Encouragement to Stay Faithful Today

This morning on the radio we looked at Psalm 119.  I love the heart of the Psalmist. It seems from reading that he has had a taste of the goodness of God and of following His ways and he is vowing to never walk apart from a life of devotion to God again.   That’s the heart I seek.     

                                                    

Look at the words of the Psalmist and see his passion. 

 

Psalms 119:33-38

Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.

Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.

Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.

Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.

 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;

preserve my life according to your word.  

Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared.  

(NIV…emphasis mine)

 

Yet the Psalmist had apparently lived long enough to know himself.  He would make a vow, but then normalcy would set in again and, if not careful, he’d be right back to living to please himself again.  He dreaded that return to the mundane Christian experience.   

 

Continue to look at his words:

Verse 39-40

Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good.

How I long for your precepts!  Preserve my life in your righteousness. (NIV….emphasis mine)

 

It reminds me of what happened to Jonah in the belly of a fish.  He cried out to God with a heavy realization of what truly is valuable in life:

 

Jonah 2:8

“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.  (NIV….emphasis mine)

 

God, help me today not to sacrifice your grace for the seemingly glamorous temporary pleasures and trappings of this world. 

Week 2: Purpose Driven Life

Our community group is going through Purpose Driven Life.  For some of us this is a refresher and for others it is the first time.  (Interestingly, everyone in the group owned a copy of the book, but not everyone had read it.)  Last night we considered week two.  As a supplement to the book, I asked these questions.  We had lots of good discussions and I’m still pondering my answers. 

 

1. What does it mean “to please God”? 

    Do you believe your life brings God pleasure? 

2. How do you feel about the statement: Worship is not for your benefit? 

3. What is something your children do that makes you smile?  

    Would you rather have your children’s time or a plaque for the wall? 

    Do you want your children to trust you? 

    How do you think these the answers to these questions translate to your relationship with God?

4. If it’s true God smiles when we trust Him completely, is He smiling now about your trust in Him? 

    Where are you struggling/need to trust Him more? 

    Where are you struggling/need to obey Him more? 

5. What is one fear/worry/burden you need to surrender to God? 

6. What is the greatest barrier you have to prayer?

7. Have you weathered a time when God seemed distant?

      What did you do? 

8. How has your relationship with God changed over the years?

 

Spend some time considering these questions and your own answers to them. 

Monday Morning Encouragment

The Psalmist David cried out, “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.” (Psalm 25:1-2) 

As you begin another work week, perhaps you, like me, would like to see God be God! Why not pray this prayer? “So, okay Lord, the rest is up to you. Do your thing! Make it happen! I’m counting on you. This is your week. Don’t let me down! May it be, (and I be), all you would have it/me to be!”

I don’t intend to sound irreverent, but isn’t that what we want? Don’t you agree that is basically what David was asking for in this Psalm? He wanted God to do His part as David did his. 

Think of it this way; we are to put our trust in God and God alone. We are to give Him priority in our life; above all else! We are to rely on Him and look to Him to supply all our needs. We are to abide in Him; literally allow Him to take up residence in our life, as we rest in His tender, loving care and He guides us through each day. He is to be the source of our strength and the desire of our heart. We are to let Him be the Lord of our life.

But, then, we want Him to respond to our commitment, don’t we? We want Him to protect us. We want Him to shelter us from those who would seek to do us harm. We want Him to heal our hurts and dry our tears. We want Him to grant us success, peace and joy. We want Him to keep us from the shame and persecution of our energies. We want God to be God; don’t we?

If that’s true then on this Monday, let’s actually do it.  Let’s let God be God! Let us wholeheartedly, unashamedly allow God to take over our activities, transform our hearts and minds into moldable instruments of His wonderful grace and glory. Let’s allow God to show off His best in us this week as we submit humbly to our Maker and wait on Him to supply all our needs!

(I know; that’s much easier to write than to do, but it’s my goal.  How about you?)