Being Wanted, Part One

Her voice was weak and fearful as she spoke to me over the phone. It was almost midnight and she kept apologizing . . . but she was so lonely and wanted someone to listen to her. I never got her name nor her address nor enough hints about her location to follow up our conversation. Her desperate story broke my heart. I actually wept after she said, “Good-bye—thanks for listening.”

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Fallibility, Part One

Ever since I was knee-high to a gnat, I have been taught about and have believed in the infallibility of Scripture. Among the upper echelons of doctrinal truths, this one ranks alongside the Godhead, the deity of Christ, and salvation by grace. We may fuss around with a few of the events in God’s eschatological calendar or leave breathing room for differing opinions regarding angels and local church government.

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A Touch of Class, Part One

It’s gone on long enough. The pigsty in the landscape has to go. If we expect the tourist traffic to increase and the visitors to return to Lake Evangelicalism, we’re gonna have to do something about the ugly ducklings. Some changes are long overdue. Somebody should’ve tarred ‘n’ feathered the very first stingy board member or strung up the whole squint-eyed, tight-fisted committee way back when.

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Offerings, Part One

Your response to the heading of today’s reading is probably: “Uh, oh—another money plea!” or “Here we go again . . . some Christian ministry trying to get into my wallet.” If that’s your response, I hate to disappoint you, but you’re wrong. Being wrong this time, however, disappoints no one! I’m not going to talk about what you should do when the plate is passed.

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It’s about Time, Part Two

Yesterday, I mentioned my penchant for time-management books. It’s a vital topic to address because it bleeds into every area of life. Let me mention a few specifics. Some people are always running late. Yes, always. Punctuality is simply a time-management matter. Some folks feverishly work right up to the deadline on every assignment or project they undertake.

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Praise at All Times

Psalm 149 encourages the people of God to praise Him at all times, regardless of circumstances. In times of blessing, praise Him! In times of suffering, praise Him! In times of warfare, praise Him! When we come to that enviable place in our Christian experience that we can honestly say, “Praise the Lord!” in every situation—and genuinely mean it—we will have assimilated the full thrust of this magnificent hymn of praise—and all the songs in Scripture.

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In Times of Warfare

Psalm 149 is not only a call to praise the Lord in times of blessing, and encouragement to praise Him in times of suffering, it’s also a call to arms. Praise the Lord in Times of Warfare: Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand, To execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, To bind their kings with chains

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In Times of Suffering

This song of celebration, Psalm 149, is like a rallying cry, urging all of God’s people to praise the Lord regardless of their circumstances. That includes times when people aren’t naturally inclined to boast on God. Praise the Lord in Times of Suffering: For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation. Let the godly ones exult in glory; Let them sing for joy on their beds.

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In Times of Blessing

Psalm 149 is one of five “praise the Lord” psalms that conclude the Hebrews’ ancient hymnal. Like the other four, it begins with the command “Hallelujah!” leading to a time of exalting God’s goodness. In this case, the people of God are summoned to praise Him in response to three different situations: times of blessing, times of suffering, and times of warfare.

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The Meaning of Praise

There are times when the hardest words in the world to utter are “Praise the Lord!” (also translated “Hallelujah!”). These words just don’t flow from our lips. In fact, there are times we are turned off even when others use the words! Interestingly, each of the last five psalms in the Hebrews’ ancient songbook begins with that exclamation of praise.

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