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Sunday: Your Word I Have Hidden in My Heart — 16 Comments

  1. I have always loved science. Even at an early age I read books about Isaac Newton, Galileo, Pasteur and so on. I learned at an early age about how metals reacted with acid, and my first serious biology lesson was when my father chopped the head off the rooster for Christmas dinner. (I won't describe the detail!) I was fascinated by the world around us and enjoyed the challenge of describing it in numbers and formulas. And, even today, when the grey cells are a little less pliable than they used to be, I still enjoy the challenge of understanding the detail that the James Webb telescope is sending back to us from space.

    Being a science and technology teacher for much of my life, my greatest challenge has been to instill that sense of love for the discipline. Sometimes it has been hard work. Some students learn the facts and manipulate the numbers because they have to, not because they love to. Occasionally you see the light switch on in a student's mind and away they go with that sense of enjoyment and discovery that stays with them for the rest of their lives.

    In our Christian experience, we are often in the "we do it because we have to" mode. Sometimes it's a family tradition, at others, it's peer acceptance - the behaviour is there but the joy and immersiveness are just not there.

    The Psalms often express that joy.

    I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. Ps 40:8

    Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word. Ps 119:17

    But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. Ps 1:2

    ... and many more.
    Do these verses sound like rote-learned Christianity; a compliance with family and community? Rather it is more like immersive Christianity where the relationship determines the experience.

    • I was taught as a young Adventist about God's love for me. However, my response to His love, was filled with "must do's" because if I didn't do those things, I'd be lost. I learned the hard way, that living so I wouldn't be lost wasn't a great existence and I ended up being depressed because of my failures.

      What I have now been learning over the last 10 years, is how to live obedience out of gratitude and privilege. It's not easy because I had 35 years of training in either fear based or duty based obedience.

      • I think this is the plight of many Seventh-day Adventists, we are great at "must do's" (or "don'ts")! I think it is only the love of Christ in our hearts that can transform our experience from the do's & don'ts to delighting in pleasing Him.

      • Hello James - I praise our heavenly Father for revealing to your understanding the mystery of awakening true love for Him in your heart! 🙂

  2. This summer we had a lot of chipmunks in our yard. We feed the birds seed, and table scraps to the foxes, skunks, opossums, deer, squirrels. The bumper crop of young chippies were right at home running in and out of the white lattice-work fencing under our porch. One day, one scampered up my Mom's pantleg while she was sitting outside! From then on we'd feed them seeds off our laps, feet, hands. I called the Mama "Scooter" because she was always darting around, and one of her sons with a short, fluffy tail got the name "Bushy".

    By Autumn's end in October, they were gathering sunflower seeds non-stop. We couldn't put them down fast enough. They would actually stand at the glass door and look into the porch as if to say, "More please". When I'd go out I'd call their names and shake the seed jar, they'd run over for food. They filled their cheek pouches over and over, stuffed to the max, and scoot down a hole not too far from our driveway lamppost. I imagined the kitchen area in their burrow home packed with seeds, and maybe some soggy bread. One cold day was the last we saw them above-ground..... we're looking forward to their reappearance this Spring.

    Well, chippies are cute, but what does this story have to do with today's theme? Hiding God's Word in our hearts. Not casually, but ravenously. Eagerly. Like it's the most important thing to do with our day. Taking in as much as our bodies will allow. Daily food. Just like the chippies did in the Autumn as they felt Winter nearing.

    Memorizing Scripture is important to me for (1) these End Times and signs of increasing scarcity of living truth, (2) important because we may one day not have access to the Bible on our devices or in paper format, and (3) important because I find Scripture necessary from morning to night to get through the day. It's impossible to leave behind a sinful attitude without treasuring God's Word, storing it up in my mind, my emotions, my actions. It's impossible for me to grow in understanding the depth and height of God's love and beautiful character without reading the Bible (Eph. 3:18-21 ESV). Just like the chipmunks had to take the seeds in, God's Word is not something to consult outside of myself, but something to have deep down to chew upon at a moment's notice. Those chippies stuffed each sunflower seed into their cheek pouches with great eagerness and energy, the way we might scramble for $100 bills laying in piles on the ground. David says in Psalm 19:10-11 that God's Word is far more desirable than money (gold), and Jesus told Satan that He was living on "every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4).

    Each week we have a "memory text" to begin the lesson. I'm not too good at memorizing. I've got Psalm 23 stored away. And the 10 Commandments from Ex. 20:3-17 are still mostly there from learning them way back in childhood. But maybe I could do one power text or promise a week, that'd be 52 nuggets stored up in a year. Encouragingly, even if I don't intentionally try to memorize, I find that texts come to mind more and more readily as I read the Bible throughout the day...yes, it is exciting like collecting rare treasures (Prov. 22:18-19 ESV).

    • Hi Esther,
      Thanks for always sharing your insights, I can often relate. I am not very good at memorizing either, but I have found that learning scripture set to music has helped me to hide it in my heart. Hope Sabbath School has many scriptures that they have set to music, that is a good place to start.

  3. I'm sure the world is lasting this long because of God's mercy towards it. It took me at least half a century and many painful experiences to comprehend a little of His love for me. Self-experience can be shared but only self-attested.

