Summer Reading, part five

Today’s Psalm selection is Psalm 23 through 26. Almost everyone has heard Psalm 23 (The Lord is my Shepherd) at least in movies and TV if not in church. It may be the most quoted Bible verse in the entertainment industry. If there was a worldwide vote, it might be the most popular Bible verse in the world. Who knows?

Looking at Psalm 24, we find that we’re wrong when we call ourselves homeowners or owners of anything. We don’t even own the clothes we buy to put on our own bodies. And we don’t own our bodies. Verse one sets us straight, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it”.

When we realize that we belong to God, it’s easier to submit to him. He designed us with specific personalities and created settings for us to live in. He has a plan and has a place for us in his plan. Submitting to God and submitting to our role in his plan should be easy once we give up trying to make the world conform to our little-minded plans. He sees the real “big picture.”

Psalm 24:7 suggests to me that seeking God begins with opening up the garage door of your heart. “Be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.” That might be a good verse to remember every time you touch your garage door remote control.

Psalm 25: 4-5 help us form prayers. God can and will teach us how to live in his wisdom. Step one is to be willing to do things his way. Step two is to ask God to teach us how to do it. Verses 8-9 encourage us to watch and see how God instructs us. I think we get so tempted to ask God to do things on our schedule that we forget to be patient and wait for God’s timing.

At first glance, Psalm 26 sounds to me like bragging about self-righteousness. However, if you look at it as a To Do List, you might check off items as you come across them in your daily life. Re-word a few of the phrases, but keep the meaning intact. For instance, verses 4 and 5 can become: I will not try to get into the “cool” group because I’ve seen that they are hypocrites. I will not sit at the mean girls’ table at lunch and gossip with them.

How would you check off verse 7 on your To Do List? It can be done without sounding self-righteous. Wait for the right moment, but don’t hesitate to tell the story of your personal experience with God when a person needs to hear it.

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