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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 09/13/17

The Delightful Love Letter

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STORY: Delighting in a Letter

My high school sweetheart went to college five hours away while I was still going to school as a senior in our hometown. At Christmastime, he proposed, and then he had to go back to college. That was before cell phones and emails. I looked forward to his handwritten letters and our weekly phone calls at his parents’ home. Those love letters got me through the wait of being separated.

Recently my cousin framed a love letter written by my Uncle Skillet to my Aunt Virginia. It had lovely penmanship, telling of a different era. Dated July 24, 1946. They had worked on a Mississippi River barge together and fell in love. When Uncle Skillet came down with jaundice, he had to be hospitalized for several weeks. During that time, they wrote each other a great deal until he could return to the barge again. They were married that December. How they treasured those letters!

My niece Jessica had been married to Nathanael about nine months when he left for Afghanistan. He was only able to send her one letter the year he was gone. For most of his deployment he was on a base where they had regular mail deliveries, but no real system for getting mail out. Instead, they Skyped, and also stayed in touch by phone, email, and Facebook. When she got a call or message from him, she was so relieved to know he was still safe and doing okay. It took a lot of effort for him to get in touch with her. Most of the time, he had to walk across the base to a different building and wait in line after working a twelve-hour shift. This extra-effort made Jess feel very loved and missed. You can imagine that one letter from him was very special and their ultimate reunion was extra sweet.

Just as we feel special when we get love letters from our special someones while we’re apart, we can find delight in God’s notes to us. The Bible is like a love letter, while we’re apart. Until we get to heaven, God’s love letter makes the separation bearable. And won’t our reunion be extra sweet?

STUDY: Delighting in God’s Word

Psalm 119 calls God’s Word several things, including law of the Lord, decrees, commands, instructions, and laws. While it indicated specific portions of Scripture, we can take the application toward the Bible in general.

But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. (Psalm 1:2 NLT)

  • How can you create a sense of delight when thinking about the law of the Lord?
  • What is a sign you delight in the Lord?
  • What does it mean to meditate?
  • How can you meditate both day and night—when do you sleep?

I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word. (Psalm 119:16 NLT)

  • This verse personalizes delight. No longer “they” but “I.”
  • How can you be sure not to forget God’s Word?

How I delight in your commands! How I love them! (Psalm 119:47 NLT)

  • The exclamation marks bring the delight mentioned in this passage to a whole new level.
  • What emotion ties into delight?
  • Can you honestly say you love God’s commands? How do you display it in your own life?

Their hearts are dull and stupid, but I delight in your instructions. (Psalm 119:70 NLT)

  • In this section of Psalm 119, David mentions his enemies.
  • Despite all David is enduring from his enemies, He leans on the Lord. He compares their hearts with his. What are their hearts like? What does David delight in?
  • How do you think God’s instructions impact David’s ability to endure being pursued by enemies?
  • How can God’s Word help you endure the hateful attacks of others?

Surround me with your tender mercies so I may live, for your instructions are my delight. (Psalm 119:77 NLT)

  • What is it that David wants God to surround him with?
  • David says being surrounded with God’s tender mercies will do what for him?
  • Do you think he means “live” as in survive, or “live” as in thrive?
  • What do you think the fact that David delights in God’s instructions has to do with his asking to be surrounded by God’s tender mercies?
  • What constitutes “tender mercies”?

Your laws are my treasure; they are my heart’s delight. (Psalm 119:111 NLT)

  • What does it mean to treasure something?
  • David said God’s law was his heart’s delight. What is your heart’s delight?

O Lord, I have longed for your rescue, and your instructions are my delight. (Psalm 119:174 NLT)

  • David trusts God to be his Rescuer. What do God’s instructions have to do with being rescued?
  • When you need God to rescue you from your tormentor, how does the Bible help you?

When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies. (Jeremiah 15:16 NLT)

  • Jeremiah discovered God’s Word. What was his response?
  • How does he describe the way he treasures God’s Word?
  • Jeremiah delighted in God’s Word because he bears what?
  • What does it mean to bear God’s name?
  • How does it impact you to hear God described as “Lord God of Heaven’s Armies”?

STEPS: Living out Your Delight

  1. Make a date with God. The more you’re aware of His presence, the more you miss Him when you allow things to pull you away.
  2. Treasure God’s Word. Treat the Bible like you treat other things you value and cherish.
  3. Write a love letter to God. Tell Him why you delight in Him and in His Word.
  4. Find a love letter from God. Search Scripture to find a section that speaks directly to you.
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