Tuesday, January 31, 2017


The LORD looses the prisoners.
Psalm 146:7

The LORD does not despise His prisoners.
Psalm 69:33

When God has prisoners, He does not despise them, but works with them so that they might be free again.  Because of their rebelliousness, God cast the whole nation of Israel into a prison of spiritual darkness, but He loved Israel, and Jesus said in his very first sermon in Nazareth that God sent him to set the captives free (Lk. 4:18).  He could have plainly told them that day that God sent him to set them free, but he knew they did not want to hear that.  And later, when he did tell them, they were outraged: “‘You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’  They answered him, ‘We are Abraham’s seed, and we have never been slaves to anyone.  How can you say, “You shall be free”?’  Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I tell you that everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.’ ” (Jn. 8:32–34).
The Father, through Isaiah, told the Son that the day was coming when He would “give you for a covenant of the people . . . saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out!’  And to those in darkness, ‘Show yourselves!’ ” (Isa. 49:8b–9a).  And again through Isaiah, He spoke to the Son, and said, “I, the LORD,  have called you in righteousness, and I will hold your hand and keep you hidden.  And then, I will give you for a covenant for the people, for a light of the nations, to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house” (Isa. 42:6–7).
If you feel imprisoned by anything – sickness, spiritual weakness, a bad memory, or any unpleasant circumstance – please do not be discouraged.  God does not despise you!  He sent His Son to set you free and make you happy again.  Just admit you are in prison, and Jesus will bring you out!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Abundantly Telling

They shall abundantly utter the memory of your great goodness,
and shall sing of your righteousness.”
Psalm 145:7

We “utter the memory of God’s greatness” by giving our testimony.  But to do just that is not the way of the righteous. No! The righteous “ABUNDANTLY utter the memory of God’s greatness”.  They repeatedly tell what God has done for them because they love it!
The whole congregation knows what God has done for the righteous soul, the one who has “abundantly” told them about it.  So, how well does your congregation know what God has done for you?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Spiritual Beauty

Praise ye the LORD!  For it is good to sing praises to our God,
for it is pleasant, and praise is comely.”
Psalm 147:1

Give the LORD the glory due to His name;
worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.”
Psalm 29:2

In the realm of the Spirit, a righteous person who praises God is beautiful.  Isaiah agreed with this.  He said, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD!  My soul shall be joyful in my God, for He has clothed me . . . with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Isa. 61:10).
The Bride that Jesus will come back for and take for himself will have the kind of beauty found only in the holy Spirit of God.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Jesus Upholds and Raises All

The LORD upholds all that fall, and raises up all those that be bowed down.
Psalm 145:14

If something has tripped you up in your walk with the Lord, look to Jesus! He will forgive and uphold you! And if you have been discouraged by any of the multitude of earthly trials we may face, Look up! Jesus is well able – and eager – to make you feel encouraged again.
The only people who fall and don’t get up, or who are discouraged and stay that way, are people who do not want to try again and will not let Jesus help them. Jesus does his part for all who want him to do it for them.
The Psalmist went on to say this: “The LORD is nigh to all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear Him. He also will hear their cry, and will save them. The LORD preserves all them that love Him” (Ps. 145:18–20b).

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Every Day Means Forever

Every day will I bless you, and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Psalm 145:2
If your life blesses God every day, He will see to it that you continue to live so that you may praise Him forever.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Strange Children

Send your hand from above!  Rid me, and deliver me
from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaks vanity,
and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children,
whose mouth speaks vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood!
Psalm 144:7–8, 11

“Strange children” in the family of God are children of God who speak or act as if they do not belong in His family.  What comes out of their mouth is worldly, and their “right hand” of friendship cannot be trusted.  In the above verses, the Son is pleading with the Father to rid him of such strange children, and we know that the Father will do whatever the Son asks.
Then, let our words be seasoned with God’s grace, and let our friendship be fellowship in the light.  Otherwise, we will be as strange children to God, and He will answer His Son’s prayer to rid him of us.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Merciful Destruction

Bring my soul out of trouble.  And of your mercy cut off my enemies,
and destroy all them that afflict my soul, for I am your servant.”
Psalm 143:11b–12
It will be of God’s mercy to destroy the wicked in the Day of Judgment – mercy for the righteous whom the wicked had persecuted.  On that day, when the wicked are destroyed, the righteous will greatly rejoice in God’s mercy.  As for the wicked, they will not rejoice, for they will feel no mercy whatsoever.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

No Hell for Us

The enemy has persecuted my soul;
he has smitten my life down to the ground;
he has made me to dwell in darkness,
as those that have been long dead.”
Psalm 143:3
This was the Son of God speaking through David, foretelling that he would be persecuted, and killed, and then would descend into hell, in the heart of the earth.  Those who believe in Jesus have also been persecuted, and some have also been killed, but because Jesus descended into hell, no one who believes in him will ever go there.  God’s faithful children who die now go up, not down, and enter into Paradise, where Jesus is.  As Paul said, for God’s New Testament saints to be absent from the body means to be present with the Lord (2Cor. 5:8).

