Ephesians 4

Ephesians 4
In Ephesians 1-3 we learned about receiving salvation through Jesus and becoming children of God with many riches in Him. Now, in the rest of Ephesians, now that we are His children, we read how we should now live in this new life! The end in Ephesians 6 lets us know that this kind of life will require a fight and battling with God’s enemy and now ours also.
Ephesians 4: 1-3
Now that you are in God’s family, I beg you to lead a a life worthy of His calling…being lowly in mind, humble, unselfish, gentle, patient with each other, and strive to keep peace and oneness of the Spirit in His power.
Ephesians 4: 4-6
We are especially to love our siblings in Christ. Why? Because we are in one body, one family, one Lord Jesus, one Spirit, one faith, one Father who is authority over us all and lives in us all! Remember, we are to be like Him and His character is love.
Ephesians 4: 7-13
Salvation is not indiscriminate to all, but rather it is individual to those who choose to love Jesus. Jesus descended from heaven to save us and then ascended in victory to set captives free. To His people, He gave varied gifts..some of which are anointed messengers, inspired preachers and teachers, expounders, traveling missionaries, and shepherds of His flock. This was to mature them towards perfection, equip, help to know God fully and accurately, and to become like Jesus.

Ephesians 4: 11-20 Quoted
New International version (CAPS are mine):
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be BUILT UP until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become MATURE, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their DECEITFUL scheming. Instead, speaking the TRUTH in LOVE, we will GROW to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must NO LONGER LIVE as the Gentiles (WORLD) do, in the futility of their THINKING. They are darkened in their understanding and SEPARATED from the life of God because of the IGNORANCE that is in them due to the HARDENING of their HEARTS. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to PUT OFF YOUR OLD SELF (COME OUT OF THE WORLD), which is being corrupted by its DECEITFUL desires; to be made new in the ATTITUDE of your MINDS; and to PUT ON THE NEW SELF, created to be like God in TRUE RIGHTEOUSNESS (RIGHT STANDING RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD) and HOLINESS (BECOMING PURE – OF 1 SUBSTANCE – HIS SUBSTANCE – NOT A MIXTURE).
How about The Message version:
“He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.
No prolonged infancies among us, please. We’ll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are an easy mark for impostors. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.
And so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion.
But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.”
Ephesians 4: 14
No longer be tossed back and forth between every sudden push being taught and change in doctrine (truth and morals). These are the cunning trickery of unscrupulous men who invent errors to mislead. This is deception. It usually sounds so good and right, but is not. Do not buy into it. This certainly is relevant today as well!
Ephesians 4: 15
Let your life lovingly express truth in everything….speak truth, deal in truth, live in truth. Enfolded in His love, grow up in every way and in all things into Christ Jesus who is the Anointed Head of the family.
Ephesians 4: 16
The family of God is one body with all its various parts. We are to all function properly and all grow to maturity together, building up the body in love.
Ephesians 4: 17-20
Seriously, in Jesus name and God’s presence, we must no longer live like the worldy unbelievers, in their perverse foolishness, vanity, emptiness of soul, and futility of mind. Their willful blindness and hard heart results in darkened reasoning and immorality. Their spiritual apathy makes them callous and reckless, with unbridled sensuality and greedy indulgence in every form of iniquity. This is not what you learn and practice if you are in Christ.
Ephesians 4: 21-24
These verses begin by saying that all truth is embodied and personified in Jesus. Now that we are in Jesus, we are to throw away our old unrenewed self and corrupt manner of life which was springing from delusion. We should be constantly renewed in a right and true mental and spiritual attitude. Put on our new nature created in God’s image into true righteousness and truth. Follow Jesus.
Ephesians 4: 25-32
More instructions for good living…

