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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
         11
      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.

Dear Any Godly Pastor

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Dear Pastor...
     I am old enough to be your mom!  However!  I'm NOT too old and I don't have so much more experience in life that I cannot continue to learn.  What a blessing it is to hear the instruction of the Word.  I have not grown so strong, so knowledgeable, or so wise that I no longer need comfort, encouragement, edification, exhortation, admonition, reproof, rebuke, and correction in righteousness.
     You see - it never gets old or tiresome to hear the Word with listening ears, ready to receive with an open heart, a message that the Lord has filled your heart with to preach.  I sincerely believe that every Spirit-filled message is for me to hear as I run my race hungering and thirsting after righteousness; for I ought to pay attention to every word that has proceeded out of the mouth of God.  God's Words and instructions are all given in the best interests of my heart.
     Pastor, it's a thing of awe to know that each week, though unseen by me, the Lord is preparing, teaching, convicting, and guiding you with messages of truth - that our God wants you to impart to our precious little church.  The messages that the Spirit gives, are so very vital to the encouragement that I need, as I desire to walk with Him so as I ought to walk.
     What a joy it is, Pastor, to empty ourselves of ourselves, that the Lord can fill our hearts with exactly what we need and when we need it. I've learned to recognize that selfishness fills me with misery, and a void of contentment. Pride has a way of chewing me up and spitting me out and trampling me under my very own feet.  It is futile to do anything in and of myself - ooooooh, how great a thing it is to welcome the instruction from His Word which indeed brings joy and peace, love and contentment!
     Long ago when my children were but babes,  I kept a diary of heartfelt thoughts for them.  I dearly wanted to encourage them to come to the understanding that it is wise to accept instruction, and to welcome it along with any discipline necessary, as a means of protection all the days of our lives.  I wanted them to see that the Word itself, Jesus, was given to us coupled with any chastisement, because He loves us - and that He truly is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  So long ago, I wanted my children to begin to understand the importance that correction in righteousness is.  For the sake of simplicity and illustration at the time, any godly reproof that we may be the recipients of - could be pictured as like going down a narrow road with precipices on either side,  but that the Word of God is as "bumpers or guard rails" that help keep us from "derailing and going off track".   I wanted them to understand the importance of living in obedience to the Word with a broken and contrite spirit and heart, and that by so-doing, keeps us on our toes, aware, alert, and with the desire striving to grow in Him in progressive sanctification.
     Pastor, I pray for you all throughout the week - I suppose like a momma would pray for her son.  I pray that the Lord would teach you just what you need to know, with the love and power needed, in order to impart to us what He has given to you.  I pray that you are filled with His Spirit as you study, as you learn, and as you prepare to preach to us.  I cannot articulate the words to describe the blessing and joy it is to hear you preach; for it is easy to lose sight of you, the man preaching, and see that is is Christ through you speaking to me.  I praise the Lord for your sensitivity to the Spirit, and your active fear of the Lord.  It's a wondrous thing to see your testimony of pure religion; blameless, spotless, and without wrinkle.
     I'm sure that you must get discouraged at times, when it seems that the congregation is dull of hearing, and it's difficult to see lives being transformed.  Surely there must be times that you would throw your hands up with the feelings of despair and burden.  But, Pastor!  When those times come, please remind yourself that there's a little ole lady - pretty much unseen, doesn't fit in with most of the others, but is doing the very best possible to be attentive to the Spirit working - being available and desiring to receive the Word and that it would pierce my heart.  I'm so very glad that though I may be "nobody" on this earth, that I am yet still very much "somebody" to my Saviour!  I desperately need to hear from my God, and I am so glad and joyous that you are availing yourself to Him as a vessel meet for His use.
     Carry on, Pastor, carry on!  In serving Him, you serve us.  Someone once so wisely said that - "A good leader is first a good follower of God".  Continue to take up your cross and walk on in Him.  The "momentum" in Him, lightens the heaviness that a man of God, a man after God's own heart, is so often burdened with.  Just think!  By God's mercies, we have the privilege, blessing, pleasure, and joy to present ourselves as living sacrifices because of our love for Him; yes - holy and acceptable unto God.  It truly is reasonable for us to give ourselves, losing ourselves, and to reciprocate our love to Him with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength!  God is love, and so to know love, is to know God.
     Please be encouraged, Pastor, and carry on!

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