Open His book-Ahh! The wonder of it.

In today’s portion of Psalm 119, the psalmist recognizes that following God’s ways, as outlined in the Bible, brings good and will reveal wonders about God.

Psalm 119:17-18     Gimel.

Deal bountifully with Your servant,
That I may live and keep Your word [treasuring it and being guided by it day by day].
Open my eyes [to spiritual truth] so that I may behold
Wonderful things from Your law. (AMP)

A beautiful sunburst through the clouds at the end of a day.Do you open God’s Word regularly seeking to know Him better and learn a better way of living?  The Word of God is to be treasured as it guides and reveals God to us.  I like the conclusion that the psalmist comes to in the last verse of this section, verse 24.  “Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.”   Knowing and using God’s Word brings delight, good counsel and hope to the one who seeks answers that are found within the pages of the Bible.  Does that describe you?  Are you a seeker of truth, guidance and wisdom that comes from God?  Prayerfully consider how much time you are spending in God’s Word each week.  Do you seek out groups where you can study His Word and learn?  If you don’t know where to find such groups- here are a few suggestions.  1) ask your pastor what is available at your own church.  If you don’t attend a church or your church does not have groups that match your schedule,  here’s someplace else to look. 2) Bible Study Fellowship and Community Bible Study are organizations that present the Bible all over the world.  Look them up on-line and see if there is a class you can join that is near where you live.  The studies are complete, well laid out and based on the Biblical truths in God’s Word.  Here are the links to their websites:  https://www.bsfinternational.org  and https://communitybiblestudy.org

The study of God’s Word will always result in delight and wonder as God reveals himself to you.

 

Being a student of the Bible brings great reward,

Linda

Integrity- is it attainable?

 

Psalm 119        Beth

psalm 119 11How can a young person stay pure?
    By obeying your word.
10 I have tried hard to find you—
    don’t let me wander from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you.

The Psalmist begins part 2 of Psalm 119 by questioning how can you keep yourself pure or living uprightly with integrity?  This is a question that both young and old ask themselves daily.  The psalmist confesses he is seeking God and asks God’s help in staying true or close to God’s ways.  He wants to be obedient and walk with God.  He then gives the action he has taken to stay true to God.  He has hidden God’s Word in His heart to protect himself from temptation and sinning.   God’s solution for keeping us close to Him and keeping us away from sinful actions is to have us immerse ourselves in His Word and commit it to memory.  Why is this an answer?  God in His wisdom knows that we need to imprint His Word and His ways upon our hearts.  Memorizing or internalizing the Word of God does that for our heart, mind and soul.  How long has it been since you memorized a piece of scripture?  It is easy to get started.  Choose a favorite verse, write it on a card or use the App Scripture Typer on your phone and review it daily.  Before you know it you will have it memorized and ready for recall when you need it most.  Recalling Scripture gives you strength and power to walk with integrity, just as Jesus would have you do.

The Jews had a portion of scripture in the Old Testament that they recited twice a day.  The Shema, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, was their confession of faith.  God is wise and wants us to know His word and have it in our hearts and on our lips. He knew that having these words on their lips repeatedly would help to keep them focused and walking with Him.  “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

shemaMay you delight in God’s Word today!

Linda

 

Biblical A,B,C’s- let’s take a look!

As I have been praying about writing after the Lenten season, the Lord has renewed my conviction that His Word is essential to our Christian walk and good spiritual health.  I am going to walk through Psalm 119 in successive weeks stopping to blog and meditate on selected verses.  I pray you will be blessed as we journey through this magnificent Psalm together.

Pslam 119:1-2

psalm 119 1-2Aleph

Joyful are people of integrity,
    who follow the instructions of the Lord.
Joyful are those who obey his laws
    and search for him with all their hearts. (NLT)

This psalm is known as an acrostic as it goes through the Hebrew alphabet, aleph to taw.  Each section has 8 verses and are all about God’s Word.  In these opening verses the Psalmist tells us that joy is to be had in following God’s Word, walking in obedience and seeking after God.  Can you agree with the psalmist?  Do you find joy in reading and knowing God’s Word?   Does walking in obedience make your life more joyful and keep you in touch with God?  Do you hunger for a deep meaningful relationship with God and seek Him out each day?

