Written by Guest Writer: Brittany Jude
Good morning ladies!
Join me (I've got my coffee in hand) and let's spend some time meditating on the Living Word of God together this morning.
For those who may not know, I’m a wife, mother, homemaker and farmer, so much of my writing comes from that perspective. I'd like to begin this writing by asking you to imagine with me the following (hang in there, I promise there's a point to it): Imagine a SINGLE, TINY apple seed, when it looks upon the strong apple tree bearing hundreds of apples ! How overwhelmed that little seed would be to think “I have to do all that? I have to become that?” Right? But that's not the attitude of a seed who knows its identity. The seed whose eyes are opened to see that it is not an “I have to” mindset, it’s an “I get to mindset” is the seed that will achieve what it was always meant to be. The small seed sees that great apple tree and says “I GET TO BECOME THAT?!” And then, everything changes. It knows its identity. Joy instead of drudgery sinks in and the seed says to it’s creator with all my heart I see that your plans are better than anything I could accomplish on my own, but how can I achieve such a thing? The creator says “take root in the good soil, grow up in it, i will give you the increase naturally, all you have to do, is take in the good things ive given you for nourishment, weed out the bad and endure the hard things by taking deeper root….Then I will give the increase, and I will produce the fruit in you and it will come forth from your branches in its season--you just focus on taking in my nourishment & dig deep into the soil. So the seed that believes says to the creator, “Ok, with all my heart I believe you and with all my energy I will cling to your soil, I will allow myself to come unraveled that I might become what I believe you are making me into. I believe you are able, Oh creator let me not be swept away by the rain and the winds which are much stronger than I am at the moment. I will store up your nourishment with all my effort that I might not sway from your hand!” And in due time, that little seed will break forth from the darkness of the ground, it's face will be toward the sun and in time it will become a strong, fruitful apple tree able to feed & nourish others. And all it had to do, was take root in the good soil, take into itself the good things and endure the hard. Then, Naturally, in its season it brings forth fruit!
You and I, as born again followers of Christ, are like that tiny apple seed. We look at Christ in all His holiness and our born again hearts cry out “we get to become like Him!” It's not a “have to” mindset, it's an “I get to” mindset, thus we truly delight in doing our Lord’s Will!
When we look at the scriptures and we know a thing to be true and we want to obtain that truth for ourselves, we begin by asking questions (stretching out our roots looking for nourishment). So the writer noted the truth in v 1 that “Happy/blessed” is the man who walks in the perfect way. But here he begins to ask about obtaining this truth: “how can a young man keep his way pure” he Answers “...BY guarding it according to The Word of God”. So the writer has found how to obtain this happiness. We go from an observation of the truth in vs 1 to a seeking, asking, understanding & application of it here in v9.
Verse 9 begins with parallelism again. Whereas in verse 1 the writer begins noting how blessed is a man who keeps His way pure, here the writer emphasizes the thought even further by saying “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your Word.”
If we do not guard or keep watch over our ways we will vere off course and be lost (the same is true if we go on vacation or to a new place we’ve never been before and forsake the directions on the way and just make turns based on what we think in our hearts is right...that won’t get you to your destination, you’re going to vere of course! Likewise, if you take the directions with you but you haven't studied them or looked at them regularly in order to know your turns & routes etc, you'll get lost just the same. God’s Word is like those directions. His Word is our road map, and if we will store up His ways in our hearts, keeping them in our minds, we will be sure to remain on the right path! “Lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.”-proverbs3:5-6.
So how do we stay on course? As the psalmist says we must “guard our ways according to The Word”
*in proverbs the writer says “guard your heart with all vigilance, for everything you do flows from it” proverbs 4:23 *as a man thinks in his heart so is he”-prob 23:7 *the heart is deceitful & desperately wicked. Jeremiah 17:9 *incline your ears to words of knowledge, apply your heart to instruction- Prov 23:12 one of the biggest lies of the devil in our society today that causes many to veer off course is the worldly principle “follow your heart”. What a terrible piece of advice! I used to believe this and my life was unsteady, unstable, and chaotic because of it. The heart without guidance is like a ship with no anchor or captain on the waves in the sea ,full of emotions that ebb& flow with its environment. But as Christians, we have the gift of being anchored in the unchanging Word of God so that we will not be tossed about by every wind and wave. We follow God’s word and we lead our hearts in the right ways, being anchored in them. “We must LEAD our hearts” this is the opposite of what society says but this is the true and biblical way to a pure & anchored life.
As Jeremiah 17:9 states “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick. Who can understand it?”
So We must Lead & guard our hearts in the way that is right. And how can we lead them in the right way if we do not know the right way? And how do we know the right way if we do not study & follow the instructions (as prov 23:12 says we must “incline your ears to words of knowledge, and apply the instruction to your heart”)
We must get hold of the directions in order to know the way, and then we must follow the directions diligently if we are to get to our destination. And these directions are joyous, not burdensome, because in following them we know we will get there; whereas without them, the way would be stressful, confusing, fearful, unstable and unsure. But The ways of The Lord are sure and steadfast, unchanging and everlasting. We are anchored, rooted if we walk in the ways of The Lord.
