Thursday, June 29, 2017


PSALM 136:23-26

Psalm 136:23 Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:

Susan: The lowliest estate possible is being a slave being forced to make bricks without straw.

Exodus 5:11 Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not ought of your work shall be diminished.

Susie: The ancestor of the Israelites, Joseph, had been made a ruler of Egypt and had saved Egypt and his family from famine because the Lord gave him wisdom to interpret Pharaoh’s dream and skill to act upon what it foretold. During that Pharaoh’s reign, the children of Israel were a small number and were esteemed. However, there came a time when the new Pharaoh failed to know that history and feared the Israelites because God had caused them to multiply prolifically. Therefore, they had been made into slaves, a people Pharaoh feared so much that He ordered all their male babies murdered.

Psalm 136:24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Susan: God rescued Israel out of slavery into freedom, defeating their enemies all along the way, beginning with Pharaoh and ending with the kings of the Canaanites.

Susie: In like manner, Jesus has redeemed us from the penalty of our sin and crushed the ruler of this world system, Satan. We still experience battles, but we know that God has won the war.

Psalm 136:25 Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Susan: People will ask, “What about the people who go hungry?”

Susie: A better question might be, “Are we who have plenty sharing with those who have little?”  Enough food is thrown away in America each day to feed multitudes of hungry people. But the meaning of this verse is that God provides the sunshine, the water, the nutrients to grow crops. However, we have the responsibility to be good stewards of all these blessings.

Psalm 136:26 O give thanks unto the God410 of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Susan: We are to give thanks to the Almighty, the all-powerful, totally strong God.

The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:

410 – ’êl: strength; as adj. mighty, espec. the Almighty (but used also of any deity):—God . . . mighty one, power, strong.

Susie: To whom are we giving thanks? Who is it that we praise? Our pre-existent, self-existent Creator who is our supreme, sovereign Deliverer and our all-powerful, Almighty Sustainer. We give thanks to the One whose mercy, lovingkindness, and grace goes on forever and ever.


1.  Have you ever felt “low?” One friend described how she felt when her husband left as “so low I could play handball against the curb,” and another said she “felt like someone’s garbage on the curb out by the street.” The Israelites were low, but God lifted them up. Describe a time God lifted you up and what or who He used to do it.
2. Have you been redeemed by Jesus? If so, write a brief testimony here to share with others. If not, ask the leader of the study group, a pastor, or a Christian friend to share how you can experience freedom in Jesus.
3. Do you believe God provides for our needs? Does He sometimes use His people to help others? How have you allowed God to use you or how has He used others to meet your needs?
4.     Write a brief prayer of thanksgiving for specific things God has done in your own life.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


PSALM 136:10-22

Psalm 136:10-12 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever: And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:  With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Susie: The killing of Egypt’s firstborn, people and animals, was the culmination of ten plagues sent against them to cause Pharaoh to release God’s people, the nation of Israel.

Susan: God is the ultimate defender, the strong hand. One does not want God as an enemy. With an outstretched arm, He received His people. Moses later challenged the people to choose between God and idols.

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Susie: Jesus made it plain that if we are not on the Lord’s side, we are His enemy.

Matthew 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

Susie: Pharaoh stood against God, and we see what God did. God not only caused Pharaoh whose heart was hardened to release His people, but He softened the hearts of their Egyptian neighbors to give them all kinds of valuables, the spoils of Egypt, as they were leaving.

Susan: God caused the enemies of the Israelites to set them up for success.

Susie: He delivered them from slavery and caused their masters to pay them for leaving!

Psalm 136:13-14 To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever: And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:

Susie: Pharaoh reneged on his promise to let the Israelites go and had his army chase them. They were seemingly pinned down, the Red Sea in front of them and Pharaoh’s chariots behind them.

Susan: Here comes the famous parting of the Red Sea miracle from which this familiar song is taken:

Susan: I chuckle to myself because it was almost that great a miracle for the Lord to convince Susie to become my roommate/caregiver/co-minister.

Susie: Never say never. LOL. Back to the psalm. God parted the waters of the sea so the approximately two million Israelites could walk not through mud but on DRY ground.

Susan: The sea was not a barrier for God. He miraculously parted it that His purpose would be fulfilled and His glory revealed.

Psalm 136:15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Susie: Just as the last Israelite passed safely between the two walls of water and exited on the shore, Pharaoh’s army had driven and marched into the middle of the Red Sea.

