10 Blessings From Obeying God’s Word

Wonderful WordThe entire 119th Psalm is a love song to God for His amazing Word. Quite simply it is “far exceeding anything conceived by man” (v. 129, AMP) and “a miracle Word” (v. 129, MSG).

In the 8-verse section called Pe, the psalmist says, “I can’t think of any better response to Your Word than to obey it!” In Pe, here are ten blessings that come with that obedience—

  1. Light … this is the discernment that allows for the “Aha!” revelations of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Understanding … the blessing of comprehending what God is saying to us.
  3. Longings fulfilled … nothing but God’s Word will ever satisfy like God’s Word!
  4. More clearly seeing God’s face as He shines upon us.
  5. God’s mercy and favor.
  6. A greater understanding of God’s love.
  7. Secure paths that keep us from sin’s snares.
  8. Freedom from satan’s extortions … this is literally what the phrase redeem me from the oppression means in verse 134.
  9. Greater obedience.
  10. Learning God’s Word so that I can teach it to others.

The psalmist also gives us good insight into how to respond to those who reject God’s Word: Rivers of tears gush from my eyes because people disobey Your instructions” (v. 136). With all the blessings that come from obeying God’s wonderful law, why would you ever want to try to live any other way?!

I will be continuing our series on Psalm 119 this Sunday. If you are in the area, I would love to have you join us!

Our P119 Workout

P119Three summers ago I began a series of messages on Psalm 119. Since this psalm provides a pretty strenuous spiritual workout, I entitled the series The P119 Workout. I have had so many positive comments on this series, that we are continuing our workout again this summer.

The 119th Psalm is unique is several ways: it is the longest chapter in the Bible (176 verses) divided into 22 eight-verse segments. Each one of these segments starts with the same Hebrew letter of that section. And this chapter is totally devoted to the life-changing power of God’s Word.

Each week we’ll look at a new 8-verse segments to learn how to apply the principles to our daily lives. I will also share some on-your-own spiritual stretches you can do following each lesson.

I am really excited to continue this series! Please join me this coming Sunday and throughout the rest of the summer at 10:30am to get spiritually fit. (And if you want to get a little head start for this week, read Psalm 119:129-136.)

The Delight In God’s Word

Psalm 119Psalm 119 is a loving poem to God because His Word to us is so amazing! All 176 verses of this psalm say something special about God’s laws, statutes, decrees, precepts, or commands.

Like this psalmist, we too can discover 176 praiseworthy things in God’s Word. Things like…

