September Devotion, Day 28

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 28
(You can begin this study on Day 1 HERE)
Blessed Is He Who Reads, Hears and Heeds

“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy,
and heed the things which are written in it;
for the time is near.” 

Revelation 1:3

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I love reading through the Book of Revelation.  It’s so fascinating to me just how Jesus’ disciple, John, was given this revelation.  We are told that John was on the Island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.  It also tells us that John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.

What would it be like to be alone and suddenly see Jesus?  What would you do if He began speaking to you in a loud voice from behind that sounds like a trumpet?

It reminds me of a day when I had been looking for a house for my husband and I…  Well, I think it would be more accurate to say, “looking for a house for me”.  Unlike, John on the Island of Patmos, I was in the flesh, not in the Spirit.

So I found this really cute house and just knew it was the one.  I called my husband at work and asked if he could swing by and look at it with a real estate agent after work. He calmly said, “No.”  I was not so calm.

Later that evening, I was marching around our apartment, quite upset.  Knowing that I really needed to pray, I decided to go out to the garage and get into the car – in the dark.  I wanted some alone time with God and I proceeded to demand that God meet me there in the dark!  As the words were rolling off my tongue, I could sense what I believed to be the presence of the Lord drawing near and I could not get out of that garage fast enough!  I quickly decided that I did not need that cute little house.

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As I read through the Book of Revelation, I am always watching and listening to how John responds to Jesus and what Jesus reveals to him.  What a truly humble man.  I have so much to learn, but I pray that God works this same humility in me.  I also pray that He will be patient with me as it can take a while before I get it.  Is this true of you too?  Do you pray that God will teach you humility?  Do you think it’s a dangerous thing to pray for?

Inspired to Cherish
Let’s read Revelation 1 and then write in our personal journals Revelation 22:17-21. Now spend time in prayer and wait on the Lord to bless you with His presence.

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We are almost to the end of September Devotion.  Only two more days!  I invite you to join me for the all new Gospel Read Thru In October.  It is my prayer that you will continue to come to SimplyLiving101.com daily, so we can read through the four Gospels during the month of October together.

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5September 6, September 7September 8, September 9, September 10,  September 11, September 12, September 13September 14, September 15, September 16, September 17, September 18September 19September 20, September 21, September 22, September 23, September 24September 25, September 26, and September 27

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

September Devotion, Day 27

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 27
There Is Something About That Name!

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other
name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” 

Acts 4:12

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How can anyone truly surrender their life to someone whom they don’t really know or understand?  In Ephesians 2:4-10, Paul answers this question,

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
even when we were dead in our transgressions,
made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
so that in the age to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
For by grace you have been saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
For we are His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

As you read through these verses, you see that it’s “with Christ Jesus” and “in Christ Jesus” that God has saved us by grace through faith, and He did this while we were dead in our sins.  God did it and we are told that we can’t even boast in this fact.

Some ask this question, “What is our part then?”  Paul answers in Romans 10:9-10,

“that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord,
and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved;
for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness,
and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”

Our part is simply to believe what God has done for us in Jesus Christ His Son and we will be saved.  Now, we can’t leave out Ephesians 1:13-14 that tells us something else that happens when God saves us by grace through faith and we believe in Jesus Christ,

“In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth,
the gospel of your salvation —
having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
who is given as a pledge of our inheritance;
with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession,
to the praise of His glory.”

Because of the name of Jesus Christ we can have confidence before God, a sincere and clean heart, a steadfast confession that does not waver, the ability to stimulate one another, and the desire to come together regularly to encourage one another – and we need this now more than ever.

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Are you here and have never given your life to Christ?  I want you to know that it is easier than you think because God has done it all for you through His Son Jesus Christ. You just need to believe that God is telling you the truth about His Son.  There is no other way for you to be saved accept by the name of Jesus Christ.

Inspired to Cherish
Let’s write in our personal journals Hebrews 10:19-25.  Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you have confidence to enter the holy place where God is?
  2. Is your heart sincere and cleansed from an evil conscience and your body washed with pure water?
  3. Are you holding fast the confession of hope without wavering?
  4. Do you take time to consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds?
  5. Is it a priority to you that you not forsake assembling together with fellow believers in order to encourage one another?

