THE CALL | Mark 11:7-10
And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”
O God, what house could contain you, that you should dwell there? All of creation is not vast enough. And yet you desire for your Spirit to make its home in our hearts. Forgive us that we so often shutter our hearts to you. For the sake of your Son, the greater Son of David, do not turn your face away. Clothe us in your righteousness and clothe our adversary in shame; let him not hinder your coming. Open our hearts to welcome you in as our King! Cause us to shout for joy for your salvation, yours alone, we pray.
ASSURANCE | Hebrews 9:11-12
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
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
First reading: Psalm 115
Second reading: Psalm 114
Many people have the impression that in the Old Testament times, God was only concerned about the Jews, his chosen people, and that he and his people had little concern for those around them. Actually, many psalms and other passages in the Old Testament point to God’s concern for all the nations, including God’s call to Abraham, the founder of the nation of Israel: “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:2-3)
The nation of Israel was set up by God as an example for other nations to see. Psalms 114 and 115 place Israel in that context. In Psalm 114:7 we read, “Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,” when remembing the great miracles of God in the Exodus. In Psalm 115 we read of Israelites debating religion with people of other beliefs: “Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’” Psalm 115 in large part is a dialogue with those who practice idolatry, the main religion in the surrounding nations at the time.
The main “arguments” in Psalms 114 and 115 are:
1) remember and pass down to the next generation the stories of God’s great miraculous works (which are now recorded in the Bible);
2) lift up your eyes to see the true, transcendant God, not a puny god like Thor or Zeus, who can be depicted in an inanimate statue; and
3) live life trusting in God and his blessings, but not pointing to yourself, but instead to God, that the nations may glorify him (Psalm 115:1).
Psalm 115:3 says “Our God…does all that he pleases,” and 115:9 says “O Israel, trust in the Lord!” Faith can be defined not in just believing God exists (probably most people believe that), but it trusting that he is good, even when when what he ordains doesn’t always make sense to us. We are tempted to try to manipulate God, like an idol that we give little offerings to, but faith says to God, “I fall down before God, who does what he pleases.” (Dave Snoke)
TUESDAY-READ | Psalm 132
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.
Revelation 21:3 [ESV]
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”
(If you are in a group, you can end with the following call and response:)
The Spirit and the Bride say,
And let the one who hears say,
And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.
(based on Revelation 22:17,20-21)
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.