Love leads to Peace

“Great peace have they who love Your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” -Psalm 119:165

There is great peace for those who love God’s law (His Word) because they spend an enormous amount of time reading, meditating, studying, wrestling and praying over the Scriptures. The one who loves the Lord will dedicate time pursuing Him in His Word. The result of this discipline is peace and comfort, as we grow to understand eternal truths. The believer has already received the gift of salvation, learning through experience and the written Word that God truly does provide peace which passes all understanding. Knowledge and personal testimony reveal the link between loving God’s law and soul peace. 

But the Gospel is an offense and a stumbling block to those who do not believe. One of my favorite verses is 2 Timothy 1:12 which says, “Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.” Christians do not stumble over the Good News as they once did before conversion. By faith, we know who is our Living Hope. Every child of God is now kept by Him, because He has opened our spiritually blind eyes, imparting faith and mercy. It is then by grace we grow in love toward Jesus our Savior and Friend. It is by grace we grow in wisdom, pursuing God through reading the Bible. 

Christian, pour over the pages of Scripture if your love for them is small. Discipline will blossom into delight with each passage, verse and command, pointing the weary heart to his Savior. Go to Jesus, for He is gentle and kind. He will provide rest for the burdened spirit. Great peace is found inside of God’s will, which looks like abiding with Jesus, in obeying His law. We do not stumble into sin when we are walking according to His commands. But when we take our eyes off of God and onto lesser things which cause us to stumble, may we be quick to recognize the danger and repent. God will bless the humble and contrite heart, bringing him into restored fellowship once again to enjoy a sweeter and deeper intimacy than before.

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: 2 Timothy 1:12-14; 1 Peter 2:4-12


A Sacrifice of Praise

“Seven times a day I praise You for Your righteous laws.” -Psalm 119:164

In Scripture, the number seven is viewed as perfect or complete. The psalmist may be saying that he praises the Lord of Heaven perfectly as well as frequently. Perfect in the sense that he is innocent before his transgressors, which he has already stated. We have also witnessed his sincerity of worship, which is acceptable in the sight of the Lord. The writer’s worship completely characterizes his life. On this verse Charles Spurgeon comments, “As often as he thought of God’s ways a song leaped to his lips.” As Christians, we too are to make our entire lives a sacrifice of praise unto God. All we do and say throughout the day should be pleasing to our Master. What if Jesus stood right beside us throughout the day? Would we focus more on ourselves or on praising Him? This does not mean we turn into legalists, buttoned up stiff forgetting how to act human. Christians should be the most joyful people on earth, delighting in His grace toward us. 

Whether the phrase “seven times a day” means frequency in praise, a holy perfection, or both, the psalmist is secure in his position before the Throne of Grace. He is not spiritually prideful, but knows his sin is covered perfectly in the future promise of a Messiah. Therefore his acts of praise are acceptable (perfect) before the Father. God accepts us because we are covered in the righteousness of Jesus Christ who perfectly fulfilled the law. The psalmist too can rightly declare his innocence and sonship through adoption in Christ Jesus alone. Perfect praise flows from grateful lips from the one who knows his sin and God’s redeeming grace.

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

This is a song I remember singing in the church I grew up in. It seems fitting here. 

Deadly Lies

“I hate and abhor falsehood but I love Your law.” -Psalm 119:163

Satan is the father of lies, therefore every Christian hates false ways because it is not of God. As God’s people, holy and set apart, believers are on the side of truth and love. We are truth-tellers, humble servants to the God of eternal truth. Lies will one day be exposed and cease to do harm. Truth will expose all deceit and endure forever. Praise God for His loving ways which never wear out, but stand the test of Time.

I was reading in Joshua 9 this morning and struck by the example of what happens when we do not seek God’s wisdom first. The leaders of Israel were deceived by their neighbors, the Gibeonites, and rashly made a treaty with them instead of following God’s command to wipe out all surrounding inhabitants. Without the Lord’s wisdom we lack discernment to distinguish what is counterfeit from the truth. Yet as we learn to seek His face, we grow in grace and wisdom, and the Spirit is faithful to guide us on the narrow path with Biblical counsel. But recognizing God’s truth requires consistent feeding upon His Word in meditation and prayer. Without these weapons we stand vulnerable to Satan’s half truths and lies, as well as feeding our fleshly appetites (what looks good to the eyes) rather than serving God. 

Jesus said there would be those who come in His Name, but who are false teachers. We see this play out today with false religions and bad theology. Not everyone who claims to walk in Jesus’ name is His disciple. This is why Christians hate lies because it can be to the ruin of souls. Matthew Henry describes a lie as hypocrisy, false doctrine, a breach of faith, or found in our conversation. It is one thing to be on the receiving end of a lie, but a worse affront to be the liar as this is something God detests. 

