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Focus Verses: Psalm 125:1-3
1 Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. 2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore. 3 The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil.
The fifteen psalms called the "Psalms of Ascent" (Psalms 120 - 134) were to be sung when the children of Israel traveled to the Temple in Jerusalem (Mount Zion) three times a year to worship and celebrate the feast days prescribed in the Law of Moses. Christians have long considered these ancient pilgrimages to be a useful metaphor of their own spiritual journey and maturity (ascent) as followers of Christ.
As the people climbed the road to Jerusalem, and saw how it was surrounded by rugged and unshakable mountains, they sang praise to their God who surrounded them with his unshakable love and provision. They rejoiced in God's steadfast care, and put their hope in his promises.
Response and Action:
Though my journey to know and follow Jesus has been an uphill climb, I am trusting in God's enduring love. I believe he will keep his promises to those who worship him and seek his righteousness. I am surrounded by the unshakable love and care of my God who never sleeps or slumbers (Ps. 121). He watches over my life—my coming and my going—now and forever. I will celebrate and worship him today. I will live in hope, believing his promises to be faithful and true.
O God, I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven. As the eyes of a child look to his mother, as the eyes of a captive look to his deliverer, as the eyes of the hungry look to their provider, and the eyes of a sinner look to the one who forgives, as the eyes of the broken look to the one who restores, as the eyes of the sick look to the one who heals, so my eyes look to Jesus Christ, my Lord and merciful Savior who lives and reigns with you, and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: Hebrews 12:1-3
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
by Eugene Peterson
A wonderful book of meditations based on the Psalms of Ascent.