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Daily devotional

August 2 – Blessings for covenant keepers

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. – Psalm 1:3 Scripture reading Psalm 1:1-3 The first verses of Psalm 1 reveal to us the faithful children of God. We are looking forward to worshipping with them today. They do not walk with or live like the ungodly, but love the LORD. We sing and we take stock. How do we measure up? Godly people live life obeying the law of God. We trust them because they bear good fruit in due season. This picture leads us to think of the type of men we would have to lead the church or who are good sons, friends, or fathers and husbands. The picture gives us a notion of the kind of women we would have to love, teach and serve us. When we walk with the Lord by the light of His Word, and we trust and obey, the promise is sure: that man is blessed. Such a person is free to blossom and always produce the fruit of righteousness—living to love, serve and glorify God. Verses 1-3 point us to the perfect man, Jesus Christ. By His perfect obedience, we have redemption. Jesus, the perfect man, died on the cross, the righteous for the unrighteous and our lives are changed in Him. We are reminded for a moment of the words of Jesus as recorded by John in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Suggestions for prayer Pray for faith, faithfulness and blessing on our fellowship and worship services today. Ask for inspiration to be better able to love God and our neighbor and to be given the Spirit of grace so that we can produce good fruits and be blessed. Rev. Al Bezuyen serves the Covenant Reformed Church of Toronto. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional....

Daily devotional

Introduction to August’s study of Psalm 1 and 50-52

Paul calls both the Ephesians and Colossians to: “Address/admonish one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence to Christ” (Ephesians 5:19-21; Colossians 3:16). God, by His Holy Spirit, has given us psalms to sing in order to praise Him. But the psalms are also given to us to minister to each other in the church and to those outside of it. They have also been given to us so that we may sing, live and worship together as God’s people in spirit and truth. This month I hope to lead you through Psalms 1, 50, 51, and 52 to help you to better understand God, the covenant He has made with us and how we are to live with Him and one another. Psalm 1 will set the perspective and then Psalms 50-52 will provide a unit by which we will come to know God Who calls us to obedience and repentance. We end up where we started, understanding the blessings upon obedience and the curses upon those who do evil. My hope is that we will no longer be conformed to this world, but be renewed in the transforming of our minds seeking God’s good and pleasing will, striving for holy singing and worship (Romans 12:1-2). **** A psalm of the covenant Scripture reading: Psalm 1 The 150 psalms are given by God on which to meditate on and sing. More than just songs to sing or poetry to recite, they are the revelation of God to us. Psalm 1 sets out the way to sing and understand the next 149 Psalms. Before we can sing the songs to His praise and glory, we must know what pleases the LORD God. The psalms spring from the context of the covenant and are given to the children of the covenant. Psalm 1 provides an inspired perspective. In Psalm 1, Israel then, and the church today, sings of the LORD our covenant God and the difference it makes to belong to God. Psalm 1 sets out for us the way of blessing and curses and the proper understanding of life before the face of God. It also sets before us the beauty of belonging to the Christian community. The church sings of her convictions about living in the promises of the LORD. We sing not only to glorify the LORD, but to reveal Him to the world and one another. The LORD knows the heart of man, both the righteous and the wicked man. Over the next few days, we will consider Psalm 1 from the perspective of verse 6, “The LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” May God bless the assembly as we worship Him tomorrow. Suggestions for prayer Give thanks for the Word of God, the Psalms and the promises of God. Pray for help to understand and live out the Psalms and for blessings to live in grace with God and one another. Pray for blessings for our Sunday worship tomorrow. Rev. Al Bezuyen serves the Covenant Reformed Church of Toronto. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional....

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