Tuesday, May 31, 2016

June 1, 2016

We learned the song as kids, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so." Faith is easy for us. The Bible says it and we believe it, case closed! It never occurred to us to doubt the existence of God. That's always been a given.

Ask us if God exists and we'd reply, "Does oxygen exist? Does gravity exist? Of course God exists!"

However, for many in our world God is grouped in with Santa, Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Santa leaves toys under the Christmas tree, EB leaves colored eggs and the Tooth Fairy slips some coin under the pillow, what evidence do we have of God?
I'll deal with two proofs in this article.

Every Effect Has A Cause

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands." Psalm 19:1

The law of cause and effect is best described as the law of life. It is the law by which all the other universal laws are based upon. Understanding that everything in the universe is energy and therefore everything is connected. Then we can see how through these interconnections, what happens to one thing must effect another thing. The old saying “what you give is what you get” is entirely true of life and directly describes the law of cause and effect.

In the entire universe, nothing exists independently. Everything has been created by something else and nothing is permanent. The law of cause and effect is commonly known throughout science. For every action there is a reaction or similarly, for every cause there is an effect and from every effect there must have been a cause. This law is an inescapable truth and until you learn and accept it you will be like the cat chasing its tail. 

Here is a point of agreement between believers and unbelievers - the universe is vast and awesome and is the result of an incredible cause. Everywhere you look you see the wonder of our world and it came from something somewhere. That is undeniable and not debatable. From there the opinions vary widely.
Atheists and agnostics usually align with the evolutionary theory of a "Big Bang". Christians accept the Biblical record of a Creator, God, speaking the world into existence according to His plan.

As Alex McFarland writes in the text we are using for this series, "So the question up for debate isn't whether the universe has an origin, it's who - or what - prompted that beginning. Imagine you are in your living room, enjoying a peaceful afternoon while reading the paper. Suddenly, a baseball flies into the room, shattering your window. Obviously, your first question wouldn't be, 'How did this get here?' It would be in a highly-bothered tone, 'Who did this?!'" The baseball didn't just smash through your window for no reason. Some agent acted upon it, causing a "disturbance in the force" that ruined your perfectly good afternoon.

Just as that baseball didn't launch itself through your window, but it was propelled by a person either accidentally or in anger. There is zero percent probability of a baseball throwing itself through a window.

Likewise, as the baseball could not throw itself the universe did not generate itself. To believe either of those could happen is to defy significant mathematical odds. And as that baseball had to be thrown by a person, so Christians believe the Biblical explanation that the universe was created by a Person, God. It is a far more reasonable and logical explanation.

Every Creation Has A Creator

I have been around for quite awhile but I have never heard of anything that created itself. Everything on earth is made by something or someone. I did not create myself. You did not create yourself. We were created by our parents who were created by their parents all the way back to the original parents, Adam and Eve. Where they came from is a point of some contention.

Either they spontaneously constructed from some random convergence of flesh and bones and blood or they were created by Someone. Which sounds most plausible to you? Which one takes the most faith to believe?

If you feel confident with the probability that your Honda constructed itself from raw iron ore, bauxite, petroleum based materials and fibers, and assorted electronic components, then you can be comfortable with the atheist and agnostic ideas of creation.

Personally, I'll line up with the Genesis account.

So, why would someone align with the highly improbable concept of the origin of the universe when it defies all the odds and many accepted laws of physics? Maybe because they desire control and no consequences more than they desire truth.

How could someone subscribe to a random, irrational, demeaning, and impersonal version of creation when you it makes more sense to believe the Biblical account? It makes no sense unless they are more committed to being in control and escaping consequences than to the truth.

