Archive for the ‘Verse of the Day’ Category

To number our days

January 2, 2019

As the New Year continues to unfold, the Verse of the Day for January 2, 2019 offers sound advice from the Psalmist:

Psalm 90:12 (New American Bible Revised Edition):

Teach us to count our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart.

Here is the more familiar expression from the King James Version:

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Proverbs 4:7 also reminds us that

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

In thinking about applying wisdom to our lives, we must recognize that wisdom is not a static entity; it is not a trophy to be displayed with pride, but wisdom connotes action; it is something that must be applied.

The Psalmist further states, “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when will you come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart (Psalm 101:2).

Wisdom is said to be the application of knowledge. We, thus, see that knowledge, wisdom, and understanding are intertwined as a three-fold cord. Furthermore, in discussing wisdom, we see that the Book of James identifies two sources of wisdom:

James 3:13-18

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.
14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.
15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.
16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

In the Book of Proverbs we find two additional references to a synonymous phrase for “applying our hearts unto wisdom,” and they are “walking in wisdom” or “to walk as the wise”:

Proverbs 13:20

He who walks with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

Proverbs 28:26

He that trusts in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walks wisely, he shall be delivered.

Two of the most enlightening scriptures regarding walking in wisdom occur in the New Testament:

Ephesians 5:15

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

To walk circumspectly, means to walk carefully, accurately, “to be watchful on all sides.”

Colossians 4:5 instructs believers to

“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.”

The exhortation to number our days begins with today, as we learn to take one day at a time. The lyrics to the song “Day by Day” from the musical Godspell, based on the Gospel of Matthew, offer this reminder:

Day by day
Day by day
Oh Dear Lord
Three things I pray
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day

Walking in wisdom also involves being intentional and making deliberate choices that determine the direction and ultimate fulfillment of our purpose in God. Here is another reminder to heed the words of the Psalmist in the Verse of the Day:

To Number Our Days

Psalm 90:12

To number our days we must ascend to this place
To view another day beyond our three score years
Symbolic sum of God’s divinely ordered grace,
Flowing to each grateful heart that still perseveres.
From this summit of sweeping vistas now we see
The Great Divide where streams of understanding flow,
Unfolding golden days beyond our jubilee.
Even as we are known, so may we also know
The fullness of the love of God in word and deed:
This passion burns within as an enduring flame.
With ears near to the lips of God may we still heed
The call heard long ago when He first called our name.
Let us walk with wisdom and seek to know His ways
As we continue to learn to number our days.

We close with the Family Radio Broadcasting offering a musical reminder: “Teach Us to Number our Days.”

A new thing in the New Year

December 31, 2018

As we conclude another year, the Verse of the Day for December 31, 2018 reveals the creative power of God Almighty who declares:

Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 (NIV):

This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

We reflect upon blessings of the past year with gratitude and anticipate even greater blessings awaiting us in the coming year, as each New Year represents a fresh start, as God reminds us once again that He makes all things new. As we considered deeply the concept of a new beginning or another chance, think about these simple lyrics:

It’s new, new, new–brand new.
God is doing a new thing.
Lift your voice and sing His praise.
Bless the Lord and glorify His name.
It’s new, new, new–fresh as the morning dew.
God is doing a new thing in our midst.

If we do not faint, we shall reap in due season.
Open your eyes and see, it’s a brand new day.
God is pouring out His spirit in this new season.
Open your ears to hear what the Spirit has to say.

It’s new, new, new–brand new.
God is doing a new thing.
Lift your voice and sing His praise.
Bless the Lord and glorify His name.
It’s new, new, new–fresh as the morning dew.
God is doing a new thing in our midst.

As we embark upon this new season unfolding before us, we pause to reflect upon God’s goodness and mercy that sustained us through the most challenging circumstances of the past year. We also recognize that in the coming year we may encounter even more challenges and more difficult situations that seem impossible to resolve on our own. We are assured that if God triumphantly came through on our behalf before, He can and will do it again. During this time we also savor the present reality that in all our circumstances “we conquer more and more.” Finally, we look forward even greater triumphs in the days ahead, as we move from faith to faith, glory to glory, and victory to victory. Here is a word of encouragement that we all might be

Strengthened for the Journey

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen your heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD!

