October 20

Psalms 84:10-12 (NIV) 10Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. 11For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. 12O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.

Psalm 84 is called "the pearl of the psalms". It is neatly divided into three sections, each ending in "Selah". The first section is about the desire to come near to God. The second section is about the journey to the Temple. The third is arriving in the Temple of God. The Jews most likely sang this as they journeyed to Jerusalem to participate in the feasts of the LORD.

The psalmist loved to be in the Temple. He said that just one day there was better than a thousand anywhere else. Today, the Temple is the body of believers, the body of Christ. Do you desire genuine fellowship like the psalmist who longed to be in the Temple? He wished he was one of the Levites assigned to keep one of the gates of the Temple. To him, that was better than any pleasure the world could offer. Where do you consider true pleasure to be found? If it is hard for you to relate to the psalmist desire, perhaps you need to ask the LORD for a clearer revelation of genuine fellowship in the presence of God and the horror of the end of this world's pleasures.

He goes on to say that the LORD God is a sun and shield. The sun is the source of life. It provides the energy from which our planet derives all energy. God is the source of all strength and life. He shields us from the onslaught of the enemy of our soul. He brings good things into our lives. In fact, every good and perfect gift is from the Father of lights (James 1:17).

The psalm ends declaring the blessedness of the man who trusts in God. Where is your trust placed for the activities that lay before you today? Are you trusting in self to get things done, to provide, to meet your families needs? If so, you are not going to find the peace in your heart that the psalmist is speaking of. But if you are trusting in the Maker of heaven and earth, you will be blessed.

Remember: No matter what comes your way, in Him there is joy, peace and true blessing!

October 20

Colossians 3:15-17 (NIV) 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The beginning of verse 15 could literally be translated, "Let the peace of Christ umpire your heart." Most Christians struggle with knowing the will of God for their lives. Here is an excellent guideline. If the question in your heart is not clearly answered in God's word, what does the Holy Spirit have to say about it? Is there a sense of calm and peace that prevails as you walk in the Spirit? Or are you in inner turmoil over the issue? The lack of peace is the umpire, the Holy Spirit, saying "Out!" The fruit of the Spirit is peace, so when peace is not there, you know that you need to check where you have missed God's will.

Both verse 15 and 16 tell us to let something happen. Let the peace of God rule in your heart. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. As we saw at the beginning of the chapter, there are steps we must take for our spiritual growth. These two commands are not so much actions we take as influences we are to welcome. When the Spirit directs us in the paths of peace or speaks to us through the word, we are to welcome and cooperate with those influences.

I don't know if the first century church struggled over music, but these three expressions for songs seem to cover all the bases. Whatever type of music we prefer, all our music should have the word of God richly influence the words. The songs should speak of our gratitude for all God's goodness.

Finally, he instructs them to speak and act with the authority of our Lord Jesus. Every part of our life should be in His name. Only His gracious redemption and transformation of us, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, makes this effective life possible. That is why we should always thank Him as we walk in the Spirit.

Consider: What is the Umpire's call in regard to decisions before you today?