Eternal Perspective

Psalms 49:17
“For when he dies he shall carry nothing away; His glory shall not descend after him.”


Have you ever heard the phrase “You can’t take it with you”? It seems like this sentiment might be as old as time itself. Thousands of years ago the sons of Korah used it as a lyric in one of their most famous songs. The basic thought is that when this life comes to an end all that we have accomplished will be left behind. In recent years I heard a similar phrase that carries the same thought, “You never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer.”

The reality we all must face is that life will one day come to an end and everything we have accomplished here will be left behind for the generations that come behind us. Solomon, because of his extensive worldly possessions struggled with this. He spoke of the folly of working hard to gain wealth only to leave it to those who did not work for it and would not see the value of it. Jesus spoke of the folly of a man who lived to store up earthly possessions without ever taking time to make eternal investments. Jesus commented on his actions and said,

Luke 12:21
“So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

While it is true that we cannot take earthly possessions beyond the grave, that does not mean that we cannot make investments in eternity. Jesus spoke of storing up treasures in heaven. This reveals something wonderful about the economy of God. He has established a system where eternal rewards are given for everyday actions. What we do with our time, talents and treasures can have eternal benefits. While we could never bring an earthly item beyond the grave we can send things ahead. We can store up eternal rewards by making investments in the kingdom of God. This is done whenever we serve the Lord in any capacity. Eternity will reveal the vast and elaborate reward system God has established for those who live their lives in light of eternity.

But there is another important truth we might want to consider. When this life comes to an end we will all leave things behind. Whatever possessions we have acquired will become the inheritance of those who we have loved the most. For many the inheritance will be nothing more that an itemized spread sheet with a list of possessions and their earthly value. But for others they will leave behind a heritage worth far more than any piece of property or lump of cash. They are the ones who chose to live for Christ and have made a rut in life’s road so deep that the generation behind them feels almost compelled to keep following Christ.

No matter what your age or how you have lived up until today, it is time to start making eternal investments that will outlast your life and will set a good pattern for the generations behind you.

Pastor Jim

Psalm 49

  1. This Psalm begins with a call to attention; the Psalmist sees the entire world as his audience.
  2. Look carefully at verse 5, what do you think he is warning against?
  3. Verse 8 declares that “The redemption of their souls is costly.”
    1. What did it cost God to redeem your soul?
    2. How much value do you place on your own soul?
    3. How much value do you place upon the souls of others?
  4. Verse 13 says, “This is the way of those who are foolish.” Read carefully verses 6-12 and examine what the foolish way is.
  5. How does the truth of verse 17 affect the way you will live today?

Old Testament:
Psalm 50- Promises
2 Samuel 19- It’s Not Free
2 Samuel 20- Dissenter

Clap Your Hands

Psalm 47:1
“Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!
Shout to God with the voice of triumph!”

Sometimes knowing the setting in which a psalm was written is beneficial to understanding its content. Other times, like in this psalm, the setting is not given because the truth is universal. Whatever our condition, whether we would classify it as good or bad, blessing or trial, God remains the same and is always worthy of the highest praise. The truths tucked away in this psalm transcend every experience the child of God endures. Whatever state you are currently facing, it is a good idea to clap your hands and shout out the loudest praise.

The Psalmist declares that God is awesome because He is the great King who subdues all things under His feet. Our praise is often lost when we become frightened or overwhelmed by circumstances beyond our control. We wonder how anything good could come from the difficulties we are facing. It is during those times that we must realize God is King of all the earth, and capable of moving mountains in order to accomplish His purposes. We can then learn to celebrate Him, even when are circumstances seem bleak.

The Psalmist declares that God will select our inheritance for us because He loves us dearly. For Israel, the inheritance speaks of the land allotted to each tribe. For the Christian, our inheritance is the blessed life God desires us to experience. Israel needed to trust God beyond fear and circumstance if they were to walk in the land. We must do the same if we are going to walk out the life God intends for us. We must be willing to set emotion and selfish desire aside, take up our cross, and walk after the things of Christ if we want to find the inheritance He has laid aside for each of us.

