Wonderful, Lord, are Your Works

Psalms 139:1-6 ESV

“O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.”

For someone who is walking in fellowship with the Lord and who has nothing to hide, these are very comforting thoughts. For those living in secretive sin, hiding what they are doing behind closed doors, lying to cover up the sins they are committing in secret, these can’t possibly be comforting thoughts. For not only does God know what we do in secret, but he has the power to expose any wicked deeds being done in secret, too.

Psalms 139:13-16 ESV

“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.”

This is my favorite part of this whole Psalm. I love knowing that God is the one who formed me in the womb of my mother and that he placed me in the family that he did for a purpose. I love knowing that God had planned out the days formed for me even before any of them came into being. That says to me that God has been intricately involved in my life even before I was formed in the womb of my mother, and he has a purpose for me to be here.

And I did not have a wonderful childhood. My father was the epitome of Satan to me. He was a bully, an abuser, filled with anger and hate. He was someone who took advantage of those weaker than him, who left trails of tears in his wake, and broken hearts, ruined lives, and crushed spirits. And when he died at age 86, I am not certain that he ever truly repented.

My mother, although she was a good mother in many respects, and she took good care of our physical needs, she was emotionally neglectful. So, I was abused by my father and emotionally neglected by my mother, and so I had definite issues growing up and even into adulthood that needed God’s healing and tender mercies. But Jesus was my Savior from age 7.

So, why am I rejoicing at the thought that God willfully placed me in that household knowing full well that I would be abused and neglected? Well, God never said that life would be easy for us. He never promised a life free from pain and suffering. In fact, he said we would be hated and persecuted, even by our family members. So, why does God allow that? I believe it is because he humbles us through our suffering and there we learn to know his ways.

Through the things that we go through in this life, whether good or bad, God is molding us and he is making us into the people he wants us to be so that he can use us in the ways he had planned for our lives even before he laid the foundations of the earth. And I know that God used all the hardships and persecutions in my life to make me into who he has called me to be so that I would be strong in him, and so I would stay the course no matter what.

For, this is not an easy calling to write down what the Lord is teaching me through his word each day and to put it out on the internet for the world to pick apart. For, the Scriptures are not all feel good messages that just warm our hearts and minds. Yes, the Scriptures contain many encouragements and promises, but they are also conditional on us meeting God’s requirements, and not many people want to hear that part.

And the Scriptures contain many instructions in godly living and in the forsaking of our sins, and in walking in obedience to our Lord. And in today’s world, not many people want to hear messages about forsaking sins and walking in obedience, but that is what the gospel is about. They don’t want to hear warnings and instructions and talk of judgments, either, if we should choose not to follow our Lord in the forsaking of our sins and in obedience.

Had I not been through the things God has taken me through, I don’t believe I would have had the stamina to endure what all comes along with giving out God’s messages each day from his word. And it is not as bad yet as what it is going to be, which I believe is not far off. So, what he takes me through today is just preparation for what is yet to come, so I am thankful and I am grateful for what he does to get me ready in advance.

Psalms 139:23-24 ESV

“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!”

I believe this needs to be part of our regular practice, and I don’t mean every waking moment of every day, but that regularly we should ask the Lord to search our hearts and to reveal to us any ways that are not pleasing to him. Now, we should be aware, obviously, of willful and deliberate and habitual sin in our lives, and we should know that this is not to be part of the life of one professing faith in Jesus Christ.

But we might have wrong attitudes without realizing it, or we may have said something to someone not in a nice way without being aware that we have done this. So, this isn’t about repenting of willful sin, but this is about that daily cleansing, and that daily putting sin and wrong attitudes (self) to death daily and following our Lord in obedience. It is just asking the Lord to check our hearts to see if there is something wrong that needs corrected.

This is all part of God pruning us and us growing in maturity with Christ and walking in daily fellowship with him, becoming more and more like him each day as he chips away at things in our lives that ought not to be there or that need some maturity. For we don’t want to have any grievous ways in our hearts and lives, and we want to be led in the way everlasting. So, this is a good practice to have to periodically ask the Lord to search our hearts.

Now, in all of this, I believe it is important for us to comprehend the magnitude of what it means to be in Christ and for him to be in us and what that should look like in our daily walks of faith. And I believe it is a great help to us to accept that God allows both good and bad in our lives to make us into the people of God he had planned for us to be from before we were born, and that we should seek out his will for our lives, and that we should be who God had planned for us to be even before we were born.

[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 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]

Give Me Jesus

Oh, What Gladness!
An Original Work / December 2, 2013

Give me Jesus. He’s my Savior.
I’ll walk with Him in His favor.
I’ll abide in His love always;
Follow His ways to the end.

Jesus is the Son of God.
He died upon a cruel cross.
He’s forgiven all my failures
By His mercy and His love.

Give me Jesus – His compassion,
And His mercy; loving kindness.
Let Him teach me how to love Him,
And to please Him. He’s my friend.

Jesus died for all our sin
So we could have eternal life.
He will free you from your bondage
If you trust Him with your life.

Give me Jesus. Let me trust Him.
May I listen to His teachings.
May I follow where He leads me
In His service. He’s my Lord.

Jesus Christ will come again
To take His bride to be with Him.
Oh, what gladness; free from sadness
When I meet Him in the air.

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