Saturday, December 31, 2016

God’s Fear Blesses

Blessed is every one that fears the LORD, that walks in His ways.
You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
Psalm 128:1–2b

The transgression of the wicked says within my heart,
that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
Psalm 36:1

Those who fear God will be blessed and happy because the fear of God keeps them from wandering away from righteousness.  When David saw someone living a wicked life, he knew that person had no fear of God, for he knew that no one who fears God can live in sin.
Pray to have, and to always keep, the fear of God.  It will save you.  Jesus feared God, and look at how blessed he is today!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Invisible Hills

I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help.
Psalm 121:1–2
The eyes David lifted up were the eyes of his soul, and the hills were hills that human eyes cannot see.  David said in the next verse, “My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Children Facing the Enemies

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD,
and the fruit of the womb is His reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man,
so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that has his quiver full of them.
They shall not be ashamed,
but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
Psalm 127:3–5

By “speaking with the enemies in the gate,” David meant that those children had matured in wisdom and integrity and faith to be able to fearlessly withstand the enemies of righteousness at the city’s weakest point.  It is a wonderful feeling for parents to see their child grow up and confront the enemies of righteousness, and deny the wicked access into the city.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Vain Works

Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it;
except the LORD keep the city, the watchman wakes, but in vain.
Psalm 127:1
Nothing will stand or succeed unless God does it.  The grandest works and best ideas of man are doomed to eventual failure before they even begin.  Only God’s thoughts and deeds are eternal.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Glad for Great Things

The LORD has done great things for us, for which we are glad.
Psalm 126:3
You would probably be surprised to learn how many people the LORD has done great things for, and yet they are not glad.  Take a moment, and be glad for the great things that God has done for you.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Truth Reveals the Truth

My soul has long dwelt with him that hates peace.
I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war.”
Psalm 120:6–7

The reason the wicked are for war when the godly man speaks is that when the godly man speaks, he speaks the truth.  The wicked often claim to be for peace, but what they really want is exposed when the truth is spoken.
The truth reveals the truth about everybody who hears it.

Friday, December 23, 2016

At Ease or At Work

Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease,
and with the contempt of the proud.”
Psalm 123:4

Woe to them that are at ease in Zion!
Amos 6:1a

To be “at ease” is to be over-confident in your standing with God; it is to be smug and proud.  Those who are “at ease” scorn those who are weaker than they, or who have less knowledge.  They are harsh in their attitude toward those who have failed.  They even despise them (Job 12:5).
The upright are slandered more by those who are “at ease in Zion” than they are by the world.  And it has always been that way.  My father told us that in God’s kingdom, you are either laboring and being persecuted or you are at ease and persecuting others.  There is no middle ground in spiritual warfare.
You will either attract with a holy life the envy and scorn of unwise believers, or you will be unwise yourself, persecuting those who are ahead of you in the Lord.  Every child of God on earth is either “at ease in Zion” or at work with Jesus, doing good and bringing light to souls lost in sin. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Secure Forever

They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion,
which cannot be removed, but abides forever.
Psalm 125:1
Some things just cannot be changed.  God being God.  The Son being at His right hand.  The body of Christ being God’s family of sons and daughters.  And you, if you have put your trust in Jesus, being secure forever in God’s protective care.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

“Look for Me!”

I have gone astray like a lost sheep.  Seek your servant!
For I do not forget your commandments.
Psalm 119:176

Even when David erred from righteousness, his love for God and the law burned in his heart.  David was not like those who wander from the right path and then forget about the truth they were graciously given.  When David sinned, he loved God too much to forget what righteousness felt like.
If you look around you; you will see some who have gone astray and are miserable because they still love God and His ways.  Their hearts are crying out, as David’s did, “I am your lost sheep, O God!  Look for me!”  And they will be grateful for anyone who works with God to find them again.
But then, if you look around, you will also see some who have gone astray and are happier than they have been in a long, long time.  They feel liberated.  They have lost their love for God, and for God to call them again would be an unwelcome interruption of their fun.
Pray that if you ever fall, you will still love God enough to remember how sweet it was to walk with Him in peace.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


LORD, I have hoped for your salvation, and done your commandments.”
Psalm 119:166

Every man who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure.”
1John 3:3

