The Heart of One Devoted to Keeping God First

The Heart of One Devoted to Keeping God First

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    Psalm 119 is a beautiful psalm that weaves a theme of love and respect for God’s Word throughout its 176 verses. It so wonderfully expresses the heart of one devoted to keeping God first by keeping His Word. The psalmist speaks of God’s Word, his love and respect for it, and his desire to keep that Word with his whole heart. By taking a closer look at this psalm, we can be greatly inspired and encouraged to build our devotion to God, keeping Him first to an even greater degree, via His matchless Word.
    God’s Word in some form or another is mentioned repeatedly throughout this psalm. This shows the priority that God’s Word had in the psalmist’s heart and life. When something is our priority, we keep it first in our lives.
    Note the various ways the psalmist referred to the Word of God in the following verses from Psalm 119, as well as his loving and respectful attitude toward it:
Psalms 119:14-16:
I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as
much as in all riches.
I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.
I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.
Verse 35:
Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.
Verse 72:
The law of thy mouth
is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.
Verse 77:
Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law
is my delight.
Verses 90 and 91:
Thy faithfulness
is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.
They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all
are thy servants.
Verse 103:
How sweet are thy words unto my taste!
yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Verse 105:
Thy word
is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Verse 128:
Therefore I esteem all
thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.
Verse 140:
Thy word
is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.
Verse 145:
I cried with
my whole heart; hear me, O Lord: I will keep thy statutes.
Verse 160:
Thy word
is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
    This sampling of verses provides us with a look into the psalmist’s heart for God and His Word. God’s testimonies, His statutes, His commandments, His Word, were the top priority in his heart and life. We too can keep God first to an even greater degree by keeping His Word as the priority in our lives.
    Interlaced throughout Psalm 119 are wonderful words that express the psalmist’s love and respect for God’s Word. We will look at some verses that demonstrate how he delighted in the Word, and how he loved, meditated in, rejoiced in, remembered, and respected God’s Word. This great love and respect inspired him to keep God first. His heart for the truth can encourage us to do the same.
    Like the writer of this psalm, we delight in God’s Word.
Psalms 119:24:
Thy testimonies also
are my delight and my counsellers.
Psalms 119:47:
And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.

    When we delight in something, we take pleasure in it. Because we delight in God’s Word, we spend time thinking about and considering what it says. Doing this is a pleasure. We delight in reading, studying, learning, and giving careful thought to what God has to say. We delight in God’s testimonies because they are our counselors, and they give us wisdom. We delight in His commandments because we love them.
    We keep God first by choosing to delight ourselves in His Word. We take pleasure in it by studying it and giving our careful attention to it. Like the psalmist, we also love God’s Word. We earnestly desire it.
Psalms 119:127:
Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.

    The true riches in life are revealed in God’s Word. When we fill our hearts with this Word, it provides us with a quality of life that’s far above the riches of this world. This is why we love God’s Word above gold, even above fine gold.
Psalms 119:167:
My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly.

    The Amplified Bible translates verse 167: “Your testimonies have I kept [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying them]; I love them exceedingly!” When we love God’s Word this way—keeping, hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying His Word—we grow in our devotion to Him and are inspired to keep Him first.
    The psalmist declared how he meditated in God’s statutes. We also meditate in the Word, taking time to really focus our thoughts on the things that God has said.
Psalms 119:48:
My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.
Psalms 119:97:
O how love I thy law! it
is my meditation all the day.
    In these verses, “meditate” and “meditation” indicate to ponder or to rehearse in one’s mind. They include the ideas of silent reflection on the Word and speaking it to oneself. We meditate upon the Word by reflecting on what it says and rehearsing it in our minds. We think it and speak it to ourselves because we love it. The more we think the Word, considering and reflecting on what God says, the more we can grow in keeping God first in every category of life….

This is an excerpt from the January/February 2016 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2016 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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