Psalms 66:8-12 ESV
“Bless our God, O peoples;
let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living
and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net;
you laid a crushing burden on our backs;
you let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.”
When we believe in Jesus Christ with genuine God-given faith 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. And now we walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. And the grace of God trains us to renounce (say “No!” to) ungodliness and fleshly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we await our Lord’s return.
This is the way in which our Lord helps us to not slip, to not fall back into sin. And his Spirit who lives within us teaches, counsels, instructs, and trains us in righteousness and holiness, and he empowers us to live godly and holy lives to the glory and praise of God. And we need this, because as Christ’s followers we will be hated and persecuted for righteousness’ sake, and we will go through trials which will try our faith. And we can’t survive that in our own strength. We need the Spirit to guide us and to give us his strength.
[Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-24; Romans 8:1-14; Titus 2:11-14]
Isaiah 66:2b,5 ESV
“But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at my word.”
“Hear the word of the Lord,
you who tremble at his word:
‘Your brothers who hate you
and cast you out for my name’s sake
have said, “Let the Lord be glorified,
that we may see your joy”;
but it is they who shall be put to shame.’”
To be humble and contrite is to deny self and take up our cross daily and to follow Jesus Christ with our lives (Luke 9:23-26). It is to repent of our sins and to leave our lives of sin behind us to follow our Lord in obedience to his ways. And to tremble at his word is to take God and his word seriously and to believe it and live it and teach it to others. And when we do this we will be hated even by family, and church family, and by pastors of churches, too, who will persecute us and cast us out in the name of Jesus.
And I read Barnes’ notes on the Bible, in reference to what the haters said:
“Or it means, that even while they were engaged in this cruel persecution, and these acts of excommunicating their brethren, they professed to be serving God, and manifested great zeal in his cause. This has commonly been the case with persecutors. The most malignant and cruel persecutions of the friends of God have been originated under the pretext of great zeal in his service, and with a professed desire to honor his name. So it was with the Jews when they crucified the Lord Jesus.”
[Matt 5:10-16; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Matt 28:18-20; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; John 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Acts 1:8; Acts 14:22; Acts 26:18; Rom 5:3-5; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; 2 Co 1:3-11; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Phil 3:7-11; Col 3:16; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Heb 3:13; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 2:9; 1 Pet 4:12-17]
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Here I Am To Worship
Songwriter: Tim Hughes
Light of the world
You stepped down into darkness.
Opened my eyes, let me see.
Beauty that made this heart adore You
Hope of a life spent with You
I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross
Here I am to worship,
Here I am to bow down,
Here I am to say that You’re my God
You’re altogether lovely
Altogether wonderful to me.
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