Thursday, May 29, 2008

Psalm 119 Day

Did you know that if you read 5 Psalms a day, you read through the book of Psalms each month? The technique I use, which I've discovered is quite popular, is to start with the Psalm which corresponds with the day of the month. Then, add 30 and read that one. Add 30 again, read that one... and so on. (This also sharpens your math skills - bonus!) Couple that with reading a Proverb a day (since there are 31 of those) and there's a built-in daily devotional, easy to remember!

According to that reading plan, today is Psalm 119 day. The l-o-n-g-e-s-t Psalm. 176 verses! Not only that, but it's 176 verses of the Psalmist extoling God's commands, promising to keep His statutes, reminding God how he has kept His law, thanking God for His precepts, and telling how he has committed them to his heart and memory. Depending on where I am in my "walk" at any given time and how closely I myself have been "delighting in" God's precepts, Psalm 119 is either a joy for me to read( as I nod my head in agreement) or hard for me to read as I think "Boy, I wish I could say that..."
Do I truly "delight in" his statutes? (v. 16) Do I meditate on His precepts and regard His ways? (v. 15) Do I "not forget" His word? Have I "promised to keep" his words? (v. 57) And on and on. Each verse either confirms or convicts what is going on in my heart. As a result, I have found Psalm 119 to be an effective monthly "check up."

I would encourage you to take some time to read through Psalm 119 today. Even better would be to pray through Psalm 119:

If His laws and precepts are not "your delight," ask Him to fulfill His promise to "enlarge your heart." (v. 32)

If you've been struggling to keep His Word (or even to read it lately) pray verse 17-18:

"Deal bountifully with Your servant,
That I may live and keep Your word.
Open my eyes, that I may behold
Wonderful things from Your law."

If it's hard for you to joyfully read His commands, because of your own disobedience, or because you are grieving over a certain situation, pray verse 28-29:

"My soul weeps because of grief;
Strengthen me according to Your word.
Remove the false way from me,
And graciously grant me Your law."

If it's hard to even focus on God's precepts lately because of earthly, temporal cares, pray verse 37:
"Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity,
And revive me in Your ways."

If you are currently in a time of trial or "affliction," thank Him for using it to bring you close to Him. Let this affliction cause you to turn to His perfect Word. You can pray verse 67-68:

"Before I was afflicted I went astray,
But now I keep Your word.
You are good and do good;
Teach me Your statutes."

I am reminded of the powerful words in 1 John 5:3~

"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments;
and His commandments are not burdensome."

His commands are NOT a burden. His commands, His precepts and guidelines lead to life and true freedom! For those of us in Christ, our "boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places" and we have a "delightful inheritance" because of it. (Psalm 16:6) Our loving God has given us His precepts for our good, and He gives us the grace to live according to them for His great glory.

Psalm 119 gives us 176 reminders that this is so.

Have a blessed day!


Linda said...

How timely this is for me Cyndi. I have felt so lost - as though I am going through one of those desert times. I know it is of my own making - because I have wandered off the path once again. Those verses speak so clearly to me. Thank you dear one for sharing your heart and His.

Chris @ Come to the Table said...

I have not heard of this before, love it. I may need to try this for the next month.

I love your new look!


Linda said...

P.S. :-) I'm going to try to get that meme done very soon. Why do I have such a hard time filling out a question type thingy? I always feel a bit like Pooh - "Think, think, think" (tapping my empty head!).

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Cyndi. What an encouraging post.

Susanne said...

Psalm 119 is really full of such riches. Convicting and encouraging all at the same time.

Wendi said...

You have a beautiful blog and a great encouraging way with words! So glad I stumbled upon your little place today. I will be back! :)