‘Glorious things are said of you, O city of God… The Lord will write in the register of the peoples: “This one was born in Zion”. As they make music they will sing, “All my fountains are in You”’(Psalm 87:3,6-7). We thank You, Lord, that the ‘city of God’ is our glorious destination – ‘we are looking for the city that is to come’, ‘the Holy City’(Hebrews 13:14; Revelation 21:2). It is also the place of our heavenly birth – ‘This one was born in Zion’. The heavenly birth – This is where our journey to the ‘city of God’ begins: ‘No one can see the Kingdom of God without being born from above’(John 3:3). Between our heavenly birth and our glorious destination, there is life in the Spirit: As we journey with You, in this life in the Spirit, may we thank You for the words of the Psalmist – ‘All my fountains are in You’ – and the promise of Jesus: ‘Rivers of living water shall flow from the heart of anyone who believes in Me’(John 7:38).
Lord, we see the Psalmist ‘down in the dumps.’ He feels like he is ‘in the depths of the Pit.” He feels like he is ‘in the darkest depths’(Psalm 88:6). This is the way he feels, but he has not stopped praying – ‘O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before You… I call to You, O Lord, every day… I cry to You for help, O Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before You’(Psalm 88:1,9,13). Lord, we read his prayer – and it doesn’t make pleasant reading: ‘My soul is full of trouble… I am like a man without strength… Your wrath lies heavily upon me… the darkness is my closest friend’(Psalm 88:3-4,7,18). How can we be helped when we feel like this? We thank You, Lord, that we can be helped by Jesus. He knows what it feels like. For us, He has entered the ‘darkness’- ‘My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?’. For us, He has triumphed – ‘risen from the dead’(Matthew 27:45-46; 28:5-7). Thank You, Lord, for Jesus, our great Saviour.
‘I will sing of the Lord’s great love for ever; with my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness through all generations’(Psalm 89:1). Lord, we read these words from so long ago. Many generations have come and gone since these words were written. The years come and go. The centuries run their course. One generation gives way to another generation. Time moves on relentlessly. None of us can halt the march of time. Many changes have taken place over the course of time. We thank You, Lord, that there is something that has never changed – Your great love for us. As we think of Your great love, may we say, in our hearts – The Lord is to be praised ‘for ever.’ He is to be praised ‘through all generations.’ Help us to look back and remember that Jesus Christ was crucified for us, that He has risen for us. We thank You, Lord, for the Good News which inspires our praise: ‘I will sing of the Lord’s great love for ever…’
‘Lord, You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations… From everlasting to everlasting, You are God’(Psalm 90:1-2). Lord, we read the words, ‘In the beginning, God…’, and we know, in our hearts, that You are ‘the eternal God’. You are ‘the high and exalted One’. You are the God ‘who inhabits eternity’. You are the God ‘who lives for ever’. You have no beginning. You have no end. You are ‘the beginning and the end’. Our life on earth has a beginning. It has an end. We trust in You, ‘the eternal God.’ We rejoice in Your precious promises – ‘The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms’; ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’; ‘The free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’(Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 33:27; Isaiah 57:15; Revelation 21:6; Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 6:23).
‘Surely He will save you from the traps of the hunter’(Psalm 91:3). Lord, You have given us Your warning. We must ‘be alert’- ‘Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour’. You have also given us Your promise – ‘Resist the devil, and he will flee from you’. How are we to resist the devil? – We are to ‘resist him, standing firm in the faith’(1 Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7). Help us not to try to resist the devil in our own strength. We will be defeated. He is much more powerful than we are. Help us to resist him in the strength of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ, we have the victory – ‘Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ’(1 Corinthians 15:57). Help us never to forget that Satan is out to get us. He’s trying to trap us. Help us never to forget this: Jesus is able to ‘deliver us from the evil one’(Matthew 6:13).
‘You, O Lord, are exalted for ever… The Lord reigns, He is robed in majesty…’(Psalm 92:8; Psalm 93:1-2). You, Lord, are ‘exalted’. Help us to exalt You in our worship. You are not exalted because we exalt You. We exalt You because You are exalted. You are ‘exalted far above all gods’. That is why we sing, ‘I exalt Thee, O Lord’. ‘He is exalted, the King is exalted on high’- This is the truth concerning You, Lord. ‘I will praise Him’- This is our response to Your truth. We sing, ‘Jesus, we enthrone You, we proclaim You our King’. This is our response to the eternal truth concerning our Saviour: ‘The Lord is enthroned as King for ever’. ‘From all eternity’ the Lord is ‘robed in majesty’. Help us, Lord, to respond to His majesty. Help us to ‘magnify’ You, Lord – ‘O Lord our God, how majestic is Thy Name’(Psalm 97:9; Psalm 29:10; Mission Praise, 158,217,388,507).
‘When I said, “My foot is slipping”, Your love, O Lord, supported me’(Psalm 94:18). You, Lord, are ‘able to keep us from falling’. We are ‘kept by Your power’. Help us to put our trust in You. May we be confident of this: ‘God, who began His good work in us, will carry it through to completion on the Day of Christ Jesus’. Help us to ‘press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenwards in Christ Jesus’. As we ‘press on’, may we never forget this: ‘It is God who works in us to will and to work according to His good purpose’. Help us to ‘fix our eyes on Jesus’, trusting in His promise: ‘My sheep listen to My voice… I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no-one can snatch them out of My hand…’(Jude 24-25; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Philippians 1:6; 3:14; 2:13; Hebrews 12:2; John 10:27-30).
‘Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord… Let us come before Him with thanksgiving… Come, let us bow down in worship…’(Psalm 95:1-2,6). Lord, You’re calling us to worship You with joyful thanksgiving. We rejoice in You. We give thanks for Your love. You are ‘the great God’. You are ‘our God’. You are the God of creation – ‘In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land’. You are the God of salvation – ‘We are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care’(Psalm 95:3-5,7). When, Lord, we hear You calling us to worship You with joyful thanksgiving, help us to open our hearts to You: ‘Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts’(7-8). When we hear Your call to worship, may we open our hearts to the Spirit of worship.
‘The Lord reigns’(Psalm 96:10; Psalm 97:1). Lord, You are the King. You are not only ‘the King all-glorious above’. You are ‘the King of love’. You are ‘our Maker, Defender, Redeemer and Friend!’ You are not only ‘the King of heaven’. You are ‘the God of grace’. You are ‘the King of mercy.’ Your reign is not to be restricted to some faraway heaven. It is not to be a reign that is far removed from the practicalities of our everyday life. You want to reign in our hearts. You want to reign in every part of our life. May Your reign of love begin. May Your grace and mercy control all that we do.
‘Exalt the Lord our God… Make a joyful noise to the Lord’(Psalm 99:5,9; Psalm 98:4,6; Psalm 100:1). Lord, You’re calling us to worship You with joy. You’re calling us to glorify You. You want us to enjoy You. In our worship, may we never forget Your holiness: ‘He is holy!… The Lord our God is holy!’(99:5,9). In our worship, may we rejoice in Your love: ‘His steadfast love endures for ever… He has done marvellous things!’(Psalm 100:5; Psalm 98:1). You are the God of ‘awesome purity’ – and You love us with the most perfect love of all: ‘No earthly father loves like Thee…’. Help us to worship You with holy fear and heartfelt love.