An Absolute for Life

feed-on-the-wordIn Psalm 119:153-160 the psalmist proclaims God’s deliverance, salvation and compassion.  He has discovered these truths about God through his life’s experiences.  His conclusion in verse 160 is profound.  All your words are true;  all your righteous laws are eternal.”  He concludes that God’s Word, the Bible, is entirely true and the principles God provides within are everlasting and unchanging.   He does not have to worry about discrepancy, errors, half-truths, or changing attitudes to adapt to society.  Hebrews 13:8 tells us “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  We do not need to worry that God will change His plans, change His mind about loving and forgiving us as He is unchangeable in all His ways.  That fact alone is comforting as it gives us something to hold onto when everything else in life seems to be swirling and changing.  The psalmist also understood the trans-formative power of God’s Word. Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”   God’s Word is alive and working in our lives.  His Word penetrates our thoughts and minds helping us to live like 2Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Gods-Word-brings-peace-1How about you?  Do you know for certain that you can rely upon God and His Word?  Is it an absolute in your life?  As you meditate today on these verses, allow God to speak to you and clarify, strengthen and reveal to you the truth of His Word.  I pray that you will arrive at the same conclusion the psalmist did about God and His Word:  All your words are true;  all your righteous laws are eternal.” 

Blessings today as you meditate upon the truth of God’s Word.

Linda

God’s Character Proclaimed, can you?

god-speaks-listenThe psalmist reveals how he knows and sees God in this Qoph portion of Psalm 119:145-152.  He is struggling with persecution and fears for his life, but he stands on the truth of God’s Word and character.  Read this section from the Message and let it speak to you.   145-152 I call out at the top of my lungs,
    God! Answer! I’ll do whatever you say.”          The psalmist knew God is Accessible.
I called to you, “Save me
    so I can carry out all your instructions.”            He knew God is a Savior.
I was up before sunrise,
    crying for help, hoping for a word from you.     
I stayed awake all night,
    prayerfully pondering your promise.               He knew God was with him 24/7.
In your love, listen to me;
    in your justice, God, keep me alive.                  He knew God listens. 
As those out to get me come closer and closer,                         
    they go farther and farther from the truth you reveal;          He knew God 
But you’re the closest of all to me, God,                            knew his enemies.
    and all your judgments true.
I’ve known all along from the evidence of your words      God and His Word are 
    that you meant them to last forever.                             eternal and trustworthy.

Do your words reflect what you know and believe about God?         Is He Accessible to you 24/7?           Do you feel that you can call upon Him to save you and preserve you in the difficulties of life?       Do you know that God is omniscient and knows what you face each day?         Do you stand on His Word with confidence and believe that His Word is eternal and will last throughout the generations? 

god-always-has-something-for-youThe psalmist was confident God would answer as he laid his heart open before Him?  Will you present your difficulties and fears before God today and call upon Him for help?   He will answer and bring you peace and comfort as you cling to the truth of who God is and what He can do.  God is totally trustworthy and keeps His promises.

Blessings today as you cling to God.

Linda

The reality of my righteousness and God’s Righteousness

Psalm 119:137-144 focuses on God’s Righteousness as the psalmist says he sees God’s character in His Word.  137 Righteous are you, O Lordand right are your rules.
138 You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness  and in all faithfulness.   Later in verse 147 he points to the righteousness of God and His Word that is eternal.  Your righteousness is righteous forever, and your law is true.

Why is it important to know that God and His Word are righteous?  Righteous is by definition being morally right, just, virtuous, and upright.  If we do not have  a holy and righteous God, we are lost without hope.  In our sinful state, fallen and alienated by sin, there is no way for us to be made righteous.  God, in His mercy, had a plan to redeem us and make us right with Him.  Jesus was His answer to our sinfulness and through Him He made a way for us to put on God’s righteousness.  Romans 3-22 RighteousnessRomans 3:22-23 ” 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”   1 Corinthians 1:30 “30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,”  These are just a few of the many verses that speak of Jesus’ work on the cross that imputed God’s righteousness to us.  

The psalmist knew that he was not righteous.  He knew he was sinful and in verse 141 he says “Though I am lowly and despised, I do not forget your precepts.”   He knew the truth of God’s righteousness and the truth of God’s Word as he ends this portion with verse 142, “Your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true.”   He knew that believing that he himself was righteous would lead to wrong thinking, pride, arrogance and self-boasting.  Knowing we can rely upon the rightness of God’s Word, we can depend upon the direction and guidance we receive as we read and study His Word.

