“I shall not want.”
I love how simple Psalm 23 is. David beautifully states his complete trust in the Lord.
“I shall not want” could also be translated, ‘I shall not fail’ or ‘I will never lack.’
It’s closely related to the statement that all things work together for good for the believer (Romans 8:32). And to the assertion that God will not keep any good things from us (Psalm 84:14). I know I mention these verses a lot, but they’re key to helping us deal with life and they’re related to this idea that we will not want.
Continue reading Promise Two: No Wants
(Okay, I admit, these promises from Psalm 23 are not going to be super cryptic!)
“The LORD is my shepherd.”
I sometimes get to meet shepherds, with their super gnarly calf muscles and their pack of obedient dogs. They generally farm on very rough countryside as they care for their sheep. It’s a physical job.
As you’ve probably been told in half a dozen sermons, being a shepherd in Israel in 1020 BC was quite different to New Zealand in 2011. Back in the day, you had to move your shepherd through unfenced wilderness. You had to fight bears and lions off! At night you had to sleep in the gateway to protect the sheep.
When David says he has a shepherd, it’s big. There’s so much involved in the word he used. A shepherd is a ruler, a protector, a provider, someone Who cares and tends to His sheep.
Continue reading Promise One: You Have a Shepherd
Some things are too popular. Like Amazing Grace. I cringe every time I hear a heathen singing it. They belt out an emotional version of it, but without any understanding of what they sing about. It’s over done.
Then when I go and sing the song myself I’m amazed at the depth of it. It’s a beautiful telling and praise of the gospel story.
Psalm 23 is like that for me. It feels too popular, secular people know it and they even read it at their funerals. But man, it’s packed with awesome truths!
Continue reading Promises from Psalm 23
2010 started with so much exciting promise and possibility. It goes down as the clear winner for worst year of my life. (I guess a pessimist would add ‘so far’ but I’d rather not look at it like that.)
I won’t go into any detail about what made it such a rotter. It’s enough to know some of my dearest hopes and dreams were dashed and there was general horribleness.
One of my closest friends also had the worst year of his life (completely unrelated circumstances). As we look back on 2010 we feel victorious. Sure we were down, and we didn’t do everything right. I’m sorry I spent days angry, a few weeks depressed and several months downcast. But on the whole we did have victory. Our theology was tested and our faith was made much deeper.
So with the aim of encouraging not titillating you, here’s the biggest blessings and lessons I got from the year…
Continue reading The Worst Year Of My Life
Happy New Year!
May the Lord bless you in 2011.
By now many people are one day closer to not achieving their new year’s resolutions. There’s plenty of chatter around about why resolutions don’t usually work.
Instead I’d like to share four prayers I have for the year.
They’re things that have needed work for a long time. While I have prayed about them sporadically in the past, it’s time to get serious.
This morning when I was going to bed I started to earnestly pray about these. And over the coming months I know God will be faithful in helping me. I believe that, because Jesus promised it.
Continue reading 4 Prayers For 2011
It wasn’t my plan to post this on Father’s day; I wrote it last Sunday and then decided to sit on it for a few days to review it before posting. But here we are so I want to say, I praise the Lord and thank Him for my Dad. I’m so blessed in the Lord’s choice for me.
“What if my Dad tells me to build a nuclear bomb and blow up the Empire State building?” (Wherever that is…)
Thanks to listening to a few preachers I was well prepared for that question. I was teaching some kids about obeying their parents, and of course one of them asked, ‘what if my parents tell me to do something wrong?’
I immediately asked them how many times that had happened?
Never as it turns out.
Now of course if your parents tell you to directly disobey the Bible you can’t do that. But what about growing up, when can you stop obeying them?
We know honouring parents is a life long requirement, but there is obviously a point when we can stop obeying them. You’re (hopefully) not going to get to eighty five and still be asking for permission to stay out late.
Continue reading When To Stop Obeying Your Parents
Filled with unrighteousness and wickedness? What about coveters and fornicators? Or deceitful, envious, murderers? Haters of God, inventors of evil things, malicious and despiteful?
These are words you probably don’t use to describe yourself.
So why does Paul in this list from Romans 1:28-32 use words that probably do describe you… ‘disobedient to parents.’
He has a whole list of nasty and despicable attributes, and he puts ‘disobedient to parents’ at the end of it.
Just in case you’re thinking maybe Paul made a mistake, slipping that in there, he has a similar list in 2 Timothy 3:2-5. Once again, disobedient to parents is on the list.
The Bible makes it clear; disobedience to parents is a sin that is high on the most wanted list.
Continue reading The Despicable List