Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
Psalm 147:1-11, “Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him! The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the exiles of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit. The LORD sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground. Sing to the LORD with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds; He supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. 10 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor His delight in the legs of the warrior; the LORD delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.”
In verses 7-9 we see another cycle of praise where the psalmist calls all to praise the LORD with songs and music. Why? His greatness in creation; He is the one who sustains plants and animals.
Verses 10-11 tell us to praise God because He delights in anyone who trusts in Him! That’s right…the Almighty God delights in the ones who trust in Him. Notice that the verse doesn’t say, “God delights in the one who has power…or prestige…or influence…or beauty…or talents…or (anything else that rack and stacks us above others).” No, God delights in a humble spirit; one who puts their trust in Him alone. This is what God wants us to do.
As I read over verses 10-11, I couldn’t help but remember that Jesus said the same thing in Luke chapter 18. He tells a story of a Pharisee who thought he was right with God because of all the things he did. In fact, he would look down on everybody else because he thought he was impressing God by his actions.
The story goes like this, “The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself. ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people,’ he said. ‘I am not like robbers or those who do other evil things. I am not like those who commit adultery. I am not even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week. And I give a tenth of all I get.’” (Luke 18:11-12)
Look at how the Pharisee focuses on all that he does…do you see what is happening? Everything he does has become about himself.
The story continues with the tax collector, “But the tax collector stood not very far away. He would not even look up to heaven. He beat his chest and said, ‘God, have mercy on me. I am a sinner.’” (Luke 18:13)
The tax collector had the right prospective on reality. He realized that all he could ever do would fall short in impressing or earning God’s favor. He fell before God in fear and put his hope in God’s unfailing love!
Now listen to what Jesus says about the two men: “I tell you, the tax collector went home accepted by God. But not the Pharisee. Everyone who lifts himself up will be brought down. And anyone who is brought down will be lifted up.”
Humbly turn your thoughts to the One who will lift you up. Trust in Him. Rest in Him as you go about all that He has called you to do today.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.