Nehemiah 8:9-10 tells what happened when the people of God heard the word read to them.  Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were interpreting for the people said to them, “Don’t mourn or weep on such a day as this! For today is a sacred day before the Lord your God.” For the people had all been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.     And Nehemiah  continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”   How does the Word of God affect you?  The Israelites were sad and grieved over their sins as God’s Word revealed to them how they were sinning and not walking with Him.  Then Nehemiah reminded them that a right relationship with God brings joy and strength from the Lord!  Their repentance brought them into a place of joy in the Lord.  Offer up a prayer with a repentant heart right now, then claim His joy and strength in your day.

Jeremiah 29 13As we journey through this psalm, claim the joy that God has for you as you seek him with a humble and repentant heart.  Remember, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:13

Seeking God and a right attitude,

Linda

I am filled with wonder over His mercy and grace.

Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, I am filled with wonder over His mercy and grace to me.  Lent is a long time to write daily.  It is 6 weeks of planning, rising early, study, inspiration and typing each morning on my computer.  As I depended upon God, He faithfully inspired me each day.  Trusting Him to provide,  I have experienced His grace and mercy.  I never lacked for time, energy or inspiration and was struck by the wonder of His Word.  Through faith we receive so much from Him that our only true response is one of wonder, praise and love for our Savior.  His promise to me in psalm 37 5Psalm 37:5 has been enacted over and over as I committed this Lenten season of blogging to Him.  “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will act.”  

Here is a recap of all the I am statements from this season.  Print it out and use it to encourage yourself and revisit it when you doubt the value of faith in your life.

I am …. loved, a child of God, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, reconciled, justified, forgiven, holy and blameless before God, an ambassador, a temple, tenderly loved by God, salt, light, helped by God, sanctified, God’s Workmanship, not condemned, a citizen of Heaven, the sweet fragrance of Christ to God, a branch on Christ’s vine, a saint, confident of God’s good work in me, a prince/princess in God’s kingdom, a child of light, a friend of God, chosen by God, chosen by God to bear fruit, a joint heir with Christ, holy and I share in God’s heavenly calling, sustained by Christ, united with Jesus in Spirit, sealed by the Holy Spirit, firmly rooted and built up in Christ, one of God’s living stones, born of God and the evil one cannot touch me, a personal witness for Christ, known by God, seated with Christ in the heavenly realm, a member of Christ’s body, a conqueror, overwhelmed with joy, a bride/bridegroom for Christ and SAVED!   

What an amazing list of what God has given to us and made us in and through Christ.  Praise be to Jesus our Lord and Savior!

Blessings,

Linda

I am overwhelmed with joy! Blessed Resurrection Day!

Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and was raised joyfrom the dead,  I am overwhelmed with joy.  I am dressed as a bridegroom or bride, resplendent in my robes of salvation.  With His righteousness upon me, I am like a garden in the spring growing everywhere.   Read Isaiah’s words of prophecy over us in 61:10-11.

I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!
    For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation
    and draped me in a robe of righteousness.
I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding
    or a bride with her jewels.
11 The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world.
    Everyone will praise him!
His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring,
    with plants springing up everywhere.

Praise Him today for your joy, your salvation and your righteousness.  Through Jesus’ death and resurrection we are victorious and are filled with joy, saved and clothed in His righteousness!  We are in right standing before God because of Him.  Have a glorious Easter celebration because our God is alive, HE LIVES!  HE HAS RISEN, Easter_crossINDEED!   He has conquered the grave and because He lives so can we.

Happy Easter celebrating our risen Lord Jesus,

Linda

I am SAVED!

john 14 6Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, I am SAVED!  The most important statement this Lenten season is that I am saved.  Jesus said that He was the way to salvation and all we need to do is believe in Him to be saved from eternal death into life, John 14:6 ” “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  He also called himself the gateway, John 10:9 “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.  They will come in and go out, and find pasture.”   Acts 4:12 says that Jesus and only Jesus can provide salvation, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is only jesusno other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”  Belief in Jesus saves us from God’s wrath over our sin, Romans 5:9-10 “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”  

What about you?  As I look at the cross and Christ’s suffering, I realize that He john 3 16suffered and died for me, to take away my sin, so I can live with Him eternally.  He loved me so much!  John 3:16 says it all, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  Belief in Jesus cost me nothing but it cost Him everything.  How grateful am I?  Praise Jesus and thank God for sending Jesus as you prepare to celebrate Resurrection Sunday.  The Love of God has brought us full circle from the beginning of Lent to it’s end- Jesus and His love for us reigns supreme. Jesus conquered it all to save me and you!

Loving Jesus more and more,

Linda

I am a conqueror.

