Psalm 119

Today’s reading plan includes this incredible chapter. Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. You can find in around the middle section of your physical Bible. I cannot cover all of this beautiful chapter, but let’s find some treasures to note – shall we?

Happy are all who perfectly follow the laws of God. Happy are all who search for God and always do his will,  rejecting compromise with evil and walking only in his paths (vv. 1-3; TLB).

I have thought much about your words and stored them in my heart so that they would hold me back from sin (vv. 11).

 I will meditate upon [God’s Word] and give them my full respect. I will delight in them and not forget them. Bless me with life so that I can continue to obey you. Open my eyes to see wonderful things in your Word (vv. 15-18).

I am completely discouraged—I lie in the dust. Revive me by your Word (vv. 25)

Turn me away from wanting any other plan than yours. Revive my heart toward you (vv. 37).

For these laws of yours have been my source of joy and singing through all these years of my earthly pilgrimage (vv. 54).

 You made my body, Lord; now give me sense to heed your laws. All those who fear and trust in you will welcome me because I too am trusting in your Word (vv. 73-74).

 I faint for your salvation; but I expect your help, for you have promised it (vv. 81).

Your faithfulness extends to every generation, like the earth you created; it endures by your decree, for everything serves your plans (vv. 90-91).

Accept my grateful thanks and teach me your desires. My life hangs in the balance, but I will not give up obedience to your laws.  The wicked have set their traps for me along your path, but I will not turn aside.  Your laws are my joyous treasure forever. I am determined to obey you until I die (vv. 108-112).

Lord, deal with me in loving-kindness, and teach me, your servant, to obey; for I am your servant; therefore give me common sense to apply your rules to everything I do (vv. 124-125).

 As your plan unfolds, even the simple can understand it. No wonder I wait expectantly for each of your commands (vv. 130-131).

Lord, see how much I really love your demands. Now give me back my life and health because you are so kind. There is utter truth in all your laws; your decrees are eternal (vv. 159-160).

I have wandered away like a lost sheep; come and find me, for I have not turned away from your commandments (vv. 176).

There is sooo much more to be discovered! Take some time and read through this passage of Scripture. Maybe even, allow an online audio Bible become a tool to help you.

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The Goal in Trials

Even on difficult days, I have chosen to operate my life from a place of priorities. I am a child of the Most High King. Even in these days, where life requires much more energy, I am still a child of God. This is what drives me through rainy weather and helps me to put brakes on unwholesome decisions.

And, I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty (2 Cor. 6:18).

As a Christian, someone who has been given their spiritual rebirth by the blood of Jesus Christ, I want to still be able to glorify God by continuing to live out my faith. As I undergo difficult life moments, God is reminding me of the pruning work He is doing.

God is taking the unfruitful layers of my life, like pride and self-sufficiency, and causes me to bear fruit, like love and kindness, that will draw others to Him.

In John 15, we are reminded of two things: abiding in Jesus and being pruned by the heavenly Father as proof we are His (see John 15:1-4; Matthew 7:15-20). Jesus Christ thinks we are worthy of His love and to be continually worked on, because He loves us (see Heb. 12).

Even while we were His enemies, because of our sin, Jesus Christ died on the cross, rose again, and carried us to the Father to have our relationship restored.

I love the “feel good” aspects of being pruned, which is the spiritual fruit that grows in this famine season. Being pruned and hanging on for dear life is difficult, but the benefits make it a bit easier. Even so if I have my chance for a different life, I just might take it.

The Goal –

The goal I have is to act like a daughter of the King.

I want to be a light to the world, and not cause another to be hindered. I want others to see Jesus in me, and to protect my relationships from hurtful words spoken in the midst of suffering.

Being able to act like I belong to Christ is the greatest achievement there is, and it is something only Christ can accomplish in us! It requires us to draw near to Jesus, and keep growing in our relationship with Him. As a result, we become like Him. We become more loving, patient, and yes self-controlled. We act differently, in spite of our temptations and suffering.

