In Psalm 50, we read the first-of-twelve psalms written by King David’s handpicked worship leader, a man named Asaph. On the day that Asaph first took up his position as worship leader, David gave him a special song, which definitely influenced Asaph’s songwriting.
Psalm 50 has a pretty easy outline: an introduction in the first six verses, followed by 17 verses of God speaking to His people—speaking to you and me! In between the introduction and God’s speaking is the word selah.
Selah means a time for us to pause and carefully consider. So Asaph is essentially saying, “God is getting ready to speak with us, so we need to selah—pause from what we are doing so that we can pay careful attention to His words!”
Asaph sets the stage in the first verse, telling us that the Mighty One, God, the Lord speaks. The words that are about to be spoken come from THE I AM—the All-Sufficient One, the Omnipotent, the All-Knowing, All-Powerful Ruler of the Universe. Asaph also reminds us that He is coming as THE Judge.
When you hear that THE All-Powerful, All-Knowing One is THE Judge that has summoned you into His courtroom, it’s quite likely that your heart would skip a beat. Especially when God lists some of the sins you and I are guilty of breaking in verses 16-20.
It’s also possible that the news that you have to appear before THE Judge could cause you to rejoice. What? How can we rejoice at that?! David taught Asaph this concept in the song he gave him: God’s people should rejoice over God’s judgments.
You see, in Psalm 50 God says, “I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices, or for all your attempts to follow the rules.” It’s not in the practices of the law that we find salvation.
God doesn’t need our sacrifices, but He wants our hearts.
In order to win our hearts for Himself, THE Judge did something absolutely mind-blowing—THE I AM became flesh like us. And then He became the once-for-all sacrifice for our sins, paying our penalty Himself when He died on the Cross (see Hebrews 2:14-17; 7:17-27).
This is why we can rejoice when we hear we have to stand before THE Judge. When you have placed your faith in what Jesus did for you on the Cross, when THE Judge opens His perfect record book to your page He will read this inscription written in the crimson red blood of Jesus: PAID IN FULL!
This is why we can rejoice at the thought of seeing THE Judge face to face!
Join me next Sunday as we wrap up this summer looking at the Selahs in the Psalms. We plan to restart this series next summer, unless the Judge calls us home before then!
As Dr. Les Parrott presented the five ways Jesus showed His love to us, he supported his thoughts with some insightful quotes from other authors. Check out my full book review of Love Like That by clicking here.
“If you stop to be kind, you must swerve often from your path.” —Mary Webb
“We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito.” —C.S. Lewis
“Pride is our greatest enemy and humility our greatest friend.” —John R.W. Stott
“Jesus was the Man for others.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“Jesus was able to love because He loved right through the layer of mud.” —Helmut Thielicke
“They that know God will be humble; they that know themselves cannot be proud.” —John Flavel
“Those who judge will never understand, and those who understand will never judge.” —Wilson Kanadi
“Mercy gave the Prodigal Son a second chance. Grace gave him a feast.” —Max Lucado
“Christ accepts us as we are, but when He accepts us, we cannot remain as we are.” —Walter Trobisch
“Jesus did not identify the person that with his sin, but rather saw in this sin something alien, something that really did not belong to him, something…from which He would free him and bring him back to his real self.” —Helmut Thielicke
“While every other religion offers a way to earn approval, only Christianity dares to make God’s love unconditional.” —Philip Yancey
“Judgmentalism finds its identity in what is not. … Rare is the person who can weigh the faults of others without putting his thumb on the scale.” —Byron Langenfeld
“To love a person means to see him as God intended him to be.” —Fyodor Dostoevsky
“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace—only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” —Anne Lamott
“All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.” —Flannery O’Connor
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” —John F. Kennedy
“We often err not because we find it hard to perceive the truth (it is often right there, at the surface), but because it is easier and more pleasant to be guided by our feelings, especially if self-centered.” —Alexander Solzhenitsyn
“A ‘no’ uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.” —Mahatma Gandhi
“Every time you listen with great attentiveness to the voice that calls you the Beloved, you will discover within yourself a desire to hear that voice longer and more deeply.” —Henri Nouwen
Check out some of Dr. Parrott’s quotes from Love Like That which I shared here.
