Tag Archives: Bible

Psalm 119

I’ve been reading the Psalms for some time now.

Not exclusively, as we are studying Galatians on Sunday and there are times when the Lord brings me elsewhere.

Yet, the Psalms have been my personal time with the Lord.

Of late, He’s been having me read Psalm 119 over and over.

I know that many people do not learn this way, but I have found such depth and healing in reading the verses many times.

There is such truth, beauty, and healing here for me.

I highlight them.

Pray them.

Feel they are speaking my desires and the cry of my heart through them.

Recently, it was:

Oh, that my ways were directed To keep Your statutes! Then I would not be ashamed, When I look into all Your commandments.
Psalms 119:5‭-‬6 NKJV

The Lord is gracious and merciful and I found such comfort in this:

With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
Psalms 119:10 NKJV

In March, when I was struggling with my health I began to praise God every time I was awake.

It’s a habit I have worked at continuing and this verse encouraged me:

At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You, Because of Your righteous judgments.
Psalms 119:62 NKJV

My daily activities have been exhorted by these words:

Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it. Incline my heart to Your testimonies, And not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way. Establish Your word to Your servant, Who is  devoted to fearing You. Turn away my reproach which I dread, For Your judgments are good.
Psalms 119:35‭-‬39 NKJV

And from the beginning of my time in Psalms 119 my heart has found such joy, comfort, and rest in this:

This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life.
Psalms 119:50 NKJV

And there is so much more.

With all this blessing, it’s difficult to admit, my attitude has not always been such.

I used to look on Psalm 119 as a “problem”.

“It’s so long. How am I supposed to read through it and retain anything?”

I had made an unjust assumption that just because of the many words, I wouldn’t find much.

It was only after surrendering my attitude and the lie I had believed that the words were able to speak to my heart.

I’m so glad I did!

Nothing in scripture is a waste.

The Holy Spirit can use any and all of the scriptures to minister to me, if I surrender my own prejudice and open my heart.

I’m so thankful for the Lord having me read Psalm 119.

I’m blessed that He is so patient with me.

And His love surrounds me.

I can rejoice alongside these words:

Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.
Psalms 119:97 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. How grateful I am to You for teaching my heart. These words have been such a comfort, guide, and blessing. Thank You for sustaining me in each day and showing me Your Word is life. Lord Jesus, there are many who are lost and hurting, please bring them to a knowledge of You. Please speak clearly through those of us who are called by Your name. Please let our mouths be full of Your truth. I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes, please help me to walk in Your ways, Jesus. I love You, thank You for first loving me. Amen.

Scripture memorization

Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
Psalms 1:1 NKJV
https://bible.com/bible/114/psa.1.1.NKJV

It began after watching The Chosen.

I had been struck by the number of people who could quote God’s Word.

Then it hit me.

They had to.

Being able to read wasn’t common, books weren’t easily available, so if they wanted to remember what God’s Word said, they had to memorize.

So, I picked out Psalm 100, and told the kids we were going to start memorizing the Bible together.

They are so much better at it than I am.

We’ve only been at it a little while, but the kids have Psalm 100 and Psalm 1 down.

We are going to move on to Psalm 15.

I’m encouraged that even a small amount of scripture memorization will benefit all of us.

I want God’s Word in our hearts.

I often pray that for our family.

What better way to get it there than to purposefully add it?

Of course it’s not about adding to our knowledge to puff up our pride, nor is it a way to punish or force our family into religion.

It’s instead like falling in love.

When I began to date my husband, I wanted to learn all I could about him.

After we were married I wanted to be familiar with his family and took the time to memorize the names of his mother’s siblings, all nine of them.

It’s the same thing with scripture memorization.

I want to know all I can about Jesus.

I want our children to constantly be learning about Him too.

And this is just another opportunity to know and love Him all the more.

My heart resonates with the psalmist:

Psalm 119:10 NKJV — With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!

