Posted by: Larry Hoekman | August 4, 2017

Psalms — Psalm 141 – Our Present Help!

Day 2820: It’s Friday!!!

Scripture: O Lord, I call upon You; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to You! Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, to practice deeds of wickedness with men who do iniquity; and do not let me eat of their delicacies. Let the righteous smite me in kindness and reprove me; it is oil upon the head; do not let my head refuse it, for still my prayer is against their wicked deeds. 

For my eyes are toward You, O God, the Lord; in You I take refuge; do not leave me defenseless. Keep me from the jaws of the trap which they have set for me, and from the snares of those who do iniquity. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by safely.  Excerpts from Psalm 141

Thoughts/questions: This Psalm might be summarized in one word – HELP! You would think the writer of this Psalm also wrote Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. They aren’t the same author, but they know the same God!

Is God our crutch? Unashamedly YES! When I see the rows of prescription drugs and over the counter drugs; when I’m aware of the use of illegal drugs; when I see counters full of alcohol – we all need a little help from our friends.

And for those of us who know God, Jesus, Holy Spirit; we KNOW where our help comes from – our help comes from the LORD! And who/what better than Him – nothing!

Suggested prayer: Dear God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, You ARE my help always! Thank You for always being there for me . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | August 3, 2017

Psalms — Psalm 140 – Protection, Revenge, and Hope!

Day 2819: Rain in the Central Coast of California in August – yep!

Scripture: Rescue me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men who devise evil things in their hearts; they continually stir up wars. They sharpen their tongues as a serpent; poison of a viper is under their lips. Selah. 

I said to the Lord, “You are my God; give ear, O Lord, to the voice of my supplications. O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle. Do not grant, O Lord, the desires of the wicked; do not promote his evil device, that they not be exalted.” Selah.

“As for the head of those who surround me, may the mischief of their lips cover them. May burning coals fall upon them; may they be cast into the fire, into deep pits from which they cannot rise.”

I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted and justice for the poor. Surely the righteous will give thanks to Your name; the upright will dwell in Your presence.

Thoughts/questions: A prayer of protection; a request for revenge; and a statement of hope! All of these share one common denominator: bringing one’s concerns directly to the One who has the power to help and is the One who is responsible for vengeance!

We can’t provide protection though we try. We aren’t suppose to take revenge in our own hands. We can only find true hope in the One who eventually will bring justice to all. The Psalmist knew his place and who his God is. Do you?

Suggested prayer:  Father God, may my trust be only in You . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | August 2, 2017

Personal Sharing — It’s Not Fair!

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | August 1, 2017

Personal Sharing — The Weakest Link?

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | July 31, 2017

Personal Sharing — My Gardener!

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | July 29, 2017

Psalms — Psalm 139:23, 24 –

Day 2815: May your last weekend in July be a truly great one!

Scripture: Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.  Psalm 139:23, 24

Thoughts/questions: Search me, O God – Even though God knows all, the Psalmist is willing for God to evaluate every part of his life. God doesn’t need our permission, but we should welcome Him into every corner of our lives!

Know my heart – If you haven’t read ‘My Heart: Christ’s Home!’ you should. Again the Psalmist wants God to invade EVERY part of him, even his most important part – his heart. May God know our heart as well!

Know my anxious thoughts – Worry! In this case, I believe that by God knowing his anxious thoughts, the Psalmist wants God to take them away! Anxious thoughts or fear turning into trust and faith! Let’s do this as well!

See if there be any hurtful way in me – These words are directed to God. The Psalmist did not want to hurt God. Again, not just see if the hurtful ways exist, but a request for God to REMOVE them!  

Lead me in the everlasting way – There are lots of paths and ways that we can choose to take. God’s way is the everlasting way. May we always choose to be lead in His way!

Suggested prayer: Father God, help me to be completely Yours without holding anything back . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | July 28, 2017

Psalms — Psalm 139:17-22 – Always!

Day 2814: Another TGIF – Thank God I’m Forgiven – never gets old . . .

Scripture:  How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.