When our goal is to continue in our relationship with Jesus, fruit of being His sons and daughters will bloom throughout our lives.

God can help us to act like Him, even in the midst of dark days. We may find ourselves in the midst of temptation and suffering, but we can overcome the opportunities to do evil – choosing to do good instead.

We may not overcome as gracefully as we’d like, but God is working on our behalf and displaying His power in our lives. At the end of the day, He is all that matters!

{{PSST: One of the most encouraging aspects of this blog is the trials section (or here). Get ready for whatever the Lord brings. When God is orchestrating it, things turn out very good}}

Until next time,

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Choices Despite Culture {Daniel}

In chapter 1, we discover how Daniel and his friends were torn between following God and obeying what the Babylonian culture instructed them to do. They had just been pulled away from their homes and all they know. Now, they had to decide – God versus culture. Those in authority told them they had to do something, that would cause them to disobey God. And, they had to reach a place of knowing what to do. Many of us find ourselves in a similar place of deciding whether to follow God or someone in authority (or even what society says).

Each of us will face the decision of who we will listen to and obey. It will either be God or someone else (or something else). We have to make the difficult decision to choose God over everything else – even if it makes us an outcast. God has chosen to dwell with us, so we have all we need to make these difficult decisions.

The Choice to Follow God

In college, I took a required science class. It stood against everything I believed. God showed me grace and growth that summer. I held onto my Bible like crazy and kept His truths close – and His Holy Spirit even closer. I know, God helped me with each difficult decision I made – during that season of my life. He enabled me to attend class, do the work, share my faith, and witness to others.

When we seek God’s help, He will show up!

Daniel’s Resolve

In Daniel 1:8, we see Daniel’s resolve bursting out. He did not stay quiet about his resolve. Daniel made the choice to wholly give himself to God and to walk in obedience, even if it seemed difficult or impossible to do. And, God made the way for Daniel to obey Him rather than submitting to the culture that would cause him to sin against God!

How do we continue to make God honoring decisions, even when things aren’t going our way?

He made very hard decisions. In life-or-death kinds of situations. As we read the book of Daniel, this is made clear. He had such a godly courage that I hope we come to emulate over our lifetime. It shows Christ in us, on such a profound level. Everything he did, revealed his trust in God. We can see the kind of relationship Daniel had with God.

… And it is amazing to know, we can have a close relationship with God like that too. This is all made possible by the blood, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ pave the way, to give us a right relationship with God and an abundance of peace. We are never alone either, for He walks with us!

Even in difficult times, God can give us His peace and direction! It is especially in these moments that we seek God the most, but let’s go forward full throttle in our pursuit of God. Praising Him, as He takes us through difficult situations, and when life is good too. With each choice we make, let us resolve to pray for our leaders, and to keep on praying in all situations.

Daniel Resources

For those who are interested, we begun a new study. While it’s official name is Citizen of Heaven, Resident of Earth, I tend to refer to it as the post election study. Because, that is what brought about the need for this particular study.

I want this to a time of remembering that God is much greater than us and our leaders. While God is even greater, our leaders have an important responsibility – because they have a great effect on those they are leading.

Not only do we need to keep them heavy in our prayers, let’s keep seeking and honoring Christ in how we respond to our elected officials and their decisions. We all leave an effect on this world, even those of us who don’t consider ourselves to be leaders. We all are leaving an example, whether good or bad.

Now, it is much different than my other reading plans. It is more of a “read through” particular books of the Bible, than our very slow pace of studying (that quite honestly I prefer). You can find out more about the study and what led to this reading plan here. Appropriately so, that post is called “How Will YOU Prepare for this Transition?

The Book of Daniel

… begins this upcoming week.

Daniel is a much loved person, who was rooted in God. He made decisions, while exiled in Babylon, that shows he stood with God – regardless of what others said or did. We need his testimony, as we live in a world that doesn’t often say or do what aligns with the very Word of God.

