“I love the Lord….”
“Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.” John 8:42
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” John 14:21
“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:23
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” John 15:10
Read also John 21:15-17
Let us love the Lord our God with all our hearts, soul and might! (Deuteronomy 7:7)
“…the truth of the Lord endureth forever.”
There has always been great animosity and resistance to God’s Word, perhaps now more than ever. I was reading a news report about a lady that was fired from her hospital job because of her refusal to take the Covid 19 vaccine. She had claimed a religious objection to the vaccine based on her Christian faith. In the court proceedings, when asked why she felt the way she did, she made reference to certain Bible verses. She was told that she could not quote the Bible as part of her defense. They did not want to hear the Bible. It truly is a hated book. And that, beloved, is a sad truth.
Regardless of man’s rejection or acceptance of the Bible, and regardless of belief or unbelief on the part of humanity, “the truth of the Lord endureth forever.” Long after the deniers, the skeptics and the ridiculers have long past, and long after the one that said, “Yea, hath God said,” has been banished to the eternal lake that burns with fire and brimstone, the “truth of the Lord” shall endure forever. Rejoice in that, child of God, for that upon which you have based your eternity is “forever settled in heaven.” (Psalms 119:89)
“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
This could be said of any day. It could be said of August 3, 2023. However, I rather think that this “day” to which the Psalmist refers is a particular and special day. Look at Verses 22 and 23. The “Stone” is the Lord Jesus, and when the “builders,” the religious leaders of Israel rejected Him, He became the “head of the corner.” He is the Chief Corner Stone, the foundation upon which the Church is built. What a glorious day! The day of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ! This is the day that all who will call upon Him shall be saved, saved to the uttermost.
This is a day when God’s people have every right to rejoice and be glad. The world is crazy around us, and getting crazier every day, but we are in Jesus Christ our Lord, and all is well. He makes our days well for He is with us, never to leave or forsake us. His eye is ever upon us, and in His blessed and strong hand we are secure and safe. Beloved, this is the day which the Lord has made; the day of His grace, His mercy and His tender care! Praise God! Rejoice and be glad in it! Amen!
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
The song says, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it; prone to leave the God I love.” This, beloved, is a reality that we must understand. Although saved, you and I are living in a tabernacle of clay; one that is prone to wander and leave the God that we love. How can we keep from doing just that? How can we keep our hearts and our lives in tune with Him? The Psalmist gives an important answer to that very question.
By hiding God’s Word in our hearts we are helping to insure ourselves of living lives that are pleasing to Him. God’s Word has a comforting power in our lives. It has the power to direct our lives, showing us the way in which we must walk, but it also has a sanctifying power in our lives. The more we know His Word, and the more we hide its truths in our heart, the greater victory we will enjoy over sin and temptation. It gives the believer a power in his or her life to be a conqueror rather than being conquered.
When the Lord Jesus faced Satan in the wilderness of temptation, every fiery dart that was launched by the tempter was met by a quoting of God’s Holy Word. Our blessed Savior was teaching us an important lesson from this spiritual struggle. He was teaching us that the power of His Word will defeat the adversary, and guarantee victory to the trusting child of God. Let us hide His blessed Word in our hearts that we might not sin against Him! Amen!
“Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors.”
There are multitudes of counsellors ever ready to give advice on how to face and live life? Are these really necessary! Surely! There are times that counsel from a trusted outside source in an invaluable aid, especially in times of distress, confusion or grief. For the child of God, however, there is an ever present and all-sufficient source of wise counsel; the Word of God.
The believer that is well read in God’s Word, that regularly feeds upon its truths, has continual access to the wisest counsel available to humanity. God’s Word addresses every subject, answers every question and provides sufficient direction for every need facing us in this life. Should I feel this way? Should I be doing this? How should I deal with this situation? These, and a multitude of other questions, can all find answers in the Bible.
The Bible does not discourage one seeking wise counsel. In fact, read the following passages; Proverbs 11:14; 15:22; 24:6. The Psalmist found that many “counsellors” were available to the believer in the pages of God’s Word. This caused him to affirm, “Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors.” Take counsel from the pages of God’s Holy Word, and ever make them your delight. The blessed Book will never lead you astray. Amen!
