Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
to keep your righteous rules.
Psalm 119:105-106 ESV
Oh, the beauty of God’s Word to us!! It is so precious! I love God’s Word, even the instructions that are hard. God’s Word brings much comfort to my heart, but not just comfort, but instructions, wisdom, counsel, healing, encouragement, correction, conviction, guidance and direction.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, when I read God’s Word, the Holy Spirit of God, who dwells within my heart, speaks to me God’s messages for my life and for the life of his church, of which I am a part. But, it isn’t like I am reading an instruction manual. It is like I am sitting right there with Jesus and he is talking with me personally and intimately, and that is awesome!
So, God’s Word, the Bible, is like a breath of life to me. It is personal. It is intimate. It is God talking to me and showing me what he has for my life and what his will is for all of our lives. But, it is more than that. It is seeing his heart, his character, his passion and his desires. It is feeling what he feels – loving what he loves and hating what he hates.
When we study God’s Word (in context), we get to know our Lord intimately much like we get to know other people when we spend time with them, talking with them, and listening to them talk about their lives and what interests them and what they are passionate about. Only he lives inside us, and so he is part of us, not on the outside looking in.
We, as followers of Jesus, should love God’s words he speaks to us, his church. We should delight in them, because they are life to our spirits.
“More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” Ps. 19:10-11
And, they should be what we follow as a matter of course with our lives, as our “go to,” our habit, our practice, but not out of some religious rite or ritual, but out of a heart of love for God and a desire to please Him in all that we are and do and say. We should follow in the way he leads us, not because we have to, but because we want to, for we know He has the words of life for us, so where else can we go? (Jn. 6:68).
I am severely afflicted;
give me life, O Lord, according to your word!
Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O Lord,
and teach me your rules.
I hold my life in my hand continually,
but I do not forget your law.
Psalm 119:107-109 ESV
Today my brother, Dale, died. He was 71 years old. He was the second oldest of the five children in my birth family. I fall right in the middle. It is always sad to lose someone you love, especially someone in your immediate family, like a sibling. So, I am dealing with much sadness today. I would have liked to have had more time with him.
Five years ago my youngest sister Carol died at the age of 61. That was hard, too. She was so young. So, now there are just three of us left – my oldest brother, Noel, my sister next in age to me, Dorty, and me. But, we don’t live nearby each other. One lives 3 hours away. The other lives 10-12 hours away (driving), but we did just get to see her recently.
Two days ago was the one-year anniversary of the death of Rick’s stepmom. And, last June we lost two good friends to death plus Rick’s (my husband’s) dad. So, we have had a lot of deaths this year of people we loved dearly.
So, today I have given much thought to the shortness of life and how none of us knows when is going to be our last day, or when someone we love and/or who is in our family might suddenly die. We are not all guaranteed long lives on this earth.
But, I have also been thinking about the quality of the relationships that we have left, not knowing how long any of them may last, either. Some people have family members who have nothing to do with them, and/or who are holding on to grudges and unforgiveness, and so they don’t even speak to those who are in their immediate family, and that is so very sad!!
So, my thoughts today are, “None of us knows if we have tomorrow. We don’t know which one of us will go next or when. We need to hold on to one another, forgiving one another whatever grievances we may have. And, we need to unite together as one family (the family of God, too), because we could lose each other tomorrow. We should never take one another for granted, for once we are gone, we are gone. There is no bringing us back. So, we need to love each other while we can, while there is still time left.”
The wicked have laid a snare for me,
but I do not stray from your precepts.
Your testimonies are my heritage forever,
for they are the joy of my heart.
I incline my heart to perform your statutes
forever, to the end.
Psalm 119:110-112 ESV
Today the Lord was giving me a picture of how so many people have shut out the Word of God from their lives. Even though they have been given the truth, they close the door in the face of truth and they do not let truth inside. And, what I felt with that thought was a deep concern that those who have shut the door to God and to his Word, that they are going to drown (go under) in their sins. And, that brought on an overwhelming sadness, too.
Then, he gave me a picture of what that looks like when people shut God and his truth out of their lives. They can become proud and self-sufficient. What is driving them is their flesh, so their passions are those of the flesh and not of God. So, they don’t stand on truth. They definitely are not walking the narrow road that leads to heaven, but they are taking a path that is of the flesh of man, which leads to destruction (decay, death).
For, they did not go through the door (Jesus Christ) as the only way to God the Father and to heaven, because they followed their flesh, instead. They are perishing, not living life eternal with God. For, their way is crooked, dishonest, immoral and corrupted by human flesh. They are not walking the straight way of righteousness, but they are straying from God’s standard. They are proud in their flesh, in their sin nature, and they are fixed there.
And, this thought also brought on an overwhelming sadness, that so many people are perishing in their sins because they shut God out, and they refused his Word and his corrections, and they chose the pathway and the desires of their sinful flesh, of man, rather than to go the way of holiness.
And, there are those who are following after the flesh of man, rather than after the ways of God, who are involved in laying snares for the righteous, too, who treat those who are following Jesus Christ with their lives like the Pharisees treated Jesus. And, they are trying to trip them up, too.
But, they have also laid a snare for the immature and the naïve, too, and they have told them that they can walk the path of the flesh and still have eternal life with God. But, God’s Word does not teach that.
So, as I am thinking today about the importance of God’s Word in our lives, and I am grieving the death of my brother, and I am thinking about the shortness of life, the Lord is also impressing upon my heart how we all need to consider that the quality of our lives on this earth in relation to our God is critical to us with regard to life and death issues.
How we live our lives on this earth does matter for eternity, in other words. It certainly matters in our relationships with others and with God while we live on this earth, but it also impacts where we end up when we die, too. For, if we live to please our flesh, and that is the path that we take, we are going to die in our sins, not have eternal life with God. But, if we walk (in practice), in the power of God’s Spirit, by the Spirit, then we have the hope of eternal life with God. So, please take this to heart.
[Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Eph. 4:17-24; Eph. 5:3-6; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15]
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!