Sunday, November 1, 2009

2009 Scripture Memory Challenge #19, 20 & 21, plus one more for good measure!

I’m playing catch-up with the Scripture Memory Challenge. Since I didn’t blog for nearly four weeks, I missed both postings for the month of October. As of today, I owe you 3 passages, but (because you’re so special), you get 4! Stay with me here…

I absolutely love the Psalms! They’re among my favorite places to dwell in the Bible. Early last month, I received a daily devotional message by Lysa TerkHeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries. I was immediately drawn in when I read the opening passage. Her message centered beautifully around four passages in Psalms with a message that resonated with me for days…in fact it still is. As the excitement of the wedding, major changes at work and other everyday crises swirled around me, these verses have found themselves lodged in my head, but more importantly my heart. Like Lysa TerKeurst, these verses have become my daily prayer. Perhaps they’ll become yours, too…

A Morning Prayer

Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." Psalm 86:11 (NIV)

It is very early in the morning. Not many people are stirring yet.

Though my body begs me just to roll over and go back to sleep, my soul is stirring to get up and go sit with Jesus.

Though I can't physically see Him, I know He is present.

I decide to open my Bible to the Psalms and use the verses I read as prayers to start my day.

And the more I pray those verses out loud the less I hear all the nagging things of the world. A beautiful melody of truth starts to rise up and suddenly my worries fade in the light of God's truth.

His perspective on things that are troubling me starts to overshadow my anxiety. Like shade on a hot summer's day, I feel relief in His presence.

I know that He is preparing me for what I will need throughout this day. He is already standing in every minute of my day and He sees what I will face. So, He's equipping me to be able to handle what is ahead of me with His gentle boldness, quiet strength, and loving grace.

In Psalm 81:10b,
God instructs me, "Open wide your mouth and I will fill it." He will give me what to say today. What to say in happy moments. What to say in aggravating moments. What to say in moments where I feel insecure and what to say when I feel completely confident. What to say in disappointing moments. What to say in response to questions.

He also reminds me that sometimes it is good to keep my mouth closed and say nothing at all.

All the words that rumble about in my brain and those that will proceed out of my mouth, Lord, You be the author of those.

Psalm 84:1 reminds me that God's dwelling place is lovely. So, I ask God to dwell in me richly. I want Him to be what radiates about me. I want Him to be my pretty today.

Not my hair. Not my outfit. Not my efforts. But simply Him and His spirit dancing invisibly about me... shifting a wrong attitude, guarding my words, and whispering constant truths into my heart.

Psalm 86:11 is what I ask the Lord to give me. "Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart..."

Lord, may nothing separate me from You today. Teach me how to choose only Your way today so each step will lead me closer to You. Help me walk by the truth and not my feelings.

Help me to keep my heart pure and undivided. Protect me from my own careless thoughts, words and actions. And keep me from being distracted by MY wants, MY desires, MY thoughts on how things should be.

Help me to embrace what comes my way as an opportunity...rather than a personal inconvenience.

And finally, help me to rest in the truth of Psalm 86:13a, "Great is your love toward me." You already see all the many ways I will surely fall short and mess up. But right now, I consciously tuck Your whisper of absolute love for me into the deepest part of my heart. I recognize Your love for me is not based on my performance. You love me warts and all.

Have mercy, that's amazing.

But what's most amazing is that the God of the Universe, the Savior of the world, would desire a few minutes with me this morning. Lord, help me to forever remember what a gift it is to sit with You like this.

Dear Lord, I love You. All that I have read here is the desire of my heart. I know and confess that sometimes my actions and reactions betray my love for You. Please forgive me. Thank You for Your grace that is able to recognize this new day as a new chance to walk closer with You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

If you’d like to subscribe to these daily messages (and I highly recommend it!) click here.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Well, you picked some good ones to catch up on! Short ones as well!!

You're almost there, friend. Congrats on sticking it out. Your heart is the better for it.


Kristin Ungerecht said...

Great thoughts there. I just signed up for the e-mails. :)

Jennifer said...

Great, great thoughts - I think I'll write a few down to "think on a bit" this week! Hope you are having a great week yourself:)

Lea said...

I LOVE the scripture of the undivided heart! I had read that as well! Like you, I love to bask in the word of PSALMS....

I'm encouraged by the scriptures I read here today. You bless me sweet friend!

Sandy said...

Thank you for sharing! Inspiring and perfect for the day!

Amy said...

Today could not have been a more perfect day to catch up on your blog! Thanks so much, Tracy!

Love you!


LisaShaw said...

Hey Sugar, came by to say hi and to see how you are.

I enjoyed reading the WORD and your sharing.

I stand with you in your prayer.

I love this: "Though I can't physically see Him, I know He is present."

Blessings and love!