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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.

Please Pray for My Family's Salvation

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My parents are still together but they have been arguing significantly (I don't live with them anymore).  My father is unsaved, is a secular Jew, and my mother who was raised Catholic has in the past few years informed me of becoming "Christian" has been listening to false preachers like Joel Osteen and Bernardo Stamateas (and his wife Alejandra Stamateas) who don't preach on sin for obvious reasons.  Because I am not fluent in Spanish, I had a feeling in my heart that the Stamateas family is promoting a false gospel and have been looking for confirmation. Yesterday, I found a website that exposed him, which confirmed my suspicion.

I also had a really disconcerting conversation with my mother two days ago where she told me that the Bible says love yourself like you love God.  When I confronted her about this, telling her I read the Bible through every year and my friends (one who is a former pastor) also do, and I don't think any of them can cite a verse of scripture of what she is referring to (with the exception of 2 Ti 3:2).  Then, she became exasperated and said that loving yourself was even part of the Ten Commandments.  I told her countless times to read scripture, even sending her links to A Traves de La Biblia (a translation of McGee's ThrutheBible) so at least she can be weaned as a baby Christian.  I asked her one or two years ago if she asked Jesus to forgive her and she said yes, but it is really hard for me to believe she's saved when she doesn't read nor want to read the Bible (even though she could read Osteen's books) and I don't see a new life in her.  Again, it is not my place to judge.  Please pray for the salvation of both of them.  I had tried to witness to my dad years ago too, especially when he got cancer in 2015 (I believe) which he rapidly recovered from.    I've been very discouraged about them because I don't see how my father can get saved if my mom who professes to be Christian is constantly accusing him of things like cheating or spying on her phone (I think she's paranoid, possibly pathological) if he's always on the defense.  I feel like there would be more hope for him if she did not leave such a bad testimony.  My dad told me a few days ago that all he wants is peace.

I apologize that this is of very personal nature, but since you don't know my name, nor theirs, I do not consider it gossip.  I am just at the point where I feel like there is no hope for them.  Sometimes, it is very hard for me to pray for them consistently because of the discouragement.

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It's not always easy to witness to family.  I take issue with one of your statements, we are to judge, by the Word of God, not based on our opinions.  A saved person has a hunger for God's Word.  The Osteens of the world let people honor God with their lips and keep their hearts far from him for they love the things of this world more than the Creator.

Keep at it, not all the time but as the Holy Spirit leads and pray every day for their salvation.

I had an uncle who lead a life of debauchery and reveled in it and was most vicious towards me when I attempted to share the gospel with him.  Then one day he died, and on his death bed, just before he lost his speech, the Lord sent an evangelist to his hospital room and he accepted Christ as his personal Savior and moments later went home to be with the Lord.  I was one of many who planted and watered and God gave the increase.

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