Day 198

“Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.”  Psalms 119:122

Back when I was a young college student around 30 years ago, I got myself into some hot water.  Oh, I know, that comes as a great big surprise! Ha!  Those of you who know me personally are probably laughing and saying, “Yep, sounds just like her!”  And you would be correct.

I was in danger of being expelled from Bible college for good.  I was really struggling as a Christian, but decided to just go to the Lord and ask Him for help.  I repented of my careless ways and truly left myself at the mercy of God.  I had not yet met my husband and felt alone in the world as I tried to figure out what to do next.

Little did I know, the late Dr. Jack Hyles, who was the founder of the college had called my parents.  My parents explained to him my situation and told him that I was trying to do what was right.  He listened, but we had no answer as to wether or not I would be allowed to return.

My “oppressors” rose up and wanted to make sure I failed at serving the Lord.  These oppressors were in people form and thought form.  It was kind of an awful time in my life.  I didn’t know how to explain it all in theological terms, but I knew that if God didn’t help me, NO ONE would.

The day of the vote to expel me came.  The President and Vice President voted to put me out on my bum.  And frankly, I deserved it, so I was in agreement.  But Dr. Hyles overruled them both and said he was allowing me to come back into college ON HIS NAME.

I’ll never forget going to his office and him telling me with a twinkle in his eyes that he was letting me back in.  He told me he didn’t care where I had been, but about where I was right then.  He knew I was just an immature punk of a college kid, but I believe the Holy Spirit persuaded him to stand up for me.  That next year I went on to turn my life around, meet my husband and eventually graduate.  The rest is history.

In our verse today the psalmist asks God to act on his behalf and protect him from his oppressors.  That is exactly what I prayed for God to do and He used Dr. Hyles to do it.  I am forever grateful because that one act of kindness on Bro. Hyles part has taught me more about grace and mercy than I ever thought possible.  It was the turning point in my spiritual life and I will never forget it.

Do you need God to make himself a surety for you?  Do you need Him to act on your behalf?  Just ask Him.  Plead with Him.  Dwell in His Word as you wait.

My God is so Big and so Mighty.  There is NOTHING my God cannot do.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

 

Day 191

“Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.”  Psalms 119:115

We like to think of God defending us and being our Protector, but when was the last time you stood up for Him and His Word?

When was the last time you defended Him?

A friend of mine and I were talking today by way of text and we both agreed on the fact that we LOVE the Bible.  We have experienced It’s changing power in our lives and we know it can transform the reader.  His commandments are not something to think of as chains or weights!  His commandements are the KEY to unlocking us from what holds us back!

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”  1 John 5:3

When we read the Bible and take time to do more than grab a Psalm here and there, we will find that when our “frienemies” come along and want us to do something contrary to what God has taught us, we will rise to the defense of RIGHT.  We will have confidence to say to those people, “No, that isn’t for me, I am not about to participate in it, and you can just move on along!”

Maybe if we had more women soaking their lives in the Word, we would have less affairs going on in our churches.  Maybe if we had more young women studying the Bible, we would have more ladies to lead our children in Sunday Schools and VBS around the country.

I don’t know about you, but I would like to have the pleasure of NEVER reading another spiritual obituary of another brother or sister in Christ, and I certainly don’t want one written about me!  Let’s have the courage to say no and stand for what is right!

We need to stand up to and stand against what is wrong and tell the evildoers that want us to join up with them, “NO! I am going to keep the commandments of MY GOD!”

Get to know God, make Him personal to you and dwell in His Thoughts today!

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 190

“Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.”  Psalms 119:114

I don’t know about you, but just reading today’s verse in Psalm 119 gives me a little comfort.  He is my hiding place and shield!  I can hope in Him.

There are those who would make us feel like we are weak or cowardly if we run from some hard trial, but I submit to you that God knew we would come under such great attack in our lives that we would NEED a hiding place and in his GREAT love for us, He supplied One.

God loves you and me so much that He becomes a place we can run to in secret and He will cover us and protect us.  I find I need that place more and more these days.  And I believe it doesn’t show weakness, but it shows faith.  When you believe in God and run to Him with your problems, that means you are realizing that YOU don’t have the answer and only He does.  You have chosen to let Him work things out, and NOT your power.

He is not only our hiding place, but He is our shield.  That means He lets us run to Him and then He sticks out that strong mighty arm of His and wards off the enemy and says, “Nope, don’t take another step toward my daughter.”  And He protects us there as we pray, cry and do whatever it is He directs us to through His Word.  That leads me to the final part of today’s verse:  We hope in His Word.

