Day 24 | February Devotional from Psalms - "The Price of Admission"



Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name. Psalm 100:4

Entering God's gates with thanksgiving is the public expression of our devotion to Him. We do this when we gather with other believers for fellowship and worship at our local church home. 

In the Old Testament, smoke and incense filled the air surrounding temples and offerings of Old Testament priests. The "Shekinah" glory of the Lord would sometimes supernaturally manifest like a cloud or mist. This was the public evidence of God dwelling among people. When we assemble together as the Body of Christ, our songs, prayers, and thanksgiving publicly testifies to God's work in our heart and lives. We celebrate the finished work of Jesus Christ!

Thanksgiving is the (free) "price of admission" to enter God's court and Presence. In His court, praise is very specifically focused on the Godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Our praise is specific because we know no other source of life and blessing. We know where all of our blessings come from!

Thanksgiving and praise is not a ceremony, it is a "do-a-mony." So do it today and everyday!

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Reflection Question: Today, what thanks and praise can you offer to God?


Today’s action item based on insight: 

Day 23 | February Devotional from Psalms - "Something Only an Older Person Can Give You"


My father teaching Bible study at Wheeler rescue mission for men
Psalm 71:18 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.

As I increasingly become "old and grayheaded," there are some interesting things I have learned: 

1. Age is only a number, but it is a number that both gains respect and contributes to alienation.
2. Only things that are important deserve time and attention. Drama and frivolous things all get moved to the margins.
3. Living a long time has proven God's faithfulness over and over again. There is no doubting God.
4. The things that have value and things that don't become abundantly clear.

Thursday and Friday, there were two occasions that reminded me of David's words, "O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come."

#1 - On Thursday, I accompanied my father, Rev. Horace Bryan Hudson, to Wheeler Mission Ministries in downtown Indy yesterday. At 82 years old and still preaching the gospel, playing his guitar, and singing God's praises! He’s been doing this for almost every month for more than 30 years! He continued going for 15 years after my mother passed. They sang and ministered together until she was no longer able to participate. I've been going with him for three years and I share a brief exhortation with the men before he brings the main Bible lesson. Dad is "declaring strength" to the men.
Me spending time mentoring a young man
#2 - On Friday, I spend some time with the son of a friend and mentee who passed back in October of 2018. As a young man, he still needs the influence of "father like ones." We talked about life and God's word. I could see that he was encouraged by another one of our visits together.

The great benefit of age-with-wisdom is the ability to "declare strength" to the younger generation and impart power (authority and ability) through personal encounters. It is something that deeply impacted me from the time I spent with older men and women growing up. I proactively sought them out. The level of knowledge and wisdom inside of older people is amazing--if we have the good sense to seek it (because they don't have the time or energy to go around trying to hand it out).

One of the worse feelings is to watch a younger person languish, get caught up in empty pursuits, and fail to walk in wisdom---only for a lack of insight from older people who have knowledge/wisdom (as distinct from older people who lack wisdom!). 

Older people can only act based on willingness for younger people to receive and by invitation. I pray that we will all seek to gain the strength and power that can only come from interactions with older people who have strength and power from God to give.
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Reflection Question: Who do you need to seek out for wisdom and knowledge?

Today’s action item based on insight: 

Day 22 | February Devotional from Psalms - "This is the Day!"



Psalm 118:24 This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

This is a faith filled affirmation. Obviously, no one knows what a day will bring. All the more reason to dedicate each day to the Lord. Those things we give to God come under His care.

We all know the experience of loaning something to someone who did not take proper care of it. You can entrust God with your day! As a matter of fact, you’ll find that He will give it back to you better than you gave it to Him. I cannot imagine anyone better than Almighty God to entrust something as important and non-recoverable as your day.

David said that we should rejoice and be glad in this day. We do this bearing in mind that everything happens on a day, both good things and bad things. The attitude and practice of rejoicing will most certainly put us in a better position to handle anything that happens during a day.

Purpose to start your day with this affirmation of faith and confidence in God by using Psalm 118:24.
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Reflection question: What are two or three things that you can envision going better when you dedicate your day to God?

Today’s action item based on insight: 

Day 21 | February Devotional from Psalms - "Attributes and Outcomes for Your Life"



Psalms 19:7, The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; 8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; 9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.


WATCH THIS DEVOTIONAL


We are going to return to Psalms 19 to look at verses 7-11. God's Word is more than mere words. God's word is like the forces of nature or the laws of physics. It is a very real power that can do what God promised, especially on our behalf when we believe and act on His word.

Verses 7-9 explain real attributes and outcomes that we have experienced, or can experience. 

ATTRIBUTE  =  OUTCOME

Law of the LORD is perfect (whole complete)  --  Converts the soul: Brings Change

Testimony of the LORD is sure (not shaky like the world around us) -- Making wise the simple: Removes naivet√© 

Statutes of the LORD are right (Defines life and reality) -- Rejoicing the heart: Brings meaning and balance to life

Commandment of the LORD is pure (not mixed, sincere) -- Enlightening the eyes: Brings clarity and authenticity

Fear of the LORD is clean: (In a physical and moral sense. We do not want to displease God) -- Enduring forever: Not like things that break down when not clean

Judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. (God influenced decisions are best) Good and bad decisions drive our quality of life.

The high value that we place on God's word:
v. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold;  Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

The consequences of the value we place on God's word"
v. 11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward. 

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Reflection Question: What attributes and outcomes above speak to you?


Today’s action item based on insight: 

Day 20 | February Devotional from Psalms - "God's Light Shines on You"




Psalms 97:11, Light shines on the godly, and joy on those who do right. 12 May all who are godly be happy in the LORD and praise his holy name!

Light, joy, happiness, praise. These are words, and realities, that belong in the life of the believer. The Bible says that God is light, in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). Darkness is a condition resulting from the absence of light. There is no reason for us to ever live in darkness.

This text shows us that our decisions, in cooperation with the grace of God, brings many benefits. Living godly causes God's light to shine on us at all times. Doing right produces a sense of joy. Happiness, which is a temporary state, is a byproduct of godly living.

The definition of "godly" in the Strong's concordance is "faithful, kind." This helps us understand that godly living is not some super spiritual state. It is our willingness to be faithful to God and his Word. It is a disposition of kindness.

Today and always, light and joy and happiness and praise are yours!

Reflection Question: What does God's light in your life look like?

Today’s action item based on insight: