Today’s Reading: Psalms 97, 101, 103, 105, 106, 119
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. – Psalm 119:11
I have heard this verse a thousand times. I memorized it as a child and have sung the words, recited the verse, and used the words to encourage others. I read it again this morning and it is fresh and new. Isn’t God incredible?!! His word is living and active. Even the scriptures we have known for years come alive to us at different times. We go from “Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard that before” to “Wow, I never thought of it that way!”
So what is this revelation to my heart? Holiness – I hide God’s word in my heart so that I can live out the holiness He is calling me to. To settle comfortably into a life of sin would be to sin against a God who loves me – who created me with a plan to live in relationship with Him. But sin separates me from God because God is holy. It is the desire of my heart to experience God, to remain close to Him. How can I do this? His word is a lamp unto my feet on this journey of holiness; a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105).
Help me understand the meaning of your commandments,
and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds.
I weep with sorrow; encourage me by your word.
Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions…
Teach me your decrees, O Lord; I will keep them to the end.
Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions;
I will put them into practice with all my heart.
Make me walk along the path of your commands, for this is where my happiness is found.
Give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money!
Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.
Reassure me of your promise, made to those who fear you.
Help me abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good.
I long to obey your commandments!
Renew my life with your goodness. – Psalm 119: 33-40
God’s word encourages me when I am sad.
God’s word reveals truth to me when I am trying to convince myself of what I want to be true.
God’s word reminds me of the value in God’s plan.
God’s word reassures me of His promises and I am renewed!
God has done more than just hand us His word. He continues to use His word to teach us and to give us understanding. Obedience comes from these teaching moments and these teaching moments create more obedience. We walk along the path of holiness and we find happiness in following God’s ways.
How I delight in your commands! I love them! – Psalm 119:47
Let’s join the psalmist in his love song of commitment to the God of holiness.
Lord, you are mine!
I promise to obey your words!
With all my heart I want your blessings.
Be merciful as you promised.
I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws.
I will hurry, without delay, to obey your commands.
Evil people try to drag me into sin, but I am firmly anchored to your instructions.
I rise at midnight to thank you for your just regulations.
I am a friend to anyone who fears you – anyone who obeys your commandments.
O Lord, your unfailing love fills the earth; teach me your decrees. – Psalm 119:57-64
You made me; you created me.
Now give me the sense to follow your commands…
For I have put my hope in your word…
Now let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant.
Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live, for your instructions are my delight…
My eyes are straining to see your promises come true. – Psalm 119:73-77,82
Oh, how I love your instructions!
I think about them all day long.
Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are my constant guide.
Yes, I have more insight…I am even wiser…
Your commandments give me understanding… – Psalm 119:97-104
Your laws are my treasure; they are my heart’s delight…
Your word is my source of hope – Psalm 119:111,114b
The Lord gives righteousness… – Psalm 103:6a
I could just stop right there. I love the powerful message contained in these four words. I cannot in a million years be holy or righteous on my own, but I serve a generous God who GIVES righteousness. I can never be good enough but He is enough – His righteousness can look at this ungodly heart and call me godly.
Light shines on the godly, and joy on those whose hearts are right.
May all who are godly rejoice in the Lord and praise His holy name. – Psalm 97:11-12
When I consider that it is HIS righteousness that makes a godly life possible, I can join in with the psalmist in this prayer of commitment to living a godly life. If I think for one minute I can do it on my own, this prayer is said with uncertainty. I HOPE I can live a blameless life, I HOPE I can lead a life of integrity. If the foundation of my prayer starts with “The Lord give righteousness…”, then I can join in this prayer with confidence that it is all about my WILLING heart and God’s CAPABLE heart. It’s not about what I HOPE I can do but what I KNOW God can do! If I am willing to commit to living a holy life, He will give me His righteousness.
I will sing of your love and justice, Lord.
I will praise you with songs.
I will be careful to live a blameless life – when will you come to help me?
I will lead a life of integrity in my own home.
I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar.
I hate all who deal crookedly;
I will have nothing to do with them.
I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil.
I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.
I will not endure conceit and pride. – Psalm 101:1-5
Give thanks to the Lord, for HE IS GOOD!
His faithful love endures forever.
Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord?
Who can ever praise him enough?
There is joy for those who deal justly with others
and always do what is right. – Psalm 106:1-3
Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim HIS greatness.
Let the whole world know what HE has done.
Sing to Him; yes, sing His praises.
Tell everyone about HIS wonderful deeds.
Exult in His holy name; rejoice, you who worship the Lord.
Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him.
Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given…
He is the Lord our God.
His justice is seen throughout the land.
He ALWAYS stands by His covenant –
the commitment He has made to a thousand generations. – Psalm 105:1-8
Lord, I search this morning for you and for your strength. I am seeking you and asking you for a fresh outpouring of YOUR righteousness into my life. Fill me with your Spirit so I cannot submit to your plan for my life. Every word I say, every action I take today, may it be evidence of your righteousness at work in my life. Thank you for your faithfulness – that you ALWAYS stand by your covenant. I desire to sing your praises all day long! Amen.