Susan: Suddenly, the army was engulfed by the walls of water crashing down upon their heads and swallowing them up like the big fish that swallowed Jonah.

Susie: Only these waves did not spit them back out on shore. They all drowned. Imagine the chaos, confusion, and sheer panic of that army.

Susan: Imagine the despair of Pharaoh and the Egyptian people at the loss of an entire troop of charioteers.

Susie: God certainly proved Himself to be the ultimate protector that day. 

Psalm 136:16 To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Susan: God led and fed the Israelites for decades in the wilderness. He preserved their clothing and protected them.

Nehemiah 9:21 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.

Psalm 136:17-18 To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever: And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:

Susie: Throughout their travels, the Lord enabled the Israelites to be victorious over the armies of kings, both those on the way to the Promised Land, and the kings of Canaan once they arrived there. Joshua chapters 6–12 described the victories in the Holy Land. The next two verses relate to victories during the 40th year of their wandering as they were preparing to enter the land promised to them by God. 

Psalm 136:19-20 Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever: And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:

Susie: The story of the defeat of these two kings is found in Numbers 21:21-35. Moses sent word asking for permission to pass through their kingdoms with the understanding that the Israelites would take no food or even water from their lands. Both kings had the audacity to refuse this request and brought their people out to fight the Israelites. God gave His people the overwhelming victory in both cases and the Israelites moved in and claimed this territory.

Psalm 136:21-22 And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever: Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Susan: God was the gracious enabler in all these victories for Israel. Slaves became freed men and women and even land owners to the glory and honor of God.

Susie: In God’s mercy, lovingkindness, and grace, He provided a home for His rebellious children who relentlessly tested Him along the route from Egypt to Canaan. We experience that same undying mercy, lovingkindness, and grace today as we trust in Jesus our Creator, Protector, and Provider and base our lives on the fact that He is preparing a Promised Land, a forever home with Him for us.


1.               Psalm 136:10-15 praises God for His deliverance of His people from Egypt. What miracles did God perform on their behalf in order to free them?
2.               What two leaders of the Israelites praised the Lord in song after Pharaoh’s army drowned in the Red Sea? See Exodus 15:1-21.
3.               What two things were signs of God’s care during the 40 years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness? See Numbers 9:21.
4.               What did God do to the kings who refused safe passage to the Israelites?

5.               Have you ever felt that God did something miraculous on your behalf? If so, write about it. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017



INTRODUCTION: Psalm 136 is one of many psalms extoling the goodness of God, and it employs the repeated refrain “His mercy endureth forever.” In other translations, this is rendered “His love,” “His lovingkindness,” or “His grace.” The Amplified Version uses multiple words for mercy:

Psalm 136:1 (AMP) Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness (graciousness, mercy, compassion) endures forever.

The author and occasion of this psalm are unknown. The footnote to Psalm 136 in the Complete Jewish Bible explains some interesting facts about this psalm:

The sages note that the psalmist begins this Great Hallel by dedicating its twenty-six verses to the special covenant name of God, YHVH, which also has the numerical value of twenty-six. The refrain that “his grace continues forever” is repeated twenty-six times within this psalm. According to rabbinic sources, this corresponds to the twenty-six generations of humanity who lived from the Creation to the giving of the Torah.

The psalmist praises God for three aspects of His relationship to mankind. God is our Creator, Deliverer, and Sustainer.

PSALM 136:1- 9

Psalm 136:1 O give thanks unto the LORD3068; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Susan: The psalmist uses 4 different names for God. We will mark each one with a superscript of the Strong’s number and quote the definition.

Susie: This psalm is known as “The Great Hallel,” which could be rendered “The Great Praise” and was recited on joyous occasions. It may have been an antiphonal reading or song with the leader chanting or singing the first of each verse and the congregation responding with “His mercy endureth forever.” It was chanted after the Lesser Hallel, psalms 113-118, on the last day of the Passover.

Susan: The Great Hallel begins with an exhortation to give intense, thankful praise to the self-Existent One, the One who has always been.

The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

3068 Yehôvâh: from 1961: (the) self-Existent or Eternal: Jehovah, Jewish national name of God—Jehovah, the Lord.

Susie: We are to give thanks because God is good. God is consistently, completely, perfectly good. Jesus explained to the rich, young ruler that God is the only One who is truly good.

Matthew 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Susie: God’s goodness, mercy, grace, and lovingkindness never fail. Unlike an earthly father who may abandon his children physically or emotionally, our Father God remains faithful to His children. Those of us who have been adopted into God’s forever family need not fear that His grace and goodness will run out.

Psalm 136:2 O give thanks unto the God430 of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.

430 ĕlôhîym: plural of 433: god in the ordinary sense, but spec. used (in the plur. Thus, espec. with the art.) of the supreme God . . .

Susie: The word for God here is plural. In Hebrew making a work plural is one way of saying the superlative. Therefore, He is not just a god, but The Supreme God.

Susan: This plural word, Elohim, is expressing the triune nature of God Himself who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—one cohesive person with three distinct roles.

Susie: That’s a lot packed into one word! Wow! He is God above all other “gods” who are helpless idols.

Psalm 136:3 O give thanks to the Lord113 of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.

The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

113 âdôwn; from an un-used root (mean. To rule): sovereign, i.e. Controller (human or divine):—lord, master, owner.

Susie: God is our Sovereign, our King, and even more than that our Master, our Owner. That may grate on some people to think of being “owned;” but if we belong to Jesus, He possesses us.

Susan: We are God’s prized possession, His precious jewel, for which Jesus willingly offered Himself to die on the cross to redeem us.
Malachi 3:17a (AMPC) And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My jewels (My special possession, My peculiar treasure).

Susie: I just realized that He is the Lord, the Master, of other lords. He is sovereign over all the leaders of the world whether or not they acknowledge Him as Savior. Ultimately, no one gains a place of authority unless God has allowed it.

Romans 13:1 Everyone is to obey the governing authorities. For there is no authority that is not from God, and the existing authorities have been placed where they are by God.

Susan: Jesus is the Royal of all royals.

Revelation 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

Psalm 136:4 To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Susan: The awesomeness of creation displays God’s great wonders.

Susie: The psalmist begins with the general description of what God has done; but in the next few verses, he names specific wondrous creations of the Lord.

Psalm 136:5 To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Susie: Through creation, God shows Himself to be not only all-powerful, but all-wise. His wisdom is displayed in the skies, the exact atmosphere needed to sustain life—plant, animal, and human on the earth.

Psalm 136:6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Susan: God, in His sovereignty, even has authority over the seas and their waves.

Genesis 1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

Job 38:11 (VOICE) And I said to the sea, “Here you may come, but no farther. And here is the shore where your grand waves will crash.”

Susie: God and Job had quite the discussion about Who is in control of all of creation.

Susan: I love the Nicole C. Mullen song “My Redeemer Lives.” It brings the truth of this Psalm alive. You can listen to it here:

Susie: This song which is a paraphrase of the passage in Job, not only makes apparent the sovereignty of God but also embodies the idea that “His mercy endureth forever.”

Psalm 136:7 To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:

Susie: Once again, the psalmist begins with the general and moves on to the specific. In general, God created great lights. Plants don’t grow without light, and people cannot see without light.

Psalm 136:8 The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth forever:

Susan: Without the light and warmth of the sun; people, plants, and animals would die. All living things are dependent upon the sun and the Son whether they realize it or not.

Susie: It warms the water to make it inhabitable for all types of sea life. We’ve noted this in the study of other psalms, but Jesus was described as both light and life in the Gospel of John.

John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

John 8:12Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Susie: Therefore, the sun that rules the day can remind us of the Son who rules everything!

Psalm 136:9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Susan: In the midst of darkness, God provides the lesser lights of the moon and the stars. Without at least a glimmer of light, our eyes would not function. The moon also controls the tides which affects all kinds of life.

Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

Susie: Creation, nature, demonstrates the unfailing mercy of our Master because He has provided everything we need to live on this planet called earth. His mercy, His love, His grace, truly do endure forever!

Susan: Jesus is the greatest light for in the new heavens and new earth, He will be the only light necessary.

Revelation 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

Susie: In ways, we as Christians, are “lesser lights.”

Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.

Philippians 2:15 (NIV) so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.

Susan: As the moon reflects the sun, we are to reflect the Son.