The hope that Jesus creates in our souls has power; it moves us to overcome the world and do the will of God.  Hope in Christ is not like wishing on a star; it is real and sure and strong.  “We are saved by hope” (Rom. 8:24) because God’s hope has real power.
Live and rejoice in your hope!  This whole world is hopeless, but God has called you out of the world and given you a precious, real hope.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Nothing Shall Offend Them

Great peace have they who love your law,
and nothing shall offend them.
Psalm 119:165
Those in the body of Christ who do not truly love God and His law will at some point look for a reason to walk away, and they will find it.  Jesus will make sure of that.  But as for those who love God, nothing will cause them to stumble and fall away.  They found themselves when they found the truth, and nothing can discourage them or drive them away.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

My Lying Lips

Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.”
Psalm 120:2

I do not know whose lying lips David was praying about in this Psalm, but this verse reminded me of the times I have pleaded with God to save me from my own.  Many, many times have I sincerely pleaded with God for my congregation to have a pastor who would not lie to them, and in my heart, God saw that I was praying for that even if it meant the pastor would not be me.
I believe that James told the truth when he said (Jas. 3:8), “No one among men can tame the tongue; it is an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison.”  And I believe that only Jesus can rescue us from our own lying lips.  That is why I have so often asked him, with all my heart, to save me, and those around me, from my own deceitful tongue.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Put It into Words

I cried with my whole heart, ‘Hear me, O LORD!
I will keep your statutes!’ 
I cried out to you, ‘Save me, and I shall keep your testimonies!’ 
I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried out,
‘I have hoped in your word!
Psalm 119:145–147

We do not receive what we need from God by wishing for it.  We are told to open our mouths and ask.  There is something about putting words to our hopes that pleases God.  I suspect that the reason it pleases God is that it takes more humility to tell God our feelings than it takes to simply feel them.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Eternal Righteousness

Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness.
Psalm 119:142a

The kind of righteousness in the law of Moses came by the proper use of earthly things: fire, stone, and animals for the sacrifices; water, bowls, and special clothing for worship; etc.  That kind of righteousness is fleshly; it is not eternal because it is bound to natural things.
God’s kind of righteousness, on the other hand, is spiritual, not fleshly, and it will endure forever.   Jesus suffered and died to make that kind of righteousness available to us, and he succeeded!  The holy Ghost brings into our hearts God’s kind of righteousness, and that wonderful righteousness will continue in us long after this universe and everything in it has been destroyed.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Consumed by Labor

My zeal has consumed me.
Psalm 119:139a

Jesus labored so earnestly to help God’s lost sheep in Israel that by the time he was crucified, he was physically used up.  His body was so emaciated that all his bones showed (Ps. 22:17).  If Jesus had not been crucified, he probably could not have lived much longer anyway.

Monday, December 12, 2016

It Makes Jesus Cry

Rivers of waters run down my eyes because they do not keep your law.”
Psalm 119:136
There is nothing on earth sadder to Jesus than for one of his brothers or sisters on earth to turn away from his Father’s commandments.  To see that makes Jesus cry.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

God’s Words Create

The entrance of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”
Psalm 119:130

If you want to understand life – others, yourself, and the ways of God, then take into your heart what God says.  God’s words create understanding in the heart that takes them in.  They are like a bright light coming into the darkness of our ignorance.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Taking in God’s Thoughts

I esteem all your precepts concerning all things to be right.
Psalm 119:128

I remember reading through the law of Moses when I was young in the Lord, and sometimes I would come upon a judgment of God that was different from what I would have thought.  One example is His commandment of the death penalty for kidnappers.  I would not, in myself, have thought that kidnapping was a crime deserving of that degree of punishment.  Another example is God’s commandment not to take a mother bird with her eggs to eat; it was allowed to take one or the other, but not both.
In every such case, I forsook my own thoughts and received God’s thoughts into my heart as my own.  I repented, in a manner of speaking, for my thoughts and embraced His.  I humbled my soul to what He said, and let His words shape my spirit, for I believed with all my heart that He is perfectly just and good, and I wanted to be like Him.
Take God’s thoughts in!  Let them shape your mind and your spirit!  He is good and wise, and if you repent of your own ways and take His in, you will never regret it!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

“It Is Time for You To Work”

It is time for you to work, O LORD,
for they have made your law void.”
Psalm 119:126

