Daily Devotional: Psalms 119:81-88
Ps 119:81-88 Kaph
My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word. My eyes fail, looking for your promise; I say, "When will you comfort me?" Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget your decrees. How long must your servant wait? When will you punish my persecutors? The arrogant dig pitfalls for me, contrary to your law. All your commands are trustworthy; help me, for men persecute me without cause. They almost wiped me from the earth, but I have not forsaken your precepts. Preserve my life according to your love, and I will obey the statutes of your mouth.
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
Do we really long for the word of God, or do we just read it because we feel we must do so to fulfil our responsibilities? When we read it, are we just reading words that have no impact on our hearts, or are we reading to learn how to better serve the Lord and become like him? While not every passage has a practical application to our lives, each does have something that can help us better understand the ways of God and in turn, what he wants from us.
One of the problems with being a preacher for many years is the tendency to read the Word with an eye for how to make a lesson out of it. When we use these lessons for ourselves, this is ok but when it is how to preach a sermon or teach a lesson for others, it has lost its value for the one reading. This is why many of my lessons are what I need to hear and practice in my own personal life.
Ideally, we should read the Word of God every day and then meditate on how we can use it in our life. In order to impress this on our minds, we could actually make a list each evening of how we applied what we read that morning. In doing this, the Bible becomes a practical lamp and guide to our pathway.
Father, God, it is a blessing to be able to read your word and to better understand what you want me to become. Give me wisdom and understanding to know how to live like Jesus and strength to practice it in my life. You know that too often, I have a tendency to put off doing what I need to get done, so I ask you to energize me and take away all my excuses. Use me to help others live for you. Give your healing, your strength, and your peace to the those who are hurting and are struggling with grief or with problems in their lives. I pray in Jesus name.