NOTHING IS BEYOND HIM
When God calls us to do something He will give us the skills and ability to do whatever He calls us to do. It may seem to be impossible and unreal at the time of His call, but He will never allow us to embarrass Him. If He calls us He will equip us.
This is an important fact for Christians. There may be times when we “think” God has called us to do some “thing” because it is “attractive” or “appealing” or “glamorous” or “may give us power over people” or “no one else can do it.” But it’s not God calling us at all. It is our “ego” wanting attention and we “put it on” or “blame God” for whatever we may want to do and then try to “obligate Him” to make it work.
The Psalmist made an interesting observation when he said, “For I delight in Your commands because I love them.” When God calls us to serve Him, He puts a love in our heart that will not be diminished when the days seem longer than usual or the tasks are seemingly unbearable or the demands far beyond us. When God calls us to serve Him, He will give us whatever strength we need to do whatever He has called us to do.
Do you remember the story of a tall, well-built boy carrying a smaller child who was unable to walk on his back? A stranger asked, “Do you carry him to school each day?” “Yes, I do,” he replied. “Isn’t that a heavy burden for you to carry?” “Oh no, Sir. He’s not a burden, he’s my brother.” Like God’s commands: They are not a burden – they are a delight when we truly love them!
Prayer: Father, give us hearts that delight in serving You because we love the privilege we have to serve You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:47 for I delight in your commands because I love them.
MAKING HIS MESSAGE KNOWN
God chose many ways to make Himself known. We hear Him speaking through His prophet and writing His standards in stone. There was a bush that burst into flames and birds that brought food to starving people. There were clouds that led people in the day and pillars of fire that led them at night. Angels were sent to speak on His behalf and announce the birth of His Son. A sea was once parted and His “chosen” walked through it to safety. In many ways and on many different occasions He did what He had to do to get the attention of people to hear or see His message of love, salvation and hope.
But one method that no Christian can ignore is contained in the final words of Jesus: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.” If we remove the letter “p” we have the word “reach.” Then, if we remove the letter “r” we have the word “each.” So, Jesus is commanding us to “preach” His message that we may “reach” “each” person He brings into our lives.
The Psalmist took this responsibility seriously. So seriously, in fact, that he started at the “top” of the ladder: “I will speak of Your statues before kings and will not be put to shame!” Imagine him standing before a king and saying, “Excuse me, Sir, but I need to begin our conversation with a message from the Lord. It is rather brief and will only take a few minutes.”
The limitless love of God is not limited by one’s title or address. It reaches to kings and servants, family members and friends. Wherever we are, we are to preach.
Prayer: Lord, it is difficult to share Your Word. But if we take our responsibility seriously we have no choice. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:46 I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame,
Jim, the Chairman of the Deacons, had been ill for quite some time. His pastor had been very faithful in visiting him several times each week. Every time he visited him, he would read a passage of Scripture from his Bible and pray with him.
On this particular day he forgot his Bible and asked, “May I borrow your Bible, Jim?”
“Certainly. Son,” he shouted, “bring my favorite book. The Pastor wants to read something to me.”
Immediately his son appeared and handed the Pastor his “favorite book” – the TV Guide.
A Psalmist spoke of his favorite book with these words: “I can answer anyone who taunts me, for I trust in Your Word…never take Your word of truth from my mouth for I have put my hope in Your laws…I will obey Your laws for ever and ever.”
Notice the significance of what the Psalmist read: When he sought the “ultimate” truth he turned to the Word of God. No matter who challenged his beliefs he would answer them with God’s truth. In God’s Word we find the best way to live and the most comfortable way to die. It answers all of our questions, contains a solution for every one of our problems and a cure for all of our ills.
It also provides the reason for being optimistic. “I will walk, in freedom!” No bondage. No worries. No fears. No doubts. Nothing in this world can take away the gracious gifts God gives us if we accept His Word.
Prayer: How thankful we are, Father, for Your Word that contains a solution for every problem in our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:42 then I can answer anyone who taunts me, for I trust in your word.
ONE – YET EVERYONE
There is an ongoing argument in society that is contradictory, even confusing. There are those who say, “One size fits all. We are all the same.” In other words there are no differences in our needs. What affects me affects everyone else and what matters to me matters to everyone else.
The others say, “I’m different and cannot be compared to anyone else and no one can understand me or my needs but me. So, don’t try to force me into someone else’s box!”
