Posted July 30, 2012
This is our fourth week of memorizing Psalm 91 (7 total)... If you are just joining us, welcome. We'd love for others to join us even though we're just reaching the halfway point.
Psalm 91:7-8 reminds us of a few things:
1) We've already learned in previous weeks that Psalm 91 doesn't glaze over the hardships of life. Verse 7 reminds that there may be many casualties around us. We are in a war. Life is not easy, expect hardship (both for the Christian or non-Christian). Suffering is a universal experience.
2) However, for the Christian, God's presence is a refuge to us even in hardship ("it will not come near you"). Romans 8:28 promises that "...for those who love God all things work together for good", even though we may experience difficulty here and now. We know from experience that while at times God may miraculously rescue us completely from situations, his presence is always promised to us, even in the midst of trials! God does not keep us from walking through the valley of the shadow of death, but rather walks with us through it, knowing that he will eventually make all things right (be it in this life, or the next!). While suffering might feel like it has indeed "come near you", God promises he is nearer than that hardship and will overturn whatever has come against you in its right time.
3) We are reminded of both the current & coming judgment of God on those who choose wickedness over God's righteousness. Through Christ's perfect sacrifice, sinners can now not only be forgiven of their sins through repentance, but also be given Christ's righteousness (When God looks at you, He sees His Son... What a miracle!). Not only that, but He also gives us His Spirit, empowering us to become & live righteously out of a joyful response to Him and all He's done for us in the good news.
While many speak of the "cost of discipleship", Dallas Willard reminded us that there is a great "cost of un-discipleship". Just read through the book of Proverbs and you will see it quite simply: There is a path to life, and a path to death. There is no "third way". Either you will put your faith in Christ, or you will put your faith in other lesser things & experience God's wrath in the final judgment. What will your "recompense" (or reward) be? Romans 6:23 teaches us that, "... the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Turn to Christ that your recompense might not be wrath & separation, but rather God's forgiveness from your sin in Christ & unity with God eternally!
Check out this blog for some great thoughts on these verses: http://fighterverses.com/set-2-core-esv/week-31/.
This week's verse was written by Marcy Priest & Joel Limpic. Marcy Priest is a singer/songwriter out of Oklahoma City. She's currently working on a new record. Consider donating here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/marcypriest/marcy-priest-is-recording-her-next-full-length-alb She has about another $4,000 to go, and has another 5 days to go!
This week's artwork was submitted by Jeremy Limpic of www.805collective.com. Download the iPhone or iPad background to help you memorize & meditate on this week's verse.