A Hiding Place and Sheild

Tags

, ,

Today’s quote and prayer from
“Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer”
by David Kitz.

Psalm 119_114
Reading: Psalm 119:113-120

Father God,
I need your wisdom to live right in this world.
I want to escape the corruption
that is in the world by drawing close to you
and obeying your holy and unchanging word.
I call on you for help.
Amen.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild, and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. To purchase or for a closer look click here. 

An Anchor for the Double-Minded

Tags

, , ,

Reading: Psalm 119:113-120
ס Samekh
I hate double-minded people,
but I love your law.
 You are my refuge and my shield;
I have put my hope in your word.
Away from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commands of my God!
Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live;
do not let my hopes be dashed.
Uphold me, and I will be delivered;
I will always have regard for your decrees.
You reject all who stray from your decrees,
for their delusions come to nothing.
All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross;
therefore I love your statutes.
My flesh trembles in fear of you;
I stand in awe of your laws
(NIV).*

img_20220723_2058270

Photo by David Kitz

Reflection
Our reading today from Psalm 119 begins with a rather harsh statement: I hate double-minded people, but I love your law.

You never know where you stand with a double-minded person. His opinions and his views on various topics shift, depending on who he is with or what is currently in vogue. Everything is relative, so what is wrong today might be right tomorrow depending on the circumstances of course. This fluid, shifting perspective, accurately reflects the moral tenor of our times. There is no certainty. There are no absolutes.

Psalm 119 is a direct contradiction of this world view. The author rejoices in the word of God. He exalts the LORD’s commands. My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of your laws.

But where does that leave me? I live in a world that is trying to bend me—to distort me—so I fit into its mold. It takes real determination to resist. If I compromise my faith, I quickly become a double-minded person, unfit for the Lord’s service. I need the mind of Christ.

James has this advice for us: If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways (James 1:5-8).

Response: Father God, I need your wisdom to live right in this world. I want to escape the corruption that is in the world by drawing close to you and obeying your holy and unchanging word. I call on you for help. Amen.

Your Turn: Do you suffer from double-mindedness? Where is your anchor?

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. To purchase or for a closer look click here.

He Heard My Voice

Tags

, , ,

I will praise the LORD!

img_20220911_1206259

Wild purple asters — photo by David Kitz

Reading: Psalm 116:1-4
I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
The cords of death entangled me,
    the anguish of the grave came over me;
    I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the LORD:
    LORD, save me!”

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. To purchase or for a closer look click here.

Caused to Flourish

Tags

, , ,

I will praise the LORD!

img_20220910_1937305

The highest heavens belong to the LORDPhoto by David Kitz

Reading: Psalm 115:14-18
May the LORD cause you to flourish,
both you and your children.
May you be blessed by the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
The highest heavens belong to the LORD,
    but the earth he has given to mankind.
It is not the dead who praise the LORD,
    those who go down to the place of silence;
it is we who extol the LORD,
    both now and forevermore.
Praise the LORD.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. To purchase or for a closer look click here.

A Light on My Path

Tags

, , ,

Reading: Psalm 119:105-112
נ Nun
Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.
I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
    that I will follow your righteous laws.
I have suffered much;
    preserve my life, LORD, according to your word.
Accept, LORD, the willing praise of my mouth,
    and teach me your laws.
Though I constantly take my life in my hands,
    I will not forget your law.
The wicked have set a snare for me,
    but I have not strayed from your precepts.
Your statutes are my heritage forever;
    they are the joy of my heart.
My heart is set on keeping your decrees
    to the very end (NIV).*

img_20220824_0649582

A light on my path — photo by David Kitz

Reflection
Some stories that you read are memorable. They stick with you. You identify with the character or the event, and as a result, on a certain level their experience becomes your own.

Several years back, I read a story in Guideposts Magazine about a boy in Florida who went rambling through a field on his grandparents’ farm. On this adventurous excursion, he jumped across an irrigation ditch only to land on a deadly snake—a water moccasin—which instantly bit him. It was only through the miraculous intervention of God that this young fellow made it back to the farmhouse and survived. In this situation the old proverb, look before you leap, definitely applied.

We too are pilgrims traveling through a field—a dark and dangerous world. That’s why we need the light of God’s word. The psalmist says it best. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

We need a light—the light of God’s word—on our path because there are venomous snakes in the grass. Actually, the psalmist uses a different analogy; he speaks of snares. But the net result is the same. On this path we are walking, our very life is in grave danger. We must see clearly to avoid disaster. The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts.

We need to know the precepts—the principles of God’s word—if we are going to walk in His ways. This goes beyond a fixed set of rules. It involves an understanding of the reason for God’s commands. For this we need the Spirit and the mind of Christ. We are not just walking to avoid pitfalls; we are walking toward a goal. That goal is Christ Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2, NKJV).

Response: LORD God, shine the light of your word on the path of life you have ordained for me to walk. I am not on this path by accident, but through your will and purpose. Guide me home. Amen.

Your Turn: Have you encountered snares or snakes in the grass? How do you know you are on the right path?

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. To purchase or for a closer look click here.

Renew My First Love

Tags

, , ,

Today’s quote and prayer from
“Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer”
by David Kitz.

