Psalm 119:57-64 NASB
The Lord is my portion;
I have promised to keep Your words.
I sought Your favor with all my heart;
Be gracious to me according to Your word.
I considered my ways
And turned my feet to Your testimonies.
I hastened and did not delay
To keep Your commandments.
The cords of the wicked have encircled me,
But I have not forgotten Your law.
At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to You
Because of Your righteous ordinances.
I am a companion of all those who fear You,
And of those who keep Your precepts.
The earth is full of Your lovingkindness, O Lord;
Teach me Your statutes.
God – Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit – is everything to me! He is the air that I breathe, my sustenance for life, my sunshine, my joy, my peace, my satisfaction, and my purpose and direction for my life. He is my father and my brother. He is my friend and my master. He is my closest companion and confidant. He, too, is my husband, and I am his bride.
Because He is all of this and so much more, and because he loved me enough to give the life of Jesus Christ (the Son) on a cross to die for my sins, so that I could be free from slavery to sin and free to walk in his righteousness, I love him. And, because I love him, I serve him, and I walk in fellowship with him, and in obedience to his will and to his ways.
I am not perfect. None of us are. But, I walk in his love and grace. And, his Words are precious to me! I love to sit at his feet (figuratively speaking) each day and listen to him speak his words to my heart. And, my heart’s desire is to do what he says, to go where he sends me, and to say whatever it is he gives me to say, no matter how scary that may be sometimes, because not everyone has faith. We do have enemies.
But, I love the fellowship of those who also walk in your love and in your grace, dear Lord, and who honor, value and respect you, who also walk in obedience to your instructions to our hearts. And, I honor, value and respect them for their walks of faith, for their perseverance in suffering, and for their love for you and for others who are also your servants and messengers. I love my times of fellowship with the body of believers in Jesus Christ!
Psalm 119:65-72 NASB
You have dealt well with Your servant,
O Lord, according to Your word.
Teach me good discernment and knowledge,
For I believe in Your commandments.
Before I was afflicted I went astray,
But now I keep Your word.
You are good and do good;
Teach me Your statutes.
The arrogant have forged a lie against me;
With all my heart I will observe Your precepts.
Their heart is covered with fat,
But I delight in Your law.
It is good for me that I was afflicted,
That I may learn Your statutes.
The law of Your mouth is better to me
Than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
Don’t we all need discernment? We all need to make right judgments every day. We need to be able to distinguish right from wrong, good from bad, best from better, and truth from fiction (lies). We need to be able to perceive when we are being lied to or tricked or manipulated so that we don’t fall into other people’s traps. As well, we need to be able to see danger ahead and to heed warnings, so that we don’t blindly fall into sin.
Sometimes, though, we don’t make the right choices. Sometimes we don’t heed the warnings. Perhaps it is because we think we know better. We think we know ourselves, but sometimes we are deceived. And, thus we may go the wrong direction, and the Lord may have to bring us back. If we don’t respond to his promptings, he may use some divine discipline to get us back in line. And, that discipline will get our attention and will lead us to call on God, to repent of our sins, and to renew our walks of faith in Jesus Christ.
When we are revived and our faith renewed in strength, our love for our Lord and for His Word is also strengthened. And, instead of ignoring the truths of God’s Word or making excuses for why we can’t obey, or for why we think we don’t have to obey, our desire now is to obey his every word, holding nothing back from him. We want to know his Word, not so we can win arguments, but so we can DO what it says!
But know this!! When we are walking in fellowship with our Lord, and we are taking in His Word, and we are following our Lord in obedience and in surrender to his will and to his ways, we are going to be opposed. It is a given! We will be gossiped about, slandered, mocked, made fun of, thought crazy (out of touch with reality), rejected, despised and forsaken by friends, family and by some believers in Christ, too. But, we are not to fear them, for our God is completely sovereign over all that he has made. So, trust Him!
Psalm 119:73-80 NASB
Your hands made me and fashioned me;
Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.
May those who fear You see me and be glad,
Because I wait for Your word.
I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are righteous,
And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.
O may Your lovingkindness comfort me,
According to Your word to Your servant.
May Your compassion come to me that I may live,
For Your law is my delight.
May the arrogant be ashamed, for they subvert me with a lie;
But I shall meditate on Your precepts.
May those who fear You turn to me,
Even those who know Your testimonies.
May my heart be blameless in Your statutes,
So that I will not be ashamed.
Comfort Me, I Pray
When we are despised, rejected, persecuted and abandoned by friends, family, neighbors, and even by fellow Christians, it will hurt. The “bullets” don’t just bounce off our chests like they do in fantasy. If we are loving and caring people, with the passion and compassion of Jesus Christ, and we have tender hearts towards other people, then when we are mistreated we will feel it. And, we will cry out to God in our pain and suffering, with tears streaming down our cheeks, and we will pray for his mercy and comfort.
I know that I went for a long period of time in my life without any true Christian fellowship, or with very minimal fellowship, but with lots of opposition, persecution, false judgments, and rejection. And, it was rough! And, it hurt! But, God was my support and my supply through it all, and he kept reminding me that he was my husband, and my friend, and that he would supply all that I needed. I know that he allowed this in my life to strengthen me, and so that I would resolve to follow him no matter what, and so I would not be easily persuaded to cave to peer pressure.
I know that I prayed often for true Christian fellowship, of the kind mentioned in the scriptures. I cried out to God often about this. But, what I often found was called “fellowship,” but it had more to do with just eating lots of food and talking about everything but Jesus Christ, even about how one could bypass the law because of who he knew, or how we could cheat on this or that or lie about this or that, but not fellowship in the Spirit where we encourage one another in our walks of faith. It was more conversation about the pleasures of the world than the joy of serving our Lord Jesus.
But, then the fellowship came, and with it many new friends in Christ Jesus who also love the Lord with all their hearts. And, we encourage one another in our walks of faith, and we speak the truth in love to one another to spur one another on to love and good deeds, and so we won’t be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. And, we function as the body of Christ ought to function, with every part doing its work so that we can all be built up in our faith and in our relationships with Jesus Christ to maturity in Christ. And, so I praise the Lord for the fellowship of believers in Jesus Christ, and how that blesses and strengthens my heart each day, but my dependency is still on my Lord.
Just a Closer Walk with Thee
Hymn lyrics by Anonymous/Unknown
Music by American Melody
“For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you” (2 Co. 13:4 NASB).
I am weak, but Thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.
Through this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares?
None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.
When my feeble life is o’er,
Time for me will be no more;
Guide me gently, safely o’er
To Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore.
Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.
*copyright status is public domain
Wednesday, July 25, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, for your love and your grace, for your care for me, and for blessing me with Christian fellowship. Amen!