Now let’s spend time on this beautiful Sunday asking God our Father to help this to be true of us after all He has done for us in Jesus Christ our Lord.

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We are almost to the end of September Devotion.  Only three more days left and I will bring this devotion to a close and put it into book form as a PDF for you to access in the right side bar under “Bible Studies I Have Written For You”.  Don’t forget to check out Gospel Read Thru In October.  It is my prayer that you will continue to come daily, joining me in reading through the four Gospels during the month of October.

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5September 6, September 7September 8, September 9, September 10,  September 11, September 12, September 13September 14, September 15, September 16, September 17, September 18September 19September 20, September 21, September 22, September 23, September 24September 25, and September 26

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

September Devotion, Day 26

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 26
Words To Tell Our Children

“For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light;
And reproofs for discipline are the way of life…”

Proverbs 6:23

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What precious gifts our children are from God.  I marvel, as I am sure you do, that God would entrust them to us…  He must truly see something in us that we cannot see.

My husband and I have four children and as we have been told so often over the years by those much wiser than ourselves, “They grow up quickly!”  I would say now they grow up even quicker than that.  It is as if we blinked our eyes only one time, and twenty years flew by.

I can still remember the advice given us, from a manager that my husband reported to, when we were nearing the birth of our first child.  He said something like, “After a month or so, move your baby to his own room, in his own bed, and when he cries at night, don’t rush in and pick him up until his next feeding time.  Simply, cover him back up, make sure he is dry and comfortable, and then leave him to go back to sleep.  Let him cry a little if need be, but don’t pick him up until his next feeding time.”

I know this advice would horrify some, but for us, it was the best advice we could have received.  It worked with our first baby and I wish I could say we were diligent enough to use it for all four of our babies. Yet, I understand that while this may have been good advice for us, it may not have worked for others. 

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I’m so thankful that the Word of God is good for all of God’s children and it is a blessing for any of us who take the time to read it and do what it says.  It makes for a firm foundation for us and our children and our children’s children.

Inspired to Cherish
Let’s take time to read Proverbs 6.  Now let’s write Proverbs 6:20-23 in our personal journals.

If you have children or grandchildren in your life, or even nieces, nephews or neighborhood children, you may want to write them a special letter in your beautiful handwriting using these verses.  Maybe you can even type it up and frame it like this:

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This is only one of many different prayers you can take time to type up for a special person.  Search the Scriptures and find the perfect one for that precious gift God has placed in your life. 

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Thank you so much for stopping by to read September Devotion with me.  I can’t believe how this month has flown by.  I have plans to read through the four Gospels during the month of October and would love for you to join me.  You can get more details here:  Gospel Read Thru In October

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5September 6, September 7September 8, September 9, September 10,  September 11, September 12, September 13September 14, September 15, September 16, September 17, September 18September 19September 20, September 21, September 22, September 23, September 24, and September 25

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

September Devotion, Day 24

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 24
Do Not Withhold Good

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it.
Do not say to your neighbor,
“Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,”
when you have it with you.”

Proverbs 3:27-28

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I remember shortly after I gave my life to Jesus, I was grocery shopping not far from our new home in Tacoma.  It was kind of overwhelming for me to go out and about with a one and a half year old, because I was unfamiliar with my surroundings and I had never lived in a city so big.  I was shocked by the amount of homeless people I saw.

While I was shopping I noticed that bagels were on sale, so I put two in the cart, but at the last second decided to grab a third.  I continued with my shopping and then headed to the checkout and out to the car to load up.  Things were going smoothly and I was able to get out quickly which was good since I had my son with me.

As I began to pull out of the parking lot, I noticed a woman with a sign.  I don’t remember what it said specifically, but it made reference to the fact that she was hungry.  This was an area where Jesus had been really working on me.  My husband and I had been discussing it in our Sunday morning adult Bible study class and I found it interesting that so many Christians were opposed to helping those on the streets. They felt that they were being taken advantage of by people who could get jobs, but were simply too lazy to work.