  1. Blessing by walking according to His law
  2. Blessing by keeping His statues
  3. Blamelessness when walking in His ways
  4. Full obedience when obeying His precepts
  5. Steadfastness because we obey His decrees
  6. No shame in following His commands
  7. Uprightness in learning His laws
  8. His continual presence when obeying His decrees
  9. Purity in living by His word
  10. Direction when following His commands
  11. A sinless life by hiding His word in our hearts
  12. More reasons to praise Him when He teaches us His decrees
  13. Joy in recounting His laws
  14. Rejoicing in following His statutes
  15. Joy in meditating on His precepts
  16. Delight in attending to His word
  17. Life and goodness in obeying His word
  18. Wonderful things in His law
  19. God’s companionship in His commands
  20. Our soul’s longings fulfilled in His laws
  21. No curses by keeping His commands
  22. No scorn in keeping His statutes
  23. Immune to slander in meditating on His decrees
  24. A delightful counselor in His statues
  25. A preserved life in His word
  26. God’s answers in His decrees
  27. Understanding wonderful things in His precepts
  28. Strength in His word
  29. Grace in His law
  30. Truth in His laws
  31. No shame in His statutes
  32. Freedom in His commands
  33. God’s counsel in His decrees
  34. Deeper understanding in His law
  35. Direction and delight in His commands
  36. A strengthened heart through His statutes
  37. Eternal life in His word
  38. Fulfillment in His promises
  39. No dread nor disgrace in His laws
  40. Preserved life in His precepts
  41. Salvation in His promises
  42. Answers for enemies in His word
  43. Hope in His laws
  44. Eternal security in His law
  45. Freedom in His precepts
  46. Influence in His statutes
  47. Delight in His commands
  48. Love in His commands
  49. Hope in His word
  50. Comfort in suffering in His promises
  51. Steadfastness in His law
  52. Comfort in His laws
  53. Proper emotions toward the wicked in His law
  54. Songs in His decrees
  55. Nighttime comfort in His law
  56. Healthy practices in His precepts
  57. Complete help in His word
  58. Finding God in His promise
  59. Course corrections in His statutes
  60. Motivation in His commands
  61. Rescue in His laws
  62. Midnight thanks in His laws
  63. Friendship-strengthener in His precepts
  64. Seeing His love everywhere through His decrees
  65. Blessing in His word
  66. Knowledge and good judgment in His commands
  67. Healing in His word
  68. Goodness in His decrees
  69. Immunity to slander in His precepts
  70. Enlivened emotions in His law
  71. Help for affliction in His decrees
  72. Riches in His law
  73. Understanding in His commands
  74. Encouragement for others in His word
  75. Godly paradigms in His laws
  76. The comfort of His unfailing love in His promise
  77. Delightful compassion in His law
  78. Justice in His precepts
  79. Influential friendships in His statutes
  80. Blamelessness in His decrees
  81. Hope in His word
  82. Comfort in His promise
  83. Preservation in His decrees
  84. Perseverance in His law
  85. Victory in His law
  86. Trust in His commands
  87. Staying power in His precepts
  88. Life and love in His statutes
  89. Firm foundation in His word
  90. Generational faithfulness in His word
  91. Enduring glory revealed in His laws
  92. Delight in affliction in His law
  93. Preserved life in His precepts
  94. Salvation in His precepts
  95. Peace in His statutes
  96. Perfection in His commands
  97. Love in His laws
  98. Wisdom in His commands
  99. More insight than your peers in His statutes
  100. More understanding in His precepts
  101. Avoiding evil through His word
  102. Personally taught by God in His laws
  103. Sweetness in His words
  104. Understanding in His precepts
  105. Light in His word
  106. Direction in His laws
  107. Preservation in His word
  108. Praise in His laws
  109. Safety in His laws
  110. Avoiding snares in His precepts
  111. Joyful heritage in His statutes
  112. Developing an obedient heart through His decrees
  113. Strong love in His law
  114. Hopeful refuge in His word
  115. Repelling evildoers through His commands
  116. Sustaining power in His promise
  117. Deliverance in His decrees
  118. Acceptance in His decrees
  119. Purity in His statutes
  120. Awe and reverence in His laws
  121. God’s constant presence in His word
  122. Victory over oppressors in His law
  123. Salvation in His promises
  124. Loving treatment in His decrees
  125. Discernment in His statutes
  126. Justice in His law
  127. Riches in His commands
  128. Knowing right from wrong through His precepts
  129. Wonder in His statutes
  130. Illumination in His words
  131. Fulfillment in His commands
  132. Mercy in His word
  133. Victory over sin in His word
  134. Redemption in His precepts
  135. His favor in His decrees
  136. Passion in His law
  137. Righteousness in His laws
  138. Confidence in His statutes
  139. Zeal in His words
  140. Throughly-tested truths in His promises
  141. Enhanced memory in His precepts
  142. Everlasting truth in His law
  143. Peace in trouble in His commands
  144. Fuller understanding in His statutes
  145. Answers in His decrees
  146. Salvation in His statutes
  147. Hope in His word
  148. Peaceful meditation in His promises
  149. Preservation in His laws
  150. Peace around enemies in His law
  151. God’s presence in His commands
  152. Eternity in His statutes
  153. Deliverance in His laws
  154. Defense in His promise
  155. Finding God in His decrees
  156. Compassion in His laws
  157. Victory over persecutors in His statutes
  158. Satisfaction in His word
  159. Love in His precepts
  160. Eternal truths in His laws
  161. Learned reverence in His word
  162. Great riches in His promise
  163. Love in His law
  164. Reasons to praise in His laws
  165. Great peace and stability in His law
  166. Salvation in His commands
  167. Great love in His statutes
  168. Blessed paths in His precepts
  169. Understanding in His word
  170. Answers to prayer in His promise
  171. Praise in His decrees
  172. Songs in His word
  173. Ready help in His precepts
  174. Delight in His law
  175. Sustaining praise in His laws
  176. God seeking me out in His commands

Oh, how wonderful is God’s Word!!

Links & Quotes

link quote

Some good reading from today…

I was totally blown away when I saw this morning that BibleGateway featured my chart The Kings & Prophets Of Judah & Israel!

[INFOGRAPHIC] 22 Surprising Facts About Sleep from the Cleveland Clinic. Here’s a great book resource: Sleep: It Does A Family Good.

Very powerful: An open letter to my friends struggling with eating disorders.

“In times of extraordinary crisis ordinary measures will not suffice. The world lives in such a time of crisis. Christians alone are in a position to rescue the perishing. We dare not settle down to try to live as if things were ‘normal.’ Nothing is normal while sin and lust and death roam the world, pouncing upon one and another till the whole population has been destroyed.” —A.W. Tozer

“I want you to know how to study theology in the right way. I have practiced this method myself. … The method of which I am speaking is the one which the holy king David teaches in Psalm 119. … Here you will find three rules. They are frequently proposed throughout the psalm and run thus: Oratio, meditatio, tentatio [prayer, meditation, trial]. …

“You should completely despair of your own sense and reason, for by these you will not attain the goal. … Rather kneel down in your private little room and with sincere humility and earnestness pray God through His dear son, graciously to grant you His Holy Spirit to enlighten and guide you and give you understanding. [Psalm 119:18, 27, 33, 34-37]. …

“Second, you should meditate. This means that not only in your heart but also externally you should constantly handle and compare, read and reread the Word as preached and the very words as written in Scripture, diligently noting and meditating on what the Holy Spirit means. … Therefore, you observe how in this psalm David always says that he will speak, think, talk, hear, read, day and night and constantly—but about nothing else than God’s Word and Commandments. For God wants to give you His Spirit only through the external Word. [119:11, 15, 48, 24, 47, 93, 97] …

