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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

7 Characteristics of God's Word (Blogging Through the Bible)

Perfect Pure Clean Right

Psalm 19 is a long one and there is so much knowledge to glean from it. Today I want to focus on verses 7-11 which speak of seven characteristics of God's Word for this Blogging Through the Bible post. I love God's Word and this study of Psalm 19 really ministered to my spirit! I hope what I share from my study time brings as much joy to your heart as it did to mine.

Here is my S.O.A.P. from Tuesday for Psalm 19.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Psalm 19

Scripture: Psalm 19:7-11
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;

Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.

Observations:  In verses 7 through 9, David praises God for how He reveals Himself in His word using the following expressions to describe the word of God: Law of the Lord, Testimony of the Lord, Statutes of the Lord, Commandment of the Lord, Fear of the Lord and Judgments of the Lord.

Seven characteristics of God’s Word:
1.     Perfect - effectively converts the soul. The Hebrew word for “converting” can also be translated as “reviving” or “bringing new life to the soul”.
2.     Sure - being reliable and certain…making wise in godliness those who are of simple education because they study and trust God’s sure Word.
3.     Right - morally, practically, and universally…because they are words from our God Who is holy, true, and always right. Hearts in relationship with God rejoice because God’s Word shows us all that is right in living.
4.     Pure - because God is pure and holy. We can trust it to lead us in purity as it enlightens our eyes in this dark, sinful world.
5.     Clean - therefore will endure forever. It will never fade or diminish because of impurity. The Word is clean and it makes us clean. The fear of the Lord comes as we read and study God’s Word gaining a deeper understanding of the awe and majesty of God.
6.     True - There is nothing false in the Word of God.
7.     Righteous - There is nothing unrighteous about the Word of God.

Application: God’s word is to be desired more than anything else in this life because of the instruction it gives us as children of God. The reward for living in obedience to walking in the way God wants us to live is peace of mind here and now while we wait for our eternal reward in Heaven.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your word. I pray that I would desire it more than anything else in this life. Only as I spend time reading Your word can I discover more of Who You are and how You desire for me to live as Your child. This world and everything in it will one day pass away, but Your word remains forever. Help me to treat my time spent in the Word as the treasure it truly is. In the life-changing name of Jesus I pray. Amen!

***Here is the reading plan for the rest of this week. Remember after Friday, we are on break for Christmas until January 5, 2015. When we resume in January, we will be in the the book of Exodus.

Psalms Reading Plan

I'll see you back here on Friday for my final Blogging Through the Bible post of 2014! 

Walking in His Grace,

Monday, December 15, 2014

Who Is Your God? (Blogging Through the Bible)

Nine Attributes of God

Who is your God?

How have you experienced Him?

Maybe you've experienced him as David did in Psalm 18. That's what I want to focus on today. Let's take a look at the 9 attributes of God listed in verses 1 and 2 of Psalm 18 that David experienced God to be in the trials and troubles of his life.

I will love You, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my high tower. -Psalm 18:1-2

Nine Attributes of God

1.     his Strength (one that empowered David to survive against and defeat his enemies)
2.     his Rock (a place of shelter, safety, and a secure standing)
3.     his Fortress (a place of strength and safety from his enemies)
4.     his Deliverer (the One who made a way of escape for David)
5.     his God (“my strong God, not only the object of my adoration, but he who puts strength in my soul.” -Clarke)
6.     his Strength (Different Hebrew word than one used in verse 1. This word signifies fountain, origin, or source.)
7.     his Shield (the One who covers both his head and his heart)
8.     his Horn (a horn is the emblem of power; meaning a powerful and efficient salvation)
9.     his High Tower (a place of defense from which one can discern the surroundings and discover danger before it approaches)

Satan means for the trials of this life to destroy us, but God wants us to discover more of Who He is as He desires to walk us through each trial we face in this life. It’s been through the darkest trials of my life that I have experienced these attributes of God that David expresses in the first two verses of this Psalm. In the midst of each trial (and those that are to come in the future), I had to keep my focus on Who I knew God to be as I had discovered by reading His word. These things we know to be true of God…and our trials help us to know it by faith from a perspective of experience.