I decided that this woman might be doing the same and I passed her by.  I didn’t feel bad about it at all…  until I stopped at the end of the block for the red light.  As I sat there, the Holy Spirit began speaking to me ever so softly to go back, to not deny her. In my heart I loudly answered back, “No!”, and that began a battle between my flesh and God’s Spirit that I will never forget.

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Have you ever made a decision to not help someone even though you had the means to help them?  How did you feel about it?  How do you decide to help some and maybe not others?  These are questions I think we all struggle with at one time or another.

Inspired to Cherish
Today let’s take time to write out Matthew 25:34-40.

As I struggled against the Holy Spirit that day, I drove around the block of the grocery store, not able to go home.  By the time I came back around to where the woman was standing, I was in tears.  I somewhat begrudgingly parked my car and went to the back to open the hatch where the groceries were.  There on top of one of the bags of groceries was that extra bag of bagels I had purchased – I knew it was for her.

As I approached her I waited while someone else was talking with her, however, he did not give her anything.  Then her gaze turned to me and I reluctantly handed her the bag.  I was humbled even further when she quickly took the bag from me, ripped it open and shoved a bagel into her mouth!  She was so hungry and so grateful!  She could not stop telling me, “God bless you!  I am starving!” and I could not stop crying in shame.  I still cry while typing this now, twenty years later.

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Thank you again for joining me for September Devotion.  I truly love spending this time with you each morning.  I have my own personal journal and am doing September Devotion right along with you.  I hope it is as much of a blessing to you as it is to me. 🙂

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5September 6, September 7September 8, September 9, September 10,  September 11, September 12, September 13September 14, September 15, September 16, September 17, September 18September 19, September 20, September 21, September 22, and September 23.

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

September Devotion, Day 23

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 23
Better Is A Day In Your Courts!

“For a day in Your courts is
better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”

Psalm 84:10

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Even today, when I read Psalm 84, it reminds me of one of my favorite worship songs by Kim Hill, “Better Is One Day”.  I heard it sung live by Kim, I believe in 1999, when I attended the “Renewing The Heart – For Such A Time As This” conference in Seattle.  A friend who had tickets invited several of us to go and it ended up being a time of worship I will never forget.

The words to this song left me feeling as if I had truly entered into the courts of God and it changed the way I worshiped Him.  “How lovely are Your dwelling places” had taken on a real meaning to me, and I felt that I could relate with the Psalmist for the first time.

In addition to an amazing time of worship, the guest speakers came with messages that kept me clinging to God.  I listened intently to Joni Eareckson Tada speak about the accident that changed her life at only 17 years old,  and I heard Kay Arthur speak for the first time on a lie that moms often believe, a topic I had never heard anyone speak on, but helped me to make a deeper commitment to my children.

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At that conference in Seattle with some special Christian friends I learned something new about worship and placing my hope fully in God;  That while we are still on this earth waiting for Jesus to return, we can come into the presence of God, come into His courts with praise.

Since learning this, my soul has had many times of longing and even yearning for the courts of the Lord;  “My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God” at the thought of dwelling there one day; “How blessed are those who dwell in God’s house!  They are ever praising You.”

Inspired to Cherish
Let’s take time to write Psalm 84 into our personal journals.  Remember to use your very best handwriting.  You may like to take time to listen to “Better Is One Day” by Kim Hill and praise God along with her.  It will be a nice start to your day.

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Thank you again for joining me for September Devotion.  I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below. 🙂

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5September 6, September 7September 8, September 9, September 10,  September 11, September 12, September 13September 14, September 15, September 16, September 17, September 18September 19, September 20, September 21, and September 22

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

September Devotion, Day 25

SeptemberDevotionTopSeptember 25
Faithful

“Well done, good and faithful servant.  You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”
Matthew 25:21

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I think as Christians all of us would love to hear these words at some point in our lives. But we would have to know clearly what it is we are called to do.  Jesus has made this clear by commanding us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves.

This would take submission to our Master with a true desire to do it His way, and not our own.  When we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, His Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us and Paul tells us to, “… walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

It would take dedication and commitment on our part, seeing it through to the very end no matter how long it might take.  Hebrews 3:6 tells us, “but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house — whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.”

