“I have hidden your word in my heart”

How do you keep yourself daily sustained in trusting our Lord Jesus?

Many Christians find it a struggle.  Others find patterns and routines that work for a time.  But often we need new impetus to keep going, because life so easily seems to takes over.

I read Psalm 119 this week.

It’s long, so it took a while!  But it’s all about a Christian committing themselves to delight in reading the Bible and finding there – in God’s uttered words – sustenance for every day.

Because God’s word gives life.  True life.  Jesus, after all, is God’s word made flesh.

You might think that reading the Bible daily already sounds like a burden – when do we fit that in?! 

But my point is this: God is not expecting you to preach a sermon to yourself every day from the Bible.  Or have an hour long Bible study.  Rather, one choice morsel to reflect on through the day will keep most of us going.

The writer of Psalm 119 puts it this way in verse 11: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

I suppose this author may have memorised huge portions of scripture. 

But, instead, I take this verse as a prompt to shape lower expectations of how I read the Bible when I do.

I try to hide in my heart one word, phrase or sentence from my Bible reading to see me through the day.  Usually a verse is too long for me to remember, but I can linger over a word or phrase and recall it through the day.

And in that way, I find I’m feeding on God’s word – the word that gives life – all through the day.  God shapes me through his word.  And remembering his word shapes my prayers.

For instance, I got to the end of Psalm 119 and, in honesty, thought the author was out of my league.  He seemed to find constant joy in Bible reading which isn’t always mine.

But then the Psalm surprised me.  This super-confident Christian says this:

“I have strayed like a lost sheep.  Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.”  (Psalm 119v176)

That verse spoke to me.  I know God’s words, including his commands, are good, but I too stray and need God to seek me out daily.

So I found myself through the day saying to God: “Seek your servant.”  I wanted God to graciously find me and help me walk with him.

That was an encouragement all day to me.  And do you see what God was doing as I recalled that phrase? 

He was making me like the author of Psalm 119.  Someone who was finding joy in the Bible, because I was holding onto God’s word of life.

Could you find a choice phrase to hold onto whenever you read the Bible?  Digesting a morsel of God’s word each day will soon shape us in the likeness of Jesus Christ, the living word.

With much love in Him,
Tim

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