Psalm 122: House

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read more about Robert after the article below.

Psalm 122:1–9 (ESV)
1 I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”
2 Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!
3 Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together,
4 to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
5 There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you!
7 Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!”
8 For my brothers and companions’ sake I will say, “Peace be within you!”
9 For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good.

David was glad to meet up with God’s people in His worship. Are we? Going to Jerusalem in David’s day was like going to a Christian conference or camp for us nowadays. It was the highlight of the year.

God decreed the tribes of Israel to go up and praise Him in Jerusalem at set times. Similarly, those of us who have been grafted into spiritual Israel ought to give thanks to God, not just at summer gatherings or weekly church. Paul tells us to give thanks in everything.

We don’t like the idea of judgement. But as Paul says, judgement starts with the house of God. We can’t remain part of God’s house if we’re willfully persisting in unrepentant sin.

We should pray for the peace of Jerusalem to this day. It seems an impossible prayer when we consider the seemingly intractable conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. But we know that when the new Jerusalem descends, all conflict will be done away forever.

Whilst there’s no room for antisemitism or apartheid among the people of God, I think the main spiritual lesson of this Psalm is about spiritual rather than ethnic Israel. If we belong to the Lord God of Israel, we ought to be at peace and harmony with one another.

“God our Lord, we pray for peace among Your true people, not just those who profess You in word only and not in deed. Please help us to genuinely thank and worship You from the heart, for Your honour and praise, amen.”


About the author: Robert is a child of God, the husband of Joy, and the father of Grace. He’s from “God’s own county” of Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. Writing in earnest began for Robert when a friend prophetically told him that he should write. Although he isn’t currently publishing himself on WordPress, you can read the archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com and a few other blogs linked from there. You can also find his up-to-date notes on the YouVersion Bible App. Also, The Believer’s Post is a WhatsApp platform for Christian bloggers which you can request him to join.

Email Robert at bobjc88 @ gmail.com if you want to get in touch.

I Will Rejoice in the Lord

Habakkuk 317–18 [widescreen]

Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. I do not publish supplemental material on Sundays, but I do include a suggested Scripture reading for the day. Be sure to subscribe to this page so you can follow along every day. Thanks for reading!

Reading the Word

Habakkuk 3:17–19 (ESV)

17Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,

18yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

19God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.

**If you enjoy reading Shaped by the Word, please consider sharing this post on social media. Doing so helps us reach a larger audience. Thanks for reading!

Follow Shaped by the Word on WordPress or Facebook.


Are you a writer who might be interested in writing for Shaped by the Word? I am looking for other contributors who would like to write for this page. Contact me by email (csuviking96 at yahoo dot com). Thanks!

 

The Praise of a Multitude

Revelation 196 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Revelation 19:1–8 (ESV)

1 After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,

“Hallelujah!
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
2 for his judgments are true and just;
for he has judged the great prostitute
who corrupted the earth with her immorality,
and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”

3 Once more they cried out,

“Hallelujah!
The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.”

4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” 5 And from the throne came a voice saying,

“Praise our God,
all you his servants,
you who fear him,
small and great.”

6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

“Hallelujah!
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
7 Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
8 it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

Understanding and Applying the Word

What a scene that is presented to us in today’s reading! The people of God gathered together with the heavenly host and praising the Lord as one. They praise him for his righteous judgment on evil and they praise him for his salvation. Amazing!

Regardless what is going on in the world or in our personal lives, we can be sure that the Lord reigns. His plans and purposes are being fulfilled and one day the scene we read about in Revelation 19 will be the reality for the redeemed people of God. With each passing day, I long for that day more and more.

**If you enjoy reading Shaped by the Word, please consider sharing this post on social media. Doing so helps us reach a larger audience. Thanks for reading!

Follow Shaped by the Word on WordPress or Facebook.


Are you a writer who might be interested in writing for Shaped by the Word? I am looking for other contributors who would like to contribute to this page. Contact me through the page contact form for more information. Thanks!

 

One People of God

Ephesians 219 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Ephesians 2:11–22 (ESV)

11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In this passage, Paul reminds his readers that God’s plans and purposes are to create one united people of God. He speaks of the former division between Jew and Gentile, which he refers to as “the circumcision” and “the ununcircumcision”. In Christ, the former distinctions and separations are removed and there is “one new man in place of the two”.

The Church is the result of the union that has happened through Jesus Christ. No longer are there distinctions based on sex, social standing, race, nationality, or any other. All who belong to Jesus are the people of God. When we gather today in anticipation of the gathering of all believers in the age to come, our unity and worship should reflect the truth of what Christ has called us to be: one people joined together as the people of God.

**If you enjoy reading Shaped by the Word, please consider sharing this post on social media. Doing so helps us reach a larger audience. Thanks for reading!

Follow Shaped by the Word on WordPress or Facebook.


Are you a writer who might be interested in writing for Shaped by the Word? I am looking for other contributors who would like to contribute to this page. Contact me through the page contact form for more information. Thanks!