  1. Reject falsity and express truth.
  2. Control your anger, exasperation, indignation…making sure it is dealt with before sundown. Not letting Satan get opportunity.
  3. Do not steal, but be honestly industrious, even able to share with others.
  4. Let no foul, polluting, unwholesome, worthless or evil talk come from your mouth. Speak what is good and true, beneficial to spiritual progress, fitting the need and occasion, to bless and extend God’s grace when heard.
  5. Do not grieve, vex, offenc, or sadden the Holy Spirit who seals and marks you for the day of final deliverance through Jesus.
  6. Banish from you all spite, ill will, or baseness….as in bitterness, indignation, passion, rage, resentment, anger, quarreling, brawling, clamor, contention….and evil speaking, slander, gossip, abusive talk, and blasphemy.
    7.God in Jesus forgave you, so become kind, helpful, useful, compassionate, understanding, ready and freely forgiving.
    Now, there is a challenging assignement from our Lord! Try to be like Jesus!

Ephesians 3

Ephesians 3: 1-6
God revealed to Paul the unimaginable secret never disclosed to past generations…that Jesus saves Gentiles as well as Jews when they accept Him! I am so very thankful! What other marvelous secrets might God have?
Ephesians 3: 7-11
God priviledged Paul to tell the Gentiles about His hidden plan of salvation and the riches in Jesus. He purposed that through His body of believers, His great wisdom would be revealed to all in heaven, including all principalities and powers in heaven. This is just as He planned.
Ephesians 3: 12-13
Because of Jesus and our faith in Him, we are free to approach Almighty God with confidence and without fear! So do not lose heart or fear when persecuted or in trouble.
Ephesians 3: 14-21
This is another good prayer that we can also use in praying to the Father for ourself and others. That He may grant us that…

  • we be strengthened and reinforced with Holy Spirit power in our inner man
  • that through our faith and trust in Christ Jesus, He would abide in our heart and we would be rooted deep, and founded securely in His love.
  • that we would grab hold and experience His love…its full length, breadth, and depth
  • that we would really come to know Jesus and His love, beyond mere knowledge that He loves, but actually experience Him…to be richly filled in all our being with God Himself and the fullest measure of His presence
  • that as a consequence of being fully filled with God Himself by His Holy Spirit, His power would superabundantly work in us for His purposes…far above what we would even ask or think….infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, and dreams)
    To Father, Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit be the glory forever and ever! Amen!

Ephesians 1-2

Ephesians 1 is great news for those who are faithful and loyal to Christ. We have unmerited favor, peace and unity with God! Through Jesus, He gives us every spiritual blessing! In His extraordinary love, He planned having loving children before He began founding the world. When we fell away, He redeemed and saved us trough His own blood. He lavished revelation of His plan (the gospel) and seals His children with His Holy Spirit. A plan of love!
Ephesians 1-2. God proves His character is true and righteous. He is not a dictator or slave driver. He is full of love and mercy. He has forever demonstrated His character in His plan for a loving family, even knowing He would pay the high sacrificial price to save them when they would rebel against Him. He did not create robots. He made the plan and fulfilled it in love and mercy. Who would not choose that kind of Father?
Ephesians 2: 7-10
Previously, we saw the exceptional love of God in planning for a loving family, even when requiring sacrifice and long suffering. Now, we see that our salvation through Jesus will eternally demonstrate God’s immeasureable love and free grace gift to the undeserving…to His glory and priase. We are not saved by our own works, but by faith in Jesus, as His new workmanship…so that we can now do good works with good life in Him! His love plan!

