Parent Category (Pocket Sized Thoughts [Roger Jacobs])

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Psalm 119 – Part 14

Psalm 119:161-176 “I love Your testimonies exceedingly” (v.167)

Often, men in positions of authority will persecute and restrict, as far as possible, the declaration of the gospel. But the heart that knows God and respects His word, will stand. It is a joy and a wealth to him who finds the truth of it, like the man who finds the pearl and buried treasure (Matthew 13:44-46). The psalm reaches the climax with praise repeated seven times, the number of perfection and completion. This leads not only to peace, but great peace. It also brings joy and delight as all that he has longed for is finally coming into view and being realised. It is nearer now than when he first believed and began to walk in the way. Now, his desire is to declare boldly the gospel (v.171,172). It is a desire that arises from inner constraint as he knows personally that all His commands are true, right and perfect. Neither is he going all out in his own strength but is praying for the hand of God to be evidently helping him (v.173) for without God’s help we will end up running in vain. But, knowing that God is with him, he lives to boldly declare these great and glorious truths. No longer is he a lost sheep, but has something, that is, the Word of God, to live by, which he will never forget.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that Your word gives me something to live by and to live for.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Psalm 119 – Part 13

Psalm 119:145-160 “I cried with my whole heart” (v.145)

We cry out when all seem against us. At such times, it is only the Word of God that gives comfort and hope. This is because His word is something we know intimately, deep down, established right from the beginning (v.152, 160); it is not something we are just casually familiar with. When we cry, we are to cry from the heart (v.145). To whom do we cry out, but only to the Lord (v.146); and when is the best time to cry? – before we are conscious of anything else (v.147). God answers and rescues us from our enemies by being near to us (v.151) – there is no greater comfort than that. The quickening effect of the Word, His righteous judgments and His tender mercies (v.154,156, 159) encourages when things are not going the way we think they should. These qualities of Christ all help in deliverance from all those who persecute and from all kinds of various trouble. Those who do not seek the God’s Word and obey it are classified as men who fall far short of God’s glory, blessing and intentions. Salvation is unknown to them and we grieve for them. They who know the value of God’s word, know that it will endure forever and never diminish (see Luke 16:17).

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that Your established word will outlive all the oppositions of men.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Psalm 119 – Part 12

Psalm 119:129-144 “The entrance of Your words gives light” (v.130)

Here is a declaration of the powerful effect of the Word of God in our lives, which can give both light and understanding. The real key is for the His Word to enter. We must not hear only, but receive it and make it wholly ours. As understanding comes, the Word will order our lives aright, ensuring that no sin has dominion over us (v.133 – see also Romans 6:14). Pray that the Lord would honour us, but also keep us humble in mourning that we do not better obey His Word (v.136). True tears of repentance can lead us into better things (Psalm 42:3). The Word of God is pure having been severely tested repeatedly in history. It is upright, faithful and eternal; it gives strength, hope and stability in every trial of life (v.143 – compare 2 Corinthians 6:9,10).

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that Your word gives light in the darkest hours.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Psalm 119 – Part 11

Psalm 119:113-128 “I love Your commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold” (v.127)

The Word of God guards the heart from the folly of vanity causing it to separate from all the evil that would entice it. The way is often slippery and without help we would fall. However, we are upheld by something that is not of ourselves (v.116). The weakness of the flesh and vanity of the world is like dross and is only fit for removal. Dross obscures the glory of pure metal; likewise, trusting in anything of the world leads to deception and failure. Inadvertently, we may nullify God’s commandments. Therefore, it is time for God to revive and judge so that His Word may have its rightful place in our lives; even more than the finest gold, that is, the things which have all the appearance of looking good but lack that essential quality of spirit and life. May our churches abandon polished programmes and finely rehearsed services if His Word is not central and if the Holy Spirit is absent.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that Your Word is the greatest and sweetest treasure that a man can ever have.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Psalm 119 – Part 10

Psalm 119:97-112 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (v.105)

Jesus said, in effect, “Where a man’s heart is, there you will find his treasure” (Matthew 6:21). If we love the Word with all our hearts, it is a treasury to us that exceeds all the combined knowledge of academics, philosophers and opinion makers in this world. The Word of God gives us understanding and makes us wise unto salvation (2 Timothy 3:15). No word of man can ever do that. The word is not only wise, but also sweet (v.103), soothing & comforting. It encourages us to avoid evil in our daily walk and guides our every step, not as a light that dazzles the eyes, but a steady glow that illuminates the way ahead. Everything that contradicts the treasure of His word is to be hated. Sin is a great flatterer and will betray us. When health is restored and we are strong in ourselves, vows are soon forgotten, but those who love the Word will follow things through and see them established. There is no boasting in the humble request of v.108, for there is recognition of where things come from (see 1 Chronicles 29:14, last phrase and Hebrew 13:15). Life is fragile (v.109) but the Word of God is relevant for every stage of it. If we perpetually obey, the bait of temptation has no power to trap us (v.112) and it will keep us to the end of our days.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that Your word guides us through every circumstance and stage in our lives.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Psalm 119 – Part 9

