May 30, 2011

Psalm 119:5, 11 Oh, that my ways were steadfast
in obeying your decrees!
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.

In verse 5 the psalmist is desiring to be true to God’s laws, and in verse 11 he is expressing what he has done about it. He’s a smart disciple! However, simply memorizing Scripture isn’t exactly the same as storing it up in your heart. That requires thinking about it, turning it over in your mind and heart, examining its implications and creating links between the Word and who you are. That’s why Bible study is a life-long project. As long as we approach the Word with open, hungry hearts, God will continue to reveal more and more of it to us, and we will be strengthened, encouraged, corrected, and otherwise blessed. Some personalities are more into studying the Bible, while others are better at applying however much of it they know. We need both sides of that! As saints through the ages have discovered, regular daily devotions are one of the best tools for that. That’s not to say that we are to be slaves to a particular pattern, but it is to say that regularly taking the word in, considering it, and responding to it, is essential for the spiritual health of a disciple of Jesus Christ.

I certainly have a strong habit of daily devotions, but that’s not to say I meditate on the Word sufficiently through each day. I need to let the Holy Spirit bring it to mind more, savoring it for the rich feast that it is. As a pastor, I desire to cultivate that attitude in the believers so that they too may enjoy the riches of the Word. Some of them are already there, but many are not. I am not to come across as a task master standing over them with a whip, but I am to be persistent and loving in encouraging them to be all they can be as disciples of Christ. Yesterday’s message through Brother Piro was a good example of what they can expect, because he gave new insight to a familiar passage, turning it around from an obligation to a release. I know it was a confirmation for me. Whether it was confirmation or fresh insight, I’m sure it blessed many.

Father, I can’t force anyone to be a disciple. I’m all too aware of my own on-again, off-again commitment. Help me be fully consistent so that I may encourage the believers to do likewise. May we together drink in Your word, feast on it and let it dwell in us richly, (Colossians 3:16), so that we may be strong against every temptation and fully available and useful to You, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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