May 31, 2016

"May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy,  for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth. May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us. God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him."   Psalm 67:1-6

One of the interesting things about the Holy Land is you've got the Jordan River going right down and on either end you have large bodies of water. On one end you have the Sea of Galilee. On the other end you have the Dead Sea. And you can't imagine two bodies of water that are more different than one another. The Sea of Galilee is the place that we always think about the fishermen with their nets. From all the stories in the New Testament, a place of abundance where people can earn their living by catching the fish there. They provide for their families and provide for others, because of the life that's in Lake Galilee. But, you go to the other end of the Jordan River and you find the Dead Sea. A place that has so much salt content in it that large life, life that we would consider useful and part of our abundance, just doesn't even exist. It's dead in that regard. They both receive the same water. They both receive the same abundance, but the key difference is, Lake Galilee receives, but it also has an outlet and the water flows through it. But in the Dead Sea there is no outlet and so the water just accumulates, year after year, century after century, getting more and more salty and less and less hospitable to life. I think that is a good image for us to ponder about our lives.

Which are you like, Lake Galilee or are you like the Dead Sea? God is pouring all this abundance into your life. How much of it leaks out? How much of it is passed on? Because one of the things that you can't escape is that a basic rule of life is that you have His life in you and as you receive abundantly and as you pass that abundance on in some measure to others that life is the blessings of that life is shared by other.

So when God looks at your life, what does he see? Does he see something that's full of life, where his blessing to you pass on through and become blessings in the lives of others or is there something stopping it up and making it become more and more inhospitable to the life of the Spirit? You are blessed to be a blessing. So as you focus on this what worship means and as you thank God, will you recommit yourself to being a channel, a channel of good things to the incredible variety of people that God has put around you? Because even as you share this life with others, you receive it more abundantly in your own life.

That is the central truth of this great Psalm! It elevates the role of worship in your life and the life of your church. Worship done right will change your world!

May 30, 2016

I hope you are enjoying your holiday week-end. 
I share this devotional thought I found online this evening.
Memorial Day – to some it’s merely the beginning of summer and to others it’s a solemn day to remember those who have passed from this life. However, to the war veteran and to the families of fallen soldiers, Memorial Day carries significance so deep that words cannot express their hearts.
When we look into the eyes of those who still mourn these once vibrant men and women, we often sense their loneliness and pain. We hear them choke back tears as they simply say the ranks and names of their military brothers and sisters at a Memorial Day service. White gloves, dress uniforms, rigid posture, and perfectly precisioned salutes represent the reverence and respect flowing from within. Those who have been personally affected by war understand and appreciate this day of remembrance.
What should we say to those who sincerely honor this day? "Happy Memorial Day" doesn't seem fitting. "I'm sorry for your loss" may be closer to appropriate. What would the fallen soldier want from their comrades and the rest of the country on this day?
In an often quoted Memorial Day speech given in 1884 by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., the speaker ended his address with these words, “Our dead brothers still live for us, and bid us think of life, not death -- of life to which in their youth they lent the passion and joy of the spring. As I listen, the great chorus of life and joy begins again, and amid the awful orchestra of seen and unseen powers and destinies of good and evil our trumpets sound once more a note of daring, hope, and will.”
The American soldier who gave his or her life for U.S. citizens to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness won’t be telling us how to observe the holiday. But I believe that Holmes’ proposition to “think of life, not death” would honor the fallen soldier. Their sacrifice follows the example of Jesus Christ laying down His life for our freedom. It's selfless love for others – not so they can mourn forever, but live!
"We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters." 1 John 3:16
Notice that in scripture and in military service, the willingness to give up one’s life is not dependent on the worthiness of the people who benefit from the honorable act. In a perfect world, all who receive freedom and grace would be worthy of such a sacrifice and full of gratitude. But that’s not the way it is anywhere on earth.
"But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Romans 5:8
We are blessed to be living in a free society. May we honor our American soldiers for the liberty we have in this country. May we also give thanks to Almighty God for the freedom we have to spend eternity with Him because of His gift of forgiveness through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

May 28, 2016

"May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us—so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations."  Psalm 67:1-2

Is it proper for me to ask God to bless me? Is that selfish? Is it conceited?

