Exhortations from Psalm 146

1 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!

2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

3 Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.

4 When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.

5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God,

6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever;

7 who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free;

8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.

9 The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

10 The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!

Let the Redeemed Give Thanks to God!

It is right and fitting that God’s people give thanks to Him for His steadfast love and saving work!  Scripture exhorts us to this over and over again (Ps. 33:1-3; Col. 3:16-17; 1 Thess. 5:16-18; etc.).  Gratitude certainly for temporal blessings, but all the more for God’s powerful mercy in redeeming us from the bondage and penalty of our sin!


To spur on your thanksgiving this Thanksgiving, let me encourage you over the next few days to read and meditate on (perhaps with your family and/or friends) Psalms 104, 105, 106, and 107.  These four Psalms provide a sober and joyful historical tapestry of God’s dealings with people through much of the Old Covenant time.


  • Psalm 104 – History of Creation and the Flood
  • Psalm 105 – History of the Patriarchs to the Conquest of the Promised Land (Abraham through Moses)
  • Psalm 106 – History of Israel in their Land until the Babylonian Captivity
  • Psalm 107 – History of the Return to the Land from Exile


In all this we see the glorious truth ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ:  God is able to save to the uttermost those who humbly call on Him in faith, and to likewise bring complete destruction on all who arrogantly rebel.  Great comfort for the redeemed; great terror for the wicked!


If you’re in town this weekend, I look forward to gathering with you on the Lord’s Day.  Just so happens I’m planning to preach from Psalm 107 – “Let the Redeemed Give Thanks to God”!


Thanking Him with you,



P.S.  Chris Tomlin’s song Forever gives expression to these truths (just ignore the image of “airbrush Jesus” midway through the video!).

Post-Conference Reflections

It was a great joy to share in all the Lord had for us this past weekend at The People of God Conference, with Jonathan Leeman.  Many of you were able to attend, and many of you also served as volunteers in a variety of capacities.  I also know many of you were praying for God to bless the ministry of His Word at the conference, and bear much fruit for His glory (Jn. 15:7,8).  My heart is filled with thankfulness to God for each of you, and for His provision in all that occurred over the weekend.


Even if you weren’t able to attend, all of the audio from the conference is now available online at our church website.  Likewise, Jonathan’s Sunday morning sermon from Ps. 68, “God’s Good Authority and the Church”, is available here.  These are great resources to benefit from – be sure and tell a friend or two!


It is a great blessing to share life in Christ with you in this local church called River City Grace.  May God help us all, individually and corporately, to continually grow in His priorities and purposes for us as His people.


Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”  (Ephesians 4:15-16, ESV)


For His glory, and your joy in Him,


On Presidents and being the People of God…

Like many, my initial reaction to the news of President Obama’s re-election was a deflated “ugh”.  For many different reasons, the results of yesterday’s voting was very disappointing.  Naturally, all of us now wonder what the next four years will look like, and what this means for the present and future of America.  (Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, shares some post-election thoughts here.)


The main question for us is clear:  As Christians – the “people of God” (1 Pet. 2:9,10) – how are we to think and live in an increasingly God-despising, Christ-denying, sin-loving culture?  The answer is equally clear from all of God’s Word:  we’re to live by faith in God and His salvation in Jesus Christ, obeying Him through the power of His Spirit whatever our circumstances, faithfully proclaiming the Gospel to those around us, with our hope fixed on the eternal glories He has called us to in Christ.  These truths are prominent in the letter of First Peter, and throughout the New Testament.  In short, God’s people must live as “sojourners and exiles” in this world (1 Pet. 2:11).


God sovereignly reigns (Ps. 103:19), and He has ordained the outcome of this election.  We can be sure that He is not surprised or troubled, but that He is powerfully working everything after the counsel of His eternal will (Eph. 1:11).  And as the transcendent, holy King of Kings, He will bring eternal judgment on all His enemies, and eternal salvation to those who trust His mercy in Jesus Christ.


Beloved, we are the people of God.  Our identity and calling is bound up in our citizenship in His kingdom, not the kingdoms of this world.  May we be resolved afresh to live and love together as His people, humbly testifying of the reason for the living hope we possess (1 Pet. 3:15).  We may indeed suffer now, and more in the future, but our eternal inheritance in Him is secure (1 Pet. 1:3-9).


Rejoice, the Lord is King!