Day Five: No Backsliding

Psalm 125:5 (MSG) – “God will round up the backsliders, corral them with the incorrigibles. Peace over Israel!”

The word backslider is synonymous with ‘defectors’ or ‘falling away’.  The question that today’s verse poses is “how can I be sure that I will not fall away, but remain faithful?” God’s word is clear that we wander like lost sheep (Is. 53), but God is a faithful shepherd who pursues us relentlessly.  We have our ups and downs, zealously believing one day and gloomily doubting the next, but God is faithful. How has the Lord shown his faithfulness in your life thus far?

As we conclude Psalm 125, it is clear that our security does not come because we are sure of ourselves, but because we trust that God is sure of us. Jude 24, 25 says To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” Who is the one that keeps us from falling/stumbling? What is the secure promise of the Lord according to Jude?

Today, spend time worshipping the Lord who brings us into the unshakable security in Him.  Use the words in Jude 25, to declare that our security comes from our savior who deserves all glory, majesty, power and authority, now and forever more, AMEN!

– GK

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Day Four: Goodness Through and Through

Psalm 125:4 (NLT) – “O Lord, do good to those who are good, whose hearts are in tune with you.”

Psalm 119:68 says that all that God is and does is good. “You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees”. This is the security with which the people of God approach the Lord in prayer. Why is the psalmist asking to be taught of God’s decrees in response of His goodness?

In what areas of your life do you need God’s goodness to overflow and bring security in?

Today’s passage says that God does good to those who are good. 2 Peter 1.5 says “make every effort to add to your faith goodness.” What are some practical ways in which you can add goodness to your faith?

The ending of today’s verse says “…whose hearts are in tune with you.” Other translations use the word ‘righteous’ instead of ‘in tune’. What does it mean to be in tune with God, and how does that bring out God’s righteousness?  How can you be more in tune with the Lord?

– GK

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Day Three: Evil Cannot Stay

Psalm 125:3 (NIV) – “The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil.”

The word “scepter” is to be understood as oppressive power that is bent on destruction.  In today’s verse, because the Lord is our security, the evil and oppressive intention of the wicked cannot stand or remain—whether sickness, death, despair, and persecution.  In light of this truth, how are we to no longer respond in fear and despair to the difficult circumstances of our lives?

In today’s verse, the psalmist suggests that the main reason why the wicked cannot remain is because the land does not belong to them! Rather it belongs to the ones whom it has been allotted to.  What this means is that the life of security, blessing, hope, and salvation has been allotted to us by the Lord, and no power or the evil intention of the wicked will prevail. What are the clear blessings that that Lord has allotted to you?

When we are threatened by fears and insecurities, we can be tempted to respond by doing evil or having unloving thoughts and responses towards others. However, because the scepter of the wicked will not remain, our hands are also to not be used to do what is evil. In what ways have you been tempted or given into doing what is wrong in God’s sight due to fears and insecurities? What are some practical ways to respond where evil and wickedness are not allowed to remain your life?

– GK

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Day Two: Surrounded Always (NLT)

Psalm 125:2 – “Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, both now and forever.”

There were several mountains, even higher than Zion surrounding the Jerusalem area. The Mount of Olives stands sixty-six meters higher than Zion, and Mount Scopus towers more than seventy-six meters above Zion, with other peaks standing higher than Zion as well. These surrounding mountains function as a wall around Jerusalem—a wall that keeps invading forces at bay. This is imagery that is used in this verse to capture the manner in which Yahweh surrounds as a protective ‘wall’ around his people.

Having mountains as a protective shield/wall means that it will never shake or crumble. How does this imagery of God as these vast mountains surrounding and protecting us affect your view of God as our protector?

The wording “…the Lord surrounds” is to give the assurance that there is no area in our lives that is exposed, defenseless, or has become a blind spot.  What are the areas/times/circumstances where you have felt exposed, defenseless, or that you were in God’s blind spot?  Today pray and surrender and welcome the Lord’s very care and presence in those very areas.

Today’s verse ends with “…both now and forever.” This is the assurance that God’s care and protection over His people is to occur in the now (today), and also forever (eternity).  This means that there is never a time when we are outside of God’s protective care. How are we to now view any and all area, past and present and future?

– GK

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Day One: Trusting in the Trustworthy One

Psalm 125:1 (NLT) – “Those who trust in the Lord are as secure as Mount Zion; they will not be defeated (shaken) but will endure forever.”

The experience of insecurity, uncertainty, and fears are the common human experiences in this sin-dominated world. In today’s passage however, the psalmist invites those who trust in the Lord to a completely different existence, where certainty, security and steadiness is now to be our experienced reality.

Today’s passage begins with “Those who trust in the Lord…” The designation “those” refers to the community’s (not only an individual’s) response to the Lord. How does trusting the Lord together as a community differ/enhance the aspect of trusting in the Lord?

The word “trust” is to be understood as an act of placing full faith and confidence in the one whose trustworthiness has been shown throughout.  For the people of Israel, they were to place their trust in the Lord, who has shown His trustworthiness by delivering them from Egypt, from famine, from the threats of invading armies, and from their sins. Today, as we place our trust in the Lord, let’s count the ways the Lord has shown us His trustworthiness in our lives. In what particular ways has the Lord shown His trustworthiness to you?

Psalm 46:5-6 claims that God’s people can live securely as Mount Zion, because “God is within her, and she will not fall”. We (Christians) are no better than the world in need of protection and security. What is different is that we don’t have to build our own place of security, rather it is the Lord who builds our strong place of refuge, for God is with and within us.

– GK

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Day Five: Framework – You are good, and all you do is good.

