“Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.”
Psalms 119:66 (KJV)
How are you? Today we look at a verse from one of the longest psalms and the longest chapter of the Bible. It also contains a topic of prayer about which I pray quite often.
I have read the Bible quite a few times. However, each time I learn something else. God uses His word to speak to us all. He has the same basic commandments for all of us. Yet, God does use His Word to speak a different message to each of us. He may also speak a different message to each of us each time we read His Word.
One would think that once we read His Word and study His commandments, that we would “know it” and wouldn’t need to ask for knowledge or good judgment. Unfortunately, that is just not true. We need to continually as for knowledge and good judgment. We are human and don’t always “remember” or follow through with what is right.
So, let’s take a look a Psalms 119:66 a little closer. There are three statements and topics in Psalms 119:66. Let’s start with the last part of Psalms 119:66 (KJV) which reads, “…for I have believed thy commandments”. If we don’t believe that God’s Word is the right way to live, if we don’t trust God, if we don’t believe that we are to do as God calls us to do, we might as well not ask Him to give us good judgment or knowledge.
Sometimes we may say that we believe, but our actions are different than our words. Our actions don’t match what is written in God’s Word. That has happened since the second human was created. Our nature of sin is the reason we need to pray the first part of this verse.
There are two main groups of people in the world, believers and nonbelievers. (There are also “on the fence” people.) Once we realize and admit, especially to God, that we are believers, than we can go on to the first two parts of Psalms 119:66.
In the second part of Psalms 199:66, the psalmist is asking God to teach him knowledge. To me, there are different levels of knowledge. When we learn math as a kindergarten student for example, we learn things like identifying numbers, adding and subtracting numbers up to ten, counting by ones and fives and tens, and the basic coins. Those are the types of things a kindergarten student can know and understand. Asking a kindergarten student to solve long algebraic equations would be wrong. No matter how much a kindergarten student tries, he or she couldn’t have the knowledge to solve such a difficult problem. The same goes with God’s Word.
Every time we read God’s Word, we may have a new understanding. We may have more knowledge and be able to understand it’s meaning a little better. Sometimes we go through the motions of reading God’s Word, but don’t take the time to take it in, study it, or pray about it. We may know God’s Word on one level, but not to the extent that we could with more study and prayer. We might know the words in our mind, but not know the words in our heart.
This brings us to the first part of Psalms 119:66 (KJV) which reads, “Teach me good judgment…”. As I mentioned earlier, it is one thing to know the difference between right and wrong, but it is another thing to actually follow through and do what is right. This is the part of the verse where we acknowledge the fact that we are sinners and need to ask God to help us good judgment often.
Satan has a way of giving us temptations and trying to get us to go down the wrong road each day. So, praying for help in having good judgment needs to be something that is continual instead of a one-time thing. The first time we pray, we might learn how to have good judgment when one problem comes up. However, we might not have the strength to make a good judgment the second time it comes up. We may also not know how to make a good judgment when a different problem arises.
To me, Psalms 119:66 is a prayer that we can pray always. Like other verses in God’s Word, we can learn something new from it as we grow in our faith, our relationship with God, our knowledge, and also grow in our abilities to do things such as make good decisions.
Each time we grow in knowledge and faith in God, we can know God’s Word on a higher level. We can know His Word and know the knowledge in our hearts as well as our minds.
Thank you for your precious Word. Help us to pray the words in your Word and seek the wisdom you want to share with us continually. Help us to have faith in you and trust in you always. Help us to not only know your Word, but also to reflect upon it in order to make good judgments. Give us the strength to do what is right and follow your Word and way for us, I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Psalms 119:66 (KJV):
*What does Psalms 119:66 mean to me?
*Why must we continually pray for knowledge?
*Why must we continually pray for the ability to make good judgments?
*What is the difference between judgment and knowledge?
*Do I trust God’s Word? Do I show it?
*What can I do to better heed the words in Psalms 119:66?
*What message is God giving me right now through Psalms 119:66?
If you enjoyed this post, you may like similar posts on the same topics.
Now, it is your turn:
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“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
Matthew 6:13 (KJV)
How are you? This verse is sort of a bottom line, summary, of our prayer to God and this post is the last post in this Lord’s Prayer devotion series. I hope it has blessed you in some way to ponder the words of the Lord’s Prayer more closely and in depth. I pray that you pray these words and not recite them. I pray that I do the same.
