Thursday, December 31, 2009

...beginnng the new year on the right path

"How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD." -Psalm 119:1

by Charles Bridges

This most interesting and instructive Psalm, like the Psalter itself, "opens with a Beatitude for our comfort and encouragement, directing us immediately to that happiness, which all mankind in different ways are seeking and inquiring after. All would secure themselves from the incursions of misery; but all do not consider that misery is the offspring of sin, from which therefore it is necessary to be delivered and preserved, in order to become happy or blessed." (Bishop Horne)

The undefiled character described in this verse marks, in an evangelical sense, "an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit", not one who is without sin, but one who in the sincerity of his heart can say, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."

As his way is, so is his "walk", "in the law of the Lord." He is "strengthened in the Lord, and he walks up and down in His name;" his "ears hearing a word behind him, saying, This is the way—walk in it"—when he is "turning to the right hand or to the left." And if the pardon of sin, imputation of righteousness, the communion of saints, and a sense of acceptance with God; if protection in providence and grace; and—finally and forever, the beatific vision, are the sealed privileges of His upright people, then there can be no doubt, that "blessed are the undefiled in the way." And if temporal prosperity, spiritual renovation and fruitfulness, increasing illumination, fellowship with the Savior, peace within, and—throughout eternity—a right to the tree of life, are privileges of incalculable value; then surely "the walk in the law of the Lord" is "the path of pleasantness and peace." "Truly"—indeed may we say, "God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart."

But let each of us ask—What is the "way" of my heart with God? Is it always an "undefiled way?" Is "iniquity" never "regarded in the heart?" Is all that God hates habitually lamented, abhorred, forsaken? "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

Again—What is my "walk?" Is it from the living principle of union with Christ? This is the direct—the only source of spiritual life. We are first quickened in Him. Then we walk in Him and after Him. Oh! that this my walk may be steady, consistent, advancing! Oh! that I may be ever listening to my Father's voice, "I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be perfect!"

Is there not enough of defilement in the most "undefiled way," and enough of inconsistency in the most consistent "walk" to endear to us the gracious declaration of the gospel, "If any man sinS, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous?"


Bhedr said...

Thank you brother. You greatly minister to us. I am finding that the tools God uses to hurt us are the ones he is using to heal us. Thank you for bearing up under some of the claw scratching I sent your way in the past. You too have been a tool God has used to hurt me, but his smiling face is behind it. He is the great physcisian that has many tools on his table I believe. Perhaps this is the part about God's love we come to understand in your post on the love in the Trinity. He surely doesn't need us; yet I see so much love He has given to me in my life while I have shaken my fist at him and offered hate in return...until I fully reconciled with that truth...well, then I understood what he's done in making us whole...and then the only answer that can possibly true is his sovereignty and the fact that he first choses us for His purpose.

As I meditated on your post and the comments from last year on the love found in the Trinity and how his love comes from His framework I later read this verse:

"How precious also are your thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with you." Psalm 139:17-18

I do understand that we need to make sure it is understood that we do not find God's love in humanism and the will of man wanting to be made much of in his pride and arrogance so I see the need of the affliction in our lives that brings us to the point of understanding what his true love is. Then my soul better understands the Love in the midst of hatred and rejection that saved my soul. It is amazing love and grace.

This is a great post. Thank you brother Steve.

littlegal_66 said...

Thank you for this. Very convicting.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

I hope to be earnestly praying those words as I walk 2007 to the door, and welcome 2008 in the door this evening.

A new year often brings hope anew, but let us remember that our hope is in Him, not in 2008 itself, so that our hope doesn't wane as the year unfolds...bringing its own triumphs and trials, mountains and valleys.

Wendy said...

Thanks for posting this. I appreciate your internet ministry and have been greatly encouraged by it. Happy New Year to you and your family. Grateful for His Grace, Wendy

SJ Camp said...

Thanks Wendy.

Grace and peace to you.

Happy New Year to all.


Beethovensings said...

I have found that "the law of the LORD" is given lovingly, for our own good.

For years, I suffered through a miserable marriage, going to counseling and not asking for a divorce because I knew it was God's law to keep the covenant. I didn't know why He laid down that law, but I obeyed it. Not gladly, not willingly, and not knowing why it was the right thing to do.

Now, four years after my then husband filed for divorce, I understand. God hates divorce because it is so painful and He only wants the best for His children. Breaking that covenant was the most painful, ugly, messy, and heart wrenching experience of my life. I wasn't even the one who left, but I suffered and still suffer the consequences, along with my children. He gives us the Law out of his Love for us, and realizing our inherent sinfulness, He Himself came down to make the ultimate sacrifice, so that we can know His grace, forgiveness, and profound comfort.

SJ Camp said...

Thank you for sharing part of your testimony with us here. How faithful is our Lord Jesus in the midst of our pain, suffering, destitution, and weary days.

His grace is sufficient... Amen?
Col. 1:9-14

Beethovensings said...

It seems the phrase "the Law" has gotten a bad connotation somewhere along the line; as if God was in Heaven, looking like the statue in the Lincoln Memorial, cold, immovable, huge, giving out rules and regulations for us to follow. Although I sometimes struggle with a mental image of Him, I do know He is not like that at all. He gives us the Law out of Love, and covers us with His Grace when we fall short.

May we all walk in steps ordered by Scripture, always listening for that voice to guide us on our path, as we start out this new year.

Yes, His Grace is sufficient. Amen.

Rick Frueh said...

On our best day, on a day in which we were a glowing witness for Jesus, on a day that we immersed ourselves in God's Word, on a day in which we spent six hours in fasting and prayer, on THAT day, our walk is only worthy because it is drenched in the glorious grace of God our Savior.

Serving, believing, obeying, and walking is acceptable in His sight by His grace. Halleluiah, what a Savior!

Detoured By Travel said...

Steve - Thanks again for sharing teaching, instruction, and encouragement. May God keep His hand on your family and bless everything you put your hands to in the upcoming year.

To all my brothers and sisters in Christ...let us allow our lives to be used in 2010 to bring all Glory and Honor to God alone.

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