"Praise the Lord I tell myself. with all my heart praise His holy name." Psalm 103:1
The above verse tells us to praise the Lord's holy "NAME." The following are some thoughts I wrote describing the many names used in the Bible to describe our Lord ......
Life, King, Glory of God, Mine, High Priest,
Strength, Guide, Bright Morning Star,
Gate, Governor, Friend of Sinners, Foundation,
Fountain, Everlasting Father, Faithful and True Witness,
End, Immanuel, Deliverer, Cornerstone, Beginning,
Author, Chief Shepherd, Carpenter, Bridegroom,
Gift, Bread of Life, The Branch, Apostle, Anointed One,
Amen, Almighty One, Advocate
"Life" My good friend and neighbor for almost 50 years has cancer and will die soon. Death is a subject that we all tend to shy away from because we are afraid. We are uncertain what will happen after death. So let's avoid the subject of death for a moment and concentrate on the opposite of death which is "Life." We like life. We celebrate life when a baby is born and we celebrate life every year on our birthdays. Have you ever considered that our death can be the celebration of our new life entering the kingdom of God .... if we believe in Jesus? Listen to John 11:25-26 and at the end ask yourself the same question that Jesus asked Martha. "Jesus told her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me even though they die like everyone else will live again. They are given eternal life for believing in me and will never perish. Do you believe this Martha?'" My friend who is going to die believes and as the verse says, "Those who believe in Jesus, even though they die, will live again." My friend is going to soon celebrate his birth into heaven and though my heart breaks for his current pain and suffering, my heart rejoices at the joy he will soon celebrate. Jesus is our Resurrection and Life. Immediately after saying this to Martha, he went out and raised her brother, Lazarus, from the dead and he had already been dead and in the tomb for three days! Yes, Jesus is Life and He proved his power by raising Lazarus. Jesus asked the question personally to Martha and waited for an answer. Jesus is asking each one of us the same question personally. My answer is the same as Martha's in the next verse, "Yes, Lord. I believe." Do you believe? If so, then when you die, you will live again. Psalm 103:1 - "Praise the Lord, I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Life!
"King" Today is President's Day when we honor the leadership of two past Presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The government, many businesses, and schools close today to remember these men. Actually, when I was a kid in school, we had two days off in February. One day was to specifically celebrate George Washington's birthday and one was to specifically celebrate Abraham Lincoln's birthday. I'm sure the two days were combined into one to save payroll money and because getting two days off in one month created a burden on the work load. As a result of this holiday "efficiency," a lot of people just enjoy the holiday and don't really pay attention to the men they are celebrating. We treat another important leader that way. We squeeze so much into our day that we forget about who even made the day possible for us. God created today and everyday for that matter. Just as we should pause today to remember our past Presidents, we should pause everyday to honor and praise God. Our country's leaders are called Presidents, but in Biblical times and in many countries even today, the leaders were kings. Jesus was (and is) a King, not an earthly king recognized by man made government, but a heavenly King who will rule all believers fairly and justly for eternity in His heavenly kingdom. Listen to Matthew 27:11 - "Now Jesus was standing before Pilate, the Roman governor. 'Are you the King of the Jews!' the governor asked him. Jesus replied, "Yes, it is as you say." Is Jesus your King? Can you answer "Yes, it is as you say?" If so celebrate your King, not only today, but every day. Don't squeeze Him out of your life. Psalm 103:1 - "Praise the Lord, I tell myself, with my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my King!
"Glory of God" Sometimes one word says it all, but we don't really understand the word. Today's name of God is "Glory of God." The name sounds easy enough to write about, but what does the word "glory" really mean? I looked it up in the dictionary and was amazed how this one simple word summarizes not only our God, but the heartfelt response we should have to Him. Reflect on the definition and ponder how this one simple word can guide us in response to the Lord. GLORY: 1. Praise, honor, or distinction, accorded by common consent; renown. 2. That which secures praise or renown; an occasion for praise. 3. Honor and praise accorded in worship 4. Brillancy, splendor. 5. Celestial bliss; heaven. 6. An emanation of light supposed to proceed from beings of sanctity.
