Remember that we are the people you chose long ago,     the tribe you redeemed as your own special possession!     And remember Jerusalem, your home here on earth.

O God, why have you rejected us so long?
    Why is your anger so intense against the sheep of your own pasture?
Remember that we are the people you chose long ago,
    the tribe you redeemed as your own special possession!
    And remember Jerusalem,[b] your home here on earth.
Walk through the awful ruins of the city;
    see how the enemy has destroyed your sanctuary.

There your enemies shouted their victorious battle cries;
    there they set up their battle standards.
They swung their axes
    like woodcutters in a forest.
With axes and picks,
    they smashed the carved paneling.
They burned your sanctuary to the ground.
    They defiled the place that bears your name.
Then they thought, “Let’s destroy everything!”
    So they burned down all the places where God was worshiped.

We no longer see your miraculous signs.
    All the prophets are gone,
    and no one can tell us when it will end.
10 How long, O God, will you allow our enemies to insult you?
    Will you let them dishonor your name forever?
11 Why do you hold back your strong right hand?
    Unleash your powerful fist and destroy them.

12 You, O God, are my king from ages past,
    bringing salvation to the earth.
13 You split the sea by your strength
    and smashed the heads of the sea monsters.
14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan[c]
    and let the desert animals eat him.
15 You caused the springs and streams to gush forth,
    and you dried up rivers that never run dry.
16 Both day and night belong to you;
    you made the starlight[d] and the sun.
17 You set the boundaries of the earth,
    and you made both summer and winter.

18 See how these enemies insult you, Lord.
    A foolish nation has dishonored your name.
19 Don’t let these wild beasts destroy your turtledoves.
    Don’t forget your suffering people forever.

20 Remember your covenant promises,
    for the land is full of darkness and violence!
21 Don’t let the downtrodden be humiliated again.
    Instead, let the poor and needy praise your name.

22 Arise, O God, and defend your cause.
    Remember how these fools insult you all day long.
23 Don’t overlook what your enemies have said
    or their growing uproar.  Psalm 74

The writer of Psalm 74 appeals to the Lord that He would move in their midst.  He reminds the Lord of the covenant that God established with Israel and is asking the Lord to move mightily in their midst.  To bring healing and restoration.  God has given us the opportunity to seek His face and we should never treat it lightly.  He not only hears the prayers of His people but He moves greatly when His people pray.

The writer speaks of the enemy’s battle cry and smashing the sanctuary of the Lord.  The writer is pointing to what the enemy has done is asking the Lord to move because of the wickedness of the enemy.  We today can still pray for the justice and righteousness of God.  But the enemy we face is not flesh and blood.  The enemy we face is a spiritual enemy who is already defeated.  We must remember to fix our eyes upon Jesus in all and every circumstance.

The writer speaks of God’s miraculous power being absent from Israel and the absence of the prophets.  He is asking the Lord to move mightily with His strong right hand.  Many times when we are waiting upon the Lord it can be very difficult.  But God will move in His perfect time and in the waiting He is doing a deep work in our hearts.

The writer many of the great things God has done and God has accomplished.  Because of this he knows that his request of the Lord to move mightily on behalf of Israel is not only possible but something the Lord can easily accomplish.  Where he is struggling is why the Lord is not moving right away.  Why does it seem that God is distant and absent?  He is not distant and absent, He is merely preparing the way for His will.  That work begins in our hearts.

The writer continually reminds the Lord of His covenant with Israel.  He asks that the Lord would not forget the poor and the down trodden.  There are times when it seems that the wicked prosper and that the Lord is absent.  But God’s will and His timing are sovereign.  Many times they are outside our understanding and therefore we must simply trust the Lord by faith.  He will move and He has simply called us to seek Him.  His will will be accomplished.

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Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good

Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.

Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But—

When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.[a] He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.

This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good. These teachings are good and beneficial for everyone.

Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees[b] or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time. 10 If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. 11 For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them.  Titus 3:1-11

The apostle Paul declares that we are to submit to those in governing authority.  It is God who raises up kings and tears them down.  We are called to be gentle and do all things in love.  We are called to pray for those in leadership.  This world is not our home and because of this we are only here for a very short period of time.  Our focus must be upon the Lord and His kingdom.  We shall rule and reign with Him someday.

All of us at one time were steeped and wickedness and sin.  All of us are born into sin and we must never forget that we are saved and redeemed simply because of the grace and mercy of Almighty God.  He chose to save us because of His love for us.  He chose to lavish His grace upon us.  This truth alone should guard our hearts from arrogance and pride.

Our lives should be impacted by the truth of God’s word.  When our lives are built upon sound doctrines the decisions we make and the way we live our lives will bring glory and honor to the Lord.  When we come to Christ our lives no longer belong to us.  They belong to Him and should simply be lived for His glory and His honor.

We are to guard against false teaching and those who merely desire to cause division in the body of Christ.  Sometimes there are those who have wicked intentions and we must discern through the Holy Spirit the motives of a person.  As we walk closely with the Lord through His word and prayer we will become sensitive to the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

We should love one another

This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

1 John 3:11 NLT

Time and time again as we read through God’s word we see love talked about over and over again.  The word of God simply states that God is love.  God’s love is eternal and unconditional.  He desires to lavish His love upon us.  His love is not earned and is not based upon our performance or behavior.  He simply loves us because that is who He is.  Because of this we should love one another.

There are people in this world who are more difficult to love than others.  But that should not change our love for them.  If God’s love for us is not based upon performance or behavior, our love for others should not be based upon behavior or performance either.  We should simply love one another because Christ first loved us.  Jesus came and gave us a living example of how we are to live our lives.  In everything Jesus did He relied fully upon the leading of the Holy Spirit.  His life was built in the place of prayer.  May we simply follow His model and may our lives bring Him glory.  May our lives be flooded with His love, grace, and mercy.  May we lavish His love upon those who surround us daily who are broken and lost.

Will continue his work until it is finally finished

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The work that God begins in our lives is finished by His power and His grace. Often times when we are following the Lord and waiting on His timing we can feel forgotten. But God is always faithful. As we seek Him each day He will establish every step. He has chosen us before the foundations of the earth and our lives are divinely designed. May we fix our eyes and our hearts upon Jesus each day. May we seek Him with our whole heart.

This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us

This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

1 John 4:10 NLT

God first loved us.  Every single one of us who have come to Christ have done so by the grace and mercy of God.  It is the Holy Spirit who has drawn us and convicted our hearts.  We have done nothing to earn salvation.  God has saved us because of His love for us.  Our lives should reflect His love for us as we in turn love those around us.  So many in the world today are broken and hurting.  What will truly draw people to a relationship with Jesus Christ in this hour is the love of God at work in us.

So many today don’t believe in God.  The concept of a creator is rejected by many.  But what people can’t deny is the love of God.  When we choose to love the most unlovable person we are displaying the glory of God in us.  What truly brings glory to the name of Jesus is the love of God at work in us.  The love of God will drive us to take action.  It won’t allow us to simply sit on the sideline and watch people suffer and die in their sin.  It will drive us to reach out.  In everything Jesus did He was driven by love and compassion.  His heart broke for every person that He ministered too.  May we be His hands and feet in this generation.  May we speak the truth in love and do all things in love.  He is coming soon and may we take advantage of every moment we have around those who are lost and broken.

The greatest of these is love

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

These three remain: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.  This is an incredible and power scripture and statement.  There is nothing that compares to the love of God.  It is God’s love that led Him to create humanity and it is God’s love that led him to put in place the plan of salvation because He knew that Adam and Eve would choose to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

It was His love that led Him to come to this earth and it was His love that held Him to the cross.  As we grow in Him we come to know His love and it transforms our lives.  So many in the world today desire to know what true love is.  They seek after the emptiness of this world and the entire time they are placing themselves in greater bondage as they partake of the wickedness and deception of the enemy.

