Monday, May 13, 2013

Psalm 119:65-72 The Well Handled Servant

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

http://youtu.be/HPq_fA__w8A


Teth
65 You have handled Your servant well, O Eternal One, as You promised.
66 Help me to learn good judgment and knowledge because I believe Your commandments.
67 Before I had trouble, I strayed from the true path, the path of righteousness,
but now I live according to Your word.
68 You are truly good, and Your acts are too; teach me what You require.
69 The proud smear me with their lies; I will keep Your instructions wholeheartedly.
70 Their hearts are dull and callous; I am delighted to study Your teaching.
71 It is a good thing that I was humbled because it helped me learn Your limits.
72 Your teachings are more valuable to me than a fortune in gold and silver. 
~ Psalm 119:65-72 The Voice (VOICE)


You have handled Your servant well, O Eternal One, as You promised.
I am so glad that the Eternal God handles me well. Cause there are days when I am pretty clueless and need to be handled by someone who can see the bigger picture. There are many days when I feel like I am a drift in a vast ocean of directional possibilities and I look around in a full circle and have no idea which way land might even be. I am thankful in those times, when I feel that way that I can hold on to the truth of the word. That He knows the plans for me and they are good plans. That the steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord. A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. 

Help me to learn good judgment and knowledge because I believe Your commandments.
So when I feel confused and don't know what to do I go back to the beginning. I look at the foundations of truth that I have built my life on. I remember, and I recall what things I know to be true. I remember how God has helped me in the past. He has helped me to learn good judgement. He has trained me to be led by the Holy Spirit and to yield to those little nudges to go this way or that. As I build upon the foundations of things I have learned to be true my problems tend to sort them self our in light of God's faithfulness to me.  What ever you are facing today, you are not alone. He promises that He will never leave or forsake you. It says that nothing can snatch you out of his hand. He does wait for you to invite him to come in and help you to set things right. He does not just barge in and take over uninvited. 

Before I had trouble, I strayed from the true path, the path of righteousness,
but now I live according to Your word. Sometimes it is the difficulties that we face that finally bring us to our knees. Up to those watershed moments when we cry out to God, we were convinced that we could handle things on our own. God is to often the last resort, when we have exhausted every other possible solution. Just humble yourself and let go of your stubborn pride and turn to Him now. 
Admit to Him and to yourself that you are in over your head and you need His help. 

You are truly good, and Your acts are too; teach me what You require.
God and the things He does are truly good. It is His kindness that leads us to repentance. We taste and see that He is good. We realize that we are hungry for more of what He has to offer. I remember being a young 20 year old, my grandmother had just died. My aunt and her family and I had gone to a missionary bible camp for the weekend. I figured I could tune out the preachers and just enjoy the nature. I was not prepared for the family sining group that was there. They shared songs about a loving God. As I watched them that weekend I was convinced that they indeed had something that I did not have and did not understand. I got just a tiny little taste of God's goodness and that tiny taste got my attention and started me on the journey to find out what this Jesus guy was all about. 

The proud smear me with their lies; I will keep Your instructions wholeheartedly.
 Their hearts are dull and callous; I am delighted to study Your teaching.
There have been a couple of times in my life when I have been smeared by the lies and half truths of well meaning but mis informed people. In those instances I felt the Lord's instruction was not to try and defend myself. I was to be silent and I was blessed to see people who knew and loved me rise up to my accusers and set them strait. There is a bit of truth in every lie, thats what makes them believable. There were certainly things in hind site that I could have done better but what blessed me is that even though those situations were horrible I got to see that there were a lot of people standing for me. I suppose when we sow the seeds of believing the best of others that we reap a harvest of people believing the best of us. Lord help our hearts to be soft towards you and not dull and calloused. 
I show my new guitar students the callous that have built up on my left hand fingers from playing guitar. One needs those callouses to develop to be able to play the guitar other wise pressing on the strings is very painful. I tell my new students to make sure to push on the strings every day for 15 minutes so that they will build the needed callouses. Our hearts do the same thing when presented with painful things. Little by little we grow callouss on our heart.  In the case of our heart we don't just avoid the pain we miss out on being able to feel the pleasures and the joy. Those same callouses that protect us from pain also block our ability to feel God's presence and love. 

It is a good thing that I was humbled because it helped me learn Your limits.
Think back on the things that have brought about the most growth in your life. Generally it is the trials and difficulties that we have had to face and overcome. If everything was just peachy all the time we might have never discovered some of what God has called us to do. We might not have discovered what it is like to depend and lean on God. We might not have experienced the joy of answered prayer or rejoiced with songs of deliverance.  

Your teachings are more valuable to me than a fortune in gold and silver.  I suppose I have to remind myself who my source is. It is not my employer, or my mate, or my parents, or my insurance, or the government. My source is the Eternal God of the Universe. My source is that God who was able to raise the son he sent to us from the dead. My source is the God who parted the read sea and gave sight to blind men and caused the lame to walk. I won't lie to you there are times when I do worry about how to make ends meet. There are times when I can feel quite anxious about the things I am facing. I have to stop like you do, I have to remind myself of what is true. Nothing compares to Jesus and His great love. There is no fortune that is more valuable than He. No kingdom better able to provide for its people than the Kingdom of God. I stop and I recount the many times when God has helped me. There have been so many times when things looked hopeless and seemed impossible yet God came through. 

Prayer: I pray the Lord will remind you of His great value. It is more than the sum of all of the answered prayers and is rooted firmly in who He is. I pray that you would grow beyond a long list of wants and needs and get to know Him as your most intimate, trusted friend who will walk with you every step of the journey through this life. I pray that you will learn to trust Him as your provider, who cares about your every need. 

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