When Jesus sent out His disciples to preach He warned them to be as “shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Christians are to put on the mind of Christ, comparing everything we hear to God’s Word. Does it line up as true? Or is something off? Or completely contrary to what God says? What we put in our minds matters. The news, entertainment, social media influencers, friends, family and even our churches need to be examined with what God says is true. Because this is how our worldview is shaped. I think even good pastors would agree that we should know the Scriptures ourselves and not take what they say as without error. Men are fallible, God’s Word is not. As you and I become increasingly familiar with the Bible, and as the Holy Spirit teaches, we will learn to detect lies, half-truths, or wrong interpretations of Scripture. This is our blessing as believers. If Christ is in you, the Spirit will teach you because God is faithful to grow His children into the likeness of His Son Jesus.

For the times when we have been the liar- speaking with flattery, gossip, hypocrisy, white lies, or not telling the whole truth, there is grace. We are called to walk worthy as Christians and not go back to our former ways of sin, yet in moments when we choose to operate out of our flesh, we have God’s grace. Abraham decided to react in fear and lied about Sarah as his wife, claiming she was only his sister, not telling the whole truth. In our times of sin, we too have a merciful Lord to go to for repentance. Lies destroy which is why God hates it. He truly wants the best for His children, so He gave us Himself through Jesus Christ to be the payment for our sins. When Christians are Spirit led, we are operating out of what is best for us and living for God’s glory.

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: Genesis 12:10-20; 20; Joshua 9; Proverbs 6:16-19; John 8:44; Romans 1:21-25; Ephesians 5:8-17

The day after Easter

As you get back to your weekly routine, it would be easy to forget the day we just celebrated. Easter is in the books for 2023. Where has the year gone?! But I would encourage Christians to remember that Jesus is still alive, still on His Throne, still planning to come again. These truths sweeten our everyday lives in a way that is impossible for the unbeliever. The secular world just had a feast welcoming the season of Spring with bunnies, candy and dyed eggs (which are not wrong in themselves). And they have moved on, trudging into another work week. 

The shot of encouragement I want to leave you with today, is to remember God’s kingdom is forever. Did the angels sing to the Lord yesterday? Of course they did. Will they sing to Him today? And tomorrow? Yes. God is not dependent on our worship. He is glorified no matter what. Yet it pleases Him when we do bow down in humble adoration. A worshipful heart is a living sacrifice to our Abba, Father. The emotionalism and commercialism of Easter does not have to dictate the Christian’s worship.

Satan, our flesh and the world will threaten to undo us until we leave this earth. This confirms for me even more the spiritual realities at play all the time. There is a war going on for every soul. Imagine that. So just as God commanded Israel to remember how He rescued them from slavery in Egypt, did miraculous works in the wilderness, gave them the land of Canaan by driving out their enemies, we are also called to remember the day in history which changed everything. Jesus on the cross is not the end of the story. His resurrection isn’t even the end, but the beginning. Christians get to celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of King Jesus everyday. Easter is a way of life, not just a day. We are the ones who have been permanently forgiven, who experience the lovingkindness and grace of God into eternity. He knows our frame, that we are weak and forgetful people, which is why He gave us His Word to read, as well as the gift of the Holy Spirit. Read and remember. The day after Easter holds just as much awe and cause for worship as a specific day set aside on the calendar.

Grace upon grace,



What the Christian gains

“I rejoice in Your promise like one who finds great spoil.” -Psalm 119:162

Charles Spurgeon once said, “In the evil times we have to fight hard for divine truth: every doctrine costs us a battle. But when we gain a full understanding of eternal truth by personal struggles it becomes doubly precious to us. If we have unusual battling for the Word of God, may we have for our spoil [treasure] a firmer hold upon the priceless word!” The struggles we experience today were not new to Spurgeon either. Even with the enormous blessings in his church and extraordinary preaching gift, Spurgeon battled depression. Afflictions like depression can be bittersweet. No one signs up for suffering, but the result when responded to in faith can be sweet. We learn more about God’s character, promises and even our own sin through these battles. Spurgeon points out how we grow deeper in fellowship with the Lord, regarding His Word as dear to us is through experience. It is one thing to know about God like we know about a restaurant, but have never visited it. I understand more about a restaurant if I go and eat there. What kind of food do they serve? What are the prices like? Do they have plenty of staff who are helpful? What you know about God and what you have experienced in your own life can be two unrelated concepts, or an avenue in gaining an intimate relationship with the Lord. 

The friends in my life are dear to me and I am thankful for each of them. My time is limited, but in order for these friendships to deepen I make time to spend with them. They are a priority, therefore I am willing to sacrifice other things in order to cultivate friendships with depth. This is true also in how we relate to God. Those who know what treasure they possess by being His child will not treat this relationship casually. It’s value is too priceless to be cast aside. The psalmist celebrates at the riches God has revealed to him. He holds dear what has been entrusted to him- a precious gift of divine mercy through revealed truth. The writer has already said how he holds God’s Word in awe, now he proclaims it as his treasure. On this particular verse Matthew Henry comments, “The more reverence we have for the word of God the more joy we shall find in it.” We are the ones with the victory, Henry says, over our enemies. Like finding a treasure chest, we have great joy in our newfound conquest- the joy of our salvation, the beauty of Christ, the loveliness of His Word. Yet we are also more than conquerors, when we realize just what we have gained! Dear Christian, you have lost your label as condemned; you have lost the wrath which God has prepared for those who do not believe; you have gained eternal life; you have gained a position as co-heir with Christ; you have gained fellowship with God and in Christ Jesus you are free. 

Grace upon grace,


Grow deeper: Psalm 34:8; Matthew 13:44-46; Mark 8:34-38; Ephesians 1:3-14; Romans 8:1-18

Trusting in God’s justice

“Rulers persecute me without cause, but my heart trembles at Your Word.” -Psalm 119:161

The psalmist speaks of his persecutors as those with power. The heavy hand of his oppressors comes from princes, men who are able to inflict pain and do it with their reputation intact. Although the psalmist did nothing wrong he is persecuted as a criminal. In this way he is a type of Christ who was also brought before rulers on false charges and treated like a criminal. Jesus was

“oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away. And who can speak of His descendants? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people He was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death, though He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth” (Isaiah 53:7-9). 

The psalmist is not rattled even in the face of injustice because he is blameless, still clinging to God. He knows who to entrust himself to and who has sovereign power. Even if the earthly powers given to men are abused, it is God who permits the authority given to them for a time. It is helpful to remember that powerful men are just men- here today and gone tomorrow. It is God who is everlasting. This is why the psalmist chooses to stand in awe of His Word and not run after other gods just to appease mortal rulers.

God is always with His saints, so that we are never truly alone, even when we stand alone against our enemies. There are also a cloud of witnesses who have gone before us, who serve as examples for Christians to follow. They are our silent encouragers. These comforts provide endurance for the child of God assaulted by the dogs of Satan. Like the psalmist, we too tremble at the truth of God’s Word. It brings mercy and relief to the repentant sinner, but equally dispenses judgment of eternal death to the hardened oppressor.

Grace upon grace,


Grow deeper: Isaiah 40:23-24; Hebrews 11:1-12:2; 1 Peter 2:9-25; 4:12-19

A Holy Passion

161 “Rulers persecute me without cause, but my heart trembles at Your Word. 162 I rejoice in Your promise like one who finds great spoil. 163 I hate and abhor falsehood but I love Your law. 164 Seven times a day I praise You for Your righteous laws. 165 Great peace have they who love Your law, and nothing can make them stumble. 166 I wait for Your salvation, O LORD, and I follow Your commands. 167 I obey Your statutes, for I love them greatly. 168 I obey Your precepts and Your statutes, for all my ways are known to You.” -Psalm 119:161-168 Sin and Shin

It is said we become what we behold. God’s will is for every believer to grow in love with Him each day through His revealed Word. Can we echo the psalmist as one who finds great treasure in it? In the Lord? The psalmist isn’t just an admirer of God’s law, but a follower of it. The writer here is fully captivated with the Lord. He loves God the Father and tells Him so, over and over, throughout the entire psalm. Yet words must match our lives. The psalmist’s actions prove the devotion and sincerity of his heart to live before the throne of God in sweet communion. What is interesting to note is that through most of this psalm, he has been under affliction. Yet trials have not pushed him away from God but drawn him even closer. 

I think about specific times in my life when the storms of life have howled. Although I didn’t understand the circumstances, Peter’s words to Jesus came to mind when Christ asked his disciples if they were going to leave Him. “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God”, was Peter’s reply (John 6:68-69). It’s one of my favorite lines in Scripture because it encompasses the life of faith for the Christian. When trials come (and they will), do we isolate and nurse our wounds? Or do we cling to God, our Father, who loves us best? 

God’s Word brings peace in our hearts, praise to our lips, obedience in our steps, holiness to our lives. This discipline of delight is cultivated over a lifetime of experiencing the Lord’s fellowship, discipline, mercy and grace. As we near the end of Psalm 119, the writer looks back over the life God gave him, laying it all before Him. The psalmist presents the entirety of his life as a sacrifice back to the One who gave Him the gift of salvation. We too, are called to lay our lives down for God’s glory, as we become more like His Son. We use the treasure map of the Bible to lead us closer to God. All the arrows point to the Pearl of Great Price, Jesus Christ. May God be our Abba, Father, as we dig deeper to mine the treasures He chooses to show us.

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: Psalm 63; Matthew 13:44-46; Romans 12:1-2


Eternally True

“All Your words are true; all Your righteous laws are eternal.” -Psalm 119:160

This is a verse which varies significantly in different Bible translations. Yet I found those differences to enhance its meaning. The entirety, the sum, the essence, of God’s truth has been true since the beginning. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth […] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning” (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-2). Scripture affirms Scripture as we see it here. Psalm 119, Genesis 1 and John 1 exalt God’s eternality, the validity of His words, and Christ as our Living Word. The theme of everlasting truth was previously echoed in vv.151-152 of Psalm 119. We know God’s word to be true and trustworthy because He is. His laws are eternal because God is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. He is complete in Himself, needing nothing.

We are but a vapor but God’s Word will remain. The trees will wither, the beauty of flowers fades, men live and die, but the Word of God stands forever. Those in Christ Jesus will also live forever, reigning as co-heirs with King Jesus. Through Christ we are given eternal worth and purpose. Jesus has perfectly fulfilled what we were unable to keep in God’s holy laws. Our mortal bodies on earth will fail us, but God promises immortal, glorified bodies for His saints which will never wear out. He will make good on His promises just as He has before. He is faithful. What better example do we have than the fulfilled promise of Jesus the Messiah? Make no mistake, this same Lord Jesus who came to earth, will come again. When He returns, it will be in His splendor, ruling in truth and grace forever.

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: Isaiah 40:6-8; Psalm 39:4-7; 90; Revelation 22


Redeemed in Love

“See how I love Your precepts; preserve my life, O LORD, according to Your love.” -Psalm 119:159

We love Him because He first loved us. Christians love God because He has placed a desire within us to seek His face. Do you remember how Jacob wrestled with the angel and would not let him go until he was given a blessing? The way we “wrestle” with God is through His Word. The truth of His precepts are given to us to engage Him. This is how we learn from Him and of Him. Once we encounter the Living God, we wrestle with His standard of holiness, coming face to face with our sin because we cannot measure up. Confession and repentance follow. In His mercy, Christians receive the blessing of their salvation. Just as Jacob was given the blessing of a new name, Israel, we too have a new nature in Christ. As you and I grow in grace, His words become sweeter, His fellowship our most treasured relationship.

This is the psalmist’s third and final request for preservation. The way he phrases this verse is a reflection of mutual love with His Father. The psalmist has declared his love of the Lord’s commands, then desires to keep them with more grace, more love, more awakening to the deeper and true. Then the psalmist adds that this request be fulfilled according to God’s love for him. Every Christian can confidently repeat this petition knowing very well how securely loved we are by our Heavenly Father. The Lord is faithful to preserve and grow His children in the grace we ask for. 

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: Genesis 32:9-32; 1 John 4:13-21

My friend Anna sent this song to me. It’s very good so I wanted to share it with you too! 

Solid Joy

“I look on the faithless with loathing, for they do not obey Your Word.” -Psalm 119:158

 Transgressors who have never known God as their Father are to be most pitied. Christians rightly abhor all sin, first starting with our own. It grieves us, because this is what has separated every man and woman from God since the Fall in Eden. This is why God hates sin because sin ushered in death, the curse, which has touched everything. The psalmist is heartsick by the faithless people he encounters because it is to the ruin of their own souls, provoking God to judge. 

 Just as Heaven is a real place, so is Hell, and they are both eternal. We see and feel the effects of sin everyday, in the world and in our own lives. This world isn’t as it should be, which is interesting because even the unregenerate know this, striving to create their own utopia. Faithlessness and disobedience are the children of pride and human autonomy. As we live each day in a world that is not our home, interacting with others, still being tied to our flesh, may the children of God be on high alert to Satan’s schemes. If the devil cannot have our souls, he still seeks to tear down the fruit God has cultivated in us with disobedience. For what use is a paralyzed Christian? Dear Christian, rest in the work Christ has done on your behalf and war against the spiritual realities of evil as we pilgrim through this life. Walk worthy of the calling you have received through Christ with obedience. The faithless live for today, but the faithful live with the Living Hope of God’s past faithfulness, present graces and future promises. God’s holy, eternal judgement toward the faithless is what makes His unending mercy toward redeemed sinners so rich. We are the ones with solid joy. Praise God!

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: Romans 8:5-14; Ephesians 5:8-17; 6:10-18; 1 Peter 1:3-16; 5:8-11