But in Christ we find true love.  In Christ we find who we truly are.  In Christ we find the destiny and plan that God has for our lives and it changes everything.  We learn to rest in His love for us.  We learn to let go of this world and its desires.  Every desire of the world is simply a road to destruction.  But as we set aside the things of sin and wickedness for the glory of God we come to find true love that is only found in Jesus Christ.

John 3:16-17

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.          John 3:16-17

God so loved the world.  The reason Jesus was sent to earth and the reason He chose to come to earth was because of His love for us.  Those who place their faith and trust in Jesus as the Son of God will spend all eternity in God’s kingdom.  Salvation is a gift and is not based upon works.  It is simply a gift God bestows upon our lives because of His love and mercy for us.

Jesus was not sent into the world to condemn the world.  So many today have a wrong understanding of God because they think He is either distant, angry, a tyrant, or doesn’t exist.  But the truth is that His love for us is eternal and unconditional.  We don’t deserve God’s love, but He chooses to love us.  He chooses to draw us and open our eyes to the truth.  It is through Jesus that people are saved and may we share the gospel as we have the opportunity and live our lives to glorify and honor His name.

Hebrews 7:23-25

23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. 24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.  Hebrews 7:23-25

Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father.  He lives forever more.  The priest under the Old Covenant had to replace when their time as priest came to an end.  Under the Old Covenant the priest the mediator between God and man.  But under the New Covenant Jesus is the mediator between us and our Father in Heaven.  The precious blood of Jesus enables us to draw near to the throne of grace with confidence and without fear.

It is by the grace and mercy of God that we are saved.  It is by God’s grace and His power that we are held close to the Lord.  We are not saved by our works and our right standing with God is not based upon our performance.  It is based upon our faith in Christ Jesus.  As we grow with Him we are transformed into His character and His nature.

May we fix our eyes on Jesus each day.  May we seek Him with our whole heart and remove from our lives anything that would hinder our walk with Him.  He is coming soon and He returns for a bride who is prepared and ready.  He returns for a bride that seeks Him with her whole heart.

Psalm 130:5

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.  Psalm 130:5

Waiting on the Lord can be difficult, uncomfortable, and hard.  There is a deep work that takes place in our hearts as we wait upon the Lord.  Our faith and trust continues to grow deeper as we wait upon the Lord for His timing and His promise.  God is always faithful and His timing is always perfect.  But this is very difficult because He often doesn’t tell us when something will happen.  What I have found as I have waited on the Lord and continue to wait upon Him is that He simply continues to lead me to His word.

He leads me to examples in His word of people who have had to wait upon Him.  He leads me to promises in His word that He is faithful and will complete what He has begun in us by His grace and His power.  But this journey is all about growing in Him and becoming more and more like Him.  This only happens as patience is developed in our lives and patience is also known as long suffering. Often times for patience to be developed in a life of a person they must be willing to suffer for a long period of time.

Suffering is never enjoyable while we are going through it, but there is a purpose behind it.  Those our Father loves He prunes and that pruning process can be very painful and uncomfortable.  But we must be willing to yield and surrender our hearts to the Lord and His will.  One of the most difficult things in our Christian journey is surrendering our hearts and lives to the will of God.  God is faithful and fulfill every promise and plan.  But waiting upon Him for His timing and His way can be hard but is always designed with a purpose.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 NKJV

What the world presents as love is not love at all.  What the world often speaks and presents as love is simply lust.  But when we examine God’s word we see that the greatest thing we have in this world is the love of God.  As we grow in our relationship with God, His love fills our hearts and lives.  We begin to see the world around us through the love of God.  It is the love that God has for us that led Jesus to the cross.  It is God’s love that held Jesus to the cross.  In everything that Jesus did He did it because of the love He has for us.  May we be filled each day with God’s love and impact the world around us with the love of God.  We know that the love of God suffers long, does not envy, does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked.  God’s love is amazing and as we come to know Him we simply come to know and understand the depths of His love for us.  May we draw near and simply seek His face with our whole heart.