God’s Word: The security of forever

I have no idea where my life is going. When it will end. How it will end. What will come between now and the end. Who will be part of my remaining years. Who will not be here. We can’t see tomorrow, even though we try (and even attempt to control it!). And what we have today can change in the space of a few breaths.

We’ve all had the experience of depending on something that just … disappeared. It might have been something as simple as a favorite product you always used—until the manufacturer discontinued it. Or it might have been a person or a thing more vital to your life—a close friend, a job, or a bank account. You never expected to lose the friend or the job or the money; but one day, the thing you depended on was gone.

When we think we can depend on something or someone, we speak of standing on “solid ground.” Yet even the most solid of earthly things will not last forever. Jesus said that even the earth and heavens will someday fade away—but His words will never fade away.

David reiterates throughout Psalm 119: “Your word, O God, is eternal, standing firm in heaven. It will last forever and everything will serve your plans.”

How good to know that God’s truth will always stand! When we build our lives on the Scriptures, we are indeed putting our lives on the line—but we are trusting in truth that will not change, will not disappear, will not become out-of-date or useless and ineffective.

David staked his life on God’s unchanging words of truth. Through all the tumult of his life (and a great deal of trouble and grief did rock his life), he found this:

Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble.
(Psalm 119:165)

God’s Word stands forever. We can stake our lives on His truth, and we will not be disappointed or abandoned or betrayed. We will know joy and wise counsel, encouragement and comfort and hope. Anchored in the Word, we will have weapons against the enemy, tools to live fully, and light to keep on the right path.

God gave Isaiah a beautiful picture of how His Word works:

 “The rain and snow come down from the heavens
and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
producing seed for the farmer
and bread for the hungry.
It is the same with my word.
I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”
(Isaiah 44:10-11)

Hope knows God’s Word is like life-giving water for the thirsty ground of our souls. Why not saturate myself with all of its power?

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Psalm Prayer:
Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.
(Psalm 119:40) 

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Much more on the power of the Word of God:

Deuteronomy 29:29; Psalm 19:7-9; Psalm 111:7-8; Psalm 119 (Make your own list of all the things the Word does for us); Isaiah 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; Matthew 5:18; Matthew 24:35; Luke 21:33; Romans 15:4; Ephesians 6:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 4:12; James 1:21; James 1:25; 2 Peter 1:4

 

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© Elaine Starner 2015 Photo credits: Thanks to Claire Pridgeon, Paul Stutzman, and Lana Turner for sharing photography I’ve used on this site. (Click on each name to see more.)

God’s Word: The place to go to learn how to live

Where do you go for advice? When you’ve got a decision to make, choices to weigh, and action must be taken, who can you trust to steer you in the right direction? When you feel like you’re groping in darkness for answers, where do you turn for a light?

Again and again, God’s Word reminds us that His way of thinking is nothing at all like our human thinking and the principles and values of His Kingdom are quite different from the principles and values of this world. Then as children of the King, should we not be going to Him for our guidance and advice?

Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
(Psalm 119:105)

God’s Word is given to light our way along a dark path. Its guidelines keep our focus on the right things, help us to see things as God sees them, and lead us to the life God has for us (verses 32, 37, 93). The Spirit uses the Word to show us God’s thoughts (1 Corinthians 2:10-11).

Compare all that to this warning from Isaiah:

Look to God’s instructions and teachings!
People who contradict his word are completely in the dark.
(Isaiah 8:20)

All of this tells me that God wants us to understand! He’s not playing games with us, He hasn’t left us to figure things out on our own. He has given us a treasure trove of insight and wisdom and wise advice.

One of these verses that really hit home for me is verse 29 of Psalm 119:

Keep me from lying to myself;
give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.

How easy it is to lie to myself when I want to justify or rationalize my actions! Sometimes I do it consciously, attempting to convince myself. Other times, the lies sneak in through my blind spots and affect my thinking.

Satan, the enemy of our souls, would love to keep us living in the darkness of untruths, deceived about our own worth, our relationships to others, and our standing with God.

The truth in God’s Word shines light on those deceptions and gives us the privilege of knowing what God says about those matters.

God’s Word is exactly that –His word to each of us. He’s given us this precious gift, a light for the path we walk.

 

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Psalm Prayer:
Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.
(Psalm 119:40) 

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© Elaine Starner 2015 Photo credits: Thanks to Claire Pridgeon, Paul Stutzman, and Lana Turner for sharing photography I’ve used on this site. (Click on each name to see more.)

God’s Word: A Sword for the Battle

My grandson was ten when he tried to teach me to play a Wii game. (Not an easy task.) I picked up the little white control, trying to understand which button or movement would make me, the good guy on the screen, jump, twirl, kick, run, and transform into a super-hero, fighting the alien droids.

