Psalm 126:3 The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
This morning, this verse jumped out at me. For I too can put myself in this context, and “be glad”. The Lord has done great things for our church, and we are glad. He’s done great things with our missions teams overseas, and we are glad. He has done great things in our family, and we are glad. He has done great things in the next generation, and we are glad. He has done great things in our personal lives, and we are glad. And the list can go on for a long time.
The Lord has done great things. Might we rejoice and be glad because of it. Might we not forget. Might we praise and thank Him today.
Psalm 119:80 Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.
One of the most heart wrenching things we see in ministry when someone who loves the Lord and souls, and has a desire to do right, starts changing direction. And yet, it can happen to the best of us.
This morning, this verse reminded me of the importance of being “sound” in the Word of God. Might we know what we believe. Yea, and very importantly, we must “try the spirits”, and see if they be of God.
Psalm 119:58 I intreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.
My dad often would say that we are what we are as a church and as individuals because of God’s favor. He would also say that we don’t want to do things that would turn God’s favor away from our church or from our lives. He placed a high premium on the favor of God.
In this passage, the Psalmist says that he intreated, or asked and sought for, God’s favor with his whole heart. He, too, understood the importance of the favor of God in the life of an individual. This morning, might we understand that true success and blessing in this life comes by the favor of the Lord. Might we, too, intreat His favor with our whole hearts.
Psalm 119:16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.
Psalm 119:35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.
Psalm 119:47 And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.
People delight in many things. For some reason, my mind goes back to one of the original “Narnia” movies in which a young man, Edmund, delights in a food so much so that he follows the witch (in the allegory, a picture of Satan/evil) to get more. Now, maybe that’s a tad farfetched, but there are many things that our heart may delight in. If we’re not careful, they, too, can draw our hearts away from the Lord.
In twenty verses, at least three times the Psalmist tells the Lord that he delights in His Word. He uses plenty of other words to describe his desire/relation to the Word as well, such as: which I have loved, which are good, teach me, stablish thy word unto thy servant, give me, I will observe, with my whole heart, and many others.
The question that speaks to me is, in what does my heart delight? Might it be in seeking and knowing Him through His word. Might my heart be drawn to it, might I love it, and seek it, be stablished in it, with my whole heart. And might that be the desire of God’s people everywhere. If we delighted in God’s law like we ought, we’d surely have revival.
My daughter woke me again in the middle of the night last night. Many times after I’m fully up, I have a hard time going back to sleep. Last night after getting back into bed, I grabbed my phone, and turned on the screen. I caught up on Instagram, Fox News, and then opened up Amazon to check out the deal of the day, or something to that affect. I was tired, and it was shallow thinking. Further, I wasn’t planning on buying anything. But the Holy Spirit spoke to me, and He said something to the affect of, “what if you opened your Bible app every time you grab your phone like that instead of looking at pictures or shopping?” I was convicted, because He was right. Then this morning, I read this verse that went hand in hand with that thought:
Psalm 119:36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.
How many times are our hearts, especially in this day and age, “inclined” toward covetousness? My prayer is that the Lord would incline my heart more toward seeking His Word and His testimonies, than toward covetousness, which really is idolatry.
Psalm 97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.
In a day where we are surrounded by oppression, immorality, and all types of evil, it’s easier than ever to become desensitized to that by which we are daily bombarded. And yet God’s desire is that we HATE evil. If we take a moment and think about what evil does, it won’t take long for a holy hatred against it to swell up within us.
I was in Asia two weeks ago, and I heard again of the orphans and young teens who are forced into the prostitution rings. When I think upon these things, I hate evil. We heard about the families torn apart due to drugs, and I saw the children wandering the village with no one to love or raise them. When I ruminate on these things, I hate evil. I came back to the states to have three young men come and admit to being involved with pornography. When I and see their struggle within, and the heart break of their parents, I hate evil. When I think about the havoc and heartbreak that ISIS has caused on thousands of families in the middle east, I cannot but hate evil.
We could go on all day long. Might we allow the evil that breaks God’s heart to break ours. Might we not become desensitized to it. Might we not accept it as the norm. Let’s, as God’s people, get back to a holy hatred for that which is evil.
Psalm 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 7-9 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
After being in three different political environments for 16 days in Laos (communist), Thailand (monarchy/military), and Cambodia (“Prime minister”/cabinet), I’m so thankful for the freedoms we have here in our country. And on this fourth of July morning, I’m thankful for the price that has been paid so that we can worship, pass out tracts, share the Gospel, and live our Christian lives openly here.
But this morning’s reading reminds me that true freedom and safety cannot be found in a political system, a president, or a military. It is found in the Lord. Might we strive to make the Lord our habitation. Might we (our thoughts, desires, ambitions, conversation) dwell in His secret place.