Today as you reflect on these verses, think about your own attitude towards righteousness.  Do you assume you are a good person, righteous and worthy of praise from men?  When I begin thinking like that, I am reminded in humility of Isaiah’s words in Isaiah 64:6 ” We are all infected and impure with sin.  When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.  Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall,  and our sins sweep us away like the wind.”

Praise be to Jesus, the one who saves and presents us in right standing before God!  Praise be to God that His Word is eternally true and guides us to live as He desires.

Linda

 

Why the tears?

Psalm 119:129-136 opens with praise and awe over the amazing depth of God’s Word.  Your laws are wonderful.
    No wonder I obey them!
130 The teaching of your word gives light,
    so even the simple can understand.   So many times I have heard people say that the Bible is too hard to understand.  Here the psalmist is declares that even the young or less trained can understand.  How is that possible?   Understanding comes from God, so with prayer, meditation, the right translation and through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit believers can read and understand that which God has for them in His Word.  
131 I pant with expectation,
    longing for your commands.
132 Come and show me your mercy,
    as you do for all who love your name.   The psalmist looks with great expectation into God’s Word.  He is looking for mercy and love.  These are tangible confirmations of faith for him.  When you read God’s Word, do you read with expectation?  Do you look for His mercy and love?  Think back, when you read the Bible do you find that you are filled with peace, understanding and hope?  Have you ever opened its pages seeking advice or help or comfort?  The psalmist has faith that God will answer his needs and then provide him with direction.
133 Guide my steps by your word,
    so I will not be overcome by evil.
134 Ransom me from the oppression of evil people;
    then I can obey your commandments.   He trusts in the guidance of God and knows titus 2 14that the Word will lead him to victory.  He claims God as his guide and redeemer!  He refers to being ransomed or bought back from evil.  This is what Christ did for us.  In Paul’s letter to Titus he puts it this way, “He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.” Titus 2:14
135 Look upon me with love;
    teach me your decrees.    The psalmist trusts God to look upon him with love.  He knows that God is immutable and will always be loving, slow to anger and filled with compassion.  He looks for teaching from God as he trusts God.
136 Rivers of tears gush from my eyes
    because people disobey your instructions.  The last lines of this section of Psalm 119 really spoke to me.  The psalmist is proclaiming to God that he is distressed to the point of tears over those who disobey and reject God’s Word.  I asked myself, does the psalm 119 136rejection of the truth of God’s Word and His ways bring me to tears?  Do I sorry for those that do not believe or those that profess to believe and do not live by the standards God desires?  If I am  brought to tears, then my response should be one of love and restoration not condemnation.  Pray, pray, pray for the light of God to be made known to them.  God has ways of  reaching those who we consider unreachable.  Look what He did to confront Saul, the chief persecutor of early Christians. He brought him to his knees and to faith in Jesus.  Read his miraculous story in Acts 9.   Lift your tears up to God and ask Him to work on the person who you are concerned about, to bring them to faith and change their life.  Many times I have heard stories of people praying for individuals for years and years before they came to faith.  God calls us to be persistent and filled with hope at their redemption. 

God’s Word fills us with expectation, hope, love, and guidance as He points us to His truths that are eternal and filled with redemption.

Linda

What is your resolve in hard times?

As I meditate upon Psalm 119:121-128, I am reminded of how often we get ‘stuck’ in a place in life and feel it will never end.  When we pass through that time and look back it does not seem that it was that long.  Yet, while we are in the midst of the struggle it seems forever.  In these verses the psalmist is struggling with oppressors that are closing in upon him and pleads with God “do not leave me to my oppressors.”  He asks for help, “Ensure your servant’s well-being and let not the arrogant oppress me.”  He feels that apart from the salvation of the Lord, “My eyes fail, looking for your salvation , looking for your righteous promise.”  But he rallies and asks God to show him love. “Deal with me according to your love.”  He then asks for understanding and discernment so he can understand God’s plan.  “I am your servant give me discernment that I may understand your statues.”   He concludes with his own resolve about God, “Because I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold and because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong.”  

ResolveHow do you recover your resolve when you struggle with hard people, difficult circumstances or your own unbelief?  The psalmist resolved to trust God and stand on His Word.  Even when we do not understand we can make up our minds to believe God for who He is and what He says.  This will give us hope and bring us through those hard times.  Resolve today to stand with God and believe His Word.  He always proves Himself faithful.

Endeavoring to walk in Trust,

Linda

Standing in awe or doubt?

