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  The gospel of Jesus is an eternal gospel; it will never be repealed, revised, or redone.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.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Learning From the Law

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.”
Psalm 119:18

In the summer of 1975, the Lord Jesus spoke to me for the first time, to teach me.   The following year, and the two years after that, he spoke to me again.  (The truths he taught me I made into a book, “Spiritual Light”, which you can find at  Years later, I was thinking about those thrilling experiences and realized that every time Jesus spoke to me, I was studying the law of Moses in the Bible, and praying for understanding.
Jesus told his detractors, “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.  And if you don’t believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” (Jn. 5:46–47).  Take time to read Moses’ writings – and believe them!  And while you’re reading Moses’ words, pray, as I did, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law!”  Jesus will answer your prayer, and he will “show you great, inaccessible things that you do not know” (Jer. 33:3).

Sunday, November 6, 2016

“You Heard Me”

I have declared my ways, and you heard me.”
Psalm 119:26

David was thrilled that when he confessed his sin, God heard him.  David had seen the terror and miserable end of King Saul, whose confession and pleas for help God would not hear: “And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets” (1Sam. 28:6).
Saul, desperate and alone, at the end, resorted to a witch for help, and he explained why: “I am sore distressed, for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and He answers me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams” (1Sam. 28:15).
May God give us the wisdom to “seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near” (Isa. 55:6).

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Ask for Truth

Remove from me the way of lying.  I have chosen the way of truth.
Psalm 119:29a, 30a

When I was in high school, some students put on a play in which one character addressed the audience with this question: “What kind of liar are you?”  Everyone laughed, but the question was appropriate.  Living “in the flesh”, as Paul would say it, every one of us lies, to one degree or another.  This is why Paul said if we live in the flesh, we will die (Rom. 8:13).
David was humble enough and honest enough to admit that he was a liar, and to hate it.  And he was also wise enough to go to God with his problem, and to ask God to take the way of lies away from him.  David sincerely desired the way of truth instead, and asked God for it, and God gave it to him.
God will do the same for you.  He will set you free from every lie, whether your own or someone else’s, and fill you with the truth instead.  All you have to do is confess your need of His truth, and ask for it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Cursed in Christ?

You have rebuked the proud that are cursed,
who err from your commandments.”
Psalm 119:21

According to this scripture, those who walk contrary to God’s commandments are cursed.  But many Christian ministers teach that we all must walk contrary to God’s commandments, and sin every day!  Are they not teaching that we all, even those who are in Christ, are cursed?  Further, the apostle John said that those who commit sin are “of the devil” (1Jn. 3:8).  But if those who are in Christ must sin every day, then those who are in Christ are of the devil!
The saving grace of God “teaches us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, and righteously, and godly in this present world” (Tit. 2:12).  God’s children are not of the devil because they no longer live in sin.  Nor are they cursed, but blessed, for they are led by the Spirit and do not err from God’s commandments.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Truly Alive and the Truly Dead

The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.
But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.”
Psalm 115:17–18

In these two verses, the psalmist redefines death as a spiritual condition instead of a physical one.  According to him, the dead are those who are silent, those who do not praise God.  But, he declares, the righteous will never stop praising God, forever.
If you are truly alive, your voice is heard in the congregation of God’s saints, offering God the sweet aroma of praise for His wonderful works and grace.  But beware.  The psalmist said that a believer’s silence in the midst of God’s congregation carries with it the stench of death.