In I Chronicles 4:10, a man named Jabez prayed this prayer requesting God's blessing, "Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request."

Jabez boldly asked for God's blessing and he received it.

We have a God Who is exceedingly gracious and kind! He delights in blessing His people!

The Psalmist mentions several ways He wants to bless you!

He will bless you with His grace! Grace is His undeserved kindness and goodness to you. When you deserved judgment for your sins, God sent Jesus to take your guilt and suffer the penalty so you could receive mercy rather than judgment.

Have you asked Him for his mercy? Have you received His grace?

Also, God wants to bless you with His favor.

What does that mean?

Essentially, it means you become one of His favorite ones. He picks you out of the crowd because you have chosen Him to be your Lord. He directs His attention and His protection and His pleasure in your direction!

God's greatest blessing is His salvation - saving you from your sin and selfishness - delivering your eternal soul from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. When you receive His salvation you come into possession of His greatest blessing, for when you have His salvation you have His grace and His favor!

Friday, May 27, 2016


"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is true worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."  Romans 12:1-2

Holiness happens through sanctification. After you consecrate yourself unto God, repent of your sin, and renounce your sinfulness, God cleanses away your sin nature by the blood of Jesus. Once you have been made clean you can receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit. When that happens, as Romans 12:1-2 tells you, a fundamental transformation takes place.

God is in the transformation business. You and I may settle for reformation but He doesn't. Perhaps that is because reformation is the best we can do - sometimes, for brief periods. But He transforms because He can and because we need it and because we can't.

Consider some of the transformational work He does in you:


"this is true worship"   At the heart of your sin problem is your heart - corrupted and degenerate. It is "deceitful above all things and desparately wicked, who can know it?"  The heart of the deceit is the desire to be God and that desire makes it tough to worship the true One. That is a problem. A big problem that needs to be changed. Not reformation change but transformation change. Sanctification does that fundamental transformation of your nature.


"tranformed by the renewing of your mind"  It is hard to do right when you are thinking wrong. It is hard to honor God when your thoughts are ungodly. Trying to reform what you think about only causes you to think about it more. What you need is a renewed mind, a mind transformed by the power of God - a sanctified mind.


"do not conform to the pattern of this world" When your heart is transformed and how you think is transformed it positively affects your habits. Behavior is the product of desires and decisions so when both of those are fundamentally changed by the power of God's Spirit, old habits are replaced by new disciplines. Those unproductive and counterproductive behaviors no longer control you. You are sanctified.


In your own strength with a sinful heart, corrupted mind, and harmful habits what is there to hope for? Reformation? Maybe. But that is more hoping than hope. However, if you were to allow God to sanctify you wholly, heart, head and habits then you would have true hope for the future! And your future can be filled with hope not hoping!

Holiness is wholeness! It transforms you spiritually, mentally, emotionally and behaviorally! As St. Paul declares, "the old is passed away and all things became new".

So, how about you? Will you settle for trying to make yourself into a more tolerable sinner or will you consecrate yourself to God for His sanctification? In view of God's mercies, it is your reasonable service!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

May 27, 2016

"Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:  I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.  It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud;  and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.  The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”  And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.” Genesis 9:11-17

Promises are simple to make hard to keep and easy to break.

Broken promises can break hearts and shatter trust. No doubt you have suffered a broken heart as result of a broken promise. Or, perhaps you have hurt someone else by not keeping a promise.

Most promises are not broken because they are forgotten but because someone promised more than he could deliver.

God made a century long promise to Noah that if he would build an ark to the exact specifications that he was given, God would save his family from the impending judgment via the flood. A Noah promised he would do it. He kept his promise and God kept His.

