I’m claiming God’s promises for my own, how about you?

psalm 119 76The next section of Psalm 119 in verses 73-80 the psalmist speaks of his joy that God created him and the joy that living as one who fears the Lord brings.  I think the heart of his message is  in 76-77:    “Let your steadfast love comfort me  according to your promise to your servant.   Let your mercy come to me, that I may live;  for your law is my delight.”  The psalmist is praising God for loving and comforting him just as He promised.  He knows that God will be merciful to him and give him life as he learns to live delighting himself in God’s Word.

Do you know these truths about God for yourself?  Do you experience His steadfast love and comfort?  Do you see His mercies in your life?  Do you find that praying, reading God’s Word and worshiping Him brings you delightful peace and assurance?  The psalmist reminds us that all of these are promised by God to those who believe and stand upon His Word.  Here are a few promises you can claim in your life and hold onto their truth.

God keeps his promises

Lamentations 3:22-23 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;  his mercies never come to an end;  they are new every morning;  great is your faithfulness.”

Psalm 86:5-7  “For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,   abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.  Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;  listen to my plea for grace.   In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me.”

Psalm 37:23 “The steps of a man are established by the Lord,  when he delights in his way;”

Ask yourself today, where do I see God’s love and mercy and where am I delighting in doing things God’s way?  God will keep His promises.  Claim victory in Christ today!

Walking with love and mercy given graciously by Jesus to me,

Linda

Do you trust God and know He is good?

How much do you trust the Lord?  Do know for sure He intends good for you?  Knowing and trusting God is essential to faith but do not come automatically.  As we walk daily with Jesus, study His Word and communicate with Him, He builds trust within us that is unshakable.  We learn that He alone is sovereign and intends good for us.  The psalmist reveals His trust in God in Psalm 119: 65-57.                                                                    psalm 119 65 67You have done many good things for me, Lord,
    just as you promised.
66 I believe in your commands;
    now teach me good judgment and knowledge.
67 I used to wander off until you disciplined me;
    but now I closely follow your word.

The psalmist trusted God as God had been forever faithful to him and had always kept His promises.  His belief was strengthen as he studied God’s Word, followed God’s commandments and saw the fruit of God in his life.  He recognized God’s loving discipline upon his life and knew it was for his good.

Do you believe God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11 that He intends good for you?  “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.  Do you know for certain that God is good?  Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good,  a refuge in times of trouble.  He cares for those who trust in him,”  Do you know God’s love is unconditional and forever?  Psalm 52:8  “But I am like an olive tree  flourishing in the house of God;  I trust in God’s unfailing love  for ever and ever.”  John 3:16 “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.”

Claim these promises and know these truths about God today.  Seek Him and He will give you assurance and hope.  You will know and believe that God is good and intends the best for you now and for eternity.  Even in the hard things of life, God can and does use them to mold and shape our character as He refines us to be more and more like Jesus.  unknown-futureBe encouraged today by His love, care and tender mercies.

Each day is a walk of faith,

Linda

Friends of the faith- Oh, so precious!

Psalm 119:57-64 is a testimony from the psalmist that God is His true place of fulfillment and contentment.  He can rely upon God to sustain, fill and be his all in all just as He promises in His Word..  The Lord is my portion;   I promise to keep your words.”  Later, in verses 63-64, he concludes that God is his friend and he will be a friend to anyone who trusts in God and lives by His Word.  He realizes that His love can be found everywhere on earth. He asks the Lord to teach him as he knows that God’s Word will sustain and strengthen him.   I am a friend to all who fear you,  to all who follow your precepts.  64 The earth is filled with your love, Lord;  teach me your decrees.”  

How do you chose your close friends?  Do you choose people that align with your beliefs in God?  The psalmist proclaimed that he is a friend to all who know and follow God’s Word.  Paul spoke of this in Romans when he urged all believers to be united in Christ. He prayed for them in Romans 15:5-6.  May the God who gives endurance and romans 15 5 6encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”   Is this a prayer you could pray for your fellow friends in Christ?  To really show the world our Savior, we need to be of one mind and voice as we glorify God.   The psalmist says that his true friends in the faith follow God’s Word and are teachable.  Does that describe you?  Are you open to learning from God’s Word?  

friend pushTake this prayer of Paul’s and claim it for your life.  Pray for your friends of the faith, to come alongside you and join together as one mind and one voice to witness to the dying world around us.

Proclaiming the gospel in love,

Linda

Comfort, can you find it?

Psalm 119-50 Your Word Has Revived Me brownIn today’s portion of Psalm 119:49-56, the Psalmist is proclaiming that God’s Word comforts him and guides him in all situations.  Are you making this claim for your life?  49 Remember your word to your servant,  for you have given me hope.   50 My comfort in my suffering is this:  Your promise preserves my life.  The psalmist goes on to explain that God’s Word has brought him comfort when he was being ridiculed by those around him (vs. 51-52) and with this own indignation over all the sin he sees in the world (53-54).  He clings to God’s Word day and night as his comfort (55-56).   

psalm 23 4Where does your comfort come from?   The Bible is filled with verses that tell us that comfort comes from God.  He is the God of all comfort.  David proclaimed God’s comfort in Psalm 23:4    Even though I walk  through the darkest valley,  I will fear no evil, for you are with me;  your rod and your staff,   they comfort me.   David knew that the things God provides for us bring protection and comfort.  Jesus speaks of God’s comfort when we mourn over our sin, Matthew 5:4  in the AMP  “Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are those who mourn[over their sins and repent], for they will be comforted [when the burden of sin is lifted].”  Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 about Jesus who is our ultimate source of comfort.  “16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

