Psalm 40:1 - I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.
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Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone who wasn’t listening or engaged? You probably have and you know it’s frustrating. For all the advantages and conveniences technology has brought to our lives, there are some disadvantages as well. Many times, our smartphones take away a little of our smarts by distracting us and making us multitask. We end up trying to carry on conversations and intersections with texts and social media, all the while trying to actually talk to someone in the flesh. One of those conversations gets the short end of the stick.
Sometimes it may seem that’s what happens when we pray. We don’t get the answer we want when we want it and we think that God may be distracted or busy with something else. I mean, He should be pretty busy with all the people and problems in the world. But God doesn’t work that way. He is Omnipotent and Omniscient. He is All Powerful and All Knowing. He is able to multitask much better than we ever can. Still, it seems that God is silent when we are talking to Him.
One of the keys to praying is taught here by David in this Psalm. Not only did he pray, but he waited patiently. He waited patiently and God answered.
When we text someone on our smartphones, we expect and most times get an immediate response. When we get that text notification that our message has been read but not answered, our feelings start to get hurt. We can’t have that same mindset with God. He knows what He’s doing. He knows what we need. When we pray, we must know without a doubt that He will respond.
So do what David did - pray and wait patiently, faithfully, trusting - and God will answer.
Ephesians 1:17 - I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
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My paternal grandfather was a huge influence in my life. He was loving, kind, patient, and generous. Christmas at my grandparents house always had plenty of favorite foods, a joyous atmosphere, and a sense of belonging. Whenever it came time to exchange gifts, my grandfather wasn’t much for fluff or flattery though, but would give you the gift with a gruff, “here”. If you didn’t know him, you would think he hated giving gifts, but as you opened the gift it would always be something thoughtful and generous.
He wasn’t much for wrapping gifts either. I think that’s where my unskilled wrapping qualities come from. Many gifts from him would still be either in the store bag or in a store bag barely concealed with tape. Today, you can tell which gifts are from me by the shoddy wrapping quality.
We have been given such a wonderful generous gift from God, the Father, in His Son, Jesus Christ. This gift may have come to earth in what seemed to be poor quality of wrapping not fitting a king - a young unmarried virgin, born in a dirty manger. But this gift was from our Creator Himself, to give us hope and salvation. This gift may have looked liked it was given with a gruff, “here”, but it was heaven’s display of glory and wonder wrapped in a package of dirt and humility.
This gift was so that we could know God, that He could know us, that we could be in union together with our sin and shame wiped away by His sacrifice. Thank God for the gift of Christ in your life today.
Psalm 12:6 - And the words of the Lord are flawless
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Most people don’t like to hear the sound of their own voice through a recording. We hear our own voice daily through our own head and it sounds one way, that we are accustomed to, but it sounds almost completely different coming through the speakers of a recording. I remember hearing one of my first sermons on an old cassette recording. I didn’t like the way I sounded at all. I had way too much of an accent and the tone of my voice was way higher than I thought it should be. But that was me. That’s the way I sound.
Most people also probably wouldn’t like to hear the sound of the words they have misspoken. It would be very difficult to hear the words that we have spoken out of anger and bitterness, out of frivolity or foolishness. Just as we find we sound different than we think, we probably speak words differently than we think. I admit, I would probably be surprised at the amount of foolishness that cross my lips on a daily basis.
David gives a staunch reminder of the foolishness of men and the perfection of God concerning words. David prays that the Lord would cut off flattering lips and boastful tongues. Especially the tongues that boast of unwarranted and undeserved success and victory. The Lord, on the other hand, speaks words of perfection and flawlessness, like silver refined in a furnace.
May the tone of our voice and the reality of our words remind us of the perfection of God’s words. May we distance ourselves from flattery and boasting. May we learn to silence the babbling of our own lips and draw near to the perfection of God’s Words.