James 4-5

James 4: 1-2
What causes strife, conflicts, and fighting? These things are from selfish desires of the flesh. Coveting what others have results in unfulfilled desires and hatred in your heart. In your envy and anger, you will never have inner contentment or happiness. So then, you fight.
James 4: 2-3
Are you experiencing envy, frustration, strife, or anger? You do not have gratification, contentment, or happiness because you do not ask God. Or you ask God, but fail to receive what He says or gives, because you are asking with wrong purpose or motives. Your intention is that when you get what you desire, you will use it for sensual fleshly selfish pleasures. God knows that will not really benefit you.
James 4:4
Are you feeling the need for repentance after reading James 4: 1-3? Verse 4 will really be convicting! If you are having an illicit love affair with your selfish desires or with the world and its pleasures, then you are an unfaithful spouse to God! You cannot love both! Choosing the fallen evil world makes you an enemy of God. In jealous faithful love, His Holy Spirit yearns to be welcomed and to live in us continually…being our first love.
James 4: 5-10
God yearns for us to hold Him as our first love. When we fail, He is full of grace. He even empowers us to overcome evil tendencies. Be humble to submit and receive from Him, for He stands against the proud. Stand firm and resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come close to God and He will come close to you. When disloyal, repent from your heart and be cleansed and purified. He will lift you up and make your humble life significant.
James 4: 11-12
Do not speak evil or accuse one another. Who are you to presume to pass judgement? Only God is the real Lawgiver and Judge. Only God has absolute power of life or death. Choose to trust and follow Jesus and be saved into eternal life!
James 4: 13-17
We presume that we can make plans and control our life. But, we really knolw little of what will happen tomorrow. Our presumptions about tomorrow are just false boasting and self-conceit. This temporary earthly life is short and can disappear instantly. We ought to say…if it is the Lord’s will, I will do this or that. And, if you know what is right and do not do it, that is sin.

James 5: 1-7
This is a warning to those who are prodigal (away) from God and focused on worldly riches and live in self-indulgence. They are willing to commit fraud and take advantage of their laborers or others. Some even condemn and murder the righteous and innocent. But, their riches will devour them and come to nothing in the end. Be patient and endure until the Lord comes. Remember Revelation 3: 14-22…the warning to the rich comfortable worldly Laodiciean church?
James 5: 7-8
Be patient as you wait for the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer keeps patient vigil as he expectantly waits for the harvest. Be strengthened and confirmed in that the coming of Jesus as King is certain.
James 5:8
Notice that this verse ends with “for the coing of the Lord is near”. James did not know when the Lord would come either. We should know the signs and seasons, always be ready, but no one knows the exact day or hour.
James 5: 9-11
Do not complain and condemn your brothers and sisters in Christ. Only God is Judge. Notice that the prophets of God, His messengers, stood in truth. Yet, even in ill treatment and suffering, they were patiently compassionate and endured…like Job.
James 5:12
Do not easily swear an oath or make a promise, lest you break that oath and sin into a position of condemnation. Just say a simple yes or no; assuming as God wills. Remember James 4:14? James said that we do not know what will happen tomorrow so we should say, “as God wills it.”
James 5: 13-16
Is anyone afflicted, ill-treated, or suffering evil? Pray. Are you happy? Sing thanks and praises to God. Are you not well? Find spiritually mature leaders to pray for you with real faith/trust in God and anoint you with Holy Spirit oil in the Lord’s name. God will restore that person and fogive their sins. We are to confess our sins and pray for one another to be healed and restored to a spiritual attitude of mind and heart. Turn to God.
James 5: 16-20
The earnest, heartfelt prayer of a righteous person makes tremendous working power available. Elijah was human, but his prayer stopped the rain for 3.5 years and then started it again. The earnest continual prayer of a person in right standing with God can even bring back someone who has strayed away from Truth! Intercession can turn that person from their evil course, resulting in forgiveness and saving their soul.
Note the conditions of effective prayer. Do not presume all prayer is this effective, or just because you can claim these verses. Is the intercessor in right standing with God…in a forgiven, pure condition of mind, heart, character, and behavior? Is this intercessor mature spiritually, totally committed to God, and in a life of continuous prayer and fellowship with God? Is the prayer offered in real confident living faith, not just a religious practice/formula or wishful thinking? Is the prayer aligned with the Truth in God’s Word and empowered by the anointing oil of the Holy Spirit? These are the requirements of dynamic powerful prayer. Notice it is not how many people or how loud they pray. Elijah was only one person with one voice….and likely out in the wilderness.