Finally, the Psalmist speaks of the shields of the earth belonging to God. What a blessing it is when we realize, the safest place to be is in the center of God’s will. Sometimes, walking with the Lord will make us vulnerable and that can lead to worry and fear, unless we realize the center of His will is the safest place for us. Israel’s fear kept them from entering Canaan, which in turn put them outside of the protective care of God. What frightened them was the very thing keeping them from experiencing the protective care of God.

“Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!
Shout to God with the voice of triumph!”

Pastor Jim

Old Testament:
2 Samuel 17- Be Prepared
2 Samuel 18- Pride
Psalm 48- Growing In Christ

Worship Him

Psalm 45:11b
Because He is your Lord, worship Him.”


This is a Messianic Psalm, meaning that it is speaking prophetically of Israel’s coming Messiah. In it, the Psalmist is describing the glory of Jesus, our King, and the beauty of His Bride, the church. After describing Jesus as the King of Glory, girded with a sword, overthrowing wickedness, ruling in righteousness and reigning in glory, he speaks of the proper response from His people.

“Because He is your Lord, worship Him.”

The word “worship” is a translation of the Hebrew word “shachah”, which means to “bow down before and to give homage to.” It is a word that would be used of a person who was entering the presence of royalty and giving the proper honor. The Psalmist is declaring that the child of God is expected to enter the presence of King Jesus bowing and expressing worship.

Sometimes, it is surprising to me how some people misuse a time of corporate worship. Some treat it like the previews at the movie theater. For them, the real show does not start until the Bible study. So they regularly wander in missing most of the worship time. Others, look at worship as a concert. If the rendition of the song was done in a style they like (the volume was not too loud or too quiet, the performance did not drag on too long) then it was good worship. Still others treat worship like watching their favorite sport. If their team is doing well, their emotions rise up, and they express it with cheers. If their team is losing they are slumped over, sad and quiet. In other words, worship for some is based completely upon emotion. If they view their current circumstances as positive, then they are filled with expressive praise, but if things are not going the way they want, worship stops. The psalmist has an entirely different view of worship.

“Because He is your Lord, worship Him.”

To him, worship has a lot more to do who God is, than with us. He calls us to worship because of the glory of our Lord. I think we need to place less importance on musical style, and personal experience, and more upon the nature and character of our God. Regardless of what struggles you are facing today, the proper response is,

“Because He is your Lord, worship Him.”

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 45

  1. How beautiful are the words of the Psalmist in verse 1?
  2. Look through the Psalm and describe what God is like.

Old Testament:
Psalm 46- Help In Trouble
2 Samuel 15- Memory Lane
2 Samuel 16- Love, Mercy and Grace

Vindicate Me

Psalms 43:1
“Vindicate me, O God,
And plead my cause…”


Arguments take place when we have differences of opinion. Both parties think they are right and the other is wrong. When these differences of opinion escalate they often lead to serious divisions. Marriages, families and churches have often been the unwary victims of intense argumentation. When arguments take place we have probably learned what to do when we are in the wrong; we humbly apologize and seek to make whatever restitution is necessary. But what about when we are right. Have you ever considered the proper action to take when you are in the midst of a misunderstanding between yourself and someone you care about? Perhaps it would do us good to reconsider what we do when we think we are right. David wrote;

“Vindicate me Oh Lord” 

Vindication is a word that speaks of judgment. It is used when we think that we are right and want other to know it. We want our case examined so that everyone will know that the accusations brought against us are false. This word is most commonly used of someone who has been falsely accused of a crime, but might also fit in a relationship where a misunderstanding or difference of opinion has escalated into an argument that has created a rift. When we find ourselves in a situation like that the best way to move forward is to get alone with God and ask Him to search our hearts and our actions and vindicate us.

I recall an incident when my wife and I had been in an argument. We both walked away upset with the other. When I sat down with the Lord and began to plead my case before Him I soon sensed that He was speaking to me. It is as if I heard Him say that while my position was right the way I went about it was completely wrong. I had not considered my wife, her feelings or her vantage point in the situation. Asking God to vindicate me led to a realization that there were things I could do differently in the situation. When we later sat down to address the situation I was able to apologize, listen to her side and we could rationally address the situation together.

