Posted by: Larry Hoekman | June 13, 2017

Psalms — Psalm 119:129-136 – Is God Looking for You?

Day 2775: Speak a blessing into someone’s life today!

Scripture: Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul observes them. The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. I opened my mouth wide and panted, for I longed for Your commandments. Turn to me and be gracious to me, after Your manner with those who love Your name.

Establish my footsteps in Your word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me. Redeem me from the oppression of man, that I may keep Your precepts. Make Your face shine upon Your servant, and teach me Your statutes. My eyes shed streams of water, because they do not keep Your law. Psalm 119:129-136

Thoughts/questions: When someone whom we respect speaks, we listen attentively. God had to speak through the written word – imagine the chaos if everyone said, ‘God told me this!’ So His written word should garner the same respect we give the spoken word of others.

In Isaiah 66:2b God say this: But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my wordWow, God is looking for those who tremble at His word and the Psalmist agrees!

How about us? Do we take His word for granted? Or do we give His word its due respect and honor? I know I have to pick up my game a bit there. How about you?

Suggested prayer: Almighty God, I am sorry for not ‘trembling’ at Your word . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | June 12, 2017

Personal Sharing — Say Yes to God’s No!

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | June 10, 2017

Personal Sharing — Faith Becomes Sight!

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | June 9, 2017

Personal Sharing — How Different Things Can Be!

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | June 8, 2017

Psalms — Psalm 119:121-128 – Dishonesty!

Day 2771: Can’t believe I’ll be at my 50th reunion tonight . . .  I’m old!

Scripture: I have done justice and righteousness; do not leave me to my oppressors. Be surety for Your servant for good; do not let the arrogant oppress me. My eyes fail with longing for Your salvation and for Your righteous word. Deal with Your servant according to Your lovingkindness and teach me Your statutes.

I am Your servant; give me understanding, that I may know Your testimonies. It is time for the Lord to act, for they have broken Your law. Therefore I love Your commandments above gold, yes, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem right all Your precepts concerning everything, I hate every false way.  Psalm 119:121-128

Thoughts/questions: Yesterday’s verses started with ‘I hate’ and today’s section ends with those same words. Today the Psalmist is ‘hating’ every false way. There are a lot of false ways to choose from, and I’m not thrilled with any of them.

Lying, cheating, stealing, misleading, obstructing, telling partial truth, and the list goes on. Stealing might be my most hated ‘false way’ but all of them rob in one way or the other.

So what false way is most enticing to you? Partial truth to protect yourself? Cheating when nobody will find out, like on your taxes? Misleading for personal gain? Whichever one is your weakness, EVERY false way goes against God’s standard!

Your behavior probably doesn’t have to go from black to white, but light grey is not acceptable. It may be a little costly, but let’s all seek to eliminate EVERY false way!

Suggested prayer: Dear Jesus, help me to rid my life of all false ways . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | June 7, 2017

Psalms — Psalm 119:113-120 – My Hiding Place!

Day 2770: It might be summer, but our spiritual ‘education’ never stops!

Scripture: I hate those who are double-minded, but I love Your law. You are my hiding place and my shield; I wait for Your word. Depart from me, evildoers, that I may observe the commandments of my God. Sustain me according to Your word, that I may live; and do not let me be ashamed of my hope.

Uphold me that I may be safe, that I may have regard for Your statutes continually. You have rejected all those who wander from Your statutes, for their deceitfulness is useless. You have removed all the wicked of the earth like dross; therefore I love Your testimonies. My flesh trembles for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments. Psalm 119:113-120

Thoughts/questions: Double-minded! Very frustrating to deal with. But God’s law brings the promise of consistency and a compass like direction – a much better path to follow!

My hiding place, my shield, my sustainer, my hope, the One who upholds me! God is so much more, but for today, all of this is enough!!! And it doesn’t happen often, but when I need a hiding place, I can run and hide in Him! Yes, He is my everything! 

Suggested prayer: Father God, yes, You are my hiding place, my shield, my sustainer, my hope, the One who upholds me . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | June 6, 2017

Psalms — Psalm 119:105-112 – A Lamp and a Light!

Day 2769: Use your words to create, not destroy!

Scripture: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn and I will confirm it, that I will keep Your righteous ordinances. I am exceedingly afflicted; revive me, O Lord, according to Your word. O accept the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, and teach me Your ordinances.

My life is continually in my hand, yet I do not forget Your law. The wicked have laid a snare for me, yet I have not gone astray from Your precepts. I have inherited Your testimonies forever, for they are the joy of my heart. I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes forever, even to the end.   Psalm 119:105-112

Thoughts/questions: Show me the way . . .  When we traveled in Europe and were lost, we often needed someone to ‘show us the way’ and they always did – and we were very thankful. Darkness also gives us the feeling of being lost, but in that instance, we only need light.

This Psalm states that God provides the light – for the immediate and down the road a bit! A lamp to our feet – the immediate light for one step at a time like a flashlight when camping can bring confidence for that very next step. And a light to our path – for our future like a lantern when camping lights up an entire area!

Sometimes we need the lamp and the light, but one is enough! Having one requires stepping out in faith – a good thing. So feeling like you’re in the dark? Get the flashlight and the lantern by taking in God’s word!!! His word will bring you light!

Suggested prayer: Lord God, without You I am wandering in the dark. Thank You for bringing light into my life . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | June 5, 2017

Personal Sharing — It’s A Test!

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | June 3, 2017

Psalms — Psalm 119:97-104 – Is God Your Teacher?

Day 2767: First June weekend – enjoy those summer days as this season seems to go the fastest

Scripture: O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine. I have more insight than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, because I have observed Your precepts. 

I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Your word. I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me. How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! From Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.  Psalms 119:97-104

Thoughts/questions: The best teacher? Some say experience is. Others say someone else’s experience is as you don’t have to go thru the difficulties. Some say hands on teaches one the best. Some might say only those who care and have passion can teach the best.

But the Psalmist states clearly that this student is wiser than their teachers because of the student’s level of attention, not to their teachers, but to God’s word! God’s word is the best teacher because the student of His word becomes wiser; has more insight; gains understanding; restrains themselves from every evil way; and hates every false way!

Want the best? Get the best teacher! Want the best teacher? Immerse yourself in God and  His word and receive what only the very best teacher can give!!!

Suggested prayer: Almighty God, help me to seek wisdom and understanding from You and You alone . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | June 2, 2017

Psalms — Psalm 119:89-96 – We’re All the Same!

Day 2766: It’s Friday, it’s June, it’s summer! A trifecta!

Scripture: Forever, O LordYour word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands. They stand this day according to Your ordinances, for all things are Your servants. If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction.

I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have revived me. I am Yours, save me; for I have sought Your precepts. The wicked wait for me to destroy me; I shall diligently consider Your testimonies. I have seen a limit to all perfection; Your commandment is exceedingly broad. Psalms 119:89-96

Thoughts/questions: Yes, there is a limit to all perfection! It’s called humanity. Nobody is perfect! We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God! (Romans 3:23) At least I know I have!

God’s commandments pretty much cover all types of human behavior, and we just can’t measure up. BUT in Christ there is no condemnation; there is freedom; forgiveness; acceptance; inputed righteousness; unconditional love; and more! So even though we all cannot meet His standard of perfection, we do NOT have to fear!

Thankfully, His forgiveness is even broader than His commandments. No one has to convince me that I am ‘good enough’ to satisfy a holy God – I fall short! Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift – Jesus!

Suggested prayer:  Dear Jesus, thank You for making a way of salvation for all of us . . .

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