I Will Recount All of Your Wonderful Deeds

Psalm 91 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 9:1–2 (ESV)

(1) I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
(2) I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Understanding and Applying the Word

O how loving and gracious our God is! Take the time to consider his kindness and grace in your life. As I read the words of verse 1, “I will recount all of your wonderful deeds”, I am reminded of the song Count Your Blessings. Let us do that and let us praise the Lord for he is worthy of our praise.

As we think of the many blessings of God in our lives, let us not forget the greatest gift he has given. The Father has given his Son for our salvation. Jesus Christ went to the cross to bring salvation and life to all who would believe. Let us lift up our voices in worship and adoration for such a great and loving God!

**If you enjoy reading Shaped by the Word, please consider sharing this post on social media. Doing so helps us reach a larger audience. Thanks for reading!

Follow Shaped by the Word on WordPress or Facebook.


Are you a writer who might be interested in writing for Shaped by the Word? I am looking for other contributors who would like to contribute to this page. Contact me through the page contact form for more information. Thanks!

God’s Steadfast Love

Psalm 1361 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 136:1–3 (ESV)

1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Give thanks. This is the message of Psalm 136. We should be people known for praising our God and giving thanks. Why? Because our God’s love endures forever! We see his great love on display in its greatest manifestation at the cross of Calvary. God gave his Son to rescue us from our sin. It was a steep price to pay, but because of love, Christ went to the cross.

Too often, Christians are known for our downcast and complaining attitudes. This should not be. Our mouths and lives should be lived in praise and thanksgiving. Our God has done great things for us and his love endures forever! Let us tell the world of his goodness.

**If you enjoy reading Shaped by the Word, please consider sharing this post on social media. Doing so helps us reach a larger audience. Thanks for reading!

Follow Shaped by the Word on WordPress or Facebook.

Lives of Worship

Romans 121 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Romans 12:1–2 (ESV)

1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Understanding and Applying the Word

God wants all of us. Everything we do, every word we say, and every thought we think should be for his glory and an act of worship. This takes a transformation of our hearts and minds as we submit to the word of God and the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives.

We often think of worship as the singing of songs on Sunday mornings, but our worship must be much bigger than that. Singing songs on Sundays is a wonderful and needed thing for us, but all of life must be lived as an act of worship. Worship is our response to what God has said and done, whether in Scripture or in our lives. How we live in response to God is a display of our love for him and his grace towards us. May we seek to glorify him in every area of our lives, whether in thought or deed.

**If you enjoy reading Shaped by the Word, please consider sharing this post on social media. Doing so helps us reach a larger audience. Thanks for reading!

Follow Shaped by the Word on WordPress or Facebook.

Unworthy

pair of brown footbed sandals

Photo by Pedro Sandrini on Pexels.com

 

Reading the Word

Mark 1:4–8 (ESV)

4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Understanding and Applying the Word

John the Baptist drew a crowd. With his strange attire and diet and along with his message of repentance, it is no wonder that many were interested in seeing him. But John knew that his ministry was not about him. His purpose was to point to someone greater. John was there to point the people to Jesus Christ, the one who could save them.

John told the people, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.” That is the role of each and every follower of Jesus. We are merely servants of the Mighty One. Our words and our actions should not be about drawing attention to ourselves, but pointing others to Jesus, the one who saves. We are unworthy, but he is of infinite worth and deserving of all of our worship.

**If you enjoy reading Shaped by the Word, please consider sharing this post on social media. Doing so helps us reach a larger audience. Thanks for reading!

Follow Shaped by the Word on WordPress or Facebook.

The Almighty Reigns!

Revelation 196 [widescreen]

 

Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. I do not publish supplemental materials on Sundays, but I do include a suggested Scripture reading. Please be sure to subscribe to this page so you can read along every day. Thanks for reading!

Reading the Word

Revelation 19:6–10 (ESV)

6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

“Hallelujah!
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
7 Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
8 it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” 10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Hallowed Be Your Name

Worship

Reading the Word

Matthew 6:9–15 (ESV)

9 Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In this passage, commonly referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer”, Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray. Jesus’ words here were not meant to be simply memorized and repeated, but used as an example. We learn a great deal about prayer when we analyze Jesus’ words.

In the opening of his prayer, Jesus says, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” The word “hallowed” comes from the word “holy.” It means “to be set apart.” God is to be treated as holy. He is to be treated as set apart. He is unique and to be revered as God alone. All that we do is for his glory and for his name to be lifted up and honored, as he alone is worthy. When we follow Jesus’s example and desire for God’s name to be hallowed, we are saying that we want God’s name glorified not only in our words, but in our circumstances. Consider the words of Thomas Manton:

We need to deal with God that we may have the end, and leave the means to his own choosing; that God may be glorified in our condition, whatever it is. If he wills for us to be rich and full, that he might be glorified in our bounty; if he wills for us to be poor and low, that he may be glorified in our patience; if he will have us healthy, that he may be glorified in our labour; if he will have us sick, that he may be glorified in our pain; if he will have us live, that he may be glorified in our lives; if he will have us die, that he will be glorified in our deaths (Romans 14:8). – Thomas Manton, Works

**If you enjoy reading Shaped by the Word, please consider sharing this post on social media. Doing so helps us reach a larger audience. Thanks for reading!

Follow Shaped by the Word on WordPress or Facebook.