It is Good to Praise

Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him! – (Psalm 147:1, NIV)

Praise the Lord because He is good. Sing praises to our God. It is good and pleasant to praise Him. – (Psalm 147:1, ERV)

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! How beautiful it is when we sing our praises to the beautiful God, for praise makes you lovely before Him and brings Him great delight! – (Psalm 147:1, TPT)

 

On Sunday, our pastor spoke about the power that is held in our praise. One of the stories that hit home, was that when God told the Israelites to march around Jericho. On the seventh time around on the seventh day, they were told to shout. The particular shout that they were called to do was “ruah”, which meant to shout praise aloud. What is significant about this is not only God’s mighty move of power on their behalf, but also that He moved after they had praised, despite the enormous barrier that stood in their way. From this, we are reminded that it is good and fitting to praise Him for who He is, rather than what we see before us. Our praise delights the very One who holds us in His hands. It is only fitting that we praise God with all that we are, as He loves us as His own precious children. May we ever praise the Lord for who He is, as He alone is worthy of our praise.

 

All praise to the Lord,

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Photo by Dee Jones of Open Door Photography ❤

For He is so good;

As we sing His praise,

His love’s understood.

He delights in us,

As we seek His face;

Makes way where there’s none,

And grants us His grace.

Whether rough or smooth,

The Lord will be near;

Leading by His love,

He’ll make our paths clear.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us as Your beloved children. Thank You that there is purpose in our praise. Thank You that You move mightily on our behalf as we praise You for who You are. Forgive us for allowing our circumstances to silence our praise. Teach us to trust You enough to praise You through storms and barriers, knowing that You are greater than anything that lies before us. Show us how to love those around us well, so that they may recognize Your goodness and grace through our love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we praise You for who You are in all things and at all times. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth (Moreno) Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts. – 1 Chronicles 16:9

Seeing Past a Sordid Past

People should never be discounted for who they appear to be, or what they may have done in the past. God can redeem and raise up the unlikeliest of people to do great things for His purposes.

This morning, my daily reading covered Joshua 2:1-21, which is the story of Rahab and how she helped the Israelite spies that Joshua had sent ahead to Jericho.

“Rahab is a woman in a male-centered world; and she is a prostitute, the kind of person we typically vilify. But if she doesn’t rescue these men – and help them escape with the information they have gained – this first campaign in the land of Canaan will fail, and the larger outcome may be complicated  – or worse.” (VOICE footnotes)

As a result of Rahab’s protection of the spies when the king had sent his guards to find them, she and her family would ultimately be spared. The spies spoke the following to Rahab: “We offer our own lives as a guarantee for your safety,” the men agreed. “If you don’t betray us, we will keep our promise and be kind to you when the Lord gives us the land.” – (Joshua 2:14, NLT)

Not only would her life be spared, but all of her family.

I love that a woman with such a sordid past, was used by God to do something so remarkable. Her act of kindness propelled the movement of an entire population into the promise so long sought after. No one should ever be discounted. We all have a past, yet each one has potential. God can do ANYTHING through a heart that is willing. May we rise up and look at the world around us through a lens that sees possibilities rather than just problems. Great things begin with the seemingly insignificant…

 

Do not choose discount,Finding Freedoms Flight

A colorful past;

For last shall be first,

And first shall be last.

God does not do things,

The way we foresee;

But rather He moves,

To set captives free.

Perceptions at times,

Are the thickest walls;

That limit our sight,

And disrupt His call.

Lord, give us Your eyes,

To see as You do;

Each person with gifts,

That You long to use.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You see every single person as someone with potential to do great things according to Your purposes. Thank You that our past does not discount us, nor does our present status. Forgive us for discounting ourselves or others from being useful to You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may see ourselves and others through Your lens, not our own. Show us the potential in those around us, and help us to encourage and draw out the good in all. Help us to love others well, just as You love us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we look for opportunities to move where You are calling, and to encourage those around us as they step out in faith. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21

Achan in All of Us

Chapter seven in the book of Joshua, reveals to us, the story of Achan.  Israel had just crossed the Jordan on dry land, after marching around Jericho and watching the power of God, bring the walls down before them.  Joshua found himself in a space of desperate confusion, as some of his men who were sent ahead to Ai to prepare to take on the Amorites, had been struck down.  As Joshua cried out to God from the ground, the Lord told him to get up, as Israel had sinned and gone against what He had commanded them not do.  It was because of this flagrant violation, that His wrath was being poured out upon them.  After more discussion between Joshua and God, the plan was established and Joshua was swift to carry it out.  Clan by clan, family by family, man by man, each was questioned to discover the source of God’s anger.

Achan replied, “It’s true!  I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel.  This is what I have done.” – (Joshua 7:20)  He went on to confess the list of plunder he had taken and hoarded for himself, despite God’s direct orders to take NOTHING.  As a result of Achan’s sin, he and his entire household were put to death.

My initial reaction is “Wow!  That is so harsh!”  Yet then I think of our Savior on the cross.  Every single sin I have committed has warranted death, yet Jesus bore each one on my behalf.  Though there is a bit of Achan in all of us, the punishment that is due has been paid in full.   It is ours for the taking if we come and confess (as Achan did), and receive Christ as the Lord of our lives.  I am so thankful for all that Christ endured on our behalf.

Hidden the sin,Achan in All of Us

that dwells in our heart;

yet, the Lord sees,

aware of each part.

We deserve wrath,

but He gives us grace;

He will forgive,

when we seek His face.

What is this Love,

that gave up His life?

Took all my sin,

the struggle and strife.

All that I am,

He’s given to me;

abundant life,

in Him, I am free.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your word and for Your amazing love for each one of us.  Thank You Jesus, for coming and giving Your life in exchange for ours.  Thank You that though we deserve the same fate as Achan, You took our sin upon Yourself so that we would have the opportunity to come to find forgiveness and grace in You.  Thank You that because You gave, we have hope not just for today, but forever.  Forgive us for our sinfulness, for every word, thought and deed that is a direct violation of what You would have for us; and help us to live and love as You created us to do.  May many come to know the magnitude of Your mercy and the greatness of Your grace.  Be glorified through our entire existence.  We love You Lord, and long to do Your will.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. – Psalm 23:6