God’s Goodness & Mercy into the New Year

Psalm 23:6, Surely, goodness and mercy shall pursue me all the days of my life, and I shall return in the house of YHWH forever (own Hebrew translation). A fitting psalm for today—the last day of the year. At the close of every year, people assume the new year will be immediately better as if there’s some…

God’s Gracious Choosing

John 1:17, For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came into being through Jesus Christ (own Greek translation). Does this mean the law is evil? Not at all! It is holy, good, and righteous because it reveals what is unholy, evil, and unrighteous, namely, sin (Romans 7:7-13). But the law is not grace. What…

The God of the Living

Psalm 118:17, I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD. This was my prayer during my days in service to my country in the Army, and nearly on a daily basis. Near death, this prayer has been my strength. Do not be mistaken, however: I did not pray this…

Have Mercy, O Lord

Psalm 51:1-2, Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! Such should be our daily prayer. I adore this psalm, for in it we find the two parts of repentance: contrition—godly sorrow—for…

Habitual Prayer

Psalm 77:2, In the day of my trouble, I seek the Lord.” This verse is the perfect summation of all the Psalms—seeking God in the day of trouble is ubiquitous in the Psalms. The Psalms are the oratio (prayer), meditatio (meditation), and tentatio (temptation) of daily Christian life—that is, God uses spiritual attacks/affliction (tentatio) to drive us towards prayer (oratio) and dependence…

Chief of Sinners

2 Corinthians 6:1, We appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. Even Christians are the most grievous sinners against God. The great apostle Paul—once a murderer and persecutor—called himself the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). What serious  Christian does not plead guilty before God as the chief of sinners? Every…

God Knows You

Psalm 139:1, O LORD, You have searched me and known me! How well do you know the people you are closest to? No matter how well we may know a person, there are times when their words and actions shock us. Can you think of any time a person you thought you knew really well surprised…