Issue #650 ~ February 8, 2021

Dear Friends,

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Christ is All and in All,
Bible Teaching Resources


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A Place Near Your Altar
"Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young - a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God."
Psalm 84:3
"Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Selah"
Psalm 84:4
praise_the_lord.jpg
Verse 3: "Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young - a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God."

Now the Psalmist turns to an illustration of the sparrow and the swallow.

The 3 key thoughts on the mind of the Psalmist is: (1) "a home"; (2) "a nest"; and (3) "a place."

This is the second time we have reference to "O Lord Almighty." It occurred back in verse 1: "How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!" Now we see it here again in verse 3: "O Lord Almighty."

The Psalmist continues by speaking personally about the "Lord Almighty." He is "my King and my God."

C.H. Spurgeon said: "He envied the sparrows which lived around the house of God, and picked up the stray crumbs in the courts thereof; he only wished that he, too, could frequent the solemn assemblies and bear away a little of the heavenly food."

Verse 4: "Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Selah"

The Psalmist will use the word "Blessed" 3 times in these remaining verses. We have the references in verses 4, 5 and 12.

"Blessed are those": (1) "who dwell in your house" and (2) "they are ever praising you. Selah."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said: "Worthwhile blessings and gifts always come from God's free response to our obedience and faith. We can only really thank God for what He freely gives, not for what we have demanded." (Ringma, Seize the Day, July 3)

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Praises & Prayer Requests

1.  Praise: Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God. Psalm 43:4 (NIV)
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2.  Pray: And I heard the altar saying, "Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Thy judgments." Revelation 16:7 (NASB)
3.  Pray: Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8 (NASB)
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4.  Pray: Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
Hebrews 13:15 (NASB)
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5.  Pray: ...that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 1 Peter 1:7 (NASB)
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Fanny Crosby has written a great hymn that seems to fit our thinking this morning as we talk about being near to the altar. Her hymn is called "Near the Cross."
Jesus, keep me near the cross, There a precious fountain
Free to all, a healing stream, Flows from Calv'ry's mountain.

Near the cross I'll watch and wait, Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand Just beyond the river.
Refrain
In the cross, in the cross
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) 

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