It’s Not Fair

23 09 2013

“In the natural life our ambitions alter as we develop; in the Christian life the goal is given at the beginning, the beginning and the end are the same, viz., our Lord Himself.  We start with Christ and we end with Him…  The aim of the missionary is to do God’s will, not to be useful, not to win the heathen; he is useful and he does win the heathen, but that is not his aim.  His aim is to do the will of his Lord.” — Oswald Chambers

1 Peter 2:19-24 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. 21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

In preparing for tomorrow’s bible study I was struck once again by the discrepancy between Truth and my own attitude.  God’s word says that favor or grace is found when I bear up under the weight of griefs that come from suffering things that are not at all due to anything I did or did not do. It clearly promotes the idea that no credit is given for being strong in the face of that which is fairly given.

It reminds me of a credit report.  If I decide to buy a car and need to borrow money to finance it, the dealership will run my credit report.  On that report there is listed all the opportunities I have had to exercise the discipline of debt and repayment.  I get “credit” for the times I have borrowed and repaid.  If I borrow and don’t repay then I get a deduction.  My final score is determined by both positives and negatives.  When it comes to our Suffering Credit Score, we get “credit” only when we bear up under that which is not fair.  If we sin and get what we deserve, and bear up under it, that does not count toward our final score.  Okay, so it’s not a perfect analogy, but you get the point:  if we want that grace upon grace principle at work in our lives than we need to look at the attitudes that might be blocking it from coming.

“Whether we like it or not, all Christians are an advertisement for Christianity; by their lives, they either commend it to others or make them think less of it.  The strongest missionary force in the world is the Christian life.” — William Barclay

Matthew 5:10-12  Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

We have been called for the purpose of bearing up under the weight of unfair treatments because it gives us the opportunity to mirror Jesus to the world around us.  If I am just like the world in my attitude, why would anyone want my Christianity.  Jesus example was absolutely and completely counterintuitive to every other person EVER.  He suffered more utterly unjustly than any of us ever will, and yet, for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross.  He despised the shame of it all but did not waver.  (Hebrews 12:2)

I have dug my feet into the big but of “It’s not fair!” more times than I can even begin to count.  And each time, I have lost out on a measure of grace that could have been mine.

“But, Margaret, if I have to DO something to get the grace, than it isn’t grace at all, is it?”

What a good question!

It is not the work of bearing up under that brings the grace, it is the positioning of a soul that brings it.  The spout of grace is already on, if I am a believer.  I don’t have to DO anything to turn it on, but I can choose whether or not to stand under it or not.

One of the things I love about God is that He is always, always, always faithful to the soul who bows low in humility and dependence on Him.  Even if I sin and bring consequences on myself, if I truly repent and turn to Him, He pours out His grace upon me so that even in those circumstances, I am able to glorify Him.  Too often, though, I am so set on my attitude of “It’s not fair” that I don’t see my need to repent and return to Him.

So, what does that
look like in real life?

How about the spouse who cheerfully sticks it out in a marriage that is not meeting his or her needs and does not stop doing the things that bless?

How about the employee who cheerfully endures ridicule by co-workers and continues to share the kindness of the Lord with them?

How about the parent who cheerful bears up under the weight of rebellious children and continues to pray and love on them?

How about the friend who cheerfully sticks by the friend who is unwilling or unable to return the friendship and never stops praying for them and being available to them?

How about the believers who cheerfully sustains a kind and loving spirit toward the ones who hate them and want their death?

I will never be able to do the last if I have not practiced the principle in other areas.  It is time for me to begin to build my Suffering Credit Score so that when the time comes (and it will come!) for me to stand firm in the face of death for my faith it will be such a habitual part of my attitude that all the Grace I need will be there and it will be a no-brainer.

