Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement.
“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.”
1 Peter 5: 7
“Does Jesus care when I’ve said good-by
To the dearest on earth to me,
When my sad heart aches, till
it nearly breaks,
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?
Oh, yes, He cares,
I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
Though the days be weary,
The long nights dreary,
I known my Savior cares.”
Frank E. Graeff
Today’s Study Text:
1. “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”
Psalm 119: 105
2. “Order my steps in Thy Word.”
Psalm 119: 133
“Why I Love Studying the Bible” Part 6
“There is no situation in which we are placed, no demand that arises, for which Scripture as the deposit of the manifold wisdom of God is not adequate and sufficient.”
How has God’s Word helped to guide me in my life?
“Unless God’s Word illumine the way, the whole life of men and women is wrapped in darkness and mist, so that they cannot but miserably stray.”
Has there been a time in my life when I wandered off the path of God’s leading and it was God’s Word which contained just the right directions to place my feet back on God’s heavenly way again?
“The word of God directs us in our work and way, and a dark place indeed the world would be without it.”
“The whole Scripture is a light shining in a dark place; a lamp or torch to be carried in the hand of a believer, while we pass through this dark world. (The Word) is the standard of faith and practice; by the light of this lamp the difference between true and false doctrine may be discerned; error and immorality may be reproved…the way of truth and godliness, in which an individual should walk, is pointed out; and by means of (God’s Word) we may see and shun the stumbling blocks in our way and escape falling into pits and ditches; it is a good light to walk and work by.”
Years ago when our small advertising agency had a fairly large roster of clients, I spent most days traveling to visit each organization, making certain they were reaching the funding goals for the worthy projects they were involved with.
Since each client had a specific account associate assigned to help me with the special projects, thankfully, most of the accounts workers liked driving and so I became what was nicknamed “The Navigator.” It was my job to do the research on the fastest way to get to a client’s place of business. And furthermore, just in case there was an accident on one of the many Los Angeles freeways, I also had to plan ahead for the unexpected by formulating a way to get to the client’s office on time when the unexpected occurred.
Even my husband Jim, who occasionally joined me on one of these excursions, joked that I could get around Los Angeles with my eyes closed. Not an easy thing to do in an era of traffic jams.
What my staff didn’t know was that long before I hit the road, Jim had gotten me one of the most detailed MAPS I’ve ever seen. Once I had this fantastic gift, I got busy studying the MAP. In fact, I would write notes on the map; with important details which helped me recognize vital pieces of information. For example, in downtown LA, there is a place where at least four freeways join up with each other. There’s a name for this area – the “interchange.” Believe me, if you happen to be unaware of how the various freeways not only drop off onto other highways, but also how they end up connecting you with a completely different freeway, you could end up going in the wrong direction. Once when I was about 10-years-old, our family was headed in our VW station wagon to my grandparent’s house in Arizona. My dad knew that a new portion of freeway had been opened, however, he had never driven the road himself – his knowledge was only hearsay. In fact, the new section of freeway wasn’t even noted on any of the maps. To make a long story short, instead of heading out on Interstate 10, east to Phoenix, Arizona, we found ourselves heading south toward San Diego.
This is exactly why, when I was chosen to “navigate” my cohorts around Southern California, I made certain my trusty map was in the car with all my notes about the roads handwritten on the map and all the client’s offices circled with a red felt marker.
Now let me tell you what I learned:
1. Knowledge of where we were going and how we would arrive at our destination saved us a great deal of time. It was very rare we found ourselves wandering aimlessly down some dead-end road, not knowing how we would find our way out. It was infrequent we ever arrived late for an appointment. Let me tell you why this proved to be so important – when we were late to an appointment, we not only wasted our time but our client’s time as well. I’ll even go a step further, I didn’t want my clients to think their work was so unimportant to me that I did not plan ahead to arrive on time. I believe the same can be said about the way I treat the study of God’s Word. If I truly believe God’s Word contains the directions I need to find my way to my heavenly home, I will make certain that studying my map isn’t something I only do in an emergency. I’ll be devouring the map on a daily basis. I’ll get to know the map so well that when an emergency problem hits my path – when a terrible accident upends my life – I won’t find myself derailed. I’ll know that my Father has already made a way through the mess.
2. Knowing the map that gets me home has another very critical element associated with a safe trip. For many years Jim and I traveled over 65,000 miles by car and airplane each year to visit clients. One of our largest clients was in Philadelphia where the United States Mint is located. In between our client meetings on one trip, we spent an entire afternoon visiting the Mint. We were very fortunate for we were treated to a private tour. One of the first questions Jim asked the well-informed gentleman who was our guide was this: “How do you teach workers to spot forged bills?” His immediate answer was, “We look at bills that aren’t falsified and after knowing what the true bill looks like, it makes it much easier to identify the false bills.” This to me was a tremendous lesson, for before Jesus left this earth, He promised all His followers, this includes you and me, that He would send “the Spirit of Truth, He will guide you into all the truth – the whole and full truth. For He will not speak His own message but He will tell whatever He hears from the Father: He will give the message that has been given to Him; and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come, that will happen in the future.” (John 16: 13, Amplified Bible). When we open our Bibles and begin to really dig…to really study God’s Word and as we ask for God’s Spirit to lead us into all truth, we will become so well acquainted with truth that we won’t be confused by what is false. God’s Word will shine forth with the truth.
As I was studying for this particular devotional, I checked several pieces of historical literature that provided me with insight into our study text, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119: 105). A small lamp at night in ancient times might offer enough illumination for “my feet.” But today, in a time of darkness, I desire my Father to show me His path with the torch of His Spirit. As J. H. Skilton describes, “In Biblical times torches, variously prepared, were appropriately used when stronger illumination was desired than that provided by lamps.” In the darkness in our world today, when the true can be obscured by the false; when evil attacks what is good; I believe it is time to get out God’s roadmap and then ask for the torch of God’s Spirit to light our path so we can see our way home. May our prayer today be: “Steady my steps with Your Word…so nothing (harmful) gets the better of me. (Psalm 119: 133, The Message Bible).
“Send me Your light and Your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.”
Psalm 43: 3
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet
and a light unto my path,
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet
and a light unto my path,
When I feel afraid and think I’ve lost my way.
Still You’re there right beside me;
and nothing will I fear
as long as You are near,
Please be near me to the end.
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet
and a light unto my path,
I will not forget Your love for me and yet,
My heart forever is wandering.
Jesus be my Guide
Hold me to Your side
and I will love You to the end.
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a
light unto my path,
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
and a light unto my path.
You’re the light unto my path.”
Michael W. Smith
Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant – “Thy Word”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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