With all of those thoughts about what "glory" means, let's apply our new understanding to Isaiah 60:1 - "Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all nations to see! For the Glory of God is shining upon you." As we praise and honor God, we worship Him and His brilliance and splendor will result in celestial bliss in heaven for those of us who receive Him and reflect His glory! The dictionary ends with one last definition: "To exalt with joy or triumph; to be proud or boastful." Will you praise the Glory of God today with joy and triumph that He is your God? Will you be proud and boast about your God today? Will your life shine for others today because the "Glory of God is shining upon you? Psalm 103:1 "Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, my Glory of God!
"Mine" What is the most well known word that a two year old says? Unfortunately, it is the same word many of us feel as we get older although we learn quickly not to say it out loud any more because it mades us appear very selfish. Did you figure out the word yet? It is "MINE!" You have seen kids fighting over toys, "That's mine!" I growl at my husband even at my age when he tries to eat a piece of candy that is "mine." However, there is a good side to the word "mine." Today is Valentine's Day and the words "Be Mine" are printed everywhere on gifts, balloons, and especially those little candy hearts that we all love. Did you know that God wants to be "mine?" He personally let me know that this morning. Once again the following is a true story. I have a favorite verse and a few weeks ago I was going to put it on my Facebook page, but then I thought, "No, I will wait and post it on Valentine's Day because it is a perfect verse for Valentine's Day. This morning I was pondering what name of God I would write about. I remembered what day it was and then remembered I was going to post my verse. As I said the verse to myself, I came to the last sentence which says, "He is mine forever." I thought, "Not only is this a perfect verse for Valentine's Day, but "Mine" is a perfect name for God! I got dressed and came out to read my Bible. Important to my story is that yesterday, I could not read out of regular Bible because my husband had fallen asleep in his Lazy Boy recliner all night and I did not want to wake him up by going into the family room and getting my Bible so I read another Bible I had in another room. God had planned this delay in reading my consecutive chapters to tell me something very special this Valentine's Day morning. Can you imagine the smile on my face when I opened my Bible to find the verse I was going to use today to praise the name of God and found my bookmark in the EXACT chapter of the Bible that my favorite verse was in! This verse was supposed to be in my yesterday's reading and it would have been special yesterday, but God planned it for today to remind me AND YOU that not only is "He mine forever," but that you and I are "His forever." Enjoy God's Valentine's Day verse specifically to us today from Psalm 73:26 - "My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever!" God wants to be our Valentine today. Will you be His valentine? Praise the Lord with me that He is ours forever when we receive Him as our Valentine. Psalm 103:1 - "Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord! Be Mine.
"High Priest" I'm sure that you have heard the popular phrase, "He's the GO TO man." What is a "go to" man? Someone we go to! We usually say this phrase regarding someone we would "go to" for answers or who can do something we can't. Historically within the Bible, who was the "go to" man? The answer is "the priest" and the top priest was called the High Priest. In the Old Testament, only men from the tribe of Levi were allowed to be priests and today we most commonly associate priests with the Catholic church. Why was the priest the "go to" man in the old testament? People went to the priests to learn what God had to say and to learn how to live. People went to the priest with their confessions of sin and the priest would offer a sacrifice to God seeking forgiveness. People would also bring offerings of Thanksgiving and give them to the priests who would then offer them to God. The priests were the "go to" man. However, when Jesus came, He came to fulfill the role of the priest so that man did not have to go to a human priest anymore to "go to" God, but man could go directly to God through Jesus and since Jesus is God, when we "go to" Jesus, we have direct access to God to learn about Him, to seek forgiveness, and to offer Him thanksgiving and praise. In fact, Hebrews 3:1 calls Jesus our High Priest. "And so dear brothers and sisters who belong to God and are bound for heaven, Thnk about Jesus whom we declare to be God's Messenger and High Priest." Is Jesus you High Priest? Will you "go to" Him for answers and forgiveness? Is Jesus your "Go To Man?" Psalm 103:1 - "Praise the Lord, I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my High Priest.
