Posted in Devotionals, Scripture Writing Challenge

Psalm 119:1-24 Week 1 Reflections

Why Write the W.O.R.D

I started writing out God’s word in 2017 a few months before my son was born. I came across a blog called The Felicity Bee now called A symphony of praise ran by Erika Michelle. There I found a bible study method she created called W.O.R.D and she herself had Inscribe the W.O.R.D plans on her website and I started doing them. The W.O.R.D bible study method allows you to approach God’s word in four different ways- write- observe- relevant- declare… First, you write out the scripture passage. Next, you make observations about the scripture passage. Then, you write out the thoughts that are relevant for you. Finally, you declare or pray that passage of scripture. Studies show that we RETAIN what we write! So we write God’s word so that we REMEMBER it! In April of this year, I decided that I wanted to share this method with you all because it has been such a blessing to me as I seek to grow in understanding God’s Word.

Writing out Psalm 119

For the next seven weeks, we will be reading and writing out Psalm 119. If you’re joining me, we just finished week 1. Every Saturday, you can expect to see my reflections posted here. Before I share my reflections for this week I wanted to share some background information on this passage! Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in Psalm. The author of this chapter is unnamed, but most commentators believe King David wrote Psalm 119. The theme that flows through this passage is “the greatness and glory of God’s word”. Psalm 119 is arranged in an acrostic pattern using the Hebrew alphabet to divide each section. David Guzik described Psalm 119 best below:

Since this is a psalm glorifying God and His word, it refers to Scripture over and over again.….

In this psalm there are eight basic words used to describe the Scriptures, God’s written revelation to us:

Law (torah, used 25 times in Psalm 119): “Its parent verb means ‘teach’ or ‘direct’; therefore coming from God it means both ‘law’ and ‘revelation.’ It can be used of a single command or of a whole body of law.” (Derek Kidner)

Word (dabar, used 24 times): The idea is of the spoken word, God’s revealed word to man. “Proceeding from his mouth and revealed by him to us…” (Matthew Poole)

Judgments (mispatim, used 23 times): “…from shaphat, to judge, determine, regulate, order, and discern, because they judge concerning our words and works; show the rules by which they should be regulated; and cause us to discern what is right and wrong, and decide accordingly.” (Adam Clarke)

Testimonies (edut/edot, used 23 times): This word is related to the word for witness. To obey His testimonies “…signifies loyalty to the terms of the covenant made between the Lord and Israel.” (Willem VanGemeren)

Commandments (miswah/miswot, used 22 times): “This word emphasizes the straight authority of what is said…the right to give orders.” (Derek Kidner)

Statutes (huqqim, used 21 times): The noun is derived from the root verb “engrave” or “inscribe”; the idea is the written word of God and the authority of His written word: “…declaring his authority and power of giving us laws.” (Matthew Poole)

Precepts (piqqudim, used 21 times): “This is a word drawn from the sphere of an officer or overseer, a man who is responsible to look closely into a situation and take action…. So the word points to the particular instructions of the Lord, as of one who cares about detail.” (Derek Kidner)

Word (imrah, used 19 times): Imrah is similar in meaning to dabar, yet a different term. “The ‘word’ may denote anything God has spoken, commanded, or promised.” (Willem VanGemeren)

Enduring Word Bible Commentary

Observations on Psalm 119:1-24

In gaining understanding of this passage of scripture, I used the “Enduring Word Bible Commentary. In this passage the Psalmist recognizes that those who walk in God’s word are BLESSED. Psalm 119:1-3 “Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
    who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
    who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!” Psalm 119: 4-8 expresses a desire for those blessings. David Guzik says “the Psalmist connects commanded obedience with the blessings to the obedient.” While he recognizes the blessing in being obedient to God’s word, the psalmist also recognizes his need to have the ability to be obedient to God’s word which is accomplished by relying on the help of the Holy Spirit. In Psalm 119: 9-16, the psalmist acknowledges that God purifies him through his word. So his response is to- take heed of God’s word, humbly ask for instruction and be committed to God’s word. In Psalms 119: 17-24 we find as the Psalmist did, that God’s word is our REFUGE in the hardest of times, so he longs for God’s Word and he asks for insight and blessing to obey God’s word.

My Reflections

As I read this passage this week I asked myself the following questions and I ask you the same:

  1. Do I recognize the blessing in living an obedient life to God in light of what his word says?
  2. Do I desire to be obedient to God’s Word and do I recognize my need for Christ as the authority in my life?
  3. Do I like the Psalmist acknowledge the cleansing power of God’s word?
  4. Is my heart’s response to take heed and be committed to God’s word
  5. And finally do I long to be in God’s word? Do I take refuge in it?

I hope that the first week of our scripture writing plan has been a blessing! Feel free to share your thoughts and what you’ve learned this week!

Posted in Scripture Writing Challenge

Rejoice Always Scripture Writing Challenge: Philippians

Hey everyone!!

It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to WRITE. I could say that life has been busy and that would be VERY true but there’s always more to a story… As we go through this challenge, you’ll hear more of that story but for now….

Let’s jump in…

I thought it would be appropriate to start our scripture writing challenge in the book of Philippians. At such a time where things are very uncertain, people are sick, experiencing loss in various ways and JOY is waning; Philippians would be a great book to start our challenge.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

  • Who wrote the book of Philippians? Paul wrote the book of Philippians. It was a letter.
  • Who were the recipients? The recipients of this letter were the believers in Philippi. The Philippian church was founded by Paul on his second missionary journey.
  • When and where was Philippians written? Paul wrote this letter while he was imprisoned in Rome. It was most likely written during his first imprisonment around AD 60-62.