This was not David talking; the law was nowhere near being voided in his day.  This was the Son speaking through David, revealing that God would begin His work of making a new covenant when Israel completed their downhill slide, away from the law of Moses.
Paul said that God sent His Son “in the fullness” of time.  Part of what made the time “full” was the lack of influence Moses’ law had come to have among those who belonged to God.  They had chosen to invent their own traditions instead.
The law of the New Testament is in the holy Ghost, and for many who truly do belong to God, Christian tradition has supplanted the Spirit’s influence in their hearts.  I wonder how close we are to making the Son say again to the Father, “It is time for you to work, for they have made your law [of the Spirit] void”?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

“Depart from Me!”

Depart from me, you evildoers!
For I will keep the commandments of my God.”
Psalm 119:115

If David were alive today and made that statement in public, these are some of the responses he would receive from Christians:

Christian #1: “You’re judging!”

Christian #2: “You’re spreading hate!  We have to love everybody!”

Christian #3: “I am greatly offended!”

Christian #4: “How can you reach the lost for Jesus if you chase them away?  You have to forgive and show them love!”

Christian #5: “Now David, what would Jesus do?”

To answer the last question, we don’t know what Jesus would do if he were here, but we know what he is going to do in the Final Judgment.  He is going to tell evildoers, “Depart from me, you workers of iniquity!” and then cast them into the Lake of Fire to suffer eternal damnation.
It’s better for us to be enough like Jesus to send them away from us than to worry so much about hurting their feelings that we do them no good at all.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

God’s Hatred and Cruelty

You have trodden down all them that err from your statutes,
for their deceit is falsehood.  You put away all the wicked
of the earth like dross; therefore, I love your testimonies.”
Psalm 119:118–119

God is not intimidated by human social fads.  Even when, as in our culture now, men begin to imagine that hatred and cruelty is contrary to God’s nature and ways, God continues to hate certain people (Ps. 11:5) and to be very cruel when justice demands cruelty (Isa. 13:9).
I love God for hating what He hates, and for being cruel when He is cruel.  His hatred and His cruelty are good; they are perfect.
David went on in Psalm 119 to say this: “My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments” (Ps. 119:120).  David was wise; he humbled himself to fear God and His righteous judgments rather than pretend there is no need to fear God, since He does not hate and will never be cruel.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

To Love God Is To Hate False Ways

I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep your word.
How sweet are your words to my taste!  Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore, I hate every false way.”
Psalm 119:101, 103–104

Everyone who truly loves the truth and hates false ways does what David did and “refrains their feet” from joining others in “false ways”.   The love of God leads no one into a false way, for “loving God” is another way of saying, “hating every false way”.  God’s call for us to come out of all Christian sects is just a plea for us to love Him.  And if we truly love Him, that love creates in us such a hatred of false ways that we cannot bear to be a part of those ways.  We will not join them, and if we have joined them, we will come out of them.
What a day it will be when God’s children finally fall in love with Him and His Son Jesus!  How they will flock to Him and leave the divisive sects of men behind!  That is the day our heavenly Father is longing to see.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Praying for Vengeance and Mercy

How many are the days of your servant?
When will you execute judgment on those who persecute me?
Psalm 119:84

Those anguished words are from the Son of God through David, foretelling of the time he would come to earth and suffer the cruel hatred of men.  We learn from those words of the Son’s earthly struggle, that while here among us, he wondered how long the Father would keep him here, and how long it would be before the Father avenged him for the abuse he had suffered.
If you have been abused by the ungodly, you cannot avoid such feelings; your heart will cry out for God to avenge you.  Do not condemn yourself for feeling those things.  Jesus felt them, too.  At the same time, Jesus commanded us to do good to our enemies and to pray for them, as he did: “Love your enemies; bless those who curse you; do good to those who hate you; and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you” (Mt. 5:44).
The godly soul will cry out for God to avenge him of his enemies, and it will also cry out for God to show them mercy.  The godly soul will feel both feelings, and the Spirit will lead him to do both at a time when God will hear that prayer.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Two Reasons

I am yours!  Save me!  For I have sought your precepts.”
Psalm 119:94

These are the two reasons God will save a soul from damnation.  First, that soul must belong to God.  As Jesus said, “You must be born again.”   And second, that soul must have sought to do God’s will.  As Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Faith Makes Us Wise

