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  • Bob Burk

Lent Day 42

Scripture: Psalm 71:1-8,14

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;    

let me never be put to shame.

In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;    

turn your ear to me and save me.

Be my rock of refuge,    

to which I can always go;

give the command to save me,    

for you are my rock and my fortress.

Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,    

from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.


For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,    

my confidence since my youth.

From birth I have relied on you;    

you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.    

I will ever praise you.

I have become a sign to many;    

you are my strong refuge.

8 My mouth is filled with your praise,    

declaring your splendor all day long.


Do not cast me away when I am old;    

do not forsake me when my strength is gone.

10 For my enemies speak against me;    

those who wait to kill me conspire together.

11 They say, “God has forsaken him;    

pursue him and seize him,    

for no one will rescue him.”

12 Do not be far from me, my God;    

come quickly, God, to help me.

13 May my accusers perish in shame;    

may those who want to harm me    

be covered with scorn and disgrace.


14 As for me, I will always have hope;    

I will praise you more and more.


Today's Meditation: 

I have a close group of friends who, although they were raised in the church (okay, most of us born in the late 40s and early 50s were raised in the church), aren’t really active in the church anymore. Yet they all ask for prayers when some crisis happens in their lives, and they themselves lean on God in those difficult times. But the rest of the year, they live their lives and put God in the margins. They will say they believe in God, but daily prayer, daily quiet time, devotional, and/or scripture reading are not part of their routine. They don’t really work at a relationship with God. Don’t get me wrong, every one of these people lives their lives by “Christian Principles.” By that, I mean they’re honest, they have integrity, they do things to help others, they care about the people around them, and they are loving to family and friends. But they really don’t have a deep, personal relationship with God. Most of their days, a relationship with God is not in their thoughts or their minds. And their actions, the good way they live, may be as much “habit” as it is “commitment to a Christian faith.

When you read the words of the Psalmist in today’s scripture, there is no doubt that the writer has a deep, personal relationship with God, and has had that relationship for his/her whole life.

"For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. From my birth I have leaned upon you, my protector since my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you…But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more."

I know that, like my friends, I too have days when I want to push God to the margins, to be able to claim the successes as my own, to focus on my priorities, instead of God’s. It’s not like I go out and rob a convenience store, but I don’t think about what I can do today to help grow God’s Kin-dom on earth, what work of Christ I can do in someone else’s life. Maybe you have days like that too.


Prayer:

Loving God, remind me each day, that the reason I can lean on you, the reason that you are my rock and my refuge when life gets hard, is because, in the time I have spent with you, you have shown me how much you love for me, and that you won’t ever forsake me. Guide me to live in Easter ways, each and every moment. And let my mouth be filled with your praise and with your glory all day long.


Mark Gregory



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