"Strength" The following is a true story. I was feeling a little down and worn out yesterday morning. While I was getting dressed, I started to meditate on Psalm 103:1 - "Praise the Lord I tell myself, with my whole heart, I will praise His holy name." I thought, what name of God can I praise God about today in order to give me encouragement? I mused through many of the names we have looked at so far, but none fit. Then I thought of Strength. Strength has got to be a name of God and I needed to draw strength from God's strength because I was just feeling weak emotionally. I proceeded through my morning routine and began my morning Bible reading. I even looked at my list of God's names in order to find the verse referencing God's name as Strength and it was not on the list! I could not believe Strength was not on the list and was even a little ruffled that someone had forgotten to include such an important name. Can you feel the excitement brewing? Because God speaks to us in many ways and one way is our turning to His Word, I continued on my morning routine. I read my New Testament chapter. I read my Old Testament chapter. I read my chapter in Psalms. Then I thought I was done, but God wasn't. He still had something very special to say. When I was done reading Psalm 69, I turned the page to put my bookmark at Psalm 70. I noticed I had previously written something in the margin on the next page. I always enjoy coming across my writings because that means that the last time through the passage, God had taught me something or God had encouraged me through His Word. With curiosity I read what I had written beside the verse I had underlined. Here is what I had literally written ... word for word: "6-1-11 - Before reading this morning I said, 'God is my Strength'" with an arrow to the following verse which I had underlined in Psalm 71:7 - "My life is an example to many because You have been my Strength and Protection. That is why I can never stop praising You. I declare Your glory all day long." I sat in awe staring at my words in my own handwriting. "God is my Strength." Needless to say, I am still declaring His glory. On two days, June 1, 2011 and February 6, 2012, God knew I would be meditating on His Strength in advance and then gave me a verse on that very specific day to verify that He is indeed my Strength. Our God is a mighty God. Will you turn to Him for Strength today? The Lord is my Strength! Praise His holy name! Psalm 103:1 -"Praise the Lord, I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Strength!
"Guide" When I was in my early teens, my dad was personnel director at Disneyland. He had to work a lot of Saturdays and he would always take me to work with him and let me go into the park and have fun. Because he was personnel director, I knew that when I got older I could have any job I wanted so that I would many times muse over what jobs I would be interested in. One job which always intrigued me was the Tour Guide. I think they were officially called Disneyland Ambassadors, but they were always dressed very professional and usually spoke different languages. They would guide their group around the park introducing them to stores, rides, and history. The group was not only better able to find their way through a park that they were unfamiliar with, but they learned a lot so that they could better share their vacation experiences with friends when they got home. Psalm 49:12-14 talks about a tour group and a guide. The first verses say "Go inspect the city of Jerusalem. Walk around and count the many towers. Take note of the fortified walls, and tour the citadels, that you may describe them to future generations." Jerusalem was an attraction to study, remember, and tell others about. And then the next verse compares touring Jerusalem with our need to have a guide as we tour through life. The last verse says, "For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and He will be our guide until we die." Our life experiences are what happens to us before we die. Just like a tourist wants to get the most out of his or her vacation experience by listening to and following a guide, God is asking us to allow Him to be our God as we face our own life experiences so that our life will be fulfilled. Will you allow God to guide you until you die? But wait! The verse said He is our God forever and ever. Does He stop being our guide when we die? No! When we die, our tour of this life is over and God has a new attraction for us to enjoy and He will be guiding us through this new adventure for eternity. We even know the name of this new place: Heaven! Psalm 103:1 -"Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Guide!
