June 27, 2017

WHICH WAY?

Psalm 119:1–8

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Your Word Is a Lamp to My Feet

Aleph

  1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
    who walk in the law of the LORD!
  Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
    who seek him with their whole heart,
  who also do no wrong,
    but walk in his ways!
  You have commanded your precepts
    to be kept diligently.
  Oh that my ways may be steadfast
    in keeping your statutes!
  Then I shall not be put to shame,
    having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
  I will praise you with an upright heart,
    when I learn your righteous rules.2
  I will keep your statutes;
    do not utterly forsake me!

Footnotes

[1] 119:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem of twenty-two stanzas, following the letters of the Hebrew alphabet; within a stanza, each verse begins with the same Hebrew letter
[2] 119:7 Or your just and righteous decrees; also verses 62, 106, 160, 164

WHICH WAY?



Key Verse | Psalm 119:2–3

Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways!
(Psalm 119:2-3)

Central Truth

God, the Designer of Life, has given us His Word as a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105).

Devotional | Psalm 119:1–8

In the fall of 1929, Roy Riegels was captain of the University of California Golden Bears football team and a First Team All-American. His coach, Nibs Price, said he was the smartest player he ever coached. But the...

In the fall of 1929, Roy Riegels was captain of the University of California Golden Bears football team and a First Team All-American. His coach, Nibs Price, said he was the smartest player he ever coached. But the year got off to a rough start. In the Rose Bowl game on January 1, 1929, on arguably the grandest stage for any sport in the world, Riegels lost his bearings and ran the wrong way with the ball . . . 69 yards. His mistake led to a safety for his opponent and made all the difference in the outcome of the game.

I live and "perform" on my own grand stage. It is primarily my home, before my wife and, though they are grown, before my children. Perhaps my workplace would be included and also my church . . . and the dry cleaner and restaurants and friendships . . . .

Like Roy Riegels, I lost my bearings. In so doing, I ran the wrong way and caused defeat for "my team"—more than once—in a "big game." The biggest botches have been in the realms of (i) managing family assets with transparency and (ii) relationships.

Riegels’ preparation was under outstanding coaching. Mine was under the best coaching available—the Word of God. Riegels knew his plays and practiced and practiced. I knew my playbook pretty well and practiced quite a bit. Nonetheless, similarly to Roy Riegels, in the heat of the game—for him, football; for me, life—I lost my bearings, and such was the margin of defeat for my team. Fortunately for me, mine was not the last game of the season. My Coach is letting me play again. I know that if I neglect my love for Him, and if I forsake for a moment the guidance of His Playbook, I am fully capable of running, once more, full tilt to my own end zone. My teammates now know to tackle me before I get there.

"For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate." (Romans 7:15)

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Bio | Joe Longino

Greetings, fellow aliens and seekers! My name is Joe Longino. For 25 years (last April 4), it has been my joy to sojourn with Reyn, the wisest, most forgiving woman imaginable—the belle of my days. I am father of Beau, Libby, and Lee. When the book is closed on my life, its greatest contribution will have been merely being "a bridge" from my parents to them.

A quote: "The greatest thing about any civilization is the human person; the greatest thing about this person is the possibility of his encounter with the person of Jesus Christ." —Charles Malik

Discussion Questions

1. Have you ever run the wrong way? Did you continue on in determined pride even though your teammates were warning you otherwise? What did you learn?

2. Jesus says in John 15:5b: "[A]part from me you can do nothing." Do you believe that? Why would you choose otherwise?

3. What if the last 10 years of your life were going to be replayed on a screen, moment-by-moment, next Sunday at your church service? Would you be thrilled? Do you need to confess anything and repent?

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