Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 6:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “He Lifted Our Burdens.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 25 (Select vv. ESV).
Our Enemies (vv. 1-3)
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Very few people, I would suspect, know no enemies. Even if we were to try our hardest to not make enemies, we couldn’t please all people at all times. Yet, our goal in life should not be to be people who everyone will like, but it should be to live for God, to serve him, and to live holy and godly lives, pleasing to him, as well as it should be to love our neighbors as ourselves. And, when we do that, we will incur enemies, because loving God and loving others with God’s love is bound to be met with opposition and resistance.
For, it will mean that we will love as God/Jesus loves, we will stand for righteousness and holiness, and we will hate what God hates. God hates wickedness (sin), but he loves the sinner. It will also mean that we will stand on the Word of Truth, because therein is found the only hope of salvation from sin and eternal life with God Almighty, which comes from God. Yet, when we do that, we will be hated and persecuted as Jesus was hated and persecuted, because not all people will embrace the truth, but many will, instead, buy into the lies, because the lies tell them they can continue in their sin but still have the hope of eternal life with God in heaven.
God’s Ways (vv. 4-5, 8-10)
Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
The goal of our salvation is not merely to be forgiven our sins, to escape hell, and to have the hope of heaven when we leave this earth. If that is all there is to it, then why not die as soon as we are saved? What would be the point of living, if we are just going to continue in our sins? We are no better off than we were before, if this is true, because we will still be in bondage (slavery, addiction) to sin, and bound for hell, if God’s grace to us does not deliver us out of slavery to sin and free us to now walk in his righteousness.
But, thanks be to God, his grace to us is that, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God made the way for us to be crucified with Christ in death to sin, and to be resurrected with Christ to newness of life (to be reborn of the Spirit of God), created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. By the Spirit, we can now be putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and we can now be walking according to the Spirit and to God’s righteousness on a daily basis. For, Jesus set us free, not just from the punishment of sin, but also from our addictions to sin. Sin no longer is to have dominion over us.
So, now that we have died with Christ to sin, by faith in Jesus Christ, and we have been born again of the Spirit of God, and we have been given new lives in Christ Jesus, our Lord, to be lived to his righteousness, our desire should be to want to know the ways of the Lord, and then to walk in those ways. We should not be looking for loopholes to continue in our sin while claiming that God’s grace covers it all. We should be so in love with God/Jesus, that we continually seek to do his will, his way, with his heart, and in his power.
Fear God (vv. 11-15)
For your name’s sake, O Lord,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Who is the man who fears the Lord?
Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
His soul shall abide in well-being,
and his offspring shall inherit the land.
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
Yet, if we want to know the ways of the Lord, so that we may walk in them, then it begins with the fear of the Lord. We must walk in the fear (honor, respect, esteem, value, worship, obedience, submission to, and reverence) of God. Too many people who preach “the gospel” these days do not teach the fear of God or obedience to God/Jesus Christ and his Word, or submission to Christ and his cross. But, they teach an “entitlement” gospel which says that God does it all, and that nothing is required of us. There is no death to sin or living to righteousness in this “gospel,” and thus there is no fear of God, no honoring of him or respect shown to him.
Yet, where there is no death to sin, no living to righteousness, and no fear (reverence, respect) shown to God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), there is also no salvation from sin, and there is no hope of eternal life with God. For, the scriptures teach that if we continue walking in sin, i.e. if we make sin our practice, we don’t have the hope of eternal life with God in heaven, but a fearful expectation of judgment and the fires of hell. But, for the one who walks in the fear of the Lord, who conducts his life according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh, he/she will have the hope of eternal life.
Our Troubles (vv. 16-18)
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
bring me out of my distresses.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.
One of the blessings (or benefits) of our salvation from sin, and our walks of faith with our Lord, is that God/Jesus/The Spirit is our helper, our counselor, and our comforter in times of trouble and distress, as well as he is our healer, deliverer and strength. In our loneliness or affliction, he desires that we call on him and that we trust in him to be all that we need and to supply all that is necessary for us to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to him. He cares deeply about us, he has a heart of compassion for us, and he will see us through any and every trouble or difficulty which comes our way. Although he doesn’t always deliver us from our troubles, he will help us and strengthen us through them, resulting in his praise, honor and glory. Amen!
He Lifted Our Burdens / An Original Work / February 15, 2014
Based off Isaiah 9:2-7
People walk in darkness.
They abide in their sin.
It has power o’er them.
True belief escapes them.
Jesus Christ came to save them.
He gave His life up for them;
Crucified; died for our sin,
So we might be forgiven,
And have life up in heaven.
Many come to know Him.
God’s love now o’erflows them.
They rejoice in vict’ry.
Their sin is but hist’ry.
We were once bound in slav’ry.
Jesus lifted our burdens;
Set us now free from Satan,
So we now walk in freedom.
Sin has no more dominion.
Praise be to our Savior!
He showed us His favor.
He took all our burdens;
Cast them all upon Him.
He is our mediator;
The Light which shines in darkness.
Counselor in our troubles;
He gives peace now in our hearts;
Joy which is everlasting.