Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 119:160’

The word of the Lord remains forever

October 28, 2017

1 Peter 1--24-25

Revised and re-posted, the Verse of the Day for October 28, 2017 proclaims the enduring properties of the Word of God:

1 Peter 1:24-25 (New Living Translation):

As the Scriptures say, “People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But t.” And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.

In James 1:11 we find a similar reference to fleeting nature of all mankind.

11 The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.J

The Verse of the Day is also an expression of Isaiah 40:6-8 which echoes the same message:

A voice said, “Shout!”
I asked, “What should I shout?”

“Shout that people are like the grass.
Their beauty fades as quickly
as the flowers in a field.
The grass withers and the flowers fade
beneath the breath of the Lord.
And so it is with people.
The grass withers and the flowers fade more
but the word of our God stands forever.”

This particular passage is used as the epigraph or introduction to a poem written almost 45 years ago while living in northwest Ohio. I recall standing on the stump of a massive oak tree that had gradually died over a period of time, eventually having to be cut down. Although the tree had been around for centuries, its demise brought to mind how fleeting life is in the light of eternity.

The Old Oak Stump

 The grass withers, the flower fades,

 because the breath of the LORD blows upon it:

 surely the people are grass.

The grass withers, the flower fades,

 but the word of our God stands for ever.

 Isaiah 40:7-8

 

I stand dead center on the old oak stump,

The ruin of a woodland monument,

My feet encircled by the woody rings

That number far beyond remembered years.

I read between the lines of annual

Reports a history of all you have seen:

You saw the Shawnee dance around his fires;

You knew the name of each German who came

To farm, to build, and to beget his sons

Under the shaded beauty of your boughs;

You spread your arms and offered shelter as

A dwelling place for bird and beast and boy.

Yet time’s swift stroke condemned the tenement

As progress served its eviction notice.

Men leveled the tree whose lease had expired,

Legend of a people, long since cut off,

Like meadow grass overgrowing the land

Where I stand and read man’s life history:

Fleeting as baby’s breath, man’s day sprinkles

Grasslands for a season, then blows away.

All life evaporates like dew, except

The Word of God, which ever shall inspire.

The Psalmist also proclaims the same truth:

Psalm 119:89

Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven.

Psalm 119:160 reiterates this message:

 The very essence of your words is truth; all your just regulations will stand forever.

Jesus Christ, himself, makes a similar declaration in Matthew 24:35 (KJV):

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Indeed, the Holy Bible, the Book of Life, the Word of God, the word of the Lord endures forever.

We close with Ken Whitson offering “The Word Will Stand Forever.”

 

The Word will stand forever

July 6, 2017

 

The Verse of the Day for July 6, 2017 reminds us of the brevity of life in light of our current times spoken of in the Word of God found in Matthew 24:35 in the Message Bible:

“Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer’s just around the corner. So it is with you: When you see all these things, you’ll know he’s at the door. Don’t take this lightly. I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for all of you. This age continues until all these things take place. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out.

The King James Version says this:

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

The Psalmist also proclaims the same truth: “Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89). Indeed, the Holy Bible, the Book of Life, the Word of God, the word of the Lord endures forever.

Psalm 119:160 (AMP) also makes known this:

The sum of Your word is truth [the full meaning of all Your precepts], And every one of Your righteous ordinances endures forever.

1 Peter 1:22-25 (NKJV) echoes the same sentiments regarding “The Enduring Word”:

22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,24 because
“All flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
25 But the word of the LORD endures forever.”
Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

Verses 24-25 of this passage also contain a verbatim quote found in Isaiah 40:6-8, a passage used as part of the epigraph or introduction to a poem inspired after standing on the stump of a massive oak tree that had gradually died over a period of time, eventually having to be cut down. Although the tree had been around for centuries, its demise brought to mind how fleeting life is in the light of eternity.

The Old Oak Stump

The grass withers, the flower fades,
because the breath of the LORD blows upon it:
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God stands for ever.
Isaiah 40:7-8

I stand dead center on the old oak stump,
The ruin of a woodland monument,
My feet encircled by the woody rings
That number far beyond remembered years.
I read between the lines of annual
Reports a history of all you have seen:
You saw the Shawnee dance around his fires;
You knew the name of each German who came
To farm, to build, and to beget his sons
Under the shaded beauty of your boughs;
You spread your arms and offered shelter as
A dwelling place for bird and beast and boy.
Yet time’s swift stroke condemned the tenement
As progress served its eviction notice.
Men leveled the tree whose lease had expired,
Legend of a people, long since cut off,
Like meadow grass overgrowing the land
Where I stand and read man’s life history:
Fleeting as baby’s breath, man’s day sprinkles
Grasslands for a season, then blows away.
All life evaporates like dew, except
The Word of God, which ever shall inspire.

Ken Whitson offers an original song “The Word Will Stand Forever” to seal the words of today’s blog post.

