The verses that stood out to me this morning:
Psalms and Wisdom:
-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. (v. 103-104)
-My eyes long for your salvation
and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise.
Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love,
and teach me your statutes.
I am your servant; give me understanding,
that I may know your testimonies! (v. 123-125)
-The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple. (V. 130)
-Turn to me and be gracious to me,
as is your way with those who love your name.
Keep steady my steps according to your promise,
and let no iniquity get dominion over me. (V. 132-133)
-give me life, O Lord, according to your word! (v. 107b)
-give me understanding according to your word! (v. 169b)
-deliver me according to your word. (v. 170b)
Pentateuch and History:
(What a contrast!)
-"I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect." (v. 11-13)
-“But if in spite of this you will not listen to me, but walk contrary to me, then I will walk contrary to you in fury, and I myself will discipline you sevenfold for your sins. (v. 27-28)
Chronicles and Prophets:
-Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.”
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. (v. 4-6a)
Gospels and Epistles:
-Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ! (v. 17-20)
-Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (v.31-32)
My Rambling Thoughts:
Some pretty clear pictures of the difference between a life lived in obedience to the Lord and one that rejects Him. If you were to read the selection from Psalm 119 (which I hope you will do!) there are also verses like this one: All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross. (v. 119)
In the passage from Leviticus we first learn of the blessings God will bestow on Israel if they follow His commands; followed by what God will do if Israel breaks their covenant with Him. It is not a pretty picture.
“But if you will not listen to me and will not do all these commandments, if you spurn my statutes, and if your soul abhors my rules, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant, then I will do this to you: I will visit you with panic, with wasting disease and fever that consume the eyes and make the heart ache. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. I will set my face against you, and you shall be struck down before your enemies. " (V. 14-17a)
Even so, God is not through with them yet, if they continue to reject Him...
“And if by this discipline you are not turned to me but walk contrary to me, then I also will walk contrary to you, and I myself will strike you sevenfold for your sins. And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall execute vengeance for the covenant."
What strikes me is that God's reason for discipline is to restore Israel. It is not done out of spite, or meanspiritedness as some are quick to believe. God discplines those whom He loves.
And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:5-11, ESV)
The author of Hebrews quotes Proverbs 3:11-12 here. Why do we choose to see discipline only as a punishment and not as an act to turn our hearts back to our sovereign God?
And then there is the reading from Ephesians. The difference between the children of God and Gentile unbelievers. Here begins Paul's admonishment for how we are to walk as a people who are no longer aliens and strangers but sons (and daughters) of the Living God. When I call out to Him as Father God, I am acknowledging HIs authority to do what He deems best for me-even when that means he sends a time of discipline my way.
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,
These are the verses that stood out to me this morning:
Psalms and Wisdom Literature:
-How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word. (verse 9)
-Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways. (v.37)
Pentateuch and History:
-You shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God, for I am the LORD your God. (v.17)
-If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you. (v. 35-36)
(I too am a servant of the Lord God, whom He brought out of bondage to sin)
-For it is to me that the people of Israel are servants. They are my servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. (v. 55)
Chronicles and Prophets:
(Notice what fear of the Lord is; and why.)
-The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;
he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness,
and he will be the stability of your times,
abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is Zion's treasure. (33:5-6)
Gospels and Epistles:
-I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (v.1-3)
-Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (v.15-16)
Paul urges the believers in Ephesus to walk in a manner worthy of their calling. I am reading D.A. Carson's book, A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers. Last night I was reading the section on Paul's prayer for the church at Thessalonica: "To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, ESV) I highlighted a good bit of what Carson had to say about this prayer. One thing that stands out to me this morning is this quote: "By God’s free grace we have been forgiven; by his free grace we have been made “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17). By his free grace we have been justified, we have been given the Spirit, we have tasted eternal life. But Paul wants us to be worthy of this calling. Certainly none of us was worthy when we received it. Now, however, Paul wants us to become what we were not, and he prays to that end. He prays that Christians might become worthy of all that it means to be a Christian, of all that it means to be a child of the living God, of all that it means to be worthy of the love that brought Jesus to the cross."
Imagine what our churches today would look like if we prayed this way for each other!
Of course, now the question becomes how do I go about walking in a manner worthy of my calling to which I have been called. Time to pull out those Christian self-help books. Those books on spiritual growth and discipline. (No, just kidding.) I was struck once again by Psalm 119 and what it has to say to me about God's word and its role in my life as a believer. Over and over again I read the words, "teach me." In fact there were quite a few requests within today's reading for God to do something for the psalmist.
-teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes,
-give me understanding,
-Incline my heart to your testimonies,
-Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things,
-Give me life in your ways,
-Confirm to your servant your promise that you may be feared, (I love how this connects with the verses I jotted down from Leviticus and Isaiah)
-teach me good judgement and knowledge,
-Let your steadfast love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise.
-Your hands have made and fashioned me, give me understanding. (God, my Creator, is still active in shaping me-better to work in conjunction with His master plan!)
If I start praying like this I believe my walk will indeed be worthy; and the longer I live on this earth the more I desire it to be so.
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,
I am a woman with a Mary heart and these are my musings as I read and study God's Word
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