James 3

James 3:1. Next time you think you know the answers and decide to teach someone, read this verse first. Not many should become teachers because teachers are judged by a higher standard and with greater severity. They become accountable not only for their own choices and life, but are also accountable for the influence their teachings have on others! Before you give advise, be sure it is based in God’s Word of Truth…or just keep your mouth shut.
James 3:2. All humans stumble, fail, offend, and disappoint in many things. That is why we do not put all our trust in people….also why we get to know people well before we trust them and get in close relationship. Always know the source before you trust. Know how to guard your heart and mind in Christ.
Attention!!! We need to put all our trust in God….He is faithful, perfect, righteous, good, and totally trustworthy!
Who do you trust and go to when you need to decide something or find truth?
Verse 2 part B……Can people trust you? Is your character becoming more perfectly developed? Do you think before you speak? Or do you say the wrong things leading to trouble or offense? If you are able to control your tongue, which is very difficult, then likely you can also control your whole body, thoughts, feelings, and nature! Not talking right contaminates and deprives not only your whole being, but also others! It can ignite hell on earth (verse 6). Do you work at controlling your words?
James 3: 2-12 teaches about the destructive power in the tongue. No one seems to be able to tame their tongue. They bless and curse out of the same mouth. That sould not be! A spring does not simultaneously send out fresh and bitter water.
James 3: 13-15
Who thinks they are intelligent and wise? Then show it in your good works and humble character, which are signs of true wisdom. Envy, selfish ambition, or pride defy the Truth. That reflects superficial intelligence which is earthly, fleshly, and can even be demonic. Seek His true spiritual wisdom from above.
James 3:16
Wherever there is envy, contention, rivalry, self ambition, and pride…there is confusion, rebellion, unrest, and all sorts of evil. Know these signs of evil so you can keep your distance and stand in faith…especially in the days we live in!
James 3: 17-18
Wisdom from God is pure, undefiled, peace-loving, considerate, reasonable, compassionate, fruitful, wholehearted. straightforward, impartial…..and free from doubts, wavering, and insincerity. It is based in truth and righteousness…conformity to God’s will in thought and deed. It is sown in peace, resulting in inner peace and harmony with others. It is free from fear and emotional or moral conflicts. Speak the truth in love.

James 2

James 2: 1-9
Do not think you can show partiality and still be holding to and practicing faith in Christ. That is snobbery! Do not pay special attention to the rich than you do to the poor. That is criticizing and judging with wrong motives. Especially do not discriminate this way with your brothers and sisters in Jesus! God also chooses to save those who are poor in the eyes of the world, and make them rich believers as His family! Do not humiliate them. Actually, isn’t it the rich who usually dominate and slander you and dishonor God? Live the truth in love with all people. If you really fulfill God’s law, you will love your neighbor as yourself without partiality.
James 2: 10-13
Are you trying to live by religious laws to be good? Remember that if you break even one of God’s laws, you have failed and are a sinner. So instead, live under Christ’s law of liberty, which is His moral instruction to love and have mercy. If there is no love and mercy, there is judgement. But, mercy is victorious over judgement.
James 2: 14-26
What is the profit of professing to have faith in Jesus, but no matching good works to show for it? Is that really a conviction of saving faith? For example, if a believer truly lacks food or clothing, and another believer says “God bless you” at church, but does not offer help, what good is that? If faith in God does not have corresponding actions of obedience to His Word, then it is dead faith, without any saving power. Jesus often criticized the religious leaders of His days as hypocrites with dead faith. You cannot say you can have faith apart from resulting good works. Rather good works should show and reflect your true living faith!
A person cannot say they have faith just because they believe God exists. Even Satan and the demons believe God exists to even shuddering in terror of Him. Only the foolish, unproductive, spiritually deficient person can say they can have faith without corresponding good works. Faith apart from cooperating in the good works of God is inactive, ineffective, worthless, and dead. Even Abraham demonstrated his faith in God by obediently offering his own son Isaac on the altar. Faith should have expression and implementation from the heart.
When someone believes, adheres to, trusts in, and relies on God in faith, then they strive to conform to God’s will in thought and deed…and God accounts this as righteous….right standing with Him, as His friend. Man is justified not only by what he believes, but also by what he does in obediance to God.
Just like the human body is lifeless when apart from the spirit, so faith apart from works of obedience to God is also dead.
Summary: Faith in God is not just believing He exists…even Satan knows God exists. When true faith and love for God is in the heart, obedience and resulting goo behavior follows. If it is all just talk, then it is hypocrisy and dead faith. Jesus strongly warned religious leaders of this kind of hypocritical dead religious thinking and life. Are you striving to know and obey God from a heart of love OR just in religious hypocrisy?

