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Beginning from Psalm 90 and reading through to Psalm 100, we see clearly that David was meditating on the character of God and praising Him accordingly. He rejoices in what God has done, is doing, and will do. Arriving then at Psalm 101, David penned down what I like to call, “The Psalm of Separation,” or, “The Psalm of Commitment”.
This Psalm is David’s commitment to God that he will walk with integrity in all godliness and uprightness. Verse one presents the theme of his praise (mercy and judgment) and the object of his praise (unto thee, O LORD). Verse two records David’s commitment to the Lord.
The remainder of the Psalm, then, goes on to elaborate with specific detail what he meant by verse 2. In verses 1-4, David is focusing on dealing with himself before God. In verses 5-8, David is focusing on dealing with others before God.
The purpose of making any commitment to God is so the committed one will always resort back to what he ‘officially’ promised to do. Being committed is not a bad thing – it’s a good thing, but it must be a commitment to God and His ways, not ours. Commitment is good, but what we commit to may not be so good; therefore, we must be careful. When we sing “Have Thine Own Way, Lord,” what some of us actually mean is “Give Me My Way, Lord”— it doesn’t work that way. Commitment is on the basis of what God says and wills for your life. Commitment is when I consciously acknowledge the Word and will of God, and pledge before God to walk in that way.
An illustration that comes to my mind is an anchor. Just as one, at the command of his Captain, would let down the anchor of the ship to keep the ship from drifting, so ought we in like manner, in response to the commands of God, let down our anchor of commitment in order to keep ourselves from drifting.
If the Captain, or even others on board, notice the ship is drifting in any way, the anchor must be checked and re-committed to keep the ship from drifting. Though we at times might wander off in our own ways, we must always come back to our anchor of commitment to keep ourselves from drifting.
We all have an anchor, but we all have not let down our anchor. Our anchor of commitment is God’s Word, and unless we let down the anchor we will be drifting. Some have let down their anchor, but have been drifting and don’t care to return to their anchor to check it and re-commit it; till then, you will continue to drift.
Have you offered up a psalm of commitment to God ?
Have you let down your anchor?
Is your anchor still holding or are you drifting?
Consider David’s commitment:
Psa 101:1 A Psalm of David.
2 Peter 1:5-7 “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; vs 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; vs 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”
In verse 1 the Apostle Peter writes to all who have obtained this precious faith, and in this passage we see a call to…
Note: God has given us all things necessary to fulfill His Will in our life regarding our Character and Spiritual Growth.
A man of God once said“we must be diligent in cultivating it. God does not make us holy against our will or without our involvement. There must be desire, determination, and discipline on our part.”
The Apostle Peter assumes that they already have faith in Christ. So he instructs them to add to their faith, to build-up their faith, to build on their faith.
Let us take the time to look at these 7 Graces very briefly.
(2 Peter 1:5-7) “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue…”
Virtue = Moral Excellence, It is to have Spiritual courage. It is to have the strength to stand for what is right in an ungodly world.
We do this by putting on the Armor of God. (Ephesians 6:13) “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Note: This Virtue is to be accompanied by Knowledge.
(2 Peter 1:5) "… and to virtue knowledge;"
Knowledge = It not just any kind of knowledge, it is knowledge that is from above, it is divine instruction in Righteousness, it is knowledge of spiritual truth.
CH Spurgeon once said “Scripture is a never-failing treasury filled with boundless stores of grace. It is the bank of heaven; you may draw from it as much as you please, without let or hindrance. Come in faith and you are welcome to all covenant blessings. There is not a promise in the Word which shall be withheld. In the depths of tribulations let this freedom comfort you; amidst waves of distress let it cheer you; when sorrows surround thee let it be thy solace.”
Remember the Hymn Eliza E. Hewitt wrote “More about Jesus”
“More about Jesus in His Word,
Holding communion with my Lord.
Hearing His voice in every line,
Making each faithful saying mine.”
Note: With Virtue, and Knowledge, God wants us to add Temperance.
Temperance = This is to have Self-Control… to be biblically proper, it is to have godly discipline,
Someone has defined this as “the controlling power of the will under the operation of the Spirit of God.”