Through your commandments,
you have made me wiser than my enemies . . . .
I have more understanding than all my teachers,
for your testimonies are my meditation.
I understand more than the ancients, because I keep your precepts.”
Psalm 119:98–100

If we believe and do what Jesus tells us, we will become wiser than anyone who does not.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Forever Settled

Forever, O LORD, your word is settled in heaven.”
Psalm 119:89

Whatever God thinks or says or does is eternally right.  Pray that Jesus will plant that unchangeable truth deep in your heart.  The gospel of Jesus is an eternal gospel; it will never be repealed, revised, or redone.
There are many divisions among those who believe in Jesus.  But all believers, everywhere, should agree on this, at least: whatever the right way is, it is eternally settled in heaven, and every other way is false.  Only with that truth established in our hearts are we able to sincerely ask God for knowledge of the truth so that we may be changed, and walk with Him in it.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Quickened to Obey

Quicken me according to your lovingkindness;
so shall I keep the testimony of your mouth.
Psalm 119:88

The only way for us to be able to obey what comes out of the mouth of God is for Him to “quicken” us; that is, for Him to give us life.  “The Spirit is life” wrote Paul, and “if any man does not have the Spirit, he does not belong to Him” (Rom. 8:9–10).  The holy Spirit is the kind of life we need!
Without life from God, that is, without God’s Spirit, we are “dead” to Him and His ways.  Without it, we can neither understand Him nor do what He says.  That is why the man of God knelt in prayer and pleaded with God, “Quicken me, so that I may do what you say!”

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Every Creature in the Universe

All are your servants.”
Psalm 119:91b

All things are yours.  Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas,
or the world, or life, or death, or things present,
or things to come, all are yours.
And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”
1Corinthians 3:21b–23

When we trust God as Jesus did, every creature in the universe, visible or invisible, living or inanimate, becomes our servant, just as every creature was Jesus’ servant.  Even Satan was helping accomplish God’s will for Jesus when he stirred up wicked men to crucify him.  This is the truth undergirding Solomon’s arresting statement, “No evil shall happen to the just” (Prov. 12:21).
When we trust God, all things work together for our eternal blessing, just as Jesus’ horrific crucifixion worked together with God’s love for his blessing.  Together, those two things resulted in Jesus’ glorification to sit at his Father’s right hand forever.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

You Are on Purpose

Your hands have made me and fashioned me;
give me understanding, that I may learn your commandments.
Psalm 119:73

Do not be unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 5:17

God made us on purpose; that is to say, God made us for a purpose.  Understanding that, David prayed that God would give him understanding so that he could do God’s will and, so, fulfill God’s purpose for him.
You were created with a purpose.  Be wise like David, and ask God to help you understand His will for your life.  He will help you.

Monday, November 21, 2016

They Will Be Glad

They who fear you will be glad when they see me
because I have hoped in your word.”
Psalm 119:74

When you put your hope in Jesus, he makes you the kind of person that humble children of God are glad to see.  You don’t even have to try to make them glad.  The testimony Jesus gives you encourages them, and the love he puts in your heart makes them feel wanted.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Loving God More Than Gold

The law of your mouth is better to me 
than thousands of pieces of gold and silver.
Psalm 119:72

Every true minister loves God more than gold, and that love enables him to tell his congregation the truth instead of renting himself out to tell a congregation what they will pay him to say.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Only Because David Knew

Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now have I kept your word.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.
I know, O LORD, that your judgments are right,
and that you in faithfulness have afflicted me.”
Psalm 119:67, 71, 75

These three verses became precious to my soul after Jesus spoke to me in 1981, telling me that it is God who chastens His children, not the Devil.  David was able to see good purposes for his afflictions, and give thanks for them, only because he knew that God, not Baal, was the One afflicting him.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Obedience in Between

Remember the word unto your servant,
upon which you have caused me to hope.
You have dealt well with your servant,
O LORD, according to your word.”
Psalm 119:49, 65

God made a promise to David which gave David hope.  In the end, David was happy because his hope had been realized.  But it is David’s obedience in between the beginning and the end that made the end a happy one for David.  Between the two verses above, 49 and 65, we find these things: 
“I have not declined from your law” (v. 51).
“I have kept your law” (v. 55).
“I kept your precepts” (v. 56).
“I made haste, and delayed not to keep your commandments” (v. 60).
“I have not forgotten your law” (v. 61).
“I am a companion of all them that fear you, and of them that keep your precepts” (v. 63).
This obedience to the will of God is what brought about the fulfillment of God’s promise to David.  Without that obedience, David could have hoped as much as he liked, but God would not have fulfilled His promise.  He would have broken it, the way He once broke His promise to Israel when they rebelled against Him (Num. 14:34).

