“My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen Thou me according unto Thy word.” Psalm 119:28 KJV. Many things in this world cause us to become heavy hearted. We can become weighed down by the burdens and cares of this life. But in God’s Word we find strength for the soul! David was not asking for the strength that this world can give. He knew that his soul needed something more. He knew that it was God’s Word that has the power to strengthen our souls so that we can hold up under the burdens of life and to stand against our spiritual enemy. May we realize today, how much we need God’s Word to strengthen us for the battles of life. In God’s Word we find strength to resist temptation and overcome evil. In the Word we find comfort and assurance for our weary souls. The Apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 3:16, ‘Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly…”. May we open our hearts to the richness of this precious Word. May we open our eyes to God’s Word each and every day so it will become hidden in our hearts and minds. There is life giving power in the Word, IF we are willing to receive it as our daily bread.
“Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.” Psalm 119:18 KJV. After asking God in the previous verse for spiritual life and the gracious ability to live that life in obedience to the Word, here David goes further and asks for greater understanding of the Word. He does something most today seem unwilling to do. He longs for more light, more understanding and more ability to comprehend the beauty of God’s Word. But too often today people do the opposite with the Word. They read and listen to it only in small amounts because they fear what it says will condemn their lifestyles. Many realize that the more they understand it the more responsible they become. But may we also know, that God’s Word has been given to us FOR OUR GOOD! This is what most religious people fail to believe. In the Word we learn of the wonders of Who God is and what He has done for us in Jesus Christ. We discover His great and precious promises. As our eyes are opened to the Word we see the wonders of God’s great love for us and the riches of His grace so freely given. In this day when most religious people are running after the perishing things of this world, may this be the desire of our hearts: To see more of the wonder of God’s precious Word to us. And as we see it, we can walk in it’s light.
“Deal bountifully with Thy servant, that I may live, and keep Thy word.” Psalm 119:17 KJV. After asking for God to deal graciously with him, David reveals why he is asking. He is asking so that he may live and obey God’s Word. But he is not talking merely about physical life. He is aware that man’s greatest need is for spiritual life. Several times in his writings he asks God to ‘quicken him’, which means to renew his spiritual life. He desires life on a higher plane. He longs for that grace, that only God can give, which will renew his life and enable him to live as God intends. And unlike so many today, David knows that true spiritual life includes walking in obedience to God’s Word. May we believe this and make it the desire of our hearts each day! May our prayer be: “Lord, grant us grace to live our lives for Your glory! Help us to live in obedience to Your Holy Word. Help us to understand that our life comes from You, must continue in You, and can only be sustained by You”. May we daily rely upon God’s amazing grace to live our lives as God has called us to.
“Deal bountifully with Thy servant, that I may live, and keep Thy word.” Psalm 119:17 KJV. David lived many years before what is called the ‘Grace dispensation’, and yet he still understood that his life depended on God’s favor. He was not praying here for what he deserved or had earned, but for God to deal graciously with him. The Hebrew word used here means favor that is not deserved. We are not servants who labor and have something coming to us that was earned. In fact, God’s Word reminds us that the wages our sins earned was death. So David was asking for God’s grace. Certainly all our prayers should echo this same sentiment. No one that understands anything about the corruption of human nature will ever ask God for what we are entitled to or deserve. But when we come before our Heavenly Father, we should always come as humble children seeking His mercy and grace. And thank God, that is how He deals with us day after day! Certainly we should praise Him that He deals with us so graciously (in undeserved favor, mercy, kindness, compassion and generosity). This is the only way we can truly begin to live as we were created to. Truly, we can say with the songwriter, “It is all because of God’s amazing grace”.
”Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Thy name…” Psalm 142:7 KJV. When we see the word ‘prison’ used in regards to spiritual life, we normally think of the sinner. But there can be times in the life of a child of God when we find ourselves in a prison. We read in John Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim Progress’ that when the character Christian had been beaten by a giant and thrust into Doubting Castle, at first he gave himself up to misery and despair. But one day he said, “What a fool am I to stay here in all this wretchedness, when I have in my breast a key to unlock the gates of Doubting Castle.” And taking out the key he found it fitted the lock, and he escaped. It was a key called Promise. This should remind us that when we seek in God’s Word and find His promises, they become to us the key to open the door of the prison into which our failures have thrust us. By God’s grace, let us always have this wonderful key within our reach. To do this, we must learn and hold on to God’s promises, which always apply to every situation we find ourselves in. Thank God, His promise has the power to open the prison doors.