Beginning the short book of James – chapter 1

James 1: 1 – 4
Count it all joy when you fall into trials…knowing this test of faith can produce patience and endurance, so that you can become perfect and complete. Do you really believe this? Or do you let your feelings and worries take over? Faith is believing God’s Word so that it changes you! Faith is not a method to get God to do something or change Him or change His mind!
The “Faith Movement” method of increasing personal faith to better move and influence God is false teaching. Hudson Taylor said, “We do not need a great faith, but faith in a great God.” Depending on my own great faith is pride. Thinking my faith is too weak is defeatism. Both are deception. Jesus is the author and finisher of my faith in my great Savior!
God never changes. Faith changes us, in what we think and what we do! Our Father is highly interested in growing us up to be like Him! We live by our faith, trust, and confidence in Him which leads us to obediently follow Him.
James 1: 5-8
Do you need wisdom? Go to ask God who gives it liberally! But you must ask having faith and trust in God and His Word so that you plan to do what He says. Corrie ten Boom said, “If we want to experience the guidance of God in our lives, we must accept one condition – obedience to Him.”
Obedience….that is how faith and works go together. If you are double minded…so you ask for wisdom from God, but then also contemplate other sources or do not do what God says, then how can you expect to receive anything from God? Following the world and God is not a stable focused foundation.
James 1: 9-11
Let the lowly person realize honor in that Jesus lifts them up! Let the rich person realize true honor in humbling themselves to Jesus, realizing this life and their own riches are temporary, and all people need to be humble before Jesus, rich or poor or inbetween.
James 1: 12-16
Happy and envied is the person who is patient and stands against trials and temptations! They stand faithfully in what God says is right instead of caving in. Standing and doing God’s way gives the victory! God cannot be tempted by evil and He tempts no one! People are tempted to draw away from God by their own evil desires. If you accept evil thoughts and feelings, they will grow and lead you to sin, which leads to destruction and death. Don’t be misled!
James 1 : 17-18
Every good, perfect, free, large, and full gift is from our Heavenly Father! His gifts are always light with no darkness. His greatest gift is, that of His free will, through His Son Jesus, He made us His sons and daughters, separated from evil and dedicated to Him!
James 1: 19-20
Get this….be a quick ready listener, slow to speak, and slow to take offense or get angry. Anger does not promote the righteousness God wants. Try living like this. It is more difficult than you might think.
James 1: 21
Get rid of and stay away from all uncleanness and rampant worldly wickedness. In a humble spirit, welcome and receive God’s Word. His Word implanted and rooted in your heart contains the power to save your soul (mind, emotions, will, personality, character). Do you believe this enough to really take the time and conviction to do it?
James 1: 22-25
Do not merely listen to God’s Word, but do and obey it. Listening but not doing is only deceiving yourself. The reasoning that only listening is enought, is contrary to Truth. That attitude causes a person to forget what they heard. A heedless listener is not a follower of Jesus and His Word. Persevering in learning God’s Word and doing it obediently and faithfully will bring true and good blessings.
James 1: 26
Today, many people have no problem expressing their opinions or saying whatever pops in their head. Read the warning in this verse. If anyone thinsk they are a follower of Jesus because they diligently observe expernal religious duties, but they do not control what they say, they are deluding their own heart! Remember that the mouth speaks what is really in the heart (Matthew 12: 34). That person’s religious service is worthless.
James 1: 27
Pure worship of God through outward expression is to visit and help the truly afflicted and needy, especially those who have no one else to help. Pure worship of God is also in keeping oneself clean and uncontaminated from the world.