In Psalm 119:113-120 there are a couple of key verses I want to focus on in today’s blog.  The psalmist contrasts those that oppose God and the resource of God’s Word for those that believe.

psalm 119 120113  I hate double-minded people,
    but I love your law.
114 You are my refuge and my shield;
    I have put my hope in your word.
115 Away from me, you evildoers,
    that I may keep the commands of my God!   

 He first points out the presence of double-minded people that waver in their commitment to God as being a distraction to the believer.  James 1:6,8 describes this type of individual.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”  A double-minded person is trying to be guided by and committed to the world and does not have a solid faith in God.  The effect of such thinking and actions is instability in conduct and thought.  The next group the psalmist reveals as opposing the believer are evildoers.  The Bible speaks often about evildoers or those that work against God and his followers.  1 Peter 2:12 puts it this way, “Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”  Evildoers seek to bring us down with their accusations and ruin our witness in the world. 

The psalmist seeks to contrast the effects of the double-minded and evildoers with the consistency and reliability of God’s Word.  He speaks of God’s Word as a refuge that shields us and gives us hope (114).  He concludes this section with a profound statement about God’s Word.  In verse 120 he says,My flesh trembles in fear of you;   I stand in awe of your laws.”  He has such great reverence for God that he describes himself as trembling and his faith in God results in profound adoration and awe for God’s Word.  Praise God for the power of His Word!

The psalmist’s response to God’s Word challenges us today.  Do you hold to God’s Word when assaulted by evildoers and double-minded people?  Is God’s Word your hope and shield?  Do you see the power and might of God revealed in His Word?  The psalmist assures us that we will find hope, strength, love, peace and direction when we stand in awe of God’s Word and cling to it.  His Word will keep us from being double-minded, firmly rooted and grounded in faith and able to withstand the waves of doubt we encounter each day.

restoring the aweStanding in awe of the power of God’s Word,

Linda

Need a guide? Look to God’s Word.

In Psalm 119:105-112 the Psalmist speaks of the guiding power of God’s Word and it’s ability to instill a sense of well being, care and staying power when times are difficult.  I want to focus on verse 105 as I have included this verse in my book Promises for Dynamic Living.  It is a promise that we can claim each and every day and use it to bring praise to God for all eternity.   psalm 119 105Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet  and a light to my path.”   This verse is a promise to each of us that the Bible, God’s Word, will give us direction and light for living.  We can trust that God’s Word will guide, give us truth when we are so often surrounded by falsehoods, point us to the true light, Jesus, and reveals to us that God cares about the way we live and the choices we make each day.
This truth about God’s Word and it’s ability to guide us is found throughout the Bible.  Proverbs 30:5 says, “Every word of God proves true;  he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”  His Word holds absolute truths that we can cling to and take refuge in.  Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  His Word is alive and has power to help us to see right from wrong and be able to tell truth from lies.   John referred to Jesus as the Word of God. John 1:1 “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” and John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”   Jesus was God’s fullest expression of His Word among us.  God’s Word has power today to transform and guide us just as when He created the universe by His Word.  He spoke the world into existence, Genesis 1:3 “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”   His Word has power.  Rely upon it’s truths to guide and direct you, learn about God in it’s pages and allow His Holy Spirit to gods-guidance-is-like-a-small-lamp-good-night-768x768transform you as you step out in faith believing in His Word, Jesus.

Look for His guidance and light as you go through your day.  It will be bright enough to show you the way.

Linda

 

 

How can I forget the title? LOL Mediation brings sweetness!

meditating-on-gods-word
I was challenged by this truth to examine how much time I spend mediating on God’s Word.

Psalm 119:97-104 is a testimony by the psalmist about the benefits of meditating on God’s Word.  Here are the verses in the Amplified versions:

Oh, how I love Your law!                (His Word inspires love.)
It is my meditation all the day.

Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies,      (Gives wisdom)
For Your words are always with me.
 
I have better understanding and deeper insight than all my teachers [because of Your word],
For Your testimonies are my meditation.    (Gives understanding and deep insight)

I understand more than the aged [who have not observed Your precepts],
Because I have observed and kept Your precepts.        (Gives Wisdom beyond your years)

I have restrained my feet from every evil way,    (Keeps you on the right pathway)
That I may keep Your word.

I have not turned aside from Your ordinances,
For You Yourself have taught me.                  (I am taught by God)

How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!             (His Word brings sweetness to me)

From Your precepts I get understanding;     (I gain understanding about possible bad choices)
Therefore I hate every false way.

