Choosing how to live the one life we get

Posted Jul 12, 2018

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Daily Scripture

Psalm 27:1-5

The Lord is my light and my salvation.
        Should I fear anyone?
    The Lord is a fortress protecting my life.
        Should I be frightened of anything?
2 When evildoers come at me trying to eat me up—
    it’s they, my foes and my enemies,
    who stumble and fall!
3 If an army camps against me,
        my heart won’t be afraid.
    If war comes up against me,
        I will continue to trust in this:
4  I have asked one thing from the Lord—
    it’s all I seek:
        to live in the Lord’s house all the days of my life,
        seeing the Lord’s beauty
        and constantly adoring his temple.
5 Because he will shelter me in his own dwelling
    during troubling times;
    he will hide me in a secret place in his own tent;
        he will set me up high, safe on a rock.

Reflection Questions

Early in Jumanji, Principal Bently told the students sent to detention, “You get one life… You get to decide how you’re going to spend it.” In verse 4 the writer of Psalm 27 expressed the central thing to which he devoted his one life. On this earth, the confident promises in Psalm 27 do not always come true. But Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, at the funeral of four girls killed in a church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, “Like the ever-changing cycle of the seasons, life has the soothing warmth of the summers and the piercing chill of its winters. But through it all, God walks with us. Never forget that God is able to lift you from the fatigue of despair to the buoyancy of hope.”*

  • Verse 4 said, “I have asked one thing from the Lord… to live in the Lord’s house all the days of my life, seeing the Lord’s beauty.” In his classic book Practicing the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence wrote to God, “Thou knowest well that it is not thy gifts that I desire… but Thyself.” What draws you to adore and yearn for God with anything like that kind of intensity?
  • Israelites who prayed and sang this psalm saw Babylon destroy Jerusalem, saw Rome overpower their land—yet they still trusted. Christians saw Jesus crucified, the apostles Paul and Peter martyred by Rome, prayed the psalm in dim Roman catacombs—yet they still trusted. What difficulties test your trust, and trigger fear in you? How can you trust that in the end God will always keep the promise to set you up high, safe on a rock?

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you came into our dark world of pain and suffering as a vulnerable baby. You know firsthand the joys and the sorrows that are part of the deal of being human. Teach me how to look to you as my light even at the most frightening times. Amen.


* “Eulogy for the Martyred Children,” in James M. Washington, ed. A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1986, p. 222.

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Palmer Embry

Palmer Embry

Palmer is a summer intern with Rezlife Student Ministries at Resurrection Leawood. He is a Sophomore at Southern Methodist University studying business and Spanish. He has attended Resurrection since he was born and has been involved in Rezlife for the past 8 years.

The Lord is our protector and our salvation. It seems to me that people often forget that. The author of Psalm 27 announces his desire for the Lord, proclaims his longing for His company on high. He knows that the one he longs for will provide him with everything he needs.           

I am entering my second year of college at SMU this upcoming August. I love the school and the people I have met there, yet it seems to me that there is an air of worry surrounding many of the students. This haze is present in my own life as I fret over my future career, my classes, internships, and all the decisions that have been placed before me that could potentially alter my life. I believe the same could be said of college students, and people in general, all across the country. We all worry endlessly over things that may not matter to the Lord.

I had the opportunity to give a message one night a few weeks ago to our Dallas mission trip group on the importance of faith. I mentioned that having true faith in the Lord means to place yourself completely in his control, to depend on Him alone for everything. God will not abandon us, he has a reason for asking for our devotion. Jesus said that if He feeds the birds in the trees and clothes the lilies in the fields then we, who are much more dearly loved, will surely be taken care of. The Lord will “conceal [us] there when troubles come” and “hide us in sanctuary.” God walks with us in the good times, encourages us in the trying times, and gives us sanctuary in His arms during the hard times.

That is the reminder I hear when I read this scripture: armies can come to conquer and devour me, but the Lord is my fortress always. There is no need to fear or worry, for it brings us nothing. Yet the Lord brings joy and peace to His children.

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