SCRIPTURE - Psalms 119:9-12
How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees.
The longest psalm and chapter in the Bible (176 verses!) is mostly about having a passion for God's Word. The Psalmist David understands his need to thoroughly know, devotedly follow, and passionately live by God's instructions that he writes the longest psalm entirely dedicated to it. Scripture, or a related word or concept, is mentioned in at least 171 of the 176 verses. Whether David is trying to compel others to know God's Word or convince himself of its importance by repeating it over 150 times (probably a mix of both, right?), we see a clear call to value and follow God's Word.
God's Word is our starting point. We are a Bible-based church, and we systematically teach God’s Word so our community has a foundation of truth that will bring it to a full life. Before we do anything, we start with God’s Word. God's word is nourishment for our souls.
"But aren't we fasting and praying? Is Bible-reading part of not eating food and focused prayer?" While reading the Bible may not be technical, defined aspects of a fast or prayer, combining Bible reading with these disciplines only enriches your fasting experience. The more you're exposed to His Word, the more you can see God's heart for the why behind a fast and the more open you are to hear Him as He speaks to you.
Today, ask yourself, "Do I love God's Word?" You don't need to compete with David and write an epic song about it, but truly reflect on whether it's a priority in your life right now. If it is, how can you keep it that way? If it's not, how can you start focusing on it more?
"God, help me have a passion for your Word. Help me know that when I connect with your Word, I connect with You. As I hunger on this fast, help me to hunger for your Word in the same way! In Jesus' name, amen."
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