"Woman of Praise" painting by Lewis Bowman

Today: Psalms 71:9-18; Acts 4:23-37; Acts 5:1-11; 2 Samuel 13

Psalms 71

“O God, You have taught me from my youth; and to this day I declare Your wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.” Psalm 71:17-18

What a wonderful heritage God gave to David. His Psalms are still read and loved today. His beautiful writings continue to teach us about God’s character. And David’s lineage produced the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. Truly God granted David’s request to “declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.” (v.18)

Now I am “old and grayheaded” myself. But God does not forsake us in our old age even though our culture often tosses us aside. My relationship with God is deeper, more exciting, and more powerful than it has ever been in my entire life. Don’t ever stop diving deeper into God. There is no end to the depth of His wonderful companionship. He has marvelous plans for us here on this earth until our dying breath. And then… and THEN… His glorious presence is completely OURS forever!!

Acts 4

“… grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching our Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:29-30

Is this also our prayer, to speak God’s word “with all boldness,” that God would by “stretching out [His] hand to heal… that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus” ???

The church in our country has been so comfortable and wealthy; we have been able to grow fat and lazy. So many people claim the name of Christian, but going to church occasionally is the extent of their relationship to God. They never crack open their Bibles, or pray unless they need something. People like that don’t know God very well and consequently their faith is weak.

They are missing so much good stuff!!!

A deep daily relationship with God is so fulfilling. Jesus can be as real to us as our spouse. He can be our best friend. So many people don’t understand that this type of relationship with the creator of the universe is possible. But it IS! And it is the most marvelous thing anyone could ever experience!

But it doesn’t just happen. As with any relationship, it requires time spent together. Dive into God. He IS REAL and He wants to know you intimately. The more time you spend with God, the better you will know Him, the more you will recognize His voice, the more He WILL speak to you!

Over the past two years, Craig and I have stepped out in faith in many new ways. Our relationship to God has grown deeper than I ever fathomed could be possible. We truly are experiencing “signs and wonders” all the time now. What an amazing adventure this has been!

Acts 5

There’s a little tiny part of me that wishes God’s retribution would be as swift and final as it was when Ananias and Sapphira lied to the apostles. We would all take our relationship to the church much more seriously!

Christians in the early church had utmost respect, and even fear, of God’s almighty power, especially after the Ananias and Sapphira incident. “So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.” (v.11)

But God shows great mercy and restraint to us these days and we people who are supposedly the church get away with all sorts of evils. Lack of faith is a self-replicating virus. The more the world seeps into our sanctuaries, the less God works in our midst, the less we believe, and the stronger the enemy becomes.

"The Desolation of Tamar" by James Tissot

2 Samuel 13

God’s prophecy through Nathan that “the sword shall never depart from [David’s] house” (2 Sam. 12:10) did not take long to manifest. The curse of David’s sin unfolded almost immediately as David’s royal family began to fall apart with rape, incest, and murder… The story of Tamar and Amnon is particularly difficult to read.