Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:45 “I will walk about in freedom for I have sought Your precepts.”
I imagine that anyone with a fear of heights would give the Needles Overlook a wide berth. This view of Canyonlands National Park in Utah is a panoramic one going in all directions. The overlook affords a view of the Abago Mountains and the peaks of La Sal. But this open plateau edge drops suddenly away 1,600 feet above the valley floor! If it were not for that sturdy rail going around the perimeter, I would not feel free to walk very close to the edge and I would miss out on those amazing views.
Today’s verse puts two words together that normally one would not think to do; freedom and precepts. Prevalent thinking equates freedom with no rules or restrictions at all. But God’s laws are like the railing. Because of its presence I can freely walk about and enjoy incredible vistas. God’s laws provide safety and protection. They are there, not to restrict and be a burden, but rather to free us to walk in confidence. God’s laws even alleviate our anxiety. “Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” (Ps. 119:165)
The author of this psalm cannot say enough about how he loves God’s laws. He describes them as giving comfort (verse 52). God’s statues and precepts reassure me of the right direction my life is taking. I never have to wonder if another way is better or more exciting. I do not miss out on anything except for what will harm me. His law is an expression of His love for me. Following it gives me the best kind of life there is!
Lord, keep me walking about in the freedom that following Your law brings!
(Look familiar? Summer reposing while reposting)
Scripture for Today: Psalm 119: 97 “Oh how I love Your Law. I meditate on it all day long.”
This bunny reminds me of the one we used to have in Grenoble. Cupcake had a beautiful long-haired coat and would sit on our laps like a cat. But he was a bit of a free spirit too. We would allow him to roam the enclosed back yard. The problem was that every time we opened the door to the detached garage, he would make a run for it! In his little bunny brain he was sure that freedom lay just beyond that door! One day he made it and we never saw him again. I sometimes wonder if it was a car on that street or a hawk from the mountains above us that did him in!
Today’s verse expresses love for God’s Law. This is not the usual sentiment when thinking about law. One can understand feeling respect but love seems a bit extreme. However, God’s Law makes one wise, gives understanding and insight and keeps us from evil. God’s Law gives us boundaries for our protection. Unfortunately, we tend to constantly push at those boundaries, not understanding that they are there for our protection.
My independent spirit is SO strong! I do not enjoy anyone telling me what I can or cannot do. There’s a rebel lurking inside of me! I want my own way, even if that way leads to ruin and despair. My Creator must just shake His head at me when I am as foolish as Cupcake was. His Law is really another expression of His loving care for me. His arms are the Law that enclose me. When I obey Him our communion is sweet. Loving His Law is part of loving Him.
Lord, change my heart to love Your Law.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:96“To all perfection I see a limit but Your commands are boundless.”
I have always been intrigued by the name of this store. Would I want to be 21 forever? Who does not want to turn back the clock and “re-do” the past, perhaps appreciating what once we took for granted? But to be stuck at 21 without any chance at change or growth does not appeal. To be any age forever would be to stagnate. And of course this store is not forever, especially as they are considering filing for bankruptcy.
Of course, there are very few things in life that are forever. But today’s verse tells us that God’s Word is eternal, not having the boundaries of time. Everything else we can name has a limit and an end. What man can come up with may seem perfect and complete. But it will end. In contrast, God’s Word has no limits. It is broad, boundless and viable for every age. And it is without end. It will continue into eternity. Not one letter or stroke of the pen will disappear before heaven and earth do! (Matt. 5:18) God’s Word is forever, unlike anything we can touch on this earth.
Because His commands are boundless, they will always speak to my circumstances. I cannot say that God’s Word does not have the answer in whatever dilemma I face. His words are not bound by time OR by scope! His words give wisdom, comfort and guidance to every challenge in my life. No other book can do what God’s eternal word claims to do. But how easily I am distracted by other voices. Or I do not give His Word the time and study to find those answers.
Lord, keep me in Your boundless, relevant and eternal Word.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:130 “The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”
What could be more breathtaking than a boring brown field suddenly coming to life with a vibrant carpet of red? The spring rains in California change the landscape into a burst of color with the blooming of this state flower. Not only is it beautiful but it has many uses. Its leaves are used medicinally, its pollen cosmetically and its seeds are used in cooking. If you pick one, this simple fragile flower will lose its petals almost immediately. And without the sun, the flower folds into itself each night or on a cloudy day.
Today’s verse is part of that very long psalm extolling the wonders of God’s Word. His Word gives light and understanding, even to the simple. The light of His statutes and commands allows us to be who we are meant to be. Obeying Him and His way warms us and causes us to grow and be beautiful. Without the light of understanding, we close up and shrivel. When the clouds of darkness or disobedience block the warmth of His light, we suffer without even knowing why.
It takes faith and trust to obey Him. Our way seems better and easier. Certainly, life would be less complicated if a believer could just do as he pleases. At least that is how we reason. However, the more I compromise His standards, the darker my day becomes. The light of His loving words and counsel to me fall on deaf ears as I close in on myself. But when I choose obedience, despite the cost, then my spirit opens to a renewed closeness to His heart.
Lord, keep me in the light of Your Word!
Look familiar? This is a repost due to summer ministries.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:31-32 ” I hold fast to your statues, Lord, do not let me be put to shame. I run in the path of your commands for You have broadened my understanding.”
These runners chose a strange place to run. Their path took them right through the mud. The slipping and sliding have them covered with it. If the goal was to get as dirty as possible then they nailed it!
It only makes sense that for the serious runner, the ground chosen would be free from mud or any other kind of obstacle that would slow progress. That piece of lifted concrete, that hole or dip in the ground, or that unfortunate rock can trip us up and we fall flat on our face.
Today’s verse mentions running in the path of God’s commands. This path has none of those unfortunate obstacles. It is smooth and flat. The path of God’s commands may be challenging, but there is nothing that God places there to trip us up or cause us to fail. He is interested in our success. He wants us to reach great speeds and distances. Maybe we can even enjoy the endorphins of the “runner’s high!”
The more we run according to His way, the more He broadens our understanding of what He wants and why it is the best course. To be on that path with others is a tremendous encouragement but sometimes it feels as if we are running all alone. Regardless, I do not want to follow a more popular path and be put to shame. I want to remain resolute and determined to obey, regardless of the cost.
Lord, keep me from veering off Your path today.
Look familiar? This is a repost due to summer ministries.