that prophetically spoke of the Hope that would come to the world: “For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:6 and 7). Through Jesus, on that holy night, Hope had come as the Savior of the world!!!
Worship Jesus with me, would you please, as we listen to my favorite Christmas song, “O Holy Night,” sung by Mr. David Phelps.

 


Dear Lord,
We love You, and we thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, on that divine holy night! He is our Hope to break us free from our bondage in sin and reign over us forevermore as King! Let us remember that Jesus coming as the Hope of the world is the reason for this blessed season, Christmas, and let us be thankful for His life, death, and resurrection on this earth. We give You all praise and glory!
In Jesus’ precious Name I pray,
Amen.