"Bright Morning Star" Here in Southern California we do not see the stars in the sky very often due to so many distractive lights from our cities obscuring the contrasting darkness. We could spend this whole blog on that thought, but instead we will ponder the bright morning star that we typically can see even here in California if we are up early enough to see it herald in a new day. Jesus used this star as a name for Himself in Revelation 22:16 which reads, "I am both the source of David and the heir to this throne. I am the Bright Morning Star." Why did Jesus reference this star in relationship to himself? Allow me to offer a few thoughts. The brightness of Jesus' glory can overpower the darkness of our sin. Just like the star declares a new day, we can share in a new life with Jesus if we look to Him for salvation. The morning star announces that the coming day is at hand just as Jesus tells us that God's kingdom is at hand and we must look to Him in readiness for Jesus. Jesus is coming again! Are we watching and waiting for Him? In fact, the very next verse says, "Come." Have you come to the Lord? Have you come to the One from whom all darkness flees? Please ponder the words below of a song my brother wrote entitled "Bright Morning Star:"
Bright Morning Star, all yours we are. Bright Morning Star, our Lord you are. Alpha, Omega, Prince of Peace, We glorify your name.
Bright Morning Star, none shine like you. Bright Morning Star, you're ever true. First and the last, the Word of God, We glorify your name.
Jesus Lord God Almighty Just and true are your ways, Jesus King of the ages, We love to give you praise.
Bright Morning Star, you're coming soon. Bright Morning Star, you are our groom. Amen. Come soon Lord Jesus! The Spirit and bride say "Come!"
Psalm 103:1 - "Praise The Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Bright Morning Star!
"Gate" When you think of a gate, do you think of going "in" or "out?" Whether you thought of "in" or "out," we all basically thought of the same theme regarding the two words. When we think of walking "in" a gate, we are thinking of walking into a secure or private space such as a backyard. When we think of walking "out" of a gate, we are thinking of leaving a secure and private space to enter out into the open where security and privacy and even safety are not so guaranteed. Admittedly, when I think of a gate, I think primarily of going "in" rather than going "out." Therefore, when Jesus said He was a "gate" in John 10:9, I thought I understood. I walk through the gate in order to enter the security and safety of heaven. But the verse is also talking about walking "out" of the gate when we consider its phrase "wherever they go." Listen to the verse, "Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. Wherever they go, they will find green pastures." Jesus calls Himself the "Gate" in verse 9 and then in verse 11 He calls Himself the "Good Shepherd. In other words, to a sheep, the gate is also about the shepherd. A sheep will walk in a gate to find security and safety with the shepherd and will follow the shepherd out of the gate and he will lead the sheep safely to the security of green pastures. And sandwiched in between our gate and shepherd verse, Jesus gives us the reason we should choose to walk in the gate when we hear Him calling us and why we should follow His lead when we walk out of the gate to "wherever." He says, "My purpose is to give life in all its fullness." Jesus is our gate. We may only enter heaven and receive the safety and security of eternal life through belief and faith in Him. Have you accepted Jesus as your gate? Your access to God? Your only way to enter heaven's gate? If not, do. If yes, then wherever you go today, follow the voice of your Shepherd and He will lead you safely to green pastures. "Psalm 103:1" -"Praise the Lord, I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Gate!
"Governor" Last night I watched the State of the Union address by our President. Earlier this month I watched the State of the State address from our Governor. These are important speeches from our highest government leaders telling us the condition of our country and state. The context usually discusses where we have been failing and what we need to do in order to make a correction. Of course our Presidents and Governors are fallible human leaders who may not choose the path that we think is right. But what happens when the Governor, for example, is perfect? When there is no question that what he is telling us to do is 100% correct? Will we obey? Will we understand that the action the governor wants to take will allow us to live our lives in peace? If we answer "Yes," then we need to know that we do have a perfect Governor. His name is Jesus. Listen to Matthew 2:6 - "O Bethlehem of Judah, you are not just a lowly village in Judah, for a Governor will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel." Jesus, as our Governor, not only gives us a State of Our Personal Life address within the context of the Bible, but within this same Bible, He gives us direction of what we need in order to have peace in our lives. We need to turn from our sins and have faith in Him, following His guidance and direction just like a sheep loyally follows his shepherd. Will you listen to your Governor today and follow Him? Psalm 103:1 -"Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Governor!
