Day 133

STUDY TIME!

(On Saturdays and Sundays my blog posts will give you a verse to study. I won’t give you the reference….you have to find it for yourself. I will then ask you some questions)

VERSE:

“CHETH. Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words.”

STUDY:

  • This is a new section of this chapter.  How do we know this is a new section?
  • What is the psalmist proclaiming in the first part of this verse?
  • Do you think he was simply stating this or he was saying it in awe?
  • Can we, as sinful creatures, come to this conclusion on our own?
  • Isn’t it a beautiful thing how the Word and the diligent seeking after the Word can bring us to where our eyes are looking UP and not around?  It always reminds us of how God is truly our everything.  Hallelujah.  He is all we need.

*** HELPFUL TIP ***

If you do not own a concordance or commentary, try downloading the e-sword app to your phone or tablet. This app can be VERY useful when you want to do a word study or find a verse when you are on the go.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 132

STUDY TIME!

(On Saturdays and Sundays my blog posts will give you a verse to study. I won’t give you the reference….you have to find it for yourself. I will then ask you some questions)

VERSE:

“This I had, because I kept thy precepts.”

STUDY:

  • What did the psalmist have?
  • What are God’s precepts?  What does that mean?
  • If you don’t have His precepts, what do you really have?
  • This verse is the end of a section in this chapter.  What do you think the psalmist is thankful for more than anything?

 

*** HELPFUL TIP ***

If you do not own a concordance or commentary, try downloading the e-sword app to your phone or tablet. This app can be VERY useful when you want to do a word study or find a verse when you are on the go.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 131

“I have remembered thy name, O LORD, in the night, and have kept thy law.”  Psalms 119:55

Over and over we are seeing in this chapter how much the Word can help us.  I scratch my head wondering why we neglect It so much when It can change our outlook on our circumstances.

The psalmist speaks of the “night” here. I think that is referring to both the actual darkness of time AND situation.   Both of which you and I will experience in our lives.  And our conduct during the day is what will be revealed at those hours.

Mark and I lived right on a busy street in Lages for a year.  Cars and trucks and motorcycles sped up and down that road all day and all night. We knew that those noises were going to be a part of living there when we moved in, but what we DIDN’T know was that right beside us was a Tennis Club. How bad could that be, right?  Well, it wouldn’t have been too awful had a tennis ball been the only thing we heard, but it was also a place where dances, graduations, weddings, parties and receptions were held.  And those events lasted until daylight the following day.

Our bedroom faced the street and during the summer we slept with our window open, so I have heard a thousand people stumbling along the sidewalk as they either lost their stomach contents beside our wall, argued with their date or relieved themselves on the corner as the music from the event they just left boomed, boomed, boomed in the background.  Every now and then, some of the people would be so drunk they would sing and gather around our sidewalk as they continued their party for another hour by their parked cars.

Over that year we found people passed out and lying in the ditch as well as forgotten shoes, glasses and other paraphernalia lying around the perimeter of our house.  It was one of the factors that pushed us to seek a farm for rent so we could remove our children from that atmosphere.

Those months of enduring those parties and drunken revelries were kind of awful.  But the one thing they DID do, was make me appreciate the quiet nights.  It may sound crazy, but I got used to the traffic going by and when that was all that was to be heard outside, I could sleep.

I am telling you about those loud party goers because I want you to see the difference in what the world has to offer you in the night seasons and what a life lived in the Word has to offer.

What do you and I truly desire?  We want peace to be reigning in our lives, not chaos, right?  So why do we spend our free moments diving deeper into things that will bring NOTHING BUT chaos in our minds?  Why aren’t we reminding ourselves that time is short and Jesus is soon returning and all this JUNK down here will mean absolutely nothing to us in eternity?  We need to wake up and figure out that our lives need to be focused on and directed by the Word.

“For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”  1 Thessalonians 5:7-11

If I read Scripture like the above passage, I will be able to recall it as I lay my head down on my pillow and begin to think about my problems.  I will be able to remind myself that I am not a lost person, but saved and I have a job to do while there is still time to do it.  I will be fortified in my stand for Christ instead of weak kneed and worrying about how to handle what is confronting me.

“Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.”  Psalms 42:8

We are all going to have problems, health issues, people problems, ministry problems and funerals to attend.  Life is going to continue to happen until Christ’s work in us is finished, but how we conduct ourselves during our life could be GREATLY aided if we will spend more time in God’s Word and HIS promises than we do anything else.

We are going to have a decision to make and if we can remember God in that hour, we will KEEP His commandments.  Yet we will only remember Him if we are walking after Him and seeking Him daily.

Yes, a life of Bible study and prayer take commitment and some good old fashion character, but the benefits are so worth it!

“I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.”  Psalms 77:6

Are you in a night season?  Is the Word of God being heralded forth in your heart as you bear your burden?  Are you able to cling to His Promises as your heart is pained?  Don’t run to the world and it’s temporary fixes.  They won’t give you anything but a headache.  You may just end up lying in a ditch the next morning all soiled, disoriented and needing a bath spiritually.

I say we continue to edify each other through Scripture and Praise so that we can endure with a victorious spirit the nights that lie ahead of us in our paths!

Let us keep on dwelling in the Word.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 130

“Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.”  Psalms 119:54

Yesterday the psalmist was remarking how he finds the sins of the wicked horrifying, but this verse has him talking about how sweet the Word has been to him as he traveled through this life of scorn and around the mentioned wickedness.  He let the Word minister to him in the middle of it all.

I remember laying on the table in the hospital about to get a spinal tap.  I am such an imaginative person that I was OVER imagining the size of the needle that the doctors were about to put in my back.

I was sick and the specialists and doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.  I had been through a large battery of tests that had yielded no results, so they decided a spinal tap was necessary.

Do you know that as I lay there on that examining table, alone, cold and scared; I didn’t start singing something by the world.  I didn’t cuss a blue streak or think about getting a drink.  No, I prayed and then I began to sing and I sang to myself God’s Word and Jesus Loves Me.

Why?  Because Christ is my Hope.  Christ is my Redeemer.  Christ is my Friend.  He and His Word have done more for me in my short 48 years than anyone else.  My “house” or my body was sick, it was ailing and in need of a touch from Heaven.  Where else could I have turned?

Where else can you turn?  Does the world and it’s wickedness care about you?  Are they there with something that will truly help you in those hours of desperation?

No, this world only offers me temporary numbness.  It passes by and says, “Here, I will help you forget through this pill, this drink, these friends, this vice”, but it is all a mask hiding more defeat, more pain, more despair.

God offers us joy, peace and contentment.  Even when our situation is tough and hard to bear in this body.  He is there with comfort and cheer.

Are you in the battle today?  Are you under the weight of something threatening to steal your peace?

Sing Psalms 23.

Remind yourself of your Shepherd, your Guide, your Friend.

Let God’s Word dwell in you and you in It, because at the darkest hour, He will be present, as He ALWAYS is, and the Word will carry you through.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 129

“Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.” Psalm 119:53

When is the last time you were shocked at something that was done or said against God and what is taught in the Scripture?

If it has been a while, it may be that you have let yourself get too acclimated in this old world we are living in today.

I remember when Mark and I were house hunting in the Amazon.  We had to find somewhere to rent or buy rather quickly because our time in language school was coming to an end and we were about to start in our first area of ministry there in Brazil.

We caught a boat from the capital of Manaus and headed up the Rio Negro.  The trip took over 30 hours to arrive in our little town of Barcelos.  It was early in the morning when we arrived and we walked all over the little streets, which had very few cars back then, maybe less than 10 if my memory serves me correctly.  Most people had bicycles and canoes for transportation if they weren’t simply walking.  I watched as boys passed me with dozens of fish strung on their bike handles as they sold them house to house.  Others had baskets of fresh homemade bread loaves sticking out of a basket tied to the back of their bikes.  Then there were the bikes with giant aluminum pots teetering on makeshift metal baskets.  I stopped one to see what was inside and found fresh Açaí juice was being ladled out for $1 Brazilian Real.  Women leaned out their porch windows and cleaned their brooms, others stared at me as they walked from their outhouses to their clothes lines.

