Turning to 'the Shepherd Psalm', we focus our attention
on verse 5: 'You prepare a table before me in the presence of my
enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows'. We are to feast
on God's Word. We are to be filled with God's Spirit. The 'table' is
the place of feasting. 'Oil' is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. As we feast
on God's Word, we will have good cause to say, again and again, 'God is
good': His 'goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life'
(6). The Lord never fails us. He always comes with His life-giving Word,
the Word of life, through which our life on earth becomes the beginning
of life eternal, the pathway to a life in which the fullness of God's
love will be revealed in a way that we can hardly begin to imagine: 'I
will dwell in the house of the Lord forever' (6). This is what Christ is
preparing for us (John 14:2)!
1st February : Genesis 6:1-8
The story of Noah is the story of God's grace - 'Noah found grace' (8). Noah lived in very difficult times (5-7), yet 'Grace found Noah'. His testimony could be summed up: 'Amazing grace...I once was lost but now am found' (Mission Praise, 31). Expanding on the thought of 5:29 - 'this one (Noah) shall bring relief from our work and from the toil of our hands' - we may allow our thoughts to turn to Christ and say to Him: 'Not the labour of my hands can fulfil Thy law's demands...All for sin could not atone, Thou must save, and Thou alone. Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy Cross I cling' (Church Hymnary, 83). In these two statements - 'Noah found grace' and 'this one will bring...', we see both salvation and service. We are saved to serve. Once we ourselves have been found by grace, we are to seek to bring others to Christ that they also may be saved by Him and become His servants.
As we read God's Word day-by-day, we are to pray for an increase
of our desire for God: 'My soul thirsts for God, for the living God'
(2). This is the spiritual experience, referred to in verse 7: 'Deep
calls to deep'. This is what Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 2:10 -
Through His Spirit , God is at work in us, revealing to us 'the deep
things of God. God has given us His Spirit for this reason - 'that we
may understand what God has freely given us' (1 Cor.2:12). God wants us
to explore, with Him, the meaning of the great salvation which He has so
graciously provided for us in Jesus Christ. Learning of God's
salvation, we will say with the Psalmist, 'I will yet praise Him, my
Saviour and my God' (11). This song of praise will grow strong in both
our personal devotions - 'a prayer to the God of my life' (8) - and our
public worship - going 'to the house of God' (4).