Bless the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me bless His Holy Name!
O Lord, You paint the eastern sky with sunrise every morning,
And at end of day You brush sunset colors over the opposite canvas.
Dark of night reveals the multitude of stars which populate the heavens.
Your creation praises You! I will join them with a song of joy.
I will praise and thank You for the symphony of blooms in our front yard.
The Bridal Veil and Forsythia blooms began the melody.
Then the Bradford Pears added their white-frosted branches to the mix.
Their flowers faded out, but the lilacs chimed in with their fragrant purplish mounds.
Our Spirea bushes pour forth fountains of flowers.
The flowering cherry trees add their own notes of beauty.
And daffodils, daylilies, and irises of various hues complete the chorus
To You, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Let Your people praise You! Let all the people praise You, Creator and Lord!
People can admire creation’s beauty and write about its loveliness. Some can paint replicas of nature on canvas. But we couldn’t begin to create life. You alone create living things, whether plant or animal.
You are the awesome, amazing, living God! Let everything that has breath praise You! Amen.
From the hymn “God Who Touchest Earth with Beauty”
photo by Tricia Opitz
God, who touchest earth with beauty, Make me lovely too; With Thy Spirit re-create me, Make my heart anew.
Like Thy springs and running waters, Make me crystal pure; Like Thy rocks of towering grandeur, Make me strong and sure.
Like Thy dancing waves in sunlight, Make me glad and free; Like the straightness of the pine trees, Let me upright be. …
(Lyrics by Mary S. Edgar; music by Frederick Arthur Gore-Ouseley)
(Source – Baptist Hymn Book )
One of my favorite names for God is “Maker of Heaven and Earth” because it spoke peace to me in a crisis a few years back. At that time I searched for comfort one night by leafing through the Psalms. I came upon Psalm 124:8—“Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth (NKJV).” I could relax. No matter what happened, my hope was in the God who made heaven and earth. It would be all right.
So when God points out to Job in Job 38 the greatness of His creative acts, I’m reminded to praise the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.
Some things to praise God for from Job 38:4-11 NIV:
You, Lord God,
- Laid the earth’s foundations;
- Marked off its dimensions;
- Shut up the sea behind doors when it first burst forth;
- Clothed it with clouds;
- Wrapped the sea in darkness;
- Fixed limits for it;
- Told the sea, “You can come this far, no farther,” and “Here is where your proud waves halt.” (And it obeyed.)
“Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation. Oh, my soul, praise Him, for He is my help and salvation! All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near. Join me in glad adoration.”–from the hymn ”Praise to the Lord the Almighty” (lyrics and video at https://www.godtube.com/popular-hymns/praise-to-the-lord-the-almighty/
“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” (Psalm 19:1)
Lord, You make the wind blow and cause grass to grow.
You give the birds their wings and a song to sing.
You awaken green in spring
From brown of earth’s sleeping.
You paint sunrise at each morning’s light
And sunset near the edge of night.
You give light and breath to all, great and small.
Awesome, almighty–no measure of Your worth,
Maker of heaven and earth.
To those who seek You, You offer more and better life.
Yes, You bestow unbreakable, eternal life.
All thanks and honor to You, O God Most High.
You give rich, abundant love and grace.
O Worthy Lord, please accept our praise.
“[Ask] the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. … that the hand of the LORD has done this, In whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?” (Job 12:7, 9-10)
(Scriptures are from the New American Standard Bible.)
The melody of beginning light and mingled blues and pinks in the skies of sunrise.
The blend of golds and oranges and reds of the waning light of sunset.
A chorus of singing birds and wind in the trees, chattering squirrels and flowers in the breeze at noonday.
Clouds may roll in and shroud the skies in darkness with lightning and thunder and power of strong winds,
Varied voices of God’s people singing praise to Jesus, King of Kings and creator of all things.
Moon and stars and galaxies far, and birds at rest within their nests sound notes of night time.
Near and far, day and night, it’s only right that all things and all people everywhere would lift songs of praise to the God of all.
These thoughts brought to mind the hymn “I Sing the Mighty Power of God” by Isaac Watts.
The lyrics include such lines as: “I sing the mighty power of God, that made the mountains rise,” “I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day,” “Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed, where’er I turn my eye,” “…All that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care,” with “And everywhere that we can be, Thou, God art present there.” An excellent acapella version of this hymn can be found at I Sing the Mighty Power of God.
Psalm 8:1 “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, who have set Your glory above the heavens!”
Isaiah 6:3 “And one cried to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!’”
Jeremiah 10:12-13 says, “He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens at His discretion. 13 When He utters His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens: And He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries.”
(All Scripture quotes are New King James Version.)
Isaiah 40:25 “‘To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?’ asks the Holy One.”
I see beautiful clothes, lovely and fair,
But consider the cardinal, dressed beyond compare.
Who made the cardinal and dressed him so fine?
Our great Creator, the Lord of design.
What art of man compares to what God has done?
Or what feat matches His power? There’s not even one.
Lord, You are awesome, sovereign over all.
Yet You’ve chosen to love us, both great and small.
Your wisdom is broader than the universe vast,
And Your power is stronger than imagination can grasp.
Your mercy and favor, Your grace and Your love—
Overwhelming and humbling, such gifts from above!
Walking in His Love
Colossians 3:12-13 “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
Knowing I am beloved to God puts joy and love in my heart. The more I’m rooted in this truth, the more I can be merciful, kind, and forgiving to others. The more I recognize His magnificence, might and total adequacy and my own powerlessness and inadequacy, the more I want to praise and thank Him and bring Him glory.
