Teach Me Your Way, O Lord

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Reading the Word

Psalm 86:8–13 (ESV)

8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. 9 All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. 10 For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. 11 Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. 12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. 13 For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

Understanding and Applying the Word

There is no god like God (v. 8). In fact, there is only one true God (v. 10). One day, all people from every nation will bow down and worship God as the one true God (v. 9). Understanding this, David asks the Lord to teach him even now to walk in the truth of God’s word. He does not want to wait until later to worship and honor God. He desires to live for him now. David’s desire is driven by God’s love towards him and the salvation he has received from God.

The Bible tells us that one day very knee shall bow before the Lord (cf. Isaiah 45:4; Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:10-11). As David desired, so we should desire to live for God even now. We begin to do this by seeking reconciliation with him by repenting of our sin and calling out on Jesus Christ for forgiveness. Through Christ we are forgiven and given new life in the Spirit that enables us to turn from our sin and live according to God’s word. Through obedience, we honor him as God and show our love 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!

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Raise a Song!

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Reading the Word

Psalm 81:1–4 (ESV)

1 Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob! 2 Raise a song; sound the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp. 3 Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day. 4 For it is a statute for Israel, a rule of the God of Jacob.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Israel was instructed to celebrate their festivals corporately. These festivals were put in place by God as ways to remind the people of what he had done for them as each festival looked pointed to God’s work on their behalf. The particular festival in view in this psalm pointed the Israelites to the Exodus. As part of the celebration the people would sing together with musical instruments.

We too, as Christians, are called to gather corporately to worship and remember all that God has done. Hebrews 10:25 tells us not to neglect gathering with fellow believers. While there are many things to sing about, the focus of our worship is the crucified and risen Savior, Jesus Christ. He is our salvation and the cross is the pivotal moment in the history of the world. Let us raise a song for joy to our God for all he has done!

**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 Went to the Sanctuary of God

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Reading the Word

Psalm 73:15–20 (ESV)

15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children. 16 But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, 17 until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. 18 Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. 19 How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! 20 Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.

Understanding and Applying the Word

It is easy to become discouraged. When we look around and begin to compare our lives to the lives of others, we can easily find things that we wish were different. We see where those who have no regard for holiness or for God seem to prosper while we and others who are committed to Him struggle in life. It can be disheartening.

The psalmist in Psalm 73 has written about his discouragement in the opening verses, but something changes his perspective when we get to verse 17. When he enters the sanctuary of God his eyes were opened. Through gathering with the people of God and worshipping, he was reminded who God was, what God had done, and what God would do in the future. It is through worship that God’s people not only glorify God, but that God’s people are encouraged to live in the world and trust in Him. Let us not fail to gather with the people of God for worship. We need it.

**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!

All Things for Good

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Reading the Word

Psalm 71:19–24 (ESV)

19 Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you? 20 You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. 21 You will increase my greatness and comfort me again. 22 I will also praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praises to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. 23 My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed. 24 And my tongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long, for they have been put to shame and disappointed who sought to do me hurt.

Understand and Applying the Word

Verse 19 begins by speaking of God’s righteousness, which “reaches the high heavens.” When we speak of God’s righteousness, we mean that God does what is right. This is interesting given the words of verse 20 where the psalmist writes that God has made him see “many troubles and calamities.” The difficulties the psalmist has been facing are from the hand of the sovereign God.

So, how can God be righteous if He is responsible for the troubles? Because God uses those difficulties to make us better. As Romans 8:28 says, “all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” We can have confidence knowing that God has a plan to work in our lives and bring us to maturity in Christ. For that reason, we can join the psalmist in praise of the righteousness of 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!

Our Inheritance

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Reading the Word

Psalm 69:34–36 (ESV)

34 Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them. 35 For God will save Zion and build up the cities of Judah, and people shall dwell there and possess it; 36 the offspring of his servants shall inherit it, and those who love his name shall dwell in it.

Understanding and Applying the Word

When we come to the end of this psalm, David calls on all of creation to sing praises to God. Why? Because God’s salvation belongs to all who love His name.

The offspring of God, those who love His name, will inherit the earth. They will dwell in it. Jesus tells us that the meek will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). Paul tells us that all of creation waits for its redemption (Romans 8:18-25). Peter says that the hope of Christians is in a new heaven and a new earth (2 Peter 3:13). And in Revelation 21:1-4, we get a glimpse of the eternal state as God dwells with His people in a new heaven and a new earth where there is no mourning or crying or pain anymore. Sin and evil have been judged and are no more.

God’s salvation is cosmic. One day He will remove sin from His good creation and restore things to the way they should be. Let us praise Him as we look forward to that day!

**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 Praise the Name of God

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Reading the Word

Psalm 69:29–33 (ESV)

29 But I am afflicted and in pain; let your salvation, O God, set me on high! 30 I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. 31 This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. 32 When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. 33 For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.