Why is Philippians about and why could it be relevant to us today ?

Philippians is considered to be the book of joy. In fact the words “rejoice” and “joy” are found more times in this letter than in any of Paul’s other letters. By the end of this challenge, we would have learned as Paul did that “Jesus is our joy and this joy is grained more and more into our lives as our minds are renewed into His image day by day.” Paul also puts emphasis on unity and Christ. At a time where we are told to Social distance ourselves from each other and are prone to give into the worries of what life has to offer us, we too like the believers in Philippi, need to be reminded that “unity is essential for the church and for the progress of the gospel” and that Jesus is our Lord and Savior.

The Scripture Writing Plan

How will the Scripture writing plan work?

Every Sunday a reminder post will be posted with the weeks reading plan. On Monday- Friday we will write our the given day’s passage using the W.O.R.D bible study method and on Saturday we interact with each other about what we learned throughout the week.

The W.O.R.D Bible Study Method

  • Write. Write out the passage.
  • Observe. Take note of the passage
  • Relevant. How is the passage applicable to you?
  • Declare. Pray the scripture.

Will you join me on this challenge?

Posted in Blog, Mommy Anecdotes

Stories I can’t make up chronicles pt.1

Hey everyone I decided to document the crazy highlights of parenting with a segment I will call STORIES I CAN’T MAKE UP chronicles!!! As many of you know, I have a handsome almost 2 yr old who is the biggest blessing to my husband and I. He is the cutest little boy you’ll ever meet with a lot personality. When I look at my son, I see a good mixture of his dad and I in him. He’s super adventurous and you won’t ever be bored when interacting with him. To summarize, I ALWAYS HAVE A STORY!

On Thursday, my son went to spend the night with his honey (my mom). While he was there my sister put him on the potty because he had been talking about the potty with her. I didn’t mind because we’ve been introducing him to the potty gradually since he can tells us when he done something in his diaper.

Fast forward to yesterday, we’re at one of his good friends’ birthday party and we’re having A GREAT TIME. I checked on him as he was playing and he was having fun with his little friends. I decided to grab something to drink and I’m talking to one of my friends when I here my other friend say TRISTIN Your son! Immediately I knew my son was in the bathroom! My inquisitive daring adventurous little boy had ventured to the bathroom and got into the toilet. He literally lifted up the toilet seat and put one leg in the toilet….

While we all shared laughter over this situation, I couldn’t help but think how these little moments when my son is doing yet another thing to remind me that YES he is indeed MY SON, that they are fleeting moments. In just 16 days my baby will be two years old. I remember carrying him! I remember how tiny he was when he came home from the hospital. I remember his first steps, his first words. I remember the day he recognized the color blue and the letter A. This incident help me to remember to cherish these moments because he’s growing fast. I also realized just how valuable these early years are for my husband and I and most importantly the little boy that God has blessed us the opportunity in raising. My only hope is that we won’t squander the moments to invest in our family.

Here’s a little snapshot of my world. A God fearing wife and mom trying to get it right one moment at a time, all while sharing stories I CAN’T MAKE UP!

Posted in Devotionals, Faith

Our firm foundation

If I ever want to know the character of God…. I should STUDY His WORD


-Tristin Matthews

Psalms 19 focuses on the perfect revelation of the Lord. In it we see the general revelation of himself- God revealed through creation and the special revelation Of Himself- God reveal through His Word. From this passage one can perceive the glory of the Lord
and the importance of Scripture.

The Glory of the Lord

 The heavens declare the glory of  God, and the expanse proclaims  the work of his hands. Day after  day they pour out speech; night  after night they communicate  knowledge. There is no speech;  there are no words; their voice is  not heard. Their message has gone out to the whole earth, and their  words to the ends of the world.

Psalm 19:1-4

God’s majesty is revealed in the beauty of his creation for you and I to see. Creation whispers His name and you and I should pause to worship God the creator.

The Importance of  Scripture

The instruction of the Lord is perfect,
renewing one’s life;
the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy,
making the inexperienced wise.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
making the heart glad;
the command of the Lord is radiant,
making the eyes light up.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever;
the ordinances of the Lord are reliable
and altogether righteous.
They are more desirable than gold—
than an abundance of pure gold;
and sweeter than honey
dripping from a honeycomb.
In addition, your servant is warned by them,
and in keeping them there is an abundant reward.

Psalm 19:7-11

If I ever desire to know the character of God I should study his Word. David the writer of this passage takes the time to outline the characteristics of God’s word and the benefits we gain from following His word. God’s word instructs us. It is perfect, trustworthy, right reliable and righteous. It illuminates and warns us. From God’s word we gain renewed strength, wisdom, joy, and understanding. We learn just how valuable the word of God is and how there is an abundance of reward in keeping His Word.

Our Response

Who perceives his  unintentional sins? Cleanse me  from my hidden faults. Moreover, keep your servant from willful  sins; do not let them rule me. Then I will be blameless and cleansed  from blatant rebellion. May the  words of my mouth and the  meditation of my heart be  acceptable to you, LORD my rock  and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:12-14

We should be like David , humbled. The weightiness of scripture should humble us and help us to see our need for the Redeemer Jesus Christ.

In light of scripture, do we see our need for Christ and are we turning to him in light of scripture?