Jesus is coming soon

“I long for Your salvation, O LORD, and Your law is my delight.” -Psalm 119:174

The psalmist longs for the completion of his salvation. When he wrote this psalm (likely King David), he saw only a shadow of the promise, a foretaste of the Great Messiah who was to come. He knew the promises but longed for God to fulfill them soon. But what is “soon” to the One outside of Time? To the Keeper of Time? We know on this side of the cross that Jesus Christ is the Messiah who has come and will come again. Only He fulfilled the Law, keeping it perfectly. Yet we follow God’s laws (commands) today as we wait for Jesus to come again once and for all. This is the Age of Grace as we learn the holy ways of our Lord. Like a child learning to ride a bike, first with training wheels, this is our training ground.

Charles Spurgeon says believers develop a “holy hunger” for God the more we are satisfied in Him. The Christian’s appetite is whetted for what is good, beautiful and true. Redeemed sinners have received their salvation in part, meaning in Christ we are forgiven and no longer condemned. But one day, our faith will be made sight as the whole of our salvation is consummated in Glory at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7-9). Jesus is throwing a big party and you who are adopted into His family are invited. While we wait in the interim of the already and not yet, the Christian’s purpose today is to love the Lord above all else, love our neighbor and glorify God by keeping His commandments. We are called to walk worthy. Do you love God’s Word which contain His law? Do you delight in them? Walk in His ways even when your faith is small or weary. The Lord is faithful to transform our disciplined duty into delight for those He has called to Himself.

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: Matthew 5:17-19; 2 Peter 3:8-18; Revelation 22


Come ye children, weak and needy

“May Your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen Your precepts.” -Psalm 119:173

After two verses of responding in praise to God, the psalmist turns his attention back to a plea for God’s mighty hand to intervene. Is there any better prayer than asking for God’s help? His request does not presume upon God with entitlement. He is not our genie and should never be approached with selfish motives. But Christians are His dear children. We come to Him in childlike, dependent faith. We are to serve Him, not the other way around. And yet, the wonder of it is God’s delight to bless His children. The Lord has given the psalmist a desire to follow His ways. Therefore, God will be faithful to help him walk in obedience. The grace of God enables earthly, weary saints in the power of the Holy Spirit.

From his commentary The Golden Alphabet, Charles Spurgeon observes from this verse: “If grace has given us the heart with which to will, it will also give us the hand with which to perform.” God does not call us to tasks we cannot accomplish. If they seem too great, we have His ear to cry for help in our time of need and He will strengthen and sustain. A parent of a young child does not demand they do a task beyond their intellectual or physical ability. The parent knows the child’s limits and sets responsibilities accordingly. In the same way, our loving Heavenly Father knows our frame and asks we rely on His strength, not our own. He has never commanded us to do something so ludicrous, like create the stars and throw them up in the sky. He calls us to trust in the One who made the stars and placed each one by name in the heavens.

It is right that we tremble before an Awesome Powerful God. Yet the pathway to His Throne is covered with the blood of Jesus. Those who belong to God in Christ are never more secure, loved, helped and heard by our Gracious King. Because of Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on the cross, we may go to Him with confidence. The Lord has promised to help the believer on their pilgrim journey and God always keeps His promises. Only saints choose the way of God, longing to run the race with endurance and finish well. God’s people love His holy precepts because they love a Holy, Holy, Holy God!

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: Psalm 121; Isaiah 40:26-31; 41:8-14; 43:1-7; Hebrews 4:14-16; 12:1-2

Faithful Lips

“May my tongue sing of Your Word, for all Your commands are righteous.” -Psalm 119:172

The heart response of every Christian should be to speak, shout, and sing of the Lord’s lavish love! The spoken word is a great blessing and responsibility given to man. With our tongues we have the power to bless or curse, speak truth or a lie. Not only do we worship King Jesus with songs of praise, but He also commands us to go and tell others about Him. He is righteousness itself. He is Truth. Walking in obedience to God’s commands requires faithful lips, whether we are singing to our Redeemer or speaking of Him with others.

The Sunday School material for my son’s class had a quote recently which said, “Life is full of everyday choices to either make Jesus known or remain silent.” The treasure which we have found in God’s Word is not to be kept to ourselves. Is our joy for Jesus contagious? Can we but help speak of Him when others are around us? Matthew Henry exalts this verse in his commentary saying,

“The more we see of the righteousness of God’s commandments the more industrious we should be to bring others acquainted with them, that they may be ruled by them. We should always make the word of God the governor of our discourse, so as never to transgress it by sinful speaking or sinful silence; and we should often make it the subject-matter of our discourse, that it may feed many and minister grace to the hearers.”

