On The Journey–Mem!

On The Journey–Mem!

MEM
Oh, how I love Your law!
It is my meditation all the day.

You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies;
For they are ever with me.

I have more understanding than all my teachers,
For Your testimonies are my meditation.

I understand more than the ancients,
Because I keep Your precepts.

I have restrained my feet from every evil way,
That I may keep Your word.

I have not departed from Your judgments,
For You Yourself have taught me.

How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Through Your precepts I get understanding;
Therefore I hate every false way.

The 13th letter and the 13th stanza which appear to be revelation–eyes-wide-understanding of God’s Word.

The writer has reached a point in his life when he realizes he loves God’s laws and principles and meditates on them daily. He’s letting God know, that he has learned more from meditating on God’s Word than anything his teachers have taught him and more than those who came before him who apparently did not have the same attitude towards God’s Word.

What I love about this is the fact that the writer states–he is wiser because of the testimonies–what he has witnessed God do for him.  When I look at the conduct and behavior of the masses in our society, I have to wonder if any have loved God’s Word enough to meditate on it. Have we reached a point where God’s Word has revealed to us–God’s Truth in how we should live?

I cannot imagine any of us living today being able to say, we are wiser than those who came before us (those in relationship with God). However, it is more than possible that many of us know more than those who tried to teach us–to the best of their ability–about God’s Word, through Him.

Here’s what I get out of this the most–when we have personally witnessed God’s operating on our behalf, we have a testimony that no doubter or hater can ever shake. The doubters and haters could not possibly understand God and even if God had performed a miracle on their behalf, they wouldn’t recognize it because to them–it is all about them.

The more I study and meditate on God’s Word, the more I see Him and understand how I am to live my life representing all that He is–not me. That does not mean that I ignore the gifts He has given me; it means that I use the gifts to promote who He is. The more I please Him, the more He gives me favor with others.

On much of the social media we use, we see the term, “influencer” as it pertains to how many followers and connections are made through them. I want to be an influencer in promoting the Gospel more than I want to be an influencer on social media. If anyone has come into greater understanding by something I’ve written that brings them into relationship with God, I have achieved my goal.

Oh yes, His Word is sweeter than honey and will sustain us more than a drink from a fountain, since we have a well of living water rising in us, that never runs dry. And when we recognize what we have in Him, we will exercise self-control and stay out of evil’s way.

On The Journey–Lamed!

On The Journey–Lamed!

Forever, O LORD,
Your word is settled in heaven.

Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
You established the earth, and it abides.

They continue this day according to Your ordinances,
For all are Your servants.

Unless Your law had been my delight,
I would then have perished in my affliction.

I will never forget Your precepts,
For by them You have given me life.

I am Yours, save me;
For I have sought Your precepts.

The wicked wait for me to destroy me,
But I will consider Your testimonies.

I have seen the consummation of all perfection,
But Your commandment is exceedingly broad. Psalm 119:89-96

The twelfth letter and twelfth stanza–with the first line acknowledging the Alpha and Omega–forever.

Our God–who has no beginning and no end–He who established the universe and all within it–came and lived among us on earth–The Living Word–who was from the beginning and will be forever! Hallelujah!

Have we concluded–within ourselves–that God’s Word will NEVER CHANGE because it has been established–FOREVER–in heaven and when the King sets His seal upon a document–nothing and no one can change it?

Considering–how many times–man has attempted to change the intent of God’s Word to pacify themselves or justify sin–we see that before we, who now live, this writer understood that God’s Word has been established in heaven and since none of us can enter in and return, there is no changing of God’s Word that will ever change Him!

Why? Because without God’s Word–the world would have ended long before now. Even though–there are some–who believe in their own arrogance–that people don’t need God–they just need to be good. Without God–or His Word–how would we even define good?

The lawless--those who desire to live without foundational direction and guidelines–live in chaos--always ready to overthrow someone else who gets in their way and even though they may not recognize it–they too–have decreed laws–the survival of the strongest–dictates their ever-changing behaviors.

When we recognize–that no matter what we do–God’s Word will never change, and we can accept our responsibility for living The Word–then shall we know peace on earth. However, our society may never know just how GOOD God is because we have among us those who think they have a right to change what God has established. Of course, they would not know that without Him dwelling within, so if they don’t know Him, why do they think they can change what He says?

As the writer states–he has seen the wicked consumed–we too, shall see the wicked consumed and their consummation will be the end result of their attempt to justify sin by changing God’s Word to accommodate living in opposition to His Word. If they did not believe it was God who said it, they would not make the effort they do to keep changing–they simply want to prove they are superior to God (they say to themselves) and do whatever they want to do, flaunting disobedience and thinking there will be no consequences.

Human nature–ever fickle–always attempts to take control over situations in which they have no true control. Most who complain about the use of the Bible–God’s Word–as a principle to live by–forget that most laws--protecting the innocent and promoting harmony and peace–were established based upon The Word.

