Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise, Thou the grace of my God and King, Thou triumphs of His grace.
This is LaSalle Bradley, Jr. welcoming you to another broadcast of the Baptist Bible Hour. I know that my Redeemer lives, Glory, Hallelujah! What comfort this sweet sentence gives, Glory, Hallelujah!
Shout on, pray on, we're gaining ground, Glory, Hallelujah! The dead's alive, the lost is found, Glory, Hallelujah! He lives to bless me with His love, Glory, Hallelujah! He lives to plead my cause above, Glory, Hallelujah! He lives my hungry soul to feed, Glory, Hallelujah! He lives to help in time of need, Glory, Hallelujah! He lives all glory to His name, Glory, Hallelujah! He lives, my Jesus, still the same, Glory, Hallelujah! Oh, thus we join this sentence gives, Glory, Hallelujah! I know that my Redeemer lives, Glory, Hallelujah! Our subject in Psalm 119 is in the form of a question today, Are You Running?
I pray that this study is proving to be a blessing to you. It's the longest psalm that might cover so many vital subjects. If you'd like to help with the support of the program, you can go to our website at BaptistBibleHour.org. As we continue our series, Messages from the Psalms, we're in Psalm 119. I've been looking at the third section and want to focus now on verses 31 and 32. I have stuck unto thy testimonies, O Lord, put me not to shame. I will run the way of thy commandments when thou shalt enlarge my heart. In verse 25, we observed a plea for help.
I need help because my soul cleaves to the dust. Verses 26 and 27, there is a clear declaration, I've declared my ways before the Lord. He's made a confession of his sin and his weakness and he confesses, I need to be taught. I don't have all the answers.
I don't know everything. I'm praying that God will be my teacher. In verse 28, he describes a heavy heart. Indeed, when we are made sensible of our sin, see our many faults, failings, and discrepancies, it brings us to the place that our heart is heavy. But rather than driving us to despair, it should drive us to the Lord, seeking his help and turning to his word for guidance. In verse 29, there is a needed prayer.
The prayer is remove me from the way of lying, from lies that might influence me or from the deceitfulness of my own heart. And then in verse 30, a right choice. Now we know that no one will ever make a right choice spiritually until God has moved upon them by his grace.
For there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. We'd all turn to our own way. We would choose only sin and self, not righteousness and God. So it is by sovereign grace that we are drawn to him initially. But then having been born of the Spirit, we are now called upon to obey him, serve him, honor him, and therefore make the right choices. We pointed out that in the book of Joshua chapter 24 and verse 15, Joshua says, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
The decision was made. And so that would influence many other issues that might come before him. And that's the case in each of our lives. That if it's a subtle fact, we can say as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Then anything that would lead us in the opposite direction would be automatically rejected. We're going to serve him. We're going to put him first above all things. So now we come to this 31st verse in which we see a true commitment. I have stuck unto thy testimonies. Sometimes here people talk about how important it is to stick to it. Parents tell children when they get weary of their homework or of a particular project. Well, you've just got to stick with it.
That's all. It may be a bit challenging, sometimes become a bit discouraged, but stick to it. That's the language here. I have stuck unto thy testimonies. I not only have acknowledged them as being true, I not only have expressed my love for them, but I have stuck to them. Well, such a commitment is necessary because the difficulties that we encounter require it.
We can easily become discouraged because of the weakness of our own human nature. The Apostle Paul talked about that struggle in the book of Romans chapter 7. Verse 21, he says, I find then a law that when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.
But I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death? Here's a man who walked closely with God. Had some very unique experiences as God spoke his name.
As God caught him up into the heavens, blessed him remarkably. But in the flesh he still had a conflict. And he says, O wretched man that I am. How often have you used that very terminology? Or if that wasn't the expression you selected at a given time, you felt that way.
How wretched I am. You make all kinds of promises about how you're going to improve. May start out the year with some resolutions that are forgotten before the first month has passed. You hear a message that's convicting. And not only are you convicted of your sin, but you're encouraged to do what's right. And you get excited about the improvement that you expect to make. And then you stumble again. The years pass on and you get to the place and say, Well I thought by this time in life that my flesh would have improved.
But you find out as far as the old human nature is concerned, it's still just as much a problem as it ever was. O wretched man that I am. Well Satan can use those moments of discouragement when we're looking at our failures to bring to our mind the thought that it's all useless anyway. Why don't you just give up? I'm just not making progress. I don't see a lot of evidence of real spiritual growth and real holiness in my daily walk.
Might as well give it up. So we come back to this thought, I have stuck to thy commandments, thy statutes. No matter what the discouragement, no matter how difficult it becomes, I'm going to stick to it.
