Psalms 25:4-5, 8-10 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.”
“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.”
There are a lot of people today who claim to be Christians and/or who also claim to be teachers of the Scriptures and ministers of the gospel but who are not living and who are not teaching the ways of the Lord. What they are living and what they are proclaiming is an altered gospel message that allows people to live however they want while claiming forgiveness of sins over themselves and a guarantee of heaven as their eternal destiny.
They see their salvation as God’s gift of grace in forgiving their sins and in delivering them from the punishment of sin and in promising them heaven when they die but not as deliverance from their slavery (addiction) to sin and empowerment of God to now live holy and godly lives to the praise and glory of God. For it is all about them and what they think Jesus did for them and it has nothing to do with them honoring and obeying the Lord.
But Jesus Christ gave his life up for us on that cross to free us from our slavery (addiction) to sin so we may now become slaves of God and of his righteousness. By faith in him we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. So sin is to no longer have mastery over our lives since Jesus set us free.
By faith in Jesus Christ we die with Christ to sin and we live to God and to his righteousness. We leave our lives of sin behind us to follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his ways and to his commands (his instructions to us who believe in him). And now we are in intimate relationship with God and our desire is for him to do his will, and so our prayer is to know his ways so that we can walk in them in his power and strength.
[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 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13]
We want the Lord to teach us his ways so that we can walk in them. We want him to lead us in the way of righteousness and to guide us in the way that we should go. We want to do his will for our lives and answer his call of service on our lives and to be used of him in other people’s lives for their encouragement and for their salvation and so that they, too, will desire Jesus and want to know him and to follow him in his ways.
But if we are going to be taught the ways of the Lord we need to be willing to listen to the Lord and then to follow him in obedience. For he may lead us to move to another state or city or to take a different job or to begin a new ministry we had never done before. And we have to be ready and willing to go with God even if it means leaving everything familiar to us to go someplace we have never been before and to start over.
Psalms 25:16-21 ESV
“Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
bring me out of my distresses.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.
“Consider how many are my foes,
and with what violent hatred they hate me.
Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.”
Our Lord is very sympathetic to what we are going through in this life. True, he does allow us to suffer for the sake of his name and for the sake of righteousness, but it is for our good that we suffer, for we learn obedience through the things that we suffer. Yet, he feels our pain when we are lonely and afflicted because we are being rejected and persecuted by others, and he knows what that feels like, for he went through that for you and for me.
And our Lord doesn’t always remove us physically from our suffering but he will deliver us out of the affects (impacts, influences) of that suffering on our lives so that we don’t get discouraged and become downhearted. He will comfort us in our times of sorrow, and he will strengthen us when we are weak, and he will remind us that he is sovereign over our lives and that he is working out his plan for our lives, so we need to trust him.
And our suffering may indeed be the result of foes and enemies attacking us and coming against us. And those enemies could even be our friends, our neighbors, our family members, and/or fellow Christians (or professing Christians). For if we are following Jesus wholeheartedly, and we are doing and saying the kinds of things he did and said, we will have enemies even within the gatherings of the church, for not everyone has faith.
Yet, our Lord’s mercies are new every morning. We who follow him with our lives are being kept in his care and he has a purpose for everything he allows to come into our lives. So no matter how bad things get, which they may, we have to keep trusting the Lord through it all and trust him to lead us in the way he would have us to go one day and one step and one moment at a time, just going wherever he sends us and doing his will.
His Tender Mercies
An Original Work / January 26, 2014
Fear not! I’m with you.
Be not dismayed!
God watches o’er you.
Trust Him today.
He’ll lead and guide you;
Give you His aid.
He’ll love and keep you
With Him always.
Walk in His footsteps.
He’ll lead the way.
Trust in His love;
Believe that He cares.
He will not leave you.
Faithful He’ll be.
His tender mercies
Now you will see.
Fellowship with Him
Throughout the day.
Tell Him your heartaches.
He’ll heal always.
Rest in His comfort.
He is your friend.
Your faith He’ll strengthen,
True to the end.