I believe that every word in the Bible means something and is meant to be there. However, to be honest, I am not sure why “And lead us not into temptation” is part of this prayer. I trust Jesus, and wouldn’t question their worth. It just sounds kind of strange, knowing that our Father in Heaven is a loving God. He wants the best for us and it is strange asking Him not to “lead us into temptation.” Unless, maybe it is saying not to harden our hearts, as He did Pharaoh’s when we go against His will, but to give us more chances and more direction. Often, once our heart is hardened and our mind is closed, we spiral downhill and we are not only tempted but sin in many ways. What do you think?
After consulting a friend, praying, and rereading this verse, I believe that the word “lead” is the important word in this phrase. We are to put our trust in God and let Him lead us. We are to be obedient to His will and not try to do things our own way. Trust me, the latter isn’t good. We are often our own worst enemy. Yet, God is good and will lead us away from temptation if we ask and put our trust in Him.
I understand the part about, “but deliver us from evil.” I have prayed that many times. I want to do God’s will and I don’t want anything evil to come near me, tempt me, or hurt me in anyway.
The last part of this verse is a powerful one. I believe that it is meant for us to acknowledge that we are nothing without God and that everything we do should be for God and to grow His kingdom. I believe that it is meant to acknowledge that we pray and we do what we do as Christians, because we want to be of the kingdom of God and not of the world. That is our focus. We are called to acknowledge and understand that God has the power to help us, to hurt us, to give us life, to give us death, to move mountains, to heal us, to create everything from nothing, to destroy everything, as well as to love us and provide for us unconditionally or conditionally. Acknowledging God’s power also is intended to assure us that we can put our faith in Him fully and that we are to fear Him in a loving way and be obedient to Him. We are His creations. We are His servants. We are His children. We are called to give Him the glory. And, I believe as Christians, that this isn’t a chore or a task given to us by a master, but an act of love. We want to do these things. We know that God loves us and we want to love Him back.
Thank you for sending us Jesus, your only begotten Son, to be our teacher, our savior, and our ultimate role model. Thank you for these words on how to pray. Help us to pray them and not just recite them without thought or feeling. Help us to strive to build, to pray for, and to uplift your kingdom. Help us to acknowledge your ultimate power and to fear you and love you in the most loving and obedient way. Help us to give you the glory in all that we do and not do or seek our own glory. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Matthew 6:13 (KJV):
*What does Matthew 6:13 mean to me?
*Do I pray these words or recite these words?
*Have I truly pondered or prayed about the meaning of the Lord’s Prayer?
*Do I pray for God’s kingdom and try to uplift it and grow it?
*What can I do to uplift and grow God’s kingdom?
*Do I acknowledge God’s power?
*Do I both fear God and have faith in Him, knowing that He has the power to
help me or hurt me?
*Do I give God the glory in all I do or do I seek the praise and the credit for
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
Matthew 6:12 (KJV)
How are you? Today’s blog post topic is forgiveness. It isn’t only forgiveness, but the sentence of the Lord’s Prayer in which Jesus tells us to forgive others. How many times have you said the Lord’s Prayer and then not forgiven someone? I think that asking for forgiveness and giving forgiveness are often difficult for people.
I think some people have a misconception about forgiveness. They might think that forgiveness condones the action, encourages the action, or some how makes the action okay. They might think that forgiveness means that everything will go back to the way it was before the action. That isn’t necessarily true either. Actions have logical consequences whether we forgive others or not. For example, if someone steals from you, you can forgive him or her, but that doesn’t mean that you will instantly trust him or her as if they have never stolen before. That trust will probably have to be earned. To me, the forgiveness is separate.
What does forgiveness mean to you? To me, forgiveness means that you release yourself from the feelings that you have in trying to harbor powerful negative feelings in the situation. It frees you from feeling the need to take vengeance in the situation. It admits that it is God’s place and not yours to take vengeance and show wrath. Forgiveness in this way is for the forgiver.
Not forgiving someone often puts more of a hold on you than it does on the perpetrating party. We often see how people who hurt us, may not feel as bad as we do. By harboring the hate, the want for vengeance, the ideas of retaliation, and the refusal to forgive, we are hurting ourselves. It effects not only our emotional life, but also our physical and spiritual lives as well. Stress can kill and all that ill will that we harbor inside of us gets turned back to us and wrecks havoc on us.
Don’t get me wrong; forgiveness also helps the offending party. It gives him or her hope and encouragement. It helps him or her to feel that he or she is not doomed to death. It helps him or her to forgive him or herself and to ask forgiveness from God. Think about it. How do you feel when someone has forgiven you? More importantly, how do you feel when God has forgiven you?
We might say, “Well, I can forgive people for little things, but I don’t know if I can forgive people for big things, like abuse and murder.” Yet, we need to look closely to Jesus’ words. He doesn’t say, “Forgive people if they do little things.” He says, “Forgive our debtors.”
Forgiveness may be difficult. However, we wouldn’t be called to do it if it wasn’t something that we couldn’t do. We also need to remember that we can’t do anything without God’s help, so forgiveness shouldn’t be any different. We are called to ask God for help in forgiving others, just as we are called to ask God’s help in doing anything.
In this short verse, Jesus uses the word “as” here. I believe that this is a reminder to ask God for forgiveness and acknowledgement that it is only fair that God treats us like we treat others. If we treat others well, God is more inclined to treat us well. If we forgive others, God is more inclined to forgive us. It is like that with people too. If we smile at someone, they are more inclined to smile back. If we encourage someone, they are more inclined to encourage us back. So, with this verse, we are praying that when or while we forgive others, God will also forgive us. Wouldn’t life be so much better if we all learned to ask forgiveness and give it better? (I like how God always wants what is best for us and we can see it in every word He gives us!)
Thank you for your love. Thank you for always wanting the best for us: your children and creations. Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus to be our Lord, our Savior, and our Teacher. Thank you for these words in the Lord’s Prayer. Help us to pray them and live by them whole-heartedly. Help us to forgive others, even when it is difficult. I ask you this through Jesus, your Son. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Matthew 6:12 (KJV):
*What does Matthew 6:12 mean to me?
*What does forgiveness mean to me?
*Do I recite these words or pray these words?
*Do I forgive others?
*Do I ask God’s help to forgive others?
*Do I ask God’s forgiveness?
Now, it is your turn.
I look forward to reading your thoughts. Please, share how you like this post and what Matthew 6:12 means to you. If you don't want to share with everyone, feel free to contact me. Thank you for reading.
P.S.- - If you haven't read the other posts in the Lord's Prayer series, you may want to read those as well.
* Lord's Prayer Series - - Post 1
* Lord's Prayer Series - - Post 2
* Lord's Prayer Series - - Post 3
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
Matthew 6:11 (KJV)
How are you? I hope you are doing well. This is a rather short verse, yet it tells us quite a bit. “Give us this day our daily bread.” We are asking God to give us what we need for the day and to show us His will for us for the day.
We as humans are very needy. Thankfully, Our Father in heaven wants to give us what we need. He also wants us to ask Him for our needs, to acknowledge that we can’t provide our needs without Him, and trust that He will provide our needs for us.
Jesus uses the word “bread” in Matthew 6:11 and obviously, I don’t know for sure his meaning. Yet, I believe that he is referring to more than food. I believe that he is referring to everything that we need to get through the day and to do the things that God wants us to do in that day. They also refer to physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual things.
Physical things might be food, water, sleep, rest, shelter, and clothing. It might also include a job or income so that these things can be earned. Emotional, spiritual, and intellectual things might include the knowledge of what God calls us to do and the willingness, courage, and obedience to do what God calls us to do. They may also include things like giving us the knowledge, strength, willingness, courage, and obedience to stay away from sin and temptation during the day.
These words by Jesus also remind us that we are to pray daily. The words don’t say, “Give us our weekly bread or our monthly bread.” We are to go to God daily in prayer and ask for His will to be done and for our needs to be provided for everyday. Prayer is important and it is important to pray every day.
These words also remind us to only worry about one day at a time. Again, Jesus uses words like “this day” and “daily bread.” He doesn’t say that we should pray for or about things that are going to happen next week, next month, or next year, or even tomorrow. We are to pray daily for what we need for each day.
It is also interesting to note, that Jesus doesn’t say anything about the “desires of our heart” here. He doesn’t say anything about wants. It is needs that are mentioned. (No daily “frosting” here.)