Dear Christian, you are God’s ambassador. Represent Him well with the voice He gave you.

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: James 3; Proverbs 18:4;6-8;20-21

The Wellspring of our Hearts

“May my lips overflow with praise, for You teach me Your decrees.” -Psalm 119:171

This is outward worship reflecting the inner man, transforming the psalmist in spiritual maturity. God has been faithful to teach him over the course of his life. The psalmist is receiving his answer for deliverance from the previous verse by growing deeper in wisdom through remembering God’s promises, believing the eternal glory for Christians outweighs his momentary troubles. God will not be mocked. He will dispense perfect justice at the end of time, avenging His children. What is our response then? Like the psalmist, we too rejoice in childlike praise to our Heavenly Father. He has taught us to trust Him, and will continue to teach you and me as long as we have days on this earth. Why would anyone place trust in an unseen being? Because God has demonstrated His faithfulness throughout history, displaying His power and love toward His people. The Lord has kept every promise, every covenant blessing. Christians can overflow with praise and gratitude because God has shown the depth of His love and commitment to us by sending His Only Son Jesus to the cross. The death and wrath of God meant for us was laid on Him. Those who look to Jesus are saved by His grace and God’s rich mercy. This is worthy of our praise every day. May we remember the Gospel as we have been taught. It is true and it is true for all who come to Christ in faith. The wellspring of our hearts will naturally then burst into worship for our Savior and Friend, King Jesus.

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: Matthew 12:33-35


Desert Roads and God’s Promises

“May my supplication come before You; deliver me according to Your promise.” 

This verse is a variation from the previous. The psalmist first cried out for wisdom to be his help. Here he humbly pleads with the Lord to deliver him as his help. The writer desires for his prayer to be accepted before the throne of Grace. Truly, any petition we bring before our Lord which agrees with His will is like sweet smelling incense to Him. It pleases God when we bring sacrifices of praise, thanksgiving, repentance and requests with a sincere heart of faith. God loves His children much more than the best earthly fathers love their own. Jesus emphasizes this point in The Gospel of Matthew saying, “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!” (7:9-11)

God will deliver the psalmist and all His children from eternal suffering. Our temporary homes may provide some relief, but perhaps not. This is why Christians can look with hopeful expectation to God’s future promises. We look to the unseen realities with an eternal perspective. The psalmist ends the verse with “according to Your promise”. Just like in verse 169 when he prays for God to act “according to Your Word”, there is confidence in remembering God’s faithfulness to His children. God cannot lie and He will not fail to bring about wisdom to the simple hearted, deliverance for the faint. 

The longer we walk with our Heavenly Abba, the more we will see His mercies new each day, His faithfulness to answered prayer according to His loving wisdom, and His goodness in the many blessings He bestows each day. Did you wake up this morning? Thank God. Did you drink clean water? Thank God. Did you eat food today? Thank God. By His grace, the Lord will sharpen our spiritual vision to see His provision and kindness around us. Grateful hearts are able to see God’s hand of love and thank Him in abundance and in affliction. The Lord delivers His own from the snares, cares and tares of this world by opening our eyes to the spiritual riches and even temporal blessings He has graciously given us. Whatever He ordains for His children, it comes from His loving heart, it is for His glory and for our good. With this assurance the Christian can proclaim, “Where He leads me, I will follow”. 

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: 2 Corinthians 4:6-18; Psalm 116

Further Up and Further In!

“May my cry come before You, O LORD; give me understanding according to Your Word.” -Psalm 119:169

The psalmist desires more wisdom. God has been faithful to direct his steps, blessing him with understanding, but the cry is to go deeper. Always more of God. “Come further up and further in!” is the call in C.S. Lewis’ last book from The Chronicles of Narnia series. When believers discover the treasure of God’s Word, the natural desire is to want more. By His grace we keep pursuing Him, tasting of His goodness, seeing His faithfulness to us personally. The Christian is satisfied in God which is why he longs for more sweetness in understanding the Lord’s will so that he may walk in it. When believers walk in our own will we are the most miserable creatures, because we know better. Happiness is found in abiding in God’s will. Even in difficult trials which require strength and courage, there is peace which passes understanding because His Spirit is upholding the beloved child of God.

