Chatting with Jesus

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Lord, if there were such a program as The Real Psalmists of Israel, Davidwould have the leading role. Talk about drama. One crisis followed by another seemed to define his life. When he trusted his ingenuity, the situations worsened. Thankfully, the psalmist came to realize he could trust You in all matters. His declaration of faith has inspired believers through the centuries:

“The Lord is my light and my salvation, so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, so why should I tremble?” — Psalm 27:1

By fully trusting You, Lord, the psalmist survived several calamities. Being the ‘runt’ of the family, his brothers practically disowned him even after he slayed the giant Goliath. The king he served faithfully wanted his head. Enemies kidnapped his wives and children. His son rebelled and tried to assassinate him. Some scholars believe he suffered from diabetes. In his humanity, the psalmist made some dumb choices and paid dearly for them. But the psalmist learned to trust You, Lord, and You brought him through perilous times, (1 Samuel 16-31).

Our life may be spared the drama the psalmist experienced, but we all have problems in this broken world. Friends betray us. Disappointments come. Promises are broken. Sickness and disease afflict the good and the evil. We’re blessed with abundance, yet suffer lack. The list is endless.

As Your mercy and grace kept the psalmist, so does it keep all who trust You. Facing the difficulties of life, the psalmist stated:

“Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living,” —Psalm 27:13

As Christ followers, at times we may not understand, yet in this fallen world, we are assured we will see Your goodness—and probably in unexpected ways.

Amen, Jesus.

Chatting with Jesus

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Lord, how did the psalmist respond after receiving one bad report after another, telling how hopeless everything looked? Was all he had worked for in danger of ruination? Was there no good news? Anywhere?

Jump forward three thousand years and these circumstances sound much like today. Twenty-four/seven news channels bring little hope for tomorrow. For unbelievers, fear can be paralyzing, governing their lives. Like the psalmist, Christ followers are subjected to the same fears. Being as human as we are, did the psalmist wring his hands, pace back and forth, entertaining thoughts of doom? He probably did, but then You must have sent Your Spirit to remind the psalmist as to whom he belonged to.

When he came to his senses, did he ask himself, “What’s wrong with me? Why am I doubting God?” It was time to stand on his faith.” I refuse to live in fear.”

“The Lord is my light and my salvation!” he declared aloud. Because You are his God, the psalmist spoke faith to his fear. “So . . . why should I be afraid?”

I like how he reaffirmed his faith in You was greater than the fear taunting him. “The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger!” He said, giving notice to the devil’s lies, “So why should I tremble?” —Psalm 27:1 (NLT)

Lord, help me emulate the psalmist’s response to the fear in my world. This broken world has always experienced perilous times, but for we who put their trust in You, Lord, have always found comfort and strength in Your promises. Your power to protect and provide for Your own has not diminished.

Amen, Jesus

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Lord, for years I didn’t understand what the psalmist meant about living in the house of the Lord forever.

“I will live in the house of the Lord forever.” — Psalm 23:6 (NLT)

“The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life . . .”— Psalm 27:4 (NLT)

Lord, since You made sure I was born in Georgia, I understood the psalmist wanted us to live in the church building. Attending church on Sunday wasn’t enough, we had to live there too. Did I make You chuckle? Finally it dawned on me—living in the ‘house of the Lord’ means I belong to the House of God. I’m a member of God’s family.

Jesus, as a Christ follower, belonging to the House of the Lord allows me to partake of the benefits and inheritance You offers those who belong to You. Most important is the forgiveness of sins through faith in Your sacrifice on the cross. It took a while, but when I finally understood the impact of the cross, Your grace became more powerful in my life. The great extent You went through to redeem me leaves me humbled . . . and grateful.

Living in the House of the Lord also means the House of the Lord, the Holy Spirit, lives within me. Wherever I go, whatever I do, You, Lord, are always with me. When I’m making good choices according to Your principles, You are quick to give me an ‘atta boy!’ Likewise, when I do something foolish Your Spirit is quick to say, ‘Stop that nonsense now!’

Jesus, like the psalmist, I desire to live in Your House forever. Why would I want to live anywhere else? Amen, Jesus!

Chatting with Jesus

Friday, February 3, 2023

Lord, reading Philippians 4, I’m reminded of a story about my folks. One Sunday morning in church, the air conditioner had turned the sanctuary into a meat locker. People were shaking with cold, and my shivering mom complained to dad how cold she was. “You’ll be okay. It’s not that cold,” he said dismissively. Mom grew a little testy with my pastor dad and snapped, “I suppose you have a Scripture for this too!” Without missing a beat, dad said, “Philippians 4:11, I have learned to be content in whatever circumstance I find myself.” Needless to say, dad later experienced a new kind of coldness.

