Friday, April 28, 2017

WORD OF LIFE, PART 17: "SEEING, THEREFORE - PROCLAIM"

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Something very intriguing has been developing all through our study and deeper look throughout Psalm 119. As initially mentioned, each portion has a subhead with a letter of the Hebrew Alphabet. It is no accident that Verses 1-8, for instances are headed by A (Aleph) which is one of the Names of the Word Who became flesh - Aleph (Alpha in Greek). In the previous portion from Psalm 119:121-128, the subheading is AYIN, which means Eye.

Through this "Eye", we observe the verses calling for the Lord to return to not just instruct, illuminate and inspire us with His Words, Commands and Statutes, but we observe that the insight gained therein, leads to a call for final Divine Intervention against God's enemies. This is also coming, one day soon. However, in the past, God has also judged those who hate Him and His people. We see this in the judgment of famine, drought and pestilence.

Now in the next portion of Psalm 119 today, we see the heading with the letter "PE" which means Mouth. The verses are proclaiming several things we are well served, if we observe:
Psalm 119:129-136
PE
129   Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul observes them.
130   The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
131   I opened my mouth wide and panted, for I longed for Your commandments.
132   Turn to me and be gracious to me, after Your manner with those who love Your name.
133   Establish my footsteps in Your word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.
134   Redeem me from the oppression of man, that I may keep Your precepts.
135   Make Your face shine upon Your servant, and teach me Your statutes.
136   My eyes shed streams of water, because they do not keep Your law.

Verse 129: What are the testimonies of the Lord and why are they wonderful? Anyone who has truly been born-again and plunged all into the Bible, will know not just the story of Creation (Genesis chapters 1 and 2; Job chapters 38-41) but the many direct, dramatic and even deadly actions from the Heavens which showed God's Power, Presence, Provision and more. From the Parting of the Red Sea for millions to cross on dry land to the immediate destruction of the Egyptian army...from the provision of all manner of quail to feed these same people in the desert to water from rocks....from God withholding rain from rebel Israel in the days of Ahab and Jezebel to Nehemiah and the rebuilding of Jerusalem....from Jesus being raised from the dead after being killed on a Cross and buried to Peter and Paul raising the dead and healing many...and so much more. From all of this, we see why the Bible is not just the Oracles of God, but the Chronicles of God's Mighty Hand in Action. If all the actions, instructions and events surrounding God were all written down, there would not be enough libraries to contain all the books under heaven.

For this reason, by staying FOCUSED on Who the Word of God reveals and teaches about, we cannot avoid understanding it once our minds are lit up by it (verse 130)! The Eyes of our Hearts have been opened as the song by Paul Baloche goes (Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord), hence the letter Ayin (Part 16). But the true man, woman or child of God cannot and SHOULD not stop there!

First, we are duty bound to proclaim with our mouth (verse 131). In fact Salvation comes when we "confess with our MOUTHS and believe in our HEARTS, that Jesus IS Lord! So we already have to proclaim Him to be in His Kingdom for eternity. Secondly, many Christians do not know the gospel nough to clearly share the Truth and Love of God with others and those neglect this command to proclaim. If the Christian's desire and heart truly seeks after the Lord and His Goodness, we would not just know and see all His Attributes and Testimonies in His Word, but would have at least a modicum of spiritual wisdom to share and teach. Francis of Assisi is misquoted as saying "preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary use words". Although he did not actually say that, many Christians now use this to mean "Lifestyle Evangelism" is "the stuff". Francis actually said something to the effect of "let your deeds match your words", but even so, he was implying you have to use words!

So-called "Lifestyle Evangelism" never brought anyone to Christ or to their salvation! All that does is show "what a good person you and I are, compared to the other guy. They can SEE Christ in us by our actions. But what we really should wish the world to see in us is Transformation. It should be obvious to everyone, who have even come into contact with us for ten seconds, that there is something about us, which they should know. This something needs to be a life changed by the Holy Spirit, the Evidence of a life saved by Jesus Christ.

There are action points listed in this passage which will help lead us toward this end, so that we can accomplish what we are called to - teach/disciple/tell the world about Jesus. Here the are: 
- Verse 132 (turn, regard, look with favor and look my way, even for a brief moment that Your Glory will light up my life and Your Love for me will shine through me, oh Lord).
- Verse 133 (let me remain firmly grounded in Truth, so that no lie of the enemy will sway me, even for one second....and even if we get blind-sided as often happens, the sin and corruption of the dying world, will be swiftly swatted away).
- Verse 134 (deliver/protect/get me out of the way of evil men and women who not only do not have my interest at heart, but seek the destruction of the testimonies of the people of God - Christians).
- Verse 135 (continue to regard Your people with favor, oh God even as You correct/discipline/instruct and guide us to the Wisdom of Your Holy Word).

These four verses will lead to an ongoing dynamic and sweet relational abiding in Truth and the Wonder of Holy God. They also are a plea which places the responsibility on the Holy Spirit to light up the inner being of the Christian so that our spiritual eyes will be wide open, and remain this way. It is only when the Eyes of our Hearts are open, that we can then proclaim what we know to be true - the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. 
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