It was definitely going to be a new life for me and our family.  Nothing was familiar and this wasn’t a quick missions trip, this was going to be our home. I put on a brave face as my husband led me up to a molded concrete house that had an odd pointed design on it’s  exterior walls.  The man showing us the house was very excited that we were considering buying his house, but the more I saw of the structure, the more I felt a pit in my stomach.  This is where I am supposed to bring my children?  I thought to myself.  I cringed at the little brown toilet with the pull flush string that was dirty from so many other hands before that had pulled it.  The entire place looked like something out of a horror movie and as I pictured my babies crawling over the broken red floors I was convinced that there had to be somewhere better, or at least less dungeon like.  But, Mark was all gung ho and ready to sign papers (men) and I just stared at him incredulously.  He picked up on my mood (I really didn’t try and hide it) and we walked on to the next available house.

The next house was a yellow wooden house with a red roof, red ceilings and red concrete floors.  If you know me, I LOVE yellow houses and am pretty convinced the mansion Jesus is preparing for me is indeed yellow as well, so I liked this little wooden house even if I hated the red roof, ceiling and floors.  A tall, skinny picket type fence surrounded the property and I could see people watching us as we walked to the enclosed backyard to see the owners fruit trees and chickens. Mud was everywhere and the house was on the back side of town, but it had a clean indoor toilet and I was sold.

It wasn’t long before I was unpacking crates in that little house while my children played with the neighborhood kids their age.  I set myself to getting everything put away and organized but getting used to the Amazonian heat was not an easy feat.  I remember walking out back of the house to cool down in the shade of the fruit trees when I spotted my oldest daughter squatting in the middle of the yard.  She was around 5 at the time and I asked her what she was doing.  She said she was using the bathroom.  I ran over and grabbed her and brought her to the house. She didn’t understand why I was so upset or about to scold her, so I brought it back a few notches and asked her why she thought it was okay to squat in the middle of the backyard in the sight of God and every brown peeping face through the fence.

She looked at me with her big green eyes and curly hair that was matted to her sweaty little face and she said, “Mommy, all my friends use the bathroom in their yards.”  I couldn’t help but laugh a little as I realized the difference in culture would not be as shocking to my children as it was to me.  It had seemed perfectly normal to my little girl to copy what she had seen others doing because she didn’t know a whole lot different.  Unlike me, who had spent 30 years growing up in a nice home with hot water, indoor toilets and showers and ready available sinks with soap beside them for hand washing!

There was a difference in our perspectives because of our separate lives up to that point.

Katie thought it was normal to use the yard as a toilet but I was shocked and a little horrified.  I would never even have considered it.

Our viewpoints on the same thing were polar opposites because of what we considered normal.

As Christians we are to be different.  Romans 13 teaches us that we should cast off the works of darkness and put on the Lord Jesus Christ. When we obey this and begin walking after the Spirit, we will be able to see a difference in what is right and what is wrong.  The longer we put ourselves to the task of “putting off” our old ways, we will begin to be horrified by what we used to think was “okay” behavior.  And I am not talking about becoming some kind of works based, Amish looking person. I am simply referring to the walk we are SUPPOSED to have in Christ.  It should be a clean, new, holy walk that keeps us from being caught up in the bondage of sin again.

If we are not shocked by the way Hollywood is constantly tearing down Christianity or the way it is apparently okay to swear by using our Saviour’s name now, then something is wrong with us.  We need to take inventory of our walk and see if we have allowed ourselves to get to used to this world and it’s sinful philosophies.

Please don’t misunderstand me.  I am not saying that we should walk around and make others feel that they are appalling to us.  We are NOT to stick our noses in the air and become Pharisees and hypocrites.  But we SHOULD have the same view on sin that God does.  Hate what He hates and live our lives accordingly.

I don’t imagine this will be a popular post.  I imagine I will get a few messages, but if I am to obey the Bible and not make provision for my flesh, then I need to be separated enough from it that the thought of fulfilling the lusts of my flesh is horrifying to me.  Otherwise, I will walk so closely to sinful behaviour that it might become normal to me and I will easily slide into that which has absolutely NOTHING to do with God and is ANTI God without a bat of an eye.

