I’m finding treasure in Erin Davis’s study, 7 Feasts – Finding Christ in the Sacred Celebrations of the Old Testament. This book has truly been a blessing to me. The final day’s study was a brief look at Psalm 119. Yes, it’s the longest book in the Bible but it has become one of my favorites. I see a need to study it once a year. It’s an acrostic using the Hebrew alphabet, divided into sections, so very easy to take a month to concentrate on just
Read His Words First
Remember your word to your servant; you have given me hope through it. This is my comfort in my affliction: Your promise has given me life. The arrogant constantly ridicule me, but I do not turn away from your instruction. Lord, I remember your judgments from long ago and find comfort. Fury seizes me because of the wicked who reject your instruction. Your statutes are the theme of my song during my earthly life. Lord, I remember your name in the night, and I obey your instruction. This is my practice: I obey your precepts.
What Challenges Did David Face? Can You Relate?
The arrogant mock him unmercifully
Idignation grips him because of the wicked who forsake God’s law.
Yikes! That sounds kind of familiar. Recently, I have been ready to quit watching the news and reading my Facebook feeds. It does make me indignant at how people can respond so nastily to an innocent post. Whatever happened to kindness and honor? Maybe we should be reading our Bibles more and the news less.
What Treasures did David Find? What does it do for us?
Sciprutre Reading tops my list of things to do every day. We just can’t get by without taking time to hear from God. A few facts about Psalm 119.
It’s the longest book of the Bible
It is all about how important the Word of God is for our lives.
It is placed right smack in the Bible of the Bible.
These facts tell me that scripture reading is highly important to God. Here are a few benefits David finds in the Word of God.
It gives us hope
It preserves our life.
Scripture is the theme of our song.
It comforts us.
It helps us obey God’s law.
That right there is enough to convince me that Scripture reading is of most importance. Erin stated in the book,
One of the best ways to learn scripture is through song. Think about it. We can recall every word of a song we loved from high school even after decades. Why not build a foundation of scriptures in your mind by setting them to music? There are many songs and choruses already out there. You may not even realize that the words are straight from the scriptures.
Here’s a hymn you probably knew years ago. I remember singing it as a child. I understood the idea of the hymn… about God being our foundation but recently I took a closer look at the words and was blown away at the number of scriptures found in this one song. Take a look for yourself…
How Firm a Foundation
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in His excellent word! What more can He say than to you He hath said— To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
“Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed, For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid; I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand. [Isaiah 41:10]
“When through the deep waters I call thee to go, The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow; For I will be with thee thy trouble to bless, And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress. [Isaiah 43:2-3]
“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie, [Isaiah 43:2-3] My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply; [2 Corinthians 12:9] The flame shall not harm thee; I only design Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine. [Zechariah 13:9]
“The soul that on Jesus doth lean for repose, [Proverbs 3:5-6] I will not, I will not, desert to his foes; [Hebrews 13:5,6] That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.” [Deuteronomy 31:8]
It is time to put all of these crazy, negative thoughts into captivity where they belong! Let’s put’em in jail.
Easy to say, isn’t it?
How do we actually do it?
He was 16 then and I was lying in bed trying to go to sleep and just as the scoundrel does, he put a horrid image and thought inside my head. Oh, I knew it came from the devil and I instantly rebuked him in Jesus’ Name and suddenly it was as though someone had changed the channel in my brain, warmth and peace overcame me.
Take that, devil.
Today that 16-year old is 40 and is as normal as any man can be!
Take that too, devil.
Crazy, negative thoughts have got to be captured and put inside a cell. They can overtake us and bring anxiety, fear, stress, and oppression to name a few.
Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up. Proverbs 12.25 (NLT)
Let’s look at 2 Corinthian 10 and find out what Paul is talking about!
The church at Corinth was in criticize mode against the Apostle. They were challenging his authority and he rebuked those with impure motives seeking to undermine his ministry. He simply tells them…(all scripture in Susan Translation)
Our weapons are not those of humans but are mighty in GOD for pulling down strongholds and arguments and every other thing that raises itself up against the knowledge of God. 2 Corinthians 10.4-5a
The mighty weapons IN GOD are available to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10.5b
So, when the enemy comes in and says to me, “Susan, your son is going to be blank and blank.”
I can say to him, “Satan, I might look human but I don’t fight like a human because I carry the weapons, the mighty weapons, of Almighty God and I throw your accusations and threats and lies into jail!”
Then, follow up with a declaration, “Satan, my son is the righteousness of Christ. He is an oak of righteousness. He walks in the newness of life and God’s hand is on him for all eternity.”
When Satan comes in with thoughts of fear, tell him…
I am not afraid. God will never leave me nor forsake me. Deuteronomy 31.8; God hasn’t given me a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, of love, and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1.7
When Satan comes in and tries to steal your peace, tell him…
God will keep me in peace because my thoughts are set on Him. Isaiah 26.3; I am going to throw all my anxieties onto God because He cares for me. 1 Peter 5.7
When Satan comes in and tries to make you worried about things, tell him…
You know what devil? I am not going to worry about that because God is so good that He even takes care of the birds. And He makes the flowers beautiful and He cares about me and all the things that concern me. Matthew 6; The things that concern me, concern Him. Psalm 138.8
When Satan comes in and tries to cause you to stress and have anxious thoughts, tell him…
I am not going to be anxious because I can tell my heavenly Father about it. Philippians 4.6; Ya know what Satan? God is going to crush you under his feet and I am covered by the grace of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Romans 16.20
A Scripture for EVERY Thought
I can assure you there is a scripture for every thought that comes against us. You can Google any thought for a scripture to combat it. But we have to take the initiative. We have to be pro-active. Sometimes something is so serious and hard that we are told to fast and pray about it, here.