Note: The next thing to add it “Patience”
Patience = endurance, perseverance, and constancy
Remember that the Hebrews writer states running the race with “Patience” The Christian life is not a sprint; it is a Marathon. We must always remember that the Christian life is a challenge to endure hardness by the Grace of God. Paul said “I finished my course”
It is good to start in the faith with a great thunder of glory; we must finish the race with much trials and testing.
Someone said “Perseverance is the art of bearing up and pressing on in the face of all that seems to be against us.”
(Acts 14:22) “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”
Godliness = to live godly, to be like God. To be Holy as God is Holy.
Vernon Mcgee once said “There is a time in every boy's life when his dad is his hero and sometimes his idol.”
We are to have a strong passion to be like our God. Not to be a God, but to be like God in His character. To be like God or to be godly, addresses our way of life or our way of living …
We always see in Scripture that to be godly, there must be a rejection of worldliness.
(Titus 2:11) “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
(Titus 2:12) “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”
As you know the world is always fighting against God’s ways. The World wants to redefine the constitutions of God in Marriage, Church, and in moral ethics.
Notice what Peter writes in this first epistle setting up the platform for his second letter.
(1 Peter 1:14-15) “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: vs 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
Brotherly kindness = Love for God’s people
(John 13:35) “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Brotherly kindness is the salt that helps make salty Christians.
It is a sad thing when you see siblings in the home and Christian’s in the church purposely dodge each other when they see each other.
Brotherly Kindness is an area in which God wants us to increase. God wants us to have a growing love one toward another. Not one that is stagnate or stale.
(1 Thessalonians 4:9) “But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. Vs 9 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;”
Last but not least
Charity = Unconditional Love, a Super-natural Love, Divine Love, Christ-kind of Love, the laying down of one’s life kind of love.
Without this “love” we are nothing and we will mount-up to nothing. 1 Peter 4:8
God’s amazing love shed abroad in our hearts through Christ is the rudder on a ship that controls the large vessel
It is the engine on the plane that gives it power to fly
It is the wick in the oil that keeps the flame alight
It is the greatest among faith and hope
It is never character that ever fails
Once again the Apostles Peter states this character trait in his first letter.
1 Peter 4:8 “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”
Fervent Love = undying, without ceasing, Love
and to the courage of David the knowledge of Solomon;
and to the knowledge of Solomon the patience of Job;
and to the patience of Job the godliness of Daniel;
and to the godliness of Daniel the brotherly kindness of Jonathan;
and to the brotherly kindness of Jonathan the love of John.”
1 Peter 4:12-13 “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: vs 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
Charles H Spurgeon once said,”If our faith be worth anything, it will stand the test. Gilt is afraid of fire, but gold is not: the paste gem dreads to be touched by the diamond, but the true jewel fears no test. It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord’s faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed, and the light of our Father’s countenance is hidden. A faith which can say, in the direst trouble, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him,” is heaven-born faith.”
Do not pray away trials that God allows in your life. The wilderness is a good place when God leads you there. Many lessons are learnt in the desert. However, we must remember that when God leads us to a place He will supply His sufficient Grace. God will supply water in the desert, and He will lead us out in His good timing.
George Mueller once said, "God delights to increase the faith of His children. We ought, instead of wanting no trials before victory, no exercise for patience, to be willing to take them from God’s hand as a means. I say—and say it deliberately—trials, obstacles, difficulties, and sometimes defeats, are the very food of faith…We should take them out of His hands as evidences of His love and care for us in developing more and more that faith which He is seeking to strengthen in us.”
Paul cried out three times to the Lord to take away the thorn in his flesh, but he soon realized that God "works all things together for good to them that love God" and then Paul gloried in his trials.
(2 Corinthians 12:8-9) "For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. vs 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
1 Peter 4:13 “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
Psalm 138:1-2 "I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."
Magnify = to make large, to honour, to lift up, to extol, exalt…
Question: Why does God Magnify His Word above His name?
1. God’s Faithfulness to His Word reflects on His Name.
Proverbs 22:1 “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.’
2. God’s integrity is based on God keeping His promises.
God keeps His promises. God is a God of His Word!
Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”
Here are a few ways we can Magnify the Word of God in our lives.
Meditate on the word of God
Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
Appreciate the Word of God
Psalm 115:1 “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.”
Grow by the Word of God
1 Peter 2:2 “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”
Navigate from the Word of God
Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
Invite the Word of God
Psalm 119:133 “Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.”
Faithful to be under the Word of God
Proverbs 27:8 “As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.”
Yield to the Word of God
James 1:22-25 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. Vs 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: vs 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. Vs 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
Delight in the Word of God
“For Your Law is my delight. God will not let a man die who delights in His Law! You are the sort of man who shall live. If you love the Law of God, the Word of God, the will of God, the way of God, He will not let you die! There are none too many of your sort in the world, so the Lord will keep you alive so long as you can serve Him here.”— CH SPURGEON
Nehemiah 6:9 “For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.”
As we strive to put God first in all that we do and seek to bring Glory to God by the way we live, we will face various discouragements. Nehemiah had discouragement come his way as he was doing the Work of God. Sanballat and Tobiah found out that the “walls of Jerusalem” were being rebuilt, and they wanted to make sure it didn’t happen. So they invented lies (that he was planning to cause a revolt against the king, and that he wanted to be king) about Nehemiah to cause him to fear so the work would cease.
Nehemiah 6:8 “Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.”
The devil at some point will use someone (whether they know it or not) to discourage you from the work of God. They will falsely accuse you and pursue you so that you would be fearful. This is to weaken and cripple you so will not be effective in the Work of God. Remember, the enemy does not want you to be used for God’s glory.
What do we do when we are discouraged?
1. Cry out to God
Nehemiah 6:9 “For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.”
King David was accustomed to cry out to God when he was discouraged. Either by his enemies or by his own sin. Psalm 59:1-12
2. Continue to do right
Nehemiah 6:10-11 “Afterward I came unto the house of She-ma-iah the son of De-la-iah the son of Me-het-a-beel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee. Vs 11 And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.”
Nehemiah didn’t need to hide like a criminal as if he was guilty of the accusation. These were just lies trying to manipulate Nehemiah to do wrong.
Nehemiah 6:13 “Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me.”
Fear can grip our hearts and therefore cause us to react and act in haste with our decisions; fear can leads us in a way that demonstrate a lack of Faith in God. As a result we can lose our testimony, and defame the name of God…Nehemiah knew that God will not encourage him to do wrong and go hide in the Temple of God. Nehemiah 6:12 “And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him…”
Cry out to God, Continue to do right, and God will give you the grace you need to battle against discouragement.
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
3. Commit the Discourages to God
Notice how Nehemiah goes to God in prayer, entrusting his discouragers - Tobiah and Sanballat – into God’s hands.
Nehemiah 6:14 “My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noa-diah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.”
As the temptation arises to try clear your name, resist the urge and leave it to God…As the flesh desires to move forward to avenge itself, pull back and leave it to God.
Romans 12:17-19 “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. Vs 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Vs 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
When you react the enemy has you where he wants you. They want you to act in fear. They want you to make hastily decision, greatest of all, they want you to lose your testimony.
Notice what happens when you choose to cry out to God, continue to do right, and commit them in God’s Hands.
Nehemiah 6:15 “So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.”
Nehemiah 6:16 “And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.”
You’re able to finish the work God has entrusted to you, and your discouragers will see God’s power and know that they cannot prevail against Him or God’s people. The way you respond as a Christian will play a big part in the eyes of others. Let people see Jesus in you!
1 Timothy 6:10-12 “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. Vs 11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Vs 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”
As Christians we are engaged in a spiritual warfare. We are to battle against the things that would war against our souls. One of those things the Bible mentions is “fleshly lust.”
1 Peter 2:11 “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;”
There are many Christians who are not as serious about the things of God as they used to be because they have been entangled with the affairs of this life; making money the priority rather than making Jesus preeminent.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down, How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit—
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.—Anonymous
2 Timothy 2:1-4 “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Vs 2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Vs 3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Vs 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
Remember the fight that we are in is a “good fight;” do not be distracted from the things of God. Keep eternally focused.
1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life…”