The Good Life
Lord God Almighty, I am loved by You and I want to serve You. Only by Your grace am I capable of unselfish service.
Read PSALM 119:25-48
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
United with Christ, you can receive encouragement, comfort, love, tenderness, compassion, and sharing in the Spirit as well as many other gifts (a summary of Phil. 2:1-2). This is the good life as God sees it.
How can we live the good life? The Psalter begins (Psa. 1:1-3) by reminding us we have a choice–we can drift by default with the taken-for-granted culture around us (walking “in step with the wicked”) or grasp our spiritual destiny by being deeply rooted in God and his ways. Psalm 119 continues this theme of choosing to live well. In three further stanzas of this devotional acrostic, the emphasis is again on the blessing that comes when we immerse ourselves in God’s wisdom, even when the way seems hard (25,28). We meet again all the words we have already seen in Psalm 119 for knowledge of how God wants us to live–God’s Word, decrees, precepts, law, truth, statutes, commands, and promises. We have no excuse for missing the point! The instruction our God gives us is life-giving. We should grab it with both hands.
How do we access this wisdom? The apostle Peter says that God “has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him…. For this very reason, make every effort…” (2 Pet. 1:3,5). It takes discipline–the discipline of setting aside time for God’s Word, the discipline of obeying what we read there. There are many ways to do this. My father taught me to meditate on a psalm every day because they speak to the whole range of our human experience. In preparation for the testing times ahead, God told Joshua to keep the Law always on his lips (Josh. 1:8). In recent days I have gone back to memorizing Scripture, a habit lost for many years. I find that in those other times in a day–maybe driving in the car or walking by the ocean–I can recite the words and let them work their way into my heart and mind so I grow in knowledge and Christlikeness.
Do you want to memorize God’s words and let them permeate your life? Philippians 2 is a good place to start.
Father, I love to read Your Word. Unfortunately, I often mistake reading it for obeying it. Teach me new ways to embrace and obey Your Word.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.