Let me tell you why this story matters so much. The Christian life is a life of faith and faith is built upon your expectations of God. Your expectations of God grow out of the experiences you have with God. When we you inexperienced in your walk you can learn from the experiences that others had with God - people like Moses and the disciples and Joshua and Noah. One thing you learn from them is they believed the promises of God and God kept His promises.

When the flood was over and Noah's family was delivered from the flood God had kept His promise and Noah had done his part, God put a rainbow in the remnants of the storm. The rainbow was a visible symbol of a promise kept and the seal of a new promise made. Never again would God destroy the earth in this manner.

Think a moment about what a rainbow is. Rainbows appear as you look back in the direction the storm came from. It is the result of the sun shining through the clouds in the aftermath of the storm. It is the promise that the storm is over and the sun is coming out and you will be safe. As you remember that you begin to understand what a perfect reminder the rainbow is! God's rainbow reminds you that this storm is over and His Son is coming and you are safe!

The Christian life is lived in promise-land until you get to THE Promised Land and the rainbow is the reminder you can trust His promises in life's storm and between the storms. So, if you are in the storm right now, remember the rainbow. God does!

So you can trust the promises of God, you can know what to expect from Him and you can be sure what He expects from you. God gave His rainbow as a reminder that He keeps His promises. That reminder is primarily for you to remember since God always remembers His promises. I guess you could say that the rainbow reminds you that He remembers to remember His promises. God will never forget His promise nor can He ever make a promise that He is not able to keep. So, His promises are as good as gold! The gold at the end of the rainbow?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May 26, 2016

"The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1b 

Here is some more good news from this great 27th Psalm!

Not only does God deliver your from inner and outer darkness, because He is your light and salvation, but he also is the "stronghold" of your life!

That just sounds comforting doesn't it? "Stronghold"!

Exactly, what does that mean?

A "stronghold" usually referred to the concept of a "Strong" tower - a very high, very strong and inaccessible structure nearly impossible to prevail against.

When I think of a "stronghold" I think safety. It is a place to flee when danger threatens. Do you have a safe place to run to?

The Lord is a stronghold, a safe place to run!

When I think of a "stronghold" I think security. A stronghold is a safe place to stay and remain secure against the attacks of the enemy.

The Lord is a stronghold, a secure place to rest!

When I hear the word "stronghold" I think solitude. A stronghold is a quiet place where you can find solitude in your spirit.

The Lord is a stronghold, a silent place to retreat and recover!

Where do you flee for safety? 

Where do you look for security? 

Where can you find solitude?

Can you declare with the Psalmist, "The Lord is the stronghold of my life!"

Faith Floats

"Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth."  Genesis 7:17

What can you expect from a God Who can do anything, anytime, to anyone when ever He wants to?

From the perspective of Noah, you can expect God to keep His promises!

And, indeed, He did! And trusting in God's promise strengthened Noah before the storm. But that is not all! Noah also found that trusting God's promise also supported him IN the storm!

Can you get your mind around what Noah did? He spent 120 years preparing for an catastrophic event that would be caused by a meteorological phenomenon never seen before! That's faith! That is believing God!

Noah expected that the same promise that strengthened him while he prepared for the storm would also support him IN the storm!

What do you trust during your storms? 

What supports you?

This stirring story of Noah reminds us that life is stormy! As you read this you are either in a storm, coming out of a storm or headed to the next one! When those storms come you will either sink or swim! That's the way it is! Where will you look for support?

There are so many great lessons to learn from this story, but one that I want to focus on is this: when you expect God to support you in the storm He will use the flood that would have destroyed you will lift you up!

Faith floats! When you claim the promises of God and live by them every day, faith will keep you afloat! When you base your decisions on the promises of God, faith will keep you afloat! 

God's promises will lift you above your doubts! His promises will lift you above your despair! His promises are based in His character and guaranteed by His power so you can hope in them like Noah did.

Don't be fearful in the storm! 

Don't sink and don't get swamped. 

Cling to His promises and they will support you!

I promise!