Oh, Lord!  You alone know what a big whiner I am and how hard it is to move past the attitude of “it’s not fair”!  But You alone are the One who can so powerfully consume my heart and mind with Your grace and truth to set me free from it.  I submit my rights and my right to my rights to You.  I trust You, O Lord, to be faithful.  I trust You, O Lord, to be huge.  I trust You, O Lord, to be here with me so that like the three Jewish boys in the fiery furnace, the enemy will have to acknowledge that the fires have not hurt me but have brought Your presence and glory.

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Does It Matter?

25 06 2013

DOES IT MATTER HOW WE LIVE?

It is unfortunate that sometimes the words we need to hear from the Lord are the ones that we are most familiar with and, so, we are quicker to dismiss them.  There is a deception circulating the body of Christ whose emphasis is Freedom in Christ, but whose end result is Freedom of the Flesh.

Are we free in Christ to do whatever we want?

In terms of losing our salvation?  Yes; yes, we are.

In terms of staying close to the Lord and maintaining the kind of anointing that furthers His kingdom, the answer is a solid “ABSOLUTELY NOT.”

(Titus 1:16)  They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

(1 John 3:1-3) See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

When the Apostle Paul exhorts us that “it was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery,” he is referring to slavery to the kind of legalism that says a person must add to what Christ did on the cross in order to be saved (5:4).  The key thought of the Book of Galatians is “Salvation by Faith.”

The people who perpetuate the notion that Freedom in Christ means that we can do whatever we want because we are saved, tend to not continue on past the first verses of the fifth chapter of Galatians, because it clearly shows that true salvation walks in the Spirit, where the Spirit walks, and how the Spirit walks, and therefore, bears the Fruit of the Spirit.

(Galatians 5:16-25) But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 

There are clearly two options for the believer:  walk in the flesh or walk in the Spirit.  And that is where our freedom lies.  You the direction you want to go, but we must realize that the direction DOES matter.

(Galatians 6:7-9) Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 

The seeds of the flesh sprout quickly and bear fruit that satisfies momentarily.  The fruit eaten, though, quickly turns to poison and begins to produce death.

The seeds of the Spirit sprout slower, because the roots are going deeper to produce a solid stalk on which to bear the kind of fruit that satisfies permanently; it satisfies the soul, and continues to bear more fruit, so that it becomes a source of life.

(James 1:14-15) But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 

According to James, it is our very own desire that gets us into trouble.  We falsely assume that lust refers only sexual desires so as long as we aren’t having actual physical sexual intercourse outside of marriage, these verses do not apply to us.  Not so, the word means “a deep longing for anything, especially for that which is forbidden.”  It is our desires that bait us, they seduce us.  We enjoy the flirty, never really intending to go any further with it; but by the nature of bait, it gets its hooks in and does not let go until we are lying in a pan as dinner for the enemy.

(Titus 2:11-14 ESV) For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people, training us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, looking for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.

The grace of God saves AND instructs us.  It teaches us to “just say ‘no'” to behavior that isn’t characteristic of the Lord (1 John 2:3-6).  It teaches us to “just say ‘no'” to the seemingly tasty morsels the world offers us (1 John 2:15-17).  The grace of God also trains us to live in such a way that we control SELF and choose to live the kind of lives that reflect our Savior (Galatians 2:20; 1 John 1:5-9).  The focus is not on what we do as much as on WHO we are doing it for.

(1 Corinthians 6:12, 20)  All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable.  All things are lawful to me, but I will not be mastered by anything… For you have been bought with a price:  therefore glorify God in your body.

Some would point out that there is no specific commandment from God regarding particular behaviors, and so they have freedom to exercise them if they choose.  That is when it is important to remember that sin is a direction, not a line that we cross.  Have you ever wondered how a solid believer can fall so hard and land so far from the things of the Lord without even seeming to care?  It is because they assumed they could dance so close to the line of sin and not fall victim to its lures.  This is foolishness and the enemy delights in it.

(Romans 13:11-14) Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

Some will point out that they are very involved in church, that they love the Lord, and that they are still in their Word everyday, so a little smoking here, an inappropriate movie there, a tiny dip into the pool of fantasy through video games or daydreams… isn’t a big deal. What they don’t realize is that they have a tiny island of rock on which they have one foot standing, in the middle of acres of quicksand; and it won’t take but a little bit to blow them right off their foundation into the miry depths waiting for them (Matthew 7:24-27).

(Philippians 3:7-12) But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 

Any area of behavior that we feel the need to defend with a self-righteous argument of freedom in Christ should probably give us cause to wonder if the enemy has inadvertently found a place in which to put a hook.

(Philippians 2:14-16) Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life…

What does your behavior say to the world around you?  Does it scream to the lost that you love the Lord enough to follow Him, even when it means not being able to do the things that you’d really like to do? 

(John 12:25-26) He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”

If you are truly saved by grace through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, you were rescued from the land of darkness and transferred to the Kingdom of God as His kid (John 1:12; Colossians 1:13-14); and you have the freedom to choose (Joshua 24:15).  Your choice in any given area reflects the whole of your choice.  Choose Life for your own sake and for the sake of those around you (Deuteronomy 30:15-17).

(Ephesians 4:1)  Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.





I Cried!

14 09 2012

Psalm 119:144-148  Qoph. I cried with all my heart; answer me, O LORD! I will observe Your statutes.  I cried to You; save me And I shall keep Your testimonies.  I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words.  My eyes anticipate the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word.

  •  Cried (verse 145, 146):  to call out loud to; to address by name
  • Answer:  to eye; to heed; to respond
  • Statutes:  refers to definite prescribed or written laws; including the moral law written on our hearts in our consciences
  • Save:  properly, to be open, wide or free; implies being safe
  • Keep:  to guard; to protect, maintain or obey
  • Testimonies:  witness, like in a trial; refers to God’s revealed law
  • Rise before (verse 147); anticipate (verse 148):  to come before, to meet, to confront; to proceed, to go before
  • Cry for help (verse 147):  indicates a cry for help or of despair
  • Wait:  to patiently wait in hope
  • Night watches:  the night hours were divided into three (Old Testament) or four (New Testament) divisions, by which guards were assigned specific duty; middle watch was typically centered at midnight
  • Meditate:  to ponder; implies conversing aloud with oneself

These verses show us how the psalmist prayed, what he prayed for, when he prayed, and how long he prayed: The psalmist cried out loud to God with his whole heart.  He was a man who did all things with passion.  Whether he was rejoicing, praying, grieving, or worshipping, it was done with his whole heart.  While strong emotions may embarrass us or cause us to fear, I believe that whole hearted passion is divinely inspired.  Nowhere are the saints encouraged to be passive or middle of the road.  In fact, the Laodicean Church in Revelation is condemned for its lukewarmness (Revelation 3:16).

The psalmist calls out for (1) a response from the Lord, (2) salvation, (3) help.  This is deep seated desperate plea of a man in sore need of something that he cannot find or do on his own.  It is not a casual request or a half-hearted prayer sent hurriedly without much thought. His prayer begins before the dawn and his wait continues even into the night.  How often, how long and how fervently we pray is often determined by both the intensity of our need and the intimacy of our relationship with God.  It is normal to see a spike in the number, length, and passion of our prayers during times of great suffering or fear.  The difference that intimacy adds to that equation is the peace, patience and confidence expectation that goes with the prayers.  When we have a long-established communication with our Lord, then the desperate circumstances in which we find ourselves drives us to our knees in faith, trusting that the same God who has met all our needs according to His riches in glory will continue to do so, for He never changes.  (Philippians 4:19; Hebrews 6:18-19)  In times of great need, how much better to pour out our hearts to the Lord every day and at all times, to establish that one-on-One intimacy that builds our faith so that He is always the One to which we turn for everything.