End of Psalms – Chapters 146-150

Psalm 146 – 150
This begins the last section of Psalms. The last five chapters end Psalms with great praise for the Lord!
Psalms 146
I will praise the Lord all my life! Do not trust leaders or any man. All humans are flesh and can sin and mess up. Blessed and fortunate is the person who has a revelation of God and can put their hope and trust in Him!
Praise the Lord, who….
Created all.
Keeps trust and is faithful forever.
Executes justice for the oppressed.
Gives good to the hungry.
Sets free the prisoners.
Opens blind eyes.
Lifts up the burdened.
Loves those in right standing with Him who have an upright heart.
Protects and preserves temporary residents.
He upholds the fatherless and the widow.
He makes the way of the wicked upside down and crooked so they fail.
The Lord will reign forever.
Praise the Lord!
While we see examples in the Bible of God doing these things in the natural physical world, look through this list again and see how He does these same things in the spiritual realm too! He never changes, but is right, true, pure, and consisteng in His character, ways, and words!

Psalm 147
Psalm 147 was written when the Israelites were God’s people. Today, the followers of Jesus, both Gentiles and Jews, are God’s people. So, applying this to us today, I hear…
Praising the Lord is becoming and appropriate as He is gracious and lovely!
He is building up His eternal dwelling place and will gather together His exiles. He will heal their hearts and wounds. He lifts up the downtrodden and humble.
The Lord has great power and His wisdom is boundless.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving! He cares for everything on earth. But, His real pleasure is in those who reverently respect and love Him, putting their hope and trust in His loving-kindness and mercy.
Praise the Lord…He protects and keeps us and our children. The Lord brings us peace and makes us fruitful.
He sends His good commands to earth and His Word runs swiftly to be performed. He waters and refreshes His seed and His people.
He has not dealt with other people groups in this way…those who do not know, understand, appreciate, cherish, or give heed to Him and His ordinances. We are blessed! Praise the Lord!

Psalm 148
Praise the Lord…all heaven, angels, all earth, the whole universe, all people in the earth…praise the Lord! His name only is exalted and supreme! All glory and majesty are His! He lifts up and exalts Jesus to save His people! Praise the Lord!

Psalm 149
Praise the Lord in great victory celebration…with joyful singing, instruments, rejoicing, and dancing! The Lord is rejoicing with His people! He will beautify the humble with salvation, victory, joy, and glory! The wicked are defeated and judged! The Lord is the honor of all His saints! Hallelujah!

Psalm 150
Praise the Lord for His abundance of greatness and His mighty works…with rejoicing, singing, instruments, and dancing! Let every breath of life…praise the Lord (who is Life, even life eternal)! Amen!

