Delighting in God's Word

Thy testimonies also are my delight... Psalms 119:24, KJV


What types of things delight you? When we are children, it can be something as simple as a cold popsicle on a hot day, or something as big as our birthday or Christmas! Do you remember the sheer joy of anticipation from these delights of childhood?


As we approach our teen years, our delights become much more individualized. From a good book to the one who has learned to love reading, to the thrill of sports and games for the ones who have developed a competitive nature, to the relationships of close friends, we learn to long for and savor our developing delights.


These things that we delight in  through childhood and adolescence will become deeply ingrained, and they will develop into the very things that we build our lives around as adults. This is why it is so important to gain a delight in the word of God as soon as possible. We do this for our children by reading them Bible stories and taking them to Bible class on Wednesday nights and to Sunday school to begin their week, These delights will become further expanded as we learn to read the word on our own - a gift of a Bible and maybe even a Bible journal for our older children can go a long way into developing these important habits that they will keep throughout their lives, if they will only learn to cherish the word of God at an early age.


But, whether or not we had a strong start as this, we can still learn to delight in the word of God right now, and the 119th Psalm is an excellent place to begin for it is written by someone who is deeply in love with God and with His word.


This week's Psalms will be the 22nd through 28th, in this 119th chapter. Are you still writing down each day's Psalm and carrying it with you? If so, you are doubtlessly experiencing the delight that can only come from a close relationship with the inspired word of God. If not, why not try it today? It is guaranteed to delight!


Make me to understand the way of Thy precepts; so shall I talk of Thy wondrous works. Psalms 119:27, KJV

We Will Not Forget

I will delight myself in Thy statutes; I will not forget Thy word. Psalms 119:16, KJV


The third week of the 119th Psalm challenge consists of verses 15-21, and is packed with encouragement and blessings. From verse 16, which avers that the writer will not forget God's word, to the 17th verse which entreats God for the bounty that flows from living by that word, to the plea in the 18th verse that asks for the eyes of the Bible student to be open, this week's verses go from one blessing and one set of encouragement to another.


Hopefully, the reasoning behind the strategy of writing down one verse each day is evident to you by now. There is just something about carrying each day's passage with you as a reminder of who we are and where we are going. I'm sure we all have forgotten that we are here on earth as God's servant, from time to time. When we do, it is clear that our lives do not run as smoothly as they ought, and the reason for that rough ride is also clear: In order to enjoy life to it's fullest extent, we have to live it by the instruction of the Maker.


So, how about you? Are you writing down each day's verse and carrying it with you? If not, has your life changed any? But, if so, isn't it true that your days are a bit easier to handle? Isn't it true that the things that used to upset you so quickly, do not result in such upset when kept in the proper perspective of God's word?


If you haven't yet, let me encourage you to take this challenge. Go ahead and start over if need be, there is no set time limit on getting through the 119th Psalm, but there is a great benefit in beginning and continuing, because you will be continually be reminding yourself of the great truths that God wants you to have that are contained only in His holy word. If we ever forget these great truths, it will be to our loss, so we must never, ever forget!


Deal bountifully with Thy servant, that I may live and keep Thy word. Psalm 119:17, KJV

Write it Down and Carry it With You

When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law... It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law... Deuteronomy 17:18-19, NIV


 The passage above is taken from the instructions that God had Moses give to Israel to guide them when selecting a king. Though God was their true King, He knew that the people would eventually demand a human king, and the LORD wanted to ensure that these future kings would be prepared to lead His great nation. And the only way that could happen would be for the kings to write God's laws down and carry it with them so that they could consult those laws every single day.


This is what the 119th Psalm challenge is in its essence. It is to take one verse from the 119th Psalm each day, beginning with the first verse and continuing to the last, and write it down and carry it with you. Then, consult that verse as you go through your day. Consider what it means, and how it will help you in the various situations that you will find yourself in on any given day.    


In other words, learn God's commands and apply them to your life! !f it was good enough to lead and guide those whom God would set on a throne to lead His people, we just might find a similar benefit in our daily lives. The first of this week's seven verses is as follows:


Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. Psalms 119:1, NIV


Do you think that this eternal truth would help you today? Why not write it down and carry it with you and find out. Then, continue to do this with each subsequent verse on each day until you are done. You will be glad you did! 


Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. Psalm 119:165, NIV

Great Riches

I rejoice in following Your statutes,

as one rejoices in great riches.

Psalms 119:13, NIV


If you have been taking this newest of challenges, then you could probably write today's article, because for the past seven days, you have written down a verse from the 119th Psalm each day for a week and have carried it with you. Having done that, you have likely been made more aware of the precious nature of God's Word than you have ever been before. You have likely had many occasions throughout each day to pause and think about the great gift that is God's Word, and you may be wondering why you never saw it before.


If that is the case, then congratulations, because you have begun your path to true wealth - not one measured in dollars and cents, but a wealth measured in wisdom from the Creator of the universe. If you have been doing this already, then it is unlikely that you need further encouragement to continue, for you already know how much just one verse placed on your heart each day can totally change your outlook on life.


But if you haven't yet started, then let me urge you to just try it for one day, and then another day, and then another for a whole week.. Beginning tomorrow, instead of rushing headlong into your day without so much as a thought toward the One Who gave you that day, why not pause for a few moments to thank Him for today, to ask for His help, and to read just one verse from the 119th Psalm, write it down, and carry it with you.


It will only take you a couple of minutes, but it will make you rich, if you will let it.


How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your word. Psalm 119,:8, NIV  

The Newest Challenge

Great peace have those who love Your law; nothing can make them stumble.

Psalm 119:165, ESV


The Japanese have a method of change that is both radical and effective: It is called kaizen. The idea behind this philosophy is to change slowly. That is in small enough increments that the change does not seem burdensome, but in regular enough intervals that it actually succeeds in effecting a change through the creation of a habit.


That is essentially the idea behind this new Bible challenge. It is an attempt to create a change in the life of the Bible student on a busy schedule. It is not to make light of the importance of daily Bible reading and study by seeing how little time you can spend with God's word and still not feel guilty for the little time you are expending. Rather, it is an attempt to show those who think they are too busy (and perhaps even a little too important) to take time out for God's council.


So, here is the challenge. For the next 176 days, read one verse from the 119th Psalm and write it down on something convenient such as a 3x5 index card or your daily journal. Total time expended will be approximately 60 seconds. Since there are 176 verses contained in the 119th Psalm, this means you will have a half of a year to consider the truths of this great, inspired chapter.


But, why pick the 119th Psalm? Is it because it is the longest chapter in the longest book in the Bible? No, it is because of what this chapter contains! It is written by a man who is utterly and completely in love with God and with His word. It is a chapter that is wholly devoted to proclaiming the vital nature of God's laws, and to the praise of God for revealing those truths to us.


Here is the important part: After you have written down the verse for the day, carry it with you and refer to it often. Read it, memorize it, consider it's truth and what that truth means to you. Pray about it and ask for God to help you apply each of these verse's truth to your life. By placing this verse in writing on something convenient (Like that index card), you will have something of substance to sustain you during even the most difficult and hectic of days.


And though it seems too simple, it will do this if you will let it: It will help you to fall more and more in love with God and His word. It will help you to see how vital that word is to your life. It will give you a base on which to build that will hopefully lead to a lifetime of serious Bible study and a subsequent rejuvenation of your commitment to God. It will place you firmly on the path to Heaven (If you will truly read all of God's word and then do what it says) for the Bible is God's roadmap to Heaven.


And... it will give you peace. And who does not need more peace in their life?


What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to Him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?

Deuteronomy 4:7-8, NIV