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,



Preservation and Power

153″Look upon my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten Your law. 154 Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to Your promise. 155 Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek out Your decrees. 156 Your compassion is great, O LORD; preserve my life according to Your laws. 157 Many are the foes who persecute me, but I have not turned from Your statutes. 158 I look on the faithless with loathing, for they do not obey Your Word. 159 See how I love Your precepts; preserve my life, O LORD, according to Your love. 160 All Your words are true; all Your righteous laws are eternal.” -Psalm 119:153-160 Resh

The psalmist prays for the Lord to preserve him three times in this prayer. He asks God to preserve his life according to His promise, laws, and love. This octave is similar to the previous Qoph (vv.145-152). There are parallels in the writer’s petition, reflection of the wicked, and praise of God’s eternal words. Verse 160 emphasizes what is said earlier in verses 151-152, proclaiming God’s words as true and eternal. In both octaves the psalmist is in distress, petitioning for the Lord’s deliverance (vv.145-149/153-154). He is surrounded by the wicked, who are God’s enemies, in verse 150 and vv. 157-158. Whether these prayers were written over the same affliction or separate matters, I do not know. But the psalmist once again places his cause and trust in God’s hands. He is asking for the Lord to be his defense, Jehovah Maginnenu. 

The psalmist’s prayer and example are ours to imitate. His faith brings him to trust in God’s promises, His law, which demonstrates God’s perfect justice, and His covenantal love, which knows no end. The same God the writer cries out to is the same Lord whose strong arm rules with complete power today. If we ever need to be reminded of God’s transcendence and sovereignty, especially in a world where wickedness and confusion rule the day, look no further than the Bible. Like in the days of Noah, right up until the flood, evil seemed to be winning. There were 400 years of silence from God’s prophets before the Light of the World broke through. Then everything changed. Jesus came in the silence of night, unassuming, as a baby. The King is coming again but this time, all the world will know it. He will come as a warrior on a white horse. In the end, the psalmist’s prayer is fully answered in the future deliverance of God’s people at the end of Time. This too, is our great hope, as we look back on God’s past faithfulness, His present help and future graces.

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: Isaiah 40; Matthew 24:36-44; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; Revelation 19:6-16


True Riches

“Because I love Your commands more than gold, more than pure gold,” -Psalm 119:127

The psalmist pleads for the Lord to take action in the previous verse because he treasures God’s glory more than the riches of the earth. No gemstone or precious metal is worth comparing to the greatness of God’s glory revealed in His holy gift. God’s Word is the psalmist’s delight. As a believer grows in fellowship with the Lord, he will see the wisdom in God’s boundaries, His commands, in which we are free to roam. Pasture is good, but so are fences to keep us from harm. Whether it is an outsider who seeks our undoing, or we attempt to destroy ourselves in sin, God has laid out His commands as guideposts for staying on the narrow path. This is why Christians find God’s Word priceless. 

Keep to His way and you will be alert to steep cliffs, falling rocks, sharp twists and turns on your pilgrim journey. We can pray for a love of His commands and for the Holy Spirit to help us obey them. God is faithful to answer this kind of prayer since it is in line with His will. Loving the Bible leads us straight to what, or Whom, our hearts always longed for. God’s Treasure Map shows us the way to true life, eternal life hidden in Jesus Christ.

Grace upon grace,


For further encouragement I wanted to share this song. I’ve been thinking a lot about Heaven lately. It isn’t a discontent with all God has given me here, but knowing something better awaits. Scripture directs our steps back to Eden, through Jesus Christ. Christian, this isn’t our home. Don’t drop your anchor here. We’re almost Home.


Judgement and Grace

“It is time for You to act, O LORD; Your law is being broken.” -Psalm 119:126

This verse shifts to a petition of action. It is not a demand, for who can order the Lord what to do? Rather, out of zeal for God’s Kingdom and honor, the psalmist cries out for the Lord to move swiftly. God will not allow wickedness to go unpunished- He will not be mocked. Yet God does not operate on our timetable. He is not bound by Time, for He created it. He is slow to anger, longsuffering, not wishing any to perish in Hell for everlasting wrath. I once heard a pastor say that Hell was made for Satan and the demons. It was never God’s intention to have image-bearers dwell in torment. We were made for Eden. Yet it doesn’t prevent image-bearers to rebel against God either. Rebellion and an unrepentant heart will suffer the consequences with eternal judgement. 

