Psalms 145:17-20 ESV
“The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and kind in all his works.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord preserves all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.”
The Lord is Righteous
Our Lord is righteous in ALL HIS WAYS. He is just, he is kind, he is merciful, he is faithful, he is loving, he is full of grace, he is trustworthy, he is truthful, he is pure, he is holy, he is upright, he is patient, he is forgiving, he is compassionate, he is tenderhearted, and his motives are pure, and his intentions are good, and in everything that he does he is absolutely perfect.
We may not always understand his ways and why he does the things that he does, and why he allows the things he allows, but he knows what he is doing, for he is God. And since he is the one who made us, he knows what is best for us, too, although it may not always feel good or make sense to us. But that is because we don’t see as he sees and we don’t know what he knows. We can only see what is visible to us but he sees everything.
And this word “kind,” well it doesn’t always mean what humans want it to mean. I think most people think of “kind” as something that does not cause us pain and suffering, as something that makes us feel good, and that makes us feel good about ourselves and others. But sometimes the kindest thing God can do for us or we can do for one another is to speak the truth in love, to tell us what we need to hear, not necessarily what we want to hear.
And you know the Scriptures teach us that suffering is for our good that by it we may gain wisdom and understanding, that we might learn to rely on God and not on ourselves, that we might grow to maturity in Christ, that we might learn steadfastness and perseverance, that we might be compassionate towards others who are suffering, and that we might share in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings, becoming like him in his death.
[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; John 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Ac 14:22; 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]
Who Call on Him in Truth
I hear a lot of people preaching a half-truth gospel based on Scriptures taught outside their context and made to say what they do not say in context. There is a New Testament passage which states that if we call upon the name of the Lord we will be saved (Romans 10:13). But we have to read that in the context of the whole of Romans. We can’t just teach that to call on his name means we are now saved for eternity if the context doesn’t agree. We can’t make singular verses our doctrine of salvation from sin.
So, what does it mean to call on him? Or to call on his name? It isn’t just to verbalize his name. It isn’t to just mouth the words, “Lord, Lord,” either (Matthew 7:21-23). In the context of the book of Romans and in the context of the New Testament, as a whole, it is clear that giving lip service to our Lord only will never save anyone from his sins. Obedience to our Lord, the forsaking of our sins, and walks of holiness and righteousness must accompany our words. And that is what it means to call on Him in truth.
So, calling upon the Lord means to call on him in faith, to put our trust in him as Lord (Owner-Master) of our lives, and to commit our lives to him and to his service, not just once but continually. It is to worship him by giving our lives to him as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him. It is to humble ourselves before him and to acknowledge to him our sinful condition and to turn away from our sins to now follow him in obedience. And it is to take him and his word seriously and to do what it teaches us we must do.
[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]
Of Those Who Fear Him
If we fear the Lord, we do take him and his word seriously, and not just his promises and his blessings but his warnings and his chastisements, too. We don’t just call him “Lord,” but we honor him as Lord (Master-Owner) of our lives. We submit to his Lordship over our lives. We surrender our all to him. We walk in obedience to his commands, even when it is not comfortable for us to do so, and even when we know we will be hated in return.
When we read the Scriptures and our hearts are pierced with the conviction of his Holy Word, we don’t just regard what we just read as optional and we don’t just walk away and forget what we read, either. We pray it through, we confess any known acts of sin in our lives, we choose to turn away from anything the Lord puts his finger on that needs to go, and we commit ourselves to following our Lord in all his ways in truth and in righteousness.
And our Lord is not just someone we spend a few cursory minutes with each day in a time of daily devotions. He needs to be our life. Our lives need to revolve around Jesus Christ and his plans and purposes for our lives. He is not satisfied if we happen to give him some of our time. He wants all of our time. And he wants all of us fully surrendered to him and doing his will and his purpose for our lives. This is what it means to fear the Lord.
All Who Love Him
And what does it mean to love God? It means to obey him. If we do not obey him we do not love him and we do not know him and he does not know us and we don’t have eternal life in him and heaven is not our eternal destiny. So don’t listen to the liars who are telling you that you can believe in Jesus, be forgiven your sins, be on your way to heaven, but that you do not have to repent of your sins or walk in obedience to his commands.
And who are the wicked? They are all those who live in disobedience to the Lord regardless of whether or not they profess faith in Jesus Christ. They are those who make sin their practice, who do not obey Jesus, and who do not submit to him as Lord, but who choose their sin over God and over salvation from sin and over eternal life with God because they love their sin more and they do not want to give it up.
So, please know here that we are all going to be judged by God one day and he will judge us by our works (deeds). If we sowed to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction, but if we sowed to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. If we walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, we have life in Christ, but if we walk according to the flesh in disobedience to our Lord and deliberate sin, we will not inherit eternal life with God regardless of what our lips have professed.
[Lu 9:23-26; Matt 7:21-23; Jn 8:51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:10; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Heb 5:9; 1 Pet 1:1-2; Jas 1:21-25; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Php 2:12-13; Jn 10:27-30; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 3:5-11; Heb 10:26-31; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Does Jesus Care?
1 Peter 5:7
Lyrics by Frank E. Graeff, 1901
Music by Joseph L. Hall, 1901
Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?
Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?
Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
When for my deep grief there is no relief,
Though my tears flow all the night long?
Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.
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