The Apostle Paul had many ups and downs in his ministerial life. He preached to crowds that welcomed him, as well as crowds that tried to stone him. There were times of abundance and times when his next meal was in doubt. He slept in warm, comfortable beds and on the cold, hard ground. Paul’s writings in 2 Corinthians 4 details how the evangelist life was no picnic, yet rewarding in ways that made all the trials worth it. Christ followers down through the centuries have found comfort in Paul’s words:

“For I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength,” —Philippians 4:11-13

Lord, help me daily live Philippians 4 in my life. You give me strength and grace to do all You have called me to do. You and me, Jesus. Amen.

Chatting with Jesus

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Lord, when Your Word instructs us to live by a godly principle You always give us an outline to accomplish Your will. The Apostle Paul encouraged the Philippian believers not to “worry about anything; instead pray about everything, tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done,” (Philippians 4:6). He left them instructions how to do this, since what he told them—and us—to do is so against our human nature. Sure, it takes discipline on our part, but here is the simple, yet perfect way to avoid worry and live in God’s peace:

“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise,” — Philippians 4:8 (NLT).

Scripture promises if we put into practice what we’ve learned and observed, worry will have difficulty gaining a foothold in our soul. The peace of God will smother the worry that wants to control our thoughts. This is thanking God for all He has done.

Lord, as one who leans toward ADHD, I need Your grace to stay focused on the truths of Philippians 4:8. We’re not to be ignorant of the world around us but being absorbed with 24-hour news stations bombarding us of everything wrong in the world has people living in fear. Peace of mind is foreign to them.

As Christ followers, as we dwell on Your promises, reveal new truths of who You are and who we are in You. Help us discipline ourselves to pray and not fret over things we cannot control, but trust You have complete control over everything that happens in our lives.

Living in Your peace, Jesus, Amen.

Chatting with Jesus

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Lord, when the Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippian believers Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done,” (Philippians 4:6), could he have imagined how some would take this truth of God’s faithfulness as a blank check?

Most see the ‘don’t worry’, ‘instead pray’, ‘thank Hm’ understand what he meant. God knows our heart, and we can trust Him to supply what we need that is for our best. Sadly, for some, in their misguided theology, have turned “Tell God what you need,” into “Tell God what you want.”

“Lord, I want a Lamborghini.” “Lord, I want You to bless me with a bigger house.” “Lord, I want to be that hunka-hunka burning love’s spouse.” “Lord, I want that promotion along with the corner office with the view.” “Lord, I want to be a famous Christian celebrity and be on TV so folks will see how close I am to You.”

I envision You in Heaven, Lord, rolling Your eyes, shaking Your head.

What did the Philippians believers tell You they needed?

“Lord, I need faith when after such careful planning, things don’t go as I planned.” “Lord, help me be a godly example for my children and grandchildren so they will choose to follow You.” “Lord, I need Your love and compassion for those who don’t know You.” “Lord, give us joy amid our hardships.” “Lord, I need patience with those who so easily get on my nerves.” “Lord, I need grace to forgive those who did me wrong, so I can be free from carrying that unforgiveness baggage around.” “Lord, I need the courage to speak up for those whose voices cannot be heard.” “Lord, I need for my prodigal child to come home.” On and on the Philippians’ prayers reached Heaven’s Throne Room. May our prayers be as sincere.

Lord, show what we really need in all situations. We give You thanks for all You have done.

Amen, Jesus.

Chatting with Jesus

Monday, January 30, 2023

Lord, what would have happened to the psalmist if not for Your unfailing grace. You had forgiven his sinful past, and set him free from the penalties of those sins. Even so, the devil relentlessly tormented him, bringing up his past, which had brought him great private and public shame. Did the devil tell him he had done too much wrong, made too many bad life choices to be fully forgiven?, Did the devil lie, saying You still held over the psalmist’s head the disaster of his sinful youth? 

I read how the psalmist prayed for reassurance of Your unfailing love and grace.

“Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and unfailing love, which You have shown from long ages past. Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth; remember me in the light of Your unfailing love, for You are merciful, O Lord,” — Psalm 25:6,7 (NLT)

Your Spirit reassured the psalmist his past no longer existed. In Your grace and forgiveness, he only had a future. Later, he wrote of this great truth:

“He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west” —Psalm 103:12 (NLT)

Lord, I’m not alone. How many Christ followers today hear the same ole lies from the enemy of our soul? Every day he tries to remind me of the follies, the failures of my youth. He even claims I put the ‘stu” in stupid.

After coming to faith, Your grace wiped my slate clean. Like all Christ followers, I falter daily in my faith walk. But gratefully, as You did with the psalmist, Your grace and Your Spirit brings me back on track.

