Daily D – Psalm 119:11
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (NIV)
I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart
so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.(MSG)
David Allen in Getting Things Done (GTD) says our minds are for having ideas and not for holding them. King David says our hearts are for storing words of truth and life and not merely hearing them.
This is one of those Bible verses my Sunday School teachers tried their best to get into my thick head and distracted heart. I heard what they said and pretty well memorized this verse without trying too hard. It took much longer than necessary to figure out the full meaning of the verse.
When I say “much longer than necessary,” I may be referring to decades and not years.
How long will it take you to figure out the importance of well-placed and perfectly-timed truth right where it does the most good?
If you are an aficionado of a sport or school of art, you know the rules, their intricacies, and the exceptions. For example, you know you should probably punt the ball on fourth down and four to go when you are too far away to kick a field goal. This is a generally-accepted rule. You also know teams make a higher percentage of fourth-down attempts than they otherwise consider. Therefore, it is not out of reason to go for it when most others would play it safe and punt.
If you love classical painting, you know scenes and portraits take months or years to complete. A masterpiece became so only after unceasing focused attention over a long period of time. You also know some artists can throw paint on a wall and see what sticks and make millions of dollars. One is an achievement of a lifetime while the other is the flavor of the month.
We know this about football and art, do we likewise know this about truth and life? Read God’s words of truth and life daily. This is a wonderful, life-giving habit. Here is a corollary: Commit God’s words of truth and life to memory so that in every circumstance we know what to do and not to do and when there are exceptions. Two verses to begin with are this one (Psalm 119:11) and Psalm 143:8.
Psalm 119:11 tells us why. Psalm 143:8 shows us how. What other verses tell us who, what, when, and where? When we fill in these posts, what other verses provide connections to build the fences providing protection and freedom within God’s bountiful limits?
Today is a Tuesday that feels like a Monday. We need these two verses from Psalms today to begin moving us in the right direction as our calendars accelerate toward Christmas. We will need God’s truth to guide us. He has graciously and generously provided us with most of what we need in the best-selling book of all time. Let’s read it and make it stick.
Ideas are best captured and stored where we can revisit them.
Truth is best remembered and revisited as often as necessary.
I will hide God’s words of truth and life in my heart that I may live a life honoring to him and beneficial to others.
Our Father, thank you for your words of truth and life. Thank you for preserving them for us. Give us ears to hear what you are saying. Give us hearts like deep wells full of the refreshment and provision we require from the treasury of your wisdom and power. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”