Psalm 119:105-112 NIV
Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.
I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
that I will follow your righteous laws.
I have suffered much;
preserve my life, Lord, according to your word.
Accept, Lord, the willing praise of my mouth,
and teach me your laws.
Though I constantly take my life in my hands,
I will not forget your law.
The wicked have set a snare for me,
but I have not strayed from your precepts.
Your statutes are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.
My heart is set on keeping your decrees
to the very end.
A Commitment to Love
Oh, that we might all love the Word of the Lord! May it be precious to us, so that we feast on it every day, drinking its truths into our hearts and minds. May it be what gives us guidance and direction for our lives, day in and day out, instead of the values, virtues, philosophies and attitudes of the world.
Too many people these days are selling the gospel of Jesus Christ short. They are diluting the message of our salvation, and are reducing it to a mere acknowledgment of Christ and an acceptance of his payment for our sin so that we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die. But, they miss the whole point of why he died and what his grace to us is really all about.
Belief in Jesus Christ is not a “get-out-of-jail-free” card so that we can escape hell and have heaven as our eternal destiny while we continue to live how we want on the face of this earth. Faith in Jesus Christ is a commitment to love, worship, honor and obey our Lord. It is a commitment to leave our lives of sin behind us and to walk in faithful surrender to Jesus Christ.
Faith in Jesus Christ is death to sin and self and living to Christ and his righteousness, sharing in the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, which is death to sin.
And, this will involve us being persecuted for righteousness’ sake, and being hated because we stand on the Word of God, and because we don’t compromise with the world in order to be liked by them. So, we will be rejected and mistreated and falsely accused because we teach what is in accord with the truths of scripture, because darkness hates the light because the light exposes what is hidden in the darkness.
Psalm 119:113-120 NIV
I hate double-minded people,
but I love your law.
You are my refuge and my shield;
I have put my hope in your word.
Away from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commands of my God!
Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live;
do not let my hopes be dashed.
Uphold me, and I will be delivered;
I will always have regard for your decrees.
You reject all who stray from your decrees,
for their delusions come to nothing.
All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross;
therefore I love your statutes.
My flesh trembles in fear of you;
I stand in awe of your laws.
We should not literally hate anyone, for hate is the opposite of love. But, we should hate all evil, and we should hate that evil which inside of human hearts, including within our own hearts. If we don’t hate evil, we will never give it up. But, we will still cling to it, embrace it, and play with it.
We should hate double-mindedness in anyone, including within ourselves, and we should test ourselves frequently to see if we have singleness of mind and heart toward our Lord, or if our minds, hearts and commitments are divided between Christ and what we want out of this life.
Are we truly sold out to Jesus Christ, listening to him, and doing what he says? Or, are we torn between obeying him and pleasing other humans and/or ourselves? Are we trying to keep one foot in the world and one in heaven, thinking we can straddle the line between the two? Or, are we truly on the Lord’s side, willing to suffer and die for the sake of his name?
Please know that when we make that commitment to follow our Lord in obedience, though, that Satan will go on the all-out attack to try to get us back or to punish us for not following him. And, he has many people who are willing to do his bidding who will serve his purposes in coming against us or in trying to persuade us to leave the holy way and to compromise our faith.
And, that is when we need to call on our Lord in prayer, and put on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil attacks against us or to fight off his temptations he puts into our minds to compromise our faith so that we “fit in” and are accepted by others.
Psalm 119:129-136 NIV
Your statutes are wonderful;
therefore I obey them.
The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.
I open my mouth and pant,
longing for your commands.
Turn to me and have mercy on me,
as you always do to those who love your name.
Direct my footsteps according to your word;
let no sin rule over me.
Redeem me from human oppression,
that I may obey your precepts.
Make your face shine on your servant
and teach me your decrees.
Streams of tears flow from my eyes,
for your law is not obeyed.
Set Free by His Grace
When we are going through such trials as what I have described here so far, when we are under oppression from the enemy of our souls, and when we are being attacked and mistreated because of our faith in Christ, we should turn to the Lord to be our strength and our help and our deliverance. And, we should turn to His Word to give us counsel and guidance and direction.
We should pray to the Lord for mercy to help us in our time of need. And, again, we MUST put on that armor of God (Eph. 6:10-20) with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us, for Satan loves to instill fear and doubts within our hearts and minds and to get us feeling as though our circumstances have the best of us, when they do not, unless we let them.
As followers of Christ we have been forgiven our sins, and we have been delivered from our slavery to sin, but we are still living in flesh bodies, and thus we are still capable of sin. So, we need to be following the Lord and His Word every day and we need to not be playing with temptation or allowing things into our minds and hearts which would lead us to disobey our Lord.
As followers of Jesus, we should also be burdened for those who do not have faith in Jesus Christ and for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are wandering far from their pure devotion to their Lord. This should greatly concern us. In fact, we should have streams of tears flowing from our eyes when we see that God’s laws are not being obeyed.
If we are not moved to tears when we see all the wickedness in the world, and especially within the church, then something is wrong with our hearts. We should be so burdened for those who are caught in sin’s deceitfulness that it grieves us greatly, so that it moves us to tell people the truth, so that they can be delivered from their bondage to sin and walk in freedom.
We should want for others what we have found, which is that God’s love lifted us out of the pit of despair, and he gave us a new song in our hearts, a song of rejoicing to our Lord. And, this is because of what he did in rescuing us from sin’s entrapment and in setting us free to walk in his love, grace and righteousness. Amen! Hallelujah that Jesus’ love lifted me and He set me free! Glory to God!
Love Lifted Me
Hymn lyrics by James Rowe, 1912
Music by Howard E. Smith
I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.
All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling,
In His blessed presence live, ever His praises sing,
Love so mighty and so true, merits my soul’s best songs,
Faithful, loving service, too, to Him belongs.
Souls in danger, look above, Jesus completely saves,
He will lift you by His love, out of the angry waves;
He’s the Master of the sea, billows His will obey,
He your Savior wants to be, be saved today.
Love lifted me!
Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me!
*copyright status is public domain
Wednesday, August 1, 2018