Monday, May 23, 2016

May 24, 2016

"Noah did everything just as God commanded him." Genesis 6:22

What can you expect from God?

You can expect Him to keep His promises! All of them.

When you believe that it strengthens you! It strengthened Noah!

How do I know?

I read the story! You read it! You think about it.

God asked Noah to build something he had never built (a boat) and maybe something he had never even seen before. And it was not just a boat, it was a big one!

And Noah was asked to build this big boat to save himself and his family from something no one had ever seen before (a flood) caused by something no one had ever seen (rain). How hard is that? Would you do it?

What would motivate a farmer to become a boat builder who prepared for an unprecedented catastrophy and do it for 120 years while his neighbors ridiculed him on a daily basis? Faith! Faith in a promise of salvation for his family. Obviously, he expected God to keep His promises!

Imagine a day in the life of Noah. He is up early each day to do his farm chores so he can feed his family and then out to the building site to begin sawing wood and pounding nails and pitching tar. As he does these physically demanding tasks a neighbor stops by and the conversation begins:

"Noah, what are you doing?"

"I am building an ark as the Lord has commanded."

"Oh. What's an ark?"

"An ark is a large boat."

"But why build a boat here? There is no water anywhere near."

"There will be!"

"What? What are you talking about? Everyone says you're nuts and I am beginning to believe it! There is not enough water around here to float a boat that big!"

"There will be!'

"Say, what? How?"

"There is going to be a flood!"

"What is a flood?"

"It is a lot of water caused by a whole lot of rain."

"What is rain?"

Can you imagine how tired you would get of having that conversation day after day after day for 12 decades? I can't.

What gave Noah that much strength? How did he do it that faithfully and patiently and persistently for that long?

Noah found strength by trusting in the promises of God! He believed that God would deliver him and his family if he did would build the ark.

Guess what? 

He was right!

Do you need spiritual strength? 

Are you running low on patience?

Find strength in the promises of God!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Disciplined Worship

"The Lord is my Light and my Salvation--whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, [even then] in this will I be confident."  Psalm 27:1-3

This idea that discipline is a vital part of worship is a new thought for me and perhaps to you as well. So, I want to spend more time elaborating on it because I think it has powerful potential to improve your worship.

The Psalmist declares the Lord is his "Light and Salvation" and the Lord is the "strength of his life".  As he glorifies God in that state he also indicts himself. By acknowledging God as his light he also admits that he is darkness. When he commends God as His salvation he implies that he is lost without that salvation. With God he lives in light. Apart from God he dwells in darkness. Believing in God he has salvation but without God he is lost.

Therein is the need for discipline! To enjoy worship and to know God's light and His salvation you must discipline yourself to resist the darkness and come out of your lostness. You will only do that if you choose to believe what His Word says about you and choose to act upon it. That requires a conscious decision that goes against your human nature. That is faith! 

Faith takes discipline because it is not natural.

Discipline may have taken a negative context in your thinking because it usually is associated with punishment. When you were failed to discipline yourself as a youngster and did something bad, your parents had to do the disciplining for you. That was not pleasant for you or them. But let me give you another way to think of discipline - "discipline is saying no to one thing in order to say yes to something better".

So, if you want to become a better worshiper you must say "no" to your darkness and come to His light! That means putting down the TV remote, or the newspaper or the magazine or the video game control and pick up your Bible. It means saying "no' to the selfish desires and the destructive thoughts and "yes" to His Spirit.

Is your lack of discipline hindering your worship? Are you choosing His light above your darkness? Are you saying "no" to self to say "yes" to His Spirit. What should you pick up in order to worship better? What do you need to put down in order to worship well?

Saturday, May 21, 2016

May 22, 2016

"But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."  Psalm 19:12-14

Praise should arise out of the thrill of what He is creating through you!

When God’s Word gets welcomed and becomes active in your life, it convicts you of sin and leads you into His will. When He uses His Word to work His will in your life, look what thrilling things happen through you.