Because the choice has been made. God has shown me some things. He's taught me. He has shown me I'm a sinner. He's blessed me by faith to embrace Jesus Christ. I believe that I'm an heir of heaven.
I expect to live with Him someday. And no matter how fierce the battle becomes here, no matter how challenging the way, I'm going to stick to it. Sometimes we become discouraged just by what is described in the book of Numbers as the weariness of the way. In the book of Numbers chapter 21 verse 4, it says, And they journeyed from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea to compass the land of Edom, and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. The way they were traveling was difficult.
They had just encountered some of the enemies that they were to be driving out. They had failed in many respects to do explicitly what God had said. And so they find that this journey is a difficult one.
And they're discouraged because of it. As a matter of fact, the next verse tells us that they went so far as to speak against God and against Moses. Why has God brought us out from Egypt to die in the wilderness? Is there no bread?
Neither is there any water. Our soul loathest like bread. God was providing for them, giving them manna that they could eat every day. And they say, we despise it. Have you ever gone quite that far? Where you forgot about the abundant mercies of the Lord upon you? And you were complaining about your circumstances? And in essence you were saying, I loathe, I despise what God has given me. I'm not happy with my situation. I think he ought to have given me more.
I think he should have made my path easier. Murmuring. Well, in those moments when you're discouraged because of the way, because of the challenges of everyday living, because of the setbacks that you encounter, because of the criticisms that you may receive, you'll be ready to give up.
So you come back to what the text says. I have stuck to thy statutes. No matter what the situation, no matter how difficult it may be, I'm sticking to it.
I'm sticking to the testimonies of God. It may be because of trouble that you become heavily burdened, greatly discouraged. Look at Job chapter 30 verse 26. Job says, when I looked for good, then evil came unto me. And when I waited for light, there came darkness. Job says, I was expecting something good, I was hoping for something good, I was looking for something good, but what came?
Evil. God is talking about trouble. My, the adversities that this man endured. Losing his wealth, losing his family, losing the health of his own body, looking for something good, but trouble came. I was looking for light, but instead there was darkness.
Have you ever been there? I thought maybe I'd traveled in the dark long enough. The day of brightness was at hand, but I found out there was more darkness to encounter and more trouble to have to bear with it. What's going to be our response? I have stuck unto thy testimonies, O Lord, put me not to shame. Lord, don't forsake me.
I need thy help because I'll be put to shame. I'll do that of which I'm ashamed or I'll bring shame upon your cause and kingdom if you don't hold me up. And another sense of which it may be viewed, we read to the one who believes shall never be ashamed, never be disappointed. I'll not be disappointed if indeed I'm sticking to the testimonies of the Lord. I'm relying upon his promises.
I'm depending upon him. There'll never be disappointment. Now just as the difficulties require this commitment, admonitions encourage it. And we need encouragement to stick to it, to stay on the right path. Gospel of John chapter 8 verse 31, Then Jesus said to those Jews that believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. Then are ye my disciples indeed. How is it that I'm going to prove my relationship with the Lord? How is it that I'm going to indicate I'm a true disciple?
By sticking with it. If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. Now some would like to go beyond what the scriptures themselves tell us as far as offering comfort either to themselves or to others. John tells us in his first epistle that there were those that went out from us because they were not of us. Talking about those that were influenced by the false teaching of the Gnostics. That turned their back on the truth concerning Jesus Christ. Denying that he was the God-man. Denying that he was who he claimed to be. They departed from the faith. They went back. John says if they had been of us, if they had been a true believer, a true follower, they would have remained with us, but they didn't.
That's a sobering thought, is it not? Why are such statements made? I believe they're used by the Holy Spirit to influence us and to impress upon us that we, if we're going to honor God and give evidence of true discipleship, are going to follow in this path. If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed. And then in the ninth chapter of the Gospel of Luke, there's another expression that puts great emphasis and, I believe, can be a source of encouragement upon this very issue of continuing in the right way. Jesus said unto him, this is Luke chapter 9 verse 62, No man, having put his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. In other words, the one that puts his hand to the plow, the one that starts, but he turns back, is not fit for the kingdom of God.
See, the individuals here have been making excuses. Jesus said, follow me. One says, let me go bury my father.
And another said, let me go home and tell everybody goodbye first. Jesus says, the evidence of a true commitment is that you follow me, you follow me now. Without excuses and without acceptance, you follow me. When we read such language, it should indeed be an encouragement to us to say, I want to continue in the right path.
