Psalm 119 challenge

Good morning everyone! Congrats, you have completed 5 days of journaling already. Today, I will take a short break from the journaling and get you try something else to further the experience, I hope. If you are signed up to Rightnow Media, search Psalm 119, by Matt Chandler. It’s a 10 video series on this psalm, and will really give some awesome extra insight into this incredible piece of scripture. So that is my challenge for this weekend. Check it out.

If you are not signed up for Rightnow Media, simply send an email to the church office requesting you be signed up, and they will send you the login info, for free. There are thousands of teaching, bible study, conference and devotional videos on this site.

If you have been working on your journaling, please leave a comment below today. I want to see who is all out there.  How is it going?  What have you learnt?

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Psalm 119:33-40

Scripture: Psalm 119:33-40

He

Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end.

Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart.

Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.

Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.

Turn my eyes away from worthless thing; preserve my life according to your word.

Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared.

Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good.

How I long for your precepts! In your righteousness preserve my life.

 

Observation:

You can really see the heart of the author here.  He keeps asking God for understanding, to teach him, to turn his heart, to shield his eyes, all because he desires to follow God blamelessly. His motivation seems very selfless. He really desires to do what is right, and it seems he recognizes there are things in his life that are not right. Are my requests more often selfless or selfish? Are my motives always pure?

 

Application:

I love the way each verse is a small prayer on its own. There is almost a bit of confession within each verse, and asking God for help. This kind of model of prayer really keeps your motives pure. Any selfish motives I would have would very clearly be exposed.  Can I try and pray with the will of God in mind, rather than my own desires?

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Prayer:

Lord, turn my eyes from worthless things. Things that distract me from seeking you and understanding your ways. I want to find delight in all your commands, help me keep my path straight and true. God, your ways are good, help me learn so that I may obey with all my heart. Thank you Jesus! Amen

Psalm 119:25-32

Scripture: Psalm 119:25-32

Daleth

I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word.

I gave an account of my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees.

Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.

My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.

Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me and teach me your law.

I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws.

I hold fast to your statutes, Lord; do not let me be put to shame.

I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.

 

Observation:

Seems like a bit of a different theme today. The author is asking God over and over for understanding, to teach him, to strengthen him.  Really like verse 27, “cause me to understand the way of your precepts…” What a great reminder of how we should be approaching scripture. How often do I read without asking for God to give me understanding first? And I see meditating on the word comes up again here.

The author then tells us he has “chosen” the way of faithfulness. He has set it in his heart to follow God, and this must be his motivation for asking for knowledge and understanding. Following God must be a choice I make everyday.

 

Application:

My take away today if very simple, but powerful. Always remember to ask God for understanding always before reading scripture. Seems so obvious, but so often neglected. Also, maybe I should vocalize my choice to God each day in prayer my choice to follow Him. I really like this idea

Prayer:

Lord I thank you that you have set my heart free. God I do choose to follow you this day. I ask for understanding of your Word and of your ways. I ask you strengthen me and help me hold fast to your statutes, that I will not be but to shame. Thank you so much for what you have done for me, and for your Word and Holy Spirit that you gave to teach and guide me. Praise your name today, in the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

 

 

 

Psalm 119:17-24

Scripture: Psalm 119:17-24

Gimel

Be good to your servant while I live, that I may obey your word.

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

I am a stranger on earth; do not hide your commands from me.

My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times.

You rebuke the arrogant, who are accursed, those who stray from you commands.

Remove from me their scorn and contempt, for I keep your statutes.

Though rulers sit together and slander me, your servant will meditate on your decrees.

Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.

 

Observation:

Love the first verse, be good to me so I can obey your word. Easy to praise God when things are going well. Sometimes so hard when times are tough. What are people seeing in me? There are a lot of people who I know think the Gospel is a fairy tale, and cannot fathom the thought of being a follower of Christ. I get it, I was there once. And they will slander and scorn and laugh and make fun of me given the chance. Interesting the word meditate pops up again. The solution to the fear of persecution you is to step back and mediate on God’s word. Don’t retaliate, don’t argue, don’t fight. Ponder God’s word. Allow God’s word to be your delight. Allow the word of God to counsel you, to comfort you.

Application:

Again, the idea of stepping back a moment and meditating on the Word is intriguing to me. My defence mode comes up when I hear people slandering God, or writing comments trying to call us as Christians brainwashed fools. Don’t allow myself to get sucked into this fight. Step back, meditate on the word, delight in it. Allow the Holy Spirit to do the fighting for me. Why does everything seem so simple?

Prayer:

God, yes, open my eyes to see new and wonderful things in your law. Lord, help me not get distracted or afraid of those who want to tear me down or condemn me for my mistakes and shortcomings, but rather help me find delight in your word, help me find joy in your law. Your word is exciting and may it come alive for me in a new way this week. Thank you Jesus for your incredible faithfulness. Amen.

 

Psalm 119:9-16

Scripture: Psalm 119:9-16

Beth

How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your Word.

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.

I have hidden  your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees.

With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.

I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.

I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.

I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your Word.