Who’s right? Both. Each of us is different from everyone else, yet in the eyes of God we all have the same needs.
The Psalmist cried, “May Your unfailing love come to me, Lord, Your salvation according to Your promises.” There can be little doubt that when he looked at his life and his particular issues he wanted God to recognize him. Perhaps he saw his sins as being more hideous and harmful than everyone else’s and the problems he created for himself as more difficult to solve and more painful than anyone else’s. So, he singled himself out and wanted the Lord to be sure that His “unfailing love” would include even Him.
And of course it did. When Jesus said that “God so loved the world,” He was as much a part of that world as anyone else. We sometimes forget that the cross of Christ is the great “leveler” of mankind. No one is above His cross and certainly no one is beyond it.
Prayer: Thank You, Father, for a love that has no limits or favorites. Thank You for including each of us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:41 May your unfailing love come to me, Lord, your salvation, according to your promise;
“What’s this diamond worth?” he asked the salesperson.
“Well, it all depends,” came the reply.
“Depends on what?” he asked as though the sales person was playing a game with him.
“Many different things,” he responded. “Its size and weight, its cut and clarity to begin with. But in the end, its worth depends on what you would pay for it.”
Worth is a purely personal thing. And the more desire we have for some “thing” the more we are willing to give something up for it or sacrifice to get it.
This section of Psalm 119 is very interesting. Its author has a burning desire to have a close relationship with God. His desire for this relationship is very clear: “Teach me…give me…direct me…turn my heart…” are pleas he makes to God to enable him to “live” God’s “words” in his life. He speaks of God’s decrees, His laws, His commands and His statutes. And then he adds one very profound statement: “Turn my eyes away from worthless things, preserve my life according to Your word.” He realized the fact that his eyes were the gate into his mind and that the things he looked at were the things that could draw him away from God’s Word and turn his attention to things that are worthless and most often destructive.
Someone has wisely said that “What the eyes do not see, the heart does not crave. But what the eyes admire, the heart desires.”
Prayer: Help us, Heavenly Father, to keep our mind on Your words and our eyes focused on things above. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:36 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.
Come SOW with us: we can only do what we do because of your support. If you are blessed by these daily devotionals please prayerfully consider a donation to support Guido Ministries. Learn more here.
WHICH WAY ARE WE TO GO?
A shabbily dressed man begging for money was asked, “When you awaken in the morning how do you determine which way you are going to go?” Puzzled for a moment, he thought and then answered, “I always turn my back to the wind,” he replied. “Where I go does not make any difference.” In refusing to go against the wind he always took the path of least resistance.
Not so the courageous man of God who declared, “Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees that I may follow it to the end. Direct me in the path of Your commands for there I find delight.”
Some individuals are destroyed because they are ignorant and do not want the insight or advice of anyone – especially God. They do not know which way is the right way and rather than seeking answers to life’s questions, they follow any path before them even if it leads to destruction and death. All along life’s journey we need to constantly pray, “Teach me, Lord, Your way.”
There are some who begin to walk in “the Lord’s way” but when difficulties arise or if they are faced with challenges, they abandon the journey. They find that following “His way” may require too many sacrifices.
But those who are willing to follow His path and obey His commands will “find delight.” Now, it does not mean that there will not be difficult days or long painful nights waiting to hear God’s calming, comforting voice. It means that obeying His way is what brings us joy.
Prayer: May we be willing to obey Your laws, Lord, and realize that apart from You there is no satisfaction. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:33, 35 Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
Come SOW with us: we can only do what we do because of your support. If you are blessed by these daily devotionals please prayerfully consider a donation to support Guido Ministries.
RUNNING WITH GOD
It’s not often that we read of a treasurer reading the Word of God. But we do read of one from Ethiopia who was doing exactly that. He’d been on a trip and was on his way home sitting in his chariot. We are told that he was reading it out loud and having a difficult time understanding its message. God knew he was confused and said to Phillip, “Go and talk with him in his chariot.”
As soon as the Holy Spirit spoke to him, Phillip did not hesitate for one moment. He knew that God had something important for him to do so he ran as fast as he could to the chariot and began to talk to him about the Lord. As they rode along they came to a small body of water.
“Look,” exclaimed the treasurer, “here is some water. What is there that could possibly keep me from being baptized?” Phillip answered, “You can – if you believe with all your heart.” The official replied, “I do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God!” So, Phillip baptized him.
