Upon returning from my morning run today, I sat down to spend some time with the Lord. This is usually a peaceful and quiet time for me that I cherish each day. This morning I was dealt two very solid gut punches from the Father. Talk about a morning wake up call.

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The first solid body blow came from Psalm 85:8.

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The New Century Version, which I am currently reading through, translates the middle phrase like this. ‘He has ordered peace for those who worship Him.’

As a worship leader, I love this translation because it uses a phrase that speaks deep into my being, ‘those who worship Him’. 

The last 14 months of my life have been anything but peaceful. We have dealt with the loss of a job, the loss of two precious family members, and major brain surgery for my wife. I will openly admit that there have been points on this journey, most recently upon receiving the news of Beth’s brain tumor, where I have gotten alone in my car and had it out with God. I’ve asked Him if He had it out for us, if this was His idea of a running gag, and so on. Stupid questions, but brutally honest questions that I think God would rather hear than me faking being ok with everything.

Here’s the thing, and I do NOT say this boastfully, but to acknowledge that God’s peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7) is real and tangible. In those moments where I have been able to put these uncontrollable  situations in His hand and worship Him, I have found myself at complete peace. It did not take away the concern, but it allowed me to rest in His arms. That’s the promise of Psalm 85:8 coming to life and I don’t think I really put that together until I read it this morning.

Ok. Time for gut punch number two. This one came from 1 Peter 2:9.

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Those of us who are Christians love this verse, or at least the first part. We love to claim the titles listed here. It gives us an elevated sense of worth with regard to who we are. Here’s the thing, we often stop quoting this verse after the word possession.

This is slightly problematic to me, because I believe that if we are going to claim the titles listed, then we need to follow the calling that is associated with those titles. The NCV continues this verse by saying, ‘You were chosen to TELL about the wonderful acts of God.’

As I read this, I asked myself when the last time I told someone just how awesome God is. For the record, posting something about God on Facebook didn’t count for my personal evaluation. Gut punch number two had been delivered at this point.

I love the titles we are called to take up in this verse, but I don’t feel that I can take any of those titles, if I am not living them out. I am not basing my salvation on my works here, but to quote my former pastor, ‘If there’s fire in the fireplace there should be smoke in the chimney.’ It is this realization that will make me check myself before I boast abouf being part of a chosen people, royal preists, and a holy nation.

What is God showing you today? Havd you been on the receiving end of a gut punch recently? Please comment and share so we can be an encouragement to each other.

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