September 9, 2021

September 9, 2021

September 9, 2021

Bodhi K. Der Parunakian
Clergy
Rutledge Circuit, Mountain View District

Psalm 19 (NIV)
For the director of music. A psalm of David.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.
The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
    enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
    and all of them are righteous.
 
10 They are more precious than gold,
    than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
    than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
    Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
    may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
    innocent of great transgression.
 
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in your sight,
    Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Devotion

Recently, I was coming home late one night. I just wanted to get home to end the day. Weary and heavy laden, I was preoccupied that the pandemic was beginning to surge once again. The 194th homecoming of the church had been scheduled, and anxiety was running high. Heading into the countryside, the cloudless night sky loomed as dark and heavy as my heart. I felt the sweet whisper of the Holy Spirit encourage me to look up. There in the night sky hung the full “buck” moon – so large and bright, I felt that I could reach out and touch it. Its orange-pinkish glow was like a rare South Sea pearl nestled in black velvet. Overcome by its beauty, I was reminded that the same Creator who hung the moon and the stars loves me intimately. A gentle conviction touched my heart that I had allowed my head to hang heavy instead of looking up to the heavens, an eternal reminder that God’s grace, provision, and knowledge are abundant and available.
A habit I have acquired is to watch the moon phases through the month. The phases are a pattern that remains constant when everything else might seem to change and represent the passage time, the changing seasons. The moon gives comfort to know that unless God takes me home during the night, the promise exists that in a few hours a new day will dawn with new mercies. Mercies not left over from a day that is over nor mercies borrowed from a day not promised, but brand-new mercies that promise to take me through any day no matter what may happen along the way.
David acknowledges in Psalm 19 that God’s glory and perfection are declared in the heavens, not only to this one beloved child but to all the earth. That night of the full moon, I felt the weariness leave. Isn’t this what David experienced? David writes that, “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul” (7). “The precepts of the Lord are right, giving to joy the heart.” Like this bright full moon, “The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes” (8). How precious is the promise that as God’s child, when I continually keep the decrees of the Lord, “They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold: they are sweeter than honey, honey from the honeycomb” (10). The rewards are great to those who are God’s servants.
Psalm 19:4 infers that righteous thinking and righteous speech are pleasing to the Lord. How easy it is to forget that whatever proceeds out of my mouth or entertains my thoughts is a heart matter. The whole of Psalm 19 indicates that we can live a positive life with great rewards when we keep our eyes stayed on the One who loves us all the most. Philippians 4:8 (NIV) gives us a formula with which to do so: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Look up! Be encouraged! Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, is manifested in God’s handiwork. Proclaim aloud the goodness and faithfulness of our Creator, “like a champion rejoicing to run his course” (5).

Prayer

Holy One of Many Names, thank you for your lavish love that has been bestowed upon us through Christ Jesus. Help us to remember to keep looking up as an eternal reminder that you walk with us and have gone before us. With gratitude may the grace that you have bestowed in our hearts be manifested in our words to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Amen.

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