“So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word”
Peter encouraged believers to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear….” (1 Peter 3:25) One way that the believer can be assured of being able to do that is by having the Word of God in heart and mind. This comes from reading and meditating on the Word, and it is something that is built over time, not overnight.
The consistent reading of God’s Word is so valuable and necessary for the child of God. It’s not something that can be accomplished in a single reading, and it cannot be gotten in quick order. Actually it is a lifelong pursuit. We are so blessed to have such access to Scripture, more than any generation of believers ever had before us. Many of you have cell phones, some type of reading tablet and perhaps a computer in which can be loaded a Bible program. My cell phone has blessed me so many times, in waiting rooms or in the car waiting on Lynn while picking up things at the store. I have used that time often for catching up on some reading of Scripture, a quick look at a passage I’m preaching on the following Sunday or just randomly picking a chapter to feed on. Can you imagine how the Apostles of our Lord would have loved to have had access to God’s Word like we do today?
The Psalmist said that his trust in the Word of God gave him the ability to answer those that reproached him. There is plenty of reproach today thrown toward those that love the Lord Jesus and His Word. The way to be prepared for that is to have spent time with the Lord in His Word. Let’s be prepared and ready to give an answer to those that ask a reason for the hope that thrills our souls! Amen!
“I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.”
“You’re known by the company you keep.” Have you ever heard that? Maybe from a parent? Or a grandparent? Well, experience has taught us the validity of that statement. The Psalmist carefully picked those that would be considered his companions. The requirements were simple. They had to have a genuine fear of God in their hearts, and a desire to “keep” the “precepts” of God’s Word.
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3) No, they cannot! I don’t have much in common with a person that rejects our Lord and His Word. We might be in agreement politically, but if we can’t agree on faith in the Lord Jesus, and if we can’t agree on the authority of the Word of God, fellowship is going to be strained at best. The reason is clear. The true follower of Christ has every aspect of his life colored by that faith in Christ and His Word. It will effect his interests and his philosophy of life. For answers to problems that believer will turn to his faith and God’s Word. Tarot cards and palm readers won’t be sought for counsel. The horoscope will not be the go-to place to determine the path for the day. The believer’s destiny is not determined by the stars, but by the Creator of the stars.
You are known by the company you keep, so may we ever be companions of those that love the Lord and His Word. May we ever build the circle of our fellowship with those of like faith. Amen!
“Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.”
The Psalmist saw the need of being complete, of being governed by integrity and truth and of being upright in all that he did. That is the thought expressed by the word “sound.” When the lame man was healed at the Temple in Acts 3, Peter explained to the inquisitive crowd that gathered, “And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this soundness in the presence of you all.” (Acts 3:16) The prayer of Verse 80 is that the Lord’s “statutes,” His Word, would produce soundness of heart in us, His followers.
This is really an important prayer, for there are many things that can cause an unsoundness in our hearts. Our hearts can be filled with fear, confusion, anger, jealousy and a host of other negative characteristics, and these produce anything but soundness. Just the day we find ourselves living in works against soundness of heart, for we see and hear things everyday that would rob us of this blessed state of mind and heart. Know this, child of God, “…God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) One way to insure that this is a reality in our lives is to allow His “statutes” to produce in our hearts that perfect soundness. Let’s pray this often, “Let my heart be sound in thy statutes.” Amen!
“They continue this day according to thine ordinances….”
Those things which the Lord “established,” in this case He is speaking of the earth which He created, continue according to His ordinances, or His Holy Word. This is true because “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.” When the Lord decreed, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind,” Scripture declared, “And the earth brought forth…..” (Genesis 1:11-12) He made promise to Noah after the flood, “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22) These, His ordinances, have kept this creation from the beginning, and will continue to do so until He declares otherwise
God’s faithfulness to His Word speaks volumes to us, His children. If He has been faithful to His Word concerning creation, we can rest assured that He will be just as faithful to His new creation, they that have been made anew through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. When the sun slips beneath the horizon this evening, and when it rises again in the morning, know that this is a testimony of the faithfulness of our God. Know that He spoke it into existence, established its boundary and the path of its revolutions through our galaxy and ordained that it remain through the power of His Word. So it is with the earth which He created. Global warming will not strip the world out of the hand of our God, it will “continue according to” God’s ordinances.
