“How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
Praise be to you, Lord;
teach me your decrees.
With my lips I recount
all the laws that come from your mouth.
I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.
I meditate on your precepts
and consider your ways.
I delight in your decrees;
I will not neglect your word.”Psalm 119:9-16
I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. v10 and I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. v15
Think back to when you were trying to win over your wife.
Did you hide littles notes for her to discover later? Buy thoughtful gifts that caught her by surprise? And did you plan extravagant dates just to make her smile?
I bet prior to each date you took a long shower, shaved, combed your hair, and wore your finest clothes. You might have even surprised her with a beautiful bouquet of flowers in her favorite colors.
All day long you thought of her and looked forward to your next moments together, however brief they would be. And you sent her sweet little text messages and called and left her a voicemail just to say you were thinking of her.
Whenever you went on a date you left your phone in the car, forgot about your work, and were completely present. When you drove her back to her home did you you drive extra slow just to steal a few extra moments together?
I might be reminding you of an old country song, but even the most manly of you have a romantic side. If you can’t relate to any of this then you are in luck… I just gave you some great tips on how to unleash your romantic side. You can thank me later.
But this isn’t a post about how to continue wooing your wife throughout your marriage. That post will come in the future. For now we must focus on our relationship with God and our earnest pursuit of Him.
You must pursue Christ as you pursued your wife
When you first wakeup say a prayer thanking Him for a good night’s rest. When you hear a good song come on the radio think of Him and tell Him how grateful you are for beautiful music. Before each meal close your eyes, bow your head, and thank the Lord for the food, ask Him to bless it, and to be with you for the remainder of the day.
When you take a walk through the woods, watch the sun setting, or see the waves crashing on the beach take a moment and marvel at His creation. Allow your jaw to drop and your heart to be amazed. Look up into the sky and just think of how much capacity He has to loves you if He created a world as beautiful as ours.
Your relationship with Jesus is an all day, every day affair.
Jesus taught us to pray the Lord’s prayer and in it He shows us to ask God for our bread today. Not yesterday’s bread or tomorrow’s bread, but just enough for today. This means that you can’t check-in with God first thing on Sunday morning and then just cross Him off your to-do list for the week. You must bring Him with you every moment of every day. The great thing is, the more you open your life up to God the more of it He will fill and bless. He is with you always. You just aren’t paying attention.
1 Timothy 4:7&8 says, “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”
It is easy to understand that to be physically fit you must train your body daily. But are you also training your spiritual muscles daily?
Are you working on your godliness?
“When one seriously trains, he willingly undergoes hours of discipline and even pain so as to win the prize— running 10,000 miles to run 100 yards at one’s best. The successful Christian life is a sweaty affair! No manliness no maturity! No discipline no discipleship. No sweat no sainthood!”Disciplines of a Godly Man, by R. Kent Hughes
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. v11 and With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth v13
How many Bible verses can you recite?
I’m embarrassed to admit I can only recall one dozen or so.
If you are like me it isn’t that you have a bad memory or ability to recall other things. And to prove this let’s complete a quick test. How many of the below examples can you identify?
“Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you”
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
“As alike as two peas in a pod.”
“As cool as a cucumber.”
TV theme songs
“So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your job’s a joke, you’re broke
Your love life’s DOA
It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear
When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month
Or even your year, but
I’ll be there for you…”
Did you recognize them all? Good. This proves you have the ability to memorize Bible verses. Now it is time to get started.
- Goto your junk drawer and get four index cards.
- Grab your Bible and choose four of your favorite verses.
- Write the verse on one side of the card and the location on the back.
- Spend one week carrying a single card around with you to memorize, but tie the act of memorizing to habits you already have. Look at the card when brushing your teeth, driving in your car, and during each meal. This will give you one half dozen or so opportunities with the card per day for one week!
- By the end of the week you will have looked at the card almost 50 times and the verse should be committed to your memory.
- Now grab your next card and start working on it. By the end of one month you will now have four Bible verses memorized.
- Save your cards in a small box and refresh your memory of them every once in a while.
- This box is now your Bible verse rolodex.
Now that you’ve memorized these verses you can pull them out at will to help you get through the tough moments in your day.
Heres three good ones to start with:
- “Man shall not live on bread alone.” Luke 4:4-4
- “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” Luke 4:8
- “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” Luke 4:12
Praise be to you, Lord; v12 and I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. v14
The Bible is full of examples of believers praising God.
Psalm 100, “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.”
Psalm 101, “I will sing of your love and justice; to you, Lord, I will sing praise.”
Psalm 105, “Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts”
It is no accident that the book of Psalms ends with Psalm 150, which is completely full of praise:
“Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.”
How much time do you spend singing praise for all of God’s wonderful acts in your life?
The answer for me is, not enough! It’s often frowned upon to talk about too many positives in your life.
You may be quick to talk about your pain, illness, loss, and all of the negatives in your life and ask for prayers, but how often do you share the number of times God has answered your prayers?
How often do you praise God for your health? For your strong body and sharp mind. Do you share how blessed you are for your loving friends and family?
What about for your career?
It is easy to forget about these blessings while we are witnessing them and long for them when they are missing. “Oh how I miss when I could climb the stairs unassisted” or “I used to be able to do that!”
The good news is spread by praising God.
We have a relationship with the creator of everything. He made us in His image, He loves us and thinks we are perfect exactly as we are at this very moment.
What stops you from sharing this good news with everyone around you? Why are you afraid of talking about the good things in your life?
I challenge you to be different today. Tell a friend how much God has blessed you, share some of your answered prayers, and how much He loves you.
I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. v16
Psalm 119 ends with a proclamation of obedience.
I have spent a lot of time building my knowledge of the scriptures. I know the meaning of different words, the path that Paul took on his many voyages, and can estimate the approximate location that Moses parted the Red Sea. I do not have a deficit of knowledge.
What I have is a lack of discipline.
Are you like me? If so, you don’t need more knowledge to be obedient, but instead need more discipline.
According to R. Kent Hughes the legalistic heart says, “I will do this thing to gain merit with God.” The disciplined heart says, “I will do this thing because I love God and want to please him.” There is an infinite difference between the motivation of legalism and discipline!
Going back to the beginning of this post when we talked about the early days in our relationship with our spouses. Did you do all of those nice things to earn her praise and admiration? Or was it because you wanted to show her how you loved her?
God doesn’t need your money to help the poor, He can do that himself, but he loves when you tithe. He doesn’t need you to help Him feed the hungry, but he loves when you volunteer at a soup kitchen. And He doesn’t need you to lay down your life to save your neighbor, He already did that.
God can make all these wonderful acts happen whether you choose to participate or not. What He wants is for you to love Him unconditionally. For you to sing His praises, meditate on His love all day long, and completely pursue Him each and every day.
What about you? What habits have you formed to make God a priority each day? Reply in the comments below. I read them all!