FIGHT THE ENEMY WITH HIS MOST FEARED WEAPON – THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, THE LIVING WORD OF GOD.
1 How happy are those whose way is blameless, who walk according to the Lord’s instruction! 2 Happy are those who keep his decrees and seek him with all their heart. 3 They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways. 4 You have commanded that your precepts be diligently kept. 5 If only my ways were committed to keeping your statutes! 6 Then I would not be ashamed when I think about all your commands. 7 I will praise you with an upright heart when I learn your righteous judgments. 8 I will keep your statutes; never abandon me.
Those Who Read the Scriptures Regularly are Happy People
Scripture. Scripture. Scripture.
I can’t tell you enough how important it is to be in the Word of God daily. You may say, but Mandy, I just don’t have the time. But may I submit to you that you have plenty of time. You may have to give up a little sleep or some Facebook Time or maybe a little TV. But, as the Psalmist said, you will be so much happier and you won’t even notice the sacrifice. Let’s commit to reading the scriptures.
His Ways are Blameless
Have you ever been in trouble for something that you didn’t even know was wrong? It happened once to me in elementary school. The assignment was given when I was out sick. So when I returned and didn’t have the work done, I found myself writing out pages of “I will obey the rules.”
Maybe you got stopped for speeding but you didn’t see the speed limit sign. I’m sure that we have all been in a situation like this. And I am sure you weren’t too happy.
We can say we didn’t know but the truth is, we have allowed ourselves to be ignorant of the rules. It is still our own fault. When we stand before our creator, He will ask why we haven’t obeyed His law. “I didn’t know” will NOT be an acceptable excuse.
Make sure you know the rules. Pretty simple. And how do we know the rules? Reading the Scriptures. Study them. Memorize them. Today let’s start with reading the scriptures.
Maintain at all costs a daily time of Scripture reading and prayer. As I look back, I see that the most formative influence in my life and thought has been my daily contact with Scripture over 60 years.
from Frank Gaebelein: Character Before Career”
Scriptures Should be the Center of Life
Psalm 119 is an acrostic using the Hebrew letters of the alphabet. The Psalmist alphabetically speaks of the benefits of God’s Word by having each stanza major on a particular topic. The main theme of this chapter is God’s Word being front and center in David’s life. This chapter has 176 verses. It is the longest chapter of the Bible and I find it interesting that this chapter happens to be right in the center of the entire Bible. Coincidence? I think not.
I have treasured Your Word in my heart so that I may not sin against you.
Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.
We recognize God’s Voice. We can know that God is speaking to us because we know the things He would say.
His Word is like a mirror, showing us the good AND the evil in our lives.
It calls us to salvation and holiness.
It revolutionizes our life. We become more and more aware of God’s instruction thus, it changes our life.
What is the best way to read the Bible?
The best way is whatever way works for you. I waver between reading an actual Bible right on my lap and reading from an app on my phone of kindle.
First, I want my family to know and see that I am reading the Scriptures. If I am reading from an app, who knows what I am reading? And later, after I am gone, will they see the notes and highlights in my app? I think that I am leaving a better legacy for them by reading from the written Word.
However, an app takes up no extra space. It’s not heavy and is likely with you wherever you go. If I’m sitting in the doctor’s office or waiting in line to pick up my child from school, my Bible is there waiting for me to take 5 minutes to read. It also provides many versions which I find advantageous. Therefore, I find myself going back and forth between the two.
Preferred Versions of the Scriptures
Many still love to hold on to the King James Version (KJV). The KJV is a wonderful version to read. I find it very poetic. and Since it is what I grew up with, most of what I have memorized is in this version. The New KJV is wonderful. The translators have removed all the Thee’s and Thou’s.
The church I attend has embraced the New International Version which is a more updated English version. It’s a bit more understandable being in modern English.
My absolute favorite at this time is the New Living Translation. The NLT is translated beautifully into Modern English. Many find it very understandable. Different from the Living Bible which is a paraphrase – Someone’s interpretation of the Bible.
Another paraphrase that is well-liked and reads with modern lingo is The Message. Both of these paraphrases are excellent reads and give a great interpretation. They are great for storytelling and even for help in understanding.
A Few Scripture Apps you May Like
There are many possibilities for download on your phone or computer. These are a few I have used. These offer several version options and reading plans. Some offer devotional plans and even books. I’ll give you the links and you can research further to find what works best for you.
One of my earliest memories is a sleep-over at my grandparents. I remember standing at Grandma’s knee while she crocheted a yellow hat for my dolly. I can still taste the frozen tart applesauce made from the apples in her yard. But my favorite memory is the nighttime devotions. A plastic loaf of bread held tiny cards printed with Scripture promises. I chose one card, then sat as close to Grandma as I could. With her arm around me, she whispered word by word, so I could “read” the verse.
It was the beginning of a legacy – the love of God and His Word. Before I was a week old, my parents took me to church, and faithfully continued to make sure I was taught the Word by Sunday School teachers and pastors. On an everyday basis, we looked to Scripture for guidance in our home.