"Friend of Sinners" What kind of a friend are you? Do you try to be a friend to everyone or to just a select few within your own group. Why do we sometimes push away or avoid others as our friends? If you are like me, I avoid friendships sometimes because the other person does not live up to my standards or expectations. With the same reasoning, I would not expect God to want to be my friend because I obviously do not live up to His standards and expectations. I am a sinner and He is perfect. However, in Matthew 11:19, God corrects my false thinking. Jesus says, "And I, the Son of Man, feast and drink and you say, 'He's a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of sinners!' But wisdom is shown to be right by what results from it." Jesus is willing to be my friend even though I'm not perfect. The choice is up to me whether I will be His friend. Today, as you will spend time with friends, consider whether you will spend time with Jesus. He wants to be your friend. Psalm 103:1 - "Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord for being a Friend to sinners!
"Foundation" I did not learn what a "plumb line" was until I was in my 40's. I only learned what it was then because I married a cabinet maker. Of course I knew how to measure. I would grab a ruler or measuring tape. But how does a plumb line work because it is also a measuring tool? The best answer is to say that if the architects of the leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy had used a plumb line when they built it, the tower would not be leaning. A plumb line is a tool used to make sure that something is perpendicular to the earth because gravity is what makes it work. In Isaiah 28:16, God refers to Jesus as our foundation, "Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem. It is a firm, a tested cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never run away again." It is not a surprise that Jesus makes a perfect foundation for us to build our life on, but the next verses talk about the foundation of our lives and how God will measure our foundation with the measuring line of justice and the plumb line of righteousness. If the foundation of our lives is built on lies and deception and our refusal to turn away from these sins and turn to God, then we will be swept away to eternal destruction when we die. If we allow Jesus to be our foundation, then our lives will measure plumb with His strength and character and we will live eternally with Him. Are you living on your own foundation? If so, chose to live your life on the foundation of Jesus. He loves you and wants to see your life "measure up" straight to heaven to rule with Him for eternity. Psalm 103:1 - "Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Foundation!
"Fountain" When I was a kid, my friends and I would pay a quarter to go swimming at the local park. Pearson Park had a large swimming pool called "The Plunge." I never really thought about the meaning of the name until right now. When we would arrive to the pool on a hot summer day, we would "plunge" into the pool to rid ourselves of the heat. The pool is now gone, but I notice a lot of parks now put in fountains for kids to play and run through to get cool. We all enjoy watching the children dancing and laughing as they enjoy the fountain's refreshment. Jesus is our Fountain. Zechariah 13:1 says, "On that day a fountain will be opened for the dynasty of David and for people of Jerusalem, a fountain to cleanse them from all their sins and defilement." Jesus offers to take away our sins and to forgive us if we only allow Him to be our fountain. As He cleanses us, will we dance and laugh with joy like the children we see at the park do when they allow the fountain to cool and refresh them? Let's "plunge" into today joyously celebrating the forgiveness we can receive through Jesus, our Fountain. Psalm 103:1 - "Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Fountain!
"Everlasting Father" My father was born on December 15th. In other words, a son was given to my grandparents on December 15th. My dad was just a baby back then and my grandparents did not know what or who he would grow up to be. Now let's fast forward through his early life and we find that he became a Personnel Director for major companies like Disneyland. He was also given a son and a daughter (I was the daughter!). My father died in October, 1996. Isaiah 9:6 tells a similar story except the son was given to us (you and me) and this son would become a mighty ruler as well as become our Everlasting Father who would never die. Ponder the verse: "For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be His royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Jesus was the son given to us and yet He will become our Everlasting Father if we allow ourselves to be born into His family. Will you accept Him and allow Him to become your Everlasting Father who will love and take care of you for eternity? Psalm 103:1 - "Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Everlasting Father!
