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“Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.” Psalm 119:36-37 KJV

“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.” Psalm 119:36-37 NLT

Psalm 119 uses many different words and phrases that pertain to God’s law, or God’s Word, and every verse stresses the importance of it.  We cannot separate God from His Word. We cannot love God without loving His Word.

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The writer went on to say in verse 14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”  Jesus was the Word clothed in human flesh.

The Psalmist prayed that the Lord would make him eager to know His Word.  The more we read the Bible, the more we learn about the Lord Jesus Christ, and the more we desire to draw closer to Him.  The closer we draw to Him, the more we want to read and study His Word.  As we read it prayerfully, it becomes alive in our hearts.  When we are facing problems or having to make decisions, we find the answers in His Word.

We often hear the quote: “The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.”  That is true, if we allow sinful things to fill our hearts and minds, we lose our desire to read the Word of God, because we know that it will convict us.  But with the Word of God hidden in our hearts, we can resist the things that would try to turn us away from God.  Another verse in this 119th Psalm tells us that we should hide His Word in our hearts, so that we might not sin against Him.

The Word of God is as necessary to our spiritual health as food is to our natural health.  The Cambridge dictionary describes eagerness as: 1. wanting very much to do or have something, especially something interesting or enjoyable: 2. having or showing desire or interest.  This is how we should approach our Bible reading every day.

Prayer:  Thank you Lord for your Word which gives us guidance and direction.  May we approach it with eagerness and a strong desire to hide it in our heart.

Devotion by Anne Johnston

 

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

The New Living Translation reads as follows: “I am leaving you with a gift and peace of mind and heart.”

Can you imagine how Jesus must have felt as He looked around at these men He had loved and worked with.  There were so many things He wanted to share with them, but the time was growing short.  In the New Living Translation, in John 14:30, He said, “I don’t have much more time to talk to you.”

Over the three and a half years they had traveled together, He had tried to prepare them for the time when He would leave them, and they would be responsible to spread the message of His love to the world.  Earlier this night, by washing their feet, He had demonstrated the need for humility and that they should become as servants to one another.  As they sat around the supper table, He had revealed that one of them was a traitor and would soon betray Him to His enemies.

In John 13:34, He gave them a new commandment, “That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”  In Chapter 15 He reminded them that He was the Vine and they must abide in Him in order to bear fruit.  He also spoke of the Comforter which He would send to give them power for the work He wanted them to do.

He knew that they had not yet grasped the fact that He must die in order to bring redemption to the world.  In chapter 14, He reminded them that He was leaving, but that He was going to prepare a place for them and one day they would join Him there.  They questioned Him as to where He was going and once again, He spoke of going to the Father and that once He was gone, if they were to ask anything in His Name, it would be done.

In Chapter 17, Jesus prayed that they would never forget the things He had taught them, and that they would be faithful to fulfill the ministry for which He had prepared them.  He also prayed for all those who would listen to them and believe on Him through their word.

What a wonderful gift Jesus was leaving His disciples – peace of mind and heart.  That same gift is ours today if we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and accept the teachings of His Word.  His Spirit will fill our hearts and minds with peace.

Prayer:  Thank you Lord for the wonderful message you gave your disciples before you left them, and that the teachings also apply to our lives today.  Thank you for the gift of peace you gave them and have given us as well.

Devotion by Anne Johnston

“Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God;” I Samuel 25:29

David was on his way to punish Nabal, because he had refused to provide food for David and his followers. When Nabal’s wife heard what had happened she hastily prepared supplies and went to meet David.  She pleaded with him not to be hasty and do something he would regret later.

She recognized that David was the one the Lord had chosen as king and that eventually he would sit upon the throne in Israel.  Verse 30 says: “for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days.”

The New Living Translation puts verse 29 this way: “Even when you are chased by those who seek to kill you, your life is safe in the care of the Lord your God, secure in his treasure pouch!”

David really knew what it was like to be led by the Lord from the time he was a young shepherd tending his father’s flock, until he ended up in the palace of Saul.  He knew God was with Him all the time as he fled from Saul’s presence and took refuge in the wilderness.  So, as he was reminded of God’s hand upon his life, he listened to the advice of this woman and turned back from what he was planning to do.

What a beautiful picture this portrays to us.  Like David our life is secure in the Lord’s treasure pouch.  What does that mean?  Everything we need is there for us.  We can lay our head on the pillow at night and rest assured that the Lord is watching over us.  We can face uncertain days, knowing that He has it all under control, and will work all things out for our good.  We can walk out of the Doctor’s office after getting some disturbing news, and just believe God that everything is going to be all right.

Prayer:  Jesus, thank you for the promise that you have my life secure in your treasure pouch, and nothing can come against me that is not your will. I praise and thank you for all that you have provided for me.

Devotion by Anne Johnston