Fellow travelers in the shadowlands,
I pray that each of you had a good weekend, or that if it wasn’t so good, you can see God’s hand at work through the trials, orchestrating even through pain for your good and His glory. The encouragement that follows draws some of its motivation from Sunday’s (9/20/09) message at Watermark on Truth and its essential nature for our faith in Christ.
May each of you bask in the joy and peace of our Lord and Savior this week, and if storms come, don’t lose hope, “for I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor *any* other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38,39).
In our post-modern world of subjective “truth” and personal experience and sincerity that overrules the very words of God, the psalmist reminds us of the timeless nature of Scripture — “The sum of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting” (Psalm 119:160). Three *major* takeaways (among many others) from that small verse are: 1) “The sum” — all of God’s word added together, not just sections, are truth; 2) “truth” is better that things that are simply “true” — truth is the standard, the foundation, upon which everything else is judged true or false — and God’s word is that truth; 3) “everlasting” — God’s word isn’t dependent on what’s popular or acceptable in a century or decade’s culture — His words cross time and space and apply as much today as when the ink was still wet on the parchment. Something to build your life on with absolute confidence (take courage!)…
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24,25 — if God’s word is your foundation, by God’s grace, you can stand against everything the world slams against you, and you can stand in the rain…)
“You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me… Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; let those who love Your salvation say continually, ‘The Lord be magnified!'” (Psalm 40:11,16 — do you see the “continually” theme? And what “continually preserve[s]” us? Our magnificent God’s lovingkindness and *truth*!)
[Ladies, I don’t know where you struggle, since I’m a guy, but I pray you’ll be able to apply it in your walks, since it speaks to all of us.] Gentlemen, we ask (or should ask) “how can a young man keep his way pure?”, especially, I think, when we have fallen once again to a battle against lust or pride that perhaps we thought was behind us… Psalm 119:9 asks and answers that question for us — “by keeping it according to Your word.” Are you spending time each day in your Bible? How can we follow words we don’t know? There’s some serious blessings in those pages on your bookshelf or nightstand. Check it out and take your community with you to strengthen each other in the Truth!
Some friends recently turned me on to a band called “Tenth Avenue North”, and their song “By Your Side” fits nicely with this devotional. It is a huge encouragement to us who are in Christ when our faith is faltering, and should be a message we pass on to those apart from Christ — “why are you trying to earn grace?” — they can’t, and they need to know that as well as Who paid the ultimate cost to give them grace. Check it out and click “By Your Side” in the media player on the page: http://www.tenthavenuenorth.com/media/music.