The Word of God
Ninety-nine articles ago was post number 1. I was nervous, hands sweating, heart racing. Not only was I about to be in a situation of vulnerability, I was freely choosing to make myself vulnerable. Writing is something I enjoy but having other people read what I write was not on my list of things to do. And having someone read my writings aloud while I’m in the room…forget about it.
At the time, my journal had a quote that inspired me: “Always do what you are afraid to do.” After reading that every day for months and with the encouragement of a few friends, the only logical outcome was to start a blog. Now I can feel uncomfortable all the time.
And Cup of Joy was birthed.
Milestones are a big deal to me. They are not always “real” markers like how you would remember a birthday or Christmas or a wedding anniversary. I like to find accomplishment in the little things like working ahead on a project or celebrating Tuesday because it’s not Monday. I used to refuse to buy coffee on Mondays because if I bought one Wednesday or Thursday I could rejoice in the weekend drawing near. Monday Night Football is better than Sunday Night Football because MNF is a celebration that Monday is over (apparently I do not like Mondays).
One hundred is better than 99 or 101 because 100 is a good, even number. In real life, 100 years signifies a century. In my life, 100 years signifies that my loved ones can pass on to heaven. I have a deal with my dad that he can go be with the Lord once he turns 100 but not a day before, as if either one of us really have control over that. I like the number 100.
Because I like milestones and 100, I’ve been thinking for weeks, maybe months, about an epic topic to commemorate my 100th blog post. I had nothing.
Thus I went back to the drawing board.
Remembering my why for starting a blog in the first place, I opened up God’s word to the Psalms. Weighing in at 176 verses, Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. If you need a reminder of the passion we should have for the precepts of God, read Psalm 119.
The Word of God never lets me down. The Bible is the only living, timeless document that transcends race, culture, and walks of life, meeting us where we are in every moment. It is the most translated book ever written. While hard to substantiate exact number of sales, there is little doubt that the Bible is the world’s best-selling book.
I began to wonder why I even bother to blog. Much of what I write is trying to express concepts or lessons that were already perfectly written 2,000 years ago. Books and blogs and newspapers and articles and opinions are just thoughts. Even the “facts” may change when new facts are discovered. Popularity of writers rise and fall daily based on who can generate the most traffic and ultimately the most money. With the speed of technology, trends change literally by the second. While I do believe written testimonies are powerful, that words encourage others and that we can glorify God by sharing his work in our lives, I never want to forget that ultimately we could just read the Bible and that would be enough. What we gain from reading the writings of others pales in comparison to what we gain from reading the writings of the Author of life.
And that brings us to Psalm 119, a chapter that eloquently expresses a passion and longing for God’s word.
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, O Lord; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.” (Psalm 119:9-16)
“Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared. Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good. How I long for your precepts! Preserve my life in your righteousness.” (Psalm 119:33-40)
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous law. I have suffered much; preserve my life, O Lord, according to your word. Accept, O Lord, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws. Thought I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law. The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts. Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.” (Psalm 119:105-112)
Yes, these words change lives. These words never fail. These words are God-breathed, giving life to those who seek him.
And with that we will wrap up post number 100, back to the basics of remembering whose words are worth spending the most time reading. Because this post beckoned me to God’s word, it turns out to be epic after all. My words aren’t that great. But when you have scripture, the purpose becomes the encouragement I was hoping for all along. And as God would have it I just need to get out of the way and point to him. Because with God, every word is epic.