August 31

Pastor’s Note

Today we read some more great psalms that should fortify our confidence in a God who in the end “fulfills the desire of those who fear him” (145:19), who “lifts up those who are bowed down” (146:8), and who “heals the brokenhearted” (147:3). What great truths to have reinforced in our thinking and worship. In the New Testament we read about the “head coverings” of the first-century church, which may not be what you envision. For more on what may be a confusing section of Scripture for many, refer to my sermon on this text, “Your Gender Matters to God” (available on the FocalPointMinistries.org website).

— Pastor Mike

Psalms 145-147

Great Is the Lord

 [1] A Song of Praise. Of David.

145:1 I will extol you, my God and King,
 and bless your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless you
 and praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
 and his greatness is unsearchable.

One generation shall commend your works to another,
 and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
 and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
 and I will declare your greatness.
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
 and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and merciful,
 slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
 and his mercy is over all that he has made.

10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
 and all your saints shall bless you!
11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
 and tell of your power,
12 to make known to the children of man your [2] mighty deeds,
 and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
 and your dominion endures throughout all generations.

[The Lord is faithful in all his words
 and kind in all his works.] [3]
14 The Lord upholds all who are falling
 and raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
 and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand;
 you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
 and kind in all his works.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
 to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
 he also hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord preserves all who love him,
 but all the wicked he will destroy.

21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
 and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

Put Not Your Trust in Princes

146:1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
 I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

Put not your trust in princes,
 in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
 on that very day his plans perish.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
 whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who made heaven and earth,
 the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
 who executes justice for the oppressed,
 who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
 the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the sojourners;
 he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
 but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

10 The Lord will reign forever,
 your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!

He Heals the Brokenhearted

147:1 Praise the Lord!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
 for it is pleasant, [4] and a song of praise is fitting.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
 he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
 and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
 he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
 his understanding is beyond measure.
The Lord lifts up the humble; [5]
 he casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
 make melody to our God on the lyre!
He covers the heavens with clouds;
 he prepares rain for the earth;
 he makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to the beasts their food,
 and to the young ravens that cry.
10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
 nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
11 but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
 in those who hope in his steadfast love.

12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
 Praise your God, O Zion!
13 For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
 he blesses your children within you.
14 He makes peace in your borders;
 he fills you with the finest of the wheat.
15 He sends out his command to the earth;
 his word runs swiftly.
16 He gives snow like wool;
 he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;
 who can stand before his cold?
18 He sends out his word, and melts them;
 he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
19 He declares his word to Jacob,
 his statutes and rules [6] to Israel.
20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
 they do not know his rules. [7]
Praise the Lord!

1 Corinthians 11:1-15

11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

Head Coverings

Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife [8] is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife [9] who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. [10] 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering.

Footnotes

[1] 145:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem, each verse beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet
[2] 145:12 Hebrew his; also next line
[3] 145:13 These two lines are supplied by one Hebrew manuscript, Septuagint, Syriac (compare Dead Sea Scroll)
[4] 147:1 Or for he is beautiful
[5] 147:6 Or afflicted
[6] 147:19 Or and just decrees
[7] 147:20 Or his just decrees
[8] 11:3 Greek gunē. This term may refer to a woman or a wife, depending on the context
[9] 11:5 In verses 5-13, the Greek word gunē is translated wife in verses that deal with wearing a veil, a sign of being married in first-century culture
[10] 11:10 Or messengers, that is, people sent to observe and report

  • CheriClark

    OT

    Psalm145: 1-3 145:1 I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. 2 Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. 3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised and his greatness is unsearchable.

    Then: David is praising God for His goodness and His greatness. He states he will praise Him forever. And every day!

    Always: We as believers should praise God every day and forever for ALL He has done and ALL that He is!

    Now: Do we praise God daily? Do we remember what He has done? For us? For others? Do we remember and extol Him for who He is? As Creator of the Universe? As our provider and provision? As Alpha and Omega? Do we remember that He is the author of our salvation and the perfecter of our faith? Do we praise Him because He has won the victory and is seated on His throne? Do we glorify Him because He has our future secured? We have much to praise God for? May the words of praise be continuously on our lips !!!

    NT

    1 Corinthians 11: 1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ

    Then: Paul is telling the Corinthians to follow his example.

    Always: We as believers should look to the lives of mature Christians as examples as to how we should live.