(A guest Devo from a Cuban sister) ”And Moses’ father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.“ Exodus 18:17-18 KJV. One of Moses’ most distinctive qualities was his obedience to God. This obedience was emphasized throughout his life. Moses made the tabernacle “as Jehovah had shown him.” He was so focused on doing what God commanded him that, at times, he forgot about his own life. This was the reason why God allowed his father-in-law to notice this situation and advise him. This same is the condition of many servants of God today. They are so focused on doing what God has commanded them that they forget that they also have a life, a family to which they must dedicate time and a soul to care for. Sometimes what Jethro feared happens to them, they faint from exhaustion and as a result, the people also faint. An exhausted leader results in a people who faint. In the verses that follow we find Jethro’s wise advice to delegate to others and share the weight of the work that God places in our hands. By the grace of God, let us learn from Jethro’s advice and support our pastors and leaders so that fatigue does not invade them and that God’s work progresses as God wants, with excellence and with great joy in our hearts.
”…and His name shall be called…The Mighty God…“ Isaiah 9:6 KJV. Often during the Christmas season we reflect on Jesus coming as a helpless Babe. And how amazing it is that He willingly condescended to such amazing depths! The Creator was born of a woman and became dependent on her. The King of glory stepped down to walk as a baby boy in this world. But let us always keep before our minds the full Biblical description of Who Jesus is. He is the Mighty God. The same One Who was laid in a manger in Bethlehem, is the One Who spoke to nothing and this universe was created. He is infinite in power and glory. And this is important to us, because we needed a Mighty God to be our Saviour and Lord. We needed Someone greater and more mighty than all the forces that can ever come against us. And it is only the Mighty God Who is able to destroy the works of the devil which are against us. So in those times when we are in need and crying out to Jesus, let us remember, the One Who hears and answers my prayer is the Mighty God. My prayer is that God will richly bless each of you as you celebrate this Christmas.
”For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful…” Isaiah 9:6 KJV. During this season we see many displays that remind us of the fact that Jesus came. And we talk of His much of His goodwill to us. And certainly His goodness is far more than we can describe. But how often do we pause to consider that Jesus is more than good? He is WONDERFUL! How carelessly we use this word to describe lesser things. But Jesus truly is wonderful. Everything about Him is wonderful. Everything He did and every word that He spoke was wonderful. He is wonderful in power. He is wonderful in love. How wonderful He was in providing for us this great salvation! Many years ago this song was written which reminds of how wonderful He is: “Isn’t He wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! Isn’t Jesus, my Lord, wonderful! Eyes have seen, ears have heard, It’s recorded in God’s Word, Isn’t Jesus My Lord Wonderful?” But how many walk close enough to Jesus to experience how wonderful He is? How often do we come to church overflowing with praise to our wonderful Lord? Let us worship Him with the words of the songwriter: “Thou art fairer to me than the fairest of earth,
Thou omnipotent, life-giving Word. O Thou Ancient of Days, Thou art worthy of all praise,
My wonderful, wonderful Lord.”
”For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder…” Isaiah 9:6 KJV. We all are very blessed to be able to enjoy another Christmas season and celebrate the miraculous birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Almost 750 years before His birth, Isaiah made this prophecy of His coming. Of course, much emphasis is placed upon His birth and that God gave His only begotten Son. But let us also remember why He came. He came to be our Saviour and our Lord. That is what Isaiah meant when he said, “the government will be on His shoulders.” It means Jesus is our Lord and Master. It means all of our decisions are to be in His hands. This is one of the most fundamental truths of the Gospel, and yet today, it is rejected by most of those who claim to be Christian. But how can Jesus be our Saviour if we are still running our own lives and making selfish and sinful choices? How can He save us from sin’s dominion if we are still trying to govern our own lives? So in this season, when we celebrate His birth, let us ask ourselves, “Is the government of my life on His shoulders?” Only those who honor Him as Lord can truly experience His saving power. Only through His Lordship can we know the true joy of personal relationship with Him.
”And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.”Exodus 3:3 KJV. As Moses passed by this place, it would have been very normal for him to continue going as he had for many years. Day after day for the past 40 years he had been doing the same thing. As a shepherd his life had become routine and monotonous. How easy it would have been for him to never notice what God was doing that day. If he had been like most people today he would not have wanted his schedule to be interrupted. But thank God, that day he noticed something unusual. And he decided to pause, to turn aside to see what was going on. This simple willingness to be interrupted profoundly changed his life and the future of his people. Because he was willing to take time to notice and listen to God, his life took on new purpose. But let us think of the many times we are so busy and preoccupied that we don’t notice what God is doing. We become so intent on our plans that we refuse to be interrupted, even by God! By God’s grace, let us learn to be sensitive to the Divine Interruptions that God sends our way. In this busy season, let’s take time to notice the wonderful things God has done. And let us be watchful, lest me miss what He has for us.