“Third, there is the tentatio, the trial. This is the touchstone. It teaches you not only to know and understand, but also to experience how right, how true, how sweet, how lovely, how mighty, how comforting God’s Word is: it is wisdom supreme. This is why you observe that, in the psalm indicated, David so often complains of all sorts of enemies. … For as soon as God’s Word becomes known through you, the devil will afflict you, will make a real [theologian] of you.” [119: 67-68, 71] —Martin Luther, on the 119th Psalm

The Love & Hate Of God

SamekhI don’t think there’s anyone reading this that hasn’t—at one time or another, or perhaps even right now—struggled with feeling distant from God’s love. Maybe you felt like you blew it, or gave in to temptation, or things aren’t going as you had hoped, and you thought, “Where are You, God? Do You still care about me?” This message is for you!

“God is closer to us than we are to ourselves and that is why we do not notice Him.” —Thomas Merton

The section of the 119th Psalm called samekh (see verses 113-120) is a helpful passage for reminding ourselves just how near God is to us. Some people get nervous thinking about God being close to them, to the point where they want to run away. But you must have this clear in your mind—

God is near me to help and support me, not to harass and condemn me! 

Samekh means...Samekh is the only Hebrew letter which is completely enclosed. And when you look at it, samekh looks like a shield. Indeed the word means more than God’s omnipresence. Samekh means…

  • God’s never-ending support
  • God’s never-failing love
  • God’s never-stale mercies
  • God’s undiminished faithfulness
  • God’s unfathomable grace
  • God’s unquenchable hate

Wait a minute! God’s unquenchable hate?!? Yes! God loves you so much, that He hates anything that would draw you away from Him. So this section of Psalm 119 is filled with words like love, hope, refuge, uphold, and sustain. But it also has words like hate, away from me, reject, and discard.

God wants you to know how close He is to you. God is FOR you and He is AGAINST anything that would pull you away. Read the words in Psalm 91 and see how God protects you and then attacks the enemies of your soul. In the NewTestament, feel God’s closeness as we are told that…

Oh, how God love you! He wants you to feel His closeness, so He loves you and He hates the enemies of your soul! Bask in that today.

Rewards For Faithfulness

NunI unabashedly tell anyone who asks me what my favorite book is … It’s the Bible. I have yet to find such a collection of writings that work every single time they’re applied.

Two summers ago we began a series of messages on the 119th Psalm. It appears that the psalmist shares my passion for God’s Word, as he writes time and time again the difference Scripture makes in his life.

The other thing that makes this psalm so cool to me is the organization of the 176 verses into twenty-two 8-verse segments, with each verse in a segment beginning with the the same Hebrew letter as its title. In the Hebrew language, the letters in the alphabet had their own meaning. In English an “n” is simply spelled “n.” It has no other definition or meaning. But in Hebrew the letter nun has both a spelling and a meaning. Nun is spelled nun-vav-nun (final), and it means both faithfulness and the reward for faithfulness.

Look at the three Hebrew characters that spell nun. Reading right to left it tells a story and gives the meaning of the letter/word—the one who is humbled in faithfulness will be the one who stands in righteousness. The perfect example of this is Jesus, Who humbled Himself when He came to earth and to the Cross, and then was exalted by the Heavenly Father to wear the crown of righteousness (see Philippians 2:5-11 and Revelation 14:14). Paul starts this passage by calling on us to “have the same attitude as that of Jesus” (v. 5), and concludes with the call to stick with it all the way to the end (see vv. 12-13).

RewardsThe psalmist calls us to this same thing in nun (Psalm 119:105-112). The “bookend” verses say, “Your Word is a lamp for me… so my heart is set on keeping Your Word” (vv. 105 and 112). In between the psalmist commits himself to a life of humbly persevering to God’s ways, and reaps the rewards of a changed heart, the joy of the Lord, and a heritage to pass on to others.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day—and not only to me, but also TO ALL who have longed for His appearing (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

Humble yourself before the Lord, and He will lift you up (James 4:10).

My heart is set on keeping Your decrees to the very end (Psalm 119:112).

Rewards here (new heart, joy, heritage) AND rewards in Heaven (a crown of righteousness). How awesome is that!!

If you are in the Cedar Springs area, I will be continuing our series through Psalm 119 next Sunday, and I would love to have you join us.

A Healthy P119 Workout

P119Two summers ago I began a series of messages on Psalm 119. Since this psalm provides a pretty strenuous spiritual workout, I entitled the series The P119 Workout. I have had so many positive comments on this series, that we are continuing our workout again this summer.

The 119th Psalm is unique is several ways: it is the longest chapter in the Bible (176 verses) divided into 22 eight-verse segments. Each one of these segments starts with the same Hebrew letter of that section. And this chapter is totally devoted to the life-changing power of God’s Word.

Each week we’ll look at a new 8-verse segments to learn how to apply the principles to our daily lives. I will also share some on-your-own spiritual stretches you can do following each lesson.

I am really excited to continue this series! Please join me this coming Sunday and throughout the rest of the summer at 10:30am to get spiritually fit. (And if you want to get a little head start for this week, read Psalm 119:105-112.)

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