Are You a Follower of Jesus?

Psalms 103:1-6 NIV

“Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.”

Are you a follower of Jesus Christ? I mean, are you listening to him and are you following (obeying) him with your life? Are you walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh? Is HE your life? Is HE your all? Is your life committed to HIM to do HIS will?

Why do I ask these questions? Because this is what it means to believe in Jesus Christ. Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self and take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and self) and follow (obey) him. For, he said, if we hold on to our old lives we will lose them for eternity, but if for his sake we lose our lives (die with him to sin), we will live.

When Jesus lived on the earth, his message was one of submission to God, turning away from (forsaking) sin (idols, immorality, greed, pride, etc.), and following him (our Messiah) in obedience to his commands. He said we must die to sin and we must live for him (Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 14:23-24).

So, it is those, who by faith in Jesus are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and who are resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, to be lived to him and to his righteousness, who are the beneficiaries of our Lord’s benefits (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6).

In other words, we can’t claim these benefits unless our lives are surrendered to Jesus Christ as Lord, we are dying with him to sin, and in his power and strength, we are living to him and to his righteousness. For, not everyone who professes faith in Jesus are recipients of his benefits.

If you want to be forgiven of your sins, you must die with Christ to your sin and now live with Christ to his righteousness in his power and strength.

Psalms 103:8-12 NIV

“The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

Our Lord is most certainly a loving, compassionate and gracious God. Jesus did not have to die on a cross for our sins. He could have let us all perish in our sins. But he didn’t. Amen! Praise the Lord! Glory to God!!

But here’s the clincher. So great is his love for those who FEAR HIM. And to fear him is to treat him with honor, respect, reverence, and adoration, and it is to worship him by giving our lives over to him as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world.

For, his word teaches us that if we continue living in sin, in direct disobedience to his commands, thus denying him and dishonoring him as Lord, we will not inherit all these benefits. We will not be forgiven our sins or be saved from sin or have eternal life with God.

[Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; 1 Co 6:9-10]

Psalms 103:13-18 NIV

“As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.”

Again, it is emphasized for us here that the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. From everlasting to everlasting, the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness is with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts (Jn 14:23-24; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Ac 10:34-35; Phil 2:12-13; Rev 11:18; Rev 14:7; 2 Co 5:6-11; 2 Co 7:1; Heb 12:28-29).

As you can see by the Scripture references, this fear of God and the keeping of his commandments is not just Old Covenant. It is New Covenant, too. We must walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. We must obey the Lord and not walk in sin (Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9).

But we don’t do any of this in our own strength or willpower. We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless the Father first draws us to Christ via divine persuasion as to his will for our lives. Even the faith to believe in Jesus comes from God, as does the empowerment to live for him (Eph 2:8-10; Jn 6:44; Tit 2:11-14).

We just have to surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, die with him to sin, and live to him and to his righteousness in his power and strength.

I Do Not Seal My Lips

An Original Work / January 13, 2014
Based off Psalms 37, 40

Do not fear when evil man
Has success in all their plans,
For like grass they’ll wither soon.
They’ll be cut off from the land.

Trust in the Lord and He’ll give you peace.
Find your delight in Him through all stress.
All of your ways commit unto Him.
All your desires from Him He’ll fulfill.

Wait for the Lord; keep His way.
Delight in His Word always.
He’ll be with you to the end;
Life eternal found in Him.

I waited patiently for my Lord.
He turned to me, and He heard my cry.
He set my feet on the Solid Rock.
He gave to me a firm place to stand.

Blessed are we, who trust the Lord,
Who do not turn to false gods.
Our desire’s to do God’s will.
His word is within our hearts.

I will proclaim salvation to man.
You put a new song now in my mouth.
I’ll not withhold your love and your grace.
I’ll speak forevermore of your truth.

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