A Notch Higher

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ But he answered, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you,” and “On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.”’ Jesus said to him, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.”’ Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.” Matthew 4:1-11

Immediately after His baptism by His cousin John, having received the audible blessing of God His Father’s approval, Jesus is led by the Spirit into the furnace of the wilderness. He was tempted as we are, yet keeping His focus, thinking, and responses a notch higher than the natural and earthly, He remained without sin. (1 Corinthians 10:13; Hebrews 2:17-18; 1 Peter 2:21-24)

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Forty days hungry, wouldn’t fresh bread be welcome? Ah, there is spiritual bread that satisfies far more deeply. Humbled in His low position and isolation, wouldn’t He like to show off against and over natural forces like gravity? Ah, but testing God’s created power is testing God Himself, and that is forbidden in His word. How about taking all the world’s kingdoms and glory now (as if the devil could proffer them)? No, Jesus came humbly to serve and worship the King of kings; it was not yet time to be glorified. In all things and every way, Jesus lived a notch above where natural man does. His was an eternal, divine perspective with accompanying determination. (Philippians 2:5-11)

With the muddle of worldliness all around, temptations to take and relish and swagger, it can be a challenge, and takes deliberate effort, to poke our heads up above the chatter to breathe heavenly air, to take in the clear skies of true truth, to catch the vastness of eternal vistas. But God calls us to this higher thinking and living. (Colossians 3:1-2)

Living a notch higher compels us to lay up treasure in heaven, rather than on earth, to seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness instead of fretting anxiously over what we eat and drink and wear. Will we choose to do as Jesus did? (Matthew 6:19-20, 25-33)

Father, when I am tempted, cause me to cling to the higher notches in Your word and the steadfastness of my Savior. Thank You that He has won the ultimate victory over Satan so I can do the same today.

Changed Priorities

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he rose and followed him. And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ But when he heard it, he said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.” For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.’” Matthew 9:9-13

Matthew the tax collector loved a deal, and relished figuring how he could skim a bit more to pad his wallet, to enjoy just a bit more out of life. Yes, Matthew loved money,.. until he loved Jesus. Then everything changed. “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24)

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This fine-life-but-questionable-reputation man rose up out of who he was to follow Jesus. His new Master had a different identity, and therefore altered his. He was the only gospel writer who identified himself as Matthew ‘the tax collector,’ because he never stopped marveling at what Jesus had done for him; the others knew him as a changed, sold-out-to-Jesus apostle. Matthew re-set his table from one that ‘got’ at the booth to one that ‘gave’ at his home. His impulse to promote himself and swindle crowds became a drive to promote Jesus to save his companions, to introduce them to the new freedom he enjoyed with Christ-transformed affection. And while the snobbish and blinded Pharisees criticized, Matthew was humbled and aware of his sin, forever changed. (Mark 3:16-18; Luke 6:13-16)

When Christ’s voice penetrates us, His word has its way in reworking our outlook, our affections, our priorities. Our new Leader and Lord changes what we see and seek. He anoints with transforming power the areas of ugliness in us that need His beauty, of blindness that need His revelation, of dark attitudes that need His light, grace, and love.

How has the Lord’s call from darkness to light changed me? How is my identity in Christ distinct from the world’s perception of me? Where are certain pulls and loves toward self-satisfaction becoming new and growing passions for my Savior and for others? How has the Lord turned my focus inside out, raising me above where I once wallowed? Where do I still need remaking?

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
was blind, but now I see.”  ~John Newton (1779)

Those whom the Son sets free are free, and changed, indeed. What evidence do I exhibit that I am a follower of Jesus? (John 8:36)

Loving Lord, may I follow You up out of any selfish orientation to be bound by Your heavenly priorities. Please reorient any wayward affections. Transform any allure of glitz or glory to a whole-hearted passion to see You glorified, known, and loved.

