Introduction• Psalm 119 is a STYLIZED description of the Bible – Each section is composed of personal observations and applications – Each section is creative and unique in style
Introduction• Each of the lines in Psalm 119:73-80 begin with the same Hebrew letter• The yodh is a pictograph of a closed hand or a working, strong arm
Introduction• yad is a hand – ayin (eyes), and peh (mouth) are similar octets• The letter affects words with the semantic feel of throwing, working & worshiping
Spiritual Formation• Spiritual formation or GROWTH is critical to our advance – “NEW GROWTH” is our middle name!• Spiritual formation is always an act of GRACE. – Grace to be caught, to be confronted, to be corrected, to be conformed – Legalism is about keeping the rules for sake of the rules; it is without grace
Spiritual Formation• Spiritual formation is the PROCESS whereby we are being molded and shaped – into the IMAGE of Jesus, – by the POWER of the Spirit – to the GLORY of the Father.• Spiritual formation is PRODUCTIVE -- to know Him better!
Formation Prayers1. Give me understanding that I may learn. God has fashioned my mind, given me arelational construction, personal spirit (Ps 139:13-17) God establishes and directs these facultiestowards His goals through His commandments
Formation Prayers2. Give me friends who are headed in thesame direction. We share a common fear of God, not each other We live exposed, vulnerable, transparent livesbefore one another We cheer when each one has success inapplying the Word
Formation Prayers3. Give me tests regularly that challenge myfaith. God’s answer to this test question is right God’s rulings (judgments) about whether I amready for this test or not is always “spot on” God’s testing is never malicious or antagonistic
Formation Prayers4. Give me reminders regularly of Yourunshakeable love for me. We are never alone, forgotten, abandoned,forsaken or lost We have an unfailing commitment from God
Formation Prayers5. Give me mercy, lots and lots of mercy. God’s character offers healing throughout ourgrowth God’s character offers delight throughout ourgrowth Without God, we will die in our sins
Formation Prayers6. Give me the truth about how You see me. We can easily get sidetracked by the attacks oflying enemies We can easily focus on defense, revenge,retaliation We need to set all our mental, emotionalenergies on God and His Word to form right responses
Formation Prayers7. Give me opportunities to counsel others. God’s teaching is seldom just about us growing God’s purpose in creating community is growth God never intends for us to “waste your cancer”
Formation Prayers8. Give me success in several key spiritualareas. We cannot trust our hearts to direct us We must have blamelessness before God as ourgoal for 2013 We do not want to finish in spiritual failure,decline or stagnation
Conclusion• O God, placed in Your strong grip of grace, I want to be thrown toward Your targets with increasing accuracy.• I want to see produce in my own spiritual life and the life of my church family and friends.• I want to know You and fear You more in this coming year. I want to serve You more faithfully.• I will worship You, my “Gracious Gripper”.