Thank you for being our Heavenly Father. Thank you for sending your only begotten Son, Jesus to us to not only be our savior, but to be our ultimate teacher and role model. Thank you for giving us the Lord’s Prayer through Jesus. Please, help us to live according to the words that Jesus gave us. Help us to pray to you and come to you daily for our daily needs. Help us to not only ask you, but to trust you to provide what we need each day to do the things you want us to do each day and to live in the way that you want us to live each day. Help us to pray the Lord’s Prayer and not just recite it. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Matthew 6:11 (KJV):
*What does Matthew 6:11 mean to me?
*Do I pray to God daily?
*Do I ask for my needs every day?
*Do I trust that God will provide for me daily?
*Do I ask what God’s will is for me each day and ask that He gives me the
courage, skill, and obedience to do His will for me each day?
*Do I take one day at a time or worry about things in the future?
Now, it is your turn.
I would enjoy hearing your thoughts. Comment below or feel free to contact me. Thank you. I pray someone is blessed by this.
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
Matthew 6:10 (KJV)
Last week, I started a series on the Lord’s Prayer, given to us by Jesus. We may say or recite the Lord’s Prayer, but do we pray it? Do we think about the words? Do we live by the words?
“Thy kingdom come.” What does that mean to you? We all get something out of the Bible and out of a prayer. God has a special message for each of us. I read commentaries and each says something different. It means something different to each of us. However, it means the same also. That is why I pray before I write. I want God’s message and not my own message.
We are called to grow God’s kingdom and to pray for it. There are believers, unbelievers, and people who are lukewarm in the middle. Yet, we are called to encourage belief and to grow God’s community of believers. We are called to believe ourselves and help others to believe. We are called to be part of God’s kingdom and not the “kingdom of the world” or “Satan’s kingdom” or whatever we want to call the evilness of the world.
So, we have heard of the second coming of Jesus and how He will rule. Is that what Jesus is talking about here? Um. I don’t think it is just that. It may be part of it. Yet, to me, it means that we are to pray for and be a part of God’s kingdom now and forever, here and in life everlasting. Our choice is to be of this world or of God.
We are also called to not only submit to God’s will, but to want it. We are called to ask for it. We are called to acknowledge it. We are called to do it. In so doing, we are acknowledging that we are part of God’s kingdom and willingly want to do His will here on earth and once we get in heaven.
And, why would we do all this? Why would we want to have God’s will instead of our own? Love! We want this, because we love God and we know that He loves us. We know that God’s way and God’s plan is better than anything we can plan. It all comes down to love and thanksgiving. If we have a place in God’s kingdom here on earth, we will be rewarded with a place in God’s kingdom in heaven. What a beautiful reward in which to look forward!
Thank you for loving us and creating us. Thank you for sending us your Son, Jesus, who taught us how to pray. Thank you for inviting us and calling us to be part of your kingdom on earth and in heaven. Help us to pray for your will and your kingdom. Help us to be like Jesus, our ultimate role model, in our efforts to pray, to follow your will, and to grow your kingdom. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Matthew 6:10 (KJV):
*What does Matthew 6:10 mean to me?
*Do I want to be part of God’s kingdom, part of the world’s kingdom, or part
of my own kingdom? (Be honest.)
*Do I ask God to let His will be done or ask that my will be done?
*Do I recite the Lord’s Prayer or do I pray it?
*What can I do to better live the Lord’s Prayer?
*What can I do to help grow and pray for God’s kingdom?
Now, it is your turn.
I would like to hear your thoughts. Please, leave me a comment. Thank you. God bless!
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”
Matthew 6:9 (KJV)
How are you today? This week, I am starting a series of devotions based upon the verses of the Lord’s Prayer, given to us by Jesus. I pray that God gives me the words to give you during these special devotions. (Actually, I pray that God gives me the words for every post.) Have you ever looked at the words of the Lord’s Prayer a verse at a time and carefully pondered their meaning? I encourage you to do so.
So, let’s look at the first ten words of the Lord’s Prayer in which Jesus gave us to pray. What do they mean to you? “Our Father which art in heaven….” Do you consider God to be your Heavenly Father? Do you treat Him as a Father above any earthly father? Do you go to Him as a child would to a good and faithful father? Do you love Him as you would a beloved part of your family? Do you acknowledge that He is the one who created you and that you wouldn’t have been born without His love for you?
