Monday, February 28, 2011

You are my son

The king proclaims the Lord's decree: "The Lord said to me, 'You are my son. Today I have become your Father. Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the ends of the earth as your possession. You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.' " Psalm 2: 7-8 NLT

Today's reading is very much like the report of some kind of inheritance ceremony, almost as if it was an adoption. What the Lord says in the Hebrew actually translates to: Today I reveal you as my son.

This is a huge announcement!

God has declared this ruler (we know the original writer of the psalm meant King David) as God's son! This is the heir who has been given power and authority over everyone else. But that isn't all. The Lord God says that, if the son will only ask, the Lord will give all the nations and kingdoms of the world over to him - he only had to ask and God would take an iron rod and smash them all like clay pots!

I wonder how much of this was part of  Hebrew blessing or legal announcement of a man's heir. It certainly has a lot of trust behind these statements. I don't think any man of authority and means would want to destroy all he has just on the word of his heir. And I don't think a newly proclaimed heir would want to be about that same destruction. But if you have claimed someone as your heir, then you are willing to do what they have asked of you. "I trust you implicitly with all authority and power just as I have. In fact, if you asked me, I would destroy everything just to prove my words as true."

The real power behind all of these words is that there can only be one heir. There is only one person who can ask for this destruction. There is only on who has been given the nations as an inheritance.

And there is only one to whom we can give our allegiance and support.

God, in Christ we find the one to whom we give our allegiance and support. We know that he is your son and you are his Father and our Father. We praise you and give Christ the glory! In His name. Amen.

Copyright 2011 Amelia G. Sims

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Are we willing to make God laugh?

But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. Then in anger he rebukes them, terrifying them with his fierce fury. For the Lord declares, "I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, my holy city." Psalm 2: 4-6 NLT

Have you ever been so angry that all you can do is laugh? Once you have blown off that steam, you can usually follow that with a vehement tirade. That is just want God does in this scripture.

Me: [Bravely and with gusto] I'm going to do this myself.

God: "Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!" [Snort]

God: [Turning red, thundering in a loud voice] You think you are going to do that all yourself? Just who do you think you are? Stop thinking of yourself more than you ought to think! I am so FURIOUS with you! Are you thinking you are ME? [Turns away]

Me: [Wanting to crawl under a rock with fear] ......

God: [Turning back] I have placed my chosen ruler on the throne! And it isn't you!

Stop what you are doing and take a deep breath. Now remember who is really in control (hint: it isn't you). Also recall who God placed on the throne (hint: it isn't you). Picture who is sitting on the throne and what he has done to be there. Realize again just who he did it for in the first place.

Are you still willing to go ahead and do things your own way?

Are you aware of how angry God could become with you? Ready to face that?

No? Then let's pray:

God, we can make you laugh and make you angry. You can be so disappointed in us. You have set your chosen ruler on the throne and still we try to take the scepter from him and go our own way. Forgive us, Lord, and help us to earn your mercy rather than your rebuke. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Copyright 2011 Amelia G. Sims

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Free Yourself

Why do the nations rage? Why do the people waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against his anointed one. "Let us break their chains," they cry, "and free ourselves from this slavery." Psalm 2: 1-3 NLT

I am going to set myself free.

I am going to throw off this addiction to alcohol.

I am going to stop smoking today. I know I can do it!

I am going to work harder, smarter and more efficiently so that I will make the promotion next year.

I am going to get out of this relationship so that I can pursue my own plans.

I am going to move to a better neighborhood where I will feel safe.

What is the common denominator here? I.

And so it is with the first three verses above. Nations rage. People waste time on their own plans. Kings prepare for battle, ruler plot together, everyone chanting that they are going to free themselves.

But we can't free ourselves. We must have help. And not help coming from other people.

In order to be free, we must depend on God's saving work.

It isn't about what I can do. It is about what God can do.

God, we know that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. But we cannot do it ourselves. Free us from our bondages, whatever they may be. In Jesus' holy name. Amen.