It’s so much easier to follow Jesus and His commandments if I know them and understand what they are teaching.

And I won’t give up Bible study or solid Biblical teaching, instead it’s just adding another layer of sweetness.

For that’s what knowing Jesus more truly is.

I praise God for His Word and I cherish this opportunity.

Psalm 119:16 NKJV — I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.

“May it be so Lord!”

You are what you read?

Some of my most favorite books.

I can’t say I totally agree with this statement:

“You are what you read.”

I think what we read, watch, and listen to all have an impact upon our hearts.

Yet, for something to change me, I have to accept it.

I’ve read plenty of things I rejected (those magazine headlines at the grocery store).

To prove none of them changed me is simple. I can’t remember a single one.

Yet, I’ve learned to be guarded on what I do accept.

With that, there is plenty of literature I read with the purpose of changing.

First and foremost is Scripture.

The Holy Bible is my daily joy and it is continually sculpting my thoughts, attitudes, and actions.

I read and study curriculum.

When I choose a curriculum I look at the information as more than an opportunity to teach, but also an opportunity to learn.

I also read for enjoyment.

Always understanding that even in that my perspective can be tweaked by what I allow into my heart.

So when my sweet husband gave me a novel for Christmas I was expectant.

Neither of us were familiar with the author but he really felt God lead him to it at the Christian book store.

I really enjoyed it.

And it did change my perspective.

After reading the story I began to reflect upon my marriage.

The heroine was married to a man she didn’t choose, yet she chose to love him, because she wanted to honor God.

I gladly said “Yes!” when my husband asked for my hand.

Do I always choose to love him as an honor before God?

The woman in the book also had been given advice: “Don’t judge him…”

In her circumstance, she would cause havock if she were to try to explain to her husband what was “right and wrong” in her eyes. They were from vastly different cultures and had been raised with completely different rules.

So when her heart was breaking over a choice her husband made, she didn’t judge him. Instead she took it to God.

How easy it is to judge first and pray later.

Yet, my twenty plus years of marriage have taught me that judging my husband normal causes more pain.

Instead, praying for him and seeking God’s perspective has helped me discern when and how to speak with my husband, if at all. Sometimes I am the one in the wrong, normally because I jumped to a conclusion without listening.

There are other tidbits of perspective I’ve picked up from this Christian novel.

I’m thankful to God for the ability to change my way of thinking.

It’s a blessing to allow God to hone my character even through a book I read as entertainment.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for using a book to teach me new ideas. Thank You for Your Holy Word which sculpts my heart and mind daily. Lord, please continue to help me be wise as to what I allow myself to read, watch, or listen to. Please keep my heart safe from the lies of the enemy. Thank You for loving and teaching me each day.

The gift of God’s Word

It had been a long day.

Although nothing very striking occurred,

it felt extra long.

One of those days which seems to lag from fullness and requires extra grit just to endure.

I knew it was a battle.

That the enemy was working overtime on each member of our family.

As the evening stretched out,

drawing our weary bodies

toward our beds

I felt a strong need.

“Let’s read the Bible.”

I knew.

Many, if not all of us, were really more interested in sleep washing away the day than anything else, but not a complaint or sigh was heard.

I took that to heart.

They too understood we needed this more than sleep.

As I began to read my heart searched for comfort in the words.

I found lessons

and humor

and sorrow

as we read through part of 2 Chronicles.

Roman’s reminded us of our blessings.

To be able to have righteousness as a free gift from Jesus Christ through faith in Him.

Nothing, nothing can our own efforts do to save us, only faith in Jesus.

Then I read Psalm 20:1.

My voice became thick with emotion.

I had to pause after reading:

“May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble;”

My heart filled with thankfulness when I regained my voice and read:

“May the name of God of Jacob defend you;

May He send you help from the sanctuary,

And strengthen you out of Zion;

May He remember all your offerings,

And accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah

Psalm 20:2-3 NKJV

I paused.

