Our country is in turmoil. Countries and providences have been divided for ages. Leaders rise and fall. Humans want our own way and we want it instantly. When we don’t get our own way, the fighting begins. It’s more than a mere difference of opinion, we have lost our path to all that is right and just. What is right and good comes only from the mind of Christ, our Lord. If we do not believe in Christ, the Son of the Living, Present God, and follow our own way, then we are lost to our devices of hate and hateful ways with vices of bitterness, addiction to self-satisfaction, which leads to self-destruction. Friends, none of us are smart enough to go our own way. No matter what is happening, don’t forget the passwords of praise. The passwords into God’s grace are humility and repentance.
How often do we forget our passwords to our apps? How frustrating it is to forget our passwords, that we created ourselves, to “protect” important information in our computers! We try every word, letter and number configuration to get to the right stuff, right? We shout hallelujahs when we finally remember and can get to what is most important to us.
It is the same when we lose the passwords of praise to our Creator, our living hope, our salvation, the foundation of our faith. We try every configuration of behavior to do what is right in our own way instead of being the created who love God with all that is in Him while trusting and obeying God’s way of living His love, mercy and grace. I love how Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase the psalmist’s words in The Message, describing the avenue to sincere praise;
“The Right and Justice are the roots of your rule;
Love and Truth are its fruits.
Blessed are the people who know the passwords of praise,
who shout on parade in the bright presence of God.” Ps. 89
The passwords of praise are then shown in our responsive behavior to God’s love, truth, justice, righteousness, mercy and grace! “Blessed are the people who know…” Blessed are the ones who sing God’s song and tell His story. Blessed are the ones who live in His ways because of their love for Him.
Ah, remember, the Lord “looks over the whole earth”, browsing and scanning whose hearts are completely His. (2 Chronicles 16:9) Is my heart, mind and soul His? Completely? These are the passwords of praise.
What did our Lord see yesterday at our nation’s capital? Did it surprise Him? No. Jesus explained what would happen over two thousand years ago to his disciples who ask about the future of His coming and His Kingdom’s reign. Many who believe are wondering the same these days. The signs have been appearing all along, so to say it is soon is only our way of resolving what has gone on in God’s creation since Cain and Abel. We don’t know the time, but those who know Jesus will know Him when He does come back for His own.
While living under treacherous oppressive Roman rule we find the disciples concerned about what Jesus was saying about The Temple. In Matthew 24…”The disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
ABIDING “ENDURANCE” IS A PASSWORD OF PRAISE!
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His [d]elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24
AND WHEN HE COMES…Those who know Him will know it is He who is coming! Look for Him! Lay down all that stands in the way of knowing Jesus now! To know, repent, abide, follow, love unconditionally, walk humbly, showing mercy to all mankind are the passwords to praise. There is only one password to setting us free from sin— “Jesus”!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
The ultimate password to praise? Believe. Believe in Jesus and be saved from our sin and from all this divisive world thinking has to offer us as cheap living. Instead choose to live rich, abundantly abiding lives in and for Him. There is no one like our God! Absolutely no one.
Worship and Wisdom, Psalms and Proverbs
Psalm 89, The Message
An Ethan Prayer
1-4 Your love, God, is my song, and I’ll sing it!
I’m forever telling everyone how faithful you are.
I’ll never quit telling the story of your love—
how you built the cosmos
and guaranteed everything in it.
Your love has always been our lives’ foundation,
your fidelity has been the roof over our world.
You once said, “I joined forces with my chosen leader,
I pledged my word to my servant, David, saying,
‘Everyone descending from you is guaranteed life;
I’ll make your rule as solid and lasting as rock.’”
5-18 God! Let the cosmos praise your wonderful ways,
the choir of holy angels sing anthems to your faithful ways!
Search high and low, scan skies and land,
you’ll find nothing and no one quite like God.
The holy angels are in awe before him;
he looms immense and august over everyone around him.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies, who is like you,
powerful and faithful from every angle?
You put the arrogant ocean in its place
and calm its waves when they turn unruly.
You gave that old hag Egypt the back of your hand,
you brushed off your enemies with a flick of your wrist.
