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Devotional: Sparking Joy in Scripture


By Brandon Lemons


This is part two of a series of devotionals that corresponds with the current sermon series, “Church on Mission.”  Last week and this week, we are focusing on our relationship with God.  Sunday’s message highlighted ways to grow in our heart for God, especially by building rhythms that get Scripture into our lives in a way that impacts us.

 

When I talk about my goal for how Christians handle Scripture, I frequently use the descriptions “confidence, competence, and joy.”  Confidence and competence develop over time; the more a person digs into Scripture, the more their confidence and competence with Scripture tend to grow.  But what about joy?  When you think of spending time in the Bible, do you feel joy?  For many Christians, their honest answer would be “no.”

 

Joy can be contagious.  For this reason, Psalm 19 is a great place to spark joy about the Bible.  (I am intentionally borrowing Marie Kondo’s famous phrase about “sparking joy.”  One reason is because she teaches that anything that doesn’t “spark joy” in our life should be discarded.  Realistically, I recognize that if people don’t find joy in Scripture, they are likely to neglect it.  So it’s important to “spark joy” in Scripture!)

 

The theme of Psalm 19 is that God speaks in glorious ways.  Verses 1-6 are about His speech through creation, and verses 7-11 are about His speech through the Bible. 

 

In addition to being a famous Christian author, C.S. Lewis was a literary scholar and English professor at Oxford University.  In his book about the Psalms, he wrote of Psalm 19: “I take this to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.”  Psalm 19 certainly sparked joy in C.S. Lewis! 

 

Please read Psalm 19 and reflect on the questions below.

  • How would you describe the psalmist’s attitude toward God in Psalm 19?

  • What examples from Psalm 19 reveal that Scripture sparked joy in the psalmist?  (Focus especially on verses 7-11.)

  • What is a verse or passage from the Bible that sparks joy for you?  Why does it have this effect on you?

 

A prayer to pray (based on Psalm 19): Heavenly Lord, you are glorious.  You have displayed your glory in the universe around me and in your Word, the Bible.  I confess that I am prone to neglecting your greatness, as well as failing to apply Scripture to my life.  Thank you that through Jesus, you declare me blameless.  Lord, please give me joy in Scripture; like the psalmist, may I see that your Word is more desirable than gold and sweeter than pure honey.  Please empower me to apply your Word to my life, so that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart may be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.  Amen.

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