I get physically drained sometimes and usually that is when the devil comes tiptoeing up behind me and starts whispering some awful lies and accusations.  It is not always my first choice to pick up my Bible, although it should be, but sometimes instead of running to my Protector and having Him shield me, I listen to the enemies lies.  Then I become mentally drained which can lead to a spiritual wasteland.  That is no way to live!  Whenever I catch myself doing this, I make an effort to go immediately to the Lord and ask Him to help me.  And He always does.  Why?  He loves me.

In John 4:10, Jesus is talking to the Samaritan woman and He tells her that if she KNEW Who it was that she was addressing, she would ask for living water and He would give it to her.  Well, you and I DO KNOW who HE is!  As Christians we have that Living Water and if we have lost sight of how truly wonderful Christ is, then we need to hit a reset button in our hearts.

If you have lost your way in your spiritual life, don’t worry, you haven’t fallen into a black hole without a way out!  God’s arm is not short and He hasn’t lost any of His love for you.  He WANTS you to talk to Him today!  He wants to show you in His Word the way to follow Him in every single area of your life!  Isn’t that AWESOME?

He is WHO He says He is!  What greater hope is there?

Run to God, hide there while you need to and allow Him to shield you…..but don’t lose HOPE in His Word!  Read It and allow It to make the difference in your life today.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 186

“The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.”  Psalms 119:110

We always think we will know when the trap is set in front of us and we think we will have great foresight wherein we can choose the right way don’t we?  But the devil and our enemies are so skilled that sometimes we can be right up on them and not even know it.

Take me, for instance.  Mark and I are in between meetings right now and didn’t have a place to stay, so we have pitched our tent at a state park.  Thankfully Mark chose a site next to the path to the bath house so I don’t have to walk to far to the little girls room.  There was a weirdo across from us the first night walking around shirtless and singing to his two cats while skillfully strumming the guitar.  I was afraid to go to the bathroom alone, so I woke Mark up at 2 am and made him go with me.  The weirdo left the next day, so I have felt calmer about venturing out on my own.

But I forgot one little thing, spiders like to weave their webs during the night.

And early one morning, on the path to somewhere I really needed to go, BAM!  I was all tangled up in a spiderweb.  I know there had to have been some other early riser like me watching me do a jig down that path as I swatted and waved my arms trying to get rid of the web and check if there was a spider on me.  I’m sure it was quite the scene.

Now, to the left of the path is an old hollowed out log that I am certain would be a perfect place for a copperhead.  And to the right of the path are piles of leaves that I am sure have ticks and other pestilence in abundance.  I didn’t want to venture into to either to find out, so I stayed true and even though at some points my eyes were squeezed shut as I combated the web (and the heemy-geemies) I aimed my flip-flopped feet towards the bathroom.

The psalmist said the enemy has laid a snare for him (I am sure it wasn’t a spider web) but he stayed true to God’s Word.  He purposefully aimed himself towards what God had shown him and taught him and stayed true to It.

As Christians we don’t have to assume the enemy is waiting and laying traps for us, the Bible tells us he is:

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”  1 Peter 5:8

Had I been a little more alert that morning on the path, I may have just saved myself from walking smack dab into that giant web.

The devil is going to lay those traps and snares right in your way as you serve the Lord.  You and I have daily got to be in the Word so that we can be ready to combat at a moments notice and not stray from the right path!

One observation I made while studying this verse was that if we will always choose God’s way and do as God says, we won’t err because there is NO DANGER in obeying God.  Sure we live in a world of sin and there are trials to be had, but we can NEVER go wrong by obeying God.  I love the security in knowing that God is always the way, the truth and the life.  I love knowing that in Him there is no shadow of darkness and He will ALWAYS be my light in this old dark world.

In order for us to not err from God’s precepts, we have to study Them.  Read the Word!

Stay true to the path, be alert and dwell in the Lord!

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

 

 

Day 185

“My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.”  Psalms 119:109

At this very moment there is a man traveling on a river through the jungles of Northwestern Brazil.  This Brazilian man was saved many years ago and has followed after God with his whole heart as he has tried to reach his own countrymen with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

(I have omitted this man’s name for his own protection)

We met him when we first arrived on the field in the Amazon.  He was the one who took the time to teach my husband how to minister to the villages along the rivers of the Rio Negro.  I’m not sure there is a missionary that I admire or have more respect for than this man of God.  He has never tried to “put on”, show off or anything of that nature in all the years I have known him.  He and his wife are content to serve the Lord and not man.  They live humbly and would be considered very poor by American standards.

You may not know him, but I can guarantee you that you will be amazed one day in Heaven when you see the multitudes of people this pastor has brought to the Lord during his lifetime.

