The Hay Barn

Tuesday, May 14, 2024
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Listen while you read: "Praise The Lord Ye Heavens Adore Him"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 119:9-11 – How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (NIV)

When we moved last spring, one of our priorities was the construction of a hay barn on our new property: a place where feed for our livestock could be kept dry while also allowing fresh air to circulate. Hay that is not protected and does not have good air circulation becomes mouldy and inedible, which can lead to hunger or even starvation for the livestock if feed cannot be replaced throughout the winter.

As I was thinking on these things while I was out feeding the animals, these thoughts occurred to me: how do I protect the spiritual nourishment of God's Word within my heart? How do I store it in this earthly temple or barn of mine, so that its wisdom is readily available day by day within my heart and mind in order to feed me in the righteous ways of the Lord?

Today's Scripture reading begins to give us some answers to these pertinent questions. The psalmist first states that he puts God's Word into action within his life. He doesn't just read it; he practices it by living it continually and diligently. Practice teaches us that God's Word never fails, and that it is always right and true and for our good. Such experiences and repetition have the power to write its truth upon our minds with the indelible ink of God's faithfulness, so that His word is forever there within us to draw upon as needed.

The psalmist also hides Scripture within his heart. In other words, he reads it, writes it, or speaks it aloud, often enough that he remembers it. Once again, the habit of practice is being applied. The Word thus becomes a part of him. It is storing itself up for future nourishment, especially amidst the spiritual winter seasons that we all experience from time to time.

These verses also reveal something else vitally important: the psalmist puts his relationship with God first in his life. God is number One. It's about what God wants, not about what he wants. This, in turn, grants the Holy Spirit the freedom and power not only to motivate him to know God better by studying the Scriptures, but also to circulate throughout his heart and mind the wisdom and truth of those words, which then overflow into all his decisions, as well as to all those around him. Those words can do the same for us, as we, too, practice the protection of God's Word within us.

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your Word. May we, like the psalmist, practice good habits that empower us to protect and store Your Word within our hearts and minds, that we, too, might not sin against You. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    I so needed that today.
    Thank you as always. God bless you.

    Good morning, Lynne,
    This is a devotional to read and reread. Thank you for these truths.

    Lynne, another wonderful word from God. I could go to your hay barn in the sweet part of my imagination. God always provides our refuge. Praise Him

    I am always blessed by your devotionals. I don’t have livestock but do have pets and live in the foothills of Colorado next to a horse ranch and your analogies usually hit the mark. Thank you.

    Thank you, Lynne, for your timely thoughts! I saw the title and knew immediately it was you! Storing and living God’s words daily is so important!
    Blessings !

    Dear Lynne. Once again, I am grateful for God using your gifts to share in your writings. Your writing is always relatable to me and for that I am thankful. It helps me.
    May God bless and protect you and your family, both furry and not.

    Good morning, Lynne,
    Thank you for another good devotional from the farm. I always enjoy reading about the events in Alberta and how they relate to our faith life.

    Greetings Lynne. When I saw the title of today’s devotional, I immediately knew it must be one written by you. You always write such great analogies connecting with your farm life and pets. Yes, it is so important that we keep the Lord’s word “fresh” in our minds and actions and not let it get stale. There is so much to refresh our minds with in reading scripture daily and following God’s word. Blessings for these important and encouraging writings you prepare.

    I just forwarded this to my daughter, on their farm in Ontario. I told her how special all your writings are to me. This one really resonates with me as it gives good reason for daily reading/praying God’s Word. The thought of mold in my understanding of Scripture really wakes me up to read with my ‘brain turned on’!! Not just mindlessly going over the words as if by rote, or in any way carelessly. Your analogies always ring true for me – I’m so grateful for your writings. God bless.

    Hi Lynne,
    I enjoyed your devotional this morning. It brought back a lot of good memories. Every summer we cut the hay using a hand scythe and I can still hear the scythe sing as it cut through the grass. There may still be some old whetstones hidden in the fields.
    The sweet smell of dry hay in the barn exists now only in my memory so thanks for the reminder.
    God bless.

    Good morning, Lynne,
    I love how you took this passage and expanded each part to fully show me how it can work in my own life. It helps to read how someone else interprets a passage because it makes it clearer and reinforces the message for me.
    I was reminded of the times I spent at my cousin’s farm and I helped with the haying by stacking the bales on the flat bed and when we were back at the farm tossing them onto the machine which rolled them up in to the loft of the barn where they were kept dry to feed the cows during the winter. The boys and men were in the loft which was the real heavy work to get them stacked safely. Good memories.
    I didn’t think about how you feed all those animals you have and now I know little more. I do know that you feed many people with examples of your faith and how you put it into practice. I appreciate your sharing in very practical ways. Blessings.

    Right on! It’s amazing how the portions of the Word, read daily, often from obscure parts of the Bible, have great relevance to what occurs during the day. Bless you, dear Lynne!

    Good morning, Lynne,
    Another interesting day on the farm!
    God is so good and watches over everything!
    God bless.

    The secret is to put God’s word into action.

    Dear Lynne,
    May the LORD bless you richly for writing such wonderful inspiration.

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