1.       What are the various meanings of the word translated “mercy” in the King James Version of Psalm 136?
2.       Psalm 136 is called the Great Hallel and is recited after the Lesser Hallel, Psalms 113-118, on the last day of Passover. Read Psalms 113-118 and note similarities between these psalms and Psalm 136.
3.       God is described as “self-existent.” What does that mean to you?
4.       When you think of “belonging to God,” do you see it as belonging in the sense of being part of His family or that God owns you and is your master? Or is it both?
5.       In what ways does creation reveal God to mankind?
6.       How are we as Christians similar to the moon and stars?
7.       As the lesser lights, we are to reflect Jesus to the people around us. Evaluate your performance as a lesser light. Journal about what would help you shine more effectively.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


PSALM 19:7-14

David now moves to the other way the Lord reveals Himself to us, though His word. His written word speaks to us, and our response should be praying to Him—a conversation.

Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

Susan: The law spoken of in this verse is the entire instruction of the Lord.

Susie: Jesus tells us that this instruction is as necessary as our daily food:

Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Susan: We wanted to be sure what was meant by “perfect”. I was thinking complete and whole.

Susie: I was seeing it from the point of flawless and infallible. So we looked it up:

The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible:

8549–tâmîym – entire, (as a noun) integrity, truth:—without blemish, complete, full, perfect, sincerely (-ity), sound, without spot, undefiled, upright (-ly), whole.

Susan: It looks like we were both right when you consider all the nuances of the Hebrew word. The instruction of the Lord has a purpose, the conversion of the sinner unto salvation.

Susie: The heavens show us there is a God, and His word reveals that we can have a relationship with Him by surrendering to His will. The way we do that is by trusting Jesus Christ—believing He was and IS the Son of God, that He died on the cross to redeem us from sin, that He rose from the dead on the third day, and that He now lives to make intercession for those who trust in Him.

Susan: Awe and reverence for the Lord is where wisdom begins.

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

1 Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

Susie: When I think of the simple or foolish things showing God’s wisdom, I am reminded of some of the “special needs” people at my church. There are several with Down’s Syndrome or who suffered brain injuries as a child who function on the level of a six or seven-year-old in many ways. However, they exhibit extreme faith in Jesus and have the wisdom to turn every situation over to Him in prayer immediately. They are prayer warriors, and in that sense, extremely wise.

Psalm 19:8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

Susie: In Hebrew poetry, a point may be emphasized by repeating the same idea using synonyms or words close in meaning to say the same thing a slightly different way. Verse 8 of this psalm restates the concepts in verse 7 another way to emphasize and clarify the meaning.

Susan: The precepts of the Lord’s word are correct, which is another way of saying they are perfect.

Susie: Verse 7 pointed to the words ability to lead a person to conversion, to surrendering to the Lord. Verse 8 indicates that the word of the Lord brings joy. Joy, deep peace no matter the circumstances, is a definite result of conversion. Trusting Jesus, relying on Him rather than oneself, brings satisfaction beyond compare.

Susan: God’s word is not tainted, defiled, or poisoned in any way. God’s word is clean and pristine. Another sense of “pure” is undiluted, potent, strong.

Susie: This pure, undiluted word brings light to our eyes and our mind. Light directs and guides us:

Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Susan: Jesus described Himself as the Light of the world.

John 8:12Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Susie: In his gospel, John uses both Word and Light to refer to Jesus. Since Jesus is the living Word, He is the Light that illuminates our way.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Psalm 19:9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

Susan: I like verse 9 in The Voice translation:

Psalm 19:9 (VOICE) The awe of the Eternal is clean, sustaining for all of eternity. The Eternal’s decisions are sound; they are right through and through.

Susan: We are inspired to reverence and awe by studying the living word of God, the Bible.

Susie: The Holy Spirit inspired David to reiterate that God’s word is pure, without fault, clean. We are “washed” by this word to become the purified bride of Christ.

Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Susan: To be pure is to be flawless, without inclusions, like a fine diamond. Inclusions are found inside the diamond and some cannot be seen with the naked eye. Even though we may look “perfect” to others, Jesus sees all the tiny flaws inside us. We will not be a completely flawless jewel until we are with Jesus, but we are in the process of being made pure as we submit to Him, study His word, and obey Him.

Susie: God’s word and the reverence it inspires are eternal, lasting forever, outlasting even those who were inspired to write it.

1 Peter 1:24-25a “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”

Susan: The judgments, the decisions, of the Lord are authentic, correct, and righteous.