Smiled at each face.

Then the next words:

“May He grant you according to your heart’s desire,

And fulfill all your purpose.” Psalm 20:4

Again I paused.

My heart brimmed over.

Jesus was answering my prayers.

His Words were healing to my soul and encouragement to my mind.

I’ve read these verses over again multiple times the past few days.

As I sat praying yesterday I realized these verses were a gift for me to pray over a circumstance.

Then I saw the verse God gave me for the new house:

“Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established;”

Proverbs 24:3

It was like a door opening.

Each of these life circumstances which are producing such turmoil in my heart can be prayed over with purpose.

And it doesn’t stop there.

I’m asking the Lord to give me verses not only for these troubling things,

but also for each member of my family.

It’s not a new thing.

I’ve prayed specific verses over my family members for years.

The opening realization was that God has something new for me to pray for each one.

My heart is eager and expectant.

What a blessing God’s Word is!

How great and awesome is He!

“Oh God, You are more awesome than Your holy places.

The God of Israel is He Who gives strength and power to His people.

Blessed be God!”

Psalm 68:35 NKJV

Forever a classic

image

I live in a little town.

It doesn’t even show up on most maps.

Don’t ask me how many people live here, I really don’t know.

I do know that the man who owns our one and only gas station knows me, my husband and all our kids by first name.

So when we had the opportunity to shop in a “big” mall I was excited to go to Barnes & Noble.

I took this picture to celebrate.

(Yes, it’s the kid section!  My favorite books are mostly for the young reader.)

As we looked at more books than I’ve seen outside our library in a while I came across a table.

The sign said, “Classic books for only $20” (or something to that effect.)

I was tickled to buy my mom a set of 7 Jane Austin novels in one hard back.

Then my eye landed on a title.

My heart flip-flopped.

There on the table was my favorite book.

I smiled.

I own a copy.

I  actually own, like…4.

Can you guess?

It was the Bible.

I had to admit it is a classic.

It is a book old and renowned.

There is good reason for this.

Never have I found a better book on how to be a loving wife

Never have I found a better book on how to raise my children.

Never have I found a poem which spoke directly to my heart like the psalms.

Never have I read a more exciting love story or battle scene or family drama than the true lives of the Bible’s characters, from Adam and Eve to the story of a baby born in a stable.

Never has any book formed my life like the Bible.

Because it is God’s word.

He chose to use people to transverse thousands of years and to place His word in one book.

It is a classic.

More than that.

It is the greatest book ever written.

Yes, I’ve heard the arguments.

Yes, I’ve heard those who say it is flawed beyond reason.

No, I am not swayed.

I have been reading this book since I was a youth.

And God has never ceased to change my life through its pages.

So if you don’t have one, I encourage you to add to your library.

It’s a classic, meaningful forever.

Food for the soul

image

“I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart;  I will tell of all Your marvelous works.” Ps. 9:1

“The heavens declare the glory of God;  And the firmament shows His handiwork. ” Ps. 19:1

“The LORD lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.” Ps. 18:46

Food.

Food not for the body, but for the spirit,

Fills up the soul.

For the believer scripture is the best food.

I did not always recognize the need for scripture.

Yet when I began to be in want of wisdom, comfort, guidance, and discernment the Lord would point me to His Word.

I remember sitting, staring at the pages, wondering why it was so difficult to remember what I was reading.

Being impatient to find the best verses, wondering why God included long lists of names, and overall feeling frustrated.

Yet I knew the answers I needed were worth the search.

As I began,  I learned God placed every line in the Bible for a reason.

And it may not speak to me today or tomorrow but if I was faithful it would.

So I have come to love the Bible more than ever before.

I have been blessed many times with comfort,  guidance, encouragement, discernment, and perspective through God’s Word.

And even today I am in need of its strength,
To feed my soul,
To guide my heart,
To encourage my mind.

And as i open it this morning i was blessed by these verses above.

I hope they bless you as well.