Oh, where are the Christians who identify with the psalmist today and are saddened by the Lord we are forsaking day after day?  Let’s be different.  We are not our own, we are bought with a price, let us not forget what we have been saved from and what we are to be living towards.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 128

“The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law.”  Psalms 119:51

I don’t think any of us can truthfully say that we like being made fun of or mocked.  Sticks and stones break bones and words actually do wound us.  There are no two ways about it.

Today we find the psalmist is in a predicament concerning his stand for the Lord and His Word.  People are mocking him for it.  They are scorning him, but he isn’t backing down.

I like his tenacity.  He is feeling the pressure and being wounded by words, but he is not waivering where the Truth is concerned.  God has given us these types of verses in His Word for a number of reasons, but one is to encourage us with examples of REAL people who have lived before us and how they handled life according to the Word.  We can take heart that it is not only right to obey God’s Word but it is also worth it.

We are not alone in this battle!  Others have gone before us and proven that God is God and on the throne!  Others are our contemporaries and battling the scoffers and mockers today and not fainting!  We can be courageous and continue on!

An acquaintance of mine is of another religion. She does not believe Jesus died for her sins and definitely thinks I am a complete oddball for my belief in God.  I have never berated her or made fun of her false view, but she has not been as generous.  She told me I was welcome to converse with her but I shouldn’t ever “preach Jesus” to her.

I recognize that she is not my enemy and that her hatred for my Lord is rooted in a lot of hurt and pain caused by Satan himself, but I cannot quit being a Christian witness because of her scorn.

You and I need to be grounded in the Word so we can never be moved, and we need to trust God to help us emotionally when someone wants to poke fun at us for our faith.

While the world may see Christianity as something ridiculous, we MUST not let that false view weaken us!  We hold the Truth and it is important to read It, study It and abide by It everyday so we can be fortified by It’s promises and strengthened by It’s hope.

The devil is never going to stop his attack on the Lord, the Book, or the believer.  We must never stop our stand for the Lord, the Book or as believers.  Have courage, keep on keeping on and never back down from what God has told us is True in His Word!

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 127

“This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.”  Psalms 119:50

For the past several weeks I have blogged my way through the first 49 verses of Psalm 119.  I have been very simplistic in the hopes of challenging anyone who reads this blog to get into the Word.  That really has been the focus – READ YOUR BIBLE!

If we are not reading the Word as a child of God then I am pretty sure we are failing at our day to day lives.  There is no way to “walk spiritually minded” and not read God’s Word on a daily basis.  We must be confronting ourselves with His Truths in order to behave.  We are like sheep and can get off into trouble so quickly when we don’t follow the Shepherd.

Today, the verse we are looking at is a reminder from the psalmist about what the Word of God has done for him.  It has comforted him and restored him.  He is inspired by God to pen these words.  This is important because he is letting us know the power that is available to us through the Book we let gather dust during the week because we are too busy doing other things.

I believe we need to have some Scriptures that we can run to for certain times in our lives.  Kind of like our “Go To” passages that will have an impact on us and our situation.  Not that any part of the Bible is less powerful or meaningful, but there are passages that can really help quicken us when we are needing It in specific times

One of those passages for me is Romans 8.  I think this chapter covers a LOT of areas in our lives.

  • It deals with our choice to walk after God and not the flesh (vs 1-4)
  • It deals with the reality of what sin and sinful living is (5-10)
  • It deals with the power of God that dwells in us (vs 11)
  • It deals with our position in Christ (vs 12-17)
  • It deals with the hope we have in Christ (vs 18-25)
  • It deals with what the Spirit does for us as we pray (vs 26-27)
  • It deals with Who and How Powerful our God really is (vs 28-34)
  • It deals with how much God really does love us (vs 35-39)

When I need to immediately bring my life into focus, I run and read Romans 8.  And I find correction, comfort, compassion and care.  I end up with the same state of mind as the psalmist in today’s verse, I am thankful for His Word and It’s supernatural ability to help me be more than passive about my life.  It quickens me and makes me alive.

Don’t neglect the Word.  Read it and follow it.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri