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!

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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!

The Lord Is My Light and Salvation

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I do not publish devotional content on Sundays, but I do include the day’s suggested reading. If you have not done so already, please take a moment and follow this page so you can join us in reading through the Book of Psalms in 2018. Thanks for reading!

Reading the Word

Psalm 27:1–6 (ESV)

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. 3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. 4 One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. 5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. 6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

I Love Where Your Glory Dwells

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Reading the Word

Psalm 26:6–12 (ESV)

6 I wash my hands in innocence and go around your altar, O Lord, 7 proclaiming thanksgiving aloud, and telling all your wondrous deeds. 8 O Lord, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells. 9 Do not sweep my soul away with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men, 10 in whose hands are evil devices, and whose right hands are full of bribes. 11 But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me. 12 My foot stands on level ground; in the great assembly I will bless the Lord.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In the second half of this psalm, David again appeals to his integrity (v. 11) and his innocence before God. He uses them as the basis for his plea towards God to not sweep him away with sinners and bloodthirsty men.

As we come to this psalm we see the close connection between love for the Lord and his glory and our personal conduct. The two go hand in hand. When our hearts are fixed on God it changes the direction of our lives. We change our actions, not because we must, but because we desire to out of love. Our actions become our worship of the God we love and we long to bless 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!

I Have Walked in Integrity

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Reading the Word

Psalm 26:1–5 (ESV)

1 Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. 2 Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind. 3 For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness. 4 I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites. 5 I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Integrity is defined as “the state of being whole and undivided”. David appeals to his own integrity before the Lord in this psalm as he calls out to God to test his heart and mind. Is David undivided in his love for God? Has he truly committed himself (all of himself) to living for the Lord?

Integrity is a character trait that is often lacking in the world today. We often say one thing and then do another. Or, we act one way in certain times and places and then act another way when the environment changes. One day we will stand before an all-knowing God and our hearts and minds will be tested. May we be able to say with David that we have walked in integrity.

**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!

Be Gracious to Me

Bible Prayer

Reading the Word

Psalm 25:15–22 (ESV)

15 My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net. 16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. 17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. 18 Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins. 19 Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me. 20 Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. 21 May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you. 22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Here we find the words of one who is trusting in God to rescue him from his enemies. David’s eyes are fixed on the Lord as his hope. Then he calls on God to bring him out of his distress and asks for the forgiveness of his sins.

Notice David’s plea for grace and his repentant heart as he cries out to God for deliverance. This is how we are told in Scripture to approach God. We are to repent of our sins and place our faith in Jesus Christ. Through our faith in him we are saved by God’s grace. He rescues us from condemnation and saves us to eternal life with him. Today, turn from your sins and ask God to show his grace to you. You can be confident that he will do what he has promised.

**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!

The Lord Leads the Humble

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Reading the Word

Psalm 25:8–14 (ESV)

8 Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. 9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. 10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. 11 For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great. 12 Who is the man who fears the Lord? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose. 13 His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land. 14 The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Humility is not easy. It requires us to admit that we do not know it all. It also requires us to admit that we need help. This psalm teaches us that it is the humble that the Lord instructs and leads. The proud do not receive instruction nor are they willing to follow.

For those who are able to turn to God, he offers to teach them what is right and instruct them in the choices they should make. The Bible tells us that when we turn to God in faith that we are given new life through the work of the Holy Spirit and that God begins to work in us to transform us into people who love what is pure and holy. And one day all of God’s people will be with him for eternity and our transformation will be complete. There will be no more sin and the children of God will be holy as he is holy.

**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!

O My God, in You I Trust

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Reading the Word

Psalm 25:1–7 (ESV)

1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. 2 O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. 3 Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. 4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. 5 Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. 6 Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. 7 Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!

Understanding and Applying the Word

The saying “God helps those who helps themselves” is popular and is often attributed to the Bible. However, the phrase is nowhere to be found in Scripture nor is its sentiment. Rather, David’s words in Psalm 25 tell us the opposite. God helps those who trust in him.

The message of the Bible is that we cannot help ourselves. We need God to save us. And that is exactly what God does for those who place their trust in him and his word. God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to die for the sins of mankind. All who acknowledge their sin and turn to Christ for forgiveness find the salvation they need and a God who is gracious and loving. Will you trust in him today?

**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!

The King of Glory

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Reading the Word

Psalm 24:7–10 (ESV)

7 Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle! 9 Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah

Understanding and Applying the Word

At the close of this psalm, the Lord is pictured as a King returning from victory on the battlefield. The cry is for the gates to be lifted. Let the doors be opened so the victorious King can enter the city. This is how kings were received after success in battle. It was a grand occasion with much celebration and joy.

Who is the King of glory? Who is the victorious King who deserves adoration and praise? It is the Lord of hosts! He is the King of glory. He has triumphed over sin and death at the cross of Calvary and has given life to all who will call on his name. Jesus Christ is the King of glory. Let us rejoice in his victory on our behalf!

**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!