Tag Archives: fall short

Treasure God’s Word in My Heart

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, December 1, 2017

Psa 119-11 hidden Your word, Bible

Treasure God’s Word in My Heart

We come to a verse that I memorized very early in my work of Scripture memorization. As I still remember Psalm 119:11, “Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” (The first number of verses I memorized came from the King James version of the Bible. A lovely, poetic version, but not always the most understandable.)

As Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes on this verse, he translates it “I treasure Your promise in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” Similar content, slightly different translation of the first section. Slightly different imagery, but still an awesome verse. I think this has been one of my favorite verses—and concepts—from the Hebrew Scriptures that I have ever committed to memory.

I absolutely agree with Bonhoeffer. Straight off, he says “I do not treasure God’s promise in my understanding but in my heart. It is not to be analyzed by my intellect but to be pondered in my heart.” [1] Yes, theological concepts can be analyzed. Certain weightier sections of Scripture benefit from a careful, clinical study. However, the psalmist here states plainly enough that God’s word needs to be pondered, and hid—or treasured in one’s heart.

How deeply do I need to allow God’s Words to penetrate into my innermost being? Bonhoeffer says “It must penetrate deep within us, dwell in us, like the Holy of Holies in the Sanctuary, so that we do not sin in thought, word, or deed.” [2]

Oh, dear Lord…those words of Pastor Bonhoeffer convict me to the heart. I am not even thinking of any specific sin, or shortcoming, or place where I need to mend my ways. However, I know that I very much need God’s Word in my heart. Oh, boy, do I need it!

While this verse is one of my all-time favorites, yet, it also convicts me. I hesitate, even, before allowing it onto my internal radar screen. Dear Lord, gracious God, help me to follow You more nearly and love You more dearly. Encourage me to hide Your word in my heart, because I do not want to sin against You, and do things (or think or say things) that displease You and even make You angry. Dear Lord, forgive my falling away, and my falling short. In Jesus’ precious, powerful name I pray, amen.

@chaplaineliza

 

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[1] Meditating on the Word, Dietrich Bonhöffer, edited by David McI. Gracie. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cowley Publications, 2000, 117.

[2] Ibid.

Honest to God, in Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – January 7, 2015

cast your anxiety on Him 1 Pet 5-7

Honest to God, in Prayer

Am I truly honest when I pray? Or, do I just include those prayers, those parts of me that I think or feel God wants to see?

What about those parts of me that are less than godly? Less than righteous or pure? What do I do with those? Do I ever allow those parts of me to come out of hiding—in prayer? To “let it all hang out,” as it were? Am I kidding myself when I think that God just doesn’t see or even know about those less-than-holy parts of myself?

God, I know those impure thoughts (and deeds, too!) are a part of me. Yes, I sin. Yes, I fall short. But You want me to continue to come before You, even though. Time after time in scripture as well as in history I can see people continuing to come to You in prayer. You don’t turn anyone away. Not ever. Even though people continue to sin and to fall short.

You are the best place in the world to cast all of our cares. (As 1 Peter 5:7 tells us.) You are the only place I can run to when I stumble and fall—repeatedly. And You pick me up—repeatedly.

I realize that some of today’s modern-day Pharisees would have me all tied up in spiritual, physical, and psychological knots. In some super-spiritual straightjacket, where the real me, the me You intended me to be would be all stifled and muffled and starved. Where some Pharisees’ conception of God was all harsh and angry, throwing thunderbolts at the least little misstep. (Gee, sounds a lot like mean, capricious Zeus, if you ask me!) No, sir. No, thanks.

Reminds me of my dear prayer partner of several years ago. When her youngest child was about one, she would call for the child to come to her from across the room. The determined little tyke would toddle across the floor, sometimes falling down. Boom! Right on the padded backside. Yet time after time, my friend would urge her dear child to get up and to keep going. Keep on trying to toddle to her. And at last, finally hug her dear child to her in a warm embrace.

That little toddler is me. I fall down, and make missteps. Mistakes. Sometimes I may even toddle in the other direction. But I know my God is there for me. And God won’t leave me alone, either.

Thank You for loving me, for caring for me. After all, that’s exactly what 1 Peter 5:7 tells me: that You care for me. You are my Heavenly Parent, after all.

God, I can—indeed—be totally honest with You. So, help me, God.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blog, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.