Copyright 2011 Amelia G. Sims

Friday, February 25, 2011


But this is not true of the wicked. They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly. For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction. Psalm 1: 4-6 NLT

But this is not true of the wicked.... they will be scattered, condemned and have no place among the godly.

It is so easy to have in our minds a picture of those wicked persons.

For me, that picture is never of my own face. I'm a follower of Christ so I am not wicked.


Well, according to this same psalm, the godly are those who meditate on God's word, who don't listen blindly to the popular radio talk show hosts, who don't sit around gossiping with their "Christian" friends, who don't follow Dr. Phil's advice more than they read the Bible, and who are obedient to God rather than their own desires.

Before we assume someone else is the wicked who will face condemnation, we need to take a good hard look at ourselves. What is our true source of water? Are we dependent more on our job, our title or our family than on God?

The wicked in this psalm aren't breaking any commandments. They are just standing around talking and misleading other people.

I don't know about you but I don't want to be led to destruction. I want God to watch over my path.

God, we are quick to accuse others of being wicked when our own behavior proves us to be just as bad, if not worse. Forgive us, Lord. Help us to be obedient as you watch over our paths. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Copyright 2011 Amelia G. Sims

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Act Like a Tree...

They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail. Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper. Psalm 1:3 NLT

With the dry summer we had in 2010, it was good to see all the greenery around the banks of our lake house. Those trees had roots that went deep into the dirt which was kept moist by the lake. No matter the outward situation, our trees were going to continue to be green and fruitful.

Verse 3 in Psalm 1 reminds me that it isn't just having deep roots that causes one to live well. You need to be rooted near a source that will keep you grounded and fruitful no matter what life on the outside brings your way. In fact, the verse says that the trees not only bear fruit in each season and their leaves never wither but they also prosper. For me, this means the trees grow bigger and healthier each year.

The danger in all this is that we may seek the Source just for joy or prosperity. We want to be happy and rich so we will follow God. Verse two of the same psalm calls a halt to that way of thinking. The motivation is not to be doing well but the delight in following God and doing what God wants.

It is delightful to do as God asks us to do. Maybe we'll be rich but that is not what God promises. God promises the joy that comes with obedience. God promises to always give us the nutrients we need. God promises strength and perseverance. We may be buffeted by strong winds and surrounded by dry dirt but we have a firm foundation in what will keep us alive and fruitful.

Meditate on God's commandments. Do as God asks. Delight in following God. Your roots will run deep and you will constantly be refreshed.


Copyright 2011 Amelia G. Sims

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with scoffers. But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants; day and night they think about his law. Psalm 1:1-2 NLT

Are you doing everything the Lord wants you to be doing?


I like to think I'm doing what God wants but that isn't so. What I am doing is planning and deciding what I will be doing. Then I pray and ask God to bless my plans and each day.

And if I am not doing what I want, I am thinking I already know what God is wanting and try to do that.

God wants all of us who follow him to really follow him, not just to say "yes" then head in another direction. No wonder many of us aren't happy!

How many of us seriously ponder if we are following God's law? Okay, so most of us aren't committing adultery or murdering anyone. But how about coveting our neighbor's new car? Or our coworkers' fancy clothes? What idols (such as money) are we worshipping? Is it simply coincidence that many of us will drop everything to watch a show entitled "American Idols?" And are we really taking a sabbath once a week?

That doesn't even begin to touch on what Jesus said was the greatest commandment: love the Lord your God with your whole being and your neighbor as yourself.

Instead, we find ourselves standing in the midst of sinners, following the advice of any "expert" on television/talk radio, and putting down just about everything along with our friends.

Are you happy? My guess is the answer is "No."

God, you are so more than willing to provide us with joy. But we keep doing our own thing. Forgive us Lord and help us to put our minds on your law not our agendas. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Copyright 2011 Amelia G. Sims