Last week he kissed his wife goodbye and headed out on a boat towards a river system that has been closed to us for many, many years.  I have heard stories of missionaries and Christians being poisioned by those who live in the villages along this river.  The government closed the entire region off to would be intruders on the indigenious lands and the borders are protected by many official checkpoints.  Matter of fact, the only way an outsider can enter these areas is by receiving an official invite by someone who lives there.  Even then, the government has to grant official permission as well.

Recently, as I have heard the story told, a man living in this closed region traveled to a village somewhere else and “happened” to hear the Gospel.  He accepted Christ as his Savior and wants someone to come and tell his people about the Lord.  He heard of our pastor friend and he extended an official invitation for him to come visit him.  And now, the pastor is on his way to take the powerful Gospel to this region.

This man’s life is in his hands as this verse says.  He knows the dangers that lie in his path.  The geography alone will be an obstacle because the rivers in that area are full of rapids and large boulders.  My husband has been in similar situations and he will attest, anything can go wrong.  There are also indigenous tribes of people in the jungles who have never been contacted.

Our friend does not know if he will be well received or even come to harm, but it is his genuine love for God and a hearts desire to see his countrymen saved that pushes him to go and give it a try.

Mark and I are in awe of how God has opened these doors for this man to take the Word of God.  We know it is not easy, but we too are desiring to see many come to know the Lord because of this man’s efforts.

The psalmist is reflecting in similar fashion on how many dangers there are in his life, but the one thing that drives him and leads him is God’s Law.  That is so beautiful to me.  Once again, this psalm has spurred my innermost being to continue to seek to do more for my Lord and His cause.

Pray for this man and his wife.  Pray for the many who are about to hear the Old old story told for the first time.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 149

“JOD. Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.”  Psalms 119:73

What a truly lovely verse we have to study today.  It is a verse that reminds us that we are uniquely made and important to God as individuals.

In the hustle and bustle of this life, it is so easy to become lost in the daily tasks and duties we must perform in order to keep our families functioning.

We run from one scheduled event to the next. We resolve problems, plan meals and kiss boo-boos.  From daylight until dusk, we live for others.

Don’t get me wrong, I find a great satisfaction in being Mark’s wife and my children’s mama.  It is a life I wanted and I love it.

But it is easy for me-Sheri-to get lost in the midst of everyone else’s lives.

This entire Psalm has been such a help to me in so many ways, but today’s verse really captivated my attention and gave me some thoughts that I didn’t even realize I needed.

I am reminded, as the psalmist so eloquently points out, I have been made and fashioned by God.  Me.  Silly, unpredictable, weird me. God chose my mold and fashioned the woman He needed for my spot in this world.  He created my life and is performing a work in me that only He knows how to do.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power:  for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 4:11

I matter to God in a way that I can’t even begin to comprehend.

And so do you.

Young, old, short, tall, small or large, you are fashioned by the Maker.  He wants you to know Him, spend time with Him and do something for Him.  You serve a purpose.

The devil may use people to make you feel that you are unimportant and of little consequence, but that is just false information and you can reject it with confidence.

“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”  John 1:3

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:  marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:14

God made you with His very own hands and He fashioned you JUST LIKE HE WANTED.

Ask Him to help you understand what it is He wants you to do and to be in His will.  Enjoy the knowledge that you are His very own special creation, a true one of a kind.

You matter.  Isn’t that encouraging?

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

 

Day 148

“The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.”  Psalms 119:72

We are all seeking after something in this life. The psalmist in today’s verse makes it very clear where his sights are set.  He would rather have God’s Word than any thing else.  It makes me think of this verse:

“One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.”  Psalms 27:4

What a hunger and a desire for God.  Even though he has obviously been treated badly in his life and suffered hardships due to his own lack of wisdom and carefulness, he still longs to hear from God and learn about God no matter what.

My dad has planted some banana trees in his back yard. Now, my dad can grow anything and everything, he just has that knack, but every time he has planted banana trees they never get the chance to produce fruit because of squirrels. Squirrels love eating the new leaves on banana trees for some reason. They aren’t afraid of Dad’s shotgun or traps, they just have one thing in mind and that is the taste of banana leaves in their little mouths.

I laughed this weekend watching the little varmints race all over the back of mom and dad’s property. They were everywhere and they wanted banana leaves at all cost.

Was there ever a time you felt that way about the things of God? You didn’t look for an excuse to lay out of Wednesday night or Saturday visitation, rather, you were the first one there with Bible and tracts in hand. Hell was real to you and the great Commission was something you took seriously.

What has happened to our longing for God? When did something else become more important?

The psalmist acknowledges the importance of God’s Word in his life in today’s verse. I think that would be a great way to start my day today – determining and declaring that God is the single most important thing in my life. Like those squirrels waking up and running for those banana leaves, I want to wake up and run to God in full on abandonment.

Join me?

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri