Here’s a pleasant practice I’m being led back to doing: Not just writing on Evernote, but actually using the ink and paper I have all stocked up and writing on the notebooks that have yet to be filled up to the last page.
In the process, my clarification game has increased two, threefold. Good stuff. Good grace, Good God. His name is Jesus 🎵
Warmup – Psalm 12
“Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases! For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men. They speak idly, everyone with his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.” – Psalm 12:1-2
Flattering lips, and a double heart versus Christ, who is the Living Word, and Christ, who holds it all together. We do not have a double heart, but we do have a new heart, all of this heart and all of Christ’s heart as one, in a beautiful, powerful union.
“May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaks proud things, who have said, ‘With our tongue we will prevail; our lips are our own; who is lord over us?’
‘For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now I will arise,’ says the LORD; ‘I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.’
The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. You shall keep them, O LORD, You shall preserve them from this generation forever.” – Psalm 12:3-7
We may respond, react and reply to the words of those who would presume to prevail over us; We have all the capability, relying on our own power and our own words, to retaliate… But let us, at these times, listen to our God – It is His words that are pure, and it is through Him that we are safe from oppression and sighing.
Thank You, Jesus.
I browsed quickly through Proverbs 12 earlier today, but as much as I am excited to go through it, I thought it would be a good idea to look at Psalm 112, just now.
Pastora Nitz was nice, and bold enough to call me out for not being clear on defining righteousness during my last preaching, and as I take a quick look at Psalm 112, as I will be looking at Proverbs 12, I guess it’ll be a good deal for us to know what righteousness is for us, by way of knowing, appreciating and celebrating what we have as righteous people from the words of the Old Testament, seen through the lens of Christ’s finished work.
“Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who delights greatly in His commandments.” – Psalm 112:1
To clarify , the man who fears the LORD is not necessarily the one who responds to Him in terror – it is the one who reverently acknowledges that God is who Hs is – He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, of all things seen and unseen. He is Creator, and therefore superior, as Creator is over His creation.
Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
His commandments have been fulfilled through His only begotten Son, who is the Word made flesh – through whom we have been given a new work to do – that is, from following all the commandments given in Sinai, to “believing in the One whom God has sent”.
This Son of God gave us a new commandment – to love one another, that the world would see that we are His. In the ultimate demonstration of God’s love He lay down His life for the sake of the world, even those who would persecute Him and sentence Him to die on the cross…
Therefore, truly blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who delights greatly in His commandments. Blessed, BLESSED is the man who acknowledges God through his Son, who is the end of the Law, the beginning of Wisdom, and the Author and Finisher of our faith, for those who would believe.
“His descendants will be mighty on earth (as those who have come to believe in the Gospel by the Holy Spirit working through us are propelled by the power of God unto salvation); the generation of the upright will be blessed (not only our posterity, but those who share the same generation as we do).
Wealth and riches will be in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.” – Psalm 112:2-3
Folks who have heard me before know how I cringe when people would misinterpret these blessings solely as money and material goods. All I will say is that there is much more to the everlasting life we have in Christ than treasures of gold, silver, and Bitcoin, much more than the numbers on our balances and bank accounts.
As we continue down this road we understand that we are not only provided for in ways better than we would imagine, but we are also equipped with hearts and minds to direct us to the wise use of what we have.
“Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.” – Psalm 112:4
Light reveals the Truth: As Christ has been gracious, compassionate and righteous to us, so we overflow, being gracious, compassionate and righteous, to ourselves and our neighbors.
“A good man deals graciously and lends; he will guide his affairs with discretion.” – Psalm 112:5
See here, how we are able, first and foremost to deal graciously – this was mentioned BEFORE lending, and APART from lending.
There are people who enjoy lending, but they would demonstrate true passion in giving by giving wisely – this means to deal with his or her neighbor graciously before anything else, and to discern what is needed to be done from there, because, indeed, “he will guide his affairs with discretion”.
There will be times when our discernment and discretion would fail us, but even in blunders we cause, and blunders that would happen to us, we will not be intimidated, because it’s not what we do that holds us together, but it is Christ’s finished work that keeps us going –
“Surely he will never be shaken; the righteous will be in everlasting remembrance.
He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.” – Psalm 112:6-8
Indeed, blessed are we, for not only do we have the privilege of remembering Christ and His mercies, but even when our mind and body is distracted, it is Christ who holds our entire being in everlasting remembrance!
We have been made new, and our hearts have been made new, steadfast and established – we will not be afraid, for we trust in the LORD – our hope is in God, Creator of the heavens and the earth!
“He has dispersed abroad, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be exalted with honor.
The wicked will see it and be grieved; he will gnash his teeth and melt away; the desire of the wicked shall perish.” – Psalm 112:9-10
We deal with our neighbors graciously, from hearts overflowing, loving as Christ loves us. We love our neighbors, both those close to us and those far away; by this all would see that we are Christ’s, and we live and move and have our being in Christ, whose righteousness endures forever.
Paul and Barnabas were is Lystra and were commanding the lame to rise with the name of Jesus. The populace took notice, and revered them as gods, literally bringing bulls to them to sacrifice to them.
You can be sure that as we live in this world being righteous in Christ and favored by God, we would also attract the twisted favor of man. Our horns would be exalted with honor. But even in these times, just as we ourselves have been humbled to remember how awesome and great our God is when we have come to the fear of the LORD, and reverence to His power and peace, so we humbly endorse Him to those who take notice of us.
Psalm 11:23 says that the desire of the righteous is only good; we share our desire with that of God’s which is for none to perish but for all to have everlasting life.
As we celebrate God’s love on our own and with the brethren, Christ is seen through us, and people are transformed by the renewing of their minds.
When we love as Christ loves us, people will see the goodness of God, and are led to repentance.
God’s desire is fulfilled, and the desire of the wicked would perish.
Thank You, Jesus!