To conclude my morning meditations, I want to focus that day on making both my words and my thoughts pleasing to the LORD, my Strength and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14).
In my final three meditations each morning, I switch the focus away from upbeat thoughts to begin my day. Instead, in these final three meditations, I focus on what lies ahead for me that day—especially on what I will write and say in my blogs, books and podcasts.
In the third of these meditations, I end my morning meditations by focusing on words found at Psalm 19:14:
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in thy sight, O LORD, my Strength and my Redeemer.
It’s hard to imagine a more fitting mantra on which to end my series of morning meditations. Focus myself on what I should say and think throughout that day—especially on what I should say and write that day in my blogs, books and podcasts!
Here are some words of this mantra that I focus upon.
Both the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart that day must be pleasing to the LORD.
Some of the translations of this passage from Hebrew into English use the idea that my words and thoughts should be acceptable to the LORD. (KJV).
Initially, I used the word “acceptable” for this mantra. But over time, I realized that I want my words and thoughts to be far better than merely “acceptable”.
I want my words and thoughts to be “pleasing” to the LORD!
Initially, I used the word “Rock” to describe the LORD.
The word “Rock” is certainly appropriate.
For example, Jesus said that he will build his church on the Rock and that the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18; my blog “The Immense, Towering Rock Overcomes the Gates of Hell”).
For example, the Apostle Paul described Christ as the “spiritual rock” from which water flowed in the Wilderness so that Israel could drink this “spiritual drink”. (1 Corinthians 10:4).
For example, Jesus identified himself as the Rock that Israel rejected and that would become the chief cornerstone of the “temple” that Jesus would build. (Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10-11; see also Psalm 118:22-23; Matthew 7:24-25; Acts 4:11; Romans 9:33; 1 Peter 2:4-8; my blog “Building the Temple—Jesus”).
Then why did I eventually decide to use the word “Strength” instead of “Rock” in this mantra?
Because I need strength to get through each day.
Like the Apostle Paul, I often feel hard pressed on every side, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
No wonder I need strength each day!
Not merely the fleeting “strength” that comes from caffeine in a number of cups of coffee each day.
But the enduring Strength that comes from innumerable redemptions and blessings by Hesed each day given to me by the LORD, my Rock. (see my blogs about Hesed below in READ MORE).
And why do I keep the word Redeemer in this mantra? Why do I end my morning meditations with the word “Redeemer”?
Because I’m realistic. I know that, despite my best intentions, my words and thoughts will go astray each day. (Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:23).
To paraphrase the Apostle Paul, I know that during each day: I’ll do things that I shouldn’t do and I won’t do things that I should do. (Romans 7:15).
The original word used by Jesus in the Lord’s Prayer refers both to actions when I did what I should not have done (trespasses) and to inactions when I did not do what I should have done (debts).
Think of “trespasses” as actions like beating and robbing someone and leaving them naked and bleeding at the side of a road. Think of “debts” as inactions like failing to help someone who is naked and bleeding at the side of the road. (Luke 10:30-35).
Therefore, in some churches, we say the Lord’s Prayer with the word “trespasses”. In other churches, we say the Lord’s Prayer with the word “debts”.
I need to be forgiven and redeemed for both my trespasses and my debts each day, even as I myself am forgiving and redeeming people—and systems of people—for their trespasses and debts each day. (Matthew 6:12).
Only then will my words and my meditations that day be pleasing to the LORD, my Strength and my Redeemer!
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT
What kinds of words are pleasing to the LORD?
What kinds of thoughts are pleasing to the LORD?
In what ways is the LORD our Rock?
In what ways is the LORD our Redeemer?
In what ways can we forgive and redeem systems of people?
For other blogs about meditating in the morning, please read my blogs “Meditations: This Is the Day that the LORD Hath Made”, “Meditations: Let It Go”, “Meditations: Be Still”, “Meditations: A Good Parent Is a Good Shepherd”, “Meditations: THIS Is the DAY!”, “Meditations: Hesed Endures Forever”, “Meditations: Hesed Redeems Forever”, “Meditations: Hesed Blesses Forever”, “Meditations: Forgetting What Lies Behind”, Meditations: Listening”, “Going Further onto the Patio”, “Amazing Grace: Birdsongs!”, “Pandemic Wisdom: Leaves and Birds”, “Pandemic Wisdom: Meditating”, “A Foggy Sunrise”, “Mountains and Hills Breaking Into Song”, and “God Cares for Each Bird That I See Each Morning”.
The Hebrew word hesed expresses the abundant love and faithfulness of the LORD our God. To learn more about hesed, please read my blogs “The Hesed of the LORD Endures Forever”, “Hesed Saves and Nurtures Baby Moses”, “Hesed Saves Israel—Passover”, “Hesed Nurtures Israel—From the Red Sea to Mount Sinai”, “Hesed Nurtures Israel—Mount Sinai”, “Hesed Establishes the Work of Moses’s Hands—Mount Nebo”, “Hesed Blesses Forever—David”, “Walking Humbly With Hesed—Micah”, “Hoping in Hesed—Jeremiah”, “Hesed Returns Israel to Jerusalem”, “Jesus Embodies Hesed—The Vision of Isaiah”, “Jesus Embodies Hesed—Fulfilling the Law of Moses and the Prophets”, “Jesus Embodies Hesed—Saving Sheep, Saving Coins, and Saving Sons”, “Meditations: Hesed Endures Forever”, “Meditations: Hesed Redeems Forever”, and “Meditations: Hesed Blesses Forever”.