Like the Psalmist we can proclaim that God brings comfort into our lives when we know Jesus, when we depend upon His indwelling Holy Spirit and we proclaim and cling to His Word.   God’s Word will guide us to Him day and night.  Jesus will bring comfort into our lives as we cling to His Word.  Cling to His Word today and you will be comforted.  God is faithful in all His promises.

comfort-from-god-2th2_16-17wpJesus my comforter,

Linda

Resolve to speak of your Hope

In this next portion of Psalm 119, verses 41-48, the psalmist is struggling with resolve.  He is troubled by those that question his faith and he wants to have an answer for them.  He wants to be faithful to God’s Word.  Look at the number of I will’s he states.  He really wants to use God’s Word and live it!

Waw

41 May your unfailing love come to me, Lord,
    your salvation, according to your promise;
42 then I can answer anyone who taunts me,
    for I trust in your word.
43 Never take your word of truth from my mouth,
    for I have put my hope in your laws.
44 I will always obey your law,
    for ever and ever.
45 I will walk about in freedom,
    for I have sought out your precepts.
46 I will speak of your statutes before kings
    and will not be put to shame,
47 for I delight in your commands
    because I love them.
48 I reach out for your commands, which I love,
    that I may meditate on your decrees.

psalm 119 42In verses 41 and 42 the psalmist is asking God for his help so he can reply to those who would taunt him for or about his faith.  He asked God to give him an answer from His Word to reply to his tormentors.   Peter also tells us in 1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,”  We are to always be prepared to talk about Jesus and the hope we have in HimDoes that describe your attitude towards telling others about Jesus, and what He has done for you?  We are not to brag or boast over our privileged position as a child of God but to convey our love for others, our concern about their future and our belief that life with Jesus frees us from sin and all the baggage this world heaps upon us.  Jesus 1 peter 3 15has and is the answer to the world’s problem of sin as He alone is the redeemer.

Just like the psalmist, you can ask God to give you the words to say in reply to naysayers.  We need to stand firm and boldly speak of Jesus.  He will give you the words, just as He has promised.  Keep studying and learning about God and He will reveal more and more about Himself.  Remember 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  God’s Word equips us for every good work and gives us replies to those who would question our faith.

It is a blessing and a comfort to be prepared.

Linda

Pleading with God

If you could write down your prayers, what would they look like?  Are they filled with joy, praise, thanksgiving, submission, confession and petitions?  In reality, our prayers are filled with all of these but often vary according to our need or level of distress in life.  The psalmist in Psalm 119:33-40 pleads with God.  Look at the verbs as you read.

He

33 Teach me your decrees, O Lord;
    I will keep them to the end.
34 Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions;
    I will put them into practice with all my heart.
35 Make me walk along the path of your commands,
    for that is where my happiness is found.
36 Give me an eagerness for your laws
    rather than a love for money!
37 Turn my eyes from worthless things,
    and give me life through your word.
38 Reassure me of your promise,
    made to those who fear you.
39 Help me abandon my shameful ways;
    for your regulations are good.
40 I long to obey your commandments!
    Renew my life with your goodness.

psalm 119 37The psalmist is struggling with his daily life and desires God to guide him away from temporal things to a focus on eternal truths that will change and renew his life.  God’s goodness will transform our lives is we submit to His truths and follow Him.  Do you desire God’s help with your life problems?  Seek His wisdom and truth.  Open His Word and bow in prayer.  He will find you, just like He promised.  Hebrews 11:6 challenges us to believe and take that step of faith. “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”   Does that describe you and your search for God?  Turn to Him in faith today.  He will find you.

Hebrews 11 6Walking with Him is an adventure in faith,

Linda

Need Encouragement? Look into His Word.

Psalm 119:25-37 (Section 4)   Daleth   

I have read this section in various translations and the New Living seems to speak to me the most.  It would seem the writer of this psalm has been hit by the trials and tribulations of the world and has been knocked down, verse 25.  He is pleading with the Lord to revive him through His Word.  Have you ever felt that way?  When you seem at your wits end, you open the Word of God and He speaks to your needs right at that moment.  It is so uplifting and reviving to your spirit.

25 I lie in the dust;
    revive me by your word.                             

He told God his plans, verses 26-28, and is now asking for help, encouragement, teaching and time to meditate.
26 I told you my plans, and you answered.
    Now teach me your decrees.
27 Help me understand the meaning of your commandments,
    and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28 I weep with sorrow;
    encourage me by your word.

He asks God to keep him from lying to himself.  This describes our real life struggle with the world and keeping faithful to our walk with God.
29 Keep me from lying to myself;
    give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.

In the last 3 verses, the author resolves to preserve, choose God and pursue God’s commands.  Is that your resolve today?
30 I have chosen to be faithful;
    I have determined to live by your regulations.
31 I cling to your laws.
    Lord, don’t let me be put to shame!
32 I will pursue your commands,
    for you expand my understanding.

 Is the world beating you up and you need some refreshment and rest?  Come to God’s Word and He will restore, encourage, teach and revive your spirit so you can move boldly forward in your walk with Him.

psalm-119-2930Praise God for His faithfulness and the power of His Word,

Linda

 

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