"Faithful and True Witness" Has someone ever told a lie about you? It hurts. Recently one of my employees told a lie in court to a judge about our company. I was very hurt. Prior to court, I read the claims of this employee to my other employees and each one of them not only said, "That's a lie," but they offered to be a witness testifying to the truth. I had faithful and true witnesses to defend me against my false accuser. In Revelation 3:14, Jesus tells us that He is our Faithful and True Witness. The verse reads, "This is the message from the one who is the Amen - the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation." When we place our faith in God to save us from our sins, God forgives us and gives us eternal life. However, when our accuser, the devil, testifies falsely that we are not good enough to go to heaven, Jesus is our "Faithful and True Witness" that we are forgiven because of our faith in a gracious God. Have you placed your faith in God and given your life to Him? If so, Jesus is your Faithful and True witness that you are now His and you will have everlasting life with Him! Psalm 103:1 - "Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Faithful and True witness!
"End" The end. When is the end? Some of us are about to experience the end of high school. Some of us are about ready to experience the end of a career due to retirement. We all experience the end of a movie after we watch the whole thing. What is the common denominator about the end? The end represents completeness. The whole story has been told and all the efforts to complete a task have been fulfilled. Jesus is called the End in Revelation 21:6 - "And He also said, 'It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega - the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give the springs of living water without charge.'" Jesus provides completeness to our life. He brings an end to our thirst by giving us eternal life for free! Just as God finished the work of creation on the 7th day when he said it was finished, Jesus finished the work of redemption when He died on the cross. Everything has been done and complete for us to receive eternal life. Have you completed your life by trusting in Jesus as your Lord and Savior? The End. Psalm 103:1 -"Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name."
"Immanuel" I am going to say a word and you think of a related word: "St Patrick's Day" - You probably thought of "green." Next: "July 4th" - You probably thought of "fireworks." Here is a tough one: "Thanksgiving" - Did you think of "turkey?" Next, think of the word "Christmas". Did you think of "Santa Clause?" Probably most people do and, actually, the answer is a fair one. It is just not the most amazing answer. We all know that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus. Listen to the amazing truths about Him from Matthew 1:23 - "Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and he will be called Immanuel (meaning God is with us." Wow! Not only is Jesus born of a virgin, He is God with us. Santa Clause is gone until next December. If people saw him in the malls during February, they would ask"What is he doing here?" However, Jesus is appropriately with us all year round because He is Immanuel. He is God with us. Jesus is Someone not just limited to a holiday. He offers to be with us always and to never leave us. Will you allow Him to be with you today? Psalm 103:1 -"Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Immanuel!
"Deliverer" As humans, we think in the short term. If I asked you for something I could pray for you about, you would most likely give me a problem or circumstance that you are facing right now or this week or this month. This is the same mindset that the Jews had back when Jesus was on earth. At that time they were under the rule and power of the Roman government and they felt enslaved. The Old Testament promised them that a Deliverer would come to save them. In their minds, they compared this to when Moses delivered the Israelites from Pharoah's rule back in Egypt. When Jesus claimed to be the Deliverer, the Jews did exactly what we do. They figured Jesus would deliver them from their current captivity to the Romans like Moses had done with the Ehyptians. But again, like us, they did not read the Bible clearly. Yes, the Messiah was going to be a Deliverer, but what was He going to deliver the people from? Romans 11:26 answers the question, "And so all Israel will be saved. Do you remember what the prophets said about this? 'A Deliverer will come from Jerusalem, and He will turn Israel from all ungodliness.'" Jesus is our Deliverer. He did not come to deliver the Jews from the Romans. He came to offer them and all of us the deliverance from sin and ungodliness. Will you allow Jesus to deliver you from sin and turn you away from ungodliness? If so, He will take away your sins! Now that is good news! We are delivered into good hands with Jesus! Psalm 103:1 -"Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Deliverer!