 

Observation:

What a huge question in the first verse.  99% of guys are asking this question, of all ages. The answer is found in the rest of the verses. For such a huge problem, there is such a simple answer, and maybe this is why we struggle with it. It just can’t be that easy. Be in the word, meditate on the word, delight in the word, don’t neglect the word. It’s so simple, but we have a hard time grasping that. Why? Am I too busy? Do I neglect the Word? Do I give it the attention I should?

 

Application:

The word meditate caught my attention. When I do spend time in the Word, do I actually stop and ponder what I read? or do I just check mark it off my list of today’s to do list? This week I will intentionally practice meditating on the word after I have read my bible.

 

Prayer:

Lord, thank you that the answers really are so simple. But Lord, give us the strength and clarity of mind to realize this. Help me Lord to slow down this week and follow what you have said to do in this passage.

 

Still unsure:

I want to understand what it really means to “recount all the laws” with my lips. For further study.

Psalm 119:1-8

Good morning everyone. This is the first day of the challenge. Just a reminder, you are to write/type out the 8 verses, (no copy and paste 🙂 ) then journal your thoughts and prayers. This blog is for your use for 2 reasons; 1- I am using the S.O.A.P. journaling method just as on example.  2- this is accountability for me.

Show me your journals at the end of the 22 days. You may win a prize!

Looking forward to studying with you. Feel free to leave a comment at anytime if you wish.

Scripture: Psalm 119:1-8
Aleph
Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.
They do no wrong but follow His ways
You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed
Oh that my ways are steadfast in obeying your decrees.
Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands
I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn you righteous laws.
I will obey your decrees do not utterly forsake me

 

Observation:
Wow, the bar gets set pretty high immediately in the first four verses. Blameless, keep His statutes, all their heart, do no wrong, fully obeyed. I am absolutely cringing right now at how much I don’t meet these standards. Verse 5 reflects my heart and probably most peoples. Oh if only my ways were steadfast. I wouldn’t have to feel guilty, I would be able to worship with more freedom. How much does my own hypocracy at times keep my hands from raising? I love the last verse. God don’t give up on me, I will obey yet. So thankful for the grace of God and the work of the cross! What a reminder, though, about the power of the Word of God.

Application:
Very thankful for this journaling challenge, will definitely keep myself accountable to regular reading and study. 7 am each morning this week will be dedicated to reading/listening to the Word.

Prayer:
God, give me an increased hunger for your Word. May your Word become increasingly alive to me. God help me to not get distracted and manage my time well. I pray my ways would be steadfast in obeying your decrees. Search my heart Lord and show me where I have not obeying your Word. Show me Lord how to walk blameless

The Psalm 119 Journaling Challenge

 

The overall message of Psalm 119 focuses on the truth of God’s Word. It encourages us through every generation to stay close and focused on His Word no matter what circumstances and challenges we face in this world. Living in the freedom and knowledge of God’s ways, obeying His law above all else, and keeping in step with His commandments is the only way to truly live wise, strong lives.

God’s Word is powerful, living, and active. It never changes, because He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His words are breathed straight from His heart to us, a love letter for life, not simply an old-fashioned, outdated book with no relevance for today. His Word is sharper than any two-edged sword.

Psalms 119 reminds us that God’s very character is reflected through His Word, He is Righteous, He is Faithful, He is Unchanging, He is True. The opening 2 verses remind us, that we are “blessed” as we walk in His Truth, and seek him with our whole heart.

The Psalm is arranged in an acrostic pattern. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, and this Psalm contains 22 units of 8 verses each. Each of the 22 sections is given to a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and each line in that section begins with that letter.(in Hebrew)

Since this is a Psalm glorifying God and His Word, it refers to Scripture over and over again. It is referred to in almost every verse as it is mentioned in at least 171 of the 176 verses.

In this Psalm there are 8 basic words used to describe the Scriptures (depending on translation), God’s written revelation to us:

Law (torah, used 25 times in Psalm 119):
Word (dabar or imrah,  used 43 times):
Judgments (mispatim, used 23 times):
Testimonies (edut/edot, used 23 times):
Commandments (miswah/miswot, used 22 times):
Statutes (huqqim, used 21 times):
Precepts (piqqudim, used 21 times):

In some modern translations also:                                                                                                      Way and Decree
The theme of the awesomeness of Scripture is thoroughly explored in this Psalm, but always in connection with God Himself.

While it is unclear who the author is, most popular belief is that it is King David. However, there is argument that it could be Ezra or Daniel as well.

Regardless of who wrote it, this Psalm will take us through a wide range of thoughts and emotions, while at the same time grounding you in the Word, mentoring you and equipping you.

 

The challenge:  

This challenge will be done over 22 days total, one day for each section. We will do this for 6 days per week. That gives us a day each week to either catch up if we fell behind or want to study something else. Each day, write or type out the 8 verses. Then Journal your thoughts on this piece of scripture. Try to include things like observations, confessions, encouragements and how this does or could apply to your life. If you are unsure how to Journal, click on this link  Journaling 101 for some instruction on a simple journaling method.

Show me you have written the verses and completed the journaling, and you will be “in the draw” to win the journal. (I won’t read your journal entries)

Looking forward to learning with you!

Lorne