He Alone!

Psalm 136:1-9 NASB

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
To Him who alone does great wonders,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting;
To Him who made the heavens with skill,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting;
To Him who spread out the earth above the waters,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting;
To Him who made the great lights,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting:
The sun to rule by day,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
The moon and stars to rule by night,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

There are many gods in this world of ours, but there is only ONE TRUE GOD – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – who is the creator of the world and of living creatures and of human life. He alone is ruler over all that he has made.

And, He is the only One, the only God worthy of our praise, thanksgiving, honor and worship. So, to him alone should we give such reverence and veneration. To him alone should we commit our lives and our service. And, to him alone should we pledge (vow) our allegiance (fidelity) with hand over heart. For He alone is worthy, and he alone is True and totally Righteous.

He alone is truly and wholly good, who always has our best interest in mind. He alone knows us from the inside out, because he is the one who made us; who formed us in the wombs of our mothers. So, he alone should be the one to direct our lives and to lead us in the way that we should go.

Psalm 136:10-22 NASB

To Him who smote the Egyptians in their firstborn,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
And brought Israel out from their midst,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
With a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
To Him who divided the Red Sea asunder,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
And made Israel pass through the midst of it,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting;
But He overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
To Him who led His people through the wilderness,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting;
To Him who smote great kings,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
And slew mighty kings,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting:
Sihon, king of the Amorites,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
And Og, king of Bashan,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
And gave their land as a heritage,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
Even a heritage to Israel His servant,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

The slavery in Egypt of God’s people of old, and their deliverance, and their wilderness journey, and their entry into the Promised Land, for those who made it there, are a prefiguring of what Jesus Christ did for us in shedding his blood for us on a cross so that we, through faith in him, might be delivered from our slavery to sin, and so that we might walk righteously before him, and so that one day we will be with him forever in glory.

For, when we came into this world, we were born in sin, separate from God, and not able to be for the praise of God. In our own flesh there was nothing we could do to please God or to be acceptable to him, or to earn or to deserve our own salvation from slavery to sin. Thus, we were under judgment, bound for hell, except for the grace of God.

But, God, who is rich in mercy, sent His only begotten Son into the world to give his life up for us on a cross so that we, by faith in him, could be set free from our bondage to sin, and so that we could live to his righteousness, and so that we could have the hope and the promise of eternal life with God.

Yet, we are still on this earth, for a time, and we still live in flesh bodies, and this world is still under the curse of sin and death. So, while we still live on this earth, we will still be tempted to sin, and we will have pain and sorrow and difficulties and trials and tribulations. Satan will come against us in many ways, and his many hordes will also viciously attack us and persecute us and do all manner of evil against us.

And, so we must walk by faith and not by sight. We must depend on our Lord to help us through every situation which presents itself to us. And, we must trust in what he did for us on that cross to keep us walking in purity and to keep us from giving way to the flesh. For, the Christian life is a life of putting to death the deeds of the flesh, by the Spirit, and putting on Christ and his love, his purity, and his righteousness.

And, we must remain faithful to him, and we must endure with him to the end if we want to receive eternal life and enter into our “Promised Land.” For, many who God delivered out of slavery to Egypt did not enter into the Promised Land because of disobedience. And, throughout the New Testament, we are warned that if we follow their example that we, too, will not inherit what has been promised to those who love God.

Basically, what the scriptures teach us is that if we walk (in lifestyle; in conduct) according to our sinful flesh, that we will not have eternal life with God. If we make sin our practice, we don’t have eternal life but a fearful expectation of hell. If we don’t leave our lives of sin behind us and take up our cross daily and follow Jesus, but we hold on to our old lives, this will end in death, not in eternal life (Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:19-21; Lu. 9:23-25).

We need to take this seriously, for scripture also teaches that we will reap what we sow. If we sow to please our sinful flesh, from the flesh we will reap decay (destruction, death). But, if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:7-8).

So, don’t think that some decision you made at some point in your life to believe in Jesus guarantees you heaven as your eternal destiny. Our belief in Jesus has to be present tense, and that belief has to entail repentance and obedience to Christ and to his commands or we don’t have eternal life with God. And, one day many will hear, “Depart from me. I never knew you.”

Psalm 136:23-26 NASB

Who remembered us in our low estate,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting,
And has rescued us from our adversaries,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting;
Who gives food to all flesh,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Give thanks to the God of heaven,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Yet, we can’t be rescued if we don’t want to be rescued. Although Jesus paid the penalty for our sin so that we would be free of that penalty and free of bondage to sin, by God’s grace, through faith in him, that grace presently only applies to those who are truly trusting in the Lord Jesus with their lives.

God’s grace to us applies to those who have put their absolute faith in him and who are walking in his holiness and righteousness and who are no longer conducting their lives according to the flesh.

This is not to say that we will live in absolute perfection, though (See: 1 Jn. 2:1-2). But, it is saying that sin should no longer be what controls our lives. It should no longer be our master. We should no longer be enslaved to sin, but we should be servants of righteousness. And, if we do sin, we should confess it and repent of it and then keep on in walking in obedience to our Lord.

For, God’s lovingkindness to us was not just so we could be forgiven our sin, be free from punishment, and have the hope of heaven when we die. His grace, which brings salvation, teaches us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await our Lord’s soon return (See: Tit. 2:11-14).

So, just know that if you profess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of your life, and you, thus, claim to be in fellowship with him, but you continue to conduct your life in the darkness (in sin) and not in the light (righteousness), that the Bible says you are a liar who does not live by the truth (See: 1 Jn. 1:5-9; cf. Eph. 4:17-24).

So, know the truth, believe the truth, live the truth, and the truth will set you free, and you will be free indeed!

Jesus, I am Resting, Resting

Hymn lyrics by Jean Sophia Pigott, 1876
Music by James Mountain, pub.1876

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power,
Thou hast made me whole.

O, how great Thy loving kindness,
Vaster, broader than the sea!
O, how marvelous Thy goodness,
Lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Belovèd,
Know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise,
And have made it mine.

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings:
Thine is love indeed!

Ever lift Thy face upon me
As I work and wait for Thee;
Resting ‘neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus,
Earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory,
Sunshine of my Father’s face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting,
Fill me with Thy grace.

*copyright status is public domain

Thursday, November 29, 2018

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