Psalm 27:14

Let us pause to reflect upon the past,
Not with longing to relive bygone days.
Though some were fine, such moments cannot last
A lifetime. The budding rose never stays
The same but unfolds in lovelier ways.
Let us linger to absorb the essence
Of this moment’s triumph. Another phase
Of growth we note within our lifetime since
We first began the quest toward excellence.
Let us look ahead with vision and strive
Toward greater goals, for each day we commence
To grow toward our perfection, as we thrive.
May we see clearly where our paths have led
And be strengthened for the journey ahead.

Michael John Poirier offers a song of encouragement to remind us that the Lord provides “Strength for the Journey.”

Psalm 103:1-2: Reading with a new mindset

December 27, 2018

The Verse of the Day for December 27, 2018 comes from Psalm 103:1-2, one of my favorite psalms posted in its entirety:

Psalm 103

[A Psalm] of David—Amplified Bible]

1 Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits—
3 Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [each one of] all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption, Who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercy;
5 Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s [strong, overcoming, soaring]!
6 The Lord executes righteousness and justice [not for me only, but] for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known His ways [of righteousness and justice] to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy and loving-kindness.
9 He will not always chide or be contending, neither will He keep His anger forever or hold a grudge.
10 He has not dealt with us after our sins nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great are His mercy and loving-kindness toward those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him.
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father loves and pities his children, so the Lord loves and pities those who fear Him [with reverence, worship, and awe].
14 For He knows our frame, He [earnestly] remembers and imprints [on His heart] that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
16 For the wind passes over it and it is gone, and its place shall know it no more.
17 But the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord are from everlasting to everlasting upon those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, and His righteousness is to children’s children—
18 To such as keep His covenant [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it] and to those who [earnestly] remember His commandments to do them [imprinting them on their hearts].
19 The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, you His angels, you mighty ones who do His commandments, hearkening to the voice of His word.
21 Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, all you His hosts, you His ministers who do His pleasure.
22 Bless the Lord, all His works in all places of His dominion; bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul!

Although I had previously read the entire psalm many times, this morning’s reading impacted me deeply as I viewed the passage with a new mindset expressed in this original psalm with the Verse of the Day as its introduction:

A New Mindset

1 Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul;
and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not [one of] all His benefits—

Psalm 103:1-2 (Amplified Bible)

That you called us and chose us, may we never forget.
In response we vow to serve and honor the Lord.
Like David, we declare we will not forget your Word.
Transformed into the image of Christ with a new mindset,
Like Jacob, we walk by faith despite our circumstance.
Just as the Good Shepherd richly provides for his flock,
So you will feed us with sweet honey flowing from the rock,
For God is faithful to provide yet another chance
To demonstrate once more the power of God to change.
Though we may not see them, we father countless hosts of sons,
Future heirs of Kingdom salvation, His chosen ones:
Endless influence only the hand of God could arrange.
We shall soar to new heights far beyond where we have been
And behold our true selves—as giants among mighty men.

We close with a musical rendering of Psalm 103 by Zach Jones:

Simeon’s song and our new song

December 26, 2018

In the blog entry for December 26, 2018, we encounter an illustration of God’s perfect timing in an occurrence taking place eight days after the birth of Jesus Christ, as recorded at the end of chapter 2 of the Gospel of Luke. Here we find a remarkable man who comes into the Temple in Jerusalem at the same time as Mary and Joseph, who are bringing the newly born Christ-child to be circumcised, according to customs described in Luke 2:22-24 (AMP):

22 And when the time for their purification came [that is, the mother’s purification and the baby’s dedication] according to the Law of Moses, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord [set apart as the Firstborn] 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy [set apart and dedicated] to the Lord)” 24 and [they came also] to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord [to be appropriate for a family of modest means], “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

The passage goes on to relate more information regarding Simeon, who offers a magnificent prophetic declaration in response to what he has seen:

Luke 2:25-32 (AMP):

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout [carefully observing the divine Law], and looking for the Consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed). 27 Prompted by the Spirit, he came into the temple [enclosure]; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him the custom required by the Law, 28 Simeon took Him into his arms, and blessed and praised and thanked God, and said,
29
“Now, Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to leave [this world] in peace,
According to Your word;
30
For my eyes have seen Your Salvation,
31
Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32

A Light for revelation to the Gentiles [to disclose what was previously unknown],

Sometimes referred to as “Nunc Dimittis,” translated from the Latin phrase meaning “you can now dismiss,” Simeon’s psalm of praise has been set to music by Michael Card and other composers. Indeed, Simeon was a witness to the Salvation of the all nations revealed in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. This amazing bond-servant of the Lord received personal assurance that he would not die until he had seen this promise fulfilled in “the Lord’s Messiah, Lord’s Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed).” Being led by the Spirit of God, Simeon was in the right place at right time, and he sang his “swan song” before he departed from this life.

In a similar manner, our heart’s desire is to witness the Return of Jesus Christ in the same way that those who witnessed his life on earth, his death, burial and resurrection. We who are alive and remain will also see the Lord return in same way that believers saw him ascend to his Father.

Thinking of Simeon’s song also inspired this new song:

Our Rendezvous with Destiny

As Simeon sang, so our new song resounds in beauty:

The return of Christ–our rendezvous with destiny.

The Daystar shall arise, even as we watch and wait.

Though circumstances may hinder, we shall not be late,

But we shall behold the unfolding of this mystery.

 

Past, present and future all merge in eternity

Before the Lamb of God, in all of His glory,

Transformed into this transcendent and perfected state:

Our rendezvous with destiny.

 

In the new heaven and earth where we find no more sea,

Where we shall all know the fullness of God’s sovereignty

And shall receive our reward, our heavenly estate.

But until then we fill our lamps with oil and await

As the Savior shall descend to gather you and me

When we shall savor God’s love for all eternity:

Our rendezvous with destiny.

Sandi Patti reminds us of the glorious day of Christ’s Return when “We Shall Behold Him”:

Still abounding and overflowing with thanksgiving

November 24, 2018

The Verse of the Day for November 24, 2018 reminds believers that as we have received Christ Jesus, the Lord, we are to walk in him.

Colossians 2:6-7 AMP

As you have therefore received Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him. Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.

We find a similar expression of God’s desire for His people in Ephesians 3:16-18

16 So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through your faith. And may you, having been [deeply] rooted and [securely] grounded in love, 18 be fully capable of comprehending with all the saints (God’s people) the width and length and height and depth of His love [fully experiencing that amazing, endless love];

As we grow in our walk with the Lord, our lives are to abound and overflow with thanksgiving. Even though today is two days after Thanksgiving Day, every day we are to give thanks to God. No matter the circumstances we face, we should always be thankful:

At All Times

In happy moments, praise God.
In difficult moments, seek God.
In quiet moments, worship God.
In painful moments, trust God.
In every moment, thank God.

When we see God’s goodness and mercy flow freely,
As we savor the ecstasy of victory,
When joy overflows and floods our soul, we will praise God.

When gripped by the devices of this transient life
And caught in the straits of rising conflict and strife,
During these difficult moments, we will seek God.

When we long to abide within a tranquil mood
And linger in moments of sweetest quietude,
From the depths of my soul, we will worship God.

Despite raging seas, stormy winds and blinding rain,
When protracted pain strikes like a knife and numbs our brain
So that we can scarcely scream Your name, we will trust God.

All along life’s journey, no matter the season,
Through every why and wherefore, for every reason
Every moment we draw breath, we will thank God.

We seek the Lord and ask ourselves, “What shall we do?”
“Give thanks: it is God’s will in Christ concerning you.”
“Give thanks: it is God’s will in Christ concerning you.”

The closing stanza of the poem matches the ending of the Verse of the Day with reminders to be always “abounding and overflowing with thanksgiving,” as the lyrics of a song appropriate of this season and every season also come to mind: “Give Thanks with a grateful heart.” Don Moen offers expressions of gratitude to God in song:

 

Filled with the knowledge of His will

November 12, 2018

In reflecting on the Verse of the Day for November 12, 2018, we note an excerpt from one of the powerful prayers expressed to God on the behalf of believers:

Colossians 1:9 (NIV):

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,

The phrase “the knowledge of His will” stood out as I began to consider deeply this verse that emphasizes “The Will of God,” the place where we ever desire to be found as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

As the will of God unfolds before us, however, many times we find ourselves in a place where, according to our five senses, we by no means desire to be. Recall the words of Jesus Christ as he faced indescribable anguish and physical suffering beyond anything imaginable when he prayed to his Father three times regarding the situation confronting him in Mark 14:36 (New Living Translation):

“Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

In thinking about doing the will of God, we sometimes find ourselves in similar situations. I recall this statement from Douglas Adams: “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” Regardless as to how our circumstances may appear, the lyrics of the gospel song remind us: “the safest place in the whole wide world is in the perfect will of God.”

