I have the joy and privilege to be a part of a Life Group here at ECC. For those of you not currently in a life group, please consider joining one when they start up again next fall (shameless plug!). For the past few years, the members of our life group have individually “adopted” a word for ourselves to focus on with God during the calendar year. Some examples of words that have been selected: intentional, focus, foundation, listen, patience, Jesus, allow, read, still….just to name a few! God has surely taught us a lot through the attention to these words in our lives.
This year, I selected the word, “WORD”. I am still not sure what God is going to do in me through that word choice, but the members of our life group will tell you – it isn’t always what we think it’s going to mean! But we still step out in faith and trust Him to reveal himself to us – and He never lets us down.
As I think about The Bible Project and the daily readings (which haven’t been all sunshine and roses so far – it is downright tough sometimes), I am just in awe of these writers. What a necessity that they would document and record the happenings of that day – and that it would stand the test of time and be applicable to us even now! Did they know that these writings were going to be compiled into the most read book of ALL TIME? God knew all along… and in their obedience to Him, we have His Word to lead and teach us – right at our fingertips.
Which brings me to talk about Psalm 119 – this chapter is broken down into a 6-day process in our daily readings for The Bible Project! It must be an important one because it is long and full of instruction. And since my word for 2018 is WORD – I felt that this chapter especially stresses the importance of God’s Word and His statutes and laws in our lives. His WORD is a word for the ages! Let’s look at a few familiar verses from Psalm 119:
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.” Ps. 119:9
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Ps. 119:11
“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” Ps. 119:18
“I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.” Ps. 119:32
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Ps. 119:105
“All your words are true, all your righteous laws are eternal.” Ps. 119:160
have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” Ps. 119:165
I have heard the quote “Rules without relationship = rebellion.” When we have a true relationship with Jesus, we trust Him to know what is best for us. I am reminded of the exchange between parents and children when a “rule” is enforced: the kids ask “why” and the parent says “because I said so.” Sound familiar?
I know that some people see God’s Word as confining and restraining and exclusive. The rebellious nature in us wants to believe that we have a better way, that God is too strict. What I see in these verses is that obedience to God’s Word will bring us purity, direction, truth, love, freedom, light, eternal life, peace, steadiness, hope, righteousness and so much more!
So, if you haven’t given God’s Word a chance to transform you and lead you – I encourage you to test it out – you will be amazed at the way you see Him working in your life. And most likely in a way that you least expect it! Here are the opening 2 verses of Psalm 119 – seems like a recipe for blessed success to me!
"Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart."
Why? Because He said so!