Yes, Lord, even today, You continue to remember Your compassion and unfailing love as from long ages past.  Thank You Jesus.


Chatting with Jesus

Friday, January 27, 2023

Lord, David the psalmist, after wandering off the paths of righteousness, righted his spiritual life with You. He’d learned a painful lesson and determined never to stray again.

As I read the psalmist’s prayer, Your Spirit said I should make this my daily prayer as well.

“Show me the right path, O Lord, point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by Your truth and teach me for You are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You,” Psalm 25:4,5 (NLT)

Because this broken world offers pilgrims countless pathways to follow, how will we know which road to choose? Scripture instructs us that as Christ followers we should seek divine guidance to know what is true and be able to spot immediately what is counterfeit. Knowing the Scriptures is crucial to staying on track. The psalmist shared this message in his great collection of Your truths in Psalm 119:

“Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet, and a light for my path,” —Psalm 119:105 (NLT)

Lord, may I determine to learn Your Word so I may follow You as Your Spirit directs my life. You have the power to keep me from falling away from faith. Now I must choose. Do I yield to Your power and follow Your leading, even when I don’t understand where You are taking me? Or do I follow my own ways, drawn away by glitzy distractions that promise fulfillment, but always come up empty?

Like the psalmist, I’ve made my choice: All day long I put my hope in You, Jesus. Amen.

Chatting with Jesus

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Lord, the psalmist David prayed to stay faithful in his relationship with You. His most heartbreaking fear was he would bring public shame to Your marvelous grace and doubts about Your redemptive powers. He staked his faith, his reputation—his life—that You could keep all who trust in You from being disgraced. We assured of this truth, but why do we see Christ followers do foolish things to disgrace themselves? Did the psalmist answer that question because he became a living example of God’s grace when a believer in God falls into sin. Is that why he added this warning, “but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others” (Psalm 25:3b)?

Scripture tells us You called David “a man after Your own heart,” (Acts 13:22). You forgave his offenses against You and elevated him as a national spiritual leader, yet in his weakened humanity, he yielded to adultery’s temptation.

Second Samuel 11 and 12 details the sordid story of the psalmist’s downfall. The greater his deception, the worse the matter became. Israel’s once mighty leader became the scorn of society. In humiliation and shame, he confessed the whole ugly affair. No more deceptions. No more half-truths. He came clean, repented, and pleaded for Your mercy. You forgave and restored him, but the spiritual and emotional price he paid was staggering. David is urging us to stay close to You, since You are our Shepherd who keeps us safe.

Lord, may we take to heart David’s lesson and stay close to You. Keep us from becoming too spiritually proud to think we’re too ‘holy’ to fail. We’re not.

Only Your grace, Lord, keeps Your followers from being disgraced. With a grateful heart, we humbly say, thank You Jesus for Your mercy and eternal life in Heaven. We may have to live with the consequences of our sin here, but You paid the price for them all on the cross. Lord, may Your grace always overwhelm and humble us.


Chatting with Jesus

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Lord, after the psalmist committed to serving You, did he fear he might not keep his end of the deal? Did the enemy of his soul, that lying devil, whisper in his ear he could not live for God even if his life depended on it?He had done too much wrong. As I read his words, it seems that way. In Psalm 25, when he publicly declares his commitment to You, the skeptics came out in droves, watching his every move, anxious for him to stumble in his new profession of faith. As we read his plea, how many Christ followers have prayed the same. I have on many occasions.

“Oh, Lord, I give my life to You, I trust in You, my God. Do not let me be disgraced or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat,”—Psalm 25: 2

Like me, the psalmist remained flawed, but forgiven. Sure he sinned again, but immediately repented and continued his relationship with You. But what if he failed to uphold his end of the commitment? For anyone with a working conscience, what could be worse than being publicly disgraced? After publicly proclaiming faith in You, falling away from the faith would give the critics a field day.

Because of his leadership position in society, the psalmist was used to being in the spotlight. But for average new believers, being in the spotlight presents uncomfortable situations they didn’t know they signed up for.

But Lord, You have given us everything we need to live for You. You have our backs. You gave Your Holy Spirit to live inside us, to guide and protect us. And not only that, You promised Your followers that once they belong to You, nothing on Earth or in Hell can snatch us out of Your hand, (John 10:28). According to Romans 8:35-38, nothing can separate us from Your love. Jude recorded another great truth to assure believers of their eternal security.

“Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into His glorious presence without a single fault,” —Jude 1:24 (emphasis added)

Lord, I agree with the psalmist: You go all out to keep all who trust You from being disgraced,” Psalm 25:3.

Amen, Jesus