URC Daily Devotion 25th March Palm Sunday

Psalm 40

I waited long upon the LORD;
He heard my cry and turned to me.
He raised me from the slimy pit
And from the mire he pulled me free.

He set my feet on solid rock,
A place to stand both firm and broad.
He put a new song in my mouth,
A joyful hymn of praise to God.

Many will look with godly fear
And on the LORD alone rely.
Blessèd are they who trust the LORD,
Who shun the proud and gods that lie.

The wonders you have done, O LORD,
How many and how great they are!
Your plans for us are far beyond
Our power to number or declare.

You did not ask that calves or goats
Be brought as sacrifice for sin,
But you have opened up my ears;
You did not seek burnt offering.

Then I declared, “LORD, I have come;
It’s written of me in the scroll.
I want to do your will, my God;
Your law is in my heart and soul.”

In the assembly when it met
Your justice I proclaimed abroad.
I did not seal my lips at all;
You know all this about me, LORD.

I did not hide within my heart
Your saving grace and righteousness;
In the assembly I proclaimed
Your steadfast love and faithfulness.

Do not withhold your mercy, LORD;
Surround your servant constantly
With your great love and faithfulness,
For many troubles threaten me.

My sins have overtaken me;
They’re more than hairs upon my head.
My heart within me fails for grief;
I cannot see the way ahead.

Be pleased, O LORD, to rescue me;
O LORD, come quickly to my aid.
May all who seek to take my life
With shame and turmoil be repaid.

May all who plot my overthrow
Turn back, disgraced, the way they came.
May those who mock me to my face
Become appalled at their own shame.

But let all those who seek your face
Be joyful in you all their days;
Let those who love salvation say,
“Exalted be the LORD always!”

Yet I am poor and in great need;
Lord, think on me, I humbly pray.
You are my saviour and my help;
Come, O my God! Do not delay.

You can hear a Free Church of Scotland congregation sing this to the tune Wareham here.

Reflection

A far cry from Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem which many traditionally think of on Palm Sunday – or is it?!

Palm Sunday provides the opportunity for us to reflect on and give thanks for what God has done for us, as we look ahead to Easter. More importantly, perhaps, it allows us to stop and think about what our response should be and to reflect on our ongoing needs as Servants of God. Psalm 40 gives us all three.

The Psalmist reminds us that God is there for us whenever we need Him. All we have to do is call out. When we do, we can trust Him to put our livers on a surer footing.

David provides an example to us all as we think about our response to God’s greatness. We need to praise God, not just in worship on a Sunday but in our daily lives. We need to trust Him. We need to show some humility and admit that we need God’s help if we are to serve Him better. We need to honour and serve the one true God, rather than the many false gods of modern-day life.

We should delight in the service of the Lord, doing what He desires for our lives. Finally, we should share the Good News of what God has done for us, rather than keep it to ourselves.

As we acknowledge our ongoing needs, we should ask God for His continued help and guidance as we navigate life in this troubled world. We should also go one step further and ask Him to help others who need Him, too!

 

Prayer

Father,
As we stop and think
of Your goodness to us,
Help us to appreciate You even more.
Help us to remember
that You are there for us,
and for those around us
as we seek to do Your will
and spread Your Good News!
Amen!

Today’s Writer

Jeff Newall is a lay preacher and member of Christ the Vine Community Church (part of Woughton LEP) in Milton Keynes.

Bible Version

 

New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Bible: © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved

Copyright © 2018 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.