Psalms 119:57-60 ESV
“The Lord is my portion;
I promise to keep your words.
I entreat your favor with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to your promise.
When I think on my ways,
I turn my feet to your testimonies;
I hasten and do not delay
to keep your commandments.”
If we are in genuine relationship with Jesus Christ, the word of the Lord should be the delight of our hearts and lives. We should long for his word, and we should be those who are hungering and thirsting for righteousness. We should love to sit at the feet of our Lord and to drink in his words. And if for some reason we get away from that, even for a short period of time, it should bother us that we are not in fellowship with the Lord as we once were. For we should never see time spent in the word as a chore.
We should love to obey the Lord, and we shouldn’t see obedience to Christ as a drudgery or as something not to be desired. And we should want to do what pleases the Lord, not to be seen as some legalistic requirement, but because we love him. For if we love the Lord we will want to obey him. We should want to turn our feet to his testimonies and to do what he says we must do as his followers. And if for some reason we get away from that, even for a short period of time, it should pain us until we get back on track.
Psalms 119:61 ESV
“Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me,
I do not forget your law.”
Now the wicked are those who are not walking in the ways of the Lord, but they are those who are walking in sin, regardless of whether or not they have made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. They are those who are acting contrary to the will of God and who are opposing the Lord and his work. Now, a genuine believer in Christ can fall back into sin and need to be brought back to repentance and obedience, but if they never return to the Lord, then they are among the wicked, and they will not inherit eternal life with God in the end unless they return and obey the Lord.
I was at such a place in my life quite a few years ago, and I had returned to the Lord, and I was walking in his ways again, yet I was very broken and hurting but still but I was moving forward. And I had joined a “support group” to help me to regain my spiritual strength in the Lord, and I was in the process of working through some issues when a friend who was in the support group with me asked for my help. She had trouble speaking in front of people and so she wanted me to encourage her in this, and so I said I would, and I did, but then I got reprimanded for it by the leadership.
And then I got invited to the office of one of the pastors, LK, who had never met me before, and I had never met him before (this was a large church congregation). And he began to chide me and he called me “autocratic,” I think was the word, but that was so far from the truth. And so I sat in his office bawling my eyes out, but he didn’t care. He had no sympathy for me whatsoever. He didn’t care that I was a broken vessel in need of healing. He just went after me like a bulldozer just rolling me over because he could. And so I broke again for I let his words impact me.
But then the Lord restored me, and he brought me back, and he healed me, and then I learned that I could not let other people’s words destroy me. I learned that, though the cords of those acting wickedly toward me hurt me, I must not let them destroy me. I must continue in Christ and in his word despite all opposition against me and despite all hateful and unjust words spoken against me. And the Lord used those experiences in my life to make me strong so that I will not retreat but so I will persevere despite all opposition against me. And then he called me to this ministry.
Psalms 119:62-64 ESV
“At midnight I rise to praise you,
because of your righteous rules.
I am a companion of all who fear you,
of those who keep your precepts.
The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love;
teach me your statutes!”
The Lord Jesus has me on his schedule. I am 73 years old, and living off retirement, so I am able to serve him full time. So, my schedule is not always the same from day to day. And my sleep schedule is not always the same, either, although I am getting adequate sleep. So sometimes he does get me up at midnight or in the very early hours of the morning when it is quiet and free from distractions, and that really is the best time because it is quiet and not much else is going on at that time.
And I do so much enjoy the fellowship of like-minded believers in Christ who also love the Lord and whose desire is for him and for his word, and who long to obey him and who do not see obedience as something to be avoided. But I have found those mostly on the internet and not much in person, at least not at this present time. But I am very thankful for the fellowship I have with fellow believers in Christ online and for whatever I can find in person, too. And I love my fellowship with my Lord, and I desire for him to teach me his statutes that I might obey them.
Anyway, I hope this finds you all walking in fellowship with the Lord Jesus, longing for his word and loving your times with him. And I hope you are walking in obedience to his commands under the New Covenant, and that you are not being disheartened by the unkind words of others. I pray for your encouragement and strengthening in the Lord so that you continue in him and in his word and in walks of obedience in holiness and in righteousness. For there is no better place ever to be than right there. And then we have the hope of eternal life with God. No fear!
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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