RESPONSIVE CALL | Matthew 6:19–24
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,
but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light,
but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.
If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and money.
ASSURANCE | Psalm 121:1-2 [ESV]
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
SING: Gloria Patri [sheet music] [demo recording]
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 14
2nd Reading: Psalm 53
(We have grouped these two psalms together because of their similar subject matter and because have near identical language in many parts. Our focus will be one psalm 14.)
“The fool says in his heart, there is no God… the LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man.” (Ps 14:1-2, Ps 53:1-2)
We have seen, beginning in Psalm 1, that there is often a comparison made between the path of the righteous and the path of the wicked. Another way to make that contrast is between wisdom and foolishness. The proverbs and the psalms have a great deal to say about both of these topics. On the one hand, the beginning of wisdom is to fear God and related to him properly. Conversely, the beginning of foolishness is to reject God and act as if he does not exist. When people try to live without God, they are making the biggest mistake possible. They may know lots of information, but their fundamental understanding of the world is necessarily off. In the Bible, wisdom and foolishness are understood to be determined by how we relate to God. As a result, when God looks down on the mass of humanity that has rejected him he finds that “there is no one who does good, not even one (v.14:3.)”
In the New Testament, Paul quotes this when he builds his case against humanity (Rom 3:10ff.) He shows that both Jews and Gentiles became corrupt and all alike fall short of the glory of God. At the deepest level, all of us are born fools. Our natural inclination is to live as if God doesn’t exist. In spite of how much we learn or how many degrees we acquire, the compulsion of human nature is to live as if God does not exist. The world around us teaches us to live this way. Salvation requires God to break in and renew our hearts. Ultimately, Jesus is the one and only person who lived with proper reverence for God in every aspect of his life. In this sense, he “became of us wisdom from God (1Cor 1:30)
As we read these psalms we are led to consider that we are surrounded by a great deal of foolishness. But the problem is not just “out there” in those other people. Except for God’s saving mercy, we too could be without hope. Let us remind ourselves, the beginning of wisdom is to acknowledge God presence in the world and orient our lives before him each step of the way.
SING | Psalm 121
CONTEXTUALIZE | Psalm 121
Consider ways that you can let the Psalm form your imagination, that you might share it with others. Perhaps you can journal about it, write poetry or prose, learn a song, create visual art, or re-express it in ways that speak to your context. If you are planning to fellowship with other people this weekend, consider how you might share these imaginations with your community.
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,
COMMISSION | Psalm 121:7–8 [ESV]
The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The LORD will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
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.