Psalm 104: Using Your Creative Gifts for His Glory and Praise

In Psalm 104, we discover that we are in an extension of God’s creativeness. Through our work, we partner with the Lord, using our God-given creative abilities to share the Gospel and help transform lives. As a believer, my primary passion is sharing Jesus with others. It’s a joy that I am unable to keep to myself. Christ changed my life. He changed my beloved Sweet T’s life. We’ve seen Him transform the lives of others. God is so good to us. His grace and mercy are abundant gifts that He bestows upon us. Recognizing the Lord’s goodness, the unnamed psalmist cries out “Bless the Lord, O my soul!” at the beginning and in the final verse of this psalm.

The psalmist marvels at the creativity intricately entwined in the works of God. Our human work should reflect that same commitment to using our creativity to herald the message of God’s goodness and greatness. We must praise God with our mind and our mouth. God is always at work around us. It us up to us to join Him in the work that He is doing. While this may feel scary, we must remember that there is never a safer place than being in the center of God’s will.

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In many ways, Psalm 104 is a celebration of Genesis 1. The psalmist reminds us of God’s sovereignty and we should submit to Him because He is the source and sustainer of life. As sinners, we find ourselves out of tune with the rest of creation that submits to God. As believers, through repentance and trusting in the Lord, we return to a harmonious accord with the Magnificent Maker of the Whole Universe.

By staying committed to a life of prayer and remaining rooted in God’s Word, you and I can use our creative gifts to transform lives through sharing the good news of Jesus with others. Regardless of the creative gift God has given you, imagine what would happen if you used it to glorify God and share the love of Jesus with the world? There is no better time than the present to begin using your creative gifts to work alongside the Lord for His glory and praise. Blessings.

 

Psalm 104

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, you are very great!
You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
2 covering yourself with light as with a garment,
stretching out the heavens like a tent.
3 He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters;
he makes the clouds his chariot;
he rides on the wings of the wind;
4 he makes his messengers winds,
his ministers a flaming fire.

5 He set the earth on its foundations,
so that it should never be moved.
6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
7 At your rebuke they fled;
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.
8 The mountains rose, the valleys sank down
to the place that you appointed for them.
9 You set a boundary that they may not pass,
so that they might not again cover the earth.

10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
they flow between the hills;
11 they give drink to every beast of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
they sing among the branches.
13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.

14 You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
and plants for man to cultivate,
that he may bring forth food from the earth
15 and wine to gladden the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine
and bread to strengthen man’s heart.

16 The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 In them the birds build their nests;
the stork has her home in the fir trees.
18 The high mountains are for the wild goats;
the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers.

19 He made the moon to mark the seasons;
the sun knows its time for setting.
20 You make darkness, and it is night,
when all the beasts of the forest creep about.
21 The young lions roar for their prey,
seeking their food from God.
22 When the sun rises, they steal away
and lie down in their dens.
23 Man goes out to his work
and to his labor until the evening.

24 O Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom have you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
25 Here is the sea, great and wide,
which teems with creatures innumerable,
living things both small and great.
26 There go the ships,
and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.

27 These all look to you,
to give them their food in due season.
28 When you give it to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
when you take away their breath, they die
and return to their dust.
30 When you send forth your Spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works,
32 who looks on the earth and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke!
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the Lord.
35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
and let the wicked be no more!
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Praise the Lord!

 

Psalm 90: In God We CAN Trust

Psalm 90 is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, psalm ever written. It is a prayer well-matched for times of crisis. Upon reading and reflecting on Psalm 90, written by Moses, the words “In God We Trust” jump to mind. In Psalm 90, Moses asks God to bless His people in view of how short life is. Picture the Israelites wandering in the desert, lost and confounded, searching for answers. Moses points them to God. Trust in God, for God is good and trustworthy. God is for you, not against you. God is our ever-present help in trouble. God is everlasting. He has always been, He is, and He will always be. He is our help of ages past. Since the beginning of creation, every generation of believers have found refuge and shelter in the protective arms of the Lord.

A thousand years are but a day to Him.

