Love for God's word (9 September 2019)

Morning Encounter:

Introduction

Many of us are shamefully passionless about the Bible. We might hold it in high regard, enjoy reading certain parts, even have snippets quoted on tea towels or stitched into tapestries. But do we treasure it? Do we love it? Do we prioritise reading it even when other commitments press in on us and time is short?

This week we will be working through sections of Psalm 119, which is a celebration of the place Scripture has in our spiritual formation. The Psalmist refers often to the law, but also talks about  statute, promise, word, command and precept. What’s being referred to is the entire cannon of Scripture, not just the rules.

Let’s pray that the writer’s delight, reverence and trust in the word of God will infect us and cause us to read, study and live Scripture with a renewed sense of the precious gift it is.

Read:

Our Lord, you bless everyone
    who lives right
    and obeys your Law.
 You bless all of those
who follow your commands
    from deep in their hearts
     and who never do wrong
    or turn from you.
 You have ordered us always
    to obey your teachings;
     I don’t ever want to stray
    from your laws.
 Thinking about your commands
    will keep me from doing
    some foolish thing.
 I will do right and praise you
    by learning to respect
    your perfect laws.
 I will obey all of them!
    Don’t turn your back on me.

Psalm 119: 1-8

Reflect:

As children of the New Covenant, we can sometimes be a little wary of talk of law. We are under grace after all. When the Psalmist talks about the Law here though, he sees it as nothing but the doorway to blessing. It shows him how to live in a way that pleases God and as the best way to live, leads to fullness of life.  We have the law written on our hearts (Romans 2:15), but we also have access to the Old Testament, the only Bible available when the Psalm was composed. God has shown us how to live in a way that brings him honour. Let’s learn to respect and obey his perfect laws (Psalm 119:7).

Respond:

Heavenly Father, you are the creator of all things. You are holy and powerful and loving. Forgive me for resisting your rule in my life. Give me a right attitude towards your Law, and help me live in a way that pleases you. Amen.

Midday Meditation:

“Kingdom obedience is kingdom abundance. They are not two separate things. The inner condition of the soul from which strength and love and peace flow is the very same condition that generously blesses the oppressor and lovingly offers the other cheek.”

(Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy)

Evening Reflection:

Do you follow God’s commands from deep in your heart (Psalm119:2)? If not, think about where your resistance comes from. Ask God to show you the goodness of his word, and to help you see where you might have misunderstood or missed his purposes in the Law.

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