So will you! God’s ordinances declared your salvation through faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, promising you eternal life, pardon and cleansing. Consequently, you will continue according to His ordinances. And, as we saw in Verse 89, those ordinances are “forever settled in heaven.” Praise God for that assurance!
“The word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
When I was a young boy, I would at times go coon hunting with my dad. This was a night time hunting trip requiring the use of a flashlight. Dad carried the light; a good idea by the way. He would lead the way, using the light as we walked through the dark woods. When there was something in the path that could cause me to trip, dad would swing the light around and point out the rock or root in order to warn me of the danger. I can still see this vividly in my mind these many years later.
Our Father in heaven has provided us a light to help us through this dark world. He has given us the perfect light of His Word. There are many rocks and roots along life’s path that can trip us up in our walk, besetting sins and temptations to cause us to stumble. The psalmist knew the dangers and saw the glorious power and benefit of God’s Word, our lamp and light. Our duty is to use the light He has given us; to know it, apply it and heed its warnings. Let’s turn on that Light and use it in our walk with and for Him. Amen!
“…and I hate every false way.”
While it is true that the child of God is to be known for loving brothers and sisters in Christ, and having a deep concern for the unsaved, it is equally true that Christ’s followers must hate some things. The psalmist speaks of hating every false way, and beloved, there is much of that around us today. In Psalms 101:3, there is expressed a hatred for the “work of them that turn aside.” There is a hatred for “vain thoughts” in 119:113, and “lying” in Verse 163. The writer of the Proverbs speaks of hating the “froward (evil) mouth.” (Proverbs 8:13)
Why should the child of God hate such things? For one thing, look what such things have done to the human family; the suffering, the hurting and the bitterness. Think also what those hated things brought upon our blessed Savior. Also, if the believer does not hate the things that have been so detrimental to mankind, and which caused such suffering for the Lord Jesus, then those things like lying, falsehood, evil speaking and such become acceptable to us. When sin looses its abrasiveness to the child of God, then there is a danger that those attitudes and actions will become theirs. This must never be. May the Lord ever help us to love the things that He loves, and to hate the things that He hates! Sin in any form is far too harmful and besetting to be tolerated or excused. Amen!
“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”
Do not take this wrong, but when it comes to things spiritual, we are all “simple” and in need of Divine help. No one naturally understands the deep things of God or His Word, the adversary and his tactics or our own spiritual shortcomings. Paul wrote, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:13) For these we need wisdom from the Word of God. Thankfully it is there for our benefit, but we need the aid of the Holy Spirit to understand those things given us in the Word of God. Our Lord Jesus said of the Holy Spirit, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth….” (John 16:13)
In this great chapter of Psalms that deals with God’s Word, we are given the assurance that through His Word we are given light and understanding. The “light” and “understanding” will give us direction and wisdom for every aspect and need of our lives. What a blessing? The world around us gropes in darkness, but we have been given the Light of life in the Person of the Lord Jesus, the unction of the Holy Spirit and the infinite wisdom revealed in the Word of God. What a blessed truth! Now, you and I have the responsibility to seek out that light and understanding He has provided for us in His blessed Word! May He help us to do just that! Amen!
“Great are thy tender mercies, O Lord….”
Just how merciful is our God? I’m writing these words at 9:53 in the morning, sitting on my front porch just enjoying a most beautiful day. The sun came up this morning, just as it has since God created it. Birds are singing. It is a most enjoyable day. And, it is a most beautiful day for all, not just for those who know the Creator and His grace and mercy. That same gracious gift from God is shining down on people around this country and this part of our world that deny Him, curse and despise Him. It will rise in the morning on the other side for world for many who refuse to bow the knee to Him or to honor Him in their lives. But He will cause His sun to shine on them as well. They will breath His air and enjoy his bounty throughout their day, as they have for their entire lives. They will do this freely because of the fact that His mercies are great.
While most in our world do not realize that, we who have been saved by His grace understand completely His tender mercies. His grace gives us what we do not deserve, and His mercy withholds from us was we really do deserve. Thank God for His tender mercy. Now, beloved, we know that the day will come when God’s mercy will be exhausted, and His judgment will fall without mercy. In my devotions this morning, I read Ezekiel 7, a most fearful chapter that prophesied the approaching judgment that was about to fall upon Judah for their idolatrous and wicked ways. It did fall, and it was horrible. The day of God’s mercy will end for those who refuse Him, but for now we are enjoying days of tender mercy. In these days, we must pray for those who know not our Lord Jesus Christ, and seek to share with them this blessed message of mercy and grace through His glorious Gospel. The hope of the unsaved world this day is the tender mercies of our God shown through the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Amen!
“I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.”
A couple in California were spending some time with their dog in their back yard when they saw what appeared to be the top of a rusty can sticking out of the ground near a tree. They dug the can up, along with 7 other rusty cans, and found in those cans 10 million dollars worth of rare coins that had been buried there for years. The coins, with a face value of $25,000 dollars had been minted from the years 1847 to 1894. What a find? But don’t go digging up your back yard!
Rather than spending your time with shovel in hand, why not dig for true wealth in the Word of God. The psalmist said that in God’s Word we could find “great spoil.” Think about this, 10 million dollars could do a lot of things for you and your family. Any time Lynn and I joke about coming into some unexpected money, we always say, “We could pave the driveway.” 10 million dollars could do much, but it could not bring to your heart and soul what the blessed truths found in God’s Word can. May I encourage you to take the time daily to dig deep and expect much from the blessed pages of God’s revelation to us, His blessed Word!
“In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me.”
There are some truths that cannot be denied, and that must be accepted. One of these truths is that all face times of distress. We can’t live in a sin-sick world and avoid that truth. Distress can be caused by many things, an exhaustive list would take up many pages. The Hebrew word translated stress was also translated trouble, tribulation, affliction, adversity, anguish and even adversary. Yes, all face all of the above.
What are we to do when those times come? The psalmist answered that question by his own experience, “…I cried unto the Lord….” The temptation I’m sure was to just cry, to complain or even to simply wallow in self pity. And, while the psalmist may have done some of that, he did cry unto the Lord. So must we when times of distress come. The Hebrew word translated cried speaks of calling out, and even of uttering a loud sound. When distress comes, and it will, find your prayer closet and cry out to God for strength, for help and for deliverance from that which distresses you.
Did that help the psalmist? Yes! “…I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me.” He does! He hears you when you cry out to Him. He may not answer you immediately. And, He may not provide for you the answer that you are seeking, but He promises to hear, and He promises to provide what you need most. Praise God for that glorious truth! If distress comes today, cry out to our God and He will hear from His throne! Praise His Name for that reality!
Who doesn’t need help? We all do! Honestly, there’s not a day goes by that we don’t need the help of the Lord. We so need His wisdom, His strength, His courage and His guidance. Our help comes from the Lord, and from Him we can find what we need to make it through all of the days of our lives.
What is it you need today? Is there trouble anywhere in your life? Are you going through a time of testing at the present? Are you struggling with a decision, finding yourself at a crossroad where you’re going to have to choose which way to turn or which way to go? The decision is too great to make lightly, and you can’t ask someone else to make your decision for you. You don’t have to, just ask the Lord.
Go through this Psalm slowly. Dissect it. From the first verse all the way through to the last it is filled with words of encouragement, of comfort and of hope. The weight of our care, the time that it wakes us with sleeplessness, the horror that it causes in our hearts, none of these things are too great for our God Who rests not and Who never slumbers or sleeps. He is our “keeper,” the preserver Who protects and keeps us from evil. He is the Lord, our God. Elijah mocked the prophets of Baal when they screamed their prayers upward in vain. “Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepest, and must be awaked.” (1King 18:27) O, not so with the Lord our God. His eye is ever open, and ever trained upon His sheep. His ear is open to their cry; to your cry, beloved.
Going through this blessed Psalm, we learn that the Lord is our provider, our protection, and our preservation. The song says, “Jesus Christ is made to me, all I need, all I need.” How true! And, how blessed this truth! Just continue to lift up your eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh your help. Amen!
What does the “house of the Lord” mean to you? This is a Psalm of David, and to David the house of the Lord was his delight, the longing of his soul, and the desire of his heart. In Psalms 84 we read, “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” (Psalms 84:10)
To early Christians, the Church was so very important, for they faced such harsh opposition from the world. In the Church they found friendship, companionship, strength and encouragement. They met regularly, in fact more often than we do today. “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking of bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart….” (Acts 2:44) They truly needed each other, and so do we in our day.
The nearer we come to the Rapture of Christ’s Church, the more we will see and experience opposition from the world. Let us, like the first Church, find in each other what we need to make it through these “perilous times.” (2 Timothy 3:1) You need Church, beloved, and nothing can take its place in your life. That is the reason that the Lord admonishes us not to forsake the assembling together with other believers of like faith. (Hebrews 10:25)
Allow me to address an issue that is most relevant in our day. Many churches have discontinued both the Sunday evening service and the Wednesday evening prayer meeting as well. We have no plans to do that at Good News. Please let me encourage you to be faithful to all services in the church, that is barring those of which you are providentially hindered from attending. Some work situations make attending all services impossible, but if you are not so hindered, be faithful to attend Sunday evening and Wednesday evening as well. It will bring greater peace in your heart, strength in your spirit and will be such a blessing to your Church.
“If it had not been the LORD who was on our side….”
What if the Lord was not on our side? What if He wasn’t as concerned for us as we know that He is from the affirmations and promises found in His Word? That is a suggested scenario that is almost beyond comprehension. We may have no guarantees in this life from the world, and we may face some of the most difficult of situations in our future, but we will not face them without the Lord, and all our guarantees in this life come from Him!
The unsaved cannot say this, and they can make no such claims. How tragic is that? There are so many things I see in this life, and more times than I can imagine I think, “How do people make it without the Lord?” I’ve preached many funerals for the unsaved, and watching them it ever comes to me how thankful that I am that in all life’s situations, even death, I know that I have the Lord.
The writer of this Psalms looked back over Israel’s history, at all her ups and downs, her wars and the enemies that she faced, and it raised the thought in his mind, “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side….” Beloved, we can look back over thousands of years of Israel’s history and know for certain that she would never have survived had it not been for the Lord. Even in this day, we see clearly God’s hand upon Israel, protecting her and readying her for the days that are just ahead. She will endure much between now and the setting up of Christ’s kingdom on this earth, but know that the Lord is on her side. Because He is, all those glorious plans He has for Israel will see complete fulfillment. So it is with you, child of God. You belong to Him, and because you do He is “on your side.” Praise God for that reality!
“The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.”
How could we truly begin to enumerate all that the Lord has done for us? Life itself is a gift granted by the Lord: “…in Him was life….” (John 1:4) In fact, “…every good gift and perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17) From the breath we draw to the food we eat, from the sun that rises over us to the earth upon which we tread, every aspect of our lives is a Divine gift. But, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” (2 Corinthians 9:15)
If we never received another Divine favor, we would still have to praise the name of our Savior forevermore for the gracious salvation He has provided for us. Truly, this is an indescribable great thing the Lord has done for us, and gladness fills our hearts for this gracious and matchless gift. Regardless of the sorrow that may come our way, there will forever be the joy brought to us through the gift of salvation granted to us freely through our Lord Jesus Christ. Aren’t you “glad” you’re saved? Amen, we are!