    Now: I am reminded of Paul’s viewpoint back in 1Cor 4:15-16. He became their father in their walk with the Lord. A father desires what is best for their child. He wants them to grow up well. There is a tenderness in their concern for their child – that is what we see from Paul and it is what we should have for one another. We all need mentors in our lives. Someone who is more mature in the Lord so that we can follow their example as to how to walk this life. We can go to them and get godly counsel whether we need encouragement or correction. We know that they desire the best for us in God so we can trust that they are caring for us and setting us on the right path. We also need to be able to be mentors to someone else. There is accountability before God there – we can’t be a mentor if we don’t know God, don’t know His Word, and are not living the walk. We should say follow me as I follow Christ. May we in love and tenderness be willing to mentor others as we follow in humility and obedience the example that Jesus has given us.

    • Debbie Maxwell

      “Always: We as believers should praise God every day and forever for ALL He has done and ALL that He is!” Same page today Cheri.

    • Anne Ventura

      Yes, may I be a vessel in Christ to guide the oppressed.

  • Alyssa Cuccia

    On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
    and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
    They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. Psalm 145:5-6

    Last night in 3rd9 Hunter gave a sermon on resisting pride and how to cultivate humility. It came to mind often as I was reading through the psalms for today and realizing that we are given so many great and practical ways to fight pride. Take Psalm 145:5-6 for example; these verses tell us to meditate on the “wondrous works” and “glorious splendor” of God…I can think of few better ways to fight pride than to dwell on the complete gloriousness of the greatness of God! The person who has a mind consistently fixed on high thoughts of God will have little room for high thoughts of self. Verse 6 also challenged me to look to my words as a test of my high thoughts of God; it’s as though verse 5 is the cause and 6 the effect. Our words are directly affected by the kind of thoughts we have, therefore, if we have high thoughts of God it will come naturally for us to then speak of His “awesome deeds” and to “declare [his] greatness”. It is my prayer today that God would increase my thoughts of HIS greatness and decrease my thoughts of myself. Let us give glory, honor, and praise to the only One whom it rightly belongs.

    • Anne Ventura

      Well put.

    • CheriClark

      ” Let us give glory, honor, and praise to the only One whom it rightly belongs.” – YES!!!

  • Debbie Maxwell

    Psalm 145:9 The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.

    Psalm 145:17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.

    If we base our praise and thoughts about God on our circumstances that we find ourselves in….. we will find ourselves totally “under” them and grieve the Holy Spirit. If David (being one that the Bible says is a man after God’s own heart) is able to utter, declare, and magnify God’s great goodness, and praise while in the depths of despair and worst of nightmares…. we need to really ponder his actions. Daniel in the lion’s den, Noah on the ark… 40 day nightmare, Paul and Silas in the dungeon after being beaten… so many examples to encourage our faith and to learn from their examples.

    Pastor Spurgeon wrote such a wonderful summation re: God’s mercy and kindness (http://spurgeon.org/treasury/ps145.htm)
    Verse 9. The LORD is good to all. No one, not even his fiercest enemy, can this; for the falsehood would be too barefaced, since the very existence lips which slander him is a proof that it is slander. He allows his live, he even supplies them with food, and smooths their way with many forts; for them the sun shines as brightly as if they were saints, and the rain waters their fields as plentifully as if they were perfect men. Is not this goodness to all? In our own land the gospel sounds in the ears of all who care to listen; and the Scriptures are within reach of the poorest child. It would be a wanton wresting of Scripture to limit this expression to the elect, as some have tried to do; we rejoice in electing love, but none the less we welcome the glorious truth, “Jehovah is good to all.”

    Lord, help us to be “declarative” about Your great goodness, mercy and kindness to us, in spite of what our day or even the next hour may look like. May we really learn that there is “no shadow of turning with thee” (James 1:17), and you really are the same yesterday, today and forever, and are Always due our praise and worship. We love you Lord.

    • Anne Ventura

      “no shadow of turning with thee” (James 1:17), and you really are the same yesterday, today and forever, and are Always due our praise and worship. We love you Lord. Oh so beautifully said!!!

    • CheriClark

      Thank you for sharing Spurgeon.

  • Anne Ventura

    Psalm 146:5

    5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
 whose hope is in the Lord his God,

    May your teachings, your lovingness and kindness pour out of me to others Lord.

    Psalm 147: 3-5,11

    3 He heals the brokenhearted
 and binds up their wounds.
4 He determines the number of the stars;
 he gives to all of them their names.
5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
 his understanding is beyond measure.

    11 but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
 in those who hope in his steadfast love.

    Rev. 14:7 And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

    Lord, just your name yahweh, is holy and just and called to fear. May I always be in awe of you Lord!!!