Even the Lord Jesus took action when His Father’s house was turned into a marketplace instead of a house of worship (Matthew 21:12-13). We too can follow Jesus’ example of standing for holiness by upholding God’s laws. As redeemed sinners, we hold two truths together. The law reflects as a mirror of our true selves, mercifully, leading to repentance. Grace is now the freedom of every Christian. Just as we have been lavished in His grace, so we extend grace toward others. As the Christian matures in faith we see both extremes of legalism and grace abused as deceptive. We must stand for God’s standard as the psalmist does, crying out for justice. And yet the psalmist can boldly pray this request knowing he is securely kept by God, resting in the shadow of the Almighty. His sins are forgiven, his debt paid in full with the future blood of his Savior, Jesus Christ. Even if the psalmist’s (or our) feelings wax and wane, the facts remain. God does not give up what He has already bought with the sacrifice of His One and Only Son. Be of good courage and take heart, God will act for His people because He has already overcome the world, starting with Death.

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: Psalm 2; Psalm 91; Romans 5:20-6:23; 16:17-20


Confidence in God

“I hate double-minded men, but I love Your law.” -Psalm 119:113

There is a familiar tone from the octave Mem (vv. 97-104), where the psalmist proclaims his love for what God loves (v. 97) and hatred of what God hates (v. 104). Here the psalmist declares his hatred of wavering faith. The double-minded person is divided in their loyalties, not deeply rooted in faith (James 1:5-8; Matthew 13:5-7; 20-22). Self-sufficiency over trust in the Lord. They lack confidence in Who God is. Reading Christian biographies is a good remedy for seeing God’s power on display. Gladys Aylward, William Wilberforce, Elisabeth Elliot, John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon and Amy Carmichael are a few I can recommend. Their lives show us that we do not compartmentalize our faith. Genuine fellowship with the Lord does not operate this way.

Elisabeth Elliot comments on a Christian’s confidence in God. She says confidence in the Lord leads to a prayerful life, which leads to a fruitful life, which leads to a joyful life. Elisabeth suggests another faith-building exercise (to fight double-mindedness) is to write down in a specific notebook your prayer requests. Over time look back through them and write down how the Lord has answered that prayer. Is anything more helpful than to see how God works personally toward you? 

Even as the psalmist cries his hatred of double-minded men, we must remember that he speaks of their lack of faith toward the God he loves. It is an extreme use of language describing what he rejects and what he commends. We do not hate any person created in the image of God, but hate the effects of sin born in every soul except Christ. This calls for discernment and maturity which comes from reading God’s Word on a regular basis. What pleases God and what grieves Him? Spiritually nourishing our souls is how we cultivate wisdom as we make a thousand choices each day. Holy living is made practical, which is why the psalmist then exclaims his love for God’s law. Obedience to God’s commands keeps us from becoming double-minded people. God is gracious to show us the best path for us to follow. It is written in His Word.

Grace upon grace,


The value of Scripture

“I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey Your precepts.” -Psalm 119:100

This verse is similar to the last one except here the psalmist refers to his elders. The elderly were highly respected in this culture. Here he talks of understanding, a synonym to insight and wisdom. God’s commands make him wise, insightful, with understanding because he carries God’s words with him wherever he goes. He meditates on them and obeys what God’s precepts instruct.

It is wise to hide God’s Word in our hearts so we might not sin against Him. This is a way of remembering throughout the day and not forgetting God as we go about our earthly duties. We will gain insight and blessing the more time we spend meditating on what God’s commands mean, then obeying them. Believers who are doers of the Word will obey God’s way and thereby gain understanding in the value of Scripture through experience.

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: Psalm 119:9-16; James 1:23-25

Treasuring wisdom

“I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on Your statutes.” -Psalm 119:99

This verse nicely follows the previous one on wisdom. The psalmist here speaks of his insight now compared to his teachers. His teachers were first his parents, then the religious leaders. He has learned more than the dutiful Jewish student, diving deeper into God’s storehouse of treasure. Only those with  seeking hearts find what they seek. God gives them eyes of faith to mine the precious jewels found in Scripture. This kind of insight is worth more than all the riches in the world. Earthly wealth will lose its luster one day and eventually burn up in God’s Kingdom. Wisdom from God is eternal for all His students. 