Bible scholar and translator Kenneth Wuest speaks of “knowledge of His will” as “advanced and perfect experiential knowledge.” The term is related to God’s desire that we become enlightened, that the eyes of our heart may be flooded with light so that we might “know,” being enlightened to the point that we come to know for ourselves or come to know a new reality in a more profound personal way. Once we know for yourselves, we will never be the same.

The Verse of the Day with its reference to being filled with the knowledge of His will also relates to this poetic expression:

The Will of God

To find the will of God is the greatest discovery.

To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge. 

To do the will of God is the greatest achievement.

 Albert Schweitzer

 

My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.

John 4:34 [NKJV]

                                                 

To unearth at last the world’s most priceless treasure

And gaze upon the splendor of God’s sovereignty

Is to savor joy unspeakable beyond measure:

To find the will of God is the greatest discovery.

To know intimacy beyond the highest degree,

A confident assurance when we acknowledge

And embrace the path prepared for us, our destiny.

To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge.

To live life, knowing we are covered by the Blood

Is to walk with no regret, never to lament,

For all decisions work together for the good:

To do the will of God is the greatest achievement.

Guided and protected by the Shepherd’s staff and rod,

We rejoice to find, to know and do the will of God.

We close with Colossians 1:9-12 set to music from The Colossians Project by Eastbrook Church:

Bear one another’s burdens and the Burden Bearer

October 23, 2018

Revised and re-posted is the Verse of the Day for October 23, 2018 expressing the idea that there is a burden that we can share, according to Galatians 6:2-3 in the Amplified Bible:

2 Carry one another’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the requirements of the law of Christ [that is, the law of Christian love].3 For if anyone thinks he is something [special] when [in fact] he is nothing [special except in his own eyes], he deceives himself.
If we see a brother or sister fall under a heavy burden, we can come along side of them and offer assistance in bearing that burden. There is, however, a burden that every believer must bear alone. This truth is revealed in Galatians 6:5 which indicates: “For every man shall bear his own burden.”

In thinking on these verses, my mind also recalls a backpacking experience that occurred at TFI (Total Fitness Institute) in California back in December, 1975. During this outdoor wilderness adventure I was assigned to a platoon of believers, and we portioned out our food supply for the week among the group. I volunteered to carry the food for the last day, which meant that my load stayed the same while the load that everyone else carried got lighter.

On this particular day, we were told that we would hike for a mile and then take a break and rest for a while. After a considerable amount of time, I was certain that we had hiked more than a mile, but we continued. When I realized that I was carrying the food for the last day and that everyone else’s load was lighter than mine, I became agitated and began to complain in my mind that “This is just not fair. . .” During this time of frustration and agitation as I struggled under my heavy load, I thought of the Lord Jesus Christ and all that he gladly bore on my behalf. As I took my mind off myself and turned my thoughts toward the Lord, the distress and exasperation seemed to fade, and we arrive at our destination in a short time. That experience was the inspiration for this poem:

The Burden Bearer

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah,
When I lay my burden down.

I stumbled up the rugged road;
I almost fell beneath the load
And spurned the pain inside my head,
Recalling words of one who said
“Come unto me, and I will give you rest.”

The yoke I bear cannot compare
With all he took upon Himself:
All sins, disease, and guilt, despair
That I could not forebear myself.
His burden was not made of wood,
His cross beyond all words can name.
Have I resisted unto blood?
Could I for joy endure such shame?

From a glimpse into his face
I’m strengthened by a second wind;
My mind’s renewed to keep the pace
The load is lightened by my friend.

I feel better, so much better
since I laid my burden down.

The Verse of the Day and my experience more than 40 years ago .brought to mind lyrics from an old gospel song that I recall my childhood days, recorded here by the Staple Singers: “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah.” The epigraph or short intro to the poem as well as the closing stanza come from this gospel music classic:

We rejoice each day to know that the Lord Jesus Christ is truly our “Burden Bearer.”

