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Monday, March 2, 2009

Frosty tree
This morning we are getting a pleasant snowfall.  It's especially pleasant since we are working inside our home office all day and don't expect to get out (unless we get an emergency call)!  This photo was taken on a similar snowy day two years ago  in our neighborhood.

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"Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you" (Psalm 84:4).

Today we are getting a beautiful snowfall as we prepare this message. It's a gentle, steady accumulation that is blanketing our view with a brilliant white carpet of snow. In fact it hurts my eyes a bit as I look out from our home office window!

But with spiritual eyes I want to see this as a parallel to God's blessings being poured down on me, which in reality they truly are.

The Father speaks to my heart and reminds me that I often take His love and care for granted.  How often I fail to praise God from whom all blessings flow. I can mis-focus and, instead of the things on earth becoming less alluring, they can actually consume my attention and heart's affection.  That kind of attitude will eventually lead to despair.

Psalm 84 was written by the "sons of Korah", who wrote a total of eleven Psalms.  They are not to be identified with the Korah who led a rebellion against Moses, but rather among the singers and worshippers of God who lived during the Kingdom period. Their exact identity is unknown, but we likely find a reference to them in 2 Chronicles 20:19, "Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the LORD, the God of Israel, with very loud voice." 

I find it interesting to do a study of those whom the Bible refers to as "blessed".  Of course I would consider the BeatitudesPsalm 1:1 readily comes to mind as well. 

Our daily Scripture text states, "Blessed are those who dwell in your house."  Now this could mean those who abide in the temple or in our day the church, but I think it far more likely has the sense of those who abide in "God's Presence". 

People in church

We know God's presence was in the temple and we certainly expect His presence in the church we attend, but I am thankful that we can indeed "dwell" in His presence all the time.  One of the preeminent attributes of God is His omnipresence.

AW Tozer

Theologian A.W. Tozer observes, "The doctrine of the divine omnipresence personalizes man's relation to the universe in which he finds himself. This great central truth gives meaning to all other truths and imparts supreme value to all his little life."

The word "dwell" (Hebrew "yashab") means to abide, continue or remain.  Jesus spoke of abiding in Him in the gospel of John.  "Abide in me, and I will abide in you" (John 15:4).  We now have the assurance of His abiding presence wherever we are!  He is with you right now and desires your heartfelt devotion and fellowship.

"They are ever praising you."  Should I desire I could praise the Lord in a very loud voice right now!  Some of our readers are presently in settings where this is not possible, but nevertheless we can always praise the Lord.  Hebrews 13:15 states, "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess His name." Wherever you are you can surely offer up a prayer from your heart and praise to the King of kings and do so throughout this day.  May our lives be characterized by praise to God as we dwell continually in His presence!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, there is a place of quiet rest and spiritual uplifting when we draw near to You.  So many activities, attractions, and affections rival for our attention.  But when we prioritize by giving You first place we give opportunity for You to "show your love to a thousand generations of those who love you and keep your commandments."  We want to continually offer to You a sacrifice of praise through our lips that confess Your name and through our lives that reveal Your transforming power at work within us.  We do this through the power of Your Holy Spirit.  We bless and praise You in Jesus' name.  Amen.

As I prepared the message I recalled a song that was popular years ago:

Wherever I am I'll praise him;
Whenever I can I'll praise him;
For his love surrounds me like the sea.
I'll praise the name of Jesus;
Lift up the name of Jesus;
For the name of Jesus lifted me.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.

"I Just Want To Be Where You Are"  Video  Don Moen

"Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus"  Video  A beautiful acapella version by Selah

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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