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: Matthew 6:19-21; Proverbs 3:13-26

Blessings of wisdom

“Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me.” -Psalm 119:98

To be wise. Even better is to be wiser than our enemies. This doesn’t imply higher academic marks or a more comprehensive head knowledge of the Bible. Atheists will read God’s Book for merely intellectual purposes, remaining untouched by the deeper truths the Lord has layered in Scripture. The way in which a believer is wiser than an unbeliever is through understanding the spiritual realities that exist. This only comes by faith.

Our purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. We see the purpose of our lives through the living and active Word of God. It is not a dead history book. Believers not only take in what we read and hear from the Bible, but digest the truth in meditation, then act accordingly through obedience. Do you believe all of Scripture to be true and trustworthy? Our answer will determine how we approach studying God’s commands, how we live, and how we relate to God Himself. God’s words are spiritual food, nourishment for souls on earth. May God be gracious to bless you with wisdom in thought, speech and action. May our sin nature (our enemy) not rule over us. Let us seek and pray for wisdom like the psalmist.

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: Ephesians 6:10-18; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Sweet words

“Oh, how I love Your law! I meditate on it all day long.

Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. 

I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on Your statutes. 

I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey Your precepts.

I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey Your Word.

I have not departed from Your laws, for You Yourself have taught me.

How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

I gain understanding from Your precepts therefore I hate every wrong path.” -Psalm 119:97-104 (Mem)

This octave begins with love and ends with hate. Like the psalmist, we love what God loves and hate what He hates. God calls us to love Himself, His Word and others. We hate sin, specifically starting with our own. We rightly understand that sin ushered in a Curse, which hangs heavy over humanity. The effects of sin are seen and felt everyday in this broken world, which is why the psalmist declares his passion for God’s Word and zeal to obey. He also knows a Perfect Kingdom will be ushered in one day. Promises fulfilled and yet to be bring comfort and purpose in this life. As the psalmist looked forward to the coming Messiah, we have the distinct privilege of seeing this promised fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The Christian’s faith and hope lies in the “already and not yet” side of history as we wait on the Lord. 

As we live in the interim, before God consummates full redemption, believers can enjoy the sweetness of His Word. The psalmist loves the life giving fruit God’s Word bears. He takes the Lord’s commands seriously, not wanting to grieve his Holy Father. As a result of his emotions toward God, the psalmist pens a beautiful octave of unrestrained adoration with devout seriousness in approaching His Word. Meditation, obedience, love- in this order the Christian life flows, over and over. It is in this faithful cycle, by God’s grace, we receive sweet words of spiritual nourishment.

Grace upon grace,


When enemies assail us

“The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder Your statutes.” -Psalm 119:95

The psalmist knows the plans of the wicked against him. It is helpful to remember when we too are oppressed by evildoers, it is more that they have a hatred of God than we did anything worthy of their venom. Loving the Lord our God in faithful obedience is our “crime”. Therefore persecution should not take us by surprise because if they crucified Jesus, unbelievers will afflict His people as well (John 15:18-25). Yet we look to Jesus the Author and Perfecter of our faith, clinging to God when enemies assail us. 

 Persecution is to be expected, not viewed as something strange for the Christian. When we suffer for Christ’s sake we can trust God is at work! All Christians should expect the way of the cross in this life- to be a daily living sacrifice pleases our Father. Instead of asking “why is this happening?” we must ask “what would You have me do today?” and walk in obedience. No matter how small or insignificant your obedience may seem, the loving Lord sees all. Continue to do good and place your faith in the One who loves you best. Jesus sacrificed Himself for sinners to have eternal peace with God. Set your gaze in His Word, asking the Lord to help your unbelief, doubts, or fears when you are weary and downcast. His statutes will provide comfort and wisdom to those who seek Him. 

Grace upon grace,


Growing deeper: 1 Peter 4; Romans 12:1-2