Consumed with Longing for God’s Word

Psalms 119:17-20 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.
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.”

This is a prayer of a servant of the Lord, seeking the grace of God to endure the trials and tribulations of life so that he might live, not just physically, but that he might live a productive and full life under God’s favor, and that he might obey the Lord, bearing fruit for the kingdom of heaven, which is what it means to live. For life is not just about breathing and existing. It is about fulfilling the purpose for why God created us in the first place.

For, in this life we are going to face all kinds of difficulties, some of which are going to tempt us to pull away from our pure devotion to the Lord and to follow after the ways of the world, instead. And so we need the grace of God and his strength and wisdom to make it through those times so that we do not cave to the pressures of this world, and so that we remain steadfast in faith and in walks of obedience to our Lord and to his word.

Sometimes the difficulties of this life can wear us down physically, mentally, and/or emotionally, and thus spiritually, too. And when this happens we may not think clearly as we ought. And it is in those times that we need to call on God in prayer to clear our minds so that we can think clearly so that we do not fall prey to the enemy’s attacks against us. For Satan loves to attack us in our minds during those times when we are weak physically.

If we are walking in obedience to our Lord, and if we are fulfilling his purpose for us, by the grace of God, we are going to be strangers here on this earth. We will be living lives which are separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ. And the closer we get to Christ the more we are going to pull away from this sinful world. And I don’t mean that we will live in seclusion from people.

The closer we get to Christ the further away from the things and ideas and philosophies of this world we will become. The more that we obey Christ the less that we will engage in the things of this world because the greater will be our sensitivity and discernment of what is displeasing to our Lord. But that also means the greater the gap will be between us and those who are still walking in the ways of this world, not because we are feeling superior to anyone else but because we are drawing closer to our Lord.

And the further we are from taking on the ways or the ideas or thinking of the world the more that we will long for the Word of God to be what we think and believe and do. And one of the big ways that we remove ourselves from the thinking of this world is to do away with or to greatly limit our time we spend watching TV or movies or videos or being on social media or watching the news, etc. And then we fill our minds, instead, with the Scriptures, and then we walk more in obedience to our Lord’s commands.

[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 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; 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; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10]

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.”

Not everyone has faith, not even everyone professing faith in Jesus Christ. Many professing Christians in America live very worldly lives. Even if they have daily devotions, which it appears that many of them don’t, still many of them continue to live as though they are not saved at all. Their thinking, their attitudes, their conversations, their philosophies, and their deeds reflect the thinking, attitudes, and behaviors of this sinful world.

It is indistinguishable between the church and the world much here in America for they are so blended in together. So much of today’s modern market-driven “churches” (businesses of men) have gone the way of the world and they are marketing “the church” (businesses) to the world just like any other business or product. And so they have altered the meaning of “church,” and they have altered the gospel to conform to the world.

Many are teaching a diluted and altered gospel which makes no requirements for death to sin and living to God and to his righteousness. They do not define what it means to believe in Jesus and so many people just assume for themselves what that means. And so many are being taught that a mere acknowledgment of Christ and his death on a cross, and acceptance of his forgiveness of sins, secures them heaven for eternity.

And so we do have many insolent ones in the gatherings of what is called church, because they are being taught that they don’t have to repent of their sins, and that they don’t have to obey our Lord’s commands (New Covenant), and that they don’t have to submit to Christ as Lord. For they are being taught that Jesus does it all and that they do nothing and so they are being given free reign to continue living in their sins without guilt.

Yet, even many who claim to believe in the true gospel, who will mouth it with their words, live as though they do not believe it at all. And some of them will go back and forth from the true gospel to the cheap grace gospel (the grace that has been cheapened) depending on how they are living at the moment. And others blend the two together and accept parts of each, but that is still believing in a lie, because a deliberate half-truth is still a lie.

And those who are following after this cheapened grace (not God’s true grace) then often become enemies and opponents of those who are walking according to Christ and his word. And some of them are being taught to oppose those of us who are teaching the true gospel of grace. And some of them are plotting against the Lord’s servants because their goal is to bring us down, to destroy us, and to turn us away from our pure devotion to Christ. And many people are just ignoring us for they think we are religious fanatics.

But we can’t let what others think about us or how they treat us or what they say to us or about us alter what we do and how we live. Jesus said we would be hated and persecuted for his sake and for the sake of righteousness, so we should expect to be hated and persecuted, but it should not be because of fleshly things that we do or say but only because we are following our Lord in obedience in doing what he says to do and to say. And then we must remain faithful to our Lord and to his word.

[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; John 15:1-21; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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