Oswald Chambers mastered the art of stimulating deep thinking and introspection with just a few short statements. Run Today’s Race is designed to be read each day for a full year. Trust me, the short seed thoughts you read each morning will keep you thinking all day long. Check out my full book review by clicking here.
“It is a great moment when we realize we have the power to trample on certain moods, a tremendous emancipation to get rid of every kind of self-consciousness and heed only one thing: the relationship between God and myself.”
“It is easy to turn our religious life into a cathedral for beautiful memories, but there are feet to be washed, hard flints to be walked over, people to be fed. Very few of us go there, but that is the way the Son of God went.”
“Prayer with most of us is turned into pious platitude, it is a matter of emotion, mystical communion with God. It is no use praying unless we are living as children of God. Then Jesus says—‘Every one that asketh receiveth.’”
“There is only one purpose for your life, and that is the satisfaction of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
“If there is the tiniest grudge in your mind against any one, from that second, your spiritual penetration into the knowledge of God stops.”
“We have judged our fellow men as sinners. If God should judge us like that we would be in hell. God judges us through the marvelous Atonement of Jesus Christ.”
“God delights to put me in a place where He can make me wealthy. ‘Follow Me, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven.’”
“The more complicated the actual conditions are, the more delightfully joyful it is to see God open up His way through.”
“When we try to reserve our strength it works out in weariness. Spend to the hilt all we have got and God’s recreating power is greater than all the expended power.”
“My personal life may be crowded with small, petty incidents altogether unnoticeable and mean [commonplace], but if I obey Jesus Christ in the haphazard circumstances, they become pinholes through which I see the face of God and when I stand and face to face with God I shall discover that through my obedience thousands were blessed.”
“Whenever the insistence is on the point that God answers prayer, we are off the track. The meaning of prayer is that we get hold of God, not of the answer.”
“One of the most amazing revelations of God comes when we learn that it is in the commonplace things that the Deity of Jesus Christ is realized.”
“As long as there is a human being who does not know Jesus Christ, I am his debtor until he does. The mainspring of [the Apostle] Paul’s service is not love for men but love for Jesus Christ.”
“As long as the devil can keep us terrified of thinking, he will always limit the work of God in our souls.”
“By prayer and Bible reading and meditation, the drab life (drab externally) has glorious holiday hours with God in which the soul is restored even in the valley of deep darkness.”
More quotes coming soon, so stay tuned.
As I stated in my review of Jerry Bridges’ book The Blessing Of Humility, reading through these thoughts slowly—Beatitude by Beatitude—would bring about the most life-changing impact. In that spirit, I will be sharing some noteworthy quotes one Beatitude at a time. Here are some quotes on blessed are the meek (Matthew 5:5)…
“Meekness is not being timid, spineless, unassertive, and easily dominated. It is not a natural niceness. In fact, it has nothing to do with one’s personality or temperament.”
“There is then a twofold expression of meekness: first toward God and then toward other people. Meekness toward God involves: (1) responsiveness to His Word; (2) submission to His Providence.”
“As I reflect on our evangelical community to the extent I am aware of it, it seems we are more knowers of the Word than doers of the word. … Instead we too often use the Scriptures not as a means of judging ourselves but as a means of judging others, especially those whose sins are more flagrant than ours. The meek person, in contrast, searches the Scriptures (or listens to it taught) not to judge others but to allow the Holy Spirit to judge him or her. In fact, the meek person earnestly desires the Spirit to use His Word to effect a deep change in his or her inner being.”
“Thomas Watson wrote that meekness toward other people consists of three things: the bearing of injuries, the forgiving of injuries, and the returning of good for evil.”
“Because we have been forgiven so much, we have an obligation to forgive those who sin against us. Yet our motive for forgiving should not be our obligation but the realization of how much we have been forgiven.”
“Meekness towards man means bearing patiently with the hurtful actions of others and dealing gently with their failures, not only in the assurance that all of these are under God’s providential control, but in the knowledge that, left to ourselves, we have no claim to be any stronger than the weakest of our friends or any better than the worst of our enemies.” —John Blanchard
I have previously shared quotes on:
Quotes on the next Beatitude will be posted soon. Stay tuned…
For example, take this message from Jesus in Luke 6.
