After encouraging his readers to not deny that, though they were followers of Christ, they still did sin, John clearly expressed the reason for his letter - that they would not sin. Realizing that they (and we) are still likely to sin, though, he tells them that Jesus is both our advocate before the Father, and an effective atoning sacrifice for our sins.
John follows up his introduction in his letter to his “little children” (which, sadly, did not get recorded last week, due to a lightning strike hitting our sound board) by giving them clear instruction to “walk in the light.” Walking in the light involves acknowledging the character of God, living as those whom He has changed, and opening facing our sin.
Biblical scholars debate whether the “Valley of Baca” is a literal or figurative place, but they agree on what it represents - a dry, arid desert where people are desparate for refreshing. The author of today’s psalm praises God for bringing refreshing in this desparate place.
God want hearts that honor Him, but true worship goes well beyond that. Truly magnifying the Lord also affects our lips, hands, and eyes.
God’s works give us ample reason to praise Him. Today’s psalm points out several: how He gives us compassion, how He rules as King, and how He provides us with the provision we need.
Grace is the theme woven through the images used in the Lord’s Supper. This grace has led to the possibility of a restored relationship with God, which we celebrate in a personal yet communal way.
Psalm 92 is the only psalm designated for the Sabbath. It is a song of praise to the Lord, celebrating His character, works, protection, and provision. May we, like the psalmist, praise the Lord and celebrate all that He is.
The people of Israel were under the judgment of God; in this psalm, they call out to Him to revive them. Toward the middle of the song, though, one voice rises above the rest to declare that he is ready to hear the Lord, and will hear Him when He speaks. The parallel to today’s church is easy to see; we, too, need revival, and we will only experience it if the people of God listen to what He is telling us to do.
This psalm of ascent is also a psalm of lament; it expresses the heart of a servant of God who has taken more than they thought they could take. Their only hope is to look to the Lord for His salvation. Like them, we need to set our eyes on the Lord, and trust Him to bring deliverance and mercy to us.
Dalmatians may be cute dogs, but there’s nothing cute about a Christian with spotty theology. Having a proper view and application of Scripture (while avoiding common pitfalls) is vital if we are going to stand when trials come.