Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. (Psalm 86:11).
This past Sunday, a friend at church described her recent discovery of a teaching in Proverbs that contradicted both her own beliefs and what the world regularly teaches. There were three aspects of this brief conversation that really stood out to me:
- Her joy and amazement in learning something new from the Bible after studying it for years. She even happily remarked that Proverbs is one of her favorite books, but that she had missed this teaching for so many years.
- Her willingness to throw aside her old beliefs and happily grab on to God’s teaching.
- Her openness in sharing this event.
Now, this was not a major shift like moving from a false gospel to the true, live saving gospel. This was merely a little nugget she had discovered in a single verse of Proverbs. It would have been so easy for her to simply keep quiet, think this was not a major discovery worth sharing, or perhaps be too embarrassed to admit she had held some wrong ideas in the past.
But her willingness to share her joy in this new discovery was a great encouragement to me. To hear her passion about God’s word provided motivation for me to continue to study Scripture. There are so many similar nuggets just waiting for me to find! To see how easily she cast away falsehood to grab onto God’s truth was inspiring. And it was a neon sign reminding me why God’s saints should join together in worship, study and fellowship each Lord’s day.
I love lightning. Driving in to work last week, I was treated to an awesome lightning display on the eastern horizon. The contrast of the soft, early morning light with the dark clouds and the lightning made for a spectacular view which reminded me, naturally, of Psalm 19:1:
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork (Psalm 19:1).
My little children currently do not share my love for lightning. Every thunder-clap brings them frantically scurrying inside in fear. The same lightning which makes me joyful causes them great fear.
The heavens above declare the glory of God. Amen! But, the Bible also tells us that the heavens should be a reminder to us that God is a righteous judge:
The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge! (Psalm 50:6).
All of us will one day stand before that judge. Just as the same lightning causes two vastly different reactions between my children and me, there will be two reactions on the day of judgment. Those who are in Christ Jesus will rejoice in the great salvation provided by our glorious God. Those who are not will try to hide in fear and wish that the mountains could fall upon them and hide them from the face of God and his wrath (Revelation 6:16-17).
So, the next time you see lightning in the sky, I hope you think of the coming judgment of God. You do not know when or where it will strike in your life, but it is coming. Are you ready?
I love the week after Vacation Bible School as my little kids are always wandering around the house (and the neighborhood park and the grocery store) singing the new songs they just learned. One of the songs this year (from the VBS curriculum put out by the great folks at Answers in Genesis) had the following lines according to my kids:
The Word of God is the sharpest blade
Better than any many has ever made
I can overcome with the Word of God on the tip of my tongue
With the Word of God on the tip of my tongue
This lyric and their singing reminded me of Psalm 119.
My lips will pour forth praise, for you teach me your statutes.
My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right (Psalm 119:171-172).
I only wish my old brain could learn these new songs as fast as my 2 and 4-year old children, but, alas, those days are long past. Still, it is a pleasure to hear their lips pouring forth praises to Jesus and singing about God’s word!
Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast. By your appointment they stand this day, for all things are your servants (Psalm 119:89-91).
What an amazing comfort it is to know that God’s word is firmly and forever fixed. It is so much more comforting to rest on the sure and unchanging promises of God than to look for new and changing words. The false prophets come and go. Their words are unclear, contradictory, shifting sand. But God’s word is unmoved because it is based upon his unchanging character.
It is by his word that I can trust that his faithfulness will endure forever. Because all things were created and are sustained by his word, I can know that he has ordained all things and that all things serve his sovereign purpose. God and his word are the bedrock of my faith and my protection from the evil of this world.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. (Psalm 46:2-3).
Filed under God, Scripture
The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times (Psalm 12:6).
Oh how I have missed hearing those pure words on Sunday morning these last two weeks. It is not as if my life has been isolated from God’s Word. Yet, not hearing it read and preached from the pulpit in a Sunday worship service has left me feeling off-kilter. I have read his word, studied His Word, and heard it at Bible camp, in a wedding, and in podcasts, but none of these have satisfied my longing for his Word in the same way.
On a positive note, these two weeks have been a great reminder of a couple important truths. First, it reminds me that my longing for God’s Word is a gift from him. I spent much of my life having no desire to read the Bible or hear it preached. It was God alone who changed my heart, granted me faith, and is growing this desire because:
He who began a good work in [me] will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).
So, I can thank God for giving me that longing for his pure words. Secondly, it reminds me that Christ built his church for my benefit; that I might be fed by his pure, precious words and be strengthened in the faith. So, God willing, I will be able to worship again this coming Sunday and hear his pure words in that special way.
I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you (Psalm 5:7).
And only through the abundance of God’s steadfast love will I be able to enter his house. A love so great that he died on my behalf. Psalm 5 speaks about the evil, wickedness and deceit of men. Men like me. Psalm 5 also speaks about God’s hatred for the evil, the wicked, and the deceitful. All I can do is bow down before the holy God and pray, “God, in the abundance of your steadfast love, forgive my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness.”