Much Fine Gold
Psalm 19:7-10 NASB
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
The law, the testimony, the precepts and the commandments of God are His Word, the Bible (Genesis to Revelation). Jesus summed up the commandments into two commandments:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” ~ Matt. 22:37-40 NIV
We, who are in Christ Jesus, by faith in Him, are not under the Old Covenant regulations and ceremonial and purification laws, but we are not removed from God’s moral laws. The New Testament makes it quite clear that it is still sinful to lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, and murder, etc. For, love does no harm to its neighbor. Love for God obeys his commandments, and love for our fellow humans does what is good toward them, not what is harmful.
Yet, although we are not under the Old Covenant, with all its restrictions, laws, and rituals…
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” ~ 2 Tim. 3:16-17 NIV
What this means is that we can still learn from the Old Testament, and it still speaks God’s truths to our hearts. It is just that it must be read in light of the New Covenant Relationship God now has with his people, his church.
So, both the Old and the New Testaments in the Bible and the Living Word within us speak to us; to our hearts. From them we learn about God and His divine character and will. We learn what is truth and what are lies. We learn what is right and what is wrong. We learn from the examples of others, both good and bad. We learn what pleases God and what displeases him. We get to know our Lord and his heart, too. And, we learn how to walk in his ways and in his truth and how to not walk in the ways of the flesh.
When we believe God’s Word, and we grow in our love for our Lord, we find that God’s Word is very precious to us. Reading His Word is like having him right there with us, talking with us in person, face to face. The Holy Spirit of God, living within us, brings God’s Word alive to our hearts. And, we grow to love His truths more than the things this world has to offer us.
In Keeping Them
Psalm 19:11 NASB
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.
My husband and I were given a free CD from our local Christian book store yesterday. The CD was a compilation of various preachers’ sermons, only they were just short snippets from these sermons, I assume. So, on the way home from the store we played the CD, or at least part of it.
In one of the sermon excerpts, the preacher, whoever he was, was talking about the importance of God’s Word. Then, he gave counsel that we should read it, study it, memorize it and meditate on it, and maybe one or more other points. And, this, he was saying, we needed to do in order to live victoriously. But, what I did not hear him say was that we must obey it.
But, the scriptures are not there for our entertainment, for us to collect a bunch of head knowledge, so we can argue biblical doctrine with other people, or so we can quote a bunch of verses to impress people with our head knowledge. Nor, are they there just so we can check off reading the Bible for the day, and then go on with our lives. For, it is not what we know that it is important. What is important is what we do with what we know.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” ~ Jas. 1:22-25 NIV
Again, what we are required of God to do is summed up in those two commandments, but remember that Jesus and John said that to love God is to obey Him (Jn. 14:23-24; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; 1 Jn. 3:24; 1 Jn. 5:3; 2 Jn. 1:6).
And, the scriptures also teach that to love God is to love others, and to love others is to do good to them and to not do harm to them or take advantage of them in any way. Thus, we will not lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, and murder, etc. And, remember here, too, that adultery is to even look at someone to whom you are not married lustfully, and hate is murder.
Psalm 19:12-13 NASB
Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.
Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins;
Let them not rule over me;
Then I will be blameless,
And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.
We need to be people of discernment, but sometimes we are blinded to our own faults; to our own sins. So, we need to ask the Lord to make us consciously aware of where we are doing wrong; where we are sinning against him and others by our attitudes, speech, thoughts and behaviors. Then, when he makes us aware, we need to repent of those sins and do what is necessary to remove them from our lives and to walk in truth.
Sometimes we are blinded to these sins because we previously resisted the Spirit of God, and maybe over a course of time, and so we finally became desensitized to our sins and no longer were consciously aware of them. These, I believe, would be more in the area of attitudes or thinking or actions that are, perhaps, regarded by society as the norm, and thus as acceptable, and that is why we become desensitized to the wrong of them.
Then, there are presumptuous sins. They are bold, audacious and arrogant. These are willful sins that someone might do knowingly and with a head-strong approach, deciding to go against what they know is right and to do wrong no matter who gets hurt and no matter what God’s Word says. And, Christians are not immune to these. They might do so, too, because they feel they are entitled to act out in this way, or because they are “medicating” resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness or hurt, too.
And, for these to not rule over us means we need to have the Lord Jesus Christ rule over our lives. We have to put off these sins, resist Satan, flee temptation, throw off what hinders our walks of faith, and cut out of our lives what is leading us into sin. We do this in the power of God’s strength within us and by yielding our lives over to Jesus as our Lord (owner-master). But, then we have to put on Christ and his Word, doing what it says.
Please know here that scripture teaches that if we make sin our practice, i.e. if we walk in it, live in it, and continue in it as the way we conduct our lives day in and day out, that we will have no part of God or his eternal kingdom. We will reap what we sow. If we sow to please the sinful nature, from that flesh we will reap corruption (destruction). But, if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (See: Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; Lu. 9:23-25; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
My Mouth and Heart
Psalm 19:14 NASB
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.
Our goal, as followers of Jesus Christ, should always be to please our Lord in everything that we do, think, believe, and say. We should hold nothing back from the Lord, nor should we resist His Spirit or willfully disobey His Word. Our prayer should always be to have our Lord search our hearts and to reveal to us any hidden sins and to help us to not yield to willful sins. But, then we have to obey him and do what he says. That is the bottom line.
Jesus Christ already paid the penalty for our sin. On that cross he put sin to death. He conquered our sin both in death and in his resurrection. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his stripes we are healed! Amen! We just have to yield control of our lives over to him and let him work his will and his way in our hearts. And, we have to do what he tells us, plain and simple. And, it can be done, because he will give us all we need, and he has given us all we need to live in victory over sin. Amen!
Christ Is Able (To Save)
Come ye lost, afraid, forgotten
Let your wandering souls find rest
At your hearts’ door He is knocking
For you His precious blood was shed
He is able, He is able
Christ is able still to save
Come ye sinners, poor and needy
Sing to Him our song of praise…
Tuesday, June 12, 2018 – Thank you, Jesus, for Your Word and for how very precious it is to our souls. May we follow You always! Amen!