Prayer: Oh gracious Heavenly Father, thank You for the trials of this life that can serve to help us experience more of Who You are. Help us to keep our eyes focused on You and all that we know You to be from our time spent in Your word. Even in the darkest of trials, the Light of Your glory can shine in our darkness revealing more of Your attributes…drawing us closer to Your heart as we experience all that You are. May this be true of us as we walk through the valleys of this life. In the mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen!

***This is our final week for this session and then we will break for Christmas until January 5th, 2015. Here is the reading plan for this week:

Psalms Reading Plan

I'm so excited to share with you that when we resume on January 5th, we will be in the book of Exodus! Don't worry...we will get back to the Psalms later in 2015.

I'll see you back here on Wednesday for another Blogging Through the Bible post.

Walking in His Grace, 

Friday, December 12, 2014

What's Ahead for Blogging Through the Bible?

Reading Through the Bible

I just wanted to give a reminder with today's Blogging Through the Bible post about what's ahead for us as we continue our journey together of reading through the entire Bible with Courtney Joseph of Women Living Well, home of Good Morning Girls.

Monday is our final week in Psalms. Following Friday, December 19th, we will be on Christmas break until January 5, 2015 when we will resume reading through the Bible. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Here is our reading plan for next week:

Reading Through the Bible

I have been so thrilled to see your comments since we began our journey together back in August. I have been amazed that God would use me here at Grace-Filled-Moments to lead one of my lovely readers to the Lord because of Blogging Through the Bible! I cannot wait to see what God has in store for us in 2015!

I hope you will continue with me as we read through the Bible from cover to cover in 2015! It's a new year for new beginnings so if you want to commit to reading the Bible more often, then please make plans to join me!

I always welcome your comments, so please feel free to share what stands out to you as we read God's Word together.

Walking in His Grace, 

Would you be so kind as to leave me a comment to let me know you are going to continue with me in 2015 as we commit to read through the Bible?

Do you desire to read your Bible more often in 2015? I'd love to have you join me here so we can help keep each other accountable! Let me know if you want to join me by leaving a comment below.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Ugly Truth of Our Sin and Our Victory in Jesus! (Blogging Through the Bible)

Salvation from sin

In our Bible reading plan for this week, Psalm 14 and Psalm 15 really caught my attention because as you'll see in my study notes below, one Psalm deals with the characteristics of the ungodly and the other deals with the 10 characteristics of those who desire to abide in the presence of God

Those of us who have called on the name of the Lord can remember the depths of sin that He pulled us out of. Every salvation story is different, but two realities they all have in common is the realization of...

...the ugly truth of our sin and our victory in Jesus!

It's so fitting that we find ourselves in Psalm 14 and 15 several weeks before we celebrate the birth of Jesus. It's only because of His marvelous Light that broke forth into the darkness of our sin-tainted lives that we now can walk in the victory that Jesus gives to us. His entrance into this world in human flesh, living obediently to fulfill all the requirements of the Law, choosing to die on the cross in our place, and rising from the dead on the third day were all for our restore our broken relationship with God.

It is only as we face the truth of our fallen nature that we can see clearly our need of a Savior. It's only then that we can ask Jesus to forgive us, to cleanse us, and to live inside us so that we can walk confidently in the victory of a life surrendered to Him.

***Here are my S.O.A.P.s for Psalm 14 and Psalm 15***

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Psalm 14

Scripture: Psalm 14:1, 3-7
1The fool has said in his heart,
There is no God
They are corrupt,
They have done abominable works,
There is none who does good.

They have all turned aside,
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good,
No, not one.
Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge,
Who eat up my people as they eat bread,
And do not call on the Lord?
There they are in great fear,
For God is with the generation of the righteous.
You shame the counsel of the poor,
But the Lord is his refuge.
Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord brings back the captivity of His people,
Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.