God’s thoughts and God’s ways

October 13, 2018

Today’s blog post entry combines the Verse of the Day for October 13, 2018 found in Jeremiah 29-11 with comments on a related verse from Isaiah 55:8.

As one of the most popular verses of the day, Jeremiah 29:11 appears on greeting cards, plaques, placards, and wall hangings of every kind. Believers rejoice in anticipating to see God’s plans for their lives unfold in glorious ways. Here is the New International Version of the widely recognized verse:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

To understand more fully the magnitude of God’s declaration, take a look at the context of the verse taken from Jeremiah 29:11-14:

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

The words of Jeremiah were specifically addressed to Israel concerning their release from Babylonian captivity after seventy years of enduring unimaginable pain and suffering, shame and humiliation as a result of their rebellion and disobedience. As we read the passage, we recognize the truth expressed in Romans 15:4:

Whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope.

The prophetic word from Jeremiah can certainly have personal application, in that the plans that God has for each of His children are no less grand than those He has for the Children of Israel. We must recognize, however, that those plans may not unfold in the way that we think they should at the time when we think they should. The Scriptures remind us: As for God, His way is perfect. The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 18:30).

The passage from Jeremiah 29 which speaks of the thoughts of God toward the people of God also brings to mind Isaiah 55:7-9

7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

This passage describes the mind of God, explaining that His thoughts are far beyond our thoughts. Isaiah 55:8 was also the inspiration for this expression of our desire that God will lead, guide, and direct us:

O Lord, prepare the way, straighten our path, and order our steps.
Shine your light upon us that we may not stumble,
That we may not walk in the light of our own sparks,
But illumine our way with the lamp of Your Word.
O Lord, direct our hearts into the love of God
And into the patient waiting for Jesus Christ.
Raise us up in righteousness and direct all our ways,
As we acknowledge Your thoughts are not our thoughts,
Neither are Your ways our ways, O Lord.

As we ask God for guidance and direction, He will lead us, teaching  us along the path that continues to unfold as a light shining more and more unto the perfect day (Proverbs 4:18). Jeremiah 29:11-13 also informs us of God’s concern for our future or “final outcome”, so that we need have no fear for our future.

Damaris Carbaugh shares “I Know the Plans” (Debby’s Song) a musical reminder of Jeremiah 29:11

We close this entry, as we listen to this Christian Worship and Scripture Song based on Isaiah 55:6-9

Psalm 62:1: Watching and waiting

October 11, 2018

The Verse of the Day for October 11, 2018 comes from Psalm 62:1 in the New International Version:

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.

Three other versions of the Bible provide additional insight into Psalm 62:1

Amplified Bible:
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.

New King James Version:
Truly my soul silently waits for God;
From Him comes my salvation.

New Living Translation:
I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him.

Holman Christian Standard Bible:
I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.

These various versions of the Verse of the Day remind us that we are not just waiting, but we are waiting silently, quietly in a state of rest. As a blog post entered earlier this year reminds us, “We are learning to wait on the Lord with patience.” Brian Adams offers these words of encouragement:

“Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.”

We note this Biblical definition of patience which has also been translated endurance or perseverance, steadfastly bearing up under and remaining faithful while waiting. Patience or perseverance is a fruit of the spirit that should be evident in our lives, as we wait on the Lord.

As we wait on the Lord, we are not in a state of apprehension or anxiety, but we are in a state of “blessed assurance,” as the lyrics to one of the most popular hymns of all time remind us:

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Refrain:
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

The closing verses of my favorite psalm come to mind when we speak of waiting:

Psalm 27:13-14 (NKJV)

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
that I would see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
14 Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!

Verse 14 provides the introduction to this expression of the present state in which we find ourselves:

Watching, Waiting, Seeking

“Wait on the LORD; be of good courage,
and He shall strengthen your heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD!”
—Psalm 27:14

Reassured once more we will not be left behind,
But with patience we must still learn to watch and wait.
We look into the mirror of God’s word and find
Our God has been ever faithful and never late.
We trust in the Lord, as the Word of God extols.
Like Job we wait until at last our change shall come,
Assured that in patience we now anchor our souls.
May we not faint and fall by the wayside as some
But follow in Christ’s steps, as we quickly obey
And bear up under and yield fruit of endurance.
We must walk in God’s love, the more excellent way
And through faith and patience claim our inheritance.
In these perilous times we remain yielded and still,
Watching, waiting, seeking to fulfill all of God’s will.

Meditating on Psalm 62:1 and other verses related to waiting is great way to start the day, as we watch and wait.

We conclude with Psalm 62 rendered in music by Alan Keyes:

Passion of our heart

October 9, 2018

We begin our day by taking a close look at the Verse of the Day for October 9, 2018. Here we find instructions given to the Children of Israel, as God expresses His desire for His people, instructing them how to conduct their lives:

Deuteronomy 13:4 (NIV)

It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.

This verse contains directives to the Children of Israel expressed in the form of six action verbs that can be paired together to express how His people should conduct their lives:

Follow and Revere him

In thinking about the verb to follow, I recall the simplicity of the Children’s Ministry song: “My Lord knows the way through the wilderness:”

My Lord knows the way
Through the wilderness
All I have to do is follow

(REPEAT)

Strength for today along the way
And all I need for tomorrow
My Lord knows the way
Through the wilderness
All I have to do is follow

Instead of using the verb revere or to have reverence for, some translations use the term fear, to have respect for or to honor. Regarding the fear of the Lord, Job 28:28 (NLT) offers this reminder:

And this is what he says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.’”

The Psalmist echoes a similar sentiment in Psalm 111:10 (NLT)

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!

Amplified Bible also connects the fear of the Lord with obedience:

The [reverent] fear of the Lord [that leads to obedience and worship] is a fountain of life, So that one may avoid the snares of death.

Keep His commands and obey him

The scriptures reveal the benefits that come to those who follow the Lord’s commands:

Exodus 4:40 (Holman Christian Standard)

Keep His statutes and commands, which I am giving you today, so that you and your children after you may prosper and so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”

Note how the Word of God reinforces this message:

Deuteronomy 7:9 (Holman Christian Standard)

Know that Yahweh your God is God, the faithful God who keeps His gracious covenant loyalty for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commands.

Regarding the verb obey, Deuteronomy 11:22 offers these words of wisdom:

“Be careful to obey all these commands I am giving you. Show love to the Lord your God by walking in his ways and holding tightly to him.

Serve him and hold fast to him.

The final verb means to stick to or to stick with, stay close, cleave, and keep close. It has also been translated to follow closely, join to, overtake, and catch. As believers, all of our energy and efforts should be toward pursuing and adhering to the precepts of the Lord, our God.

Deuteronomy 10:20 provides another directive to fear and to cling:

You must fear the Lord your God and worship him and cling to him. Your oaths must be in his name alone.

The Psalmist makes this statement:

Psalm 119:31 (NLT):

I cling to your laws. Lord, don’t let me be put to shame!
To serve and hold fast to him:

Deuteronomy 6:13 (Amplified Bible) reiterates the same message that the people of God are to serve Him alone:

You shall fear [only] the Lord your God; and you shall serve Him [with awe-filled reverence and profound respect] and swear [oaths] by His name [alone].

When Jesus Christ was tempted of the Devil in the wilderness, the Savior’s response came from this very passage in Deuteronomy 6:13:

Matthew 4:10 (Amplified Bible)

Then Jesus said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written and forever remains written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”

In reflecting upon the Verse of the Day and other related scripture, we find the Lord our God reveals His desire for His people. Once we recognize the inner longings of our Father’s heart, we seek to fulfill His will, an expression of

Passion of our Heart

Take delight in the Lord,

and He will give you your heart’s desires.

Psalm 37:4 (HCS)

 

The passion of our heart is to fulfill the call,

To walk worthy of the vocation, to stand tall

Yet humbly in His presence, to ever succeed

And abound in God’s grace and to sow righteous seed

That bears fruit each season, wherever it may fall.

 

To serve God with a pure heart, untainted with gall,

May we never forget His goodness but recall

The Word of God spoken to give life and to feed

The passion of our heart.

 

May we walk in peace and live to tear down each wall;

May we know the touch that will quicken and enthrall.

Touched by God’s hand, our lives now reveal such deep need.

We must do more than merely hear but must give heed

To the desire to please the Father with all

The passion of our heart.

To serve, to fear, to obey, to listen, and to cling are powerful verbs spoken as commands to the Children of Israel. In a similar way we can apply these action words to our lives today as believers. This inner yearning is personalized in the song “With all my heart”: