Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 8:17 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “Have Thine Own Way, Lord.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 40:1-10 (NIV84). A New Song For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40 is one of my all-time favorites! These words written here have spoken encouragement to my heart so many times; I cannot even begin to count them all. These verses describe what happens to us when we accept God’s invitation to his great salvation, yet, in context, I believe this is talking about those times in our lives when we are faced with great difficulties, hardships, persecutions, sorrows and/or sicknesses. We can sometimes feel like we are in mud and mire because of the complications of life surrounding us, and so we pray for deliverance. Others may look at our situation and think there is no way God will deliver us, but we trust in our Lord, even when all looks absolutely hopeless from a human viewpoint. And, we wait on God to intervene on our behalf and to work his will and his way in our situations. He may remove us from the situations themselves, or he may just calm the storm within us and fill us with his peace. Yet, our relentless trust in our Lord will serve as a testimony of God’s saving grace and of his power to perform miracles in human lives. Amen! His Trust Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare. So, what does it mean to trust in the Lord? I can tell you that it does not mean merely to profess faith in him, or just to acknowledge what he did for us on the cross, or to just accept his forgiveness for our sins, absent of us surrendering to Jesus Christ and submitting ourselves to the cross of Christ. When we put our trust in the Lord Jesus, we surrender all to him. We die with Christ to our old lives of living for sin and self, we are transformed (metamorphosed) of the Spirit of God in heart and mind, and we are given completely new lives in Christ Jesus to be lived out in the power of the Spirit within us, and in walking daily in Christ’s righteousness and holiness. This is why Jesus died, so that we would no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave himself up for us, and so we would die to sin and live godly and holy lives pleasing to him (See: Luke 9:23-25; Ac. 26:16-18; Ro. 6-8; 2 Co. 5:15; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Pet. 2:24-25; & 1 Jn. 1-5). When we truly put our absolute trust in our Lord Jesus Christ, not only for him to save us from our sins, but for us to surrender our all to him day by day, walking in fellowship with him, going wherever he sends us, and doing what he instructs us to do, we no longer walk according to the flesh. Our desire is for our Lord, to please him in all that we do. We no longer follow after the idols of this world and human flesh and what is worldly and sinful in order to satisfy the deep longings of our souls. I wish everyone who claims to know Christ would get this. The life of one redeemed by the blood of the Lamb should be a life that is separate (unlike; different) from the world of sin, because like Christ/God. We don’t trust in Christ merely to escape hell and so we can go to heaven when we die. Faith in Christ means living for God/Jesus every day in being and doing all that he has planned for our lives. No Sacrifice Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced, ; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Then I said, “Here I am, I have come— it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” So many people will “do” for God, or so they think, but out of their own will and plans for their own lives. They will even make sacrifices and give offerings to the Lord, but as they will, not as God wills. God’s people of old were guilty of this at times, i.e. they went through the ritualistic exercises of making sacrifices and giving their offerings, but God said their hearts were far from him. They were not walking in obedience to him. They performed their religious duties, as it were, but then they did as they pleased without regard for God, and absent of concern for what he commanded them to do or to not do. I believe this same situation exists within the church of today, only perhaps much worse. Yet, God is not interested in what we decide we will do for him. He wants us as willing bond-slaves (servants) who will obey him in doing what he decides he wants us to do. I think so many who profess Christ today really have no idea what this means. They have been taught that being a Christian means believing in Jesus and having the hope of heaven, and living basically good lives, though not all do that, but they have not been taught that believing in Jesus means our lives are no longer our own. We were bought with a price. We now belong to Christ, and we are his to live as he chooses, not as we choose. And, we are his 24/7, not just for a few minutes a day when we have our quiet times with him or just on Sundays, or Saturdays, as the case may be. Our desire should be for him to do his will all the time. I Proclaim I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O Lord. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly. When we truly put our trust and hope in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, his praise should be on our lips daily. We should want to tell as many people as possible about his saving grace, so that they can come to know him, too. We should not be able to hold it inside. It should flow out of us as naturally, or more so, as telling others about the normal things of our everyday lives. We, as humans, seem to have no trouble at all telling others about our kids or grandkids, our trips, our possessions, our personal opinions on life, and/or the life experiences we go through each day. When your favorite sports team wins a contest, for those who are sports fans, don’t you shout it out? Well, this is how we should be about telling others about Jesus. We should not be able to hold it inside. We should not be ashamed of Christ or his gospel. We should not conceal his love and his truth, especially out of fear of what others might think of us, or out of worry that we might offend someone. The cross is supposed to be an offense to those who are perishing. So, if we truly love others, we should tell them about Jesus and about how they can be set free from slavery to sin and can walk in holiness. Bottom line: As followers of Christ, our lives belong to him. We should daily yield control of our lives over to him, asking him to mold us and to make us after his will. Amen! Have Thine Own Way, Lord / Adelaide A. Pollard, 1862-1934 George C. Stebbins, 1846-1945 / Tune: ADELAIDE, Meter: 54.54 D Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way! Thou art the potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me after Thy will, While I am waiting, yielded and still. Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way! Search me and try me, Master, today! Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now, As in Thy presence humbly I bow. Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way! Wounded and weary, help me I pray! Power, all power, surely is Thine! Touch me and heal me, Savior divine! Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way! Hold o'er my being absolute sway. Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see Christ only, always, living in me!