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It would also take a life of godliness and 2 Peter 1:3 says that Jesus has taken care of this on our behalf, “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”

Inspired to Cherish
Let’s read Titus 2.  Now pick the portion of Titus 2 that applies to you and write it out in your personal journal.  Now let’s take time to pray that God will help us to be faithful servants in the portion that He has given us.

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I am so enjoying writing these devotionals for the month of September!  I pray that they are a blessing to you as well.  I would love to hear from you in the comment section below.  Thank you 🙂

You can find the other days to this devotional here:  September 1, September 2September 3, September 4September 5September 6, September 7September 8, September 9, September 10,  September 11, September 12, September 13September 14, September 15, September 16, September 17, September 18September 19September 20, September 21, September 22, September 23, and September 24

Happy SimplyLiving!
Constance

Meditation in the Wilderness

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This is where I have spent my time of meditation for the past couple of days:  In the wilderness with Jesus.

The thoughts began to roll in as I finished re-reading Chapter 9 from “Life on the Highest Plane”.  Was it as God or as God-man that Jesus triumphed over satan in the wilderness?

I was thinking of how Adam was tempted in the Garden of Eden. He was tempted to become like God.  Jesus was tempted to act as God; i.e., “… command that these stones become bread.”

But, where Adam failed, Jesus overcame the temptation of satan by:

  • wholly submitting to the leading of the Holy Spirit; and
  • totally obeying the Word of God.

It’s true that Jesus’ victory in the wilderness over the temptation of the devil was our victory as well.  He did it for us – you and me!

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Did this obedience that Jesus displayed in the wilderness come easy to Him?  He learned it through sufferings, trials and tribulations – it was not easy, it was learned painfully.

“For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things,
in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.”
Hebrews 2:10

and

“Although He was a Son,
He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.
And having been made perfect,
He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,”
Hebrews 5:8-9

While reading through Chapter 9, the author reminded me that this obedience took Jesus from the wilderness right on through to the Cross.  Obedience unto death according to the Father’s will.

Did this obedience reestablish unity between mankind and God?  Did it restore the image of God in man that had been marred by sin?  In both accounts, YES!

The author shows us that Jesus Christ has inaugurated a new order of people who are to be:  Heavenly, holy, pure and perfect — Just like He is. Kings and priests unto God.  By faith in Jesus Christ we shall be conformed to the image of God’s One and Only Son.  Hallelujah!

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I know there is so much more to the Redemptive Truth of Jesus Christ, abundantly more than my feeble mind and heart can begin to take in.

Sometimes as I am reading along in God’s Living and Active Word, I have to just stop and ponder what I see at that moment. It comes to me in small nugget sized bites.  That’s why I keep re-writing this post. 🙂

It’s nice to stop and look at a smaller portion of what God has done for us and just marvel and bask in it for a while.

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When we acknowledge our sinful state and surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, believing on Him as the Son of God who came to earth and was crucified, buried, and resurrected for us to be set free from the guilt and shame of our sins, we become partakers with Him in this glorious truth of Eternal Life.

I pray that if you have not considered Christ as your Lord and Savior that you will consider Him Today.

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FAST AND PRAYER REMINDER:  Please consider joining me on February 21, 2015, as I pray and fast with Caleb and Christina Suko. Together we can come before the throne of God on behalf of the Ukrainian people.  You can read more about their desperate situation at Suko Family Blog.

With Jesus’ Sweet Love your way,

Constance

Devine Meditation

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As I mentioned yesterday, I have been reading through the Bible chronologically and since January 1, I have read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, Job, and a lot of the Psalms (for those of you reading along with me).  It equates to approximately 10-14 chapters a day.

As a Precept leader, of course I have my purple and yellow pens out and am marking every reference to God.  I do this with a purple triangle colored in with yellow.  This slows me down so that I don’t just zip along without really paying attention to what I am reading.  If I were studying, I would mark more of the key words, but for this four-month reading I have decided to mark only the names of God and the pronouns.  Now as I look through my Bible, I can spot easily which chapters have a lot to say about God.

In addition to reading the Bible, I also started reading “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life” by Donald S. Whitney, and I wanted to share a little bit about why I highly recommend this book along with the reading of the Bible.

