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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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!

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!

The Earth Is the Lord’s

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I do not publish devotional content on Sundays, but I do include the day’s suggested reading. Please follow this page and join us as we are reading through the Book of Psalms in 2018.

Reading the Word

Psalm 24:1–6 (ESV)

1 The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, 2 for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. 3 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. 5 He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah

Kingship Belongs to the Lord

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Reading the Word

Psalm 22:27–31 (ESV)

27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. 28 For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations. 29 All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive. 30 Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; 31 they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Now, David gives his highest praise to the Lord. Because of God’s deliverance and salvation, all will worship before him. Kingship belongs to the Lord! He is King of kings and Lord of lords!

In verse 29 we are told that even the “prosperous” of the earth will worship. The literal Hebrew reads “all of the fat ones”, which speaks of those who have been self-sufficient because of their many possessions. Even they will worship the Lord as King.

One day soon all will bow down before God and worship him as King. And as they worship, they will know and proclaim that he is righteous and that he has “done it”. The Lord has conquered evil and delivered his people through the cross at Calvary. Let the world rejoice and give him the praise he is worthy of!

**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 Will Tell of Your Name

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Reading the Word

Psalm 22:19–26 (ESV)

19 But you, O Lord, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid! 20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog! 21 Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen! 22 I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you: 23 You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel! 24 For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him. 25 From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will perform before those who fear him. 26 The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord! May your hearts live forever!

Understanding and Applying the Word

The previous verses describe one who is trusting in God to deliver him, even in the worst of situations – death itself! Now, the psalm turns to praise as God has come to the rescue and given deliverance. “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you,” declares the psalmist. He is overwhelmed with what God has done and wants to tell others.

This is exactly what has been done for every believer. We have been given salvation through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. Our sins have been atoned for and now we have been set free from condemnation. What are we to do in response? We are to go out and tell the world of our great God and of the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. Let the world praise him! He is the God who saves!

**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 Exalted, O Lord

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Reading the Word

Psalm 21:8–13 (ESV)

8 Your hand will find out all your enemies; your right hand will find out those who hate you. 9 You will make them as a blazing oven when you appear. The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath, and fire will consume them. 10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth, and their offspring from among the children of man. 11 Though they plan evil against you, though they devise mischief, they will not succeed. 12 For you will put them to flight; you will aim at their faces with your bows. 13 Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power.

Understanding and Applying the Word

The second half of this psalm is a sobering reminder that God’s enemies will be judged. There is coming a day when God’s patient endurance of sin and rebellion will come to and end and his wrath will be poured out on an unbelieving world. At that time, no one will escape.

The redeemed of God look forward to a day when evil is finally judged. God has promised a new heaven and a new earth where sin is no more and where the people of God will be with him for eternity. In that day, all believers will stand in unity and praise God for his power in defeating evil and for his grace in saving sinners who turn to Christ for forgiveness and new life. Let his name be exalted!

**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 Lord, In Your Strength

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I do not publish devotional content on Sundays, but I do publish suggested reading for the day. I hope you enjoy reading along each day as we work our way through the Psalms in 2018. If you have not done so already, be sure to subscribe to this page.

Reading the Word

Psalm 21:1–7 (ESV)

1 O Lord, in your strength the king rejoices, and in your salvation how greatly he exults! 2 You have given him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah 3 For you meet him with rich blessings; you set a crown of fine gold upon his head. 4 He asked life of you; you gave it to him, length of days forever and ever. 5 His glory is great through your salvation; splendor and majesty you bestow on him. 6 For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence. 7 For the king trusts in the Lord, and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.

The Law of the Lord Is Perfect

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Reading the Word

Psalm 19:7–14 (ESV)

7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; 8 the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; 9 the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. 11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. 12 Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. 13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In verses 1-6, this psalm teaches us that we can know things about God just by observing the created world around us. We see things like his great power, his beauty, and his care. This is what theologians refer to as natural revelation: what nature reveals to us about God.

Now, in verses 7-14, we turn to what theologians refer to as special revelation: the things revealed to us in the word of God. The psalm tells us that God’s word is perfect, true, and right and to be desired above all things. It revives the soul, it makes wise, it causes the heart to rejoice, and it warns.

In nature we find the power, beauty, and care of God on display. In Scripture, God’s special word to mankind, we find the truths of forgiveness and redemption and salvation through grace. May we find joy in God’s word to us as we respond in obedience and thanksgiving.

**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!