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Psalm 119 is the longest psalm. Each of the twenty-two eight-verse stanzas corresponds to a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The entirety of Psalm 119 sings God’s praises, particularly the joy found in following God’s instructions. Happiness is found in faithfulness to the covenant. Faithfulness uplifts the heart.
Source of Joy, may my prayer join with the psalmist to seek you with my whole heart. May I find my true joy in faithfulness to you, for you love me without end. And may that joy overflow into my life so that it touches the lives of others. Amen.
This week we continue to explore the importance of Christian morality. We do not earn God’s grace by our actions; rather, our obedience is a response to God’s grace. In Deuteronomy, we read that the choice of life will bring prosperity and is the proper response from a heart of gratitude. The psalmist echoes this sentiment, for blessed are those who follow the Lord not just with words but also with actions. The Corinthians have not understood this so they continue to act like those in the world around them, living by the flesh instead of by the Spirit. Jesus pushes us even further. God sees not only what we do on the outside but who we are on the inside. A true life of obedience begins on the inside and flows outward.
Read Deuteronomy 30:15-20. When have you experienced the choice God sets before us of life or death, prosperity or adversity, blessings or curses? How have you discerned how to obey God?
Read Psalm 119:1-8. How does following God’s commandments bring you joy?
Read 1 Corinthians 3:1-9. Consider the forms of love Paul and Saint Valentine display in their letters. What types of love help you serve God, who gives growth?
Read Matthew 5:21-37. When have you experienced legalistic interpretations of scripture? How do you get to the heart of scripture?
Respond by posting a prayer.
We have small groups and an occasional Sunday class that uses the material for Bible study. We also have a Wednesday night group that reads all four of the lectionary passages and then follows lectio divina methodology in discussing and applying the passages. The Disciplines help in each of these as part of individual devotions but also as material for these group discussions. Our Pastors also preach the lectionary and use Disciplines to help craft the worship experience. It is also a part of our recommended discipleship pathway for all congregants. Many people in the congregation tell me how they love the devotional and it is helping them in their faith walk. Read more...