The author begins  with a quote from V. Raymond Edman in Chapter 1 speaking very clearly to a time when God’s people are “largely illiterate in the Scriptures.”  A time when “We need the rugged strength of Christian character that can come only from discipline.”  Immediately I was intrigued as I feel this time alluded to is our present.

The main theme of the book is 1 Timothy 4:7,

“But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women.

On the other hand,

discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.”

The focus being on “…discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.”  Along with this verse, Mr. Whitney has jam packed this 311 page book with Scripture, which always appeals to me.

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I am recommending this book not only for a great study of the spiritual disciplines, but more importantly for a clear look at how to apply them, and in so many different ways.  Again, this appeals to me because when it comes to meditation of the Scriptures, for instance, my artistic side tends to blossom.  But I don’t want to meditate in a way that just makes me feel good.  I want to meditate in a way that draws me into the presence of God and glorifies and magnifies Him in me, changing me from the inside out to be more like Jesus.  This book shows me what that looks like, how to do it in every day life.

There is so much I can say about this book, but really I think you ought to get it for yourself and see what I’m talking about.  I am in the process of meditating and memorizing Psalm 30, which has really been standing out and speaking to me.  I’m so thankful for all that my God has saved me from.  I want to be pleasing to Him and live the rest of my days only and always for Him.  I want to tell the world of all He has done for me, in a day when the world wants us to be quiet about God and about His Son Jesus Christ, and about the Holy Spirit who dwells within those who have believed in Jesus as Lord and Savior.  I want to praise Jehovah in song with every breath I have.

This sentence in “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life” sums it all up for me:  “Therefore if we would know God and be godly, we must know the Word of God—intimately.”  We do this by disciplining ourselves for Godliness.  Please join me!

Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance

 

 

“Urim & Thummim”

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threehearts2As you probably know by now, I have been reading through the Bible chronologically with BRT2015 and Keith Ferrin.  As I read Exodus 31, I had to stop and pray!  O how I long to be:

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“…filled with the Spirit of God in wisdom,

in understanding,

in knowledge,

and in all kinds of craftsmanship

to make artistic designs…”

Exodus 31: 3-4

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As I read through Exodus 27 and 28 I couldn’t help myself, I just had to paint what was in my head.  I call it “Urim & Thummim”.

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I know the colors are not specific to the verses.  Maybe I will paint another one with the colors mentioned.

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I love to read the Scriptures and search for the beautiful “treasure” verses that pop out and give me a vision in my mind.  Those ones that describe just what I’m feeling and describe just what God is pleased with.  As we surrender our lives to Christ Jesus, He gives us special work to do and He equips us with the means to do them.

I would love to hear what your special work is.  How has God gifted you to encourage and bless the Body of Christ?

Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance

Seek Him With All Your Heart!

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threehearts2Psalm 119 is my favorite of all the Psalms.  I try to take time to read it all the way through every night before I go to sleep and while I read it, I keep in mind all that Jesus has done on my behalf.  He is my righteousness!  The reason for my desire to read it nightly is because I have sensed in the Psalmist a hunger and thirst for God’s Word that I want to be a part of.  He has set for me an example that I want to duplicate.

I want to nurture a desire within me that will cause me to crazily seek God with all my heart.  Not just seek Him once in a while, or when it’s convenient for me, or when I have a small window of quiet time – I want to have a desire to seek Him constantly.

Listen to the Psalmist as he cries out from his whole heart, seeking God for everything he desires to have:

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“How blessed are those whose way is blameless
Who walk in the law of the LORD.
How blessed are those who observe His testimonies,
Who seek Him with all their heart.
They also do no unrighteousness; They walk in His ways.
You have ordained Your precepts,
That we should keep them diligently.

Psalm 119

Then I shall not be ashamed
When I look upon all Your commandments.
I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments.
I shall keep Your statues; Do not forsake me utterly!”

Psalm 119:1-8

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Do you have a Psalm that you love to read, one that moves you to seek God with all your heart? I would love for you to share it with me and tell why you love it so much. Thank you for stopping by. I look forward to reading a comment from you!

Blessings,

Constance