Running from Repentance

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Reading the Word

Psalm 32:1–5 (ESV)

1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. 3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

Understanding and Applying the Word

Guilt is a terrible thing to live with. It gnaws at your conscience. It never leaves you alone and there is no peace to be found. In this psalm, we read that that David felt as though his bones were wasting away and he groaned all day long in agony. He was guilty and he did not want to do what he needed to do. He did not want to own up to his sin. Instead, he kept silent. How often do we do the same?

However, when David finally did admit his sin and stopped trying to hide it, he found something unexpected. In our world of getting even, we expect him to pay dearly for whatever it is he has done. Instead, he finds forgiveness. The Lord covers his sin and does not count it any longer. It is forgiven.

How amazing that the all-knowing, holy God would forgive the sin of the repentant. Yet that is exactly what the Bible says God does for all who acknowledge their sin and turn to him by trusting in Jesus Christ as the one who pays for their sin. Do not let your guilt continue to eat away while you try to hide. It will never work. Besides, there is a better way. Turn to God in repentance and he will forgive you.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

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When I Cried to You for Help

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Reading the Word

Psalm 31:19–24 (ESV)

19 Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind! 20 In the cover of your presence you hide them from the plots of men; you store them in your shelter from the strife of tongues. 21 Blessed be the Lord, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city. 22 I had said in my alarm, “I am cut off from your sight.” But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help. 23 Love the Lord, all you his saints! The Lord preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. 24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!

Understanding and Applying the Word

In times of difficulty, it can be easy to say “I am cut off from your sight” just as David had done. It feels like God is distant and unaware of what is happening to us. It can cause us to feel hopeless.

Even though we may feel like God is distant, it simply is not true! He knows what is happening in our lives and he hears our prayers. David says, “But you heard the voice of my peas for mercy when I cried to you for help.” It may have seemed at the time that God had not heard, but he had. And at the end of this psalm, David encourages God’s people to praise him for his goodness and faithfulness to us. He will preserve his people. Let us take courage and wait for him!

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

My Times Are in Your Hand

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Reading the Word

Psalm 31:9–18 (ESV)

9 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also. 10 For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away. 11 Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach, especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me. 12 I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel. 13 For I hear the whispering of many— terror on every side!— as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life. 14 But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” 15 My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors! 16 Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love! 17 O Lord, let me not be put to shame, for I call upon you; let the wicked be put to shame; let them go silently to Sheol. 18 Let the lying lips be mute, which speak insolently against the righteous in pride and contempt.

Understanding and Applying the Word

As David thinks about his situation and describes his enemies’ desire to destroy him, he is encouraged by one thing: that God is in control. He declares, “But I trust in you, O Lord.” Regardless of the circumstances. Then he says, “My times are in your hands.”

Reading these words shows us the great faith of David in God. He was a man of great trust! We also need to learn how David’s trust in God is an example for us to follow. We should trust God as well. Even in the midst of difficulties, we know that the sovereign God is in control and that he is loving and gracious and good. We can trust him. Let us find the faith to say, with David, “My times are in your hand.”

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

Into Your Hand

Psalm 315 [widescreen]

I do not publish devotional content on Sundays, but I do include suggested reading for the day. This will allow us to complete the scheduled reading plan on time for the year. If you have not already done so, follow this page so you can stay up to date and follow along as we read through the Book of Psalms in 2018. Thanks for reading!

Reading the Word

Psalm 31:1–8 (ESV)

1 In you, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me! 2 Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me! 3 For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me; 4 you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge. 5 Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God. 6 I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols, but I trust in the Lord. 7 I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, 8 and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place.

By Your Favor, O Lord

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Reading the Word

Psalm 30:6–12 (ESV)

6 As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.” 7 By your favor, O Lord, you made my mountain stand strong; you hid your face; I was dismayed. 8 To you, O Lord, I cry, and to the Lord I plead for mercy: 9 “What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness? 10 Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me! O Lord, be my helper!” 11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, 12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

Understanding and Applying the Word

Success can have negative consequences on our spiritual life. That is why Jesus said it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven (Matthew 19:24). When things are going our way, we become self-reliant and shut God out. We think we have mastered life and have no need for God’s help.

