Psalm 116:1-4 ESV
I love the Lord, because he has heard
my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”
I shared in a previous writing how I had prayed to the Lord and had asked him for a place where I could work for him where it was quiet and free from distractions, a place where I could get alone with God and can also write music, too, for I have not been able to do that for nearly 2 years. And, he answered that prayer immediately, and supplied a 2-bedroom apartment where I could have that special room. We moved in a week ago.
I knew that this special place he was providing for me was to be dedicated to the Lord through and through, down to the furniture, and the pictures, etc., which were all to glorify God and to proclaim his gospel message.
Everything that I ordered for this room arrived on time except for the box springs and mattress for the bed. They were not delivered, as promised, and I was not even notified as to why. And, when I tried to get information on when I could expect them, I was given the run-around by various people, and it went nowhere. A week later I still had no box springs or mattress.
So, I prayed to the Lord, and I asked him what I should do, and I believe he led me to call the delivery people and to ask if we could just drive to where they were and if we could pick them up and bring them home. The person I spoke with on the phone said that was ok, so off we went to get the final two pieces to complete my new room.
But, when we arrived, all they had for me was the box springs. The mattress was missing. In fact, it turned out that they knew it was missing from the start, but they never told me. They just left me hanging.
So, I believe the Lord sent me up there to get the bed pieces so that I could learn the fact that the mattress was missing, so that I could then refuse the half-bed (no mattress included) and ask for a refund, so that I could go elsewhere to purchase what I needed, and that is what I did. And, now the special place God has given to me is complete.
Psalm 116:5-9 ESV
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest;
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling;
I will walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.
So Much More
But, my new special place is so much more than just a place of quiet where I can work for the Lord. For, the Lord is using my special room and my situation here to represent his gospel message and to expose the liars and deceivers who fail to deliver anyone’s souls from hell. For, they deliver only half-truth gospels, like the box springs without the mattress, and like the people who kept the truth from me about the mattress being missing.
For, you see, the false gospel is like my bed frame was without the box springs or mattress inside, for it was just a shell with no real substance. Or else it is like the box springs without the mattress, i.e. only half a bed, only half of the gospel, with the most critical part missing. For, a bed can be a bed if it is only a mattress, and the floor is the only foundation, but without the mattress it fails to be a bed. And, the gospel fails to be the gospel if it is missing the “guts” of it, i.e. the most critical parts, too.
So, what is the most critical part that is missing from the gospel that many of these liars and thieves are not delivering? It is that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. It is that our salvation means death, but not just Jesus’ death on a cross, but us dying daily to sin and self. And, it is us walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh if we want to have eternal life with God. For, Jesus died to deliver our souls from Sheol and to deliver us from our slavery to sin, and he lives that we might live with him in holiness and righteousness and purity, too.
Psalm 116:10-11 ESV
I believed, even when I spoke:
“I am greatly afflicted”;
I said in my alarm,
“All mankind are liars.”
So Many Liars
Sometimes I wonder if anyone tells the truth anymore. Lies and deception abound. They seem to be common practice everywhere I go. So many people wear masks, i.e. facades to hide the real them from anyone knowing who they really are. So many people I meet are so surface level, seemingly without any real depth to them. Sometimes I wonder if anyone is real anymore, or if most people are just playing games. Sad, I know, but true.
These people who were supposed to deliver my box springs and mattress kept the truth from me about the mattress being missing, and they did not bother to contact me to let me know about it, either. I had to contact them, but I kept being told that I would receive a phone call with a new delivery date, but that never happened, because they didn’t have the merchandise to deliver. Only because the Lord led me to go see for myself did I learn the truth.
And, that is the way it is with the false grace gospel, too. It is about hiding the truth from people, because they who are hiding the truth do not have the merchandise to deliver people from hell and from their slavery to sin. So, they have to avoid telling the truth, and they cover it with lies. They don’t possess the necessary piece because they are thieves and robbers who have climbed into the sheep pen by a way other than Jesus Christ. And, so they can’t deliver anyone from their bondage to sin, because they themselves are not free.
Psalm 116:12-14 ESV
What shall I render to the Lord
for all his benefits to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord,
I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints.
O Lord, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.
You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!
Death of the Saints
You see, the false grace gospel does not teach death to sin and living to righteousness, nor does it teach faithfulness, obedience, surrender and repentance. It is an empty shell with no “guts” inside, and it is a half-truth gospel with the most critical component missing. For, true faith in Jesus Christ is total surrender to Jesus Christ to be Lord (owner-master) of our lives. It is daily dying to sin and self and living to our Lord and to his righteousness. It is us being the Lord’s servants, and him our master.
Because these liars and thieves are teaching this half-truth gospel, they are giving permission for their followers to still follow after the lusts of their flesh while promising them heaven when they die. But, that is a false hope based on a lie. They are permitting them to let go of their purity and to live in impurity in “the house of the rising sun,” which is a house of prostitution. But, God is saying “NO!” He is anguished over this. His grace does not permit us to walk in impurity and still have the promise of heaven.
His grace, which brings salvation, teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly (fleshly) passions (lusts), and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return (Tit. 2:11-14). His grace, contrary to what these deceivers are saying, is not just forgiveness of sins and a get-out-of-jail-free card. His grace puts our sin to death! Our salvation means death, and then life comes from that death.
So, please know and believe the truth, for your future depends on it. Your life depends on it. For the truth will set you free. The lies will send you straight to hell while promising you heaven as your eternal destiny. Stop believing the lies, even if they sound good, and start believing what the Bible teaches (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8, etc.).
So, what is my special place, truly? It is in the arms of my Lord Jesus, in surrender to him and to his will for my life, doing what he has called me to do. It is Christ in me the hope of glory, and me in him, living my life for Him.
An Original Work / June 24, 2012
Based off John 10:1-18 NIV
My sheep hear me. They know me.
They listen to my voice and obey.
I call them and lead them.
They know my voice, so they follow me.
They will never follow strangers.
They will run away from them.
The voice of a stranger they know not;
They do not follow him.
So, I tell you the truth that
I am the gate, so you enter in.
Whoever does enter
Will find forgiveness and will be saved.
Nonetheless whoever enters
Not by the gate; other way,
He is the thief and a robber.
Listen not, the sheep to him.
Oh, I am the Good Shepherd,
Who laid his own life down for the sheep.
I know them. They know me.
They will live with me eternally.
The thief only comes to steal and
Kill and to destroy the church.
I have come to give you life that
You may have it to the full…
They know my voice, so they follow me.
Friday, August 24, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus! I love you!!