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Help of the Spirit

Enter not into judgment with your servant,
for in your sight shall no man living be justified.
Psalm 143:2

There is no way that man, on his own, can stand before God clean and acceptable.  Jesus said it this way: “With men, it is impossible” (Mk. 10:27).
Thankfully, that is not all that Jesus said.  Here is the whole sentence: “With men it is impossible, but not with God.  For with God all things are possible.”  In other words, with God’s help, men can stand clean and acceptable before Him.  Jesus suffered and died to make God’s help available to us, the help of the Spirit.  Without the Spirit, no man will be acceptable to God on the Day of Judgment.  But God will save those who receive the Spirit and walk in it.

Friday, January 20, 2017


Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise your name!
Psalm 142:7a

There are many prisons in this life.  Sickness is a prison; fear is a prison; confusion is a prison; ignorance is a prison; being surrounded by people who slander and hate you is a prison; the human body itself is a prison; and death is a prison.  
The Son of God from heaven came into our prisons.  But the Father set him free from them all, and He promised the Son that he would be surrounded forever with the people who followed him out of the prisons of this life.  That precious promise thrilled the Son.  It is what the Son was speaking of in the last half of the verse quoted above, when he said to the Father, “The righteous shall compass me about, for you shall deal bountifully with me” (Ps. 142:7b).

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Demons Love Holy, Joyous Singing

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down.
Yea, we wept when we remembered Zion.
For there, they that carried us away captive required of us a song,
and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying,
‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’
Psalm 137:1, 3

The wicked who take God’s people captive love their holy, joyous singing, and want to hear it.  The singing of the children of God reminds demons of the music they once heard in heaven before they were forever cast out.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Living Testimony

Let my prayer be set forth before you as incense,
and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Psalm 141:2

This was the Son, asking the Father, for our sakes, to replace worship in ceremonies with worship in spirit and truth.  God answered His Son’s prayer, but for it to happen, the Son first had to come to earth and pay the awful price of the cross.
To worship in ceremonies denies that God ever answered the Son’s prayer.  Ceremonial worship is a testimony that the Son prayed that earnest prayer of Psalm 141:2 in vain.  But every time we worship in spirit and truth, we are part of God’s answer to the Son’s prayer, and living testimonies to God’s love for His Son.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

If Our Life Is Good

The upright shall dwell in your presence.”
Psalm 140:13
It is useless to spend time worrying about whether or not we will be saved in the end; that decision is not ours to make.  It is wiser to give our attention to how we live our lives.  If our lives are good in God’s sight, our eternal peace will be secured.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Best Way To Cover Your Head

O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation,
you have covered my head in the day of battle.
As for the head of those who compass me about,
let the mischief of their own lips cover them.”
Psalm 140:7, 9

To have God “cover your head” with His strength is to have Him protect you.  But He can also cover heads with trouble and sorrow by causing the ungodly to reap their sinful deeds.
The safest thing to do is to have Jesus as your head.  He will always be covered with God’s greatest blessings, for God has made him “most blessed forever” (Ps. 21:6).

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Perfect Hatred

Do not I hate them, O LORD, who hate you?
And am not I grieved with those who rise up against you?
I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.”
Psalm 139:21–22

Hatred, like anger, can be a holy thing.  After reproving the pastor in ancient Ephesus, Jesus told him that there was something about him that was pleasing to God; namely, “You hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate” (Rev. 2:6).
Pray for the wisdom to hate what God hates, and for the power to hate the way God hates.  His is perfect hatred.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Choose Good Companions

You will surely slay the wicked, O God.
Depart from me, therefore, you bloody men!
Psalm 139:19

God will indeed slay the wicked.  That is why it is not wise to have wicked companions.  Companions are those with whom you have such a close relationship that they influence you.
Show respect and do good to everyone, but choose your friends, your companions, carefully.  Solomon told us why: “He who walks with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed” (Prov. 13:20).

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The First Thing Created

You created my inner parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.”
Psalm 139:13

The word translated “created” in this verse is not the usual word for “create”, but since God is the One doing the work, “create” is appropriate.
“Create” is also appropriate in Proverbs 8, where the Son of God is talking about how he came into being: “The LORD created me the beginning of His way, the first of His works.  I was anointed from eternity, before the beginning, before earth existed” (Prov. 8:22–23).
What wonderful things about our heavenly Father are revealed in the fact that in the beginning, of all the numberless possibilities available to Him, the first thing He created was somebody – a Son – to love!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

He Knew You

In your book all my members were written . . .
when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139:16

The Son of God was declaring in this verse from Psalm 139 that God wrote the name of every member of the body of Christ in His Book of Life before there was a body of Christ.  In the New Testament, this is confirmed for us by John when he said the names of those who are in Christ were written in God’s Book before the world began (Rev. 13:8; 17:8).
God knew you, and loved you, and wrote your name in His book a very long time ago.  When you were born again into His family, He was very glad to finally have you actually be here.  It was His good pleasure to give you His Spirit.

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Rod of God

For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous,
lest the righteous put forth their hands to iniquity.
Psalm 125:3
It is always God’s chastening rod that is upon the righteous, not the rod of Satan, or of evil men.  If the wicked were in charge of chastening God’s children, they would be so abused that they would be driven to resort to measures that are not godly.   God chastises His children, not the wicked, and in doing so, He never goes too far or provokes His children to do evil.  David was comforted by God’s rod, not tormented by it.  He even sang a song about it: “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.  Your rod and your staff they comfort me” (Ps. 23:12, 4).

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Before the Gods

I will praise you with my whole heart! 
Before the gods will I sing you praise!
Psalm 138:1

The “gods” before whom David said he would sing praise to God were men who were in high positions on earth.  They were the wealthy rulers and judges in Israel.
Only a few are so consumed with love for God that they are not concerned with who is watching when it is time to pray or praise God.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Our Jerusalem

If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
If I do not remember you, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth,
if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
Psalm 137:5--6

But the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.”
Galatians 4:26

And I [John] saw the holy city, new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.”
Revelation 21:2

Nothing in this world compares to our hope of entering the new Jerusalem.  It is so precious that many have given up their lives for it.  In everything you do or say, remember the new Jerusalem, a place of perfect peace and joy, where there is no sadness, pain, or death.
What a happy day it will be when we enter into God's beautiful new Jerusalem!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Becoming Like What You Worship

The idols of the heathen are silver and gold,
the work of men’s hands.
They have mouths, but they do not speak;
they have eyes, but they do not see;
they have ears, but they do not hear;
neither is there any breath in their mouths.
They that make them are like them;
so is every one that trusts in them.
Psalm 135:15–18

You become like what you worship.  Your soul is shaped by the object of its praise.  Those who worship falsely become false.  Then, worship the true and living God so that you may become true, and live.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

God is Ahead of Us

Talking with my wife Barbara early this morning about the section of the Iron Kingdom manuscript we read last night, my soul was awed, again, by a realization of how great God’s work is!  “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judgments, and inscrutable His ways!  Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor?” (Rom. 11:33–34).  I had to write and tell you about it.
It was about twenty years before Jesus was born that God changed Rome from a Republic governed by Senators into an Empire governed by one man, a king whom the Romans called an emperor.  In making this change, God was setting up a choice for His people between His dear Son and the Empire of man, a choice between the Spirit and the flesh.  We know that God’s New Testament people chose the flesh instead of the Spirit because they rejected Paul’s gospel of the Spirit and devised their own fleshly religion, Christianity, instead.  But the following portion of Scripture shows us that the Jews chose the Empire over the Son first, years before the believing Gentiles did:

John 19
13. Pilate led Jesus outside and sat on the judicial bench,
14. and he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 
15. But they cried out, “Away with him! Away!  Crucify him!”  Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priest answered, “We have no king but Caesar!

Before God changed Rome into an Empire, there was no Caesar for the Jews to choose as their king instead of His Son.  Before God changed Rome into an Empire, they could not have said, “We have no king but Caesar!”  But decades before He sent His Son into the world, God had prepared an alternative king for those among His people who would not have His Son.
God is ahead of us all, creating paths for our feet that will accommodate the hidden desire of our hearts.  When we make our choice, whether it be right or wrong, the choice will seem right to us, whether we be among the few who choose the Son of God or among the many who choose the Empire of man.
No wonder David prayed that God would put right desires in his heart.  And he warned his son Solomon to make every effort to keep his heart pure, “for out of it”, he said, “are the issues of life.”
Somebody help me praise God!  Who would not fear Him?

The Power of Unity

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
for brothers to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious ointment upon the head
that ran down upon the beard,even Aaron’s beard,
that went down to the skirts of his garments.”
Psalm 133:1–2

The anointing oil that was poured on Aaron’s head made Aaron the high priest of Israel.  It gave him great authority.  In some cases, he even had the power of life and death over his fellow Israelites.
In this Psalm, David is saying that when the people of God are united in His light, their decisions carry weight equal to that of the high priest of Israel.  Unity in Christ brings the anointing of Christ to the body of Christ.
Jesus said it this way: “Again, I tell you truly that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything at all that they ask, it will be done for them by my Father who is in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there, in their midst” (Mt. 18:19–20).

Sunday, January 1, 2017

God’s Power To Forgive

“If you, LORD, should mark iniquities, O lord, who shall stand?
But there is forgiveness with you, that you may be feared.
Psalm 130:3–4

God’s power to forgive sin is a reason to fear him, just as David said.  For if God can forgive, He can also choose not to, and the salvation of your soul depends upon your being forgiven.
Jesus was right, as always, when he warned his disciples, “Don’t be afraid of those who kill the body but can’t kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” (Mt. 10:28).  In other words, “Fear Him who is able to forgive you.”