Psalm 119

65 Do good to your servant
according to your word, Lord.
66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment,
for I trust your commands.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I obey your word.
68 You are good, and what you do is good;
teach me your decrees.
69 Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies,
I keep your precepts with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are callous and unfeeling,
but I delight in your law.
71 It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.
72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me
than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.

Today as you pray, begin with these very words of the Psalm above:  Do good to your servant (insert your name here) according to your word, Lord. Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands.

Verse 67 talks about how affliction brought about transformation in the Psalmist’s life. The NLT says “I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word. How has this been true in your life, where affliction/discipline brought you to closer obedience to the Lord?

Verse 68 makes the conclusion that following the ways of the Lord, is to know that the Lord is good and does only good.  How does this change the old paradigm of your thoughts and emotions?

Verses 69-70 says Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart. Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law.” Where you do you experience the greatest challenge to living in the framework of God’s word? What are some practical ways in which you can continue to keep the ways of the Lord during difficult circumstances?

Today, pray these words of verse 72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.” Pray for God’s word and presence to affect and transform every area of your life.

– GK

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Day Four: Framework – The ways of the Lord

Psalm 119

33 Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
35 Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
38 Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.
39 Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.
40 How I long for your precepts!
In your righteousness preserve my life.

Today as you read the passage above, list all the words of ‘request’ by the Psalmist. For example, v.33: Teach me, v.34: Give me understanding, etc.

The Psalm above uses the following words: decrees, law, commands, statutes and precepts. What do you think the Psalmist is ultimately after by using these words?  What is the heart behind his request? (hint: to know the ways of the Lord)

Now go through each of the verses and list the reasoning/purpose for the Psalmist’s desire to know the ways of the Lord.  For example: v.33: That I may follow it to the end, v.34: Obey with all my heart, etc.

How has studying today’s Psalm give you a renewed framework of the ways of the Lord to follow?

Today pray asking that you would delight and know the ways of the Lord, which preserves our lives!

– GK

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Day Three: Framework – According to Your Word

Psalm 119

25 I am laid low in the dust;
    preserve my life according to your word.
26 I gave an account of my ways and you answered me;
    teach me your decrees.
27 Cause me to understand the way of your precepts,
    that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28 My soul is weary with sorrow;
    strengthen me according to your word.
29 Keep me from deceitful ways;
    be gracious to me and teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
    I have set my heart on your laws.
31 I hold fast to your statutes, Lord;
    do not let me be put to shame.
32 I run in the path of your commands,
    for you have broadened my understanding.

To begin today’s transmission, read through the portion of Psalm 119 above thrice.

The Psalm today teaches the framework on how we are to respond, think, desire, and speak during times of difficulties.  How do you usually respond when things become difficult? What are your emotions, thoughts, and speech during these times?

According to the passage above, write down all of the ways that the Psalmist responds in his/her time of difficulty?  What is the common theme in the response?

The Psalmist asks that his/her life will be preserved and strengthened according to God’s word. What does it mean to live in the framework of God’s word?

Today if you need understanding, if your soul is weary with sorrow, if you need to be kept from deceitful ways, approach the Lord yearning for the ways of the Lord!

Pray these very words today as we learn the ways of the Lord:  I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws. I hold fast to your statutes, Lord; do not let me be put to shame.  I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

– GK

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Day Two: Framework – Hosanna, Jesus!

Psalm 118

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

2 Let Israel say:
“His love endures forever.”
3 Let the house of Aaron say:
“His love endures forever.”
4 Let those who fear the Lord say:
“His love endures forever.”

7 The Lord is with me; he is my helper.
I look in triumph on my enemies.
14 The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.

15 Shouts of joy and victory
resound in the tents of the righteous:
16 The Lord’s right hand is lifted high;
the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!”
25 Lord, save us! Lord, grant us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
From the house of the Lord we bless you.
27 The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine on us.

29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever

Hosanna literally means “save!”, and it is a direct quotation from Psalm 118:25-26.

Psalm 118 begins by declaring that we are to give thanks to the Lord, for He is Good and His love endures forever.  In the framework of the world, we usually give thanks as an after effect of receiving something good. However, according to the framework of Psalm 118, THE reason we are to give thanks to the Lord is because He is Good!  Today as you start your devotions, begin in thanksgiving to the Lord, for He is the one who is good.

How does the framework of God Himself being fully good affect all facets of your life?

Kingdoms come and go, rise and fall, but according to verses 1-4, what has been the one constant throughout all history?  How does this bring about security and hope in our lives?

Today consider the ways/patterns of being, to the areas of your (work, family, etc.) that needs Jesus’ presence and salvation. What are those specific areas that you have identified?

Today spend time praying for your life and the areas of influence in your life, and pray that each of those areas will come under the framework of Jesus’ triumphal entry.  Pray “Hosanna! Save! Come Lord Jesus!” into those areas.  As you pray, listen to the song “Hosanna!”(click here) by Hillsong.

– GK

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Day One: Framework – Jesus the King

Psalm 2

Why do the nations conspire
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us break their chains
and throw off their shackles.”

The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”

I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:\
He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.

11 Serve the Lord with fear
and celebrate his rule with trembling.

Blessed are all who take refuge in him

What are the power structures of the world that attempts to lay claim to your life?  List the four most prominent of these powers and authorities.

What specific threats and fears do you experience by these power structures?

According to verses 4,5, how does the Lord counter/respond all the rival powers of this world?  What does that say about who Jesus is?

Having Jesus as our King is to now live under the kingdom, the authority, and power of Jesus the King! He is the one we obey, bow to, for He is the one who rules over us, protects us, and lays claim to our lives!  This means therefore there is never a moment when we are to view our lives outside of God’s authority, order, and care. How does this change the framework of your life?

According to verse 11, we are to serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. Today, spend time also praying through Psalm 2 above, and worship with the song ‘Here Again’ (Here Again) by Elevation Worship.

– GK

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