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Learning by Examples

I am a companion of all them that fear you,
and of them that keep your precepts.”
Psalm 119:63
David became wise and good by keeping company with wise and good people.  But not only will we learn righteousness by spending time with those who are righteous, but we may also learn ungodliness by spending time with fools.  David’s Son, Solomon, said it this way: “He who walks with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed” (Prov. 13:20).

Sunday, November 13, 2016

They Do That, but I Do This

Princes sat and spoke against me,
but your servant meditated on your statutes.
Psalm 119:23

The proud have had me greatly in derision,
yet have I not declined from your law.
Psalm 119:51

The bands of the wicked have robbed me,
but I have not forgotten your law.
Psalm 119:61

Slander, ridicule, abuse.  The righteous cannot stop them from happening.  And to respond in kind to them is wrong.
The way to overcome evil is to continue to do good.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

He Loved First

I will run the way of your commandments, when you enlarge my heart.
Incline my heart toward your testimonies, and not to covetousness.”
Psalm 119:32, 36
These two verses show that David understood a fundamental spiritual truth: If you are obeying God’s commandments, and if you love His word instead of the world, it is not primarily the result of your own choice or effort.   Rather, it is the result of God doing something in your heart so that you would choose Him and His ways.  As the apostle John said, “We love Him because He first loved us” (1Jn. 4:19).  In effect, in these two verses from Psalm 119, David was praying that God would love him so that he, in turn, might love God.

Friday, November 11, 2016

A Most Horrible Thing

Horror has taken hold of me because of the wicked that forsake your law.”
Psalm 119:53

When someone who belongs to God turns away from the truth God has given him, it is, as David said, a horrible thing.  The definition of “horror” is “an overwhelming and painful feeling caused by something frightfully shocking, terrifying, or revolting.”  This is how David felt whenever he saw an Israelite walk away from God’s law.
The truth that God gives us in Christ is infinitely holier than the law God gave to Israel.  And for a child of God in this covenant to forsake the truth God gives him is infinitely worse than an Israelite forsaking the law.  It is an unspeakable evil.  Every time I see it happen, “horror takes hold of me”.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

They Don’t Know It, but You Do

The proud have had me greatly in derision,
yet I have not declined from your law.
Psalm 119:51

Jesus kept doing the will of God even when he was abused by wicked men.  Those proud men didn’t know that Jesus was their only hope of eternal life, but he knew it, and he loved them and endured their abuse so that he might save them.
We who are in Christ are the only light that is in the world, the only hope others have of seeing God’s righteousness in action.   The world does not know that, but we know it, and knowing it gives us the strength to love our enemies and to pray for those who hurt us, just as Jesus did.
Now, try to remember.  What was your reaction the last time someone said or did something to you that you didn’t like?

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

God’s Ministers

Bless the LORD, all His hosts,
and you ministers of His, that do His pleasure.”
Psalm 103:21

Do I seek to please men?  No!
If I were still pleasing men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Galatians 1:10

God’s true ministers are the ones who do what pleases Him.  Paul said it plainly: If he pleased men, he would be disqualified from being a servant of Christ.
I know ministers to whom Jesus has shown truth, but they will not tell that truth to their congregations for fear of displeasing them.  These weak brothers are not serving Christ; they are serving men.  They are hiding the light in order to please men; they are not “doing God’s pleasure”.
Paul once wrote, “It is required in a steward that he be found faithful” (1Cor. 4:2).  That is a true statement.  If God condescends to entrust a man with manna from heaven, that man is required, as a steward of the truth of Christ, to feed God’s people with it.  To feed God’s hungry children is the very reason God reveals truth, and for a man to feed them the truth is to do God’s pleasure, and by doing so, he proves himself to be a genuine minister of God.