Psalms – Prayers of Honesty
Randy taught me how to go camping. In our very early years of marriage, with a three month old, we went camping. We bought a tent with our hard earned cash. We took more than we needed because it was my first time. With a baby in tow, most of our packing included supplies for an infant. It was comical, now that I look back. But the thing that I remember most was what Randy was taught by his dad when camping. “Leave the place better than the way you found it.” We cleaned and and even swept so that the next family of campers would have a clean place to settle for their memorable trip.
Psalm 53 anyone who lovesI woke up this morning thinking about how, over the past forty seven years of marriage, we tried to do life with that mantra. Randy was pastor of three “turn-around” churches at different times over the course of 25 years. I watched him lead with the same thought…”we must leave this place better than the way we found it.” We all worked hard, listening for God’s leading to be better stewards of life, to be better followers who lead others to find and follow Jesus and to ultimately leave people better than the way we found them, encouraging others to keep growing from the inside out.
Humans. We were all created in the image of God. Some of those images have been messed up by the world, trampled on and broken. Because this, they are determined to hurt others because of the overwhelming hurt they have experienced. Or they learn from the hurt and help others. Mm.
Something else also occurred to me this morning. Do we leave people better than the way we found them? Consider all the past conversations we have had over the past few days. Now, think about it, did we leave those people, who were also, like you, created in God’s image, better than they way we found them? Did we leave them with the impression of the glory of God in us? Did they notice that Christ is living in us? Did they see the image of God revealed in our behavior?
OR did we, like most of the world centered on self and self image throw up all over them with problems that are not their problems, criticize them, give them what I call left handed compliments, present ourselves as better than they are, and worst yet, gossip about others who you think have more problems than you? Prayer requests that turn into gossip are not prayers God hears.
We have two choices. We either add to the lives of others or we suck life from them. Do we leave people better than they way we found them?
Psalm 53, The Message
A David Psalm (David, tell us how you really feel. Wow.)
Psalm 53 11-2 Bilious and bloated, they gas,
“God is gone.”
It’s poison gas—
they foul themselves, they poison
Rivers and skies;
thistles are their cash crop.
Psalm 53 God looks downGod sticks his head out of heaven.
He looks around.
He’s looking for someone not stupid—
one man, even, God-expectant,
just one God-ready woman.
3 He comes up empty. A string
of zeros. Useless, unshepherded
Sheep, taking turns pretending
to be Shepherd.
The ninety and nine
follow the one.
Psalm 53 stupid4 Don’t they know anything,
all these impostors?
Don’t they know
they can’t get away with this,
Treating people like a fast-food meal
over which they’re too busy to pray?
5 Night is coming for them, and nightmare—
a nightmare they’ll never wake up from.
God will make hash of these squatters,
send them packing for good.
6 Is there anyone around to save Israel?
God turns life around.
Turned-around Jacob skips rope,
turned-around Israel sings laughter.
Psalm 53 anyoneDavid was appalled at all the blowhards, show offs, gossipers, and God haters of his day. He gives us descriptor words of humans who suck the life from those trying to know God, believe in what He says, trust in Him and follow Him no matter what.
His question at the end of his tirade is this, “Is there anyone around to save us? The answer: “God turns life around.” We can join Him in his work by first loving Him with all that is in us, then love others the way HE loves us.
Another haunting thought is found in this passage that stops us and provokes us to think about how God is looking around for someone whose heart is fully his.
“God sticks his head out of heaven. He looks around. He’s looking for someone not stupid–one man, even, God-expectant, just one God-ready woman.”
(Also in 2 Chronicles 16:9: “The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.”)
Heart Check:
Psalm 53 God callsAre we willing and committed to leaving others better than the way we found them?
Are we willing and committed to “turn around” and be all that God intended for those created in His image to be?
These thoughts bring me to tears this morning. If it breaks my heart when humans degrade and suck the life from each other, then what does God think?
God save us! THIS is a prayer is answers.
Psalm 53 seek God
Dear Heavenly Father,
We repent of self. We repent of seeking satisfaction from things that will not last. We repent of using people to get what we think we want out of life here. We repent of allowing our hurt to hurt others who are unaware of the hurt in us. We repent of taking life instead of encouraging more life in others. You have given us the right way to think and how to behave. You didn’t make it hard. What is hard is to get self out of the way. Turn us around. Transform our thinking and behaving. Help us to sweeten the day of others, making their lives better for being with them than they were before. You have done that for us. We are committed to following your example.
In Jesus Name, Amen
Mm, tears are gone and now I’m singing an old chorus from my youth…
Every day with Jesus
Is sweeter than the day before
Every day with Jesus
I love Him more and more.
Jesus saves and keeps me
And He’s the one I’m waiting for
Every day with Jesus
Is sweeter than the day before

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
This entry was posted in Blessings, Christian Living, Christian Perspective, Embrace, Encouragement, Faith, Forgiveness, Grace, heaven, Holy Spirit, Hope, insight, investments, Jesus, joy, Leadership, Listen, lost but found, Love, marriage, Mercy, ministry, Philippians, Praise, Prayer, Psalms, Salvation, Searching, Teaching, Thanksgiving, Training, Transformation, trust in God, Truth, Uncategorized, Unconditional love, waiting on God, wisdom and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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