God’s Promise of Salvation Brings Confidence

Daily Reading

41 Let your faithful love come to me, LORD, your salvation, as you promised. 42 Then I can answer the one who taunts me, for I trust in your word.43 Never take the word of truth from my mouth, for I hope in your judgments. 44 I will always obey your instruction, forever and ever. 45 I will walk freely in an open place because I study your precepts. 46 I will speak of your decrees before kings and not be ashamed. 47 I delight in your commands, which I love. 48 I will lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and will meditate on your statutes. Psalm 119:41-48 (CSB)

Daily Reflection

God’s promise of salvation brings confidence. 

 

God promises his people a faithful love, which is His salvation. This promise of salvation brings confidence. The Psalmist makes at least three statements that portray faith in this portion of Psalm 119. Let’s look at these verses closer. 

First, the author writes, “Then I can answer the one who taunts me, for I trust in your word” (v. 42). After a person receives the promise, they have the words to reply to those who mock them. God’s salvation brings the boldness to respond to those who ridicule them for their faith in His word. How can mockers accuse God of being unconcerned, when they witness His unfailing love in action? God’s promise of salvation brings confidence to refute the nay-sayers. 

Secondly, the writer declares, “I will walk freely in an open place because I study your precepts” (v.45). When a person knows what God has promised in the Scriptures, they do not need to cower and hide. Even if death came to them because of their allegiance to God, it would be the victory (see Philippians 1:21). God’s unfailing love increases confidence, so the person doesn’t have to hide. 

Finally, the Psalmist writes, “I will speak of your decrees before kings and not be ashamed” (v. 46). God covenant of faithfulness makes a person as bold as a lion. Earthly kings have the power to imprison and execute those who offend them. However, the Spirit-filled herald will deliver the King of kings message with boldness. God’s covenantal love brings assurance amidst the mighty. 

Do you lack confidence? Have you received the promised salvation? If so, are you feeding on the Word of God to know what God promises? 

Suggestion for Prayer

Thank God for the confidence His salvation brings. Ask Him to fill you with the assurance, which only comes from knowing Him. 

 


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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Wholehearted Obedience is the Goal

Daily Reading

33 Teach me, LORD, the meaning of your statutes, and I will always keep them. 34 Help me understand your instruction, and I will obey it and follow it with all my heart. 35 Help me stay on the path of your commands, for I take pleasure in it.36 Turn my heart to your decrees and not to dishonest profit. 37 Turn my eyes from looking at what is worthless; give me life in your ways. 38 Confirm what you said to your servant, for it produces reverence for you. 39 Turn away the disgrace I dread; indeed, your judgments are good. 40 How I long for your precepts! Give me life through your righteousness. Psalm 119:33-40 (CSB)

Daily Reflection

Wholehearted obedience is the goal. 

If wholehearted obedience is the target, then what keeps us from submission? Of course, the depravity of humankind causes all to rebel against a holy God. But what about those who are genuine believers? Why do we struggle with submitting to God’s command? We have been given a new heart in the New Covenant. A heart that loves God, but we often fail to follow God’s ways. Why? 

Before I attempt to answer this complicated question, imagine with me. What if a friend pulled into your driveway and honked the horn. Once you peak out the door you hear the commotion of  house alarms and sirens of the first responder vehicles, your friend just says, “Get in the vehicle.” 

“Why?”

“Get in the vehicle, if you want to live.” 

“Wait, what?!?” 

“Get in the vehicle, if you want to live. Because there is a horde of zombies heading this way!” The tone of your friend’s voice is disturbingly convincing. 

“What? Um…zombies?!?” In your mind, you think your friend has lost it, but then you think about the sirens and alarms in the distance.

“Get in! I will explain on the way.” 

This may be an extreme illustration, but would you jump in with your friend? You have two choices in this situation. You can trust your friend and get in the vehicle, or you can refuse their help. If you take them at their word, it’s more than likely because you trust the small amount of information given. You have faith in them because they never have misled you. If you refuse, it’s probably because you do not have enough answers. (You trust your friend, but the request seems absurd.) The key to following your friend’s commands is in the why, right? 

Like your friend in the scenario above, God calls us to follow his commands to avoid impending danger. A danger that we may not see. He wants what is best for us. He desires our undivided devotion. But often we question, why we should follow. Especially, when the command seems ridiculous.  

In verse 34, the Psalmist writes, “Help me understand your instruction, and I will obey it and follow it with all my heart.” Psalm 119:34 (CSB) The goal is wholehearted obedience, but this compliance doesn’t come easily without understanding. Although we may not know what God is up to in our lives, we must comprehend what God requires of us. God does not reveal all of his cards, but he does give us enough detail to consider in the Bible. That is why the biblical author repeatedly asks for God to teach him the statues of God.

Do you struggle with following God in specific areas of life? Have you asked God to teach you his ways in this area? Understanding the why (or motive) behind the commands will help you to follow with all your heart. The why behind God’s command is that he wants you to be safe and secure in him.  He wants you to reach your full potential. 

New Testament believers have two resources the Psalmist did not possess. First, a believer is indwelt with the Holy Spirit. Jesus said,  “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come.” John 16:13 (CSB)  God will guide you, but you must listen. Second, Christ gave the Body of Christ gifts. Paul writes, “11  And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12  equipping the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ,” Ephesians 4:11-12 (CSB).  God knew we would need someone to help us understand his ways, so he gave us the five-fold ministry.

To sum it all up, understanding God’s purpose behind the commands in the Bible helps us to follow. When we learn the reason God asks something of us, we will see it is what is best for us. God loves us. We never fully understand God’s actions, but he desires us to know what is expected of us. Understanding the motive behind the command and the knowing God, as a loving Father, would never mislead you is the key to wholehearted obedience. 

