David declared and asked

Today for my devotions I read part of Psalm 119. Bible scholars generally agree that this Psalm was written by David.

Some think it was a way of David teaching Solomon the alphabet. Not in the reading sense, but the spiritual alphabet with using the words before each section to show him how to be faithful to God.

The section I read is below…

Psalm 119:105-112 NLT – Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. [106] I’ve promised it once, and I’ll promise it again: I will obey your righteous regulations. [107] I have suffered much, O LORD; restore my life again as you promised. [108] LORD, accept my offering of praise, and teach me your regulations. [109] My life constantly hangs in the balance, but I will not stop obeying your instructions. [110] The wicked have set their traps for me, but I will not turn from your commandments. [111] Your laws are my treasure; they are my heart’s delight. [112] I am determined to keep your decrees to the very end.

In this passage David declared a number of things. He also asked God for help.

  1. Declared God’s Word is a lamp to guide his way
  2. Declared he would obey God’s righteous regulations
  3. Asked God to restore his life from his sufferings
  4. Asked God to accept his offering of praise
  5. Asked God to teach him His regulations
  6. Declared he would obey God’s instructions even in the face of death
  7. Declared he would not turn from God’s instructions
  8. Declared he was determined to keep God’s decrees to the end

As I read this passage I was really encouraged and inspired. I want to be a man of God’s Word. I want to follow His instructions and keep His decrees until the end. I also want God to restore me from my sufferings, accept my praise and teach me His ways.

For me this Psalm is not only a determined goal, but a prayer for my life going forward. I want the things David prayed for and declared.

Prayer

Dear God, help me to be a person who loves Your Word. Help me to be a person who studies and follows Your decrees until the end. I pray that You will restore me, accept my praise and teach me Your ways. I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.

A mighty Saviour who rejoices over us

For my devotions today I read Zephaniah chapter 3. Verse 17 jumped out at me. It says…

Zephaniah 3:17 NLT – For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

This was originally written to the people of Israel, but we see five great things about our God.

  1. The Lord is living among you
  2. He is mighty Saviour
  3. He takes delight in us with gladness
  4. He calms all of our fears with His love
  5. He rejoices over us with joyful songs

This would have been very encouraging to it’s original audience. And we can be encouraged by it today too because our God never changes!

L.O.V.E.

I really like this use of the letters of love to give us some pointers.

L – listen attentively
O – overlook offences
V – value one another
E – express your love.

Prayer

Dear God, help me to be truly loving today. Help me to listen to others, overlook offences, truly value others and be free in expressing my love today. Amen

Testing and temptations

James 1:12-15 NLT – God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. [13] And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. [14] Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. [15] These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

This passage talks about some key things we all face as Christians. We all face temptation and we all go through testing times. It has five key ideas for us today.

  1. God blesses us when we are patient and endure testing and temptation
  2. We will receive a crown of life afterwards
  3. God is not the one who tempts us
  4. Temptation comes when we are drawn away by our own desires
  5. This gives birth to sin and when it is allowed to grow it brings death

Key Lesson: Patiently endure testing and temptation. Stand strong, stay focussed on God and look forward to the crown of life.

Dear God, please help me to be patient when I am going through testing times and temptation. I want to be strong, faithful and devoted to You always. I pray I will not be drawn away by my own sinful desires. Help me to focus on You and the crown of life you promise. Amen

32 years ago today

I became a Christian 32 years ago today. I remember the day as I was reading a tract and prayed a prayer to accept Christ. I knew it was a significant day, so I wrote the day and the time down on the tract. 21st of July 1989 at 7.10pm.

I can’t tell you how much my life has changed since that day. There would be enough blog posts in all the world to write about it, to loosely borrow John 21:25!

One thing I can say is before Christ I have no hope, no purpose and no real direction for my life. That all change when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I have a new hope, purpose and direction.

Every year I celebrate this born again birthday. It is more significant to me than my natural birthday. I may have been on this earth for 54 years, but I know the day I really came alive was 32 years ago today!