God will surely hear such a prayer of petition from the redeemed sinner who desires to grow in grace. God will not only equip His beloved, but fight for him as well, never deserting His sheep in battle. The psalmist looks for direction from his Captain. Our Father blesses prayers such as this, to go further up and further in, to the storehouse of wisdom.

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: Psalm 18:6; 34:4-10;  Proverbs 1:7-3:26

The Path of Life

169 “May my cry come before You, O LORD; give me understanding according to Your Word. 170 May my supplication come before You; deliver me according to Your promise. 171 May my lips overflow with praise, for You teach me Your decrees. 172 May my tongue sing of Your Word, for all Your commands are righteous. 173 May Your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen Your precepts. 174 I long for Your salvation, O LORD, and Your law is my delight. 175 Let me live that I may praise You, and may Your laws sustain me. 176 I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek Your servant, for I have not forgotten Your commands.” -Psalm 119:169-176 Taw

The first two verses (vv. 169/170) are similar, both lifting up cries of supplication to the Lord. The psalmist seeks more understanding and deliverance according to God’s Word and promise. This is essentially the same thing since Scripture is one big promise of grace and salvation for the Christian. The next two verses (vv. 171/172) refer to the mouth, with speaking and singing truth. Matthew 12:34 says, “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks”, which is a fitting way of saying whatever is in a man’s heart, good or evil, will come out in his conversation with others. It is God who taught the psalmist His ways, and in response, he has treasured the Lord’s righteousness found through the law. The writer knows it is the essence of truth, which is why acts of praise are ready on his tongue! 

The fifth verse (v.173) shifts from the psalmist’s response to God taking action. He prays for God to help him in his time of need. He knows and trusts God’s ways, yet this is the best prayer for saints in distress- “Help me”. In the last three verses (vv.174-176) the psalmist asks for quickening as he lives and breathes, so that he may serve the Lord he loves even better. Yet the writer is also aware of how deceitful his own heart is, as with every one of us, this side of Heaven. The psalmist is honest before God with how he falls short. He strays like a lost sheep, prone to wander, enamored by temporal baubles or distressed with present circumstances. These lesser things occupy his desires and thoughts more than the eternal at times. His prayer is succinct: “Seek thy servant”. Even when we stray, God’s children cannot wander for long without the loving Hand of correction close by. The psalmist knows he belongs to God and longs to be safe in his Shepherd’s arms once more. He has not forgotten God’s commands which illuminate the path of life, therefore he desires to finish well before meeting his Savior face to face. All the way our Savior leads those who have been entrusted to Him. None are lost. The Lord is their salvation now and forevermore. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: Psalm 16:11; John 17:6-12; Hebrews 12:1-15

Practice, not Perfect

“I obey Your precepts and Your statutes, for all my ways are known to You.” -Psalm 119:168

Doctrine and practice are both kept faithfully by the psalmist. The Christian life does not end with head knowledge of Biblical principles, but begins here. Out of the overflow of this grace given to each Christian in varying measure, we obey in practice what God the Spirit has taught us. Obedience is not for the sake of outward moral reform, but born out of a love for God. True obedience from the heart looks like this. The psalmist recognizes that only God can see his true motives. His obedience is not a method for earning God’s favor, or winning praise from others, but the cause of his devotion to the Lord.

The psalmist ends this octave confessing God’s omniscience. He can confidently say he makes his life a practice of holiness to the Lord since God knows this man’s every word, thought and action. Nothing is hidden from our Lord’s sight. This should be quite the motivation for every believer in how we live. For me it is indeed. And yet I can err to the side of striving for sinless perfection (legalism) when I forget the doctrines of grace. This is why coming to feast on God’s Word is vital for every Christian. I have to come here again and again to remember the truth of who I am in Christ- not perfect, but forgiven. Remembering who you are in Christ should be part of daily living, like breathing. Satan will take every opportunity to accuse, create doubt and fear, presenting temptation to sin as the only option. The Gospel is our armor against these attacks. 

I met with a dear friend recently to discuss 1 John. We both studied this letter and wanted to share what God had taught us, for mutual encouragement and challenge. I mentioned how the litmus test in 1 John for assurance of one’s salvation can leave me discouraged and condemned at times. My sin nature gets in the way and I fall short of God’s standard. She gently reminded me that the Christian life does not mean sinless perfection this side of Heaven. It is our practice of holiness that matters. We strive to reflect the character of Christ, but because we are born with a sinful nature, many battles must be fought and won during our time on earth. God is gracious to root out what is not of Him, sanctifying His children with truth. The Bible Study Fellowship commentary on 1 John notes that sinful people can have fellowship with a holy God because we as believers are in Christ.