Psalm 139-145

Psalm 139
Psalm 139 will reveal to you what God thinks you are worth! Those who search for self-worth should read this and come to our Heavenly Father through Jesus and find their worth in Him!
God sees His people as precious! He searches us thoroughly and knows us….where we are and what we think. He is behind us and before us, and has laid His hand on us to keep us and guide us. There is no place where He is not with us! He can even see in darkness. He saw our unformed substance in the womb and all the days of our life were in His book before we were even born.
We are against His enemies who hate the Lord, speak against Him wickedly, and take His name in vain. that grieves us because we so love Him!
Verses 23-24, “Search me thoroughly O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Psalm 140
This so easily applies to our world today as well as when it was written.
Lord, deliver and preserve us from evil and violent men, those who devise trouble in their hearts and gather together to stir up wars. They speak poisonous lies. They try to push us in the wrong direction. The proud snare and trap people.
May the evil words they speak against Your people come on them instead. May their plots and desires against us actually turn and come on them. Let calamity come to them and their evil works.
We can have peace and confidence that the Lord will maintain and secure justice for His believing children, even if they are now poor, needy, and afflicted. Surely, His uncompromisingly righteous will give Him thanks and dwell in His presence…eventurally even face to face.

Psalm 141
I think few people would think to pray this prayer with David. Would you request these things from God? This is not asking for worldly prosperity or desired fulfilled, but rather for instruction and training from the Lord!
Lord, set a guard on my mouth.
Incline my thoughts to not agree, compromise, or submit to any evil thing.
Incline me to not be occupied in the deeds of wicked worldly men.
Do not let me eat the dainties and pleasure of the worldly wicked…used to tempt me.
Let the righteous person smite and correct me…for that is a kindness and for my good. It is great anointing oil of which I will not discourage or refuse.
Evil rulers will be slaughtered and end in hell. Let them be snared in their own nets, while I pass over and escape with You…because I love You, keep my eyes focused on You, and trust You.

Psalm 142
Psalm 142 is a prayer when in terrible trouble (tribulation)….
Lord, I cry to You and pour out my troubles. I am overwhelmed and fainting in strength. I feel trapped. No person really cares about me. I have no place to hide or flee. Lord, You are my only refuge and help in this world! My persecutors have brought me low…they are stronger than me. Lord, bring me out of this prison.
Yet, I have faith and hope in You. I will confess, praise, and give thanks to You. The righteous will surround me and praise you also. You will deal bountifully with us.

Psalm 143
If we really are in the last days before Jesus returns, then we can expect hard persecution. How will we deal with it? This Psalm gives some help.
Go to God and talk with Him. Know that no one can attain righteousness on their own. Jesus has made the way for us to not be judged according to our sins. Jesus ascribes righteousness to us.
The enemy is pursuing, persecuting, and crushing us. He makes us dwell in dark places. It feels numb and overwhelming. Being wrapped in gloom, we feel faint.
We must remember and meditate on God’s good works and His Word….on what we have seen and known of His faithfulness. We turn our focus to thirst for God and surrender ourselves to Him. We remember His loving-kindness and continue to lean on and trust in Him. We lift up our inner self to Him.
Then, we ask Him to teach us His will and show us how and where to walk….the Holy Spirit leading us all the way to His land of righteousness. Save us Lord, and deliver us from all this tribulation. Cut off the enemy and free Your people from all this distress.

Psalm 144
The Lord is my Rock and firm strength. He teaches me to stand against and fight the enemy. He is also my refuge, protector, steadfast love, deliverer…my fortress, high tower, and shield.
How amazing that You, Lord, bother with man who is like temporary dust and vanity, when You are so great!
Deliver Your people out of the power of hostile people, those who speak deceit and fraudulent oaths.
You will bring Your people into a good place where Your sons and daughters are beautiful and blessed, there is plenty for all, and there is no more invasion of hostility and evil. Happy and fortunate are the people whose god is the Lord Jesus! All our hope is in Him!

