Rich or Poor?

God’s word is such an amazing gift.  Never failing to assure me of His presence, His written word sustains my soul.   It’s not easy to be reminded of my former self prior to my knowing the truth of the gospel, nor is it easy at times to keep myself standing firm.  The worldly obstacles that pop up like gophers in the Whack the Gopher arcade games come when I least expect them.  Yet, the Lord’s grace falls upon my quiet time and brings me closer to Him reminding me who I am now and the promise of what is yet to come.

In yesterdays quiet time study, I was reading Spurgeon’s morning devotional and it was from Galations 2:10,  ‘Remember the poor’.  As it started out asking the question of ‘Why does God allow so many of His children to be poor?’ my first answer prior to continuing on was “So that he can fill their hearts with Him and with treasurers of the written word.”  I had stopped reading after the first question to contemplate the gifts that are offered to us from a God who has already given more than any of us on earth can give.  He offers these gifts to those who he calls by name.

(John 10:3 – To him the gatekeeper opens.  The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  John 10:7-9 “Truly truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the door.  If anyone enters by me, he will be saved an will go in and out and find pasture.)

I did end up reading the rest of Spurgeons morning devotional and he took the study in a different direction, reminding that the Lord has all the control in the world to give his children all their wants and riches, yet he holds back, ‘allowing them to suffer want’.  The reason for this is explained by Spurgeon that God wants to ‘give us, who are favored with enough, an opportunity of showing our love to Jesus’.  Through prayer, song and ministering of the truth to the poor in spirit,  we have the opportunity to show God’s love through the caring of the poor.  Leading with a loving heart toward the riches of salvation and an eternity with an everlasting loving Shepherd.

As I continued on to the study I have been working on in Psalm 119.  I read Psalm 119: 9-16 and was overwhelmed at the words before me and their correlation to the devotional…

9 How can a young man keep his way pure?  By guarding it according to your word.  10 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! 11  I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.  12 Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes!  13 With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth.  14 In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.  15 I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.  16 I will delight indoor statutes; I will not forget your word. 

I read Calvins’ commentary and then Mathew Henrys’.  Although I gleaned a greater understanding of the Psalm passage  through both authors, I was particularly struck by Henry it’s relationship to my morning reading by Spurgeon.  Here are some of my take aways:

v. 9 – Making the word of God the rule, following it, studying it, and making it a priority in youth and in life protects and guards, cleansing oneself more than any other form

charting ones own course only end up steering self into a course of destruction; lost; empty;

comfort comes from following the course set out by the Lord;  through the trust and faith of His word, and all that He sets before us;  our path may be winding and narrow, yet He is our guide;  the written word should not be taken lightly and without ponder

v. 10 – pleasure comes from the keeping of God’s commandments;  we will wander less off the path if we stay focused on preserving what is before us in the written word

v. 11 – (this one particularly struck me and kept me thinking all day…)  Hiding the word in our heart; knowing it, preserving it’s truth and living it out;  by hiding it in the heart it cannot be stolen, lost;  ‘It’s a treasure worth laying up.’ (Henry’s words)  (A treasure…hidden in one self; so that even if the mind fails, it’s held within the heart and kept safe.)

(again, Henrys’ words)  Good men are afraid of sin, and are in care to prevent it; the most effectual way to prevent is to hide God’s word in our hearts that we may answer every temptation, as ourMaster did, with, It is written.

v. 12 – continually pray that the Lord will teach and provide; praise Him for His continued blessings

v. 13-16 – the filling of the word in the heart allows for the sharing of the word; (Henrys’ wordsThose whose hearts are fed with the bread of life should with their lips feed many. ; obedience brings rejoicing; truth in the gospel brings ‘riches in Christ’.

(Henrys’ words)  Good thoughts produce good works and good intentions in them ; mediation on God’s word provides a safety net without fear or danger in forgetting.

The Riches in Christ are from the study, perseverance and preservation of God’s word.  The promises are complete, unwavering and secure for those He calls by name.  What a blessing that no matter how poor we are in status on this earth or how poor we are in spirit, we have a guide and a guidebook that can walk us through every step of the way.  As the sheep who are called to follow, and as those who are already rich with the truth overflowing, and preserved in the security of our hearts, we can share the riches of Christ and the sustaining truth with others who do not know the comfort and peace otherwise.

To God be the glory in all things.  Be blessed sweet reader as you go forth in this troubling world and know that there is peace if it is sought, held tight and hidden away in the heart.

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