You own the cosmos—you made everything in it,
everything from atom to archangel.
You positioned the North and South Poles;
the mountains Tabor and Hermon sing duets to you.
With your well-muscled arm and your grip of steel—
nobody trifles with you!
The Right and Justice are the roots of your rule;
Love and Truth are its fruits.
Blessed are the people who know the passwords of praise,
who shout on parade in the bright presence of God.
Delighted, they dance all day long; they know
who you are, what you do—they can’t keep it quiet!
Your vibrant beauty has gotten inside us—
you’ve been so good to us! We’re walking on air!
All we are and have we owe to God,
Holy God of Israel, our King!
19-37 A long time ago you spoke in a vision,
you spoke to your faithful beloved:
“I’ve crowned a hero,
I chose the best I could find;
I found David, my servant,
poured holy oil on his head,
And I’ll keep my hand steadily on him,
yes, I’ll stick with him through thick and thin.
No enemy will get the best of him,
no scoundrel will do him in.
I’ll weed out all who oppose him,
I’ll clean out all who hate him.
I’m with him for good and I’ll love him forever;
I’ve set him on high—he’s riding high!
I’ve put Ocean in his one hand, River in the other;
he’ll call out, ‘Oh, my Father—my God, my Rock of Salvation!’
Yes, I’m setting him apart as the First of the royal line,
High King over all of earth’s kings.
I’ll preserve him eternally in my love,
I’ll faithfully do all I so solemnly promised.
I’ll guarantee his family tree
and underwrite his rule.
If his children refuse to do what I tell them,
if they refuse to walk in the way I show them,
If they spit on the directions I give them
and tear up the rules I post for them—
I’ll rub their faces in the dirt of their rebellion
and make them face the music.
But I’ll never throw them out,
never abandon or disown them.
Do you think I’d withdraw my holy promise?
or take back words I’d already spoken?
I’ve given my word, my whole and holy word;
do you think I would lie to David?
His family tree is here for good,
his sovereignty as sure as the sun,
Dependable as the phases of the moon,
inescapable as weather.”
38-51 But God, you did walk off and leave us,
you lost your temper with the one you anointed.
You tore up the promise you made to your servant,
you stomped his crown in the mud.
You blasted his home to kingdom come,
reduced his city to a pile of rubble
Picked clean by wayfaring strangers,
a joke to all the neighbors.
You declared a holiday for all his enemies,
and they’re celebrating for all they’re worth.
Angry, you opposed him in battle,
refused to fight on his side;
You robbed him of his splendor, humiliated this warrior,
ground his kingly honor in the dirt.
You took the best years of his life
and left him an impotent, ruined husk.
How long do we put up with this, God?
Are you gone for good? Will you hold this grudge forever?
Remember my sorrow and how short life is.
Did you create men and women for nothing but this?
We’ll see death soon enough. Everyone does.
And there’s no back door out of hell.
So where is the love you’re so famous for, Lord?
What happened to your promise to David?
Take a good look at your servant, dear Lord;
I’m the butt of the jokes of all nations,
The taunting jokes of your enemies, God,
as they dog the steps of your dear anointed.
52 Blessed be God forever and always!
Yes. Oh, yes.
TRUTH: “Your love has always been our lives’ foundation, your fidelity has been the roof over our world.”
Proverb 27:8, The Message
WISDOM: “People who won’t settle down, wandering hither and yon, are like restless birds, flitting to and fro.” “Be still and know that I AM God.” He is God above all His created, above all wisdom the world has ever known. And He is Savior. Walk in His ways. “Settle down”.
We come to you with broken hearts for what is happening where we live and wonder what’s next for us? What will we endure because of the brokenness of those who have turned to hate, lies, deceptions while stirring up defenseless people? Ah, but then we realize you are in control and will always be in control. Our souls are precious to you. You saved our souls for eternity by the blood sacrifice of Your Son. We find peace in knowing, while realizing the depth of your love for us. Help us to not align ourselves with anyone who hates but instead lean into the passwords of praise that declare our allegiance only to you. Leaders rise and fall. But you, Lord? You are our King forever! Help us love like you love as if our lives depended on it no matter what is happening around us or to us.
In Jesus Name, Amen