Palm 145
I hope you find time to read this Psalm. While I read it today, I am thinking of all those who were martyred for their love and faithfulness to Father, Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Maybe the thoughts expressed in this Psalm are what upheld them. I ask myself, do I have this kind of love and trust in God to think on these things when experiencing the threat of persecution or death? Would I have the thought to offer salvation to an enemy who is killing me?
Every day and in every situation, I love my Lord and am thankful to Him! I will praise Him forever, no matter what!
The Lord’s greatness and wisdom is vast, deep, and unsearchable. Even when I don’t understand, I can trust Him. He is able to overcome and deliver me unto Himself.
I focus my thoughts on Him….His glorious splendor, majesty, and power.
Lord, I will declare Your greatness, Your abundant goodness, Your rightness, Your justice, Your mercy, Your grace, Your compassion, and Your loving-kindness. I will say there is still time to repent and turn to the Lord Jesus! Listen to me. I know the Lord Jesus and love Him. He is eternal resurrection life! He has raised me up and saved me! I can tell you of His glory and power over evil. He will uphold His people in His everlasting kingdom. The Lord is near to all who call on Him. His ways are righteous and just, but His works to save us are full of mercy and grace. If you will also reverently and worshipfully fear Jesus and turn to Him, He will save you too! The Lord preserves all who love Him with eternal life, but the wicked are destroyed.
I will continue to praise the Lord in love and gratefulness. Oh that all people would love and praise the Lord forever!

Psalms 130 – 138

Psalm 130
How awful it would be if the Lord kept track of our sins and treated us accordingly! But, He is full of loving-kindness, mercy, and forgiveness toward His people. That is exactly what we need! Our hope is in the Lord!

Psalm 131
We should not have a haughty, prideful heart, nor lofty eyes, now mess in matters too great or wonderful for us! When we humble ourselves to the Lord and trust Him, He calms and quiets our soul from fretting. Keep hope in the Lord!

Psalm 132
This Psalm reminds us of God’s Word to David….the Messianic promise of the Messiah, his descendent, who would reign as King from Jerusalem. David was faithful to love and worship God. God is even more faithful in performing His Word. Jesus will reign from Jerusalem!

Psalm 133
It is good and pleasant for the family of God to dwell together! God anoints and blesses the whole family! Notice this is addressed only to God’s family, not to all people in the earth. God loves everyone and extends salvation, but not all come to Him. It is best to have close fellowship with believers, and not those of the world. Relationships need right boundaries. God first.

Psalm 134
Bless (affectionately and gratefully praise) the Lord, all you who serve the Lord!

Psalm 135
A few “nuggets” from this Psalm….
Praise the Lord for He is good, lovely, gracious, powerful, great above all, and endures forever!
The Lord will vindicate His people, manifesting His righteousness and mercy, and give favor to those who separate themselves unto Him to serve and follow Him.
Idols cannot speak, see, hear, or have the breath of life. Those who trust in idols are the same….dumb, blind, deaf, and spiritually dead.
Reverently and worshipfully praise the Lord with affection and gratitude.

Psalm 136
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever.”
He is great above all; does great wonders; has wisdom and understanding; Creator of everything; knows how to keep His people and imprints them on His heart; is in ultimate control; is the hero who rescues; and the provider of good food.
Oh give thanks to the Lord!

Psalm 137
To apply this today, we need to correlate a few things.
Babylon is the worldly pagan evil place of captivity. Jerusalem is the blessed place to live freely in God’s presence with His rule. So, we can learn…..
While we are captive in a fallen world, we weep when we remember God’s original plan for a Garden of Eden and His future promise for the final righteous kingdom of Jesus, in His presence, on earth.
Our tormentors tell us to perform for them with a happy positive attitude. How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? But, we can when we hold to hope in the promised word of the Lord. He will come and judge the world and Babylon, the devastator, will be destroyed. Our hope is in Jesus, our Savior, Redeemer, and Deliverer!

Psalm 138
More “nuggets”…..
Lord, I will confess You, praise You, and worship You with my whole heart!
I call on You and You strengthen me in my inner self.
All kings will praise You when they see Your mighty acts and that You fulfill all Your promises and prophecies.
The Lord is high, but He respects the lowly when they come into relationship with Him. The proud and haughty stand off at a distance.
Even when I walk in trouble, the Lord stretches out His hand and revives me. He will perfect that which concerns me. I am His workmanship.