Cling to this Horn
Do you ever feel shaky; like you might fall? Do you feel like you don’t have the strength to stand, much less make it through the next day or week? If so, be encouraged. In Psalm 18:2 our Lord is described as our strength in this unique way. “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the HORN OF MY SALVATION, my stronghold.” If you’re like me, you can understand the Lord being our rock, fortress, deliverer, shield, and stronghold. But what is meant by the Lord being our “HORN OF SALVATION?” Scholar Herbert Lockyer explains: “the figure of the Horn is taken from those animals whose strength is in their horns. Because the horn was once the instrument of the oxen’s strength, it became the symbol of power. And our God and Savior came as a HORN, or mighty instrument of SALVATION. In addition, when horns were fixed to an altar they became projections to which sacrifices were bound and to which those who needed protection could cling.” Jesus is the believer’s HORN OF SALVATION. Cling to Him.
HORN OF SALVATION, we praise You, our strength and salvation. Thank You that we can cling to You.
Better than Bootstraps
Do you feel hopeless? Perhaps the last bit of hope to which you’ve clung just went out the window. Your future may appear bleak. Dark clouds may seem to hover over you no matter where you go or how hard you try. But the good news is, if you’re a Christian, you have every reason to hope. Why? Because Romans 15:13 explains that the GOD OF HOPE is in you through the Holy Spirit. “Now may the GOD OF HOPE fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” It’s not a question of if you have hope. You do. The question is, are you allowing the GOD OF HOPE to fill you with His joy and peace? You can experience hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s a matter of switching from pulling yourself up by your bootstraps to believing God is on the throne; that He sees you and loves you. He has your best interest at heart. In faith, pray, “GOD OF HOPE, fill me with joy and peace through the Holy Spirit.”
GOD OF HOPE, thank You for giving us the Holy Spirit so we can abound in hope by His power.
Prior to Jesus’s crucifixion, He prepared His disciples for His departure; comforting them that the HOLY SPIRIT would come to them. Can you imagine their confusion? Their frame of reference for the HOLY SPIRIT was God anointing only a few Old Testament people to accomplish divine work on earth. The names Elijah and Elisha certainly came to mind. But them? “Dazed and confused” might have described the disciples as they listened to Jesus tell them about the HOLY SPIRIT. The HOLY SPIRIT would be their Helper. God the Father would send Him in Christ’s name. The HOLY SPIRIT would teach them all things and bring to their remembrance all that Jesus said to them. The HOLY SPIRIT would empower them to live in such a way they bore witness to Christ. (Acts 1:8) HOLY. SPIRIT. Isn’t that what God knows each of us needs? So, He sent Him, a who, not an “it,” to live in believers. Are we treating His heavenly presence as a welcomed, Holy guest? Are we asking Him to reign over our lives? “But the Helper, the HOLY SPIRIT, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:26
Heavenly Father, forgive us for discounting the gift of Your Holy Spirit. Forgive our insolence for living apart from Your divine presence. Fill us. Overwhelm us so Christ pours forth from us to serve others and glorify You.
In Favor of the Saints
Do you ever wonder what the future holds? If so, the book of Daniel answers your question. There will be a war and God’s saints will be overpowered UNTIL the One who is more powerful than any other, the Highest One, steps in. I wonder if you feel as I do – overwhelmed with gratefulness to be on God’s side, to be designated as His saint? “I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.” Daniel 7:21-22
Heavenly Father, to be referred to as “Your saint” and to know that You, the Ancient of Days, are going to judge in favor of me, of us, Your saints, is overwhelming. Thank You, merciful Ancient of Days.
Unclean Lips and Lives
I don’t think there’s any way we can get our minds around what the holiness of the LORD is like. I don’t think we have the slightest idea of the magnitude of heaven’s glory. Isaiah attempted to describe heaven. (Isaiah 6:1-4a) “In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, …. And one called out to another and said ‘HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.’ And the foundations of the thresholds trembled…” What was Isaiah’s response? “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips – And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Hosts.” Isaiah 6:5. Isaiah’s response to seeing the LORD was a profound awareness that he was unclean. Were it NOT for JESUS bearing our sins on the cross, it would not be possible for us to live in the HOLY, HOLY, HOLY LORD’S presence; which is why we praise HIM today and every day.
