Daily Encouragement Net
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

View from bluff over Lehigh River
A bluff over the Lehigh River.
Taken by a very energetic and healthy young man who climbed the bluff!

"Hide And Seek" (Part 1)

Message summary:  “Hide and Seek” is a fun game that most all of us grew up playing with our friends and siblings. But there is a very important spiritual exercise of “Hide and Seek” that isn’t just a game, rather it’s a vital survival tactic against the enemy of our souls. Today we will consider what we hide and tomorrow what we seek.

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You" (Psalm 119:11).

We are enjoying the antics of our little calico kitten Gracie. She knows how to hide and she knows how to seek. She is still very small and can find hiding spots where she is very hard to find if she wants to be hidden. But she also knows how to seek, especially if she is hungry!

“Hide and Seek” is a fun game that most all of us grew up playing with our friends and siblings. But there is a very important spiritual exercise of “Hide and Seek” that isn’t just a game, rather it’s a vital survival tactic against the enemy of our souls. Today we will consider what we hide and tomorrow what we seek.

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible and is focused on the value and power of God’s Word. In fact each of the 176 verses has some reference to the Word using various synonyms such as commands, precepts, laws, decrees, promises, and so forth.

Today let us examine just the first phrase in Psalm 119:11, “Your word I have hidden in my heart". The spiritual discipline of hiding God’s Word in our hearts is an element greatly lacking among so many today. The Word is the sacred Scriptures and although we use our minds to read and absorb, we need to also hide it deep within our hearts. When we face temptation or discouragement; when we experience loss or need direction; when we want Biblical role models we can call to mind pertinent Scriptures, many which we have stored up in our hearts.

1) Hiding God’s Word begins with regular reading of the sacred text. Of preeminent importance is the text itself. This is a lifelong practice, for God’s Word is an inexhaustible treasure of spiritual wisdom. Paul indicated this when he wrote to Timothy, “How from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures” (2 Timothy 3:15). In the very next chapter in his final written words Paul asks Timothy “to bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments” (2 Timothy 4:13). Many commentators feel the parchmants were copies of God’s Word. D. Edmond Hiebert writes, “Even as an old man facing certain death, the apostle has not lost his interest for study and mental pursuits. It presents a standing challenge to the minister to be an indefatigable student, especially of the Word of God.”

2) Hiding God’s Word surely includes the study of the sacred text. There are many wonderful supplemental resources that are helpful and a blessing as we study the Bible such as devotional booklets, study guides, notes in study Bibles and so forth. The serious Bible student must be very careful to use these tools only as a supplement, never a replacement. Each morning as Brooksyne and I pray over these daily encouragement messages that the various components would be a blessing; our stories, exposition, photos, personal reflections and music links. But we realize the most important element is the Scripture text itself. Above all else read the Scripture.

3) Hiding God’s Word includes meditating on God's Word after the example of David, who wrote in Psalm 1 concerning the blessed man, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.”  In my understanding meditation is taking a single verse or small portion of Scripture and thoughtfully pondering and considering it, turning it around over and over in the mind. Jim Gambini, a pastor friend, used the phrase “masticating”, which is the technical term meaning “to chew”, much like dairy cows and other ruminating animals chew their cud. Contented dairy cows can chew their cud eight hours a day totaling 30,000 chews daily. Now, if we could turn God’s Word over and over in our minds throughout the day I believe we’d have a lot more victory. Joy would replace our complaining and it would certainly spill out to those around us!

4) Hiding God’s Word should include memorization. That’s hard for many and frankly for me it has gotten harder as I've grow older and more lax in my disciplines. We may have different capabilities in this regard but I challenge each reader to at least memorize the Scripture that is your life’s verse. Early in my pastoral ministry I memorized many Scripture verses which are still deeply hidden in my heart to this day. My life verse and the challenge in today’s message is, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

5) Hiding God’s Word is evidenced by a diligent, lifelong pursuit of application and obedience. At the conclusion of His Sermon on the Mount Christ taught that those who hear His words and  “acts on them” (NASV), “does them” (ESV), “puts them into practice” (NIV) would be like a man who built his house on the rock. (Matthew 7:24).

Holy Bible, Book divine,
Precious treasure, thou art mine;
Mine to tell me whence I came;
Mine to teach me what I am.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.  I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. Direct me in the path of Your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to Your Word. Let me live that I may praise You and may Your laws sustain me. My heart is set on keeping Your decrees to the very end. Amen.
(Prayer based on verses from Psalm 119)

I also caution you about glossing over the familiar Scripture! Reviewing that which is familiar can bring fresh insight or reinforce that which you already know to be true. It may even stir up praise as You’ve seen how God has implemented His teaching into your life. Peter writes, “So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.  I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body... And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things” (I Peter 1:12-15).

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Holy Bible, Book Divine"  Video   Lauren Bowers

(First verse used at conclusion of message)

Holy Bible, Book divine,
Precious treasure, thou art mine;
Mine to tell me whence I came;
Mine to teach me what I am.

Mine to comfort in distress;
Suffering in this wilderness;
Mine to show, by living faith,
Man can triumph over death.

Mine to tell of joys to come,
And the rebel sinner’s doom;
O thou holy Book divine,
Precious treasure, thou art mine.

"Word of God Speak"  Video   MercyMe

"Ancient Words"  Video  Michael W. Smith

"Death Was Arrested"  Video  The Worship Initiative

"Is He Worthy?"  Video  Andrew Peterson

Some more scenes from our bike trip in the Poconos this last Saturday.

Train going through Lehigh Gorge
The excursion train passing through the Lehigh Gorge along the bike trail.

Big train locomotives
The excursion train passing through.
Unbeknownst to me Ester was taking a photo of me taking a photo!

Train going through Lehigh Gorge
No biker can just stay the course when the blast of a train whistle is just a few feet away. It always gets the attention of bikers and walkers who stop and wave back at the waving passengers when the train passes through.

Lehigh River
The bike path follows beside the Lehigh River and of course the children wanted to play on the rocks in the river.

View from bluff over Lehigh River
Another view from a bluff over the Lehigh River.

Bluff over Lehigh River
The abandoned rail tunnel under the bluff over the Lehigh River.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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