 

Suggestion for Prayer

Thank God for the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit, and ministers. Ask God to help you comprehend his commands so that you will be more apt to follow wholeheartedly. 

 


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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

The Bible is Your Source of Strength

Daily Reading

25 My life is down in the dust; give me life through your word. 26  I told you about my life, and you answered me; teach me your statutes. 27 Help me understand the meaning of your precepts so that I can meditate on your wonders. 28 I am weary from grief; strengthen me through your word. 29 Keep me from the way of deceit and graciously give me your instruction. 30 I have chosen the way of truth; I have set your ordinances before me. 31 I cling to your decrees; LORD, do not put me to shame. 32 I pursue the way of your commands, for you broaden my understanding. Psalm 119:25-32 (CSB)

Daily Reflection

The Bible is your source of strength. 

Where do you turn during tough times? Indeed life can become difficult. The Psalmist writes, “My life is down to the dust… “(25) and “I am weary from grief…”(28). In other words, the author feels he is about as low as a person can get. Instead of turning to worldly solutions, the biblical writer shifts his focus to the Scriptures.   

To the author, God’s word is the source of life and strength. He casts himself on a tried and true foundation. God’s precepts are powerful. The words recorded in Scripture flowed from the lips of the sovereign Lord of life. They are God-breathed (see 2 Timothy 3:16) Where else could the writer turn? He states, “I cling to your decrees.” May we all have this resolve when we face the troubles of this life. 

Suggestion for Prayer

Thank God for His all-powerful Word. Ask Him to revive you and give you strength as you read the Bible. 

 


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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

You Can’t Read the Bible with Closed Eyes

Daily Reading

 17 Deal generously with your servant so that I might live; then I will keep your word. 18 Open my eyes so that I may contemplate wondrous things from your instruction. 19 I am a resident alien on earth; do not hide your commands from me. 20 I am continually overcome with longing for your judgments. 21 You rebuke the arrogant, the ones under a curse, who wander from your commands. 22 Take insult and contempt away from me, for I have kept your decrees. 23 Though princes sit together speaking against me, your servant will think about your statutes; 24 your decrees are my delight and my counselors. Psalm 119:17-24 (CSB) 

Daily Reflection

You can’t read the Bible with closed eyes.

Many religions have sacred texts. Christianity is also a text-oriented faith (see Romans 10:17). However, the Bible is not merely humans words, but God-breathed revelation (see 2 Timothy 3:16). One biblical author writes, “For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” [Emphasis added] Hebrews 4:12 (CSB)  God’s word can radically change your life (see Psalm 19:7). So, why do many not experience a refreshing when reading the Bible? Could it be they are reading with their eyes closed?

The Psalmist cries, “Open my eyes so that I may contemplate wondrous things from your instruction.” The author isn’t asking God to open his physical eyes, but rather the spiritual eyes of his heart. You can’t read the Bible with closed eyes. When approaching God’s word, we should always take the time to ask the Lord to reveal Himself. Only then will our lives be changed. 

An example of this can be found in Luke 24:13-35.  Certain disciples were walking with the heads held low on the road to Emmaus after the crucifixion of Jesus. Then Jesus approaches them and walks with them, but they do not recognize him. Or at least, not until he opens the Scripture to them. Then their hearts are set ablaze, and their heads were lifted out of discouragement. Could Jesus be walking with you and you not even realize it? Ask him to open the eyes of your heart. 

Suggestion for Prayer

Ask God to open your eyes to contemplate wonderous things in the Bible. Repent of any sin that may be hindering your prayers. 

 


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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

3 Reasons to Attend Church (or Rather be the Church)

And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works,  not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25 (CSB)

It may not shock you, but I think people should be in church. But why? I could readily resort to the saying, “The Lord said so.” However, I will give more of an explanation. Although there are many reasons to attend church, I will narrow the focus on three ideas found in Hebrews 10:24-25.

Reason #1 – Accountability to Others

The author of Hebrews states, “And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works…”  Accountability is key to living a fruitful Christian life. Without others to hold us culpable, we tend to fall into complacency.  The sad thing is we don’t recognize our worldly drift. We all have blind spots.

A spiritual gathering of the saints will keep us accountable. It aids us in seeing our shortcomings.   For example, has anyone ever pointed out a smudge on your face? It may make you uncomfortable at first, but you’re grateful for your friend pointing it out before it was a greater embarrassment. Church helps us be to stay focused by accountability.

Reason #2 – Encouragement of Fellowship

The biblical writer exhorts us to be “encouraging each other.” We all struggle. Often, our struggles hid under the mask of “I-got it-all-together.” Nevertheless, we grapple to stay afloat. Let’s be real. We all need a pat on the back or a kind word from time to time.

True Christian fellowship inspires and restores. It encourages us to keep pressing forward in faith. It restores a proper perspective of reality. The valleys we walk through are only temporary. Heaven is on the horizon. Genuine fellowship is truly divine!

Reason #3 – Jesus is Coming!

I believe this sums up everything. We should be busy provoking love, doing good deeds, and encouraging others because Christ is coming back. This is the hope we all have in Christ. We need the reminder that one day all wrongs will be right.

Of course, I could think of more reasons to gather together in Jesus’s name (Like the fact, Jesus promised to be in our assemblies.) However, I think these three will suffice for now. Where do you gather with the saints? Leave a reply in the comments below.

 

PS-

Ray, thanks for encouraging email. God bless!  😉

 


The “In the Word Together” (ITWT) blog at www.kevinwbounds.com is a systematic approach to reading and reflecting on the Holy Scriptures in a community.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

If you have found this post to be encouraging, please like, comment, and share it. Also, consider subscribing to the blog to have exciting content delivered to your inbox. If nothing else, take few seconds to say, Hello! I like it when people say, Hello.