Oh Lord, make me fervent, passionate and committed to You today and always, so that when circumstances are dire, I will already have the habit of spending time with the One who loves and cares for me, who is willing to respond, and who can actually do something about my troubles!





Ain’t No Trouble Gonna Get Me Down

14 08 2012

Psalm 119: 142  Trouble and anguish have come upon me, Yet Your commandments are my delight.

  •  Trouble:  a tight place, as when an opponent crowds you
  • Anguish:  a narrow place, as when confined
  • Commandments:  a command or ordinance; refers literally to the things God says TO do and NOT TO do
  • Delight:  enjoyment; pleasure

The psalmist found himself in the uncomfortable position of being between a rock and a hard place, but the squeeze did not loosen his grip on the things that mattered the most.  He held tightly to all the things that God told him to do and not to do, and found joy in doing the next thing.  Even backed into a corner, he didn’t lash out or to give up, or forget all that the Lord told him up to that point.

Delighting in God’s commands begins in good times, when the sun is shining and there are no problems on the horizon.  It comes back to that spiritual muscle memory that we talked about in the first part of this great psalm.  When we choose to obey God, it becomes easier and easier to obey Him in the next thing.  And the more we obey, the more we experience the joy and blessings of that obedience, because it draws us closer and closer to Him.  When obedience is a habitual pleasure, it will not matter how squeezed we feel, we’ll continue to find delight in the Lord’s commands.  There will be no need to google a solution or to wallow in self-pity because, those who are trained to obey in the good times will just do the next thing when crowded by difficult circumstances.

How do we do that?  You can’t do what you don’t know.  Read God’s word.  Spend time with Him in prayer and worship.  As He gives you something, be obedient to it.  It will be a conscious effort at first, but as you rely more and more on Him, letting Him invade your secular life with His Spirit, it will get easier and easier, until soon it is automatic.  Then when you are caught between a rock and a hard place, He will be the first place you turn to for direction, for aid, and for comfort.

This is strange, that in the midst of anguish David had delight: but indeed the sweetness of God’s word is best perceived under the bitterness of the cross. The joy of Christ and the joy of the world cannot consist together. A heart delighted with worldly joy cannot feel the consolations of the Spirit; the one of these destroys the other: but in sanctified trouble, the comforts of God’s word are felt and perceived in a most sensible manner. Many a time hath David protested this delight of his in the word of God; and truly it is a great argument of godliness, when men come not only to reverence it, but to love it, and delight in it. Let this be considered by those unhappy men who hear it of custom, and count it but a weariness. –Abraham Wright.

Lord, cultivate in me right now a heart that delights in all the things You ask me to do and not to do.  Sustain a right spirit within me so that even when I am caught between a rock and a hard place I still do the next thing in obedience to You.  Some days, O Lord, the pressure I feel is from my own selfish desires.  In times like that, let the tight place squeeze out Self so that there is more room for You; make me delight in obeying You, even at the expense of my own personal pleasure.





Ever Right

13 08 2012

Psalm 119:143  Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth.

  •  Righteousness:  both words used for righteousness come from the same root word meaning, “moral and forensic rightness”; describes justice, right actions and right attitudes;  in other words, it is true (as in not “off” by any degree), and right (never wrong).
  • Everlasting:  for all time, including past and future
  • Law:  a rule of conduct; refers to God’s law in general
  • Truth:  stability, certainty, pure

The prevailing propaganda circulated by the Enemy is that everyone is allowed to have their own version of what is right, and that only those who believe that there is one standard for rightness are wrong.  With no moral compass, however, a society has no “true north”, and can only remain lost in a sea of selfish desires.  We desperately need a standard, a plumb line, in which to gauge our actions and attitudes.  The psalmist set his confidence upon the kind of rightness that does not change with the passage of time, with public opinion or with popular philosophies; he knew that there was a true moral compass and it was his God.

Our God is not only an eternally righteous God, but He is also a good Father.  He doesn’t just do what is right and approve what is right, He also gives a clear expectation of what is right to His kids.  His law, or His righteous expectations for you and I, is truth; it is a stable foundation on which we can build our lives.  We were freed from the condemnation of the Law by grace and grace freed us to obey God’s truth through the power of the Holy Spirit.  All “real” truth is based on Love:  Love the Lord and love your neighbor.  (Matthew 22:37-40)  That kind of unselfish and other-centered love is an undeniable force for good in any society.

John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

A culture is changed by its moral compass.  In my lifetime I have seen horrible things become normalized by a shifting morality that does not want to stay true to what is right.  Imagine how different our culture would be if all of God’s kids decided to base everything we think or do, and how we react and interact, on the standard of God’s everlasting righteousness and on the truth of His Word. It is sad to know how many of those who claim to belong to Him know so little about Him or His Word, and so they have difficulty in distinguishing between what is right and what isn’t.  We become like those with whom we spend time.  If we spent more time with the Righteous One, feasting on His Truth, and seeking His will for us, we would become a standard upon which others could stand as well.  To know and love the Lord is the best and only “true north” anyone could ever have, for He is never wrong.

Holy Spirit, come and fill me with a desire to be with the Lord and to be in His Truth.  Draw me close; let me hang out with You, to learn of Your eternal righteousness.  You died on the cross to save me from unrighteousness; You gave Your righteousness to me.  (1 Corinthians 1:30)  Establish me firmly in Your truth and sanctify me in it, so that I can love You with my whole heart, mind, soul, and strength, and so that I can love all those around me with the same love with which You loved me.  Rescue our nation from its own unrighteousness for Your name’s sake; may we once again bring glory to You as a nation who serves the Lord.  (Psalm 33:12)





In the Face of Rejection

30 07 2012

Psalms 119:141  I am small and despised, Yet I do not forget Your precepts.

  •  Small:  least, smallest, youngest, of little value
  • Despised:  to be held in contempt; to disrespect
  • Forget:  to mislay, i.e. to be oblivious of, from want of memory or attention
  • Precepts:  refers to something entrusted to man; mandates for which man is responsible

Public opinion made no difference in the things the psalmist did or the direction he headed.  As the youngest of seven brothers, his whole life had been about being the least and without respect.  His humble beginnings made his heart fertile so that bitterness could not take root; his heart remained soft and pliable, and easily directed by the Holy Spirit.  He knew that no other opinion mattered but his God, and so to Him he continued to look.

His enemies made no account of him, regarded him as a man without power or ability, and therefore looked down upon him. He appears to accept the situation and humbly take the lowest room, but he carries God’s word with him. How many a man has been driven to do some ill action in order to reply to the contempt of his enemies: to make himself conspicuous he has either spoken or acted in a manner which he could not justify. The beauty of the Psalmist’s piety was that it was calm and well balanced, and as he was not carried away by flattery, so was he not overcome by shame. If small, he the more jealously attended to the smaller duties; and if despised, he was the more in earnest to keep the despised commandments of God. — C. H. Spurgeon

What in my own life has prepared me for humility of mind?  Plenty.   How about you?  My adult son asked me the other day why life seems to be ever stacked against us.  I could honestly tell him that it was for my own personal good that things didn’t always go my way. That being said, it doesn’t always FEEL like a good thing, though, when you are in the midst of those humbling experiences.  Jesus pronounced a great woe on those of whom all men speak well (Luke 6:26), because it isn’t a good thing; it is merely bait on the end of the deadly hook of pride (Proverbs 16:18).   When people don’t like me and I am disrespected or dishonored, especially by those I love and care about, than it reminds me all over again about the grace with which the Lord pursued me.  I treated Him as if He were of no value to me and held His truth in great contempt; but, He did not relent His call upon my life.  He came when I called out to Him and set my feet firmly on the Rock of His Salvation.  I AM small and despised in the eyes of the world, but not in the eyes of My Heavenly Father.