 

Faith’s Risks

Joshua sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, ‘Go, view the land, especially Jericho.’ And they went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there.  And it was told to the king of Jericho, ‘Men of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land.’ Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, ‘Bring out the men who have come to you…’ But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them.

“Before the men lay down, she came up to them on the roof and said, ‘I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan… And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house,.. and deliver our lives from death.’ And the men said to her, ‘Our life for yours! If you do not tell this business of ours, then when the Lord gives us the land we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.’ Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was built into the city wall.” Joshua 2:1-4,8-15

Rahab knew men, a lot of them. She knew their cunning, their urges, their ugly dealings. She was experienced in danger. But she was also coming to know the God of men, and He was changing her life orientation. Risks she’d taken to provide for food would now become risks propelled by faith. She would no longer trust her wiles, but God’s ways. As the Israelite spies instructed, she tied a scarlet cord in her window as proof of her faith in His trustworthiness.

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What we know of God determines our willingness to step out with Him. The Scriptures teach much that can instruct and develop our faith– are we taking advantage of its knowledge, or do we fill our time listening to the drone of man, even ‘thought leaders,’ instead of His voice?

Have we faith enough to believe and fear the God of heaven more than the men of earth?  Is our faith informed enough to believe God’s sure promises are stronger than the threats of men? How willing are we to risk our lives for His good plans rather than worry for our lives in the heat of pressure that opposes them? What scarlet cords of belief or behavior identify me as my Lord’s? What risks of reputation or repudiation will I boldly take in order to offer salvation to others?

Lord, fix my help and hope in You alone. May I risk courageously for the faith You give, that it grow large, and You be glorified. (Psalm 124:1-5,8)

 

Honing Our Homing

 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” “In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations… No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” Hebrews 11:8-10; Romans 4:18,20-21

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” John 14:1-4

As I paddled across the ruffled green water this morning, up poked a sea turtle head like a periscope, surveying her wide home and very surprised to see an unwelcome visitor in her domain just a foot away. She was in her element, but I, an alien, had interrupted her early reverie, so she tucked her head and flippered beneath my board and away. Having seen recent tracks from a fresh nest on shore, I marveled at this fascinating creature.

Sea Turtle tracks in sand

God has planted in sea turtles amazing homing instincts. Their world for feeding, frolicking, and mating, is the vast sea, but they nest, every 2-4 years, in the sand where they were born. They return as if by divine GPS to deposit up to hundreds of eggs for incubation in the protected warmth. Once hatched, masses of dull silver bodies make their way across the beach by an invisible radar, stretching and pushing with tiny flippers. They instinctually propel themselves toward the water, as if drawn by a magnet, and tossle in its tumble until they right themselves and venture forward in the sea.

How do we behave by instinct? In our rough tumble of interactions and demands, what sets our direction?  When storms of anger, sadness, or disorder arise, where is our default place to nest and rest, and where do we find strength to swim? Returning regularly to Jesus, to enlighten and develop our Spirits, gives us the strength to bear much fruit and venture forward in the broad sea of life. (John 15:5)

Lord God, hone my homing instinct always toward You. Set my sojourning in Your direction. Tune my heart for eternity, hopeful for my heavenly home but energized by its joy in the present. And while here, may I continually plant seeds of love and truth to hatch in faith, in your perfect timing and design, to multiply Your grace and glory in the world. (Ecclesiastes 3:11; Jeremiah 24:7)

God Knows, We Knock

“When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.'” Matthew 6:6-13

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:7-11

If God knows what we need, why pray, or at least, why keep praying once we’ve expressed that need? Because there is more to praying than getting what we ask for. Jesus denounces meaningless repetition, but then corrects that habit with another habit– of praying privately, reverently, consistently, humbled before the exalted and holy Father, trusting Him with every care to answer and act according to His will and good provision.

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This kind of praying opens the door to reveal more and more of our Lord. This kind of asking draws us nearer to His heart. This kind of seeking increases our understanding of His character and ways. This kind of knocking refines, changes, and sanctifies us as God’s Spirit directs and aligns our desires with His. That is God’s intent in our continual going to Him in prayer. He receives worship when we bow, honor when we depend, and glory in all the marvelous ways He answers, and in the process of it all, we change to be better able to reflect Him. (Psalm 37:4; Romans 8:26-27; 2 Corinthians 3:18)

Are there areas of confusion in my life I cannot see clearly, and need divine focus? Are there places I hide from my God, afraid He will not understand or accept, and refuse His healing balm? In what situations am I begging for Him to work my way, and failing to see His hand working His way, invisibly and with perfect timing and accuracy?

What will it take for us to close the door, hide away in the secret place, hallow God’s name, and persist in the sweet communion of prayer until He has finished conversing with us? (Genesis 17:22; 18:22-33)

Good Father, keep me fervently praying for Your will to be done in me, and in Your world. May I not let go until You have had Your way with me. (Genesis 32:26)

Neither Dread Nor Dismay!

“‘The Lord your God himself will go over before you. He will destroy these nations before you, so that you shall dispossess them, and Joshua will go over at your head, as the Lord has spoken… And the Lord will give them over to you, and you shall do to them according to the whole commandment that I have commanded you. Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.’

“Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, ‘Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.’” Deuteronomy 31:3,5-8

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?.. Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus… is at the right hand of God,.. interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?.. I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31,33-35,38-39

Cruel, godless nations, entrenched in the land of promise, posed a formidable opposition to this new leader of Israel. Moses the great would soon die, and upon his installation as successor, Joshua received the best encouragement one could: God would do the work. He would lead, He would be with them, He would destroy. And as Joshua led his people to displace the enemy, he need not fear nor dread nor be dismayed, for God was on their side.

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This same God is with us, our Immanuel, Jesus, abiding with us, praying for us always, our Advocate and Defender. We face daily the looming ‘nations’ of temptation, cruel hardship of disease and heartache, strained and broken relationships, destitution. But in all these things, God is for us. In all these things, His love will never leave us. In all these things, He reigns and conquers and comes alongside to direct, protect, help, and comfort. (Matthew 1:23; John 14:16,26; 16:33)

What enemies loom today? What lures to ignore things that need reparation, to dismiss those who need love, to yield to the pull of the world’s glitz, to give in to pride, or fear, or sloth? Would we recognize God’s call to arms, and set forth saturated in His promises, undaunted on His mission? He is greater and stronger than any foe we face. (1 John 4:4)

Lord, keep me ever alert to Your voice, trusting Your might, willing to be and go and do and battle in Your name and power. To You belongs all my trust, and all praise for Your victories.

Strike My Heart!

“Your words were found, and I ate them,
    and your words became to me a joy
    and the delight of my heart,
for I am called by your name,
    O Lord, God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
    making wise the simple;
the precepts 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 rules of the Lord are true,
    and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
    even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
    and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:7-11

There are twenty-six letters in the English alphabet, and dictionaries full of innumerable words from those letters, yet the living and active Word of God is unlike any other compilation. The Bible is inspired by Almighty God, the One who was and is and ever shall be. The Word reveals Jesus, the Way and Truth, and is complete, all we need to know and live for Him. (John 1:1-2; 10:35; 14:6; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:8; 22:18-19)

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In a day when words fly fast and sting hard, what word is our compass? In the array of words read and voices heard, what is our filter? What effect do words have, and where are they driving my attention and affection?

“O Lord, Thou didst strike my heart with Thy word, and I loved Thee.” St. Augustine 

Exposing ourselves to God’s Word as a daily exercise makes a significant difference in what we believe about God and His world, how we worship, think, process and understand past and current events, and behave. Since it reveals our Lord to us, we cannot help but become familiar through His word with His teaching, His way of dealing with mankind; His character, His holiness, His justice, His forbearance, His beauties, His mercy. Are we taking advantage of its riches?