Verse 12 – "FREEDOM FROM FALSE GUILT" – That’s thrilling! False guilt is from the Enemy of your soul. He is the "accuser". He will dig up things from your past that God has already forgiven and remind you of them to discourage you and defeat you. But through the Word, God's Spirit will remind you that you have been forgiven and He will make you aware of any unconfessed sins so you can find forgiveness for those as well.

Guilt is a good thing that the Holy Spirit uses to point out a sin that you have committed. But false guilt is not good and is used by the devil to defeat you.

Verse 13 – "FREEDOM FROM WILLFUL SIN" – “blameless” – pure in thoughts and motives. Sin is what happens when you exercise your will against God. For instance, you know that something is wrong. The Word of God says it is wrong and the Holy Spirit tells you it is wrong but you willfully decide to do it anyway. That is willful sin and it is dangerous because it is rebellion against God by after you have committed to follow Him.

Followers of Christ will sin occasionally, but they should not willfully sin. They may get caught up in a moment of anger or a careless moment of thoughtlessness and sin against God - but to deliberately sin against Him is something Christians should not and need not do.

When the Word is active in your life and you are aligned with His will you can be blameless - free from intentional sin! That’s Thrilling!

Verse 14 – "PLEASING TO GOD" – If there is anyone that you would want to please it would be God! And if there is someone you don't want to displease it would also be God! To know that you are obeying God's Word and to know His will is being accomplished in your life and that He is pleased with you - that’s thrilling! When you see God using you to bless someone else or to inspire them and you are aware that it is His power at work in your - that is praiseworthy!

What positive changes do you see around you because of the changes God is making in you?

What lives are different because they have come into contact with you?

What will be your spiritual legacy?








Friday, May 20, 2016

May 21, 2016

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth. The law of the Lord is perfect,  refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.  The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.  They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.  Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."  Psalm 19 

What causes you to praise?

That's a pretty good question to consider, isn't it?

Do you know how to answer it?

Let me offer a suggestion how you should answer it. This answer is not original to me, I am taking it from the Psalmist. Who knew how to praise better than he did?

What should inspire you to praise? Here's what caused King David to praise:

The first six verses make it clear that he was thrilled by the creation he saw around him.

Dozens of times during a typical day you are confronted by the amazing beauty of nature. Whether it is a dazzling sunrise, a clear blue sky, the songs of birds serenading you in the morning, the power of a thunderstorm, or a huge harvest moon at night, God's handiwork is hard to ignore.

Will you vow to take notice of how inspiring nature is from now on? Will you begin with your waking moments tomorrow and then consciously enjoy His interacting with your world through out they rest of the day? See how that affects your spirit.

That is reason for praise!

In the next verses, 7 through 11, the Psalmist was thrilled by what God was creating in him.

Unlike many who seem to thing the Bible is restrictive and negative in its tone, the Psalmist felt exactly the opposite. Look at the sense of excitement he expresses for the Word of God. Consider these phrases:

"Life for the soul", wisdom for the simple", "joy for the heart", "giving light to the eyes", "pure", "more precious than gold", and "sweeter than honey".

The stories, the truths, the wisdom, and the practical teachings of the Word of God give deeper insights into the heart and mind of God. Though His Word you can get to know Him intimately and not just from a distance. It is good to know nature but it is far better to get to know His nature!

That is reason for praise!

Finally, verses 12-14 give one more reason to praise, he was thrilled not only by what God had created and what God was creating in him through His Word, but he was also praising God for what He was creating through him. II Corinthians 5:17 declares he is a "new creation".

The Word of God is pure and powerful and active in the life of one who receives it gladly with obedience. As it recreates the person from the inside out, that person begins to have a positive impact on the world around him.

That is reason for praise!

Why do you praise?

You praise Him for what He has created! You praise Him for what He is creating in you! You praise Him for what He is creating through you!