The God of the Universe gave up His High and Holy Place for you and me.  (Philippians 2:7)  The Most Holy King of Kings became despised and rejected by men on our behalf.  (Isaiah 53:3)  Public opinion did not keep Him from finishing what God had ask Him to do either, because He knew that God was faithful and had a good work planned (Philippians 2:8-11).  Let’s face it, rejection stinks and it hurts.  So, for our Sovereign Lord to willingly take our rejection, speaks all the more of His love for us.

Are YOU feeling rejected?  Maybe through no fault of your own?  Are you feeling insignificant?  Like you don’t matter much to anyone?  May I suggest that you embrace being small and despised, just as the psalmist did, and let it be the factor that drives you all the further into the Almighty Arms of a Savior who has been where you are and knows just how to comfort you.  You belong to Him; He loves you and will never reject you.  Don’t let rejection prevent you from remembering His grace, His love, and His plan for you.  Move forward with Him and He will lift you up to new heights (Isaiah 40:3).

But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head.  (Psalm 3:3)  Since I am afflicted and needy… be mindful of me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.  (Psalm 40:17)  I choose to be small and despised, to humble myself under Your might hand, casting all my rejection on You, because You care for me… I trust You, God of all grace, who called me to Your eternal glory in Christ to perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish me.  (1 Peter 5:6-7, 10)  When I am rejected, for whatever reason, I choose to not let the outward opinion affect the work You are doing on the inside, and I will continue to pursue all You have for me.  Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, O God, or all the choosing in the world will fall to the wayside.  Only as You strengthen and uphold me can I stand firm.  (Isaiah 41:10)





Nothing Added

28 07 2012

Psalm 119:140 Your word is very pure, Therefore Your servant loves it.  

The word of God requires nothing. It needs no additions, nor does it need to have anything taken away. It is perfect and wonderfully satisfactory all on its own. It is unmixed; it is pure, and completely without need of refining. And its purity was the delight of the psalmist.

Thy word is very pure. In the original, “tried, purified, like gold in the furnace,” absolutely perfect, without the dross vanity and fallibility, which runs through human writings. The more we try the promises, the surer we shall find them. Pure gold is so fixed, Boerhaave, informs us of an ounce of it set in the eye of a glass furnace for two months, without losing a single grain. –George Horne.

Not only is the Word of God pure, it is a purifier (John 15:3, 17:17). It is the Pure Soap used by Jesus Christ to cleanse His Bride so that she can be presented without spot or blemish (Ephesians 5:25-26). Its reside of purity left on our hearts and lives also shields us from further contamination (Proverbs 30:5 KJV) As we experience the purifying work of God’s Word in our lives, our love for it grows.

I still love that the psalmist refers to himself as God’s servant. One of the greatest kings of Israel bowed before the God of Gods as King of Kings. His humility kept him closer to the purifying effects of God’s Word and he benefited by that intimate relationship. He did not just refer to God as Lord, he behaved as if He were Lord and Master. That is the secret to a long, pure life in Christ Jesus.

In the word of God there is no admixture of error or sin. It is pure in its sense, pure in its language, pure in its spirit, pure in its influence, and all this to the very highest degree — “very pure.” “Therefore thy servant loveth it,” which is a proof that he himself was pure in heart, for only those who are pure love God’s word because of its purity. His heart was knit to the word because of its glorious holiness and truth. He admired it, delighted in it, sought to practise it, and longed to come under its purifying power. — C. H. Spurgeon

Oh, Lord, Your word is pure and there is nothing else like it. Thank You for sanctifying me with it, for setting me apart as Your own through its truth. Thank You for continually washing me in it and for Your faithfulness to keep up the good work of removing all my blemishes. You are my God. You are my King. You are my Lord and I am Your servant. I love You; I love Your Word; and I am ever in need of Your washing.