We have arrived at the last stanza of Psalm 119: 169-176. My desire is that you have fallen more deeply in love with our God, His Word, and His work as we have studied this Psalm. In these last verses, we hear the psalmist cry out to God, expressing a love of God’s Word, respect for His laws and commands, and dependence on God’s guidance each day. Do you hear the passion in these verses? Do you experience the same desire for understanding of God’s Word?
When I take time to read a passage several times, the Lord reveals new ways for me to apply His truth to my life. What I have written in these devotionals is just the beginning of what God has to say through them. There is so much more in this chapter that God wants to teach us all. During this study, I have prayed that the Lord has spoken directly to you; that He will make His Words new to you each morning.
Anamorphic art is new to me. I read about it first in “Our Daily Bread” on September 28 of this year. Sheridan Voysey explained it this way:
“ Appearing at first as an assortment of random parts, an anamorphic Sculpture only makes sense when viewed from the correct angle. In one piece, a series of vertical poles align to reveal a famous leader’s face. In another, a mass of cable becomes the outline of an elephant. Another artwork, made of hundreds of black dots suspended by wire, becomes a woman’s eye when seen correctly. The key to anamorphic art is viewing it from different angles until its meaning is revealed.”
He went on to point out that Scripture is much like anamorphic art.
“…the Bible can sometimes be hard to understand. But Scripture itself tells us how to unlock
its meaning. Treat it like an anamorphic sculpture: view it from different angles and meditate
on it deeply.”
Dig deep. Take your time. Take one portion of Scripture and read it over and over again until God speaks deeply into your heart. His message to you will likely change how you think and alter how you will behave. Make that portion of Scripture yours.
Lord, please open my eyes that I may see the wonderful things on your law. Help me understand Your words and discern how You want me to put them into action for every situation I face during this pandemic and in the years ahead.
“May the peace of God, that surpasses all understanding, keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4: 7
Over the past eight months, our minds and hearts have been thrown into a whirlwind of chaos and confusion. We hear conflicting reports about government policies, health conditions, and finances. It is hard to know what to believe when these reports conflict. Now more than ever, friends and family may be on opposite sides of an issue. This type of struggle can cause our minds and hearts to cry out for peace.
Today’s scripture gives us a clear pathway to a peaceful heart, mind and life. Take your Bible and turn to Psalm 119: 161-168. Underline the phrases as we address each action we should take to achieve peace. The steps may be worded differently in the translation you are reading, but each will point to a well-defined route. You may see more steps than we will cover, so open your heart to what God may have for you.
If you feel unsettled and not at peace, review the steps laid out in Psalm 119: 161-168.
Spend more time studying the calm of God’s Word than scrutinizing the chaos of the world.
“May the peace of God, that surpasses all understanding,
keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4: 7
Throughout this study of Psalm 119, we have learned that the author highly regarded God's Word. He held it dear to his heart and repeatedly declared his belief in, and faithfulness to scripture. Verses 153–160 are no different. These two verses specifically express the writer's feelings for God’s Word.
159 Consider how I love your precepts!
Give me life according to your steadfast love.
160 The sum of your word is truth,
and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.
We see the phrase "Give me life" mentioned three times in this stanza. I was tempted to consider these words as only an acknowledgement that God is the giver of life and breath. But I realized that I needed to take time to meditate, ponder, and ask God if there was something more for me. Remember, when something is repeated, God is saying, "this is important, pay attention."
I reviewed the meaning of this phrase in commentaries, and I learned that "Give me life" can encompass many things; revive, restore, nourish, repair, preserve, and enliven are some translations.
So how do I want or need God to do these things in me? How does He want to change me, and "Give me life" in 2020?
You may have already noticed that there are seasons of life. Some of the significant changes happen between childhood and teenage years. Then we become young adults. Some aspects of these "seasonal" changes happen gradually, like the fall leaves changing colour. Some changes seem to happen overnight.
God has blessed me through many beautiful seasons of life. He led me to a Christian Academy for grade 12 in a different state, and then on to Bible College in another country. Graduation, marriage and parenthood followed close behind. These were all seasons that brought joys, struggles and growth. Life seemed to settle into a predictable flow for several years. And then, when I turned fifty, the world opened up. While some women, about that age, were saying they had paid their dues and were stepping back from ministry, God was beginning to open doors for me that I could not have imagined.
Now, over twenty years later, I ask the Lord to "Give me Life." Renew my spirit within me. "Open my eyes so that I can see the wonderful things in Your Word" Psalm 119:18.
The Lord is answering those prayers. He is still presenting me with opportunities to serve Him. They may be much different from the ministry He had for me at thirty, forty and fifty, but meaningful all the same. While researching for a book that I am writing, God led me to scripture in Joshua chapter thirteen. In that chapter, we read that God called Joshua an old man. However, God did not tell Joshua it was time to retire. God told Joshua there was still much to accomplish. It doesn't seem God is finished with me yet, and He will always have ministry for me to do.
Are you willing to join me in this prayer;
“Lord, repair me, nourish me, restore me. I am willing, and I want to be ready to serve you well. "Give me Life" so that I am prepared to influence others for Christ as I come to the end of 2020 and then onward whatever you have in store for me in 2021.”
"May the peace of God, that surpasses all understanding,
keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4: 7
Debi Snider... more