Because I believe that Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, I am a conqueror.  I love the verse in Romans that refers to me, the believer, as even more than a conqueror.  Paul stated unequivocally that nothing can separate us from God’s love, and we can conquer all through Christ.  Romans 8:35 and 37. “ Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?”   37 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”   In Christ, I am even more than a conqueror!  According to the dictionary a conqueror is one who conquers, vanquishes; is a victor.      1 John 3:4-5 also speaks of thisFor everyone who has been born of God overcome the worldovercomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”   Being a conqueror in Christ means that you can overcome the evil influences in the world that seek to destroy you and your influence for Christ.  Jesus encouraged all believers in John 16:33 when he spoke to His disciples about all they would endure. 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

conquerorSo what about you?  Do you feel like a conqueror for Christ?  If not, why not?  If you are a believer, you are empowered to tell others about Christ, you are empowered to reject sin in your life, you are empowered to live and walk with Christ daily.  Since Lent is a time of prayer and reflection, why not talk with Jesus about these things.  Ask Him to empower you in a greater way so that you can live the life of a conqueror for Him.

Seeking to live the life of a conqueror in Christ,

Linda

I am a member of Christ’s body.

Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, I am a member of Christ’s body.  This biblical truth is spoken of many times in the Bible.  Believers are considered to be part of Christ’s body, which is the church.  Paul explains 1 corinthians 12 27this amazing unity with Christ in 1 Corinthians 12:12 “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.”  verse 27 “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”   In Romans 12: 4-5 Paul also speaks of this unique blending of believers into a body that functions to support each other in Christ.  For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”  The idea of us working together and supporting one another as a body committed to Christ is also expressed in Ephesians 4:11-12 “ And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,”

The-Body-of-Christ-Open-1So what does this mean for you and me?  Do you consider yourself a member of Christ’s body, the church?  “The Church” is the body of believers throughout the world that believe that Christ is their Lord and Savior.   Together, whether local or within the world, we are to work to spread the good news of Christ and His redeeming work.  Not all of us are preachers or teachers but we all have a special gift and are equipped by God so we can contribute to the body and support each other in faith.  Are you using your gifts to encourage other believers?  Christ suffered and died for each of us and desires that we all work together as members of His body to reach a needy world.

United in Christ we stand,

Linda

I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm.

Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm.  The concept of believers being with Christ in heaven and reigning with Him is a privilege of faith and God’s grace to us.   Since we are adopted into God’s family and are heirs with Jesus, we will be in seated in heaven with Him.  Ephesians 2:4-6 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with ephesians-2-vs-6-ewhich he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.   God did this for us, placed us in a place of privilege and honor because of His grace, mercy and love.  He made us alive in Christ when we were dead in our sins.  Believing in Christ changed our position from rejected sinner to one of honor.  2 Timothy 2:11-12a  give a similar picture, “If we have died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;”  Faith in Christ is the determining factor in whether we live and reign with Him or face eternal death.  God cannot look on sin so we have to find some way to deal with our sin or we are rejected from God’s sight forever.  In His infinite mercy and grace, He sent Jesus to provide a way for us to be restored, cleansed and elevated to a position of honor and purity.  Praises to Jesus for what grace-and-mercyHe did for us at the cross.

What about you?  Are you thanking Jesus for His grace and mercy?  As we gaze on the cross in a few days, think about what He has done for you and what you have because of His sacrifice.

Humbled in His sight,

Linda

I am known by God.

Because I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I am known by God.  Paul made this statement several times in his letters:  in 1 Corinthians 8:3 “ But 1-corinthians-8-3if anyone loves God, he is known by God.”  and in  Galatians 4:9 “But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?”   Being known by God changes your life and as a believer you are freed from the sins that enslaved you and opened to have a full relationship with God.  Jesus himself spoke of being known by God in his relationship with those who believed in Him.  John 10:14-15a, 27  “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me just as the Father knows me and I know the Father”  and 27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them , and they follow me.”  Jesus spoke of God knowing us, even to the minutest details, even to the number of hairs on our head and how valuable we are in His eyes.  Luke 12:6-7 “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”  

So what does this mean for you?  God knows you personally and values you.  As a believer you also know God and hear and understand his voice.  Have you ever  been reading scripture and had a revelation about the meaning of a passage? Or have you been praying and feel a sense of peace come over you about what you are to do?  These are examples of how God speaks to us, and how we hear and understand His voice.   I am always amazed that God wants to know me and cares for me.  Here are a few lines from Psalm 91 that speak of God’s care and tenderness towards me- the one He knows personally.  14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
psalm 91 14-1515 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

Being known by God leads to a life of peace and contentment in Him,

Linda