O that You would slay the wicked, O God; depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed. For they speak against You wickedly, and Your enemies take Your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate You, O LordAnd do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with the utmost hatred; they have become my enemies.   Psalm 139:17-22

Thoughts/questions: It seems to make sense that I think about God, but Him extending His thoughts towards me – wow! And from the Psalmist’s point of view, God is pretty much continually thinking about each one of us! That IS precious!

When I awake, I am still with You – this will ALWAYS be true. Whether we awake on earth or some day when we awake in heaven, we will still be w/Him! In this crazy mixed up world, that’s a certainty we can count on!

The Psalmist didn’t have a handle on the ‘love your enemies’ teaching of Jesus, but God does. How He patiently deals w/those in direct opposition to Him I don’t know – another example of His unconditional love. Most of the time I am more like the Psalmist not like God. May I (we) change to express God’s unconditional love to all!

Suggested prayer: Almighty God, the more I know about You, the more impressed I am by You . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | July 27, 2017

Psalms — Psalm 139:13-16 – Our Creator!

Day 2813: Blessed be the name of the Lord!!!

Scripture:  For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.  Psalm 139:13-16

Thoughts/questions: God wove us in our Mother’s womb utilizing DNA. Here’s a little bit of DNA info revealing the magnitude of our God’s weaving of us! DNA is made up of four chemicals, abbreviated as letters A, T, G, and C.

Much like the ones and zeros in computers, these letters are arranged in the human cell like this: CGTGTGACTCGCTCCTGAT and so on. The order in which they are arranged instructs the cell’s actions. What is amazing is that within the tiny space in EVERY cell in your body, this code is three billion letters long! That 3,000,000,000 in each cell. This bit of complexity convinced former atheist, Dr. Anthony Flew, to acknowledge some form of super intelligence.

Fearfully and wonderfully made? You better believe it! What a masterful Creator! WOW!!!

Suggested prayer: Almighty God, 3,000,000,000 in every cell in my body. You truly are an awesome Creator . . .

 

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | July 26, 2017

Psalms — Psalm 139:7-12 – Where Are You?

Day 2812: Like it or not, God IS watching!

Scripture:  Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night.” Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. Psalm 139:7-12

Thoughts/questions: Yesterday, I took a lunch plane trip in a 2-seat home made little plane. We only climbed to 8,500 feet, but people were invisible way before that point, and that was at high noon!

Not so with God! Even in the DARK, where can I flee from His presence? Obvious answer – no where! And when we want to be hidden, that’s not a good thing. BUT truly we should NEVER want to be outside of God’s ability to find us!

Remember God’s very first recorded question to Adam and Eve – ‘Where are you?’ This was not a case of them fleeing His presence, but the question related to their spiritual condition after their initial sin.

So if we can’t escape God’s presence day or night, then He never questions our physical location, only our spiritual status. And therefore we need to ask ourselves on a regular basis – ‘where are we spiritually?’ Don’t like your answer – time to change!

Where ARE you?

Suggested prayer: Loving Father, thank You for not only knowing where I am, but also for caring about where I am . . .

 

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | July 25, 2017

Psalms — Psalm 139:1-6 – Yes, He Knows Me!

Day 2811: Too great a Psalm not to spend a few days on!

Scripture: O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thoughts from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways.

Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it.  Psalm 139:1-6

Thoughts/questions: I definitely agree with the Psalmist – this knowledge is too wonderful for me! That He knows everything about me – what I do, where I go, what I think about, what I’m ‘going’ to say – yes, He knows it ALL!

That’s bad enough in itself as a few of my activities, thoughts, and words I’d certainly like to keep from Him, but I guess that’s where forgiveness comes in. Two things come to mind: 1) His intimate knowledge of every thought, word, and deed of mine does not diminish His love for me nor His desire to commune with me daily. That IS unconditional love!

2) That He has all this pre-knowledge, and yet we are not puppets but free moral agents is truly too high for me, I cannot attain to it. At times I would like to comprehend God and am a bit frustrated with Him, but all in all, for God to be God I cannot and WILL not ever attain to Him! He’s God, I’m not!!!

Suggested prayer: Almighty God; You are FAR too wonderful for my comprehension or understanding. You are the great and mighty God . . .

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