“Blessed is every one the feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways”
“Blessed;” this is a word found 47 times in the Book of Psalms. In fact, the song book of Israel began with the word, and sets the stage for the remainder of the book and its prescription for knowing the blessings of the Lord. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” (Psalms 1:1) “Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity….” (Psalms 32:2) “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord….” (Psalms 32:12)
“Blessed” means “happy,” the Hebrew word being translated “happy” 18 times in the Old Testament. Most everyone wants to be happy, and the majority go to great lengths to try to achieve that allusive state of being. I suppose that happiness is somewhat like beauty, it is all in the eyes of the beholder, but true happiness is unfortunately unknown by most. The reason for this is clear; happiness is being sought by the majority through means that cannot bring that sate of mind and being on an on-going basis. Like the Bible says about sin in that it only brings pleasure for a season, (Hebrews 11:25, the happiness being sought by most is only short-lived and temporal at best.
True happiness begins with the Lord. This truth is expressed in God’s Word throughout its pages. The song we sometimes sing says it this way, “Happiness is to know the Savior, living a life within His favor, having a change in my behavior, happiness is the Lord.” How true! Happiness, like wisdom, begins with the fear of the Lord. (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10) He who does not “fear the Lord” will never know true happiness. Bring right with God, knowing and serving the Lord Jesus, brings “blessedness,” true happiness, like nothing else in the world can bring. Are you happy today?
“But there is forgiveness with thee….”
There is a real tragedy in our day, one that has such a negative effect on the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ. That tragedy has to do with sin, what sin is and what modern society thinks about what the Bible calls sin. The real problem today is that in the minds of most, very little is really considered to be sinful. I find it interesting the things that today are passed off as being personal preference, individual liberty or simply fully acceptable. One illustration is the number of people that choose to live together apart from any legal agreement in the form of a marriage contract. Another illustration is the lax way that most today feel about the subject of divorce and remarriage. And, of course, there is the absolutely amoral way that most approach matters of sexuality, ignoring completely all vestiges of Biblical regulations concerning such. Most remember how taxes were increased on alcohol and tobacco in the 80’s under the Clinton administration, where these increases were labeled the “sin tax.” We have come a long way from those times.
There are reasons why so many today see no need of religion of any kind, especially of Christianity. One has to do with sin. When so much of man’s actions and activities can be condoned because of society’s changed attitude of things that have forever been considered “sin” in God’s Word, there is really not much call for “forgiveness,” or for the need of it. Repentance is not necessary when there has been no infraction of God’s Word, at least in man’s way of thinking.
Man’s way of thinking is irrelevant. God’s Word is forever settled in heaven, and what has been wrong in the eyes of God in the past is still wrong, is still sin today. The modern world’s interpretation of what is acceptable and what is not is far removed from the Bible’s, and humanity is still in dire need of forgiveness. For this reason, we can still proclaim with great thankfulness that with God there is forgiveness. Praise God! And that forgiveness is made possible through the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
“…and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.”
Are you enjoying your salvation, your relationship with God through the Savior? Are you enjoying the Lord? Well, if not you should be. Jesus very gently rebuked His disciples once when they came in to Him boasting of how evil spirits were subject to them. He said the following, “Not withstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)
Now you may not feel that you can “shout aloud,” even though it might do you good if even done in the privacy of your prayer closet, but you certainly should have the joy of the Lord in your soul. Jesus said, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11) Perhaps it is time that you began to pray as did the Psalmist, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” (Psalms 51:12)
You have much for which to give you great joy. There is forgiveness, peace, cleansing and the removal of all sin. Along with that there is the fact that you have been made a child of God through faith, your name recorded in heaven and you have been given the promise of eternal life in the place that the Lord Jesus has prepared for you. Don’t spend your days in sorrow, sadness and depression! Let the joy of the Lord be your strength! (Nehemiah 8:18) Amen!
This is a brief Psalm with a huge message. See the following passages: John 13:35; 17:21; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 4:3-6; Philippians 2:2-4; Hebrews 13:1; 1 Peter 3:8; 1 John 3:14-19. Get the idea?
Any parent knows how important it is to them, and how blessed it is to them to see their children together in unity rather than being divided. So it is with our Heavenly Father! Let us seek to please Him and benefit ourselves in this area of unity in the household of faith. Amen!
“Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.”
In this Psalm, we are encouraged and commanded to “Praise the Lord….” There are many reasons why this command is given, but think just for a moment what the Lord has done that demands we praise His name. He has done whatsoever He pleased in heaven and in earth. All those things He has done, He has done for our benefit. We are the beneficiaries of the power of our God, His mighty acts and His glorious provisions. He could have made life a living torment for all, an existence of hardship and difficulty. His creation could have been filled with horror, ugliness and bitterness. Life at its very best could have been unbearable, with danger and heartache on every side. But this has not been the case!
Even the unbelieving have been blessed to enjoy the goodness of God in His creation. Beauty, grace and blessings abound on every side. From the air we breath to the beauties of His creation we enjoy, mankind has been shown Divine favor in all that He has done.
Apart from His great bounty, our Lord has provided the benefits and blessings of His available salvation made possible through the Lord Jesus. It pleased Him to do this, and to make it available to all. O, beloved, should not all be quick to praise His name! Just who should be praising the Lord today? “Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD, Praise ye the LORD.” While others may not, we who know Him in the free pardon of sin must. Amen!
This is a Psalm of thanksgiving to God for His mighty acts; His acts of creation, of His deliverance of Israel from Egypt, His provision and protection of them through the wilderness journey and of His giving them the land of promise. The most repeated them of praise and thanksgiving, however, is that “…His mercy endureth forever.” Each of the twenty-six verses ends with that blessed thought. You see, none of the blessing bestowed upon Israel was done so because they were deserving. Had Israel been given what they deserved, they would never have enjoyed the blessings of God as they did. Neither would we!
None are worthy of the favor shown us from Almighty God. Some are better than others, some worse, but none are deserving of God’s blessings. One of the reasons we can enjoy the blessings of God is because “His mercy endureth forever.” Over two hundred times in Scripture we can find the word mercy, and most of those times are speaking of that attribute of God that brings us within His favor and blessings. Mercy withholds that which is deserved, while grace bestows that which is undeserved. Thank God that “His mercy endureth forever.”
Have you lost your song? Israel was known for their singing; the singing of praise to God, expressing their worship and praise through their music and song. On their way to Babylon in the early days of their captivity, their captors asked them to play on their harps and to entertain them with song. “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” They had lost their song. Their joy was gone, and they were too depressed and discouraged to play with their harps and to lift their voices in worshipful and joyous singing. Have you lost your song?
Admittedly, some sing better than others. Some have difficulty in singing, but all who know and trust the Lord have a song in their hearts. They have the joy and gladness that comes from having a right relationship with the Lord. But things can happen in the believer’s life that can steal the joy and gladness and can silence the heart’s song of praise to God. It can be sinfulness and disobedience, but it can also be the tests and trials life brings. Either way, the joy and gladness can be taken, and with it the singing heart. Have you lost your song?
The Psalmist prayed in Psalms 51, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation….” (Verse 12) Regardless of what has taken your song, be it sin, temptation or the hardships and disappointments of life, the Lord can restore the joy and with it the song. In that same 51st Psalm, David wrote, “O Lord; open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.” (Verse 15) Ask the Lord to give you back your song, and then sing it to Him in praise and adoration. Amen!
“The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me….”
Let’s face it, we are not perfect. None are! Well, the Lord Jesus was, and is, but no one else can claim that distinction of being perfect. And yet, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Now the God of peace…make you perfect in every good work to do his will….” (Hebrews 13:20-21) To understand this, we need to define “perfect.” The word means “complete.” So what the Psalmist is saying is that “The Lord will perfect (or complete) that which concerneth me….”
Paul said like this in another place, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you. will perform (or bring it to an end or complete it) it until the day of Christ.” (Philippians 1:6) This is a great verse, and a great truth. God started this work of salvation in us, and He will complete it, perform it until the day of Christ. Or, as the Psalmist said, “The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me….”