“…Hallowed be thy name.” Do you hallow God’s name? Do you treat His name as above all others and give it the respect God deserves? I hear God’s name taken in vain quite often. Swearing of all sorts seems to be a growing cultural habit. Yet, this particular type of swear is more repulsive than others.
We don’t go around saying, “John damn it” or “Jane damn it.” Yet, we do have people going around taking the Lord’s name in vain. How would we feel if it people started taking our name in vain? My guess is that we wouldn’t like it. People are pretty touchy. (That is why we have so much trouble with political correctness, etc.) So, if we wouldn’t like it if people took our name in vain, why are we complacent when people take our Heavenly Father’s name in vain? Why do some of us take our Heavenly Father’s name in vain?
Jesus himself told us that we are called to treat and acknowledge our God as our Heavenly Father. We are to keep His name holy. We are called to give God, our Heavenly Father, with the love, reverence, and respect that He deserves. And, here is the kicker, quite frankly, if we are the Christians that we pledge to be, we shouldn’t need to be told by Jesus or anyone else to do all this. We should love God, because He is who He is! We should hallow His name, because He is the most beloved out of our entire beloved, He is the most holy out of the entire holy. We should respect Him and love Him, because He first loved us. We should keep His name hallowed, because we love Him so.
Thank you for loving us and creating us. Thank you for sending your only begotten Son, Jesus, to be our savior and to be our ultimate role model. Thank you for sending us your Holy Spirit to guide us and show us the way and to intercede for us and pray for us when we can’t for ourselves. Thank you for giving us your Word in scriptures to guide us and show us the way to you. Help us to love you, to pray to you, to respect you, to acknowledge you, and to obey you. Help us to keep your name holy. Help us to pray the Lord’s Prayer and not just recite it. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Matthew 6:9 (KJV):
*What does Matthew 6:9 mean to me?
*Do I recite the Lord’s Prayer or do I pray the Lord’s Prayer?
*Do I think about and ponder the words of the Lord’s Prayer?
*Do I follow and heed the words of the Lord’s Prayer?
*Do I acknowledge, love, and respect God as my Heavenly Father?
*Do I keep God’s name holy?
*Am I repulsed when someone else doesn’t love God or keep His name holy?
*Do I say something when someone doesn’t keep our Heavenly Father’s name
*How would I feel if someone took my name in vain?
*How would I feel if my children didn’t love me or honor me, as they should?
*How would I feel if my loved ones didn’t love me in return as I thought they
Now, it is your turn.
I would like to know your thoughts. Let me know in the comments. Thank you. I appreciate you being here and taking the time to read my posts.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
Philippians 4:6 (KJV)
I don’t know about you, but I grew up hearing, “Be careful.” I was supposed to “be careful” about many things that could hurt me in some way. Sometimes, it felt like I couldn’t or shouldn’t do anything, because I was always supposed to “be careful”. Have you been told to “be careful” before? Have you told anyone to “be careful” before?
Now, we see that Paul is telling us to “be careful for nothing”. Hmmm. That is different. So, why is it so different? Why do some of us grow up hearing “be careful” and now see that Paul said not to “be careful’?
Well, parents want to protect their children from danger. They mean well, when they say, “be careful”, but often that isn’t the most healthy and productive statement. Many times, children are more capable than we think and are in less danger than we fear. Sometimes it is better to say, “slow down, so you don’t slip on the wet floor” or “when you climb, make sure you hang onto something, so you don’t fall.” You aren’t teaching the child to “fear” something or not to try something that could be out of their comfort zone, you are just making him or her aware of the danger and giving guidance in awareness and ways that could make it less dangerous. (I came across a nice blog post here, by Let Grow, if you would like to further research this train of thought.)
This concept of being careful is also misguided with our prayers. Often times we under estimate God’s power or willingness to give us good things. We think, “Nothing good ever happens to me, I can’t ask for something so nice. I will never get it.” God wants to give us good things. He can and will care for us much better than any human parent could or would.