As the writer goes on he says ” I have stored your word in my heart that I might not sin against you! “ Major take home point here sisters! How can we avoid sin? Well we know all have sinned (Romans 3:23) But we don't go on practicing & embracing sin when we are born again(Romans6).
The writer of this psalm shows how we can keep our way pure that we might not sin against The Lord (that word “might” is a key word here. The writer is not boasting that he is sinless, rather he is confident in The Lord’s ability to keep Him as He diligently seeks to walk in the right ways; yet he pleads for The Lord’s grace & long-suffering to help him. It's a beautiful display once again of our efforts reliant still on God’s grace. And I feel like it echoes1John1:7 “if we walk in the light as He is in the light then we have fellowship with one another and the blood of His Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin”. → Our efforts, Christ’s blood, and God’s grace covering our goof ups along the way!)
When we store up the word in our hearts, we store up that “light”, we are “reprogramming” our hearts to learn the Right ways, giving light to our hearts to be able to see which path is right to take.
“Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path” as the psalmist says in 119:105
So How do you store up the word in your heart? We do this the same as the psalmist did: by meditating on the word, fixing our eyes on His Ways, delighting in the wisdom of His principles, not forgetting them.
(Our minds are like gardens, and our thoughts are like seeds, you water&sow these seeds by continuing to meditate on the thought/think on it more, and build upon it in your mind, and as you do this the thoughts take root in your heart and when they take root in your heart they bring forth buds of desire (think of a plant that just before the flower opens you see that little bud at the edge of the branch...this is desire...it is not yet visible or blooming but it will be if it's continually nourished (continually thought about). Desire is the fruit of what you think about most, and eventually the fruit of desire comes forth in action! This is why it is SO important to mind your thoughts. You may not do a lot of gardening in real life but we ought to always be gardeners of our minds. Keeping watch of our thoughts, always keeping watch over what we allow our minds to think on: Throwing out the weeds, and planting more good seed—> storing up the Word in our hearts. As we do this, our affections change, our desires change, and hence the end result: our actions change. This is all by The Renewing of our minds by the Word--romans12:2”Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”**.).
But we can not obtain this by our own efforts as the psalmist once again shows us in his plea for God to help him v 10: “I have sought you with my whole heart, oh let me not wander from your commands”. The psalmist realizes what he must do, and he desperately desires to do it, however, he has a staggering vision of his proneness to wander and so He cries to God to keep Him, and help him to remain on the right path. Though he trusts & relies on God to keep him, he is not idle; he makes every effort to treasure up God’s wisdom and live by it.
We would do well to do the same. As we are seeking to store the Word in our own hearts and walk in the right ways, we can take a lesson from the psalmist and ask God to help us, not to forsake us and to keep us from wandering! I’m reminded of this song: “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love—here’s my heart Lord take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above”.
We are prone to wander aren't we? Especially in this world with all its distractions and promises of soul satisfying pleasure and yet, the world’s ways always fall short and leave us broken, empty and parched. Oh that we would have eyes to see that The Word of God is living water, life to our bones and a light to our path ! Then we would delight in His Word & store it up as a life giving treasure In our hearts. We would dig our roots into the Word and let it take root in us.
In closing, the writer of this psalm shows how we can “take root” in the good soil—> by guarding our way by The Word—>which means to lead your heart with the Wisdom of God’s Word, don’t follow it in its fickle emotions that are every changing with the current of the world. The heart is deceitful and dumb, it needs to be led & trained in the way it ought to go. —> store up The Word in your heart so that you can lead your heart (do not follow it)! —> store up the Word delightfully—with an “I get to!!” Mindset. —>Store up the word how? By Meditating (thinking on it/dwelling on it intently, writing it on your heart by memorizing certain principles a little at a time & practicing them in your life, prayerfully), fixing our eyes on The Right ways (keep your eye on the goal, you’ll end up where you’re looking!), delight in the principles, they are not burdensome—but freedom to your soul!, bind them upon your minds and place them around your home so that you can keep them always in mind until they are imprinted upon your heart. ❤️
I want to close this writing as Megan did last week by sharing just a few simple ways you can store up God’s Word in your hearts throughout the day this week:
1) Pick another memory verse from the assigned 8 verses this week and save it to Your phone screen or Tape it in front of the place you look while doing dishes, laundry or on the fridge, over the tv screen, by the stove or wherever you'll frequently look. **I challenge you to stop when you look at it and read it. Then pause and close your eyes and try to quote it without looking until you get it memorized (even if it's just one or two words at a time.) I promise you'll be so glad you did. **
2) Print out our Psalm 119 workbook here: and hand write out verses 9-16 to work through (define certain words, pick out action words, look at cause & effects... etc)
3) This one may sound weird but trust me: put a bible by the toilet in the bathroom 🙂.
4) Download the bible app so you can listen to scripture while you get ready or while you do a chore.
5) Think of a time where God’s word has popped up in your mind when you were about to make a “wrong turn” and give an example of how having the word in your heart has corrected you or kept you from sin? If you feel comfortable, please share it with us!
**If you have read this whole thing, my closing question is: **How do YOU plan to store up God’s Word in your heart this week? Take a picture and/or comment below. **In addition, Let’s see your handwritten scriptures and marked up scriptures in the comment section too! **
Here are some examples from our work book: