Summer of Psalms

 

Summer of Psalms

By Luke Anderson

Psalms 118:19-25

19: Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.

20: This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.

21: I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.

22: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.

23: This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

24: This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25: Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success!

This passage is rich with hope and meaning.  Every verse could be looked at as an individual promise or prophecy of what is to come.

At the end of the day we see that the Lord is sovereign in all things.

Psalms was written hundreds of years before Christ, yet we have an image of Christ in verse 22.  The stone is an image of Christ. The world cast Him aside, yet He was and is the foundation God builds His church upon.

God does not need the perfect to accomplish His will. He needs the willing! Verse 23 says, “This is the Lord’s doing.”  It IS marvelous in our eyes how He can take average and broken people to advance His kingdom!

Verse 24 is a special verse in my own family.  There is a popular song called “This is the Day that the Lord has Made”.  If you are unfamiliar with it, you can find it on YouTube.  It puts the words of verse 24 into song.

When our kids get up in the morning and are sometimes grumpy, (shocking, I know!) I have them sing this song.  It is a powerful verse that gives meaning to the day.  This is just not another random day that we need to get through.

This IS the day that the LORD has made; for us! There is meaning and significance in this day.  The Lord has ordainedthis day to happen from the beginning of time.  He has a plan specifically for you today that fits in His greater plan.

My dad would often say to me. “Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life!” As annoying as it was when I was thinking only of myself and thinking how hard the day was going to be for me, the truth is, every morning is an opportunity for a new start.

Let us instead rejoice AND be glad in it! He is our King and our Redeemer. Verse 25 shows us how we can cry out to God to save us and give us success over our selfishness and inward thinking.

Summer of Psalms

Summer of Psalms

By Elder Tim Corcoran

Ps 118:14-18

14 The Lord is my strength and my song;  he has become my salvation.

15 Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly,

16  the right hand of the Lord exalts,  the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!”

17 I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.

18 The Lord has disciplined me severely,  but he has not given me over to death.

What does this tell me about God?  That he provides salvation and is worthy of praise for that.  God’s actions are valiant- brave, showing courage and determination.  Even in times of strife, I trust in God who does good and acts valiantly.  My belief is in the Lord, who gives eternal salvation.
To “recount the deeds of the Lord” reminds us that God’s purpose for us is to glorify him by retelling what he has done in our lives and through history.
“The Lord has disciplined me” to me means that everything may not be enjoyable, but will be to the benefit of me and the kingdom in the end.

 

Keep up the summer giving thanks challenge that was introduced at the beginning of June.
We will continue through July 31.
Every day, send a text or email to someone who will keep you accountable.
In that simple daily message, note two things:
1) a truth about God to give thanks, and 2) something else for which you are thankful.

Summer of Psalms

 

 

 

 

 

By Riverwood Elder Matt Townsley

 

Last week, we reflected on Psalm 118:1-4.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.” (ESV)

The first verse in which the author (likely King David) sings praises to God for his love that endures forever.  And in the next verses, the author suggests who ought to be singing these praises: an entire nation (Israel), the priests (house of Aaron) and anyone else (those who fear the Lord) which includes you and me!  Yet, when riots, protests, a pandemic and so many other crazy things are happening around us, life can seem so bleak.

First, a reminder:
How are you doing in the summer giving thanks challenge?  In case you missed last week’s email, here’s a quick recap based upon the theme from Psalm 118:1-4

Beginning June 1 and ending July 31, send a text or email to someone who will keep you accountable (and guys, if you need a partner, my contact information is below).

In that simple daily message, note two things: 1)a truth about God to give thanks, and 2)something else for which you’re thankful.

Finally, I think it is important for us all to reflect upon current events taking over the news headlines.  Regardless of your perspectives on the problem or solution, I hope we can all agree to pray.

2 Chronicles 7:14 says:
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Will you pray with me?
In hearing from our ministry partner, Patrick Ray, in North Minneapolis, many of our brothers and sisters in Christ have the potential to be in harm’s way right now. As followers of Jesus, we know that God is the ultimate healer.  May each of us humble ourselves, seek His face, and pray that He will heal our land.

Summer of Psalms

Summer of Psalms

by Matt Townsley

Growing up, the Memorial Day weekend indicated the beginning of
summer in the Townsley household.  It meant the school year was wrapping up and warm clothes were being traded in for cut offs and tank tops (yes, I was a child of the ’80s and ’90s).  Because of the pandemic, this summer may seem a bit different for many of us –spending time at the city pool is still up in the air and/or the sports season is still in question.

Regardless of our perspective on things opening up too soon or not soon enough, one thing is for certain– COVID-19 has stirred up A LOT of emotions among us.  This is why I am so excited to kick-off our “Summer of Psalms” blog.

Many scholars believe the book of Psalms was written by two authors who both express a wide variety of emotions to or about God.  Whether crying out to in distress because the thought of watching your kids for another few months seems unbearable or feeling overjoyed the family trip out state was postponed, we can all relate to at least one of the 150 chapters in this Old Testament book.

This week, we are taking a look at Psalm 118:1-4 which reads:

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.” (ESV)

Note the first verse in which the author (likely King David) sings praises to God for his love that endures forever.  And in the next verses, the author suggests who ought to be singing these praises: an entire nation (Israel), the priests (house of Aaron) and anyone else (those who fear the Lord) which includes you and me!

Yet, when summer plans have been changed, loved ones seem so far away via FaceTime and Zoom, and washing hands fifteen (or is it fifty?) times per day is getting old, it can be hard to sing praises to God.

Within the first verse, I see an important phrase, “for he is good.” We can give thanks to God because of who he is and that “who” never changes. Here at Riverwood, Erin frequently reminds us to “live like Jesus lived and love like Jesus loves.” According to 1 John 4:7-8, the love we have for others is an outpouring of God’s love for us. When we (and that “we” includes me) consider how much God loves us, we will praise Him regardless of the circumstances.

Will you join me in a simple summer challenge?
Beginning June 1 and ending July 31, send a text or email to someone who will keep you accountable.

In that simple daily message, note two things:
1)a truth about God to give thanks, and 2)something else for which you’re thankful.
As we give daily thanks this summer, I believe this challenge has the potential to remind us that “His steadfast love endures forever.”

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