The Friendship of the Lord

Lead Me in Your Truth
Psalms 25:4-5 ESV

“Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.”

For us who have put our hope and trust in Jesus Christ, it is critical that we know the ways of the Lord so that we can walk in them. And the way we are taught is through studying the Scriptures (in context), through the Holy Spirit giving us understanding, and through us obeying what they teach.

If we have no desire to know the ways of the Lord and to be taught by him, and to be led by him in his truth so that we can walk in his ways, chances are that we are not really in relationship with him, we did not ever die with him to sin, and so we have no desire to live to him and to his righteousness.

For, when we come to faith in Jesus Christ, if it is God-given faith, the Holy Spirit of God changes our hearts. He turns us from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God so that we may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ.

And the Holy Spirit now lives within us speaking to our hearts, leading us in the ways of the Lord, prompting us to not sin and to obey the Lord, and giving us the desire for our Lord and for his word, and for wanting to obey him in doing what he says to do.

Steadfast Love and Faithfulness
Psalms 25:8-10 ESV

“Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.”

If the Holy Spirit of God is living within us, we are not going to be the same as we were before we believed in Jesus. We aren’t going to have all the same old desires, but our desires will now be changing to be the desires of God. Our desire will now be for him to live holy lives, pleasing to him.

And the Lord’s desire for us is that we die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, that we no longer walk according to the flesh, but now we walk according to the Spirit, and that we now walk in the fear of the Lord, honoring him with our lives.

But the Lord is not going to lead us in his ways if we won’t be led. If we have stubborn and rebellious hearts, and we decide how we are going to live our lives, and we don’t seek his face, and we don’t do what he says, he is not going to lead us because we won’t be led.

He leads the humble in what is right because the humble want to spend time with him at his feet listening to what he has to say. And the humble want to obey the Lord because they love him, and they want to do what pleases him. So, he teaches the humble his way because they will walk in his way.

And what is the way of the Lord? All his paths are steadfast love and faithfulness for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. And this “love” is agape love which prefers what God prefers, which is what is holy, just, upright, honest, faithful, moral, pure, and godly.

So, if we are walking in the ways of the Lord we are not going to habitually, deliberately, and premeditatedly commit sins against God and our fellow humans. We will not willfully do what is harmful to others. But we will do for others what is for their good, and for their spiritual benefit.

And this love for God and others will be steadfast, i.e., unwavering, and persistent, which includes faithfulness and trustworthiness. A Christian man or woman will thus not be adulterous to his/her mate in any form, and a Christian man or woman will not be adulterous to the Lord, either.

But we will be faithful to our Lord and to our spouses, and we will obey the Lord’s commands (New Covenant), which he summarized into two: Love the Lord your God with your whole being and love your neighbor as yourself. For, if we do that, we will not deliberately sin against God or other people.

Fear the Lord
Psalms 25:11-15 ESV

“For your name’s sake, O Lord,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Who is the man who fears the Lord?
Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
His soul shall abide in well-being,
and his offspring shall inherit the land.
The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.”

When we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith in him, which dies with him to sin and lives to him and to his righteousness, our sins are forgiven. Our guilt is pardoned, but not so we can continue living in sin guilt free. Jesus pardons us so we will no longer be under the control of sin.

Genuine faith in Jesus Christ also involves the “fear of the Lord,” which means that we honor, respect, value, worship, reverence, respect and obey our Lord. And we are those who the Lord instructs in his ways. And we will experience spiritual well-being.

The friendship of the Lord is also for those who fear him. He makes known to us his covenant of love, grace, and mercy. He shows us his way so that we may walk in it. We have a special and intimate relationship with him which results in us having our eyes ever toward the Lord.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10]

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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