Be Gracious to Me

Video Talk

Psalms 119:129-136 ESV

Your testimonies are wonderful;
therefore my soul keeps them.
130 The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple.
131 I open my mouth and pant,
because I long for your commandments.
132 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
as is your way with those who love your name.
133 Keep steady my steps according to your promise,
and let no iniquity get dominion over me.
134 Redeem me from man’s oppression,
that I may keep your precepts.
135 Make your face shine upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes.
136 My eyes shed streams of tears,
because people do not keep your law.

The testimonies of God are the Scriptures. And as followers of Jesus Christ, we are to keep the commands of our God. Now we do not have to obey all the Old Covenant liturgical, ceremonial, and dietary laws and restrictions, but we still have to obey the commands of God under the New Covenant, which Jesus summarized into two laws – to love God with our entire being and to love our neighbors as ourselves, as we would want to be treated by others. And if we do that, we will not sin against God or other people.

Now, we should long for the commands of God and we should not see them as a drudgery or as something to be avoided or to be excused away. For they are for our good. For if we follow the Lord in obedience, we are not going to be doing what is harmful to ourselves or to others, and we will not be ruining our relationships with our Lord and with other people, because of sin. But we will be at peace with God, and we will be loving other humans with the love of God, and we will be doing good and not evil.

There are many different reasons why we may seek God’s grace in our lives, but it should not be that we want him to overlook deliberate and habitual sin. For he does not. It should be that we honestly want his help and guidance and power and wisdom in forsaking sin and in walking in obedience to his ways. But then we must do what he says to do and not expect him to just do it for us. And we may also seek his grace when we are being persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for we need his grace to endure unjust suffering, and we need his counsel and his wisdom, too.

And lastly, my eyes indeed do shed streams of tears because people do not keep God’s commandments under the New Covenant. And what is very sad is how many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ feel as though they do not have to obey the Lord and his commands, and as though they do not have to turn away from their sinful practices. For they have bought into a lie which tells them that if they just “believe” (rarely defined) in Jesus that all their sins are forgiven and now heaven is guaranteed them, regardless of how they live their lives.

But the Scriptures do not teach that. They teach that we must die with Christ to sin, not just once, but daily, and that we must walk in obedience to his commands in living righteous and godly lives. For, if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, then the Scriptures are very clear. We will not inherit eternal life with God regardless of what we have professed with our lips or think we have believed in our hearts. For true faith is evidenced by what we do in heart response to what Jesus did for us, and in obedience to his commands.

[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]

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My Sheep

An Original Work / June 24, 2012
Based off John 10:1-18 NIV

My sheep hear me. They know me.
They listen to my voice and obey.
I call them and lead them.
They know my voice, so they follow me.
They will never follow strangers.
They will run away from them.
The voice of a stranger they know not;
They do not follow him.

So, I tell you the truth that
I am the gate, so you enter in.
Whoever does enter
Will find forgiveness and will be saved.
Nonetheless whoever enters
Not by the gate; other way,
He is the thief and a robber.
Listen not, the sheep to him.

Oh, I am the Good Shepherd,
Who laid his own life down for the sheep.
I know them. They know me.
They will live with me eternally.
The thief only comes to steal and
Kill and to destroy the church.
I have come to give you life that
You may have it to the full…

They know my voice, so they follow me.

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