Turn away the reproach that I dread,
for Your rules are good.
Behold, I long for Your precepts;
in Your righteousness give me life! (Psalm 119:39-40)
-God is the one who is able to turn away the reproach we face for our disobedience.
-We must long for God's ways.
-By God's righteousness we gain life.
In Your righteousness give me life! For us who are called by His name that plea has been answered. This is quite simply the message of the Gospel. We have earned the reproach of God for we are unable to keep His good rules on our own. If I were to stand before God without Christ I would be met with HIs disapproval for all of my failings. Nothing I can do to change that on my own-I blew it the minute I first sinned-probably that first little rebelion I exhibited with my parents. Even being raised within a godly family I was prone to sin. if I look at the ten commandments as Jesus says we ought (Matthew 5:21-48) then my guilt only increases. Oh, what a wretch was I!
But God. I love that thought- But God. He did send His son to become sin for me on the cross- In Jesus' death and resurrection I have forgiveness of all of the sin in my life- His blood covers it all. "Marvelous grace of our loving Lord!" God's rigtheousness has given me life. Now that I have it, what a waste it would be if I were to neglect God's ways. How ungrateful I would seem if I ignored His precepts. So instead I long for them. I long to know God's ways, all of them, as much as any person on earth can know.
I saw a little video recently of people carrying crosses on their backs. They were obviously heavy, cumbersome, and even drug the ground a bit. One fellow asked the Lord to take a little off His cross to make it easier for him to carry it and the Lord did so. The man walked a little farther and soon the burden became too much again and he asked the Lord to take a little more off. The Lord shortened it some more and it became much easier for the man to carry. He even started to whistle a little tune. As the group reached an impassable, expansive gap across their path the others used their crosses as a bridge to make it to the other side. The poor man who had continually asked the Lord to make his cross shorter and lighter found that the cross he carried was not able to bridge the gap. What a picture of how we sometimes treat this gift of salvation. When I think of just how much Christ suffered out of God's great love for me I am often ashamed at how lightly I take His precious gift. He has saved me from death and all He asks is that I live for Him, that I walk in His ways-and even then He does the work in my mind and heart that allows me to carry out that desire. It is not a lighter load that we should seek, but the strength to take up our cross and follow Him. (Matthew 16:24-26)
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,
Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in Your ways.
Confirm to your servant your promise,
that You may be feared. (Psalm 119:37-38, ESV)
-We have to turn our eyes away from some things in this world
-God is to be feared.
Well, I do not have to wonder how to apply these verses today. As I awoke this morning I was already in prayer about some of the worthless things my eyes have been taking in. I had to acknowledge that for all my good intentions this was not a battle I was going to win unless God changed me on the inside. Imagine my suprise and delight to see these words before me then as I opened up to my study today. There is more than just a turning away taking place though. That is the first step, the next is to accept the life God is giving to us when we follow His ways.
I see this life in two ways- the one we live out here on earth, with all the benefits and struggles being a follower of Christ brings with it. And the life we have for eternity-the real life we will live with HIm in heaven someday, not just the shadow of it we live while we walk this earth. God promised to Abraham that he would make his descendents into a prosperous nation, and that through Abraham every family on earth would be blessed. (Genesis 12: 1-3) God has kept His promises. He did make Abraham's name great and a great nation was born from his descendents: Israel. And we have all been blessed as a result- for out of that nation was born the Savior of the world. When we come to Jesus we no longer fear death, for sin loses all its power over us. That my friends is the life we have- eternal life in Christ Jesus. That is why we need to fear God- for no man can take that life away from us, only God can. For those who refuse to fear His name there is indeed a fateful consequence. There is much talk today that we need not fear God, oh, but I think they are wrong. For while I do believe that my salvation is secure I also believe that a healthy fear of God is necessary to walk well with Him. Adam and Eve feared God- God, who they walked and talked with in the garden of Eden- yet when they sinned they hid for fear of Him. The midwives in Egypt feared God and that was why they hid Moses and other Hebrew babies from Pharoah's men. Moses feared God and chose men from among the people who feared God to help lead the nation. David knew the importance of fearing God and wrote of it in the Psalms. Jesus Himself tells us to fear God. (Matthew 10:28) Many today try to say that the word should be revere, not fear. I tend to think that the translators got it right-we need to fear God, not because we fear His wrath; for as followers of Christ there is now no condemnation for us; but because we recognize that He is not at all like us. It is fear of God that keeps us from sinning, just like it was fear of my earthly father that often did the same. I knew his love for me had no bounds, but I also knew there would be consequences he would inflict if he caught me in some wrong. Not to mention his stern rebuke could bring me to tears of shame faster than anything. I loved my dad dearly, but I also had a healthy fear of him and there is no other word for it but fear.
So it is fear of the Lord that brings me to a place today where i am laying before Him this area where I know I need to make a change. I need Him to work on fixing my eyes only on those things that are worthy.
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,
I am a woman with a Mary heart and these are my musings as I read and study God's Word
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