If you are outside much in the Summer months, you know how pesky a little gnat can be: They get in your face; draw attention to themselves; and, they won’t leave you alone.
Because they are just as pesky, there are some sections of the Bible that I refer to as GNAT Scripture, and Psalm 19:1-4, is one of these. This Psalm is small, but pesky, in the way it prods you with its important principles.
When you read the verses below, notice the GNAT (Great, Noble, And Truthful) principles it contains:
The heavens are telling of the greatness of God and the great open spaces above show the work of His hands. Day to day they speak. And night to night they show much learning. There is no speaking and no words where their voice is not heard. Their sound has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
Here are a few of the pesky thoughts that prod me whenever I read this Psalm:
- Just as the heavens testify of God’s greatness, the fruit you bear reveals your relationship with God . . . are you sweet, tart, or bitter?
- Notice the frequency of the testimony . . . day after day and night after night. There is no room for a Sunday Saint in the understanding and application of this Psalm. Do you live and breathe in such a way that the love of God flows from within you and is easily seen? Is it the rhythm of your life?
- Notice the far-reaching influence . . . through all the earth and to the end of the world. How far-reaching and powerful is your influence for Christ?
If your voice was the only voice that could be heard and your testimony was the only one that could be seen, how would your influence change the world?
Character seems to be in such short supply, I want to encourage you to make it the focus of your thoughts today. Integrity and character are key concepts of Psalm 26:
“Judge me favorably, O Lord, because I have walked with integrity and I have trusted you without wavering. Examine me, O Lord, and test me. Look closely into my heart and mind. I see your mercy in front of me. I walk in the light of your truth. I did not sit with liars, and I will not be found among hypocrites. I have hated the mob of evildoers and will not sit with wicked people. I will wash my hands in innocence. I will walk around your altar, O Lord, so that I may loudly sing a hymn of thanksgiving and tell about all your miracles.”
Each of the quotes below speak of some aspect of character:
• “Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wing, and only character endures.” ~Horace Greely
• “The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.” ~Abigail Van Buren
• “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” ~Abraham Lincoln
• “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ~Maya Angelou
• “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters” ~Albert Einstein
• “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” ~John Wooden
• “Talent is a gift, but character is a choice.” ~John C. Maxwell
When people comment about you what do they say?
• “Now, there goes a real character.”
• “Now there goes a person with real character.”
Which of the two above best describes you? Does your life resound with the words of the Psalmist? “Judge me favorably, O Lord, because I have walked with integrity and I have trusted you without wavering. Examine me, O Lord, and test me. Look closely into my heart and mind.”