Psalms 119:129-131 ESV
“Your testimonies are wonderful;
therefore my soul keeps them.
The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple.
I open my mouth and pant,
because I long for your commandments.”
I do love the word of God! I think that when I really fell in love with the word of God, though, was when I was in my early 20s.
I grew up reading the KJV of the Bible, but I had great difficulty understanding what it said, because it was not written in my language, i.e. in 20th Century American English, and because I read on a 4th grade level even in my late teens and/or early 20s. I think I finally got up to reading on a 7th grade level. Anyway, our pastor introduced us to the NASB when I was in my early to mid-20s, and that is when I fell in love with the Scriptures.
For, now I could understand what I was reading, and now the Scriptures were coming alive to me. And at about that same time, we housed a missionary for about 3 weeks who taught me how to have a daily quiet time with God and how to get something out of the Scriptures in all practicality to my daily life. Her name was Halee Spriggins. I think she is gone now. But I will be eternally grateful to God for all that she taught me at that time.
Now I was not just reading words or doctrine, but now the word of God was speaking to my heart about my life. The Holy Spirit was speaking through the Scriptures in very practical ways, and I was putting into practice, by the grace of God, what the Lord Jesus was teaching me. I was applying to my daily life what the Scriptures taught, and I was blessed abundantly by God’s words being a reality in my daily life in how I lived my life.
Now, there was a period of time when I followed my husband into sin and I walked away from my pure devotion to my Lord, and I lost sight of what I had been learning and what I had been applying to my daily life. But the Lord Jesus, by his grace, brought me back around, and he renewed that right spirit within me, and he put me back on that right course, and the word of God, once again, became a daily reality in my life and witness for Christ.
And then the Lord called me to this present ministry to where I am sharing the truths of the Scriptures each day as I am learning them and as I am applying them to my daily life, and for the encouragement of my brothers and sisters in Christ, and for the salvation of human lives from their entrapment to sin so that they now can walk in victory over sin and so they can walk now in holiness and righteousness for the glory and praise of God.
Psalms 119:132-133 ESV
“Turn to me and be gracious to me,
as is your way with those who love your name.
Keep steady my steps according to your promise,
and let no iniquity get dominion over me.”
My Lord is gracious to me every day. He gives me courage and encouragement and counsel and direction. He guides me in the way that I should go and he lets me know if I am beginning to go the wrong direction so that I can stop and not go there. He teaches me so much through his word and he blesses my life and my heart with his goodness and mercy every day. I am humbled that he would choose me for this ministry, too.
He keeps steady my steps even when enemies come against me and they oppose me and they fight against me when I am sharing with them the truths of God’s word. He gives me the words to say, too, so that I say what he wants, although I can’t claim that I am absolutely perfect in every expression of what he is teaching me. So, when I say for you to test everyone and everything you are hearing, test me, too, against God’s word, but in context. For I am still just clay in the Potter’s hands.
Psalms 119:134-136 ESV
“Redeem me from man’s oppression,
that I may keep your precepts.
Make your face shine upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes.
My eyes shed streams of tears,
because people do not keep your law.”
As some of you know by now, my marriage to my husband of nearly 50 years (next month) is a broken marriage, largely because of my husband’s lifetime of sexual addiction, his pride, his selfishness, and his willful abuse of me, his wife, over the course of our marriage. Rick, my husband, posted this on Facebook today and he gave me permission to share this with you:
“As one who lived a lifetime of sexual addiction – pornography, adultery, abuse, deception, disregard for how I hurt others – I can attest to where you can go once you start down that road. I wasn’t just having a little harmless adult fun – replacing God with the things of this world sent me down a pathway to hell I almost never got out of, even once I badly wanted to leave.
“It destroyed my marriage, stomped on my wife’s heart over and over, and isolated me from others so I could keep going deeper into it. My wife still loved me and tried over and over to help me, and I just turned against her and denied I had a sin problem.
“Ask most any addict and they will tell you that’s what it’s like, and ask their spouse and children what it does to them and you won’t be able to stop the tears. Worst of all, living a lifestyle of sin and rebellion against God incites his wrath against you – you become his enemy, not his child, no matter what someone else told you. The Bible is clear on this if you read it in context.”
The thing of it is, Rick has admitted this multiple times, and many times he has made confessions of faith in Jesus Christ and of a changed heart only to continue with the same heart and the same behaviors. And we have been dealing with this the whole of our marriage even up to the present. I love him. I still feel love for him. And my desire for him is that he would, in truth, turn from his life of sin and walk in obedience to the Lord, and that he would love me, his wife, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
So, if you think about it, would you pray for him and for me and for our marriage. We have our 50th wedding anniversary coming up soon, but there is not much to celebrate. But my heart longs for my husband to be fully delivered from his life of sinful addiction, in truth, and for our marriage to be healed, and for us to finally be one flesh, as the Scriptures teach a marriage is supposed to be. Thank you!
By Ann Aschauer
Well, some folks think that “love” means emotion,
So it comes and goes their whole life through.
Some folks never know that when the magic goes,
If you keep on lovin’, it’ll come back to you.
I was so afraid we’d lose the special feeling,
And someday we’d find our love wasn’t true,
But then God opened up my eyes and made me realize,
Love is not what you feel, it’s what you do.
And so we stood side by side at the altar,
As our wills and God’s power combined.
With His help I could say, “I do love you today,
And I will for a long, long time.”
c 1987 Ann Aschauer
Used by permission