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Joyful – Day 10

Being blessed moves past our present condition to a spiritual reality of contentment because we are allowing our lives to be influenced and maintained by the Word of God.

Every morning  I receive a verse of the day from my Bible App called YouVerion. If you are not already using it, you should download it and start. It is an incredible tool for your smart phone, tablet and computer. The app not only gives you dozens of versions of the Bible at your finger tips, it also offers a plethora of daily devotions.

My verse of the day for today was Psalm 119:2, “How blessed are those who observe his testimonies, Who seek him with all their heart.” The psalmist is encouraging us to understand that our happiness is directly linked to our value of God’s Word.

Live Blessed

The Old Testament Hebrew word for “blessed” is bārûḵ – a state of happiness. It’s New Testament Greek counterpart is makarios. “The key to happiness is to live in God’s Word and to let his Word live in us” (Roger Ellsworth, Opening  Up Psalms).

Being blessed is much more than feeling happy. Happiness is generally a feeling we have when things are good and we are living in favorable circumstances. Changing our circumstances generally changes our state of happiness. This word blessed is also translated by some as “joyful” which indicates a state of happiness not effected by circumstances. Being blessed moves past our present condition to a spiritual reality of contentment because we are allowing our lives to be influenced and maintained by the Word of God.

Observe His Testimonies

The word “testimonies” refers to God’s decrees, laws, or statutes. As we know, it’s not enough to know the law, we have to observe it. If we are speeding down the highway, driving 75MPH in a 55MPH zone, and get pulled over by a state trooper, informing him that we know the law will only add insult to injury. Knowing God’s laws does not recuse us of the penalty of violating said laws, nor does it guarantee us of the joyful benefits it brings when obedient.

The word “observe” carries a heavy responsibility, even more so than just obedience. It means to watch over, protect, and preserve, and  not just simply to comply with. So if we are in a car and the person driving is going 15 miles over the speed limit, to observe the law would mean that we have a responsibility to hold that driver accountable and ask them to slow down. Blessing is attached to the obedient and the observer. Some see this as legalism but in reality is it a liberation (Colossians 1:13-14). It’s a paradigm shift from conforming to the patterns of the world to a transforming of your mind through God’s word so that you can discern the joy that He is wanting for your life (Romans 12:2).

Wholeheartedly Seek

The Psalmist’s use of the word “seek” refers to a careful investigation. He is implying that diligent study of God’s Word and adherents to it’s principles will bring a great satisfaction in life. That’s where the transformation happens. It is in God’s Word that He reveals His heart and shows us how we are to live. As we mentioned on Day 9, God’s Word clears a path for our life in the midst of chaos.

This principle is repeated a few verses later when the psalmist says, “With all my heart I have sought you; Do not let me wander from your commandments” (Psalm 119:10, NASB).  He again is declaring that his heart is undivided in seeking all that God has for his life. He had a joyful life because he had an undivided heart that chose to live according to the principles of God’s Word. Will you do the same?

Application
1. Download YouVersion on your smart phone or tablet and start one of their daily devotions.
2. Ona scale from 1-10, rater your current state of joyfulness.
3. Make a short list of 3-5 things that bring you joy? What spiritual significants do they hold or what do you see as the spiritual premise?
4. Read through the beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-11. What Biblical realities of joyfulness are indicated there?
5. What is ONE step that you can take in order to become more joyful? When will you do it?

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