David realizes differently. In this psalm, he reflects that when God removed his grace he was dismayed (v. 7). As a result of God’s favor, David praises him and declares that he will do so forever. Sometimes we need the same lesson. Sometimes we need it more than once. We need God’s favor. We need it every day. Without it we are dismayed, just as David. Let us remember that all we have and are able to accomplish is fully by the grace of God. He alone deserves our eternal praise.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

Joy Comes with the Morning

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Reading the Word

Psalm 30:1–5 (ESV)

1 I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me. 2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. 3 O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit. 4 Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. 5 For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Understanding and Applying the Word

How do you feel when you are standing on the other side of difficulty? Most likely a sense of relief and possibly even joy. That is how David feels in this psalm as he reflects on how God has saved him from his enemies. Now David is able to rejoice and sing praises to God.

Verse 5 captures the theme of this psalm. For those who love God, the favor of God and the promise of joy awaits. Even while this life may bring weeping and trouble, it is only temporary and will give way to praise and thanksgiving to God who rescues his people. Even while God may be angry with his people for their continued sin, it is coupled with his grace that continues to shape and fashion us into his cherished possession. We may have to face the night, but the morning is coming and joy comes with it! Praise God!

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

Ascribe to the Lord

Psalm 292 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 29:1–11 (ESV)

1 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness. 3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over many waters. 4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. 5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox. 7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire. 8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth and strips the forests bare, and in his temple all cry, “Glory!” 10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever. 11 May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!

Understanding and Applying the Word

God’s voice is powerful. He speaks and it happens. He is the King of all and sits enthroned over all of creation. He is the Lord of the heavenly beings and of his people on earth. He deserves our worship and our praise.

When we think of speech, we probably do not think of power. Instead, we say things like “those are just empty words” or “give me actions not words”. However, in the Bible, God accomplishes his will through his speech. It is the word of God that shows the power of God. And it is the written word of God, the Bible, that works powerfully in the lives of people to both save and shape them into the image of Christ. So, when you read God’s word, it is not just any word that you read, but the powerful word of God. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name!

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

God Has Heard

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Reading the Word

Psalm 28:6–9 (ESV)

6 Blessed be the Lord! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. 7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. 8 The Lord is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed. 9 Oh, save your people and bless your heritage! Be their shepherd and carry them forever.

Understanding and Applying the Word

After making petition for himself in the opening verses of Psalm 28, David now rejoices in knowing that God has heard his prayer. As a response to this truth, David bursts into song and praise!

O how often we take prayer for granted. Have you ever stopped to contemplate the amazing reality that God listens to our prayers? Why does he care so much about something so small and insignificant as me to listen to my prayers about my trivial life? Yet, he does. And he tells us that we can go to him with our burdens and our cares because he cares for us (1 Peter 5:6-7)! God hears our prayers and that should make our hearts sing for joy!

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

To You, O Lord, I Call

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Reading the Word

Psalm 28:1–5 (ESV)

1 To you, O Lord, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit. 2 Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary. 3 Do not drag me off with the wicked, with the workers of evil, who speak peace with their neighbors while evil is in their hearts. 4 Give to them according to their work and according to the evil of their deeds; give to them according to the work of their hands; render them their due reward. 5 Because they do not regard the works of the Lord or the work of his hands, he will tear them down and build them up no more.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Have you ever prayed to God? Have you ever felt like he is not listening to your prayers? In this psalm, this is how David felt. He calls on God and pleads with him to not be deaf and silent to him. In other words, he needs God to respond to his prayer.

After the opening plea, David continues to call out to God to show mercy towards him. He understands that God’s judgment will come and asks God not to include him in the judgment that will fall on his enemies. This is the judgment that will fall on the wicked who show the evil in their hearts by their evil deeds. God will hold them responsible and they will answer for their actions.

The Bible tells us that a day of righteous judgment is coming. It will be a day when the all-knowing God holds all of mankind responsible for their sin. The Bible also tells us that all of us are sinful and stand condemned as a result. But God is a merciful and gracious God and has made forgiveness possible for those who will trust in the sacrificial death of his Son, Jesus Christ. Call out to God today and he will show you his mercy.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

Wait for the Lord

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Reading the Word

Psalm 27:7–14 (ESV)

7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! 8 You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.” 9 Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation! 10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in. 11 Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. 12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence. 13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Understanding and Applying the Word

What do you do when the world has turned on you? What if even father and mother turn on you (v. 10)? In this psalm, David calls out to God to not cast him away. He can bear all others turning on him, but not God. It is God’s face that David seeks. That is the one thing that he cannot bear to lose.

Like David, those who trust in God and long to see him will. God has promised that those who trust in his word and place their faith in Jesus Christ will have eternal life in the presence of God. Just as David says “I believe I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”, believers today can confidently say the same. So, when the world is turned against us, let us remember that it is God’s face that we seek above all else and let us wait for the Lord who promises to save his people.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!