Day 168: June 17, 2014

Today's Reading(s)

Psalm 19
1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands. 2 Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they communicate knowledge. 3 There is no speech; there are no words; their voice is not heard. 4 Their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun. 5 It is like a groom coming from the bridal chamber; it rejoices like an athlete running a course. 6 It rises from one end of the heavens and circles to their other end; nothing is hidden from its heat. 7 The instruction of the Lord is perfect, renewing one’s life; the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, making the heart glad; the command of the Lord is radiant, making the eyes light up. 9 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are reliable and altogether righteous. 10 They are more desirable than gold—than an abundance of pure gold; and sweeter than honey, which comes from the honeycomb. 11 In addition, Your servant is warned by them; there is great reward in keeping them. 12 Who perceives his unintentional sins? Cleanse me from my hidden faults. 13 Moreover, keep Your servant from willful sins; do not let them rule over me. Then I will be innocent and cleansed from blatant rebellion. 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.



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Declare the Glory of God
by Steve Layton, Discipleship Minister, Brentwood Campus

Be sure to click on the new video this week.

Psalm 19 is a Psalm of David. But when? Did he write it as a shepherd boy on the Judean hills, lying on his back on a dark night staring at the spender of heaven? Did he write it as a fugitive with Saul’s bloodhounds barking on distant hills? Or was it when he fled from Absalom to seek refuge in the wastelands of the mountains? Perhaps a quiet moment pacing on the palace roof?

Whether it was as a boy, as a fugitive, or as a powerful king, David wrote this great hymn that found its way to the chief musician for the edification and instruction of the people of God.

This psalm tells us how God is exalted through the witness of both in the sky and scripture. Verses 1-6 declare that the heavens proclaim the glory of God. These verses lift up the unmistakable witness of God’s grandeur. This testimony is too magnificent for words; yet head from sea to shining sea.

The witness of the stars tells us something about God. But if we are ever to know God Himself—what He’s like as to His nature, His person, His personality—then God must reveal Himself through His Word. The stars say God is almighty, God is eternal, God is omniscient, God is infinite. The scriptures tell us that God loves and feels, He cares and rules, He is the way, the truth and the life.  

In verses 7-14 scripture takes the stand to offer testimony. He assuredly states that God is trustworthy and reliable, He is righteous and renewing, and He has the power to convict us, cleanse us, correct us and change us.

There is but one verdict to the testimony of sky and scripture. “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.” God created us for fellowship with Him. Although we were separated by our sin, God continues to use creation and His Word to both warn and provide great reward to us.

God’s purpose and plan for our life is for us to be formed, conformed, and transformed into His image by:

  1. Placing our faith and trust in God. Psalm 19 reminds us that God is trustworthy and that the precepts of the Lord are right.
  2. Getting to know God in such a way that the personality and deeds of Christ naturally flow out of us where we live, work and play. Psalm 19 reminds us that the instruction of the Lord is perfect and we find great reward in keeping it.
  3. Fleeing unintentional and willful sin. To do so will lead to an innocent and cleansed life.
  4. Continuing in our journey toward Christlikeness.

Psalm 19 is one of my favorite Psalms. I pray every day that “the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). Often I add, “and whatever I do in word or in deed, may I do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Colossians 3:17).

Praxis

  1. On a clear starry night sit in prayerful silence observing the star filled sky. Listen as creation declares the glory of God. What is God saying to you through the “sky”? Are you compelled to join the chorus as heaven and nature sing?
  2. Commit to maintaining a daily habit of scripture intake. Find a strategy that works for you. Commit to a time, place and plan. Perhaps JourneyOn Today will provide your guide. If not, seek wise counsel for other strategies and reading plans to strengthen your journey toward Christlikeness. 
  3. Memorize Psalm 19:14 and close your prayers with this powerful supplication.  

About JourneyOn Today

Today's devotional series accompanies the Spiritual Practices Foundations Curriculum which deals with 24 different spiritual disciplines. We will break for an Advent series in December and continue the second half of Spiritual Practices during the first quarter of 2015.