Psalm 4

Psalm 4:1–8,

1  Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have given me relief when I was in distress.
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
2  O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah
3  But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
4 Be angry, and do not sin;
ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah
5  Offer right sacrifices,
and put your trust in the Lord.
6  There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!”
7  You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound.
8  In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Prayer is an important theme in this Psalm of David. It begins with the plea, “Answer me when I call” (verse 1). Again, “hear my prayer!” Then, “the Lordhears when I call to him” (verse 3). It’s an amazing picture of fellowship. David talks to God and God hears David. And he keeps David. He sustains and guards him (Psalm 3:5; 4:8).

Now these are observations. They are all by the way of discovering what the text says. But don’t think we’re blank-slate readers. Jesus has let us in on an important tip: the whole Bible is about him (Luke 24:25–27; John 5:39, 46). So an integral part of discovering what this psalm means is seeing how it’s connected to our Lord.

Consider again the amazing picture of fellowship: that David prays and God hears him. This is evident in Psalm 3:4 as well. David cried to the Lord and he gets an answer. This access mirrors Psalm 2:8 where the Lord invites his Son (and King) to ask whatever he wants and it will be given to him. The common thread in these first few psalms is that God hears the prayers of his king and no enemy will stand in his way. The Lord hears and ensures his King’s dominion (Psalm 2:9–12). Though foes are many, the Lord lifts David’s head (Psalm 3:1–3). Even when he’s in great distress, David can trust in the Lord(Psalm 4:1–3).

David is undoubtedly a pointer to Jesus. The eternal kingdom promised in2 Samuel 7:13 sets in motion a greater longing for the Messiah to come. David will have a son who is king forever (and it’s not Solomon). We begin to see that God’s fulfillment of his promised Messiah is wrapped up with his faithfulness to David. God cuts off David’s enemies because he is keeping his promise about Jesus (2 Samuel 7:9; 8:1–13, 14). And this is why David is able to trust God amid his enemies in Psalm 4.

David indeed has enemies, but he says not to sin. Be angry, sure, be agitated or perturbed, but do not sin. David knows the promise and he trusts the Lord. Therefore, being the model of a faithful Israelite, he offers right sacrifices (Psalm 4:5). He believes. God is enough for him. Material stuff turns immaterial. Circumstances, come what may. His joy is in the Lord who keeps him (Psalm 4:7–8). David’s faith — his trust that the Lord will keep his promise of an eternal throne (i.e., the reign of Jesus) — propelled him fearless when distress abounded. That’s what is happening in Psalm. That is what it means.

Loving the world

What Shall We Do with Our Desires?

But someone will ask, “Should I not desire dinner? Should I not desire a job? Should I not desire a spouse? Should I not desire the child in my womb? Should I not desire a healthy body or a good night’s rest or the morning sun or a great book or an evening with friends?”

And the answer is no — unless it is a desire for GOD! Do you desire dinner because you desire God? Do you want a job because in it you will discover God and love God? Do you long for a spouse because you are hungry for God and hope to see him and love him in your partner? Do you desire the child and the healthy body and the good night’s rest and the morning sun and the great book and the evening with friends for God’s sake? Do you have an eye for God in everything you desire? (See Colossians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 10:31.)

Saint Augustine captured the heart of our text when he prayed to the Father and said, “He loves thee too little who loves anything together with thee which he loves not for thy sake.”

Therefore, brothers and sisters, do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. But if the love of the Father is in you, if you love God with all your heart, then every room you enter will be a temple of love to God, all your work will be a sacrifice of love to God, every meal will be a banquet of love with God, every song will be an overture of love to God.

And if there is any desire of the flesh or any desire of the eyes that is not also a desire for God, then we will put it out of our lives, so that we can say with John and with the psalmist,

Whom have I in heaven but you,
and on earth there is nothing
that I desire besides you.

Working vs waiting

WhatsApp Image 2016-08-20 at 10.25.41 AM

Hahaa i am still at the prep stage (in between priorities) that part… it’s about how when we are first converted we are growing spiritually through Word, feeding in abundance through discipleship etc. then when the chance we get to serve, we leap at it and try everything and anything – at the testing stage.

But at some point you get to know which is your gift, then u move to priority to develop the gift more

He asked – do u prefer Mary or Martha

His answer – I prefer Mary before dinner, Martha after dinner. Waiting and working are both important

I am a child of God

Our identity is not found in our accomplishments or failures. It is not found in the people we spend our time with, or even in the thoughts we have of ourselves. It is found in Him. The unchanging, all powerful, creator of our souls. He already knows everything about you and He still loves you. He knows your secret sins, fears, worries, and thoughts and He still accepts you for who you are. The very thing we have been searching for in others, we can find in Him, and He never changes so our identity is rock solid, as long as we stay connected to Him. 

Insecurity, beware

God might be calling you to do something that will never get done because of your insecurity and doubt. You do not have to live in the suffocating air of insecurity any longer. In Ephesians, Paul writes that if we are followers of Christ, we have the same power within us that raised Christ from the dead. If that is true, why aren’t we living our life as if that power resides within us? 
If you will make a commitment to be honest with yourself, dig deep into those forgotten places of your heart, and open yourself to the possibility of freedom, you will find it. 
Insecurity, beware. We’re coming after you.

The Gerasene Demoniac (Mark 5:1-20)

The commission of our Lord is considerably different from His instructions to the Israelites whom He had delivered. They were instructed to keep quiet about what Jesus had done for them (cf. Matthew 8:4; Luke 8:56). In Galilee and Judea there were Messianic hopes which would have been quickly fanned into flames if the miracles of Jesus were too widely publicized. There was no such danger in Perea, and thus the mercy of the Lord was to be heralded.

The particular focus of this man’s testimony was the Decapolis region. This was a federation of ten cities (deka = ten, polis = city). This was a region east of the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River. It was greatly influenced by Greek culture.126

Romans 12:2

Brain research shows that every conscious thought we have is recorded on our internal hard drive, known as the cerebral cortex. Each thought scratches the surface much like an Etch-A-Sketch.
When we have the same thought again, the line of the original thought is deepened, causing what’s called a memory trace. With each repetition the trace goes deeper and deeper, forming and embedding a pattern of thought. When an emotion is tied to this thought pattern, the memory trace grows exponentially stronger.
For example, if we’ve repeatedly thought we have a temper, and that thought is tied to a strong emotion, we deepen the memory trace each time we access that thought. The same is true with any negative thought we attach to ourselves. The more we rehearse those thoughts, the more we perpetuate the very actions we are longing to stop.
We won’t develop new responses until we develop new thoughts. That’s why renewing our minds with new thoughts is crucial. New thoughts come from new perspectives. The Bible encourages this process, which only makes sense because God created the human mind and understands better than anyone how it functions.
A foundational teaching of Scripture is that by the power of the Holy Spirit it is possible to be completely changed through transformed thought patterns. That’s exactly the point of today’s key verse, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).
We don’t have to live lives conformed to the patterns of this world. And we don’t have to stay stuck in patterns of negative actions and reactions. We can let God’s Word renew and rewire our minds, because we aren’t people destined to stay the same. We are predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus. (Romans 8:29)