Susie: Since Father God sees everything, He is the only one who can consistently, truly discern a person’s motives as well as the resulting actions.

Susan: God is the only one who can truly know us from the inside out. Our divine Designer is the only one who can judge our thoughts as well as our actions. He knows the heart of each person intimately.

Psalm 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Susan: The most luscious piece of gold or fine jewelry cannot and should not be more precious to us than the word of God. The purest gold, the finest gem, is dung in comparison to the word of God.

Susie: Susan enjoys fine jewelry, but I relate more to the food analogy. LOL. God’s word is sweeter than honey which to me is much sweeter than refined sugar. One of my favorite snacks as a child was bread with butter and honey. God’s word leaves a sweet taste in my mouth. It brings joy and pleasantness to my life along with its warnings.

Susan: I felt the following summary of verses 7-10 from the New King James Study Bible notes was right on target:

The law is the Torah, which means “instruction” or “direction.” This passage (vv. 7–9) presents six words for the law of God—law, testimony, statutes, commandment, fear, and judgments; six evaluations of the law—perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, and true; and six results—converting the soul, making wise the simple, rejoicing the heart, enlightening the eyes, enduring forever, and righteous altogether. The value of the Scripture cannot be compared with any other desirable thing—even gold. It provides the key to wisdom, joy, and most importantly, eternal life.

Psalm 19:11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

Susan: God’s word cautions us against sin, disobedience, in thought, in word, or in deed.

Susie: God rewards those who seek Him and follow His commandments.

Deuteronomy 28:2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.

Hebrews 11:6 (NASB) And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Psalm 19:12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.

Susie: Very rarely do we see ourselves as we really are. We find it hard to admit our flaws, especially those that are not obvious to other people.

Susan: It is better to examine ourselves, see our flaws, and work on them rather than to have someone else need to examine us.

Susie: Sometimes we have so blinded ourselves to our secret sins, that we fail to see them. Therefore, David asks the Lord to cleanse even from the sin he is unaware of. He does this again in Psalm 139.

Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 19:13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

Susie: Presumptuous sin is knowingly, willingly, and deliberately disobeying God. These sins were to result in being excommunicated from Israel, no longer being counted as a part of the people of God, and executed. Wow!

Susan: David was praying the Lord would guard and protect him from committing presumptuous sin. He prayed to be guided away from this deliberate disobedience.

Susie: Presumptuous sins were considered blasphemous because they denied the power and the sovereignty of God by acting as if disobedience was “no big deal.”

Susan: David is asking to be set apart for God and God alone. He is asking to be sanctified for God’s service.

Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

Susan: David asks the Lord to make his speech, what he says, exalt God at all times.

Susie: Taming our tongues is impossible without the help of the Lord.

James 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

1 Peter 3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:

Susie: Even if we, with the strength of the Lord, curtail our spoken words, there is the matter of what lurks inside our hearts.

Susan: Meditations of the heart would be the intentions, the motivations of my heart . . .

Susie: . . .those ideas I dwell on rather than just a fleeting thought.

Susan: Whatever my heart is focused on, zeroed in on, those are things that need to be God-approved.

Susie: If we obey the first commandment, this will be less of a problem for us:

Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.

Susan: The Lord is my vitality and my empowerment. He is who gives me my get up and go.

Susie: The word emphasizes this truth in many places in both Old Testament and New Testament.

Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Romans 14:4 (AMP)     Who are you to judge the servant of another? Before his own master he stands [approved] or falls [out of favor]. And he [who serves the Master—the Lord] will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

Susie: It is God Himself who enables those who trust in Him to obey Him, and it is Jesus who redeems us when, in our own strength, we fail.


1.               Was there a particular verse of scripture that really got your attention and helped you to realize you needed Jesus?  If not, what caused you to understand your need of a Savior?
2.               Share a verse that makes your heart rejoice. Why does this verse encourage you to be joyful?
3.               Can you think of a scripture verse that “enlightened” you, helped you to understand something better than you did before?
4.               Is God’s word more precious to you than gold or the tastiest dessert? If not, have you tried “tasting” a bit of the Bible every day?
5.               Take a moment to be really truthful with God and yourself (He knows all your secrets anyway). Pray for His help to follow Him more completely.

6.               Try making a commitment to God and yourself to have pure words and pure thoughts for an entire day. (Not as easy as it sounds). Journal your successes and failures and use them as points of praise and prayer.