And then I discovered the secret. One push at the right time on the right button shot a shining, pulsating stream of light that looked like a sword (to my old-fashioned mind) straight toward the nasty creature advancing to attack me. I flicked my wrist and … slice! slice! slice! I chopped up the menace and dispensed with that danger. On to the next alien!

I sliced and chopped all advancing threats. And in the middle of that Wii game, the Holy Spirit reminded me, “This is exactly what the Scriptures can do to all those things that attack you spiritually.”

 Guide my steps by your word,
so I will not be overcome by evil.
(Psalm 119:133)

In Ephesians 6, when Paul talks about strapping on all the armor God gives us, he writes, “Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

The Spirit’s weapon is the lightsaber of the Word of God. When I am under attack from things without and within, the Spirit uses the Word to slice up and dispatch those threats.

The Word fights our discouragement, our temptations, our doubt, our fears, our loneliness, our tendency toward envy and jealousy and anger and malice, our insecurities, our pride, our lack of faith, our blindness, our stubbornness, our bitterness, our hunger, our cynicism, our forgetfulness of God … I could go on and on.

The Spirit of Christ lives in us to remind us of God’s promises, and He’ll use the Word as His weapon to vanquish the enemy.

 

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Psalm Prayer:
Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.
(Psalm 119:40) 

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© Elaine Starner 2015 Photo credits: Thanks to Claire Pridgeon, Paul Stutzman, and Lana Turner for sharing photography I’ve used on this site. (Click on each name to see more.)

God’s Word: To Walk in Freedom

In Galatians, the apostle Paul says that we’re set free…to become slaves to God. Does that seem a contradiction? And yet, in God’s plan, that’s the way it works. An utter and complete commitment to God’s ways brings a freedom that can never be experienced outside of a relationship with Jesus Christ.

I will walk in freedom
for I have devoted myself to your commandments.
(Psalm 119:45)

Devoting ourselves to God’s truth sets us free. Jesus said it, too. “When you know the truth, the truth sets you free.” Later, James wrote about practical Christian living and said that God’s Word is the “perfect law that sets you free” (James 1:25). Want freedom? Look intently into the Word and do what it says! Again, to our human way of thinking this is a contradiction. The law brings freedom?

Again,Yes.

Jesus came to give us freedom, and the more we soak our minds and hearts with Scripture and Jesus’ words, the more we will understand that chains and prison bars once holding us have been broken and we are truly free.

Pursuing God’s truth and devoting ourselves to it loosens the hold everything else has on us.

Christ says He is truth. He says that those who believe in Him will know the truth and the truth will set them free.

Those statements are so huge that I believe we will always be learning more of what He means; for all of our years, we’ll be growing toward understanding this and growing out of our old lives and into the freedom He gives to His children.

Two things we can be sure of: Christ set us free so that we can live in freedom, and we will walk more and more in that freedom as we pour His Word into our hearts, minds, and souls.

 

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Psalm Prayer:
Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.
(Psalm 119:40) 

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© Elaine Starner 2015 Photo credits: Thanks to Claire Pridgeon, Paul Stutzman, and Lana Turner for sharing photography I’ve used on this site. (Click on each name to see more.)

God’s Word: Finding our Happiness

Did that title light a longing in your heart? Do you yearn to find happiness? Wouldn’t it be great to have a life full of joy?

The Word of the Lord lights the path to joy. David recognized this, and as a result he calls God’s Word his greatest treasure. Wouldn’t this also be considered a great treasure today—to have a formula or method or prescription for filling life with joy?

Make me walk along the path of your commands,
for that is where my happiness is found.
(Psalm 119:35)

If we read the verses following this verse, we can conclude that in David’s day people were looking for happiness in many of the same places people seek joy today: in the accumulation of money, in self-promotion and power, in all the same things our modern world promotes as the keys to happiness.

But we will find our happiness just where David did—in the paths of God’s commands.

The joy in searching for and following the Lord flows through and grows in our lives even when circumstances around us are not “happy.” In verse 143, the psalmist says that when “pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands.” In another verse, David admits misery, but even then the joy he has found in God’s word sustains him (see verse 92).

This declaration contrasts with the message of a world that says life must be rosy and filled with gratification for one to be happy. David’s message is, instead, that only the Word of God will feed and grow a joy that lives even through misery and stress and hard times.

Can you identify with some of David’s feelings? Ever feel pressure and stress suffocating you? Ever feel overcome with misery? Hope knows that in God’s Word we find the keys to joy — even during the hard times.

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Psalm Prayer:
Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.
(Psalm 119:40) 

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© Elaine Starner 2015 Photo credits: Thanks to Claire Pridgeon, Paul Stutzman, and Lana Turner for sharing photography I’ve used on this site. (Click on each name to see more.)