The Word of God enlightens and convicts, revealing the deception of the human heart. Am I regularly humbling myself before its light? It teaches, molds, inspires, and directs. Is it my first place to look for guidance? It gives voice to our longings and fears, soothes, comforts and encourages. Am I in the practice of reading, reciting, memorizing, singing, and sharing it? In what other words do I waste time foraging? Am I in the habit of tasting its delight and joy? (Psalm 119:105; Jeremiah 17:9; John 1:9-14,16)

Would we open our wills to seek, and our eyes to see, the Word’s worth and wisdom? Feed daily on it! Fear God through it! Depend well on it! Be humbled by it! Take strength from it! Fight temptation with it! Abide in and by it! Remain fixed under it! Stand firm upon it! Rule carefully with it! (Deuteronomy 17:18-20; Ephesians 6:17)

Good Father, strike my heart daily with Your word so I love You more and more. Keep me nestled in it, nourished by it, ever repeating it, that Your word have its full way with and through me.

That Which is not Bread

“Come, everyone who thirsts,
    come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
    and your labor for that which does not satisfy?

“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
    and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord...

For you shall go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace.” Isaiah 55:1-2,6-7,12

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
    my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
    as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
    beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
    my lips will praise you.

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
    and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips.” Psalm 63:1-3,5

There is so much available that does not satisfy. Everywhere we look, glossy treats of enticing images, expert-speak, you-must-haves, and hollow accolades entice with hollow promise, full only of empty calories. In daily life, we go from meal to meal, toy to toy, activity to activity, and in our busy-frenzy fail to hear the growl of true soul hunger.

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It is the devil’s scheme to drown out the gnaw, to distract us from what really matters in life, and keep our eyes and affections and passions caught up in the temporary and meaningless. The more we invest emotion (that drains), financial outlay (that depletes), and physical and mental energy (that diminish) in the insignificant, the more meager our lasting return. Our will wearies in the dry land, we lose our taste for what lasts, and we neglect pursuing what satisfies soul and spirit. Yet, it is this, Himself, to which the Lord beckons us freely come and partake. ‘Focus on it, pursue it, spend yourselves for it– because in Me will you find what you are looking for.’

Where do I go in my mind, my schedule, looking for lesser things? At the end of the day, or month, how much have I spent on what I can’t even recall, and have nothing to show for? What must I forsake to seek the Lord each morning, and His priorities for my resources, and the determination to see them through?

 

With whom will I discuss these decisions, seek advice, be held accountable, for doing all for the glory of God, and procuring what satisfies, not only my soul, but others’?

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:1-5

O Lord, discipline me to turn away what does not feed my Spirit. May my every pang be for You, and my satisfaction in You, to the praise of Your marvelous sufficiency.

 

 

Though the Mountains be Moved

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
    though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
    God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.

Come, behold the works of the LORD,
    how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the chariots with fire.
‘Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!’
The LORD of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalm 46:1-3,5-6,8-11

“‘With everlasting love I will have compassion on you,’ says the LORD, your Redeemer… ‘For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,’ says the LORD.” Isaiah 54:8,10

When all around us shifts, and life as we know it is altered forever, God is the same, and steady: He does not change, He cannot be moved. A job is eliminated, and our future is uncertain. A loved one dies, and we enter a new life alone. Riots rock and damage, diseases ravage and maim, storms destroy and uproot, accusations fly and ruin, yet God is in the midst of all as refuge, strength, and power. His very presence is help.

