(If you are gathered in a group, you could begin with the following call and response.)
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts!
We lift them up to the Lord!
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give Him thanks and praise!
THE CALL | Matthew 16:24-26 [ESV]
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Lord, we think on the unjust wounds you suffered at the hands of evil men. Like plowers making long their furrows (Psalm 129:3), they afflicted you with scars. That you, the Son of God, suffered such wounds is awful enough, but what is worse is they were brought about by our willful wrongs. Forgive us, Lord, of our sins that required such a payment. And yet you took this payment on willingly – what a humbling thought. You suffered this affliction from your foes that you might triumph over them (Psalm 129:2), not for your own sake, but for the sake of your people. We praise you that our adversary, and even death, will soon wither like the grass on the housetop (Psalm 129:6), and that, in you, they will not prevail over us.
ASSURANCE | Isaiah 53:2-3,5 [ESV]
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
Day 58: Psalm 90
“Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”
What happens when finite beings think they are more than finite and start acting like they are masters of their own universe? There is one character in film history that came face to face with this reality. He was voted the 94th greatest movie character of all time by one magazine. He is knowfor his iconic phrase: “To infinity, and beyond!” Of course, I’m referring to Buzz Lightyear, who—bless him--actually believed he was a real space ranger who could fly and possessed lasers to destroy his enemies. But one day, while held captive at Sid’s house and waiting to be blown to bits, sees a television ad of an eponymous toy and realizes that he’s not a real space ranger; he’s just another toy.
Psalm 90 is for us what that television ad was for Buzz. It’s a stark reminder that we are finite, constrained by time and space. It implores us to live with two opposing realities in mind: our finitude and God’s infinitude. Our lifespan can be counted in decades. Six, seven, maybe eight if we’re lucky. But God stands outside of time; he is infinite and eternal. We are told in verse 1 that a heart of wisdom is one that stands in awe of God’s infinitude and eternality, because if God is eternal and transcends time, then He is infinitely better than anything we can imagine in this dimension. Unlike this ephemeral, transient, passing world, the unchanging, eternal God has promised us his very presence.
Which raises the question: how big is your God? Seriously, what do you believe about God? If God created the universe with a simple command of His word, and if scientists can’t even get their heads around how big the universe is; if the triune God has not only existed before creation but is the author of creation, and we are created uniquely and in His image to be in relationship with this God, how should that inform the way we think about life? And what do our doubts, fears, discouragements, and worries say about how big our God is?
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Amen.
THURSDAY-Praying Psalm 129:5
This week, we will use Psalm 129 as a prayer template that we move through progressively each day.
“May all who hate Zion
be put to shame and turned backward.” (Psalm 129:5)
Pray that all those who seek to oppose the Church (whether rulers or governments or even those close to us) would be turned backward, and that they would repent and turn to the Lord.
I believe in the God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth.
I believe Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary;
suffered under Pontius Pilate;
was crucified, dead, and buried;
he descended into hell;
the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the resurrection of the dead;
and the life everlasting. Amen.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 [ESV]
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
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.