Before I have any memories, I am told that my great-grandmother, Zettie Boyer, taught me the 23rd Psalm. I would recite it proudly for her, my parents and grandparents while we were at home. But, Grandma Zettie’s great plan was for my little almost 3 yr old feet to stand up on that second step in our sweet little country church and deliver the 23rd Psalm to our entire congregation on a Sunday morning. Now that my little boy is almost 3, I can completely relate to what she must have felt when I refused. Isn’t it just like a 2-3 year old not to perform when you most want them to?!
My mom says this went on until I was 4, and sweet Grandma Zettie had to settle for the fact that I was not quite ready for public ministry just yet. I feel like somehow right now I may be stepping into a calling that woman prayed into my life. I don’t know what her prayers are, the ones stored in golden bowls in Heaven (Revelation 5:8), someday I will though, and I just wonder.
I am typing through vision blurred by tears at even the thought of how God’s Word was on my lips from before I have any memory. And tears at the thought that this woman poured into my life a respect and a desire to speak the words of the Lord, and very likely prayed for my ministry someday. Overwhelming. Jesus, praise be to Your Name.
And let that be such a testimony and an encouragement to you, if you are a parent, grandparent, great-grandparent or have any influence in a child’s life (we will discuss Isaiah 55:11 momentarily). His Word never returns void, press-on in your prayers for the next generation, you never know what kind of immense harvest is to come long after you plant those seeds!
2 Timothy 3:16-17 MSG
Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.
I had never read that verse in The Message translation until this morning. Don’t you just want to be put-together and shaped-up for the tasks God has for us? We want to be prepared! And His Word is what prepares us. It is for our benefit, for showing us what is true, it exposes our rebellion, it corrects our mistakes, God trains us to live His way by His Word!
I have been pulled from defeat, been broken of horrific pride, been released from numerous stays in prisons of hurt and unforgiveness, and had my face lifted by Nail-scarred Hands in the midst of the most life-constricting sadness and loss –> by His Words.
They are not just words on a page to me.
They are living, active and powerful enough to bring victory over…and over…and over again. I have never felt more loved than when I study the God of this Book. I’ve never felt more strength, more wisdom, more confidence, more pure happiness and joy, more conviction or more understanding than when I crack open this Book. Nothing brings Life to my bones the way God’s Word does. And it’s because HE is breathing these words out, and as my teacher, Beth Moore says, “I intend to inhale them.”
Hebrews 4:12 AMP
For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.
Oh God, give us a love & hunger for Your Word! We greatly need truth in a world reeling and tangled in its own web of lies…the more we know His Word, the freer we become from deception and darkness.
John 8:31-32 NLT
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
I picked out 18 of my favorite verses from one of the most precious discourses on the wonder of God’s Word:
18 Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.
37 Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word
40 I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness.
45 I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.
72 Your instructions are more valuable to me than millions in gold and silver.
74 May all who fear you find in me a cause for joy, for I have put my hope in your word.
92 If your instructions hadn’t sustained me with joy, I would have died in my misery.
103 How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey.
104 Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life.
105 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
111 Your laws are my treasure; they are my heart’s delight.
125 Give discernment to me, your servant; then I will understand your laws.
130 The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand.
143 As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands.
147 I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words.
160 The very essence of your words is truth; all your just regulations will stand forever.
162 I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure.
172 Let my tongue sing about your word, for all your commands are right.
Which one of those jumped off the page to you? Was there one of those verses you read twice? Write it down. Memorize it. Do not think for a second that was not the Holy Spirit speaking to you…it was! Rejoice and be glad that He is alive and He is active, my friend!
In 4 days I am stepping out in obedience in teaching God’s Word in a public setting. I will not be reciting Psalm 23, but just for old-time’s sake, read these words with me…
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
I don’t know who or where you are right now in the path of life, but I do know this: God has something to say to you through His Word. He deeply cares that His Words are on your lips and in your heart. He speaks to us however He wants to, and what I know to be true is that when you look for Him in the Scriptures, you cannot help but end up face to face with the Living God. And when you end up face to face with the Living God, things start to happen in your life. There is no more exhilaratingly wild ride on the earth, than a living active relationship with the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ our Lord. Get to know Him better, walk with Him, talk with Him, pray and open this Book with confident expectation to be changed into His likeness.
10 “The rain and snow come down from the heaven and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry.
11 It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
12 You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands!
13 Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up. These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name; they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.”
In the ESV, the second half of verse 11 is translated:
…it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Sweet friend, you are the thing for which He sent His Word. Your family is the thing for which He sent His Word. Whatever your position, whatever your dilemma, whatever your circumstance or age or status or situation…He sent His Word that we may be healed and made whole by the power of the Cross of Jesus Christ.
He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
Any and every moment you spend meditating, reading, pondering, praying, studying, or memorizing the Word of the Lord is time that will produce a harvest of righteousness for His Name’s sake. It WILL bear fruit! Oh sister, He is so worthy of our time and attention, and He is worth it!
*Photo Credit: http://amolife.com/image/kids/pretty-little-girl-portraits.html