Of course, those who are without the Spirit of the Living God residing within them, will never understand this. And since they are governed by flesh, they will continue to think they are wiser than God and create havoc and chaos for all. For if Holy Spirit resided within them, they would know God’s intent for mankind and how He expects us to live, continually–always recognizing His Word–has been established in heaven, forever!

On The Journey–Kaph!

My soul faints for Your salvation,
But I hope in Your word.

My eyes fail from searching Your word,
Saying, “When will You comfort me?”

For I have become like a wineskin in smoke,
Yet I do not forget Your statutes.

How many are the days of Your servant?
When will You execute judgment on those who persecute me?

The proud have dug pits for me,
Which is not according to Your law.

All Your commandments are faithful;
They persecute me wrongfully;
Help me!

They almost made an end of me on earth,
But I did not forsake Your precepts

Revive me according to Your lovingkindness,
So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth. Psalm 119:81-88 NKJV

The eleventh letter and the eleventh stanza–the continual plea for God’s intervention.

Salvation–being saved–comes from The Lord. From whom do we need to be saved? From those who attempt to belittle us, mock us, ridicule us or is it that we need to be saved from ourselves more than anything else?

The enemy can kill the flesh, but when our soul is right with God, there is nothing anyone can do to hinder what God has for us.

We see the writer exclaiming how his soul longs for salvation–literally from his enemies and figuratively for the appearance of Jesus. We see how he has searched God’s Word until the strain has affected his vision.  He’s tired and admits he’s having a hard time holding onto hope, dried out, but he perseveres–holding onto the promises in The Word.

Have we become “dried out” when it comes to living for God? Have we succumbed to the pits the enemy digs for us–especially those in the church (Body of Christ) who claim to know God?

When I look at some of the things that “Believers” post on social media, my heart hurts. I am crushed that they do not understand who it is they’re supposed to be representing and when others–who claim to be Christians–attack–unmercifully–those in leadership or anyone else who disagrees with them–I cringe and pray.

The Word tells us to pray for our leaders and all those in authority over us. It does not tell us to belittle, ridicule, lie about, and paint such a picture of ugliness OF OURSELVES when we do it, other people. I am so tired of the disrespect shown to President Obama–and it’s not because I agree with everything he does. Instead of talking about him and belittling him, that time and energy would be better served in praying for him–which I do. I pray for leaders everywhere–that they will be still and hear the voice of God and obey.

Those who support the NRA–pray. They who support the right of all living–pray. (Somehow the right-to-lifers and are the same people who support the NRA appear to be a bit paradoxical–on one hand they say don’t kill the babies who are not born and on the other hand, they approve taking a life of one who is already here). I don’t support either group. I support and proclaim the Word of God and in it–He gives us CHOICE, with clear consequences of those choices. Democrats/progressives and Republicans/conservatives all have a lot to learn about what it means to be a true Believer!

It is the attitude of those who proclaim to be Christians that cause my soul to dry out and thirst for the re-appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ. But while I wait, I am yet searching God’s Word, seeking understanding, and proclaiming all that He reveals to me.

Are we who claim to be His children on one accord yet? If not, how can we ever expect to benefit from the miraculous as those who witnessed the outpouring of Holy Spirit–so long ago. They were all on one accord and received the promise. Until we are all on one accord, the promise will be delayed and it is up to us to be the change the world needs.

On The Journey–Waw!

Let Your mercies come also to me, O LORD
Your salvation according to Your word.

So shall I have an answer for him who reproaches me,
For I trust in Your word.

And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
For I have hoped in Your ordinances.

So shall I keep Your law continually,
Forever and ever.

And I will walk at liberty,
For I seek Your precepts.

I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings,
And will not be ashamed.

And I will delight myself in Your commandments,
Which I love.

My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments,
Which I love,
And I will meditate on Your statutes. Psalm 119:41-48 NKJV

With the sixth letter, in the sixth segment (stanza), we see a change in the tone the writer uses. In the stanza before, the writer (psalmist) is demanding (pleading)  God. In this segment, he is conciliatory, expressing what he will do and how much he loves doing it.

If we never do anything wrong, why would we need to plead for mercy? The first line–acknowledging the need and implying past deeds that require mercy. When God bestows His mercy upon us–not giving us what we deserve, are we truly repentant or do we take His mercy for granted?

What I’ve noticed in many of the psalms noted in the bible is a continued acknowledgement of God’s mercy, grace, and love. It would appear that the writers were continually cognizant of the need for His mercy, grace, and love and were not ashamed to admit it. And in this passage, the writer acknowledges that salvation can only come according to His Word (The Lord).

Why? If we have understanding of God’s Word, we know how to respond to anyone who attempts to belittle us for our faith. And in this time–the 21st Century, people are just as quick to belittle a Believer for their faith as the heathens were when this psalm was written. Some things never change, but is there truly a change in our response? Are we willing to lay before God, admitting our shortcomings and plead with Him to keep us showered with His mercies and feeding us His Word?

Do we truly trust God’s Word or are we continually arguing the merits of His Word with those whose spirits do not know Him? When we trust in God’s Word, we have no need to debate the merits of His Word for Holy Spirit has woven the truth into our spirits.