Sanctified vessels: Vessels of honor

November 18, 2015

John-17-17

The Verse of the Day for November 18, 2015 comes from John 17:17 in the New Living Translation:

Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.

The verse is rendered this way in the Amplified Bible:

John 17:17

Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your WoPrd is Truth.

The Psalmist confirms that the Word of God is the truth and that it endures forever:

Psalm 119:160 (AMP)

The sum of Your word is truth [the full meaning of all Your precepts], And every one of Your righteous ordinances endures forever.

John 17:17 is part of the final prayer that the Lord Jesus prays before his crucifixion and ultimate resurrection, as he notes,  “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message”(John 17:20). The Lord refers to a group of people who are to be “sanctified, purified, consecrated, set apart for the purposes of God.”

In the Old Testament we find that the Children of Israel were such sanctified ones:

Exodus 31:13 (AMP)

Say to the Israelites, Truly you shall keep My Sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you [set you apart for Myself].

In the Book of Ephesians, we find a reference to the term sanctify in the often quoted passage heard during marriage ceremonies where the groom receives the following exhortation, as a parallel is drawn between the bride and the Church:

Ephesians 5: 25-27 (AMP)

 Husbands, love your wives [seek the highest good for her and surround her with a caring, unselfish love], just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify the church, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word [of God], 27 so that [in turn] He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy [set apart for God] and blameless.

Here we find another group of individuals who are to be sanctified or set apart for the purposes of God.

Finally, there is also a reference to the Church of the Thessalonians with a similar application to the universal Church of Jesus Christ, of which all Christian believers today are a part.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 (AMP)

And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [separate you from profane things, make you pure and wholly consecrated to God]; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved sound and complete [and found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).

In reflecting on the being set apart for the purposes of God, I thought of this poem related to believers becoming “vessels of honor, sanctified and useful for the Master. . .

 

Sanctified Vessels

Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter,

he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified

and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

II Timothy 2:21

 

We offer these yielded vessels, now sanctified,

Set apart and consecrated for God’s glory,

Transformed from faith to faith, from victory to victory.

Tested in the furnace of affliction and tried

Seven times as silver, as gold is purified,

We have been purged to be a vessels of honor,

Prepared and made suitable to serve even more,

Even as the Lord presents his beloved bride.

As miracles revealed, no longer to conform

And be poured into the molds of this present age

But beholding fullness of glory to transform

Our total being into His glorious image.

Set apart in a place where miracles abound,

Through these sanctified vessels God’s praises resound.

We conclude these comments with “Vessels of Honor” offered by the Maranatha Promise Band:

The Word endures forever

August 6, 2014

psalm_119-160

Psalm 119:160 (KJV) is source of the Verse of the Day for August 6, 2014:

Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

The phrase “righteous judgments” brought to mind one of my favorite passages from Psalm 19 which uses various expressions of the Word of God, such as the law of the Lord, statues, and commandments. I especially recall verse 9:

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

Biblical scholar EW Bullinger points out that Psalm 119 is an acrostic psalm of 22 sections of eight verses each with each section starting with one of the 22 consecutive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Take a look at the psalm and note that the first eight verses are labeled under Aleph, verses 9-16 are labeled under Beth; the same sequence follows for all 176 verses (8 x22).

The Verse of the Day is part of the Resh section set to music by Anthony Chow in the following video:

The Psalmist is clear in his proclamation that the Word of God endures forever. The reference to the Word of God as enduring also brings to mind Isaiah 40:7-8. This particular passage is used as the epigraph or introduction to a poem inspired when I stood on the stump of a massive oak tree that had gradually died over a period of time, eventually having to be cut down. Although the tree had been around for centuries, its demise brought to mind how fleeting life is in the light of eternity.

The Old Oak Stump

The grass withers, the flower fades,

because the breath of the LORD blows upon it:

surely the people are grass.

The grass withers, the flower fades,

but the word of our God stands for ever.

Isaiah 40:7-8

 

 

I stand dead center on the old oak stump,

The ruin of a woodland monument,

My feet encircled by the woody rings

That number far beyond remembered years.

I read between the lines of annual

Reports a history of all you have seen:

You saw the Shawnee dance around his fires;

You knew the name of each German who came

To farm, to build, and to beget his sons

Under the shaded beauty of your boughs;

You spread your arms and offered shelter as

A dwelling place for bird and beast and boy.

Yet time’s swift stroke condemned the tenement

As progress served its eviction notice.

Men leveled the tree whose lease had expired,

Legend of a people, long since cut off,

Like meadow grass overgrowing the land

Where I stand and read man’s life history:

Fleeting as baby’s breath, man’s day sprinkles

Grasslands for a season, then blows away.

All life evaporates like dew, except

The Word of God, which ever shall inspire.

 

Psalm 119:89 also proclaims the same truth: Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. Indeed, the Holy Bible, the Book of Life, the Word of God, the word of the Lord endures forever.

Ken Whitson offers an original song “The Word Will Stand Forever.”

THINK before you speak

June 28, 2014

Think before you speakRecently the Office Manager at Carolina College of Biblical Studies, Pam Recod, shared an intriguing acrostic based on a statement that she has shared with her children as they were growing up. The words of wisdom that she imparted centered on this statement: “THINK before you speak.”

When written as an acrostic, the word “T-H-I-N-K” was broken down into a series of questions.

Instead of reflecting on the Verse of the Day for June 28, 2014, I have composed a devotional based on the statement: “Think before you speak.” I then looked for scriptures related to each of the questions asked in the acrostic.

“THINK before you speak.”                                            

This particular statement immediately brought to mind James 1:19:

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

The Amplified Bible renders the verse in this way:

Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry

Proverbs 17:28 in the Amplified Bible makes this astute statement regarding speaking, or rather, not speaking:

Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent

Proverbs 23:7 (AMP) also speaks of the center of our thoughts:

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. As one who reckons, he says to you, eat and drink, yet his heart is not with you [but is grudging the cost].

This verse is coupled with this sobering reminder from Luke 6:45 in the Amplified Bible:

The upright (honorable, intrinsically good) man out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart produces what is upright (honorable and intrinsically good), and the evil man out of the evil storehouse brings forth that which is depraved (wicked and intrinsically evil); for out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart his mouth speaks.

Philippians 4:8 instructs believers as to what they should think:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things

Every believer is to be conscious of what that individual thinks. We are reminded to control our thoughts. Paul exhorts us to “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” We must never forget that “Thoughts are the seeds to our words and deeds.” We should, therefore, always “Think before you speak” and ask these questions:

T     Is it true?

In every situation we want always to speak the truth, and so we ask this question before we open our mouths in response: “Is it true?” We are always looking to the Word of God as our standard for what is true:

Psalm 19:9 declares:

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

Psalm 119:160 reiterates this truth:

Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

Whenever we open our mouths to speak we want to be a “true witness,” as Proverbs 14:25 indicates:

A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.

Jesus Christ made this statement in John 17:17:

Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth.

H   Is it helpful?

The words that we speak should be helpful, as Romans 14:19 reminds us:

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

Colossians 4:6 also offers this encouragement regarding the words we speak:

Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Ephesians 4:29 reinforces the same message:

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

I   Is it inspiring?

The words that we speak can build up or tear down; they can encourage or discourage. Before we speak, we should ask, “Will what I say inspire and motivate those who hear me?”

1 Thessalonians 5:11 offers these words of encouragement:

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do

Believers are also exhorted to “admonish one another” in Romans 5:14

And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

A similar expression is used in 1 Thessalonians 5:14:

And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men.

A Bible study from Xenos Christian Fellowship explains that to admonish is to “apply moral correction through verbal confrontation which is motivated by love.” We should always endeavor to speak the truth in love which involves “Communication of God’s truth in love in ways that strengthen Christians to go on following God’s will.”

N Is it necessary?

Although the Scriptures encourage us to always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks (I Peter 3:15), we may encounter situations whereby we should “hold our peace” and say nothing. Indeed, there are occasions when it may not be necessary to say what we have in mind. Indeed, Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is a time to speak and a time to refrain from speaking.

In exercising the grace of God, some believers may feel that they can say whatever they think whenever they want to. 1Corinthians 10:23 calls to our attention this truth:

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

In life we all may encounter situations where it may be better to say little or nothing, as we ask, “Is it necessary?”

K Is it kind?

Most remarkably, what we put into our minds is what comes out of our mouths. Colossians 3: 12-14 (AMP) exhorts us:

12Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].

 13Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive].

 14And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony].

If we put kindness into hearts and minds, then the what we say and what we do will clothed with kindness, as we follow Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians 4:32:

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

If we are endeavoring to speak the truth in love, we can be assured that what we speak will be kind because “love is kind.” (I Corinthians 13:4)

And so we have endeavored to answer the five questions which form the acrostic based on the statement: “ ‘T-H-I-N-K’ before you speak.”

The essence of the message of this post is captured in this song by Fernando Ortega, “Let the Words of My Mouth”:

 

Righteousness and Judgment: The Righteous Judge

August 6, 2013

psalm_119-160

My morning meditation focuses once more on the Verse of the Day for August 6, 2013:

Psalm 119:160

Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. (KJV)

The phrase “righteous judgments” brought to mind one of my favorite passages from Psalm 19 which uses various expressions of the Word of God, such as the law of the Lord, statues, and commandments. I especially recall verse 9:

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

This passage from Psalm 19:7-11 is offered as part of Christian Praise Worship with Lyrics in this video:

These verses also remind us of the truth expressed in Psalm 103:6:

The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

As believers we, of course, recognize that, indeed, God is the “righteous judge” spoken of in 2 Timothy 4:7-9:

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (KJV)

2 Timothy 4--7-8

Psalm 119: 160 and related verses from the Old and New Testaments remind us that God is righteous and executes righteousness in all His judgments.