The next time being right leads you to a conflict with another take the time to sit before the Lord and ask Him to search your heart and direct your path.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 43

  1. Take a careful look at verse 3, what does the Psalmist look to as a guiding light in the darkness of life?
  2. Look again at verse 3, where does the Word of God lead us?
  3. What effect did searching the Scriptures have on the emotional condition of the Psalmist?

Old Testament:
Psalm 44- Victorious
2 Samuel 13- What’s Love Got To Do With It?
2 Samuel 14- Banished

The Poor

Psalms 41:1
“Blessed is he who considers the poor;
The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.”


The Bible has much to say about the poor. The word poor is used almost 200 times in the NKJV of the Bible, Israel as a nation was required to set up a system where the poor was able to glean the edges of the fields to provide food for themselves and their families (This is part of the story line of the book of Ruth). Jesus spoke of blessing the poor, and encouraged His disciples to minister to them. In the book of Acts we see the churches sending aid to believers who were undergoing severe trials caused by famine and persecution and James writes warning the church not to neglect the poor or to treat them any less than we would the wealthy. It is clear that those who are neglected by men are highly esteemed by the Lord. That being said the Bible also places certain responsibilities upon the poor. The welfare system in Israel required the poor to work for the food they received and Solomon wrote that “much food is in the fallow ground of the poor.” When Paul wrote to Timothy regarding the widows he explained that the church had a responsibility to assist the widows who were godly but charity would not help those who were living a wasteful life.

As a follower of Christ it is important to see what you have as a blessing from God and to recognize that it all belongs to God. That attitude will help you hold on much more loosely to what you have received and cause you to be more willing to assist those who are in need.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 41

  1. Who is the blessed one that David describes?
  2. In verse 4, what does David request from the Lord?
  3. In verse 10, how does David deal with the mistreatment he receives from others?

Old Testament:
Psalm 42- Thirsty
2 Samuel 11- It Happened One Evening
2 Samuel 12- Loss

Guard My Mouth

Psalm 39:1-3
“I said, ‘I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, While the wicked are before me. I was mute with silence, I held my peace even from good; And my sorrow was stirred up. My heart was hot within me; While I was musing, the fire burned. Then I spoke with my tongue:’”

There are times in life when words seem like a raging fire building within us and we are almost forced to speak. This can be positive, like when Jeremiah wrote of being so discouraged he no longer wanted to share the words of God with anyone, until those words became like a fire within him and he could no longer  contain them. Or this can be negative, like when gossip burns within us, pleading to be passed on to others; or when in the midst of an argument, we lash out with hurtful words that shatter someone we love.

Perhaps we can learn something from the pen of David. He wrote,  at those times he restrained himself by putting a muzzle on his tongue. I doubt David is speaking literally of a mechanism that restrained his mouth from moving. I think, instead, he set guidelines for his life that restricted him from saying foolish or hurtful things. We can do the same. The bible gives us some valuable guidelines which will help us control what comes out of our mouths. We can use the following verses like a muzzle, to keep us from sinning with our mouths.

Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

1 Peter 3:9 “. . . not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.”

Proverbs 11:13  “A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.”

Proverbs 15:1  “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 39

  1. Has your tongue ever got you in trouble?
  2. Why is it especially important to watch what we say when unbelievers are present?
  3. David wants to know how short life is. Why is that important?
  4. Why is it important to know our own frailty?
  5. Knowing that life is brief, how can you live for eternity today?

Old Testament:
Psalm 40- Miry Clay
2 Samuel 9- Kindness
2 Samuel 10- Courage

Slippery Slope

Psalm 37:31 
“The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.”

I am a sports fan. I enjoy watching a variety of athletics, and am always fascinated when an athlete achieves victory, almost effortlessly. No matter what the opponents do, they are unable to stop him. Over the years, I have come to understand that those who seem to win with the least effort, are really the ones who have put in the most effort. They are the ones who are first in the gym and last out. Their diets, workouts, sleep patterns, even off days, are regimented so as to keep them in the best possible condition for victory.

The same is true of the child of God. If we want to have success in our walk with the Lord, we need to be willing to invest time with the Lord. David gives the secret to success for the righteous: “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.”

Sometimes, walking with the Lord is like traversing a narrow mountain path with loose rock, over a sheer cliff. “Sliding steps” is a picture of falling into sin, and away from the Lord. It is all too common an occurrence to hear that our church friend has lost his way and fallen into one sin or another. The secret to avoiding the fall is: “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.”

We have all been in church and heard the testimony of someone who is serving the Lord. They talk of the great things God is doing in and through their lives. They share of people coming to Christ, and growing in Christ. We look on with envy, wondering how it is possible that they are being used so mightily by the Lord, while we are struggling just to get by. The secret of their success is: “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.” We read of the great men and women in Scripture, who overcame great obstacles, and achieved great victory in the fight of faith. They are the champions of Christianity, the heroes of Faith, the ones we long to meet in eternity and hear their stories first hand. They are the ones who conquered giants, knocked down walls, walked on water, led revivals, started churches and won the lost to Christ. The secret behind their success was: “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.”

If we want to be one who overcomes the struggles with the flesh, impacts the world for the kingdom of heaven, and leaves an example behind that others can follow, the secret is: “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.” Let’s be sure to take the time to get the Law of God in our hearts.

Go to and join us as we read through the Bible. You will find a reading schedule, chapter questions, and a daily devotional to help you get: “The law of his God is in (your) heart; none of (your) steps shall slide.”

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 37

This is one of the greatest of all the Psalms, don’t rush through it. Take time to enjoy the truths it reveals.

  1. Notice that fret and trust are contrasted. How is fret built? How is trust developed?
  2. After examining verses 3-8, make a list of the things we are exhorted to do.
  3. Are you doing those things today?
  4. Contrast the outcome of the wicked with that of those who trust the Lord.
  5. How are you encouraged by verses 23-34?
  6. How can you apply verse 30-31 today?

Old Testament:

Psalm 38- Guilt Free
2 Samuel 7- So Far So Good
2 Samuel 8- A Line In The Sand

God Fights For You

Psalm 35:1
“Plead my cause, O Lord, with those who strive with me; Fight against those who fight against me.

We cannot be sure the exact situation that stirred David to write this Psalm, but we do know that he seemed to be under continual attack. From the start, he had to deal with those who continually came against him. His father neglected him, his brothers tormented him, the Giants ridiculed him, the king hunted him, and the neighboring nations sent armies to attack him. As a result, it would be fair to say  David was an expert on warfare and he knew how to fight on many different fronts. In this Psalm, he reveals the secret behind his success. When under attack, David looked to God for defense.

Most of us are not reading this from a foxhole or from behind enemy lines. We probably are not distracted by the sound of mortar blasts or gunfire, but that does not mean that we are not under severe attack. Paul told the Corinthian church  that the warfare we are engaged in is not natural but spiritual (2 Corinthians 10:2-3 and Ephesians 6:12). We are under constant attack from the world, the flesh, and the devil. We are under constant pressure to give in to a little sin and to conform to the world. When we fail, we face a new battle, dealing with the guilt of sin and trying to free ourselves from its grip. Like David, it is time we learn to look to God to be our defense. The greater the intensity of the temptation, the more it is necessary to cling to the Lord and stand behind Him as our shield. If you are in the midst of a particularly trying season of life, it is essential that you learn to make the Lord your hiding place. His Word works as a shield and a sword. Find a promise that relates to your struggle, hide behind it, and use it against the enemy whenever he hurls temptation, fear, depression, guilt or any other weapon your way. God is our defense, He will fight our battles for us. We can find victory when we learn to trust in Him.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 35

  1. David refused to fight his own battles, but elected to trust his life into the care of the Lord. Resign all to Jesus right now, and then pray for him to give you victory over the enemies of your soul.
  2. Prayer was more than a time of taking difficulties to the Lord. What else does David use his prayer time for? Consider verses 9-10.
  3. How does this encourage you to know that David faced these great trials and turned to the Lord?
  4. How you ever felt like David describes in verse17?