"Cornerstone" I'm sure that from wherever you are right now you can see a table or a chair. Let's assume it is a table. Now picture the table without its corners/legs. What happened to the table top? Did it fall flat on the floor? Now picture a house instead of a table. Assuming that it is an old fashioned square house, what happens to the four walls and the roof if you take away the four corners? The walls fall down and the roof crashes in. Basically, in construction, the first corner laid is critical. If the two sides of the corner are not perpendicular then, (assuming our house is square), the house will not be square. And, of course, without the corners, we just proved our house could not stand. That first corner laid in contractor terms is called a "cornerstone." In Ephesians 2:20, the Bible calls someone the Cornerstone. It reads, "We are His house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Jesus Christ Himself." Without Jesus connecting the walls of our lives together, we collapse in sin, failure, and defeat. According to the verse, we get the foundation for our lives with Jesus being the cornerstone through the teachings of the Bible. Is Jesus your Cornerstone? Are you allowing Jesus to hold your life together through your faith in Him which we strengthen through our reading of His Word, the Bible? Psalm 103:1 -"Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Cornerstone!
"Beginning" Well, we are at the beginning of a new year. We feel good to start fresh and to move forward. In Revelation 21:5 God says, "Look, I am making all things new!" Notice that he celebrates newness with an exclamation point! What does that have to do with the beginning of a new year? Well, in the very next verse, Jesus says, "It is finished, I am the Alpha and Omega - the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty, I will give the springs of the water of life without charge." Jesus is our Beginning who will make all things new. Will you begin your new year with your faith and trust in God? If yes, He will give you eternal life without charge and you are "beginning" the new year trusting Jesus, the "Beginning." Happy New Year. Psalm 103:1 -"Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Beginning!
"Author" As some of you know, I am writing a book with a friend. It is his autobiography which basically means it is his life story. His life starts out imperfect and he pretty much stays imperfect through the end of the book. His life continues after the book also and I would venture to say that he remains imperfect. However, what is improving through his life and story is his faith. As his life moves forward, his faith in God is maturing and growing more perfect. As the Author of this man's life, God is little by little helping him to strenthen his faith so that it becomes more perfect every day. Listen to Hebrews 12:1-2 - "And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith." Are you allowing God to author your faith? When struggles come into your life or you are tempted to go off-script, look and do what God tells us to do in His Word and He will make your faith perfect. Obedience to God's written Word allows our faith to live perfectly in God's will. Psalm 103:1 -"Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Author!
"Chief Shepherd" Hopefully, we are all familiar with Psalm 23 which starts with "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want......" If not, take a moment to read it in your Bible. The Lord's name is "Shepherd," but 1 Peter 5:4 calls Him the "head Shepherd" or "chief Shepherd." "And when the head shepherd comes, your reward will be a never-ending share in His glory and honor." Think about our "praise His holy name" verse. If God is our shepherd, then we are His sheep. As sheep, let's boast about our shepherd!!! Psalm 103:1 -"Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Chief Shepherd!
"Carpenter" Did you ever think about the way you use the word "just?" Sometimes we think "I don't matter, I'm JUST too stupid or just too ugly or just too unimportant." We are NEVER just a "just." And if someone calls you a "just," just ignore them. As you may know, my husband and I own a wood working shop which falls under the category of cabinetmaking or carpentry. Everytime I think that our job is "just" futile and meaningless, I am reminded that Jesus was a carpenter (or woodworker) and the people around Him called Him a "just" and I know that He was more than a "just." In Mark 6:3, Jesus' hometown people said, "He's JUST the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon." We know they were wrong. Jesus was more than a carpenter, just as we are more than what we do, we are God's precious loved ones and He uses us for His glory in whatever we do. We are never just a "just." Psalm 103:1 -"Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Carpenter!
"Bridegroom" Someday you may get married and your special someone will have a birthday to celebrate. Will you be more or less joyful than you were celebrating Jesus' birthday on Christmas? In fact, are you joyful thinking of that day ahead when that special someone will be standing up in front as your bridegroom waiting for you to walk down the aisle into his arms? Yes!!! You will be joyful and because God knows we can relate to that joy, He calls Himself our bridegroom in Matthew 9:14 - "Jesus responded, 'Should the wedding guests mourn while celebrating with the bridegroom.'" Jesus was referring to Himself as being our groom and because we cannot envision ourselves in mourning on our wedding day, we should not picture ourselves in mourning when it comes to our relationship with God. "Praise the Lord, I tell myself." Have a joyful day. Psalm 103:1 -"Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, my Bridegroom!