Yet, it isn’t just what we ask for in prayer, it is also how we ask. Sometimes we tend to ask sort of timidly, not sure of the results, or demand like a laundry list of things that we want accomplished as if we were entitled. None of the above are very respectful, reverent, or loving of God. We are to ask without being afraid of whether or not God can do it, because he most definitely can. We are to ask with a humble and thankful heart. We are to thank God for His love and blessings even before we see it and trust that it is on its way. We are to ask for things that are in alignment with God’s will for us.
In the example of parenting and in the example of prayer, the words “be careful” are more destructive than uplifting and supportive. They can bring fear, confusion, distrust, and other negative effects. Yet, we are called to reach outside of our comfort zone and rely on God. We may have to “be careful” in specific ways such as “not get too close to the fire” or “go slow on the wet floor, so we don’t slip”. We don’t have the power to still the winds, calm the storm, and move mountains. But with God, all things are possible. God doesn’t have to be careful. And, when we go to God, we don’t have to be careful, if we go with a right heart in alignment with His will.
Thank you for this day. Thank you for your infinite wisdom, love, and care. You are an awesome God capable of many and all things. Help us to “be careful for nothing” as we pray. Help us to pray with all humbleness, supplication, and thanksgiving. Help us to pray for things in alignment with you will for us and with a right heart. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Philippians 4:6 (KJV):
*What does Philippians 4:6 mean to me?
*When I pray, am I afraid to pray for awesome things?
*Do I under estimate God’s capability and willingness to give me wonderful
things, when I pray?
*Do I pray with thanksgiving and a humble heart?
*Do I say, “be careful” to others?
Now, it is your turn.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below. Also, if you would like to receive the Faith Blog posts in your inbox or you would like to get the FREE offer, sign up below.
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
Ephesians 6:11 (KJV)
How are you? I hope you are well. In a busy and confusing world, it can be difficult to know and to do the correct thing all the time. Not only that, but we are all tempted from time to time. So, for us who want to do the right thing, what can we do to help us stay on the right track, especially when difficult times come?
We can, as we are called, put on the armor of God. I have read this and heard this many times. Most of the time, I wasn’t sure what it meant really. Yet, as I get older and closer to God, I am starting to get the true meaning of this statement.
You may be wondering, “So, what is the armor of God anyway? And, why out of all the words, the word ‘armor’ was chosen to describe these things?” In Ephesians 6, we see a great description of the whole armor of God. Ephesians 6:13-18 list things such as breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit to help us in any tangles with the devil.
Not all of us have been to war, so we may not really understand how crucial things like breastplates, shields, helmets, and swords are for protection. And, actually, even if we have been to war, most of these items aren’t really used today.
This idea of being is kind of new to me as well. It is something that I didn’t think much about before. Yet, again, as I grow older and as I get closer to God, I can understand and see just what this concept of “war” means. There is a “war” and there are two sides. We are either for God or for the devil. That is the tug of the society that we feel, the difference of opinions, the not knowing what is right, the temptations, the stress, the lost feeling, the violence, the depression, the hate. All of that is provoked by the devil. God’s ways are the way of truth, love, hope, and faith. I don’t know about you, but I am for God. Every moment of every day, we have a choice: do we do something for God or do we do something for the devil? Sadly, sometimes we sin and do something that brings us farther from God and closer to the devil. Thankfully, we all can ask for forgiveness, repent, and get closer to God again.
I guess we could think of life as one big game of tug-o-war, but it isn’t a game at all. There are high stakes at risk here. On one side there is our Heavenly Father, Jesus, and His Holy Spirit and on the other side there is the devil. As we read the Bible, pray, grow in faith, keep the commandments, treat others as we want to be treated, we tug the rope and move ourselves closer to God. As we give into temptation, treat others badly, break the commandments, and sin, we tug the rope and move ourselves closer to the devil. We have multiple choices every day in what we think, do, say, feel, and believe. These thoughts, actions, words, feelings, and beliefs all tug the rope in one direction or the other. It is a war.
In order to resist the tugs of the devil, we need armor to protect us. We get that protection through God. We need to know Him, to believe in Him, to trust Him, and to love Him. We stay close to Him by reading the Bible, praying for ourselves and others, as well as others praying for us, having faith, and through the blood of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Friends, I hope your day is going well. I hope your tugs have been towards God and not away. I pray that these thoughts have blessed someone. And, I pray that you are all cloaked with the full armor of God. God bless you.
