I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure. Psalm 119:162
El Dorado was the name given by Spaniards in the sixteenth century to describe a mythical king of native people in Colombia, South America. The myth grew from referring to a man, to a city, to a kingdom, and finally to an empire of gold. Treasure hunters from England and Spain searched all over Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, and northern Brazil—and all came up sad and disappointed. There was no city or kingdom of golden treasures to be found.
But there is a treasure of joy waiting to be discovered between the pages of Scripture—the treasure of God’s Word. Could anything be more valuable than a Book that answers mankind’s most important questions: Where did I come from? What is my purpose? What is right and wrong? What is my destiny? These questions, and more, have been the most important ever asked. In good times and bad, we can rejoice in knowing the answers to all of life’s biggest questions are ours for the reading.
The more we read and study God’s Word, the more we can rejoice and give thanks in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
The more reverence we have for the word of God, the more joy we shall find in it. Matthew Henry
Psalm 119 (Part 2) :89-176 • Your Word is a Light Unto My Path
We all . . . are being transformed into his image. 2 Corinthians 3:18
Choir director Arianne Abela spent her childhood sitting on her hands—to hide them. Born with fingers missing or fused together on both hands, she also had no left leg and was missing toes on her right foot. A music lover and lyric soprano, she’d planned to major in government at Smith College. But one day her choir teacher asked her to conduct the choir, which made her hands quite visible. From that moment, she found her career, going on to conduct church choirs and serving now as director of choirs at another university. “My teachers saw something in me,” Abela explains.
Her inspiring story invites believers to ask, What does God, our holy Teacher, see in us, regardless of our “limits”? More than anything, He sees Himself. “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27 nlt).
As His glorious “image bearers,” when others see us, we should reflect Him. For Abela, that means Jesus, not her hands—or her lack of fingers—matters most. The same is true for all believers. “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image,” says 2 Corinthians 3:18.
Similar to Abela, we can conduct our lives by Christ’s transforming power (v. 18), offering a life song that rings out to the honor of God.
Reflect & Pray
How does knowing you are God’s “image-bearer” help you to see yourself differently? How does it help you in your interactions with others?
Thank You, God, for making me in Your image. Help me to apply this fact to all of my life.
What is your first response when someone hurts you? Maybe you immediately become angry and want to retaliate. Or perhaps your outward expression doesn’t change, but inside you begin quietly nursing bitterness. Although these reactions strike us as understandable and perfectly natural, they are not how God tells us to respond.
Unforgiveness is spiritually destructive because it is contrary to God’s will and affects our emotions, thoughts, prayers, and relationships. Scripture is clear that we are to forgive anyone who causes us harm, because we ourselves have been forgiven a much larger debt of sin by God. The grace He pours out on each of us should be our motivation to extend grace to others. If we have received His loving pardon, then we must do the same for others, even when it feels unfair.
Forgiveness involves a total change of attitude and action, whereby we give up resentment toward someone and relinquish a desire for revenge. In our own strength, this is impossible. But if, instead of rehearsing our hurts, we ask the Lord to change us and fill us with His Spirit, He will begin the process of transforming our heart.
“From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.” (Matthew 16:21)
The little word “must” (Greek deon) conveys urgency and necessity and is frequently used in connection with the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ. When He was just a lad, He told His parents in the temple: “I must be about my Father’s business” (Luke 2:49).
But then the first time this key auxiliary verb is found in the New Testament is in the comprehensive prophetic statement of His mission, as given to His disciples in our text. He must go to Jerusalem to suffer, and die, and be raised the third day. As He was moving toward that climactic event, “he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent” (Luke 4:43). Furthermore, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4).
He had much preaching and much work to do in that brief three-year interim in world history. But then He must die! And why must He die? Because “the scriptures must be fulfilled” (Mark 14:49). “These are the words which I spake unto you… that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me” (Luke 24:44). And how must He die? “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up” (John 3:14). But then, of course, “he must rise again from the dead” (John 20:9).
To what purpose must He be lifted up on the cross to die and then be raised again? Why, because “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). HMM