January 3, 2011: Psalm 19 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by Ander Chen, Gracepoint Berkeley

Reflect on the vast expanse of God’s creation and the revelation of God through nature. What might be some actual sentences that the heavens “declare … day after day” as they “pour forth speech”?

Some actual sentences might be: Beautiful is the lord and his creation, God is an awesome and mighty God and so are the wonders of his hands, God is the originator of beauty and through his creation his beauty, glory and majesty is known…

It amazes me that we can find God in nature all around us, especially when I go to Yosemite or the Grand Canyon.  That’s probably why me and countless others love to go to places like that. I like it because such places make me feel small and I get reminded that  the God who made all of this still loves little old me. That he made it all so I could appreciate it and connect with him through it. I remember there were nights I used to look up into the stars just standing outside my house looking up and wondering if God was out there. And now that I’ve found him, I can see that God made this world to be pleasing to him and for us. Often times, it’s easy for me to pass the day, get distracted by work or ministry and never “stop and smell the roses”. I’m reminded that I need to take a break during the day to appreciate nature and pause and just be thankful to God for what he has given to me. God made us in his image to enjoy what he enjoys and connecting nature with God is an important thing.  I need to spend time looking for it or else I’ll miss out on what nature says about him.

Submitted by Christine Chang, Gracepoint Hsinchu

Psalm 19 v.11 By them is your servant warned, in keeping them there is great reward.

Verse 11 describes God’s law as what will give us the great reward in the end, if we keep it. Also verses 9-10 describe the ordinances of God as righteous, more precious than gold, and sweeter than honey. These words dispel the common misunderstanding that God’s law is restrictive and bounding. I use to view God’s law as just that. I thought it kept me from doing things that I wanted to do, which I thought were “good” for me. I didn’t see God’s law as being perfect or being able to revive my soul. I also saw it as God stripping me away my freedom and arresting me to follow His rules and living a drag dull life. But as I started to yield my life to God’s law, I started to experience His Word coming alive for the very first time. Slowly as God’s laws and Words took root in my heart, I started to experience what it meant to have life. It revived my soul by helping me to see that God is trustworthy and that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. As I followed to live out His laws, I felt that grip of sin lessening in my life and I was able to take my eyes off of myself and place them on the people around me. As God’s law challenged me to take steps of faith by returning home to take care of my ill father, or moving to Taiwan to serve at our church, or having that uncomfortable conversation with a roommate or confessing some hidden sin that I wanted to take to the grave with me, I started to grow in my confidence in God’s promises and laws. I recognized that God’s Word was indeed for my good and that it will lead me to the great reward, which is in store. This is something that I could trust.

If we look at the psalmist’s experience of God’s Word and all it’s blessing, we see his understanding of the breadth of God’s Word as so wide. The words in which he used to describe God’s Word, you can tell that it came with much life experience which meant he actually struggled with God’s Word and living it out. In the same way, in order for me to live the same way, I need to take warnings from God’s Word and allow it to be that blessing for me. Often God’s Word convicts me of my sins and complacencies. Instead of being defensive, or giving excuses, I should heed the warnings that God gives through His laws, if not then I could miss out on that great reward in the end. Emotionally it feels easier at the moment to deflect and perhaps save myself by not looking at my sin or denying it, but the more I do that, the more I am deadening my soul. In that way I need to daily have that perspective that God’s laws are precious and given to me so that I could look at myself clearly through the lens of reality. It will bring life to me. God’s vision for my life is probably far greater than expected and I should trust that no matter how painful it is to allow God’s Word to dig deep into my heart, I just need to yield myself and place my trust in God’s Word that through it God’s trying to revive my soul and bring me life.

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