 It is a comfort to know and rest in God’s power, goodness and permanent forgiveness toward redeemed sinners. Jesus took on God’s wrath which we deserve, so now the Christian is free. Free to live a life of holiness, not out of fear, but love and eternal gratitude. Paul writes to Timothy, “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:16). When we are diligent to live out God’s commands from the truth we know, God is faithful to confirm we do belong to Him. Our works are not the means of salvation but the fruit of what God has done and is doing in the heart of every believer. It is in this way, we grow in grace and love toward our Father in Heaven.

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: John 17:13-19; Philippians 1:6; 1 John

Further encouragement: ‘WordGo’ app is a helpful and free Bible study resource created by Bible Study Fellowship. You can find it by searching the ‘App Store’ icon and create an account- FOR FREE!


Out of Love

“I obey Your statutes, for I love them greatly.” -Psalm 119:167

Willing obedience is born out of love. Compulsion comes from fear of punishment. The Lord has not made us His puppets, but gifted man created in His image with a will. God then pursues us to Him, speaking of His love, power and redemption through creation, the Bible, and other Christians, to name a few ways. We then submit to His Lordship even if our affection and belief is small. God is faithful to grow the believer in grace as we lay down our will for His each day. 

Yet God says in His statutes that He demands holiness from His people. How can you and I live up to impossible standards? This is the Good News. It is only through the righteousness of Christ any of us can stand before God without fear of His wrath. God loved the world so much that He sent His One and Only Son to die so that we don’t have to perish eternally. God made a way for us to be with Him forever, through the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross. His death, burial and resurrection is the Christian’s victory. 

When my son does not want to obey with what I call a “happy heart”, redirection is needed. I am teaching him to want to obey, born out of respect for me his mother, and hopefully one day, a love for God. If I don’t appreciate obedience coupled with grumbling and whining, how much more is my Father displeased when I act that way? By God’s grace, He continues to teach me how to love Him by loving His commands with willing obedience. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15). The more you and I pursue God in worship, the stronger our love for Him grows, because we are getting to know through deeper fellowship the lover of our souls. May God’s grace open our eyes to His love for redeemed sinners, and lead us in the path of obedience with happy hearts.

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: John 3:14-21; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Peter 1:3-21; 1 John 4:11-19


Wait and Follow

“I wait for Your salvation, O LORD, and I follow Your commands.” -Psalm 119:166

There is serenity in waiting with expectation as the Lord is about His work. He is Sovereign over all things, even the salvation of souls. God saves redeemed sinners from condemnation, as we are helpless to save ourselves. Christians are saved from our sinful nature and God’s wrath, to enjoy Him forever in His House of unbroken fellowship. What divine mercy! What a gracious God to serve! What could the psalmist possibly mean then when he says he waits for the Lord’s salvation? It can be temporal deliverance, such as from his enemies. It might also indicate the longing in every believer to see the consummation of God’s Kingdom in the new Heaven and Earth.

My son and I watched The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe movie on Sunday afternoon. It was his first time to see it and I was happy to share this story with him. C.S. Lewis’ tale brought to life on the screen still leaves me with tainted sadness over how the world is and what it should be. In the story, Aslan, his army and the four Pevensie children battle against the White Witch and her minions. The Christian analogies weaved throughout are beautiful and moving. Imagination breaks into spiritual reality, which I think, can be helpful to visualize. 

Christians grieve that the world is broken and evil wars against God’s goodness every day. The salvation believers possess today is the “already and not yet” portion of history. We wait with eager longing at the coming of Christ again to make everything right and take us Home. But in the meantime, how are we to live? What are we to do? Like the psalmist, the Christian keeps watch, waiting while living out the commands God has given us. The Westminster Shorter Catechism says the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. The way we do this practically is by knowing God first as our Savior, Father and Friend. Then we get to follow His ways, which He has given us in the Bible. Living holy lives is our aim in pleasing the Lord of Heaven. It is the pathway to enjoy Him forever because this is what it means to follow His commands, living inside His will. This is a beautiful life well lived in His sight. As we become doers of the Word, we will not be put to shame. Faith bears fruit. And one day, our Living Hope Jesus, will be made sight to us. Until that day, wait and follow.

Grace upon grace,