THE CALL | Matthew 19:14–15 [ESV]
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.
Father, all human life bares your image and is a blessing, but we treat some as more important than others. We value each other for our utility, beauty, skill, or entertainment and we treat children as tiresome distractions from our ambitious desires. We neglect the elderly and pretend that we ourselves will never age. We rise up early and go to bed late in order to advance our careers just a little bit more; we are building our own kingdoms where only the strong can survive. Jesus, teach us to welcome the children, elderly, and marginalized into our lives. Holy Spirit, help us to rely on your promises and live within your kingdom, a kingdom of love and rest. Amen.
ASSURANCE | Matthew 7:24–27 [ESV]
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
SING: Gloria Patri
Glory be to the Father
And to the Son and to the Holy Ghost
As it was in the beginning
Is now and ever shall be world without end
Read: Psalm 69
2nd Reading: John 15:27
(Ps 69:13) "But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God,
in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness."
There are many elements of this psalm which speak to the experience of living in dark times. Verse 1 says, "Save me God, for the waters have come up to my neck." And verse 13, says, "Deliver me from sinking in the mire." For one of my good friends, this has spoken to their experience of discouragement while living at a low ebb of spiritual energy. Psalm 69 encourages us to speak honestly about our situation, even as we appeal to God for help. If we think that we need to clean ourselves up before we can pray to God, then... we will never pray.
The perspective of Psalm 69 is that God will answer, but he will answer in the timing that works best for our good. The delay between praying for help and then seeing God's help arrive can be a difficult time of waiting. But Psalm 69 tells us that God's purposes for us are full of steadfast love and faithfulness and that he will answer our prayers in an "acceptable time (vs. 13.)"
While we wait, it is encouraging to know that Jesus identified closely with this psalm. At three places, he used the words of this psalm to describe his own situation. In John 15:25 he saw his own experience of rejection as being a fulfillment of Psalm 69:4, "They hated me without cause." He also described his action in cleansing the temple as being "zeal for your house" (Ps 69:9), and on the cross he was given "sour wine" for his thirst (Ps 69:21, Jn 19:28-29.) We see that God's purpose for Jesus was not immediate deliverance from his persecutors. In fact, he was not only given over to suffering, but his path went all the way down into death itself. But, at an acceptable time, God fulfilled his purposes for Jesus and accomplished his deliverance. He was raised from the dead and given all power and authority for the church. Thankfully, his experience of suffering and death was not cut short, because God accomplished our salvation in and through the cross.
God's steadfast love and faithfulness are stronger and deeper than our sin. They are stronger and deeper than our circumstances. They are stronger and deeper than death itself. While the appearance of our deliverance my not immediately appear, God will give us the final victory. As we wait for an acceptable time, we can be sure that God is at work for good and his purposes will not be thwarted.
READ | Psalm 127
Spend time understanding and memorizing the outline of the Psalm, taking special note of the flow or transition points. If you are in a group, discuss the main themes and emphasis together.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever,
Genesis 1:28 [ESV]
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
City Reformed Presbyterian Church
The 90 Days project is a collaborative effort of many church leaders. Matt Koerber and Daniel Snoke have taken lead roles, with others helping to write daily devotionals.