Psalm 119:81-96 “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven” (v.89)

The soul can faint as a result of weakness, become shrivelled and made low by the lies of discouraging thoughts. We are like a bottle in the smoke yet if the bottle is sealed, the smoke only stains the outside. The centre, the heart, where the statutes are kept, is therefore free from polluting influences. Patience is needed (v.84). Don’t ask the question, “How long?”; it is one of the pits that the enemy digs as they wait to destroy us (v.95). Instead, fix our thoughts on the Word of God, which never changes and is relevant for every situation, place, persons and time (see Luke 21:32). As it was first ‘written’ in heaven, it will not fail on earth, or be negated by men. All things that man makes and esteems ultimately fade, but the Word of God has no limits (v.96). It shines the brighter as darkness closes in. Therefore do not forget any of His words; they give life and save us from the corruption and decay of the world around us. O to live dependent upon His word and by the rhythms of His grace.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that Your unchanging word in my heart, keeps me from everything that would defile.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Psalm 119 – Part 8

Psalm 119:65-80 “You have dealt well with Your servant” (v.65)

Afflictions come which can tempt us to be unfaithful. The testimony of the servant is that, even in difficulties, he has been well dealt with. He has no complaints. Servants can make mistakes, but the Lord still employs them. Though they may be unprofitable, He still pays well and though they may know so little, He will teach them. Trying circumstances can be like a hedge of thorns, keeping us within good pasture to feed upon (Job 5:17) and in a place where wounds can properly heal. Difficulties can teach us – so much depends upon our attitude. When humble, our sins of ignorance can be forgiven (Leviticus 5:18) and thus, we can move on. Self-indulgence brings inner decay, but the Word of God discerns, refines, sustains and fills. It is thus better to learn than rely upon the emptiness of riches. There is a precious humility in knowing that we have been made, so that we may learn from our Creator (v.73). There is no shame in this (v.80) as we live dependent upon His tender mercies (v.77) – this is the greatest motive of life. It is so good and blessed to know that our every breath is because of Him.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that You have made me that I may fully depend upon You.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Psalm 119 – Part 7

Psalm 119:49-64 “Your word has quickened me” (v.50)

God’s Word brings comfort and strength in all forms of affliction. The intention of the proud is to divert from the Word of God. Many are the strategies the enemy will use to deflect us from the Word of God. They all seem so plausible and such common sense. You will be mocked if you stay true to Scripture. There are many temptations to deviate from it. There is great mental stress at those who cast the Word/Law behind them, thinking they no longer need it. Even at night in darkest times, the soul cannot go astray if it stays true to the Word of God and obeys it. To those who stay faithful, there is an inheritance (v.57). Obedience should not be delayed as there is a thief (v.61) who knows the importance of the Word and knows how to steal it; note the speed of attack in Matthew 13:19. But to those who obey, there is a fellowship (v.63), which helps one another in following the Lord and obeying His commands.

PRAYER :- “Lord, help me to remain faithful to Your word and to allow none to steal it from me.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Psalm 119 – Part 6

Psalm 119:33-48 “Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes” (v.33)

As the pilgrimage is continued, he finds that he is taught and is given grace to persevere against the enemies of covetousness, unjust gain, lust for power, etc. Eager desire for the truth of God stimulates us toward godly things and righteousness. He does not want to settle into the routine and staleness of religion, so there is an earnest plea for freshness to be always upon his lips and in his mouth (v.43). This gives godly confidence to freely speak to others, even those who may have authority over us without shame or fear (v.46). We love and delight in the law, because it comes direct from the Lawgiver. Knowing the source of the word and the fountain of life contained in it keeps us fresh in the life and power of Christ.

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that Your word teaches us the way of life.”

Pocket Sized Thoughts – Psalm 119 – Part 5

Psalm 119:17-32 “Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law” (v.18)

We are as pilgrims going through this world (v.19). How can we find the way? We should pray that God gives us insight to see the “wondrous things of His law” (v.18). This is a good prayer to pray each time we open and read the Bible. There is also the prayer to be protected from men of influence and authority (v.23) who would seek to oppose the way of godliness. When at lowest points (v.25,28), His word enlivens, counsels and gives strength to adhere to the resolution of verses 30 and 31. From being knocked down and laid low, His word will cause us to run (v.32) showing an eagerness and desire with no delay, or procrastination. This is the enlargement of heart that God wants to bring us to so that we say along with His Son, “I delight to do your will, O God” (Psalm 40:8).

PRAYER :- “Lord, thank you that Your word quickens and strengthens me to do Your will.”