Do we yet have hope in God’s ordinances–the principles and concepts by which we should live or do we accept others wrongly interpreting and changing the intent of God’s Word to suit themselves? We are admonished in later passages of scripture by Paul that we should be more concerned with the spirit of the law, rather than the letter of the law. In other words, God has a specific intent for mankind’s interactions with one another and we must maintain the intent of His Word and not cave to man’s fickle roller-coaster understandings that change like the direction of the wind–without notice.

I can actually see Paul in this passage–as humble as the writer of the psalm, after meeting Jesus–saying, “I will walk in freely in Your principles and not be ashamed to tell of Your goodness to rulers everywhere I go.” Are we walking freely, living all the principles, and ready to testify of God’s goodness?

Do we truly love God’s commandments? I don’t mean the ten or the various ordinances given to the children of Israel then; I mean do we really love Him and are we really loving others, unconditionally?

When we deliberately take lives, create havoc, stir up hatred, lie and manipulate others so we can get what we want, do we honor God and show love to Him or others?

Many artists have sang songs about love and the need of love in this world, but I have yet to see love cover us as a shield against hatred. The world does indeed need love–pure love–unconditional love–exercised by all and not just a few. We need to learn to separate pure love from lust for many are deceived into believing that expressions of lust are love when they are not.

We know this because of the argument by many who insist that people have a right to love whoever they want to love in their support of same-sex unions. The truth of the matter is they are not talking about pure love–they are referencing the aspect of lust and proclaiming that people should have a right to have sex with whoever they want. Involvement in sex is not an expression of pure love–it is an expression of lusting for another simply as a means to relieve oneself.

Will we learn to love one another–unconditionally–in the new year God has so graciously given us? Or will we continue to think we know more than He does and keep doing things our own way, expecting a different result? Are we truly–insane–as this behavior implies?

I detect in my spirit an even greater need to meditate upon God’s Word so when I present my petitions before Him, I will not be guilty of dishonoring Him or attempting to deceive Him. My desire is to come before Him at all times with a pure heart–opening myself to hear Him and abide by His instructions.

 

 

 

 

Taking Time To Meditate!

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who mediates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither–whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:1-3 NIV

One of the most common responses from a Christian when asked how they’re doing is, “I’m blessed!” But are they really blessed as implied by The Word? From the Hebrew and the Greek, the word, blessed–means to be happy or happiness. So if we exchange the word blessed in this Psalm, the beginning would say, “Happy is the one…” If people are so blessed–happy–why is the church–the Body of Christ–in such a sad state?

Are we truly happy? Are we meditating on God’s Word, day and night or we just playing at memorizing The Word and think we have accomplished something?

From the dictionary, blessed also means to be divinely favored or selected or fortunate–from a purely biblical perspective–it is an adjective (words that describe).

To meditate on something (from the Hebrew and Greek) means to study, or declare. Do we truly meditate on The Word? Do we study it in order to declare it?

From the dictionary, to meditate (action word–verb) means to contemplate, engage, reflect and introspect–all which require deliberate actions.

One of the reasons the Psalmist can say that a person is happy when they are obedient to God’s Word is because the Psalmist has a relationship with God and hears Him, when He speaks–providing instruction and insight as to how He wants us to live.

Can we truly say we spend time with God, studying His Word, hearing Him provide us with insight as to the meaning or context of what He’s saying? Or are we more content to rely upon others to tell us what they think about God’s Word?

These questions keep cropping up in my spirit because of what I observe in others–those supposedly teaching The Word. Based upon my understanding of what I have studied, I see many who are merely teaching God’s Word out of traditional leanings, with no true understanding. The focus is more on a moan or a groan-coming from them–which is unintelligible for others to understand. So, if what we say is unintelligible (not understood), how do we claim that it is teaching? For in order to teach anyone, anything, what we say and do must be understood.

If I’m stepping on toes today, good! We all need someone to remind us that we have not arrived at perfection and when it comes to teaching God’s Word, we should always meditate–study it so we can give clear understanding, before we attempt to teach it to anyone.

I am setting aside time for deliberate meditation upon Psalm 119 in the coming weeks. This is not just to memorize it–since I tend to be extremely forgetful–but to understand it–in its entirety and to be able to line it up with the rest of God’s Word. For all of God’s Word should line up–it’s context should never change even one scripture.

The World is changing and from what I can see–we are in dire need of understanding–all of God’s Word as Paul tells Timothy, ” Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.” (I Timothy 4:15 NKJV)

And that is precisely what I plan to do–give myself entirely to concentrating on The Word, one verse at a time. So, if you are inclined to read my understanding every day, great! If not, oh well. If you know Psalm 119 well enough to teach me, don’t hesitate to comment on what I say. I am very teachable and sometimes–I may not hear God completely, but it’s not because I’m not listening–traditional perceptions sometimes get in the way.

Here’s to getting the traditional perceptions out of the way so I can clearly understand what the Psalmist is saying to us–from then to now–in the 21st century and how it applies to our lives in this changing world.