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2 Peter 3:8 (NIV)

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the LORD a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

Time does not bind God. The Lord is not limited by time like you and I are. For us, time is an instrument we mark progress with and a tool that helps us relate events. The Lord is not subject to time like we are. Our time, Moses observes, is finite. Our time is limited. God is forever. We are but a vapor…

Death exists because of the sin God must judge us for. We cannot hide our sin from God anymore than Adam and Eve could. The wages of sin, Scripture reminds us (Romans 6:23) is death. Death binds us physically and spiritually. But for God…

Since our days are so brief compared to the eternity of God, Moses reminds us to spend our time wisely. A heart of wisdom is able to discern the will of God and recognize God’s purpose for our lives. We must be careful not to squander the opportunity the Lord has given us. We should be faithful like God is faithful.

Moses asks the Lord to extend compassion and grace upon His sinful people. He urges God to balance His judgement with the loyal love He promises His people so that they could experience living with joy and gladness. We can trust God to keep His promises.

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We can see the Lord’s splendor all around us and we are able to experience God’s mercy daily. Seeing God’s majesty tells us that God is trustworthy because He is all powerful. His mercy abounds in us, giving us hope, and showing us that because of His love, we can trust in the Lord.

Through the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the Cross, God removed the guilt of our sins. We are spiritually freed from death. Yet, today, the consequences of sin—physical death—still remain. Because of the Lord’s mercy, grace, and love you and I can enjoy life and focus on making a contribution to the world and advancing His kingdom.

In God We CAN Trust!

Prayer:

Father: Thank you for being a trustworthy God, a faithful God, a merciful and loving God. You are good Lord, you are SO good. You know every day of our lives. You are our ever present help in times of trouble. You are our refuge and our strength. You are for us, not against us. O Lord, how great is your love for us! May I spend my time wisely, sharing the Gospel, and advancing Your kingdom. Forever and ever. Amen. 

Psalm 90

A Prayer of Moses, the man of God.

1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place
in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

3 You return man to dust
and say, Return, O children of man!
4 For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.

5 You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning:
6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.

7 For we are brought to an end by your anger;
by your wrath we are dismayed.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.

9 For all our days pass away under your wrath;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
10 The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11 Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?

12 So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
13 Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
16 Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!

Psalm Saturday_Title Slide

 

Boldly Sharing the Amazing Love of Christ

In addition to our monthly ministry outreach to the homeless at the men and women’s shelters downtown, I occasionally have the privilege of speaking at the Thursday morning devotional time at the Union Gospel Mission Dallas. The audience is a mix of staff, disciples, prospects, and clients. The time is always rewarding and a time of great blessing to me. It is always good to see God at work in and through the lives of the last, least, lost and lonely homeless population here in Dallas. The Union Gospel Mission began as a street ministry in 1949 when a group of Christian businessmen took to the streets of Dallas, telling the poor about God’s love for them. The Mission has continued to grow and prosper in the years since, reaching countless men and women for Christ, transforming thousands upon thousands of lives, and continuously shining the light of the Gospel downtown.

After lifting our voices in song and hearing a number of testimonies about how God is impacting the lives of all those present this morning, we opened God’s Word, examining and exploring the Apostle Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians, Chapter 5.

2 Corinthians 5:1-21 (ESV)

5 For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil

11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

We are born with a longing, a God-sized hole in our soul that only the Lord himself can satisfy. Paul assures us that the Lord is faithful, and that He has prepared for us an eternal home, free of the burdens of this world. Even though life is difficult, Paul exhorts us not to be dismayed, but to remain steadfast in our courage. Yes, we long to be with God. But until then, He has given us His Spirit to make the journey with us. We are not alone. He has not forgotten us. God has not forsaken us. To the contrary, He supplies us with everything we need to overcome the trials and tribulations we face. Through Jesus Christ, God has already won the victory for us. God gave His son, Jesus Christ, so that we might live in Christ, and Christ alone.

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Because of what God has done, we have a mission and a purpose. We proclaim the Gospel–the Good News—-and demonstrate the love of Christ, through our words and our deeds. Love, after all, is a verb. Love is an action. Often times, the only Good Book people will read is in how they see us live out the grace God has bestowed upon us. We are Christ’s, no doubt. He has bought us with His blood. He controls us. We cannot keep quiet about the grace and mercy he has showered down on us. We have to shout it from the tallest building. We must proclaim it from the highest mountain. The Good News of what Christ has done for us must travel as far as the East is from the West.

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We live for the one who died for us. We are new creations. Behold the old has passed away and the new has come. We are ambassadors for Christ Jesus and the Good News His crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection secured. In this generation, you and I may be the only Gospel anyone sees and hears. Shine brightly, speak boldly.

Continue to walk by faith, not by sight.

Amen.

 

Photos courtesy of the fine artists at Pixabay.com