Joy for the upright in Heart

Psalms 97:10-12 ESV

“O you who love the Lord, hate evil!
He preserves the lives of his saints;
he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Light is sown for the righteous,
and joy for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
and give thanks to his holy name!”

Love God, Hate Sin

Wow! That first statement alone “packs a punch,” doesn’t it? The Bible teaches that to love the Lord is to obey his teachings, his commandments. And when we believe in Jesus with God-given faith, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us, representing God – Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit. God the Father and God the Son then make their home within us. And now what God loves and hates should be what we love and hate.

Also, when we believe in Jesus Christ to be Savior and Lord (Owner-Master) of our lives, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self is crucified with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin, but to God and to his righteousness.

Therefore, we should now hate sin. And sin should no longer have dominion over our lives, for we were bought back for God (redeemed) by the blood of Jesus Christ shed on that cross for our sins. So now we must consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. And sin is not to reign any longer in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. So daily we must deny self and take up our cross (die to sin) and follow (obey) Jesus.

The Lord Preserves His Saints

Saints are not people who other people have designated as “saints” after they die. All of us who believe in Jesus with genuine faith are saints. And to be a saint means to be holy, set apart (unlike, different) from the world because we are now being made into the likeness of Christ. So, also it means that we are set apart to God and to his service. And our lives are now patterned after the ways of God and not after the ways of the world.

When we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, we enter into a covenant relationship with him, which he initiated, and which he provided for. By his grace we are saved, through faith, and this is not of ourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works lest any of us should boast. And this is speaking of our own works of our own doing, for the next verse states clearly that we are now God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared in advance that we should walk in them.

But the point of this is that the grace of God and our faith and our salvation all come from God, and none of them are of ourselves. Jesus is both the author and the perfector of our faith, so our faith is going to be in line with the divine character of God and with the teachings of Scripture. And that is why, by faith, we die with Christ to sin and we now walk by faith in righteousness and holiness, according to the Spirit of God.

And what this also means is that none of this is anything that we can conjure up from within ourselves in our own minds or perform in our own flesh. It came from God in the first place, and he is the one who provides all that we need to live for him, and it is only in his power, wisdom, and strength that any of us can live holy lives pleasing to the Lord, and that we can walk in freedom from slavery to sin and in obedience to our Lord.

He is our Savior. He is our deliverer. We can’t deliver ourselves. But this doesn’t mean we do nothing. Just because we are not saved by our own works doesn’t mean works are not part of our salvation. It is just that they are now the works of God which God planned for us to walk in, not in our own strength, but in the power, wisdom, and strength of God who is keeping us in his care and who is delivering us from evil, as we yield control to him.

Light for the Righteous

When we believe in Jesus, we are not left on our own to figure this Christian life out by ourselves. Our Lord spreads his light (truth, righteousness) in the darkness, and he leads us in the way we should go. He not only leads by his written word (the Bible), but he also leads by His Spirit who lives within us counseling, directing, guiding, teaching, correcting, empowering, and encouraging (exhorting, urging) us in the way that we should go.

And when we respond to God’s Word and to the Holy Spirit in submission to God’s will for our lives, in obedience to what he shows us to do, and we live upright, godly, holy, morally pure, honest, and faithful lives, we experience joy and peace like we have never known before. There is no better place to be ever other than under the protection of The Almighty, in submission to his rule, in obedience to his word, living for him and not for self and sin.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]

Not Be Silent

An Original Work / December 3, 2012
Based off Psalm 30

O Lord my God, I’ll exalt You.
I called for help,
And You healed me.
O Lord my God,
You brought me from the grave.
You spared me from hell.
Sing to the Lord, you saints of His;
Praise His holy name today.
Weeping may remain for a night;
Joy at break of day.
Our debt He did pay!

O Lord my God, I said, “I will
Ne’er be shaken.” Secure, I felt.
O Lord my God, You forgave me.
Confident I stand in You.
When I could not see
Your face I was dismayed.
I called to You. O Lord,
You are my help.
You were merciful to me;
By Your grace set free!

O Lord my God, I’m so thankful for
Salvation through my Jesus.
You turned wailing into dancing;
Clothed me with Your joy today,
That my heart may sing
To You and not be silent.
Praise Your name.
O Lord my God,
I will give you
thanks forevermore.
My Lord, I adore!

I usually post one writing per day on “Walking Wounded,” but my primary blog is https://runwithit.blog/. So, if you are interested in reading more, there are additional writings that can be read at that site. That is just for your information, in case you didn’t know that and you would like to read more.

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