The Simple Ministry of the Word

My grandmother (aka "Mamaw") is currently in a residential nursing home in the area receiving physical therapy for a compression fracture in her back. This will be a temporary stay (Lord willing) until she's able to walk on her own without assistance and can return to her home. A request for your prayers would be appropriate here.Since she lives 40 miles away, I don't see her as often as I'd like, so, in God's kind providence, I've had opportunities to visit her almost every weekday before I go into work. We visit, talk about the family, talk about the Lord, talk to the Lord, and read His Word.
I have been greatly encouraged by this ministry - this ministry of reading God's word to my mamaw. It's such a simple thing...reading the Scriptures...allowing God's Word to minister to us. Our reading together this morning in Psalm 19 reminds us why:

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
(Psalm 19:7-11)

In the margin of my Bible, I have written the title of a sermon I heard on this passage: "The Irrisistable Efficacy of the Word of God in Salvation"...had to be a Dr. Zemek sermon! Simply put, God's Word is able in and of itself to produce the desired result - salvation. And we can say, because of numerous other passages (a few being: John 17:17, Ephesians 5:26, 1 Thessalonians 2:13 & 1 Peter 2:2) that God's Word is sufficient in our sanctification - our growth in godliness as believers. And that's why I've been reading Scripture to Mamaw during our visits (not to mention the fact that she's developing glaucoma and can't read very well any more). We have such a great time fellowshipping in God's Word. I know she is blessed by receiving, but I think I am even more blessed in the giving. Doing this directs and allows our conversation to revolve around spiritual things...things that matter.
Over the past few days we've read through Psalm 119. In case you're not aware, Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in God's Word (176 verses) and all but 7 verses directly mention God's Word - the remaining seven indirectly mention it. Depending on your translation, you'll see several different terms used for God's Word, such as: commandments, testimonies, ordinances, precepts, judgments, law, word, statutes, etc. Though each term has it's unique nuances & shades of meaning, you could easily replace any of those terms with "God's Word" and not lose the value of the verse. Here are some of the verses that were particularly special in ministering to Mamaw during this season of her life:

Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.
I remember Your name in the night, O LORD, and I keep Your law.
Psalm 119:54-55
It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.
Psalm 119:71
My soul faints for Your salvation, but I hope in Your word.
Psalm 119:81
I am afflicted very much; revive me, O LORD, according to Your word.
Psalm 119:107
I long for Your salvation, O LORD, and Your law is my delight.
Let my soul live, and it shall praise You; and let Your judgments help me.
Psalm 119:174-176

It's been good having this time with Mamaw. It's been good to be reminded that God's word is sufficient for "life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3). I can only pray that a love for God's word will continue to grow in her heart and mine, so we may say with the psalmist, "Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day." (Ps 119:97)

Mamaw's 84th Birthday, May 7, 2005

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