Imagine how this story might have ended if his heart was not sensitive to the Holy Spirit or if doing the Lord’s work was not important to him or if he had walked and not run to the man. That man may never have come to the Lord as his Savior. None of that matters. When God called – he answered. Immediately!
Perhaps he read Psalm 119:32 for his devotions that morning: “I run in the path of Your commands, for You have broadened my understanding.”
Prayer: Father, may I at all times – no matter the cost – be open to Your voice and obedient to Your call. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:32 I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding.
A SIMPLE WAY OUT?
It often seems that the simplest way out of an uncomfortable situation or the easiest solution to a big problem is a little “deception.” Deception, or lies, have become part of most peoples every day conversations.
For example, “I’m really sorry but my husband has suddenly developed a migraine headache and we’ll have to cancel our plans for dinner.”
Or “You know, I really appreciate the invitation to go to prayer meeting but I have to make a report to my boss first thing in the morning and I’ll be working on it most of the night it’s so important.”
Then there’s the “I’m sorry but the manager is away from his desk right now” when he’s hiding behind his door.
And we’ve all heard the familiar phrase, “Well, I gave him the message and I’m sure he tried to get back to you” when the message was immediately discarded.
Unfortunately, the first lie needs a crutch to stand on and then the second requires a brace and the third a wheelchair and the forth a gurney. A lie just can’t stand by itself. It is easy to tell a lie but one is rarely enough. One lie can’t stand by itself. It needs the help and support of other lies.
“Keep me from deceitful ways,” wrote the wise Psalmist. But that is not enough for Christians. So he continued, “Be gracious to me and teach me Your law.”
God’s law also emphasizes the fact that we must speak the truth even when it may cause us problems.
Prayer: Lord, give us courage to keep any lie from leaving our lips and to be bold when the truth hurts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:29 Remove from me the way of lying, And grant me Your law graciously.
FROM BEGINNING TO END
Sitting across the desk from me were two heart-broken parents. They had followed the suggestions and recommendations of other parents on the best methods to raise children in a Christ-honoring home. However, their son had recently entered a recovery program for addicts.
“How did this happen?” the father asked me. I had been asked this question many times and each time I attempted to answer the question it become more difficult. After a moment’s pause I tried, to the best of my ability, to explain that in the process of addiction the early experiences seemed to solve problems for people and after the initial experiment with drugs, what once was a problem solver became a problem creator and the “fun” or pleasure once associated with the drug vanished with the joy.
Then I told them the fable of a honey bee that discovered a large jar of honey with no lid on it. So, it decided to enjoy the sweet nectar without the amount of work it normally took to get the “joy of sweetness.” As it reveled in the honey its wings slowly became glued together and there it was – dying. The promise of pleasure ended up in the grip of death.
A Psalmist warned us of this process: “I am laid low in the dust,” he wrote. Another way to interpret it is “I am glued to the things of earth.” But he found an escape route: “Preserve my life according to Your Word.”
Stuck in sin? Release is ours through Christ!
Prayer: Please, Father, enable us to see the path to happiness goes through Your Son into eternal life! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:25 My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
There are many things in the Bible that we do not understand. There are other things in the Bible that we think we understand. There are many things in the Bible that we cannot understand. But there are many things in the Bible that we do understand but simply chose to do nothing about.
So, what’s the problem?
If we want to know a person, we must spend time with that one. And more than anything else the Bible is about a Person. So if we want to know that Person, we must spend time in the Bible. Now, there are two important facts here. The Bible was given to us by men who God inspired to write it. Because it is God’s inspired Word, we need His Spirit to illuminate it for us. But we cannot expect Him to illuminate it for us unless we are willing to allow His Spirit to open our eyes to see Him as He is in His Word.
A child was born blind and spent years unable to see the world around him. Researchers finally found a way to restore his sight. Not knowing what the outcome would be the surgeons were cautious not to give him too much hope. The day finally arrived when they were to remove his bandages. They led him to a window that overlooked a flower garden. When the bandages were removed, he stood in amazement and said, “Mom, why didn’t you tell me how beautiful the flowers are?”
“I tried,” she said, “but you have to see them for yourself.” So it is with God. We have to see Him for ourselves.
Prayer: Help us, Father, to see You as You are – in all of Your loveliness – as we find You in Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.