  4. God’s word hidden in our hearts transforms us. As we contemplate the life of Christ and meditate on how He revealed God’s character to us we are won over from enmity with God to a relationship of love and trust. We begin to understand how sin has damaged us and how ever since the fall God has been working to provide the cure! As we cooperate with the Holy Spirit, He works in us to restore us to God’s original design! Then we no longer have a “ form of godliness but denying the power”, (2 Timothy 3:5) we “ become the righteousness of God”(2 Corinthians 5:21) through Christ!!! What amazing love and grace!

  5. The psalmist delights in the law because the law assures him of God’s faithfulness (Psalms 119:77; Psalms 119:174).

    Reading this one can infer that God’s faithfulness is dependent on my keeping of the law?

    • Well, II Timothy 2:13 tells us that God remains faithful even if we are faithless. However, I believe that our connection to God opens or closes certain channels for Him to work. It's not that He wouldn't work, but we choose to block Him out. Still in many ways, God's faithfulness is expressed to all (ie. the rain falls on the righteous and unrighteous).

  6. Dragoslava Santrac, this quarter’s author, relates God’s Truth using a language that resonates deeply in my heart and thoughts. She observes: “Being “undefiled”, keeping God’s commandments and seeking God with the whole heart, [emphasis mine], are inseparable attitudes in life.”

    She points out that it is not because ‘the undefiled walk in the law of the LORD’ that they are blessed, it is because they are blessed that they walk in the law of the LORD.
    She also asks: “What should this tell us about the power that comes from a heart set on obeying God’s law?” Knowing that everything that is good comes from God, I ask myself: "where does God’s work end and man’s work begins"?, as 'all that is good' is God’s work – James 1:17

    Can anything good come from man? No! Can man by himself do anything good without God doing it through him? No! Therefore, being aware that one ‘has hidden God’s Word in their heart’ is the evidence that the Holy Spirit resides in the believer - 1 Cor.2:14; Rom. 7:17-20.

    Could we turn statements made by the psalmist who composed Psalm 119 into questions? If the psalmist’s findings like: 'your word have I hidden in my heart; or, 'my heart stands in awe of Your word’, or, ‘I rejoice at Your word’, or, ‘I hate and abhor lying’, or, ‘my soul keeps Your testimonies’ resonate with us, would this not indicate that ‘God’s Word is hidden in our heart’?

    Thoughts coming to mind pose another question: “Since all good gifts come from God, could we therefore say: “my God has hidden His Word in my heart”!? Applying God's ‘Wisdom’ and the ‘Word of God in our heart’ by faith to be synonymous in their effect on human life.

    Without God’s Spirit coming into man’s heart first, enabling man’s heart to love God and desire to become securely anchored in Christ Jesus, man could not experience the blessings emanating from this union.
    When the believer testifies that God’s Word is securely hidden in his/her heart, all that is left to do is to continue to love and praise Him with all our whole being.

  7. Your word I have hidden in my Heart.

    “Gods Word” is Powerful and Transforming.
    “Then God said let there be light; and there was light”. Gen. 1:3.
    The second part of Ps.119:11, “ that I may not sin against you”.
    Shows me the process of how His Word can work in my life. And that’s transforming.
    When I have hidden something it’s not so that it can’t be seen, but that it is special and I don’t want anything to harm or take it away. The parable of the sower and the seed comes to mind.
    I may bring out the special item to show to anyone who might need or is interested in it. But with “God’s Word” being the special item, everyone I meet or that is around me needs to see it in me. Only God can do that “transformation“ so that they may.
    My memory of scripture is slow to say the least. But God knows and blesses me daily anyway.
    In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.
    Gods word is all about Jesus. Having Him in our hearts, life cannot be anything but transforming from this life of sin to a life without sin and a life with God.
    Blessings to all🙏

  8. I feel the need to clarify something. The “word” used in Gen. 1 (God said), Psalms 119 (word) , and John 1:1 (Word) are all different words in Hebrew.
    Still with the meaning: speech, utterance, and even the Torah (law). They all point to Jesus.

  9. How interesting that Psalm 119:1-4 speaks of those who keep God's statutes and commandments do no wrong etc. Yet immediately at verse 5 the Pslamist says "Oh that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes." It reminds me of Psalm 40:11,12. There that psalmist clearly claims that "his iniquities had overwhelmed him so that he could not look up and that they were more than the hairs of his head to the point of his heart failing him." It even reminds me of Ellen White's quote where she says that "The closer we come to Jesus, the more faulty we appear in our own eyes because we see clearly our imperfections in broad and distinct contrast to Jesus Flawless Perfect character." And in another place she very clearly says that "We can never equal Jesus Pattern of sinlessness in our lives."

  10. 18. The Reservoir of Heaven Not Locked—The Bible should be studied with prayer. We should pray as did David, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” No man can have insight into the Word of God without the illumination of the Holy Spirit. If we will but come into the right position before God, His light will shine upon us in rich, clear rays. This was the experience of the early disciples.... [Acts 2:1-4 quoted.] God is willing to give us a similar blessing, when we seek for it as earnestly.

    The Lord did not lock the reservoir of heaven after pouring His Spirit upon the early disciples. We, also, may receive of the fullness of His blessing. Heaven is full of the treasures of His grace, and those who come to God in faith may claim all that He has promised. If we do not have His power, it is because of our spiritual lethargy, our indifference, our indolence. Let us come out of this formality and deadness (The Review and Herald, June 4, 1889).


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