Thank you for this day. Thank you for creating us, for being with us, and for giving us the tools we need to navigate through life and to ward off the devil so that we may be on your side of this war. Thank you for sending us your only begotten Son, Jesus, as a role model and savior for us, and your Holy Spirit as our guide and comforter. Thank you for allowing us and encouraging us to come to you in prayer. Help us to grow in faith with each step towards you we take. We thank you and praise you through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective Questions for Ephesians 6:11 (KJV):
*What does Ephesians 6:11 mean to me?
*How do I feel about the concept of life being one big tug-o-war?
*On which side of the tug-o-war am I? On which side do I want to be? Do
my actions reflect this?
*Am I wearing the full armor of God?
*What can I do better in order to be fully protected with God’s armor?
Now, it is your turn. What are your thoughts?
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“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”
Psalms 19:14 (KJV)
How are you today? I have been writing about the Bible and how we can use it in our lives. One of the ways is to look at some of the prayers that were prayed by other people and hold them close to our hearts. Of course we have the Lord’s Prayer taught by Jesus. However, we also have prayers by King David and others in the Book of Psalms.
The words in Psalms 19:14 sound like a beautiful prayer to me that can be helpful and prayed in various situations. I am not sure why King David wrote it or what he was going through at the time. (Was it after his acts of murder and adultery? I don’t know.) Yet, I think it was a verse that was part of a song just after he had asked forgiveness for hidden thoughts and he was asking help to keep his thoughts pure.
I like that he called God “his strength” and “his redeemer” in this verse. To me, it sounds like King David was struggling with bad thoughts and words and he knew that God would give him strength and that God can redeem any sinner. He was crying out for help. I think it helps us in such times to remember that God can give us strength, can redeem us, and can direct our hearts and mind.
We all have thoughts that might not be so good. It is only human. Hopefully, they are just fleeting thoughts that don’t last. Although, sometimes they linger and can turn into something more harmful. That fleeting thought might turn into an attitude, a word, or an action. Instead of a fleeting thought, it could be a negative outlook on life. It changes us. So, we are called to ask God to save us from ourselves. Isn’t it wonderful that we have such a God in which to turn?
Our thoughts and words often lead to actions. If they are bad, negative, or sinful, they will lead to bad, negative, or sinful actions. Saying something mean or hurtful, for example, in a moment of weakness can cause irreparable damage at times. We don’t want to say something in anger that will cause us regret later on. That is the way we lose friends and loved ones. It is how we tear down love instead of build up love. It is how we sin and drift away from God.
Our negative thoughts and feelings may not always hurt others, but may hurt us as well. Suicide, for example, doesn’t just happen. A series of negative thoughts and feelings lead up to the choice of suicide. The act of dwelling on something negative doesn’t help us at all. Like David, we are called to look to God to move on to thoughts that are more in accordance to God’s will for us. While we are depressed, we can pray something like this, so that instead of dwelling on what ever depresses us, God can direct our thoughts to something more productive.
Sometimes, we may pray these words before having the negative thoughts. When I write devotions, I pray something similar. I ask God to guide my thoughts and words. I don’t want to misguide anyone or give a message that is different than God’s intentions in anyway. I want the words and message to be His and not mine.
No matter what your circumstance, may you find ways to incorporate this little prayer into your everyday life. It may just save your life some day. May you remember that God is the strength and redeemer of all of us who believe and call upon Him.
Thank you for being our Holy Creator, our Heavenly Father, our Strength, and our Redeemer. Help us to remember to call on you in times of need. Help us to keep our words, our thoughts, and our feelings according to your will for us. Prevent us from wrong words, wrong thoughts, and wrong feelings. Don’t let us drift away from you, even in thoughts. Let us always be close to you. When we do drift, help us to remember that if we come to you and repent, you can redeem us. We don’t need to continue to drift. Guide our words, thoughts, and feelings always. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective Questions for Psalms 14:19
*What does Psalms 14:19 mean to me?
*What are some circumstances when praying this verse would be helpful?
*Have I ever prayed a similar prayer?
*What do I think King David was going through when he said these words?
*Can I imagine how King David was feeling during this time?
*Was there a time when I didn’t pray such words and they would have been
*What can I do to remember to pray these words more often?
I would be interested in your thoughts.
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This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.