A few weeks ago, I began to craft an announcement for a new Bible study. That study, actually begins fair sooner than I expected. Our journey, it begins… NOW! IF you don’t have a journal yet, you still have time to get your hands on one. So, head on over to Amazon (but don’t forget to come back here for tonight’s study).
Each week, my hope is simply –
- To meet up with my readers to discuss what God is teaching us.
- To have accountability in memorizing the Word of God.
- Finally, to go deeper in our quiet time, as we study these passages.
Memorizing Psalm 120:1
This week, our memory verse can be found in Psalm 120:1. It is easily found in the middle of our Bibles, but we are going to do something different. I don’t want us to solely read it out day-by-by, but commit it to memory. Long after our study has been completed, that verse will continue to spur us on in the right direction. So to allow our study time to have its full-effect, I want us to do something. Commit it to memory. Scripture reminds us that we are to “hide God’s Word in our hearts, so we might not sin against thee (see Ps. 119:11).”
This week’s Scripture, Psalm 120:1, is designed to do just that.
Help us to not sin against God.
To remind us to seek after God.
God’s Word has power. Let’s grab ahold of that power, by studying and memorizing His Word!
Write It Out!
Before we begin today’s teaching on the Scripture, let’s take a moment to write out on an index card Psalm 120:1 in your favorite translation (do yourself a favor: do not say “I will do it later.” The Spirit of God is ready to meet us right now, as we commit to writing out our memory verse. Let’s be willing to leave the excuses at the door. If all you have is your phone, open your notepad or some other app and write out your memory verse.)
I personally, am opting to memorize the verse in New International Version (NIV). Actually, I might write it out in this translation (NIV) along with the Voice or Amplified – which I find helpful to help me dissect passages a bit more.
“I call on the Lord in my distress, and He answers me (NIV).”
In order to let these words given to us by God, to take root in our spirits, we need to explore its truth for our lives. So each week, my hope is to take a few moments to expand on our memory verse or sharing how others have applied it to their lives.
Living Psalm 120:1 –
Today, we will be looking at the life of Jonah and his circumstances leading him to cry out to God.
In the book of Jonah, we see this biblical truth play out in Jonah’s own life. Jonah flees from God. What happens next, would impact Jonah’s decision to seek God on a whole new level.
“Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah,
and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and
three nights (Jonah 1:17, NIV).”
What would Jonah do now? Stuck in a circumstance where there is nowhere to go.
“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God (Jonah 2:1).”
In Jonah 2:2-7, we get the full picture of Jonah and the prayers he offered to God. Likewise, we can come before God and know He will hear us. No matter what we are facing, God is far greater! In 1 John 4:4, we are reminded of this truth. So, what are your circumstances, friend? What are you facing right this moment?
Remember, God heard Jonah from the belly of a fish. We may have fled from God or run from an opportunity God wanted us to take, but He is still willing to hear us. He will provide a way for us to do just that, call upon His awesome name! Not only can we call, He will also hear and be our ever-present help!
In your circumstances, how might God be calling your attention to your need for Him?
In our circumstances as God rearranges things in our own lives, we have to allow Him to work on our hearts. Our circumstances might be less-than-ideal, but our relationship to Him is far more important than our comfort level. Now, dear reader, I want you to consider this week how you can call upon the name of the Lord for His help. Allow God to become your Strong Tower.
Contrary to our way of thinking, our safety isn’t found in calm waters of circumstances. Our safety? It rests in the arms of Jesus – the Christ!
“The name of the Lord is like a strong tower. Godly people
run to it and are safe (Proverbs 18:10, NIRV).”
Deliberately Call Upon His Name
In our times of distress and trouble, we can make the deliberate choice to call out to God for His sovereign help. When we do this, we are ensured God will respond to us in our time of need. He will not turn a deaf ear to us, as we are up to our neck in deep waters going down to our grave. He is sovereign. He will work things out. It may seem, at times, like things aren’t going anywhere. But, hang onto your faith. God is working all things out for YOUR good!
Remember how God is described. Strong tower. Why is this of such importance?
Our security is wrapped up in God, not our circumstances.
Listen to this commentary.
“The security of the righteous is based on God’s character as a faithful Savior.” (Reformation Study Bible)
As we consider the importance of this Scripture, we need to look at two things – the trouble we face and the manner of calling out.
If we are not turning to God or failing to recognize His authority over our lives, how can God effectively help us?
We want God to work on our behalf, but a lot of times we don’t give to God the room to work His-kind-of-miracles. God doesn’t serve as a genie of sorts who does solely what we ask. God is our Creator who knows our needs far better than we do! We need to place our hearts before the altar of God – and prayerfully say to Him: “Have thine way, Lord.”
As we face circumstances (big or small), consider how you can surrender to God your entire being. Recall the different ways God has miraculously acted on your behalf in the past, and dwell on His perfect character and willingness to be your God.