Psalm 51 is a blueprint for how anyone can change for the better. We become the people we were created to be - the best versions of ourselves - when we do as David does and deal seriously with the stuff that holds us back. The more we do it, the freer we become.
If you’ve ever doubted Gods closeness - so has the author of Psalm 27. In this prayer-song of confidence we’re reminded of God’s closeness and promise to stick with us. We can freely dwell with Him and experience His love and goodness even in our less than ideal circumstances. How do we respond in the unfamiliar, when we’re waiting, when promises feel far from fulfilled?
We begin our new series on the Book of Psalms, with Psalm 23. This Psalm is a beautiful reflection of what our journey through life is like, the difficulties we face, and the perfect, everlasting character of God. It shows us that in the midst of trouble & distress, we are still able to dwell in the house of God.
Unlike the previous ‘I am’ statements, Jesus is no longer proclaiming who He is to the world. His very public ministry shifts, and his final two statements are to privately comfort and assure his closest friends before his death: I am the way, the truth and the life. Jesus is reassuring them - I’m not gonna leave you. I’m on your side and directly after this - I am the true vine. Not only I am never going to leave you, but I am going to be living inside of you and you are going to be in me. Remain in me, the Spirit is coming, do not fear. Remain in me and I will remain in you.
When we are faced with a world that does not operate as it should, there are times when our hearts feel troubled. Amidst this troubled feeling, it can become difficult to see where God is in the whole thing. Jesus says “Do not let your hearts be troubled”. This is not because it is wrong to feel troubled, but because He is on our side, and He is always with us.
Raising Lazarus from the dead was the 7th and final sign of Jesus that John included in his gospel, and it accompanies this incredible claim: that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. But the statement wasn’t made to answer questions about our eternal futures, or what happens after we die. Jesus made this claim to Martha; his very good friend, who was mourning the sudden loss of her brother. And it was a statement made about the here and now. The detail in this truly remarkable moment shows us beyond any doubt, that Jesus isn’t indifferent to our suffering and pain, He is with us in it, raging with us, about every instance of death, brokenness and pain
Our weaknesses and failures are good for realizing that we are not God. That we don’t have it all together & that we can’t do everything in our own strength. Jesus did nothing until the Holy Spirit came upon him. We too, must be empowered by the Spirit.
John Peters follows on with a talk on guilt & shame. They are true weapons of self destruction. They spoil our experiencing of Gods love - but they never stop Him from loving us. How do we spend as little time as possible in the company of guilt & shame?