Summer Encouragement In The Distractions

Day 1

Read Psalm 119:1-16

The point of this week is to remind us to return to God’s word, giving it a place in our lives that is very much needed. Many people struggle with creating a habit with God’s word, so we fall in and out of the practice.  In this Psalm, the writer will use a lot of words to refer to what we call the Bible:

Law- the first five books of the Bible were seen as this.  The Pentatuech.  It is a combination of teachings and stories that help illustrate the teachings.

Testimonies- the stories and witnesses

Precepts- commandments

Statutes- To do tasks, like dietary laws etc.

Commandments- direct teachings

Rules-  that one is pretty easy.

Different people relate in different ways to the bible, but the sum total of it all is the best for us.  We can have favorite parts (Old and New Testaments) and it is fine that there are parts we struggle through (Leviticus, Ezekiel, Lamentations).  But what of these categories do you tend to find the easiest to work through on your own?

What in this list do you tend to know and understand the least about?  

Why is that?

Why not share your favorite kind on the app with others following along in these devotions?

Day 2

Read Psalm 119:17-32

The idea of having eyes, but not being able to see, is a constantly repeated idea in the Bible.  It is a great picture that helps illustrate what it is that God’s word is doing for us.  We are blinded to truth and need to see it clearly.  You may be wondering how I would know that or how I could say such a thing about you, but the reality is that we should always be asking God what we are just not seeing.  Maybe there is a decision that seems to be wrecking our lives and we just don’t get it.  Ask God to open your eyes and show you his perspective. 

Where is it in your life that you need to ask God for clarity in?

Do you remember a time that God has recently opened your eyes to something that you read in the Bible and you saw it in a new or different way?

How do you capture those moments usually?  Just try to remember them?  Write them down?  Share them with someone?

What is God showing you in this reading today and how does that become part of your prayer?

Day 3

Read Psalm 119:81-96
The Psalms are a neat and different style of writing.  Some people get it and really enjoy it.  Others count it as poetic and therefore not really having any great teaching in it, just good reflections.  Even though I tend to land in that category automatically, I want to do the work of understanding that the Psalms contain some really deep thoughts that are worth sitting and working through. I think this is a lost art and practice when reading the Bible.  We schedule times that go fast and the goal is to do a reading and check that off our list of things to do.  Then we jump into our day or put something on television and distract ourselves.  I challenge you to doin the opposite of that after reading this section.

What do you think verses 81-82 mean and how can you relate to that idea?

What do you think verse 89 means and what was the author trying to show us or what did they believe?  Is it just abstract or was there something more behind the thought?

How would you explain verse 96 to someone and then how would you illustrate this from your life?

If you get stuck on one, or have a good thought about one, take a few minutes to share that on the messaging app and help others through these thoughts.

Day 4

Read Psalm 119:97-112

It is one of my biggest passions to talk about and learn more about God’s word.  There really is nothing that interests me so much as the ever evolving view of who God is and how He tells the story of who He is.  Even though I feel that, I can certainly find myself talking myself away from spending the needed time with it.  There is always an excuse that draws my feelings at the moment and I regret to say, that I make too many decisions out of those feelings that happen in the moment rather than the truths that I really know.  This is an illustration that shows the importance of meditating on God’s word.  When I am meditating, or rolling it around in my mind, it is on deck ready for those times that I need a light for my path (the longview decisions) or a lamp to my feet (wisdom needed for a moment and decision).  This is the heart of being a wise person, one that is wiser than the enemies they face, one that is able to advance past even their teachers, one that is advanced beyond their years.  

What do you think it looks like to spend time meditating on God’s word?

How can you do this better or be more practical with it specifically?

When you read verse 103, how have you experienced this in your life?  

Why not end today’s devotion by praying through the idea that verse 112 portrays?

Day 5

Read Psalm 119:113-128

It is so annoying to be around people that say one thing, but they have no view of their own lives that sees they are exactly the same!  Don’t you just want to scream at them because they are totally missing it?  We would call this a hypocrite.  The Bible also uses the phrase “double-minded.”  It is like saying that they have two minds and are divided between the two.  The annoying thing is that I get the whole calling other people a hypocrite thing, but then when you explain it like the double-minded idea, it hits a little closer to home.  There is also a great deal of danger in living around and working with people like this.  You wonder what is real and what is not.  The Psalmist here is writing about those relationships and how they can be difficult to navigate and be safe in.  Maybe mentally or maybe physically, but there is a concern.  The answer to that struggle is also God’s word, according to what we read here.  

What does God’s being a hiding place mean and how have you experienced that?

What does God being a shield mean and how have you experienced that?

Read verse 120 again.  This seems like a strange approach to God.  If you were introducing someone to who God was, and they asked about this verse, how would you explain what is meant here?

How far should you consider verse 128 in what you are dealing with today?

How does this become part of your prayer today?

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