Begin with 2 minutes of Silence
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
“He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”
Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
you made me trust you at my mother's breasts.
On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother's womb you have been my God.
Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help.
Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me; they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.
For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet— I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
But you, O Lord, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid! Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog!
Save me from the mouth of the lion!
You have rescued[c] me from the horns of the wild oxen! I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.
From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will perform before those who fear him.
The afflicted[d] shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord! May your hearts live forever!
All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you.
For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations. All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive.
Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.
Devotional : Lesser Things
By Bruce Arnold, Pastor/ Missionary, HomePDX
A regularly supported missionary of Pullman Foursquare
This passage is all about setting our minds on the things above. The Psalmist declares how miserable his life is. He is surrounded by enemies. He is being persecuted. He is suffering. He would have every right to scream for revenge or salvation. And for just three verses (19-21) he does.
And then, the rest of the psalm. The focus is on God and the Kingdom. Praise him! Proclaim his righteousness! How great is our God! The view is widened. The center is God. Everything else is pushed aside.
Every Lent I have asked God what I need to push aside to grow closer and serve better.
What stands between you and God? What am I focusing on instead of the Kingdom? What thing, large or small, are we giving far too much attention to?
Every Lent I have asked God what I need to push aside to grow closer and serve better. One year the answer felt petty - I was to drive no faster than the speed limit. I’m not really a speeder, and I’ve never been pulled over or gotten a speeding ticket. Easy peasy, right?
Wrong. Oh so wrong. Driving the speed limit means everyone, darn near everyone, passes you. Some with sour faces. It quickly exposed serious issues with pride. It showed that I wasn’t nearly as patient as I thought I was. It led to some of the hardest work I’ve ever had to do to grow towards being more like Christ.
We are finite beings, for now. We only have so much time and energy. If we spend too much on lesser things what is left for greater things?
Question to consider
In this season of Lent what one thing do I see standing between me and God? What am I willing to do about it?
Lord Jesus who opened the eyes of the blind, open our eyes. Cause us to see the things that block our view of you. Heal us and help us to focus instead on you and your Kingdom.
Close with two minutes of Silence