Had you ever considered these benefits?   God is promising us that meditating (pondering, reflecting, considering) on His Word will cause us to internalize His ways.  He will reshape our thinking so that we reflect His wisdom, understanding, more readily accept His guidance, know His will for our lives in choices we make, accept His teaching and find sustenance that is sweetness in our lives.  If you have never meditated on God’s Word, why not give it a try and see what God reveals to you.  Here are a few verses that you could start with:  Lamentations 3:21-23, James 4:7-8a, Deuteronomy 31:6,               2 Corinthians 5:17.  These are verses that will shape your thinking, give you encouragement and guidance.  Let me know the benefits you receive from mediating on God’s Word.

His Word is life changing,

Linda

Knowing Faithful God = Assurance +

In verses 89-96 of Psalm 119, the psalmist proclaims God’s faithfulness to each generation, to the earth He created and to me-the individual.  His Word is eternal. If you understand the Word of God to be what God says to us in the Bible, you know the truths contained within it are eternally true.  God does not lie and He will be forever faithful to uphold His Word.  If you take the Word of God to mean Jesus, as in John it say 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” then you know the living Word of God who is eternally with us and always faithful.

psalm 119 90God is faithful to each generation and to the earth He created.  vs 89-90   Forever, O LordYour word is settled in heaven [standing firm and unchangeable].    Your faithfulness continues from generation to generation;
You have established the earth, and it stands [securely].              They continue this day according to Your ordinances,
For all things [all parts of the universe] are Your servants.  AMP

God is faithful to me vs 92-94                                                                                                            If Your law had not been my delight,
Then I would have perished in my time of trouble.
I will never forget Your precepts,
For by them You have revived me and given me life.
I am Yours, save me [as Your own];
For I have [diligently] sought Your precepts and required them [as my greatest need].

The psalmist arrives at his conclusion, the only one he feels he can make in light of all the evidence in the world and in his own life.   verse 96                                                                 I have seen that all [human] perfection has its limits [no matter how grand and perfect and noble];
Your commandment is exceedingly broad and extends without limits [into eternity].

What is your conclusion about God and His faithfulness at this time in your life?  Do you see His mercies new each morning (Lamentation 3:21-23)?  Do you cling to the hope yo have in Jesus (Hebrews 10:23)?  Do you know you are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)?  Do you believe God is good and has good things planned for you (Jeremiah 29:11)?   Do you have peace and rest in Jesus (John 14:27)?  Look into His Word and claim His Word over your life, take His Word into your very being and you will undoubtedly come to the same conclusion the psalmist did.  There is no limit to how grand and glorious God is and His Word stands now and for all eternity.

note-to-self-may-24thStanding on God’s Word is firm ground.

Linda

God’s way through troubled times

In today’s portion of Psalm 119 verses 81-88, we get a snapshot of a believer clinging to God’s Word and his faith in Almighty God to help him weather the storms of life.  At times he seems overwhelmed and defeated by his oppressors.                                                  I am worn out waiting for your rescue,
    but I have put my hope in your word.
82 My eyes are straining to see your promises come true.
    When will you comfort me?
83 I am shriveled like a wine skin in the smoke,
    but I have not forgotten to obey your decrees.          

catHe seems discouraged yet has hope in God and His promises!  I get the picture in my mind of the cat hanging on by his tiny paws- ‘hanging in there’.    He is being persecuted by unbelievers and pleads with God for stamina to resist and knows God alone can protect him.   The unbelievers in his life are scoffing at God’s Word and lay traps to ensnare him.  Do you feel that way sometimes? Do unbelievers think you foolish to study God’s Word and believe the Bible?                                                                                              How long must I wait?
    When will you punish those who persecute me?
85 These arrogant people who hate your instructions
    have dug deep pits to trap me.
86 All your commands are trustworthy.  
    Protect me from those who hunt me down without cause.

He ends this section with praise and hope in Almighty God who he knows in his heart will sustain and keep him.  He knows God loves him.  God will keep His promises so he clings to them in obedience.                                                                                                             They almost finished me off,
    but I refused to abandon your commandments.
88 In your unfailing love, spare my life;
    then I can continue to obey your laws.

No matter how things look in this world the psalmist knows that God loves him and is in control.  He is Sovereign, Loving and the only one who can save him.  How about you?  Do you know the Sovereign God of the universe who loves you beyond measure?  Call upon Him today and He will answer.  God tells us in Micah 6:8 what He requires of us.   “He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God? ”   

micah-6-8May you walk in obedience today with Jesus by your side and His Holy Spirit in your heart knowing He alone is Sovereign and will guide you through this troubled world. Walking with God is a matter of faith and obedience, He promises to never leaves us nor forsakes us!

Clinging to Jesus all day long,

Linda