Your Decrees Are Wondrous

Open Your Bible

Psalm 119:121-144, Romans 15:4, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Reading the Bible has always been hard for me. That may sound strange coming from someone who works for a company with the motto, “Women in the Word of God every day.” Over the years, being in the Word has proved tricky for several reasons, one of which is its familiarity. I’ve read Scripture my whole life, yet the transformative stories and commands lose their potency when I grow used to their rhythms and cadence, to the way the words sound when they roll off my tongue.

Let me be clear: Scripture can’t lose its power or potency. But I can diminish its work in my life through my own apathy. I can choose not to slow down and really open myself to the text or the Holy Spirit who speaks through it.

A decade ago, I walked through a situation that required me to love a friend and leader in our church community with what the Bible calls agape love—a love that seeks someone else’s wellbeing. Since I could no longer speak with this person directly, the development of this love had to take place solely between God and me. So, my best friend and I made a pact to read 1 Corinthians 13 every day for a whole year. The love passage. This well-known chapter was the best model we could find for the altruistic, Christlike, agape kind of love.

Just because it was a well-known chapter didn’t mean it was easy to put into action. By focusing our attention on one passage for an extended period of time, the purpose was long-term, personal transformation. I began reading it to myself out loud, as if to absorb into my very being. I can still hear the lines echoing through my car, as I read it aloud each morning:

“Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy,
is not boastful, is not arrogant, is not rude,
is not self-seeking, is not irritable,
and does not keep a record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:4–5).

These aren’t just eloquent lines of verse or truisms to tuck away in our back pocket. They’re the living, active words of God. My friend and I didn’t set out to memorize the chapter, but within a couple weeks it was buried inside us. I found that my heart had been softened toward God’s Word and toward this person from our community. And even though it may not have redeemed the situation, it changed my heart.

As Psalm 119 says, “Your decrees are wondrous; therefore I obey them” (v.129). Let’s obey God’s decrees by burying them inside us, even if that means reciting them aloud for 365 days. When our hearts have a chance to catch up with our minds, we begin to embody truth and become not a clanging cymbal but a transformed child of God (1Corinthians 13:1).

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61 thoughts on "Your Decrees Are Wondrous"

  1. Avis DeniseGraves says:

    This message touched me uniquely today, as I have been guilty of familiarity with scripture. I am
    Inspired to reconnect with someone who I’ve loved, that needs this type of encouragement. Thank you❤️❤️

  2. Lindsay C. says:

    1 Corinthians 13 is speaking to me anew this morning. I am familiar with it, having read it many other times, including at a friend’s wedding, and just last night in my daughter’s story Bible. It occurs to me that many times I am the opposite of what love is. Impatient, unkind, envious, boastful, arrogant, rude, self-seeking, irritable, keeper of wrongs. But God. Jesus came to show me what true love looks like by being the physical embodiment of love. His ultimate sacrifice provided me with the unmerited grace to cover my sinful and unloving ways. May I show even a fraction of that love today.

  3. Susan Crosby says:

    How do we keep His precepts and statutes? By determining to study His Holy word…to meditate on His word day and night…to hide the word in our heart…❤️

  4. CeeGee says:

    This reading reminds me that the WORD is GOD (LOVE) and that to share it and give HOPE and ENCOURAGEMENT to others we must first treasure the WORD and carry it in our hearts. The Romans verse in The Message translation stood out to me today. Blessings, hugs , and thanks to all!

  5. Stephanie C says:

    I like to read the NLT, the words flow from the page and seem to stick in my brain a little better. This morning as I read, Ps. 119:122 jumped out at me. In this verse the psalmist pleads with God, “Please guarantee a blessing for me…” I was immediately reminded of Ephesians 1:14, “The Spirit is God’s GUARANTEE that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.” I love that in answer to our plea for assurance God’s reply is His very presence within us. Even more than we ask or imagine, what love He has for us!!!

  6. Lissa says:

    Churchmouse, THANK YOU. I was in tears reading your comments. You always seem to know my heart and you help me express my feelings through your writing. Your words EVERY morning…thank you, sister, in Christ.

  7. Marlena Corona says:

    Amazing to hear this in a time where I need it the most! ♥️

  8. Alexis says:

    Taylor- the verse that stood out to me today was the very last one in Ps119:144
    ” Your decrees are righteous forever.
    Give me understanding, and I will live.”
    I still need to work out why this verse means so much to me, but it just seems to leap off the page.