Thursday, November 3, 2016, 8:45 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Gift of God.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 119:41-64 (ESV).
Waw (vv. 41-48)
Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord,
your salvation according to your promise;
then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me,
for I trust in your word.
And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
for my hope is in your rules.
I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever,
and I shall walk in a wide place,
for I have sought your precepts.
I will also speak of your testimonies before kings
and shall not be put to shame,
for I find my delight in your commandments,
which I love.
I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love,
and I will meditate on your statutes.
Do we, as followers of Jesus Christ, truly find our delight in His Word? We should! Or, do we find more enjoyment in the things of this world, and in worldly entertainment? Do we get more excited about a baseball team winning or losing the World Series than we do about the things of God?
What if Christians began showing the kind of passion and enthusiasm for Christ, His Word, and His gospel, as they show for their favorite sport, sports team, and sport heroes? If we all did, we could set the world on fire for Jesus! I guarantee it! I have seen how dedicated these sports fans are. Oh, that the body of Christ would be that fervent (zealous) in their relationships with Jesus Christ and in sharing the gospel of salvation with the world.
Also, are we committed to obedience to God’s Word, with ardent care and concern to follow what is written in it? Is the Word of God regularly on our lips as well as in our hearts? Is our hope truly found in the commandments of Christ, i.e. in his instructions he has given to us for godly living? And, are we devoted to studying the Word of God, to listening to what the Spirit says to our hearts, and then to following our Lord in obedience, even if people reject, hate and ostracize us because they think we have flipped our lids?
Zayin (vv. 49-56)
Remember your word to your servant,
in which you have made me hope.
This is my comfort in my affliction,
that your promise gives me life.
The insolent utterly deride me,
but I do not turn away from your law.
When I think of your rules from of old,
I take comfort, O Lord.
Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked,
who forsake your law.
Your statutes have been my songs
in the house of my sojourning.
I remember your name in the night, O Lord,
and keep your law.
This blessing has fallen to me,
that I have kept your precepts.
Are you ignored, made fun of, treated disrespectfully, mocked or otherwise mistreated for your faith in Jesus Christ, for your testimony for him, and/or for sharing with others his gospel of salvation? If so, you are not alone. Many followers of Jesus Christ, throughout the world, are being severely persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ, especially those who are verbal about their faith, and who stand firm in following the Word of Truth without compromise of truth and conviction.
If these were complete strangers who were persecuting us, though, I think we could bear it with much less emotional pain, but, as Jesus said would happen, much of this persecution and/or snubbing is coming from those within our families, from friends and neighbors, from other Christians, and even from our pastors and our governmental leaders within our nations. This mistreatment is coming largely from those who are supposed to love and protect us, but who have turned their backs on us, and who have handed us over to the New World Order Beast, in order for it to trample us down and to spit us out, as though we don’t matter, because we don’t conform to the norms of society, which they have determined as solidarity of mind and purpose with this beast and its world system, and one-world religion.
Also, are we passionately and fervently concerned that so many people who call themselves Christians are living not much different from those who make no claims to faith in Jesus Christ at all? Does it bother us at all that the church has been going down the toilet for some time now, as they have drifted away from purity of mind and heart with regard to Christ and his Word, and have gone the way of the world in order to “win the world”? Does all the wickedness that is going on in the world break our hearts? Do we weep over how many children are being handed smart phones and tablets with free and unmonitored internet access? Or, are we too busy having fun and being entertained to even notice or care?
Heth (vv. 57-64)
The Lord is my portion;
I promise to keep your words.
I entreat your favor with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.
When I think on my ways,
I turn my feet to your testimonies;
I hasten and do not delay
to keep your commandments.
Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me,
I do not forget your law.
At midnight I rise to praise you,
because of your righteous rules.
I am a companion of all who fear you,
of those who keep your precepts.
The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love;
teach me your statutes!
It deeply concerns me to see so many professing Christians so casual and even flippant about their relationships with Jesus Christ, and with regard to obedience to his Word. They say “I am a Christian,” but they live just like the world (of sin). The fact that they keep sinning, and that they know they are being disobedient to God’s Word doesn’t seem to faze them. Lies, deceptions, fornication, adultery, sexual immorality, cheating, stealing, hatred, fighting, gossip, etc. all seem so commonplace now among those who profess the name of Jesus. They pick and choose what they will obey and what they won’t obey. Many of them give Jesus Christ barely even an acknowledgment, but then they talk about the day they will get to go to heaven to be with him. I think, “Why would you want to be with Jesus for eternity if you don’t bother with him while you are on the earth?”
I wonder how many people who call themselves followers of Christ actually live like what the psalmist describes for us here in these verses. Do we even think on (consider) our ways, if they are pleasing to God or not? And, if we do, do we turn our feet to God and to his commands, or do we keep going our own way, without regard for his instructions to us? Do we really hasten and not delay to obey his commands, or do we dilly-dally? In other words, do we waste time through aimless wandering or indecision, and then never go anywhere? When we are tempted to sin against God, do we immediately respond with obedience to God, or do we vacillate in indecision? Will we get up during a night of sleep to spend time with God, if he wakens us? Or, will we love our sleep more? I don’t know about you, but I want to be like the psalmist describes in these verses. I don’t want to waste my life away on what has no eternal value at all, and on what is utterly worthless.
We all need to walk in the fear of the Lord. We need to take these verses to heart, and we need to pray to God that these words (most of them) would be true to our lives. If God’s people would have this kind of passion for Jesus and for his Word and for his gospel, the world would not be in the situation we now find it in, I believe. But, we have gotten there largely because so much of the church has gone AWOL, i.e. they are asleep, and are too busy being entertained and having a good time to really get serious about God and about having this kind of relationship with him. So, we need a wakeup call to shake the church out of her slumber into submission to Christ and his cross, so that she can impact this world for Jesus Christ before he returns.
Gift of God / An Original Work / October 25, 2016
Based off Various Scriptures
Jesus Christ, Son of God,
Died for us on a cross;
Conquered death, sin, and hell,
So, with Him, we would dwell.
For, by His grace, we are saved.
He set us free from all sin.
Thanks be to God for His Gift.
Through faith in Him, we’re forgiven.
Holy Spirit of God,
Given to us who believe,
Gives us new life in Christ;
Made to be just like Him.
We died with Christ to our sin.
New lives in Him we begin,
Walking with Christ day by day.
We read His Word, and we pray.
Jesus, He is our Lord.
Follow Him where He leads.
Tell the world of His grace.
We’ll see Christ face to face.
Soon He is coming again.
We’ll be forever with Him.
He’ll wipe our tears all away.
Oh, what a wonderful day!