    • CheriClark

      Praising Him with you!

  • Beth Metcalf

    His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
    nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
    but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
    in those who hope in his steadfast love. Psalms 147:10-11 ( Lord I desire to fear you more, I hope in your steadfast love!)

  • Sam Funk

    Psalm 145:8 The Lord is gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

    Consider the many superlative characteristics that are part of God”s divine nature. We serve an awesome God!

    Psalm 146:6 who made heaven and earth,
    the sea, and all that is in them,
    who keeps faith forever;

    Whenever I get haughty I can look around and see the heavens and the earth and realize that God made it all. Praise his Name!

    Psalm 147:11 but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
    in those who hope in his steadfast love.

    Those who understand who God is will know that he hates sin and he will judge each person eventually. That should send a shiver down the backs of those pretend to be his followers.

    1 Cor 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

    Paul was empowered by the Holy Spirit to be an Apostle, an author and imitator of the Lord.

  • NonieS

    Psalm 145

    8 The Lord is gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
    9 The Lord is good to all,
    and his mercy is over all that he has made.

    Our Lord waits patiently for His children to come to Him. He is good to all and is merciful and loving. I am so thankful that I belong to Him.

    1 Corinthians 11

    11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.

    In Christ we are all equal. God made woman from man, and all men are born from a woman. So many people believe that the Bible favors men over women. They don’t understand submission. We serve a mighty God, who made the heavens and the earth. His plans are for our good. Maranatha!!

    • CheriClark

      Oh – I also am grateful that I am His.

  • CrisFrancisco

    August 31, 2015

    OT
    “I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.”
    ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭145:1-4‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    http://bible.com/59/psa.145.1-4.esv

    God is worthy to praised and blessed every single day for all that he has done and continues to do in our lives and in the lives of everyone. Not only that, as believers, we need to be commending God to the next generation (our kids and other youth). 

    If we truly believe in God and trust in him, our time and actions need to be consistent with that faith. 

    NT
    “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”
    ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭11:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    http://bible.com/59/1co.11.1.esv

    Let us be imitators of Christ and surround ourselves with others who also imitate Christ. Being around others who are Christlike steps up our “game” and motivation to do the same. 

    Father, may we please you by trying to be like you–like your Son. 

    • CheriClark

      Yes- praising Him with you!

  • RyanDamato

    Psalm 145-

    1 I will extol you, my God and King,

    and bless your name forever and ever.

    When David praised God through the writing of these psalms, he clearly exposed the true heart of worship. In this first verse he starts by using the word extol-to worship God enthusiastically! This passion for God and all of his works is displayed in David as he continues through this psalm and as he magnifies the truths about God. God is worthy of being praised and not just simple praise but enthusiastic praise.

    Like David, we should extol God, our King, daily. He is so worthy of our praise in ALL things and we need to think often of his works and his great promises.

    I will consider this verse often as I praise the Lord. As I world to reach others with the gospel, I will make it my aim to be enthusiastic for God’s honor and glory. When I am being used to encourage or build up others in the Lord, I will look to do it enthusiastically for the Lord and make sure that he gets all praise and honor for everything he’s doing to sanctify his chosen people.

    1 Corinthians 11-

    Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

    Paul finishes off his instruction in the preceding verse in Chapter 10 by restating the fact that his actions in his life are all for God’s glory and not his own. He’s very concerned with the way the traditions have infiltrated the church in Corinth and his charge to the Corinthians is to keep Christ as the center of all things. It’s this thought that springboards him into the way they worshipped God and he would begin a section on head coverings through chapter 11. His goal was to address a lack of understanding regarding the head of all–God. He commends them for remembering the things he taught but he sees a disconnect in them knowing why they put these things into action.

    As we read through the Bible, we see different instruction that we tend to apply in our lives and sometimes we get so wrapped up in applying them that we forget to realize why. Paul simply says “be imitators of me, as I am of Christ”. Christ’s goal was to bring ultimate glory to God and Paul wanted to do the same. When he did certain things or said certain things, it was never without understanding and it was never to bring attention to himself. We need to imitate Paul as he made it his passion to imitate God and glorify Christ.

    The connection to the OT passage above is perfect. My life needs to be focused on enthusiastic worship for God. In all things, I want to imitate Christ and bring glory to God. That means I need to extol my God and King and praise him for ever. In my actions and thoughts today, I want to make sure that I am constantly focused on giving God the glory and praise for all.

  • Tracy Libby

    Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
    and his greatness is unsearchable.