Regular nibbles from the Bible. . .come for a bite, leave with an appetite

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14, MSG)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

EYES ON THE GOAL (Psalm 23-25)

Where am I going and how am I going to get there?

I've always been goal driven. Even in my present situation, I do my best work when scheduled and under deadline. So the verses that caught my attention today are ones that look back on life. They offer three different reasons to persevere, one from each chapter.

I was blown away by The Message's rendering of Psalm 23:6: Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.

Chased by love . . . chased by beauty. When I feel ill health and lack of success dog my steps, instead, God is chasing me with love and beauty. They will chase me to my last day, when they will welcome me into heaven.

Of course that begs the question, how do I see love and beauty? I would say in fresh flowers, the sound of rain falling, the fruity scents of shampoo and soap. In the kind actions and patience of aides. In the face of a woman who lost so much of her mind but holds onto God.

Psalm 24 offers a different promise: God is at their side; with God's help they make it. This, Jacob, is what happens to God-seekers, God-questers. (Psalm 24:5-6, MSG)

Note, it doesn't say they have it easy. Or that they will be rich and successful. But we will make it. God is their constant help. They can depend on Him. Whatever problems they face--they will make it.

Hmm, I changed from first person to third person in that paragraph. I should say, I will make it. I do say that all the time, especially in writing.

The promise is given to God-seekers and God-questers. If I seek God, make Him the object of my quest--I will certainly succeed. He longs for us to come to Him.

What does this look like? On our part, the traditional disciplines: prayer, Bible reading/study/meditation/memorization, church, worship. It also shows in our perseverance when the going gets tough, when our children rebel, when we face illness, when we lose our jobs.

We may sense God in the words of a friend, in a sermon, a song, a verse of scripture. Even from a TV show. From "circumstances." (When God really wants to get my attention, He repeats it three different ways.)

In fact, Psalm 25 says God confides in us. He is our Friend: God-friendship is for God-worshipers; They are the ones he confides in. (Psalm 25:14, MSG)

The promise from Psalm 25 is the most precious of all: Use all your skill to put me together; I wait to see your finished product. (Psalm 25:21, MSG)

It reminds me of one of my favorite verses: Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6, NIV)

I am in process of becoming, and I will only be completely "me" when I reach heaven. I am looking forward to that day.

Which ones of those promises touches your heart?

Today's verse: What are God-worshipers like? Your answer: Arrows aimed at God's bull's-eye. (Psalm 25:12, MSG)

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