August 28, 2016

Psalm 28-31 - 
Don’t turn a deaf ear when I call you, God.... I am letting you know what I need, calling out for help...Blessed be God - he heard me praying.  He proved he’s on my side; I’ve thrown my lot in with him.  Now I’m jumping for joy and shouting & singing my thanks to him.  God is all strength for his people, simple refuge for his chosen leader.....
                    
I give you all the credit, God-- you got me out of that mess, you didn’t let my foes gloat.  God, my God, I yelled for help and you put me together.  God, you pulled me out of the grave, gave me another chance at life when I was down and out.  All you saints!  Sing your hearts out to God!  Thank him to his face!  He gets angry once in a while but across a lifetime there is only love.         

The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter...You did it: you changed my wild lament into whirling dance; You rigged off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers.  I’m about to burst with song.  I can’t keep quiet about you.  

God, my God, I can’t thank you enough... I run to you, God, I run for dear life.  Don’t let me down!  Take me seriously this time!    Get down on my level and listen, and please--no procrastination!    

Your granite cave a hiding place, your high cliffs are a place of safety.  You’re my cave to hide in, my cliff to climb.  Be my safe leader, be my true mountain guide....                      
                                        
I hate all this silly religion, but you, God, I trust.... Be kind to me, God-- I’m in deep, deep trouble again.  I’ve cried my eyes out; I feel hollow inside.  My life leaks away, groan by groan, my years fade out in sighs. My troubles have worn me out, turned my bones to powder.  To my enemies, I’m a monster, I’m ridiculed by my neighbors.  My friends are horrified; they cross the street to avoid me... the street talk gossip has me criminally insane.  Behind locked doors they plot how to ruin me for good.  Desperate, I throw myself on you, you are my God.  Hour by hour I place my days in your hand... 

Warm me, your servant, with a smile, save me because you love me... What a stack of blessings you have piled up for those who worship you, ready and waiting for all who run to your to escape an unkind world... Blessed God!  His love is the wonder of the world..... 

Be brave.  Be strong.  Don’t give up.  Expect God to get here soon. 

I Thessalonians 2 - 
We have just been given a rough treatment in Phillippi but that didn’t slow us down.  We were sure of ourselves in God, and went right ahead & said our piece, presenting God’s message to you, defiant in our opposition.  

God tested us throughly to make sure we were qualified to be trusted with His message.  Be sure that when we speak to you we’re not after crowd approval - only God approval... We never use words to butter you up.  No one knows that better than you.  God knows we never use words as a smoke screen to take advantage of you..... we weren’t aloof with you, we took you just as you were.  We were never patronizing, never condescending, but we cared for you...we loved you dearly.

Not content to just pass on the Message, we wanted to give you our hearts.  And we did! 

With each of you, we were like a father with his child, holding your hand, whispering encouragement, showing you step-by-step how to live well before God who called us into his own kingdom, into this delightful life..... 

When you got the Message of God we preached, you didn’t pass it off as just one more human opinion but you took it to hear as God’s true word to you, which it is.  God himself at work in you believers.