May 1 –Lifting Up Our Cups

“What shall I render to the Lord For all His benefits toward me? I shall lift up the cup of salvation And call upon the name of the Lord.” – Psalm 116:12-13 (NASB)

The benefits we faith believers receive from the LORD are more numerous than what we can count or list. They are poured out upon His children because He is a merciful God, loving and without change. God needs nothing and puts no price on His free mercy and grace. Although many believe and strive to “be good enough” to earn God’s approval, such acts do nothing to secure their salvation.  The psalmist says something interesting “I shall lift up the cup of salvation.” This is the only place in the Old Testament where this exact phrase is used. It might have the meaning of ‘the cup’ in Psalms 16:5; 23:5; which speak of the circumstances God provides to the redeemed. In contrast may be Psalm 75:8  and the cup of God’s wrath. Drink offerings were part of thank offerings in:  Exodus 29:40-41.  More likely it refers to that part of the sacrifice included with his thank offerings. Both grain and drink both expressed thanks for having received salvation – which delivered them death. The cup is lifted up in praise to the LORD of Hosts.  Others hearing are edified, which is one of the purposes of public praise.

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March 16 –His Right Hand

You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great.” – Psalm 18:35 (NASB)

What is the shield that protects us from the evil forces? References to the ‘right hand’ in Scripture often refer literally in the way we use the term about one’s dominant hand. The term is also used as a metaphor to prominence and strength. In our verse today is David describes God’s power and gentleness that is employed for our benefit and His glory. The psalm, written “in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.” Throughout the 50 verses David gives praise and acknowledges the LORD as his deliverer. “Right hand” is also used when God speaks of holding our right hand or giving our right-hand strength. We also find the right hand of God as a symbol of protection, presence, and saving power. We can rejoice that God promises to both hold us  up by His right hand and to hold onto us by our right hand. Besides the use of God’s right hand as a source of His power in our lives we also have a shield He has given to us. That shield is His salvation promised and given to us. 

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December 5 – Knowing God is Great

“But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!”” Psalm 40:16 (ESV)

“The Greatest of All Time” or “The Great _______,” fill the blank. Being great at anything seems to be a driving passion of many people. Not all who are declared to be Great or the Greatest actually are.  But there is one who is truly Great and is worthy of calling him Magnificent. So we are called, if we seek God and love the salvation God has provided for us we should shout, “The LORD be magnified!”  God wants all of us who follow Him to find real joy in doing so and real joy in living for Him. He wants the Christian life to be a life full of true joy. He wants us to be satisfied in Him so much that we are also satisfied in our life. Our verse also reminds us when we are happy in living for the Lord, it results in much praise to God. When we enjoy the Christian life we will want to exalt the Lord. We will want that His name receives much glory and praise. Today, let’s seek Him and rejoice and be glad in Him.  Let’s also say with the Psalmist, “GREAT IS THE LORD!”

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 November 4 – Properly Outfitted 

“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” – Ephesians 6:16–17 (ESV)

Depending on your counting, the Apostle Paul lists six or seven means of preparation faith believers need to have ready. Here two are defensive and one offensive armor pieces. These three are taken up when we are susceptible to an outbreak of lies? The Holy Spirit, through Paul gave us these instructions because He knew what we need in the battle. Everyday is a battle if we are walking obediently in the Spirit doing what Christ calls us to do. We are instructed to use our faith as a shield against the lies of Satan. They come at us from every angle and even from sources we may have trusted. Putting our faith in God’s promises is how we use our shied and stop those lies from getting to us. Our enemy tries to feed doubts into our thoughts and cause us to question our own salvation. The saved elect wear the helmet of salvation as a protection against such psychological attacks. And our knowledge of God’s word and putting it to practice is sharper than a double edge sword. Let’s stand firm therefore prepared for action defensively and offensively. 

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September 24 – More Tender Mercies

“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; To give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God…” –  Luke 1:76-79 (NASB)

More on the tender mercies of our Lord. The passage is excerpted from the prophecy Zacharias offered at the birth of his son John the Baptizer. Zachariah is a common name found in the Bible. This one is not the prophet who wrote the Book of Zechariah many years before. As a priest, Zacharias served his turn in the temple. The Bible tells us that he was chosen by lot to enter the temple and burn incense. Because of the large number of priests, most would never be chosen for such a duty, and no one was permitted to serve in this capacity twice. Zacharias regarded this as the supreme moment in a lifetime of priestly service. It was then that the angel appeared to him as he was alone in the Holy Place. He was foretold that a son would be born to him and his name was to be John. When John is born, Zacharias offers a pray with this prophecy. The words, would be familiar to Zacharias because they are part of prophecies by Old Testament prophets*. The Father of the Baptizer confirms what was said by the prophets regarding his son. 