Understanding and Applying the Word

David’s focus shifts from being troubled to one of praise. We see the transition in verse 29. As he trusts in the salvation of God, he breaks out into praise of God.

In these verses, David says, “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs.” His point is that God is more interested in praise that Issues forth from the heart than he is in our physical sacrifices. What good are “horns and hoofs” to God? Compare Psalm 50:12-15 to see God’s thoughts on this.

Trusting in God does more than bring us through difficulty. It results in worship. Not just the physical act of worship, but praise that issues forth from the heart. When we know the word of God and trust in it, that God will fulfill the promises he has made, we can not only face every circumstance, but we can sing out praises to God knowing that he is the source of our salvation.

**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!

Praise the Conquering King

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Reading the Word

Psalm 68:32–35 (ESV)

32 O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God; sing praises to the Lord, Selah33 to him who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; behold, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice. 34 Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel, and whose power is in the skies. 35 Awesome is God from his sanctuary; the God of Israel—he is the one who gives power and strength to his people. Blessed be God!

Understanding and Applying the Word

What wonderful words of praise end this psalm! Sing praises to God!

Throughout Psalm 68 God is praised as the past, present, and future Savior of Israel. So, when we come to the end, it is little surprise that we are urged to join in worship. In the psalm, God is imaged as a warrior who goes out and defeats the enemy on behalf of His people. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is pictured as the one who defeats Satan at the cross for believers (Colossians 2:13-15).

Our Lord and Savior has gone before us as our conquering hero. Let us lift up our praises and tell of His goodness!

**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 Procession of God

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Reading the Word

Psalm 68:24–31 (ESV)

24 Your procession is seen, O God, the procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary— 25 the singers in front, the musicians last, between them virgins playing tambourines: 26 “Bless God in the great congregation, the Lord, O you who are of Israel’s fountain!” 27 There is Benjamin, the least of them, in the lead, the princes of Judah in their throng, the princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali. 28 Summon your power, O God, the power, O God, by which you have worked for us. 29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem kings shall bear gifts to you. 30 Rebuke the beasts that dwell among the reeds, the herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples. Trample underfoot those who lust after tribute; scatter the peoples who delight in war. 31 Nobles shall come from Egypt; Cush shall hasten to stretch out her hands to God.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In these verses we find the imagery of a king returning from victory on the battlefield. As he returns, he is joined in procession by singers, musicians, and young women playing tambourines. The crowds declare his praises and celebrate his victory over the enemies. In the celebration of this king, even other nations join in and pay homage.

In these verses we read of a victorious king, but this is not any king. This in the King of kings! As He conquers over His enemies the nations come and bring their gifts before Him recognizing His authority and reign. Scripture tells us that there is a day coming when every knee will bow and declare that Jesus is Lord. We see that the people of God are made up of people from every nation, tribe, and tongue as the crowd sings out to praise God for His goodness and His victory over sin and evil (Revelation 7:9-10). Let us praise Him even now as we wait for our King to come in glory and power.

**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!

Considering Our Prayers

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Reading the Word

Psalm 66:17–20 (ESV)

17 I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue. 18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. 19 But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. 20 Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!

Understanding and Applying the Word

These verses conclude Psalm 66. Here we read that the psalmist called out to God. This is a way of saying that the psalmist prayed for God’s help. This is no surprise, especially given the verses that we have been reading in the rest of the psalm. But notice what accompanies the psalmist’s petitions: praise and repentance.

Praise and repentance should always be a part of our prayer lives. When we come before the holy God of creation, He is deserving of praise and it is through our praise that we are reminded of the privilege of prayer as it produces humility in our hearts. Also, when we confess our sin with a sincere desire to turn from it, our focus shifts from ourselves to God’s grace and His overflowing love. When we come before God in this manner, we can be sure that God does not reject our prayer, but that He hears and He answers according to His will.

**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!

Come and Hear

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Reading the Word

Psalm 66:13–16 (ESV)

13 I will come into your house with burnt offerings; I will perform my vows to you, 14 that which my lips uttered and my mouth promised when I was in trouble. 15 I will offer to you burnt offerings of fattened animals, with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams; I will make an offering of bulls and goats. Selah16 Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In these verses, the psalmist promises to publicly worship and praise God for all that He has done. He will tell others of what God has done for him.

Worship is always a response. It is a response to our understanding of who God is and our knowledge of what He has done. As such, our worship is a witness and testimony to others of what God has done. We worship and we tell others why we worship, We proclaim God’s praises because He is worthy of praise and then we tell others why He is worthy. And our worship is centered on the salvation we have in Jesus Christ, who died in order to give us life.

Let us worship the Lord for all He has done and let us tell the world of His greatness!

**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!