I want to stick to it. I don't want this just to be a lot of words, just that I have expressed to other people, yes, I believe in Jesus Christ and that I've even made a public confession of my faith in him, but I want to stick to it. In the book of Acts chapter 11 verse 23, who when he came and had seen the grace of God, was glad and exhorted them all that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. Here then is a word of encouragement. Here's a word of admonition to God's people. Cleave unto the Lord.
All of this indicates that you're not taking a casual, indifferent, laid-back attitude. See, one of the criticisms that's sometimes brought against those who believe that salvation is all by grace is that maybe there is a neglect of preaching responsibility. But if we take the scriptures as both these themes are presented, then we're not going to go to an extreme on one side or the other. So if a person is saved by grace, rather than to say as the hymn writer expresses it, am I to be carried to heaven on flowery beds of ease while others fought to win the prize and sail through bloody seas?
No. The admonition is, cleave to the Lord. Cling to him.
Stay close to him. You don't see what a distance you can put between you and the Lord and say, well it really doesn't matter because grace is going to take care of it. No, we find in the book of Titus chapter 2 that grace teaches us something, teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lust that we should live soberly and righteously and godly in this present world. Grace not only is that which rescues us, grace is not only that by which salvation is brought to the soul, but it is that which teaches us. And so we're encouraged to cleave, to cleave unto the Lord. And then I believe that love is that which inspires it. You see, this is not a legalistic thing. We're not preaching something that's just hard duty, as though the way you stick to it is just by pure determination and digging your heels in.
No, love is the motive. Galatians chapter 3 verse 13, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us, for it is written, curse is everyone that hangeth on a tree. You were under a curse because of your sinful fallen nature, because you're related to Adam who stood as the head representative of the whole human family. You were alienated from God, born into this world with a sinful nature, unto the curse and condemnation of sin. But Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. To hear then that Jesus Christ loved you enough to go to the cross and die in your stead, do for you what you could never have done, pay the price in full, surely your heart is stirred with love and gratitude, to think of what Jesus Christ has done for you.
What greater motive could there be? What more could we say to inspire you and encourage you to move in the right direction than to recall the great love of God and the love of his Son in the salvation of our soul. Second Corinthians chapter 5 verse 14 says, For the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead, and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them and rose again. The love of Christ constrains us. It's that which moves us, stirs us, draws us in the right direction, the love of Christ. Oh, how vital that we give thought and attention to that great love. It's not just a part of our doctrinal creed.
It's a living reality. It's something that should be impressed upon our minds and hearts every day that we live. If it were not for his love, I could this very day be suffering the vengeance and wrath forever. But oh, by his mercy, by his love, I have this expectation to someday live with him and be like him.
Not because of what I've done, but because of what he has done for me. And so, as we see this true commitment, we see that difficulties require such a commitment. Admonitions encourage it.
Love inspires it. And prayer supports it, because he's praying, put me not to shame. Lord, I'm praying that I will have your grace and strength, that I'll be able to stick with it. Lord, don't leave me is what he's saying. Back in the eighth verse of Psalm 119, he said, I will keep thy statutes. Oh, forsake me not utterly. Seems in that language to recognize, yes, there are times that the Lord hides his face.
There are times that the Lord withdraws his comforts. But Lord, don't forsake me utterly, for I'll be ruined. I'll dishonor your name. I'll move in the wrong direction.
I have the potential of sinking to the depth. But oh Lord, my desire is to keep thy statutes. Forsake me not, forsake me not utterly. And then the last verse of this section, verse 32, we see a strong determination. I will run in the way of thy commandments when thou shalt enlarge my heart. I will run.
Talking about somebody moving forward. He's made the right choice. He's staying on course because he says, I have stuck unto thy testimonies. Now that I've chosen the right way, now that I'm staying on course, now I'm ready to run. I will run in the way of thy commandments.
What about you today? Could it be said that you're running? Or are you one that, if you ever did run, has slowed down to a pace that your progress can hardly be detected? Somebody may say, well I've been running a long time and I'm tired. But this race is not just for the young. This is for people of all ages. This has nothing to do with how you may feel tired physically. Or how you may even become weary of the way because the strength that you need to be able to run is available to you. Because God will provide it.
Run. Well, the Lord willing, we'll be back at this same time on Monday. In the meantime, we invite you to listen to our Sunday broadcast, which is carried on most of these stations. If not, you can get it at our website and on podcast.
You can go to the website at BaptistBibleHour.org. Till we greet you next Monday, this is Lisera Bradley, Jr. bidding a goodbye and may God bless you. This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long. This is my story, this is my song. Praising my Savior, praising my Savior, praising my Savior. All the day long.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-27 17:28:56 / 2022-11-27 17:37:41 / 9