*Malachi 3:1, Isaiah 9:2 and Jeremiah 31:34

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September 3 – He Provides Our Answer


“May Your lovingkindnesses also come to me, O LORD,
Your salvation according to Your word;
So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me,
For I trust in Your word.” – Psalm 119:41-42 (NASB)

There is an increase in the resistance of our world to the Word of God. There is also a significant decrease in the number who hold the Bible to be absolute truth. Within this battle, those who oppose the teachings in the Bible are becoming more active in demonstrating their hostility. The psalmist called on God to deliver him through His love and His Word and He will for us based on the promise God has given to us. He sought and trusted that he would have an answer for his enemy. He prayed and affirmed that the Word would continue to be his pattern of life. That is the way God has prepared for us to enjoy victory over the obstructions they set to the spreading of His Word. When opposition comes we frequently take it very personally but here we can know that it is God that the non-believer is rejecting and fighting against. We can like this passage teaches learn to delight in God’s commandments grow to love them for they are life to our soul. Next time we meet resistance, lets remember, God’s Word has an answer for us to give in return.

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August 26 – Pause to Reflect


“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden,
The God who is our salvation. ⸺ Selah ” – Psalm 68:19 (NASB)

We have a word in today’s verse which has never been fully understood. It occurs 74 times in 74 verses in the Psalms. Selah, is thought to be a musical or liturgical term. A common attempted understanding is that it means “Pause a moment.” Maybe an extended rest in music. As in today’s verse it is placed after declaration that manifests God’s power, sovereignty, majesty, and promise to protect against our enemies. In today’s promise we sing out blessings to the Lord because he bears our burden every day. That means no matter what is put upon us today, tomorrow, and every tomorrow after that, God is with us to bear our burden. What is our burden? Well it may be our duties in obeying the precepts and commandments God has given to us. He will not give us instructions on life and then leave us alone without His help. No, in Isaiah 41:10, 13 God promises to help us and to uphold us with His righteous right hand. Let’s PAUSE a moment and let that sink in so that we don’t gloss over this wonderful promise and pay no attention to it. ⸺ Selah.

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August 13 – The Real No Fear

“Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the Lord God is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.” – Isaiah 12:2 (NASB)

Yesterday we learned from God’s Word through His prophet Isaiah that perfect peace is available to those whose mind is steadfast and unwavering in their trust in God. Today’s promise gives us the attitude of fearlessness. The idea of ‘No Fear’ is presented to us in many different ways: the No FEAR Act of 2002; as a brand for lifestyle clothing; and even as a translation of old English literature such as Shakespeare into modern English. God knows we all are tempted to be afraid and desire to have no fear. He has given us this guide – the Bible – which promises what He will do for us in these times. We can affirm that God is our salvation. When we can confirm that our salvation from the wages of sin (Romans 6:23) is ours by faith in God, we can trust Him without fear. Isaiah confirms his own standing – he trusts because the Lord God provides strength to do so. It is a strength that calms our spirit and gives us a song of praise. We have this promise: when we trust in God, He becomes our salvation and we abide in Him for the rest of time and beyond.

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June 23 – Rest and Trust


For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling,,,” Isaiah 30:15 (ESV)

Our verse is part of a prophecy God sent to His people Israel through Isaiah His prophet. Isaiah delivered this important message to His people. It is a promise for all but in this instance it was a promise that the people rejected and were unwilling to submit to it. By not accepting the promise Israel missed the blessing of it. God wanted to them to learn this truth, and it is still effective even today. You and I will do well to listen to this promise. God wants us today to know the secret to salvation and strength. Rest, or relax, and trust in Him. If we have been trying to live right by our own effort, we need to realize that God offers to help us to live right and also to accomplish lasting results. The kind of rest promised comes from trusting the words of God. We can rest by believing and following God’s instructions. Let’s believe His words and quit trying in our own strength. Let’s remember these words, “In quietness and trust is your strength.” It’s a promise and a blessing for us if we will have it.

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Isaiah, rest, salvation, strength, trust

May 13 – Eyes Opened Through Faith


“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9 (NASB)


Peter, the disciple of Jesus, became one of the foremost apostles who helped spread the news of the early Christian Church. He also was used by the Holy Spirit to write some of the books in the New Testament. Peter walked with Jesus and heard him teach and watched him do miracles and heal all who came to Him with physical or spiritual need. Many times Peter ate meals with Jesus and talked with him face to face while breaking bread together. Peter wrote these words in his first letter to believers in the new Church. In the same way we have never seen Jesus as Peter did but we love him and we believe in him. These words are also given to us and can be applied to us personally. We can experience the “inexpressible joy and be filled with glory” because we have believed in Jesus the Christ – even though we have never seen him. Our faith has opened the eyes of our hearts and minds to believe in Him as our Savior and Lord. It is hard to express sometimes but in our hearts we know He is true. It’s a joy to have that assurance.

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