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God’s word gives life, causes death, imparts His Spirit, silences the sea, transforms with truth. He who brings desolations also heals and restores. He raises up and He brings low; brings to naught the wise and strong. God in the midst governs the world and all creation. He is actively working His sovereign plan for history in everything that transpires, all for His exaltation among the nations. (Genesis 2:7; Psalm 75:7; Isaiah 53:5; Daniel 2:21; Malachi 3:6; Mark 4:39; John 20:22; 1 Corinthians 1:27-29; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; 2 Timothy 3:16)

When our hearts are frenzied, be still. When our minds are scattered, not knowing how or what to think, be still. When truth and reason seem blurred, settle still in His word. When our dander gets riled, our emotions rage, our defenses rise, our words want to fly, be still. Allow the fact that He is God to seep into every part of your being, and be still. Know He is God, and that He is and will be exalted.

What keeps us from trusting in this hope? Where have we replaced Him with changing or meaningless gods, and refused Him as Lord? When moving mountains rock us, would we be still, and steady ourselves in Him and His promises?

Lord on high, may I set You ever before me and be still, not shaken. Keep me steadfast and immovable. May every nation of my heart impulses and wandering thoughts exalt Your unshakable sameness and unchanging, infinite glory, even as You exalt Yourself in the earth. (Psalm 16:8; 1 Corinthians 15:58)

Your Statutes My Songs

Remember your word to your servant,
    in which you have made me hope.
This is my comfort in my affliction,
    that your promise gives me life…
When I think of your rules from of old,
    I take comfort, O Lord
Your statutes have been my songs
    in the house of my sojourning.
I remember your name in the night, O Lord,
    and keep your law.
This blessing has fallen to me,
    that I have kept your precepts.

You have dealt well with your servant,
    O Lord, according to your word.
Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
    for I believe in your commandments.
Before I was afflicted I went astray,
    but now I keep your word.
You are good and do good;
    teach me your statutes…
It is good for me that I was afflicted,
    that I might learn your statutes.
The law of your mouth is better to me
    than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” Psalm 119:49-50,52,54-56,65-68,71-72

Music is a powerful tool for the human heart. God’s gift of song, created at the beginning for the birds and morning stars to elicit joy, teaches us a magnificent dimension of His majestic design, the exquisite symmetry of notes harmonizing, of orchestras playing, all mysteriously plucking at our sense of hearing and at the deepest parts of our souls. The Lord who rejoices over us with singing He sets His word in our hearts so we can spread His song abroad into our worlds, its revelatory tunes lingering to affect outlooks and attitudes. (Genesis 1:20-21; Job 38:7; Zephaniah 3:17; Ephesians 5:19)

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In all of David’s sojournings, his shepherding in the fields, escaping in the wilderness, ruling from Hebron and Jerusalem, God’s statutes, His word, were his song, both his background music and the sweet savor of his speech and praise. (Psalm 23; 40:1-5)

God’s statutes supply the words for our living, descriptions of our great God whom we endeavor to know, truth for meditation to direct our thinking and conversing, lines of specific instruction, light to make our way forward clear. (Psalm 19:7; 32:8; 119:105)

God’s word sets a rhythm and tempo for our days, instilling priorities, setting guidance in motion one decision at a time, disciplining us unto holiness, training us how to behave, where to serve, whom to love, and when. (Isaiah 30:21; 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 12:10)

God’s word has for us specific notes to sing as we exercise particular and unique gifts. We sing different parts that harmonize within the body, to bring about His purposes and glory. (Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-13; Ephesians 2:10)

God’s word is our melody, a memorable tune that brings delight, order, and beauty to our hours; that satisfies our senses, and revives and fortifies our souls; that adds vibrancy and loveliness to our interactions with others. (Psalm 19:7-8,10; 119:103)

The Word made flesh is our Savior, our living Song who resides in us. How melodious are our routines, our interactions, our ways of loving, because of Him? Does our presence plant in others a glad song that inspires, and encourages, and glorifies God? (John 1:1-4; 14:16)

“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
sweetest name I know,
fills my every longing,
keeps me singing as I go.”  ~Luther B. Bridges (1910)

My Father, as You daily sow Your living word in me, may I sing a new song that exalts You on the throne of my heart, and of the world. (Psalm 96:1)