August 2

Romans 3

In this chapter, Paul makes the point that all have sinned (verse 23). He does this in the context of Jews, having the knowledge of the Law, along with all the world (verse 19). Because of sin, we all DESERVE the death that comes from separating from a holy God. However, Paul says we’ve been JUSTIFIED by GRACE through REDEMPTION in Christ Jesus, a propitiation, or an appeasement of God’s wrath by a sacrificial offering (verses 24-25). To receive this gift, we must put our reliant, surrender in Jesus as our loving authority and caring Savior. As one who has known this tremendous offer of being loved and rescued, I say, “Praise God! Hallelujah!”

Psalms 68-69

Psalm 68 is a psalm of David about God giving victory to Israel. He begins, “Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered.” When an enemy comes together, the enemy becomes more powerful. When enemies are scattered, or divided, they become weaker. This is true during a time of war, but this is also true of any enemy. Some enemies try to come against a person, a business, a pastor, a church, or any other individual or group. The more people they can persuade to rally with them, the more credibility they gain, and the power influence or power they have against that person or group, that church or business.

King David was no stranger to opposition. Most leaders are familiar with spiritual and natural opposition because of the purpose we carry. How does David handle his enemies? He looks UP to GOD. Throughout this psalm, we see the cry of the man of faith for God to move on his behalf. Most of the time, David was not match for an enemy army. He relied on God to give him the victory. We can also learn to look to God, to give us victory over any opposition or slander. I’ve seen God move on behalf of Christians and churches for favor with zoning and permit issues. I’ve seen God scatter the critical, complaining groups of people gathered around His leaders, not allowing them to hinder His purpose.

David stayed true to God. Many have allowed the enemy to pull them away from their purpose by withdrawing or quitting. I’ve observed these people and they often live with the regret of their disobedience. I thank God for the many examples I’ve had of men and women who would not surrender to pressure, persecution, or a person who set themselves against God’s purpose. As Christians and as leaders, we have to keep our faith in the Lord and stand our ground.

In verse 5, we see that God will be that loving authority of a Father to the fatherless, someone who will mentor, provide, protect, and care for the weak. He will defend a widow. In those days, the men worked and the women took care of the homes. With the man in the home, the woman often could not care for herself. The truth is, without God, we can do nothing. We all are like the fatherless and the widow. God promises to be everything we need.

In verse 6, David writes that God puts the solitary in families. If the enemy finds strength in coming together, we can also find strength in coming together. Let’s watch out for those in need or who feel all alone.

In verse 11, the word says that there is a great company who will declare God’s word, and in verse12, it says that the women divide the spoil from the war. The men have been out on the battlefield, so the women, when they get the news of victory, will shout and declare it.

Apostle Paul quotes from verse 18 in Ephesians 4 when he writes of Jesus, “You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among (for) men.” Why? So the Lord could dwell there. In the Old Testament, it could refer to God being among His people. In the New Testament, we know God’s Presence is manifested when we come together in unity, with the leadership gifts helping to equip each part for their part in the kingdom.

Verse 19 is a favorite: “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation!”

In verse 28 it says, “Your God has commanded your strength.” When God gives a verbal command, it happens. He makes a declaration, and it comes to pass. I think when we feel swept up in the strong arms of the Lord, we can say with the last line of this psalm, “Blessed be God!”

Psalm 69 is another psalm of David’s, written with several references to Christ’s life, specifically verses 4 (John 15:25), 9 (John 2:17 and Romans 15:3), 21 (Matthew 27:34), and 25 (Acts 1:16-20).

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