Day 10: The Rest

“REST in the Lord, and wait patiently for him …” Psalm 37:7

Rest is such a beautiful word! It is a word that words cannot adequately describe, can they? I believe what makes it so beautiful is the picture that is painted when it is thought or spoken. I am by far not a beach type person for swimming, playing in the water, building sand castles … getting sunburnt … or even walking along the beach at sunset. Now, do not write me off yet! I have beautiful thoughts of beaches that we free of people, shiny, smooth sand and crystal blue waters. Oh, and a nice shady spot to catch the gentle breeze where I can relax with a tall, iced glass of tea. Now that is my style of beach!

I do not believe that was exactly what David had in mind when he wrote this verse though. I believe that he was wanting us to see this rest as a musical rest. You may not be musically inclined. Personally, I know enough to get me by on one hand and not enough to cause a major disaster on the other hand. I probably should have had my sister write this devotional instead of me. But, in music, there is a thing that is known as a rest. In it’s most literal sense, it is a pause or a span of time where all is silent. There is no music. There is no noise. I believe this is what David is wanting us to see here.

Without those spans of silence in music, many adverse things happen. The music loses its beauty. It feels rushed and   over-full. It feels endless. It brings weariness and fatigue (burn out). It brings dizziness and disarray. Can you now see why David wants us to know that we must rest?

Not only are we to rest, but David said that we are to “rest [be silent to] the Lord.” You know quite well as a parent how annoying and aggravating a non-silent child is, correct? They are moving and making noise from the moment that they get up out of bed until they go to bed that night. They do not seem to weary, but it sure makes you weary and wears on your nerves and energy stores. That is when you wish that they were your grandchildren so that you can send them home so that you can have some peace and quiet, am I right?

I am learning … age is a great educator … that times of rest are a very important part of my personal life, my health and my ministry to my Lord and Savior. Matthew 11:28 so clearly reminds us of what we are to do … “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Those silent spans in music were not invented by man. They were invented by God as a reminder to us that we need to rely on His strength and His timing. They are times that are not to be rushed. No, we are to keep the same timing during those rests. For those of us who have deceived ourselves into believing that we must be in motion 24/7 in the ministry, this is a very hard … but necessary … thing.

Rest in the Lord, my friend! Wait patiently upon Him! Resting time is not wasting time.

Day 9: The Light

“And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the LIGHT, and thy judgment as the noonday.” Psalm 37:6

What is light? If I were to define it without looking up the definition, I would define it as the absence of darkness. For where there is light, there is no darkness. Am I correct? If we were to go with this definition, where can we find light … spiritual light? Well, John tells us in I John 1:5, “that God is LIGHT, and in him is no darkness at all.”

If we turned to Acts 26, we would see the story of Saul on the road to Damascus. What happened that day? A bright light shone forth, did it not? It tells us in verse 13, that it was midday, yet a light brighter than the midday sun, a light that shone from heaven shone down on Saul and those with him. God told Saul that He had a new purpose (verse 16) for him from that day forward. Saul was now to be a witness and a minister to others about that heavenly light in whom “is no darkness at all.” His witness would “open their eyes, and … turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of  Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins …” (verse 18).

Philip Bliss wrote a hymn in the mid 1800’s that we still sing today from our hymnals. It is entitled, The Light of the World is Jesus. I believe that David is referring to the true Light of the world … the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, I believe too that David is wanting us to realize that we as Christians have a responsibility also to shed forth that true Light.

Can you see David now musing about that true Light? Here are two things that I believe he realized about that Light:

· He is the Only Light that brings salvation as we see in John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

· His Light is a pure light … a sinless Light … as we see in II Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Notice in the latter part of II Corinthians 5:21 the purpose why God had His Only Son … His sinless Son … to be made sin for us … “that WE might be made the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God in him.” Did you catch the word righteousness here? Now, look back to the beginning of our verse today in Psalm 37. What does it say? “And he shall bring forth THY RIGHTEOUSNESS as the LIGHT …” Whose righteousness? Ours … yours and mine!

Let me try to bring all of this together. The reason Christ’s light shines so brightly in a world of darkness and sin is because of His RIGHTEOUSNESS! He not only is righteous (morally right), but He is holy (dedicated to God)! Christ came as an example, did He not? He wanted us to follow in His footsteps. He knew that His days on earth were numbered and so He left His footprints for us to follow. He wanted His righteousness to shine through your life and my life to a lost and dying world. How is your light, my friend? Has it become dull with apathy, criticism, judgment, jealousy, unfaithful, unholy, selfishness, or pride? Does the wick need to be trimmed with the help of the Holy Spirit? Does your light plead with the darkness to “come to the light, ‘tis shining for thee?” It should, my friend! It should!

Day 1: The Writer

“Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known
and read of all men.” II Corinthians 3:2

I am not sure that I was born a writer and I did not start writing as soon as I could. No. When it comes to writing, I am a late bloomer. Not as late as some, but definitely later than most! Why did I become a writer? Well, I have written ladies Bible study lessons before and even girls Sunday School lessons. But it was not until a year and a half ago that I dedicated myself to writing a devotional every day.

For a writer, writing can be an easy thing. It will just flow. It will also hit you at the most inopportune times … like sitting in the church pew and your fingers are itching to get to a keyboard as the thoughts and verses flow freely from something that the pastor has said. Yes, I have found myself in this place a time or two! I have also found that “writer’s block” is a very live thing and not just a figment of my imagination. Yikes! Yes, it is for real!

When pondering and seeking God’s direction for the devotions this month, I will be honest and say, that nothing was  coming up. Oh, I have plenty of themes running through my head, and I even have them on paper. But, none were     jumping out at me. Then a friend shared Psalm 37 with me and my analytical mind kicked into gear.  My mind immediately begins to calculate … here are 40 verses in this chapter and there are 30 days in June. Can I squeeze 30 devotions out of just this one chapter? Well, I guess we shall find out because here we are!

Who is the writer of Psalm 37? David is. Out of the 150 Psalms, David is known to have written anywhere from 73-85 of them. So, we can say, with close accuracy, that David wrote half of the book of Psalms. Even though David takes the lead in the book of Psalms, he is not the most written in the Bible. Paul holds that title.

I will be speaking to a ladies group in North Texas the beginning of June and then an older ladies Sunday School class later in June in Indiana. If the Lord allows, I will also be speaking in one session at a Christian Writer’s Workshop at our church in August. Since I like to plan ahead, I have already been thinking and praying about what to speak on and God is definitely starting to “stir the waters” (this is my favorite phrase these days)!

Where do most writer’s ideas and content come from? From knowledge, am I right? I like to follow some bloggers and devotionists and I have thought to myself before, “How in the world do they come up with all that content?” Well, now that I also write, I know how. They read, they learn, and they experience. They do not just makeup things … unless maybe if they are writing fiction, but even that has an element of truth or fact to it.

Whether you realize it or not, you are a writer. Every single day of your life, you are writing a story for others to read. As I thought about David as a writer, I wondered if he ever realized that God would one day use him to write so much of the Scripture that we have today? What about you, my friend? Is your story something that God can use to reach others? How far-reaching will your story be?