In this prayer, King David was acknowledging that it was only from God – the source of everything – that he possessed abilities and achievements. David was also acknowledging the sovereignty and authorship of God as he viewed the world around him. Later, his son Solomon would write in Ecclesiastes 5:19-20, ” When God gives any man wealth and possessions,and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work – this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.” Recognizing and thanking God for His benevolence in our lives gives rise to one of the greatest gifts we can ever receive…it’s peace and contentment.
Truth comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in you. We are to be firmly established in that truth, which is ultimate, absolute, and divinely revealed, but at the same time difficult to distinguish from all the world’s noise. That still small voice is a whisper against the clamber of everything around us. Oh how wonderful it would be if the Holy Spirit had a blow-horn poised by my ear to direct me! But instead I must listen…and listen acutely for His voice. Do you want to know the truth? Then you must train your ears to listen carefully, blocking out the din around you and disciplining your mind . As this verse says, the truth lives within you…you just need to listen.
Across the span of the Bible, God has always been very emphatic to mankind…”I will not yield My glory to another.” (Isaiah 48:11) So why do we continue to worship objects in place of God? When our love is focused on man-made idols rather than God, our devotion is deeply divided. We want to serve God…but our “things” are always getting in way. These “things” have a way of sucking time, passion, and energy from us until there’s nothing left for God. And in the end what do we have left? Just a never-ending need for more “things”.
When Jesus told His disciples that they were the salt of the earth He meant it both figuratively and literally. Within our bodies are electrolytes – minerals (sodium, chloride, etc.) that are essential for life… without them, our heart, nerves, and muscles would malfunction. “To be the salt of the earth” defined is a person that is considered a representative of the best elements of society. It’s someone chosen and capable of effectively demonstrating what we stand for. We all have been called to be the salt of the earth…chosen by God to represent Him and the Gospel Message to the world.
Most of us have a very short attention span. So attempting to understand the concept of forever more can be mind-boggling. We can’t stay focused on something for 15 minutes, and this verse tells us to praise the Lord for an indefinite, limitless amount of time! But if we think about forever more in another way…someday we’ll find ourselves in the very Throne Room of God singing in the heavenly choir, “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13) …and time won’t matter anymore, for we’ll be in the presence of the Lord.
Faith is demonstrated by its works. And when we serve and care for other’s needs, we are actively showing the Lord’s unconditional (Agape) love for us. But don’t think that every time you help others it has to be big, grand, or showy…for Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:42 that just offering a cup of cold water to someone who needs it is a good work. In fact, the very basic definition of the Greek word for “help” in this verse means to wait tables. God will never overlook or ignore your good deeds – regardless of how small or insignificant you might think they are. For what you may see as just a simple kind act…the person receiving it sees Jesus.
It’s easy to trust the Lord when everything is going great in our lives. When we’re happy and healthy and all around us is peaceful…it’s almost effortless to put our faith in God. But it’s what happens when the unexpected and the unanticipated crash into our lives that really shows how rooted and grounded we are in Him. Droughts are long dry spells when rain doesn’t fall…the plants wither and the ground cracks. There are times when all of us can go through “spiritual” dry spells. Times when our soul seems parched, our body is withering, and our mind cracking under the stress… and we feel God is so far away. But if we’re firmly rooted in the streams of living water, regardless of the trial, we can still flourish and grow.