Psalm 119_103
Reading: Psalm 119:97-104

Father God,
renew my first love for you.
I want to fall in love with you again.
Fill me with delight for your word
and your Spirit.
Completely change my affections.
Amen.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild, and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. To purchase or for a closer look click here. 

Sweeter Than Honey

Tags

, , ,

Reading: Psalm 119:97-104
מ Mem
Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.
Your commands are always with me
and make me wiser than my enemies.
I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your statutes.
 I have more understanding than the elders,
for I obey your precepts.
I have kept my feet from every evil path
so that I might obey your word.
I have not departed from your laws,
for you yourself have taught me.
How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
I gain understanding from your precepts;
therefore I hate every wrong path
(NIV).*

honey on plate and spoon

Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV on Pexels.com

Reflection
Here’s a question for you: How do you take a bone away from a hungry dog?

Answer: You offer him a steak.

In many respects humans respond just like dogs. We won’t give up our filthy habits unless we are offered something much better. Many years back I remember a conversation with a drug addict—a former drug addict. I asked him if he found it difficult to give up his drug habit.

“No it was easy. Once I experienced the love of God—the real love of Jesus for me on the cross—it was easy. I found something so much better,” he said with a huge grin on his face.

These words from today’s reading reflect the same concept: I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

It’s not hard to walk the straight and narrow when you are walking that path with the Lord—when He Himself is teaching you—when your heart is burning within you as the resurrected Jesus opens the eyes of your understanding. See Luke 24:13-32. There is a closeness in the Spirit that has no equal. Those are the moments that change you forever because you are fully with God. His word is rich. It’s nourishment to your famished soul. His love is the air you breathe.

Who here wants a dirty chewed up bone when there’s steak on offer?

Response: Father God, renew my first love for you. I want to fall in love with you again. Fill me with delight for your word and your Spirit. Completely change my affections. Amen.

Your Turn: Are you too content with your bone? Have you experienced the nearness of Jesus?

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. To purchase or for a closer look click here.

A Three-Time Winner

Tags

, , , , ,

This past Saturday I got some unexpected news. Volume II of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the 2022 Word Award for the best book in the devotional category.
2022-09-18The win was unexpected because last year Volume I of the Psalms 365 series won the same award. Volume I also won a second more prestigious award—2021 Best Book of the Year. I did not expect lightening to strike for a third time in the same place, especially since there were several other excellent authors shortlisted for the prize this year.

Psalms Vol 2 Front PrintNeedless to say, I am very grateful to The Word Guild and the judges for their decision. To God be the glory. Great things He has done!

I am particularly grateful for the readers who have reached out to me to express their thanks for this daily devotional series. Positive feedback is what fuels me and other authors. A brief word of encouragement or a glowing book review has the power to affirm a writer’s gift and calling.

If you appreciate an author’s work, show it. Your feedback can provide the spark they need to continue in their craft and grow in their skills.

As for this Psalms 365 series, there is something very special about daily drawing close to God and letting His word enlighten your day.

Enlighten—I like that word. It describes what the Psalms can do for us. It was the psalmist who penned these eternal words: Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path (Psalm 119:105, NIV).

May the Good Shepherd enlighten the road ahead for you today and always.

To purchase or for a closer look at the full Psalms 365 series click here.

The Limits of Perfection

Tags

, , ,

Reading: Psalm 119:89-96
ל Lamedh
Your word, LORD, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.
Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you established the earth, and it endures.
Your laws endure to this day,
for all things serve you.
If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
 I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have preserved my life.
Save me, for I am yours;
I have sought out your precepts.
The wicked are waiting to destroy me,
but I will ponder your statutes.
To all perfection I see a limit,
but your commands are boundless
(NIV).*

assorted seashell on sand

Photo by Sidou Bouguarn on Pexels.com

Reflection
One of my hobbies is art. I enjoy drawing. In recent years I have rediscovered my childhood love for pencil crayons. When creating any piece of art, I find there is a delicate balance that needs to be reached. Anything I do can be improved. Early on in the process there is a lot of improving or refining needed, but eventually you reach a point where further tinkering becomes pointless. I aim for perfection, but perfection always seems illusive. At some point I need to say, “I’m done. This piece is finished.”

In today’s reading the psalmist reached that same conclusion. To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless.

We will never reach the limits of God’s holy word. There is always more to be discovered, to comprehend and apply. It is as the psalmist declares, “Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.”

St. Paul expresses the same thought. Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! (Romans 11:33). Eternity gives us insufficient time to explore the wisdom of God. But let’s begin the quest; let’s take up the challenge. All of Psalm 119 can be viewed as a grand challenge to discover the wisdom and beauty of God’s word, His commands and precepts.

Let’s continue the journey. This glorious art—the divine art of God’s word—is without beginning or end.

Response: Father God, I love your word. I want to dig deeper in it and know you better thereby. You are a totally awesome God, far beyond my comprehension, but not beyond my appreciation. Amen.

Your Turn: Have you taken up the challenge of studying God’s word?

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. To purchase or for a closer look click here.

I Am Yours

Tags

, , ,

Today’s quote and prayer from
“Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer”
by David Kitz.

Psalm 119_73
Reading: Psalm 119:73-80

LORD God,
I want to be like Jesus.
Thank you for touching my life
and forming me with your hands.
I am yours—
yours by creation—
yours by redemption.
I will meditate on your precepts.
Amen.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild, and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. To purchase or for a closer look click here.