Old Testament:
Psalm 36- No Fear Of God
2 Samuel 5- Easy As 1,2,3
2 Samuel 6- What Went Wrong?


Psalm 33:1
“Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous!
For praise from the upright is beautiful.”

There can be great value in getting away from our manmade world and looking at the creative work of God. Seeing the beauty of His creation seems to give us new perspective on His love, power, and glory. I can recall one particular sunset in Africa that was so magnificent and seemed to last for an hour. The sky was filled with an array of colors, like I had never seen before. I recall how the view of the snow capped Austrian Alps, and the water falls of Kauai captivated me, filling me with awe and amazement at the beauty of God’s handiwork. I am sure you have a list of your own experiences that cause you to celebrate the beauty of creation. That being said, the Psalmist begins to talk about what God views as true beauty. He declares;

“For praise from the upright is beautiful.”

From Heaven’s perspective, perhaps the most beautiful thing on earth, is when the child of God looks up and shouts out with heart felt praise. It seems that our worship accompanies the sound of Angels singing, and fills the throne room of heaven like sweet incense.

There are many different types of worship. There are times when God does something in our lives that forces out praise; we cannot contain the joy within, and have to express it to Him. There is also responsive praise. Those times when we examine what God has done for us, perhaps in a time of communion, looking back upon the cross, our hearts are so filled with thankful worship for what Christ has accomplished for us. There is what we might call “faith-filled praise.” Those times when everything seems bleak and hopeless, yet we know the love, mercy, and power of God, so we begin to praise for what we know He is able to do. In those times, our worship will completely change our perspective in life. Perhaps the highest type of worship is when we praise Him, not for the things He has done, but simply for who He is. No matter what my perspective of life, God is still God. He remains the King of kings, the Lord of lords, high and lifted up above all His creative work. He sits enthroned in the floods of life, holding all things together with the Word of His power. Creation is under His authority and reacts to His commands, He even sends angels forth to do His bidding, and provide assistance to the saints.

No matter what you are facing this day, praise from the upright is beautiful. Take some time to get your eyes off of you and unto Him, and fill your room with songs of praise.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 33

  1. How is worship described in verse 1?
  2. According to verses 4-5, what motivates the psalmist to worship?
  3. How is the Word of God described in verses 6-12?
  4. How does verse 18 encourage you?

Old Testament:
Psalm 34- Lacking Nothing
2 Samuel 3- Loyalty
2 Samuel 4- Don’t Blame Me


Psalms 31:9
“Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; My eye wastes away with grief, Yes, my soul and my body!”

We cannot be certain of the situation that caused this psalm, but it is very clear the Psalmist was going through an extremely difficult season in life. He describes himself as being under severe attack and needing the Lord to be his fortress. He speaks of his troubles and his adversities, and his eyes wasting away in grief, as he cries before the Lord. He also goes into great length to speak of his emotional condition during this time. He describes himself as, “wasting away with grief, in both his soul and body” and being “like a broken vessel.” 

Without knowing the exact situation that caused his condition, we can still relate to what David was going through. All of us have known times in life of severe attack, grief and pain. The encouraging thing is, that no matter what David faced, he knew that the mercy of God was large enough, not only to comfort him, but to comfort all who endure the pain and hardship of life.

Whatever you are facing, take time today to sit at the feet of Jesus and cry out to Him.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 31

  1. David is facing some sort of difficulty in his life. He desires for God to listen to his appeal. How can we be confident that God listens when we call upon Him?
  2. God is no stranger with our trials. Verse 5 was quoted by Jesus from the cross. How does that encourage you today?
  3. How does knowing that David suffered trials help you in the midst of your own?
  4. Take the time to memorize verse 19.

Old Testament:
Psalm 32- Horses And Mules
2 Samuel 1- The Opportunist
2 Samuel 2- Shadow Boxing