Jesus is Always Near Us

Psalms 119:17-18 ESV

“Deal bountifully with your servant,
that I may live and keep your word.
Open my eyes, that I may behold
wondrous things out of your law.”

This is a prayer to the Lord asking him that he would provide for us abundantly all that we need to live for him and to keep his word. Now, he will, because he said that he would, but sometimes we, as his followers, need to ask him for that strength or comfort or wisdom that we need at the moments we need them most. And he will provide if we ask in faith.

Even as followers of Jesus Christ we may get fooled by people. We may trust people too much because we were taught to trust certain people, perhaps without question. And we may need to have our eyes opened and be enlightened to the truth of things we did not know about before. And some of this has to do with the conditioning we received as children.

So, we need to not be closed minded about things that are not solidly stated in the Scriptures. For example, although the Bible says we are to obey the governing authorities over us (with biblical exceptions), that doesn’t translate to us worshiping them and thinking that everything they tell us is the truth. We are supposed to be people who test everything we hear.

We may have been taught certain things by the church or by our parents or by our teachers in school, or by the news media and politicians and pastors, etc., that are not the truth, or that are not God’s will for our lives. But we follow them because that is what we were taught, and then we end up holding on to what actually might be hindering our walks of faith.

So, if we truly want the Lord to provide for us all that we need to live for him and for us to obey his word, then we need to be praying and asking him to show us the lies we have been believing that are holding us back and that are keeping us from being all that he wants us to be. And we need to be willing to relearn or to unlearn some things that we learned wrong.

Psalms 119:17-18 ESV

“I am a sojourner on the earth;
hide not your commandments from me!
My soul is consumed with longing
for your rules at all times.”

As followers of Jesus Christ this world is not to be our home. Heaven is our home. We are not supposed to be attached to this world or to the things of this world, for all this is temporary. And we should not be involved in building kingdoms of men but rather the kingdom of God. We should be heavenly minded, not worldly minded.

God did not put us on the face of this earth to live for ourselves or for the pleasures of this world. We aren’t here to entertain ourselves and to have fun and joke and tease and play games and watch movies all the time. God put us on this earth so that we would honor and glorify him with our lives, and so we would live our lives in such a way that is pleasing to him.

He is to be first place in our lives, not an afterthought. He didn’t die on that cross just to save us from hell and to promise us heaven, either. He died to deliver us from our slavery to sin so we would be slaves of God and of his righteousness and so we would now honor him with our lives. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who died for us.

That is what it means to be a sojourner on this earth. We don’t belong here. We are to live lives which are separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being conformed to the likeness of Christ. We are to live holy lives, pleasing to God, and we are to be daily dying with Christ to sin and walking in obedience to his commands, by his Spirit.

So, this would be like praying to the Lord, asking him to show us his will for our lives, and to give us understanding of the truths of his word so that we may obey them, for we already have his commandments. It would be to ask him to teach us his ways and to guide us in his truth and then to strengthen and empower us so we will keep his word and so we will not falter.

Psalms 119:21-24 ESV

“You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones,
who wander from your commandments.
Take away from me scorn and contempt,
for I have kept your testimonies.
Even though princes sit plotting against me,
your servant will meditate on your statutes.
Your testimonies are my delight;
they are my counselors.”

The insolent are those who have no respect for the truths of God’s word, for the gospel of his salvation, and for the commands of God. Now, I am not saying that they will ignore all the Scriptures, but that they are more likely to approve of the Scriptures that are all about what they think God has done or will do for them while ignoring the Scriptures that teach what our Lord requires of us, because they want to do what they want to do.

So, if they have anything to do with the Scriptures at all, they will cherry pick the ones they like, and they will either ignore or they will try to discredit the ones that tell them that they must stop living in sin and that they must follow Jesus in obedience to his commands. For there is no fear of God in their hearts but only a desire to continue living in sin while maybe claiming faith in Jesus so that they can, they think, go to heaven when they die.

Since they want to have the hope of heaven when they die they will confess Jesus as Lord but they will never submit to him as Lord. They want his forgiveness for their sins while they refuse to forsake their sins and to walk in righteousness and holiness. It is all about what God can do for them but nothing to do with them honoring God with their lives. For they are following a “me-centered” gospel that is all about appeasing the flesh, and not about pleasing God.

So, they will twist the Scriptures to their advantage and they will fight against us who are proclaiming the truths of the Scriptures. They may go so far as to even try to set us up for a fall, or they will try to trip us up with our words, for they are hoping to have cause to accuse us in order to excuse away their own sinful practices. They will take offense at the truth of the gospel and so they will take offense at its messengers, too.

But the Lord told us ahead of time that this is what would take place. He told us we would be hated and persecuted as he was, and if they did not believe his words that they would not accept ours, either (if what we are teaching is truth). And since so many people today are buying into a diluted gospel and not many are following the true gospel, we can expect much opposition, and we can expect that we will be alone a lot, too. But Jesus is always near us.

Breath Of Heaven (Mary’s Song)

Songwriters: Amy Lee Grant / Chris Eaton

I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy father you have come
And chosen me now to carry your son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now
Be with me now

Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven

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