"Gift" We basically know the reality that our culture has made Christmas about "getting and giving." God must have known that we would try to take the attention off of Him so He gave us a verse to put our "What are we getting for Christmas?" attitude into perspective. Did you know that one of the names for God is "Gift." 2 Corinthians 9:15 says, "Thank God for His Son - a GIFT too wonderful for words!" As we celebrate Christmas, ponder whether you have received God's gift to you of His Son Jesus and, if so, thank Him - that is if you can find the words! (As the verse says, Jesus is a gift too wonderful for words) ..... Psalm 103:1 -"Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Gift!
"Bread of Life" One of the most common foods that we eat is bread. Why do we eat? To give us nourishment which in turn gives us life. In John 6:47-48 Jesus said, "I assure you, anyone who beleives in me already has eternal life. Yes, I am the bread of life." The bread that we eat at our dinner table is earthly bread giving us earthly life, but Jesus said that our belief in Him is like eating spiritual bread that will give us not earthly life, but eternal life. At the last supper Jesus told His disciples that whenever they ate bread from that point on they should remember Him. Today, when you eat bread, remember Jesus, the Bread of Life, and ponder the eternal life that He gives you if you believe." Psalm 103:1 -"Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Bread of Life!
"The Branch" Another of God's holy names is "The Branch." In Zechariah 3:8 God is talking to the priests, "Listen to me all of you priests. You are symbols of the good things to come. Soon I am going to bring my servant, the Branch." Did you know that the Bible calls us priests if we are followers of God? According to this verse then, we are to be symbols of good things to come...meaning Jesus.... I have to ask myself if I am living as a good symbol of the God that I love and serve. Consider what a branch does. It reaches out and grows. Are we reaching out to grow the Kingdom of God? Are we branching off of the Branch? Psalm 103:1 -"Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Branch!
The Bible calls us "apostles." This word means "sent one" or "messenger" and Jesus was also called an apostle in Hebrews 3:1, "Think about this Jesus whom we declare to be God's Apostle (sent one/messenger) and High Priest." We are about to celebrate Jesus' birth of being "sent" to us. But what was His message? Tell someone today that Jesus was sent to earth with the message of forgiveness and eternal life if we turn from our sins and believe in Him. God loves us so much that He sent His only son......... Psalm 103:1 -"Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Apostle!
"Anointed One" We all like to be chosen and have a purpose. Many of our leaders are chosen and many times they are not liked. Jesus was chosen by God to be our Savior and the Bible refers to Jesus as the Anointed One. Listen to Psalm 2:2, "The kings of the Earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against his Anointed One." This Christmas season we are celebrating the birth of the Anointed One who God chose to offer us forgiveness and eternal life. Will you receive Him or plot against Him? Psalm 103:1 -"Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Anointed One!
"Amen" When we say "Amen" at the end of a prayer, what does it mean? Jesus calls Himself the "Amen" in Revelation 3:14. "This is the message from the one who is the Amen -- the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation." Jesus is the "Amen" because He is faithful and true. Translated, "Amen" means "So be it." Think how saying "So be it" at the end of a prayer relates to Jesus' faithfulness and truthfulness. Psalm 103:1 -"Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Amen!
"Almighty One" God is the "Almighty One." In Revelation 1:8 God says this about Himself, "I am the Alpha and the Omega - the beginning and the end. I am the one who is, who always was, and who is to come, the Almighty One." As we start this new week, Let's remember that we love and serve an Almighty God. Psalm 103:1 -"Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Almighty One!
"Advocate" God is our advocate which is like a lawyer who defends your case before a judge. In 1 John 2:1 it reads "My dear chldren, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the the Father (an advocate). He is Jesus Christ." Psalm 103:1 -"Praise the Lord I tell myself. With my whole heart I will praise His holy name." Praise the Lord, my Advocate!
May the Lord bless you and keep you; May the Lord make His face
to shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up His countenance