Are you there yet? No! Do you still have some kinks to work out, some wrinkles to iron out? Yes! The reason for that is that you are not “perfect” yet. The Lord isn’t through with His work on you, but beloved, there is coming a day when we will stand before Him in a state of complete perfection. What a day that will be! But, until then, He’s still working on us “to will and to do of His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13) I am so thankful that He will not give up on me until I have been “perfected.” Amen!
“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them.”
There is something that we, the redeemed of Christ, should ever do, and that is to spend time in meditation upon the Lord our God. The Psalmist David did this, and it is obvious from the Psalms that he penned. The Apostle Paul admonished us to “…think on these things,” (Philippians 4:8) having provided for the Philippian believers a long list of things with which to occupy their minds. According to this Psalm, the Lord should certainly be the object of our meditation, and those thoughts of Him should be most precious to us.
The word “precious” means prized, considered of great value, or to be esteemed costly and most valued. Spend some time today meditating upon the goodness of God, all that He has done for you in bringing you to saving faith and providing for you in your life. Consider His acts of creation, the power of our God displayed in all that we see. Think about this today, child of God, this vast universe is held together in its clock-like precision by the might of our God, and by His infinite wisdom. And, although His wisdom and power are beyond our comprehension, He is still concerned with the smallest details of our lives. (See Matthew 10:29-30) He knows our “downsitting” and our “uprising,” and understands our thoughts afar off. In fact, He is acquainted with all of our ways. (Verses 1-3) How is that even possible, especially considering how small and insignificant we are when compared to the Almighty? Such thoughts are too high for us, but known because the Lord tells us these things in His blessed Word.
Thoughts about God, time spent meditating upon Him and His goodness, is not wasted time. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you in these thoughts and meditations upon the Lord, and behold how much more precious they become as the Spirit guides your mediations. Amen!
“Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man, who have purposed to overthrow my goings.”
Compare this to the prayer the Lord gave His disciples in Matthew and in Luke’s gospels; “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” As long as we are in this life, there will be temptations thrown our way to cause us to stray from the Lord and to be ensnared in evil. The Psalmist saw this, and so must we.
Our adversary will use many things around us to lure us into temptation, including the wicked around us who know not the Lord. The purpose of this is that through these temptations, the adversary might overthrow our goings. In doing so, he will defeat us and bring our Lord to an open reproach and shame. Spend time in prayer today seeking deliverance from such, asking the Lord to keep us from the hands of the wicked and to preserve us from the violent man. Let’s seek God’s strength to help us to overcome temptations and those whose purpose is to overthrow our goings for Christ. Before leaving today’s devotional though, look up the following text, Roman 8:31-39, and claim that victory promised us through our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust….”
These chapters speak of crying unto the Lord in a time of difficulty, temptation and trial. The Psalmist knew well his own weaknesses, and knew that His help could only come from the Lord. So it is with us. The Psalmist said, “I looked on my right hand, and behold, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.” (142:4) The fact is that when it comes to real spiritual help, this must come from the Lord and not man.
Can I encourage us all to seek God’s face early, to call upon Him “in the morning,” at the beginning of our day, that we may seek His strength and help for the challenges of the day. Spending time with our Lord early allows us to “hear” His “lovingkindness in the morning,” thus giving us strength to face the challenges of our day. Beloved, His lovingkindness will carry you through every trial and every temptation. Listen carefully and prayerfully for that in your meditations, and He will provide just exactly what you need today. Amen!
“Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.”
The environment has become the god of many in our day, and they fear that their god will turn against them in anger and destroy their world. For others, money is god, and that is an awful thought. What a cruel taskmaster is wealth! Some worship health and well-being, and we all know that that god will let us all down eventually. Then there are all the false gods in this world that come to humanity through doctrines of devils (1 Timothy 4:1) that are deceiving and leading blinded souls into a Christless eternity. None of these gods bring real “happiness.” Beloved, “happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.”
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9) “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” (1 Corinthians 12:3) “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and My God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:28) We have not seen Him physically, only through the eyes of faith, but we have believed! And because we have believed, we have been “blessed.” “…happy is that people, whose God is the Lord” Amen!