We praise You, HOLY, HOLY, HOLY Lord!
Could you use sympathy instead of condemnation
Can you imagine what it would be like to go before a HIGH PRIEST who DIDN’T sympathize with your weaknesses? How haughty would that high priest be? How unrelenting might he be? How judgmental? Yet, that is not our Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, He is a HIGH PRIEST, as Hebrews 4:15-16 tells us. But, listen to the description of our High Priest. “We do not have a HIGH PRIEST who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” Then, he tells us what to do. “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” I want to sing and shout “hallelujah” at this description of our merciful High Priest. Why? Because I mess up every day. Unlike Jesus, I get tempted and do sin. But knowing that I can humbly approach Jesus makes me love Him all the more. I can go to Him in prayer and confess, “I messed up big time. I sinned! I fell for this temptation…again. Forgive me. ” Jesus extends grace to us when we repent, but He also admonishes us, “Go and sin no more.” Why? Because He loves us and doesn’t want us living in sin but rather in holiness. If we’ve been avoiding Jesus because of our sin, today is the day to draw near to our sympathetic HIGH PRIEST.
We praise You, our Lord and High Priest, that although You are high and lifted up, you sympathize with our weaknesses and forgive the repentant sinner. Help us sin no more.
When You’ve Failed and Are Low
Things aren’t always what they seem. And, simply because things appear one way in a moment of time, it doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way. Case in point: Jesus. If we’d been in Jerusalem when Jesus was hanging on the cross, we might have labeled the moment, “Jesus failed.” However, what appeared to be Jesus’s lowest moment, was in fact, God’s highest plan being accomplished. Three days after Jesus’s death on the cross, God raised Him. As Isaiah 52:13 prophesied, “Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be HIGH and LIFTED UP and greatly exalted.” Jesus is seated at the right hand of God – HIGH AND LIFTED UP – greatly exalted. The next time something appears to be a failure or loss, look heavenward. Pray. God can change things; even us.
We praise You, Lord Jesus, HIGH and LIFTED UP; greatly exalted.
I’m Your Huckleberry
Are you familiar with the saying, “I’m your huckleberry”? Last summer, my husband and I visited Glacier National Park. Right outside the park, we stopped at a restaurant that had every imaginable huckleberry item. Huckleberry pie, huckleberry pancakes. Huckleberry syrup. My husband insisted on buying me a purple shirt that said, “I’m your huckleberry.” Doing a little research on exactly what that statement meant, I discovered that to be one’s huckleberry is “to be just the right person for a job.” When I thought about that definition, my mind quickly raced to Jesus. He, as God’s Son, is the only One who could die for our sins, return to heaven, and empower us to live the Christian life. If you’re looking for the right One to follow, that person is the Jesus Christ. There’s no one more right for this life and the next than Him.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus Christ, the perfect and only One who could satisfy our sin debt and give us life eternal.
Groaning. Drained. Hiding.
King David was deceived….thinking he could hide his sin of adultery and murder and merrily continue with his life. But sin isn’t a kind bedfellow. Psalm 32:3-4 records how it affected David. “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.” But, what happened when David acknowledged his sin and confessed it to the Lord? We find the answer in Psalm 32:5. “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’; and You forgave the guilt of my sin.'” What advice does David give us in Psalm 32:6? “Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found.” David discovered that instead of hiding from God, it was better to make God His hiding place. “You are my HIDING PLACE; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7 On occasion, we might be like David and think we can hide our sin from God. But the truth is, we can’t. He sees us and even knows our thoughts. Yet, even while we are in our sin, He invites us to a place of forgiveness – Himself. Today, we can choose to stop trying to hide our sin. We can turn to God and humbly confess, “You are my HIDING PLACE; You preserve me from trouble.” We can experience “songs of deliverance.”
Lord, how sweet to know You as our HIDING PLACE; who preserves us from trouble and surrounds us with songs of deliverance. Thank You. We praise You.