The characteristics of the godless: 
1) Says there is no God
2) Twice in verse one and verse three it says they are corrupt (act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain)
3) Do abominable works
4) Twice in verse one and verse three it says they do not do good
5) Turned aside (avoid something)
6) Have no knowledge of God
7) Eat up God’s people (exploit them)
8) Do not call on the Lord
9) Shame those who trust in God as their refuge

We see in verses 5 and 6 our comforts as children of God, living among the godless. We have the presence of God in our lives, and we have His protection. In verse 7 we find our hope in the blessed return of Jesus putting an end to sin and silencing Satan!

Application: I’m so thankful for the presence and protection of God in this dark world! The hope we have of the second coming of Jesus is what we need to fix our eyes on as we walk in a world that is so full of wickedness. 

 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” (Romans 8:18)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, every day we see more and more the evil of this world. The godless no longer try to hide in the darkness of their sin. They mock Your people and flaunt their sin out in the open. I pray for the salvation of their souls…I pray for true repentance to be birthed in their hearts and minds. Your Word tells us that You are longsuffering, not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance. May it be so in the lives of those who are still entangled in a life of sin. May today be the day of salvation for those who have yet to call on the name of Jesus so that they will be ready when He returns. Thank You for that blessed hope we have. Thank You for Your presence and Your protection while we wait for Jesus. It’s in His hopeful name I pray. Amen!

Wednesday, December 12, 2014

Psalm 15

Scripture: Psalm 15:1-5
Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
He who walks uprightly,
    And works righteousness,
    And speaks the truth in his heart;
He who does not backbite with his tongue,
    Nor does evil to his neighbor,
    Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;
In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
    But he honors those who fear the Lord;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
He who does not put out his money at usury,
    Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.

Ten characteristics of those who desire to abide in the presence of God:
1.)   Walks uprightly
2.)   Works righteousness
3.)   Speaks truth in his heart
4.)   Doesn’t backbite with his tongue
5.)   Does no evil to his neighbor
6.)   Doesn’t take up a reproach against his friend
7.)   Despises the evil of the vile person
8.)   Honors those who fear the Lord
9.)   Swears to his own hurt and does not change (keeps his promises even when it’s no longer to his advantage to do so)
10.)     Doesn’t put his money out at usury (unethical loans intended to unfairly enrich the lender) or take a bribe against the innocent (instead uses his money in a way that honors God and shows care and love to others)

I will never be able to possess all of these characteristics in my own flesh. No matter how hard I try, I will always fall short. 

Sure, maybe there’s a couple of them I might not have difficulty with, but like the 10 Commandments…if I’ve broken one, I’m guilty of them all. 

Just like the 10 Commandments, this list of 10 characteristics of those who desire to dwell in the presence of God points me to my desperate need for Jesus. He fulfilled all the requirements of the Law when He walked this earth in human flesh. It is only because of His righteousness that I have been declared righteous before God and will one day be allowed to dwell eternally in His presence. 

The promise we are given as we seek to walk in obedience to the will of God in this world is that we will live eternally with Him. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:17)

Application: We must look up to God in prayer, receive direction for living found in His Word, and live the moments of this life as God calls us to through the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of us. We can walk as God is calling us to walk because we have the same power living in our hearts that raised Christ from the dead and can breathe new life into our dead flesh {Romans 8:11}.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the power of Your Holy Spirit living in me that empowers me to be who You created me anew to be and to do all that You have called me to do. I pray that as I look to Your Word as a lamp to my feet and a light to my path that I would be obedient to walk in the truths You show me. May I remember to look up to You always in prayer knowing that You are faithful to hear me, that You care, and that You desire that fellowship time with me. Thank You, Jesus, for fulfilling the requirements that I could not that were necessary to restore my broken relationship with our Father. I pray that I would continually walk in the example of Your obedience so that these characteristics would be evident in my life. In Your life-changing name I pray. Amen!

Here is our reading plan for the rest of the week:

Psalms Reading Plan

I'll see you back here again on Friday for another Blogging Through the Bible post!

Walking in His Grace,