(Both Scriptures New Living Translation. Picture courtesy Public Domain image.com, Dr. Thomas G. Barnes, creator.)
One day last winter, I admired the beautifully snow-frosted evergreens along the roadside as we drove to church. The next day I looked out at our bird feeder while the temperature outside was zer0 degrees F. with snow on the ground. How delightful to see the sleek red-wing blackbirds which come to feed along with the handsome junco and stunning cardinals with their less colorful mates! I viewed the many sparrows and the female blackbirds which look like over-sized sparrows. I admired the distinguished- looking chickadee and the tufted titmouse with his regal crest. Even the petite goldfinch comes for seed.
And I prayed, Loving Heavenly Father, Thank You that we can provide a little seed for these Your creatures because of Your provision for us. Thank You for physical eyes and mental capacity to enjoy it. I praise You for the wonder and beauty of Your creation. All glory and praise and thanks to You, mighty, marvelous, creative God! Amen.
Photo credits: From http://www.public-domain-image.com –snowy evergreens picture by Rosendahl, junco picture by Dave Menke. From http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/ –split log feeder picture by Peter Attila Antal.
At a state park recently I took a morning walk among the trees. It had rained the night before, and I saw a stream flowing over large rocks making a couple of delightful cascades, and water pooled in a few low places.
It inspired me to pray, Father God, I love and worship You as Creator of everything. How faithful and merciful You are! Your Spirit is like a mighty river. May I be like a rock pool through which Your Holy Spirit flows, coming in at the depths of my heart and flowing over the top of my life. Let it wash away all the regrets and memories of failures from the past—even from yesterday. Please wash away any sadness or hopelessness that lingers. Stir up bad attitudes and ugliness that keep me from shining Your light in the darkness so I can repent and be clean. Break down any barriers that prevent Your love from filling my heart and flowing out to others. Amen.
Jesus said in John 7:37-38, “…Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.” —New Living Translation
Father God, all-wise Creator, You are wonderful and amazing. There is no one like You. Your marvelous wisdom and vast knowledge are far beyond our comprehension. We humans are so arrogant sometimes, thinking we know so much. We’ve built robots and developed “smart” phones, computer tablets/notebooks, as well as the Internet which makes massive amounts of information available to great numbers of people. Advances in medicine have enabled healing and/or prevention of much disease. People have invented cars, kitchen appliances, heating units, water wells, and dozens of other things that improve our earthly lives.
And yet, You, Lord, are the giver of all this knowledge and understanding. Compared to yours, even the sum of all human understanding—all that ever was or will be—looks like a microsecond in the midst of millions of millennia. You are Creator; we are created. You are infinite; we are finite.
Only You, Lord, have the wisdom, knowledge, power, and love to take care of this world and its troubles. Your marvelous creation shows us these things time and again. You’ve shown us Your love with blessing after blessing. Not only that, You came to us and became one of us. You died to redeem us from our sin. And You rose in power to give us real life.
Jesus, You came to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10), and that includes me. Thank You for redeeming me. Amen.
Isaiah 55:8-9 “’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. ‘” New King James Version
“For the enemy has persecuted my soul; He has crushed my life to the ground; He has made me dwell in darkness…” (Psalm 143:3). And he has pulled me into his pit of anger, resentment, criticism, and self-pity which lead into and feed the depression I’m prone to.
Romans 12:2 tells me to change the way I think from my old way or the world’s way to God’s kingdom way. God will help me and give me grace to turn away from the enemy’s, kind of thinking. Then I can work at putting Psalm 143:5-6 into practice. It says, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands. I spread out my hands to You; My soul longs for You like a thirsty land.”
I’ll remember “days of old” —and how God has always been with me and had His hand on me no matter what. I’ll muse and meditate on what God has done and on the wonders of creation. I can choose to think about good and praiseworthy things, like God’s goodness to each one of us, His love for every individual, and our right-standing with Himself which He purchased with the blood of His own Son. Then I’ll seek to draw nearer to Him so He can satisfy my thirsty soul with His presence.
“For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness” (Psalm 107:9).
(Scripture quotes are New King James Version.) (Picture by Darrell Creswell–please take a look at his blog at http://darrellcreswell.wordpress.com/)
“…The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.” –Isaiah 40:28b New King James Version
Father God, You are all-wise. Your ways are far beyond my understanding. My finite mind can comprehend less than a microscopic dust-speck-size particle of Your knowledge and wisdom. You are Creator and Sustainer of our universe and everything in it. You call the stars by name and keep them by Your power so none is missing. You are awesome and almighty. From everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
And yet You stoop to love mere human beings, even including me! How kind, compassionate and merciful You are! You remember that on our own we’re mere humans, broken by sin (Adam’s sin and our own), and so You sent our Savior, Your very own Son. All those who understand this will thank and praise You forever.
How I thank You, Lord Jesus! You endured the pain and shame and death of the cross so I, who deserve nothing but death and eternal loss, could be forgiven—set free from the penalty and power and eventually even the presence of sin (in heaven) . Even now You intercede for us as our High Priest.
How I love You Holy Spirit because You open our eyes to see Jesus! You guide us into truth and empower us to live to please Him and to bring glory and honor to God. You fill us with the love of the Lord so we can become the people God planned before time began.
(See Isaiah 40:26, Psalm 90:2, Romans 8:34, Hebrews 2:17, 1 John 2:1, and John 16:13.)