God doesn’t miss a thing! He told us how to stay in the place where He can bless us, and how we can avoid life’s negative consequences.
We would all do well to hear these words and put them into practice (v. 47)!
“Even if you are on the right track you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” —Will Rogers
“You can’t tell what a man is like or what he is thinking when you are looking at him. You must get around behind him and see what he has been looking at.” —Will Rogers
“People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing.” —Will Rogers
“Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” —Will Rogers
“It doesn’t take much to see something is wrong, but it does take some eyesight to see what will put it right again.” —Will Rogers
“Income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf.” —Will Rogers
“There are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither works.” —Will Rogers
“Never miss a good chance to shut up.” —Will Rogers
“The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket.” —Will Rogers
“There are three kinds of men: ones who learn by reading, few who learn by observation, and the rest of them who have to grab the electric fence and find out for themselves.” —Will Rogers
“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.” —Will Rogers
“If you’re riding ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.” —Will Rogers
“After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: when you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.” —Will Rogers
The prophet Obadiah wrote just 21 verses around 840 B.C. I know that the last 12 books of the Old Testament are referred to as “minor prophets” (not because of quality or validity, but because of length), but this prophet packs a major punch. Here are three lessons I learned from Obadiah―
 Pride is a killer.
The pride of your heart has deceived you (v. 3). Pride makes me believe the best about myself and the worst about everyone else; it’s unbalanced scales. Pride allows me to excuse my sins, even calling them “virtues,” while at the same time hypocritically judging the “sins” of others.
 It is God’s place to judge, not mine.
You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune (v. 12). My place is to love God and love others—to help and not condemn—to extend mercy, not judgment. Even if my enemy stumbles I shouldn’t rejoice or gloat (Proverbs 24:17-18), how much less when it’s my brother who has stumbled!
 Live as if Judgment Day were tomorrow.
The day of the Lord is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head (v. 15). Boom! The measure I use will be the measure I receive. The One Who neither sleeps nor slumbers sees all I do, and He will judge perfectly.
Don’t miss the major messages in the “minor” prophets!
Some good reading from today…
“The book of Acts is the account of holy men and women seeking the Lord’s face. From beginning to end, it tells of how prayer moves God. Whether in the Upper Room, in prisons, in some secret house hiding from authorities, or in Simon’s house on a street called Straight— they prayed! In the morning and sometimes all night, they prayed without ceasing. Cornelius prayed always and Peter prayed on rooftops. By the seashore, in the temple, or in the desert, they called upon the Lord continually. They spent hours and days shut in with God, until they received dear, detailed guidance. And what incredible specifics God gave them.” Read more of David Wilkerson’s post Seeking The Face Of The Lord.
Chuck Colson on the value and testimony in doing good work.
“For of Him, besides these benefits whereof we have spoken partly such as are left to the administration of nature and bestowed both upon good and bad, we have a particular bounty of His love peculiar only to the good. For although we can never yield Him sufficient thanks for our being, life, sense, and understanding of Him, yet for that He has not forsaken us when we were involved in sin, when we turned away from His contemplation, and were blinded with love of black iniquity; for that He has sent us His Word, His only Son, by whose incarnation and passion for us we might conceive how dearly God esteemed us, and by that singular sacrifice be purged from our guilt, and by the illumination of His Holy Spirit in our hearts, tread down all difficulties, and ascend to that eternal rest, and ineffable sweetness of His contemplation—what heart, how many tongues, can suffice to return sufficient thanks for this last benefit.” —Augustine
“Self-righteousness is terrible among God’s people. If we feel that we are what we ought to be, then we will remain what we are. We will not look for any change or improvement in our lives. This will quite naturally lead us to judge everyone by what we are. This is the judgment of which we must be careful. To judge others by ourselves is to create havoc in the local assembly.” —A.W. Tozer
Read this (even if you don’t think you need to): 4 Signs You May Be Addicted To Busyness.