As you begin to study the book of Daniel, take a few moments to be in prayer. As we begin our time in the Word by praying, the Holy Spirit will begin to show us things we might not see otherwise. God has much to say to us, through this book!

Two particular things – This book shows us God’s power and the faith Daniel held onto. As we study, let’s take notice of the things God is wanting to teach us through His Word. Let’s take the extra few moments, to jot down Scriptures and any notes of what God is sharing with you.

Reading Plan Helps

It can easily be read in its entirety by reading two chapters per a day. I wanted to share a study guide, from a place I use often (Be aware: All I use or go to on this particular website is the study guides). Bible.org offers some insightful articles on different sections of the book of Daniel as well.

Also you might want to have commentaries nearby for those moments, when you need them.

Suggested Reading Plan –

  • Monday – Daniel 1-2
  • Tuesday – Daniel 3-4
  • Wednesday – Daniel 5-6
  • Thursday – Daniel 7-8
  • Friday – Daniel 9:1-11:1
  • Saturday – Daniel 11:2-12:13

Starting next week, the reading gets intense. So, I suggesting grabbing the audio Bible (you can utilize it over at… BibleGateway.com). The reading plan can be found here.

~ Stacey

Make the Hard Decision {{Week 5}}

While I may have completed this day’s study exactly a week ago, it offered me a much needed reminder. Friends, we have to keep reminding ourselves to make the difficult decisions – to guard our relationship with the Most High God. He has called us His own. Let’s do whatever is necessary, to protect our relationship!

Even if it seems like a crazy thing to give up, but God calls you to let it go for a season. Listen to Him. Follow His guidance. Watch for the peace that surpasses all understanding, as you give “this thing” to Him. If only we protected our relationship with Christ more diligently, how much better our walk would be…


Welcome, friends!

I invite you to get out your study journal and Bible, if you have it nearby. If you haven’t had the privilege of ordering your study journal yet, you can do so here (Please Note: It’s an affiliate link).

The Scriptures – Matthew 5:29-30; Romans 6:6-7

If your right eye causes you to sin, poke it out and throw it away. Your eye is only one part of your body. It is better to lose an eye than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. Your hand is only one part of your body. It is better to lose a hand than for your whole body to go into hell (Matthew 5:29-30, NIRV).

We know that what we used to be was nailed to the cross with him. That happened so our bodies that were ruled by sin would lose their power. So we are no longer slaves of sin. That’s because those who have died have been set free from sin (Romans 6:6-7).

Devotion

We need to make the real decision to remove any and every stumbling from our lives. Stumbling into sin – is a big deal, and we have to be prepared for those moments. So, we aren’t caught off guard.

If stumbling is substantial enough to use the example of being physically blind or without limps, then, you know it is not something to take lightly. We need to be on our guard and get rid of stumbling blocks.

Some of our hard choices, can seem extreme to some folks in our “tribe”. A tribe is just another way of saying – the community of people rallied around us. Some of “our people” won’t understand why we would take such an extreme step. However, (and this is a big one) we cannot allow anything to interfere with our relationship with Jesus Christ!

Stumbling drops us into the pit of sin, which brings the cost of death and separation from God. We must ask ourselves – “What are the hard decisions I need to make – to protect my walking with Jesus?”

Don’t concern yourself with how extreme that decision is or what people might say. After all, it is for your Author of Life. Let’s be absolutely deliberate in making sure that we are not causing our relationship with Jesus to be stunted or resemble a roller coaster, because we didn’t have the faith to make the extreme decisions God was leading us to make.

Let’s be deliberate in making Christ Lord over our lives.

Lord Jesus, stumbling into sin is a dangerous game I definitely don’t want to play. Father, I pray You would show me what extreme decisions I need to make – in order to protect my relationship with You. Give me the strength and peace to do whatever it is. Amen.