Vol. 8-01 – 01-01-2023 – What is This All About?
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory, for the sake of Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness! –Psalm 115:1
It would be good to read the entire Psalm, less than a 5-minute read.
What if we changed our reading and placed ourselves in the Psalm or our nation in the Psalm? How would it speak to us? Here it is:
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory, for the sake of Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness! Why should our nation say, “Where is your God?” Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases.
Their idols are silver and gold, the work of their hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, yet they will not see. They have ears but will not hear, noses, yet do not smell. They have hands, yet do not feel; feet yet do not walk, and they do not make a sound from their throats. Their idols make them become like them; all who trust in them.
O America, trust in the Lord! He is our help and our shield. O great house of the people, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield. You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord! He is your help and your shield.
The Lord remembers us; He is the One who blesses us; He will bless our nation; He will bless our house; He will bless those who fear the Lord, both the small and the great.
May the Lord give us increase, and to our children! May we all be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth!
The heavens are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth He has given to the children of man. The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any who go down into silence. But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the Lord.
When we read that passage, we get a sense of the realization of the one who prays for their nation. The one praying speaks from the heart; what stirs the soul. It is a prayer of struggle. The one praying desires to see the nation turn to the One who is dependable. It is not man who is reliable, it is God.
What kidnaps our hearts, our thoughts, our actions, and our speaking? Pause for a moment and contemplate how we function as a nation. Do we come to Almighty God; speak to Him of our concerns for the nation? Or are we caught up in our idols? Focusing on us. Focusing on increasing what we have in worldly goods. Should it be different? Yes.
It is another year . . . 2023. Pastors all over our country will encourage and beg, people to pick up their Bibles and read them. Some will. Most will not. Many will ask their pastors to pray for the desire in their hearts, not even knowing what God has already said in His Word.
Make this year the year that you will read the Bible through. Your pastor will likely distribute a daily reading plan. It is not simply a checklist; it is an encouragement to be immersed in what God has said.
In the beginning, God . . .
Even the very first words in the Scriptures are important. The Scriptures derive from God. They are a glorious history of His hand, a testament of how one should live before Him, walk before Him, think toward the future, and learn what is needed in peoples’ hearts. The Scriptures tell us of how God desires that no one perish; that all would come to Him. Not all will come. Some hear but do not listen. Some just do not want to hear Him.
Open your Bibles—your pages, your iPhone, your tablet; however, you access His Word. The Bible you hold in your hand is not an ordinary book, there is none other like it in all the world. When you read it, it is God speaking. Listen to His voice. (What our pastor often says.)
2023 – God has given you the beginning of another year. What will you do with it? Many will cross your path—not by accident, God has no accidents—what will you say? Is the Word fresh enough that you can share it with another who is searching to have their need fulfilled?
Or will you let the new year slip by once again. God caused us to be born for a time such as this. For the place where you now live. Among people He is already aware of their heart needs.
That is what it is about; why God has us here in 2023