That I May Keep Your Precepts

Psalms 119:132-133 ESV

“Turn to me and be gracious to me,
as is your way with those who love your name.
Keep steady my steps according to your promise,
and let no iniquity get dominion over me.”

Those of us who love our Lord, and who are following in his ways, are not free from temptation to sin, and we still have the propensity to sin, so we need to pray for help and strength and wisdom in fighting off temptation, and in fighting off the enemy of our souls who is coming against us to try to bring us down. And we can pray that our Lord will keep steady our steps according to his word, and that he will let no iniquity get dominion over us, but then we must cooperate with him in doing what he says to do.

For, although our Lord frees us from our slavery to sin, and he empowers us to walk in obedience to him in walks of righteousness, we still have to obey him. We still have to do the work that he has assigned to us to do. We still must walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. And we must not let sin reign in our mortal bodies to where we obey its sinful desires. And we still must say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly passions and live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives, in his power.

[Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 2:10; Romans 8:1-14; Titus 2:11-14]

Yet, I know of people who assume God does it all for them and that they don’t have to do anything. But that isn’t what the Scriptures teach. For when we believe in Jesus with God-given faith we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with him to walk (in conduct, in practice) in newness of life in him, not like our old lives. And Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And Jesus said if we will come after him we must deny self, take up our cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. So we must obey our Lord.

[Romans 6:1-23; 1 Peter 2:24; Luke 9:23-26; cf. Matthew 7:21-23]

Psalms 119:134-136 ESV

“Redeem me from man’s oppression,
that I may keep your precepts.
Make your face shine upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes.
My eyes shed streams of tears,
because people do not keep your law.”

But when we do follow our Lord in obedience, and when we walk in his ways, according to his commands (New Covenant), we will be opposed and we will be oppressed (persecuted, harassed) by other humans who are not walking in his ways but who are still being guided by the flesh, even if they do profess faith in Jesus Christ. And especially if we are sharing the truth of the gospel with people, and if we are refuting Satan’s lies and deceiving spirits, we are going to be opposed and persecuted for righteousness’ sake.

And a lot of this opposition in America is going to come through the institutional market-driven “churches” (businesses) who are marketing “the church” to the world in order to attract the world to their gatherings. And this is because they have altered the whole meaning of “church”, and the gatherings of what is called “church,” and they have diluted and adulterated the gospel of Jesus Christ – all to make “church” more attractive and acceptable to the people of the world and to human flesh.

And this is a very sad reality that this is where so much of “the church” is today here in America. And it should bring tears to our eyes, and we should weep over the spiritual condition of the church here in America in our day and time. And it should cause us to mourn over the fallen spiritual condition of what appears to be the majority of those now professing faith in Jesus Christ. For there is not much of a distinction now between the church and the world, for so much of the church has gone the way of the world.

And so we do need our Lord’s help and strength to keep the faith, and to keep persevering in walks of obedience to the Lord Jesus, and to keep on speaking the truth of the gospel, despite all opposition and persecution and rejection and isolation. We need him to help us to not get disheartened or discouraged over the oppression we are facing, but to remain steadfast in faith and in purpose, and to keep obeying our Lord even if sometimes we may feel as though we are standing alone. And he will strengthen us.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

He Lifted Our Burdens

An Original Work / February 15, 2014
Based off Isaiah 9:2-7

People walk in darkness.
They abide in their sin.
It has power o’er them.
True belief escapes them.

Jesus Christ came to save them.
He gave His life up for them;
Crucified; died for our sin,
So we might be forgiven,
And have life up in heaven.

Many come to know Him.
God’s love now o’erflows them.
They rejoice in vict’ry.
Their sin is but hist’ry.

We were once bound in slav’ry.
Jesus lifted our burdens;
Set us now free from Satan,
So we now walk in freedom.
Sin has no more dominion.

Praise be to our Savior!
He showed us His favor.
He took all our burdens;
Cast them all upon Him.

He is our mediator;
The Light which shines in darkness.
Counselor in our troubles;
He gives peace now in our hearts;
Joy which is everlasting.

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