Quote from Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

October 23


Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 119:9-16 | Jeremiah 42:1-44:23 | 2 Timothy 2:1-21 | Proverbs 26:3-5

Today’s Scripture Focus: 2 Timothy 1:1-18

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word” (Psalm 119:9 NIV).

It’s not easy to live in purity, especially in the impure world we live in. But God has given us his word to guide us along the path. As we live according to its principles our way is kept pure.

But it is not a casual reading of the word that will enable us to live blamelessly and in purity. This passage calls for more than that. We must first “seek the Lord with all our hearts” (10). There must be a wholehearted desire to follow the Lord–to seek Him and do what is right. Unless the longing for God and his will is there, our efforts will not be successful. But as we seek Him diligently, our hearts and wills are changed; we become “eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:14).

The Psalmist also speaks of the value of meditating on the word. “I have hidden your word in my heart.” (11). He verbally recounts the word with his lips (13). “He meditates on the Lord’s precepts and considers his ways” (15). As we repeat the word verbally, meditating on it, and memorizing it, we are helped greatly in our efforts to live pure lives. We not only are clear about the will of the Lord, but we also have the ammunition we need to fight temptation hidden in our hearts.We are formed by its truth.

The Psalmist “rejoices” in following the statutes and principles of the word (14). He delights in the decrees of the Lord (16). When we realize that the principles of the Word have been given to us by a loving and gracious God who only desires the best for us, we will delight in the Word and rejoice in our obedience to it. Our motivation for obedience moves from “have to” to “want to,” and that is a much more powerful motivation that can indeed enable us to walk in purity.

We must be people of the Word if we are going to live in purity. We must come with a “seeking heart,” verbally recounting the precepts and meditating on them, to hide them in our hearts. As we realize that God has given them for our good–and so that we won’t miss out on all the blessings he has for us–we rejoice in the Word and delight in our obedience.

Father, thank you for your word, Help me to read it, meditate on it and memorize it that I might not sin. Help me to delight in your word that I might walk in purity. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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