5. True Commitment? Psalm 37:5

Text:  “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.  And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement as the noonday.”
Psalm 37:5-6.

Good morning, truly committed Christian!  There is no more powerful means of reaching precious souls for Christ’s Kingdom than to witness a truly committed Christian man or woman, endeavouring to live life in full communion and close fellowship with the Living Lord God.  May the Lord God grant us more and more truly committed Christian witnesses, whose public testimony honours Christ and draws souls to His Cross to receive Eternal Salvation.  Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord!
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.”  (Matthew 5:16)

What is the initial, totally necessary, act of sinful man in seeking to ‘commit his/her way unto the Lord’?  What action does this act of true commitment to God require?

1.  Full recognition of one’s sin.  Any semblance of full commitment to God necessarily first requires a full recognition of one’s sin; how much one has ‘fallen short of the glory of God’, as taught by God the Spirit via the writings of the apostle Paul.  “...For there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God...”  (Romans 3:22-23)

The ‘glory of God’ in this case is the true and perfect righteousness, purity, and impeccable Holiness of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God.  All other mere human, or natural righteousness, is self-righteousness, which always falls infinitely short of the perfect righteousness of Christ Jesus – God the Son.

Therefore, in order to obtain and possess ‘...the righteousness of God...’, one must be Spiritually regenerated by God from all previous natural sin, cleansed by the precious and sinless Blood of Christ’s Atonement Sacrifice on the Cross, and made into a ‘...new creature in Christ...’  NOTHING less will do!

“Jesus answered (Nicodemus), Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (Spiritually regenerated), he cannot see the Kingdom of God...Except a man be of water (natural birth) and of the Spirit (Spiritual birth), he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.”  (John 3:3-9)

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed (or are continually passing) away; behold (look and see!), all things are become (or are continually becoming) new.  And all things are of God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry to reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world (sinners) to Himself, not imputing (putting to our account) their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”  (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)

Only ‘born again’, Spiritually regenerate, souls; washed in the precious and sinless Blood of Christ the Lamb; and sanctified by God the Spirit – can ever enter the Kingdom of God. 

This then is what is required for true and full commitment to Christ Jesus – are you and I in this manner fully and truly committed to Christ?  Think this one through.

2.  Progressively Sanctified.  After one is born again of the Lord God, and sanctified from all committed sin, one must thereafter seek to be progressively sanctified from sins committed naturally, and daily, due to the weakness of our old nature – the flesh.

The Lord God makes provision for this progressive sanctification by:

(a)  confession of sin to God alone seeking His cleansing and forgiveness and strength to forsake future sins.  “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the TRUTH (Jesus Christ Himself, John 14:6) is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse (sanctify) us from all unrighteousness.  If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word (Jesus Christ Himself, John 1:1;14) is not in us.”

(b)  “a washing of the water of the Word”: by continually “...studying to show ourselves approved unto God, workmen/women that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15); and being progressively sanctified from daily sins, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of the water of the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be Holy and without blemish.”; the Lord instructs us that, “Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you.” (John 15:3)  Hallelujah!  Cleansed and refreshed from all committed sin!  What a Lord! What a great God!  What a Saviour!

Verse 5.  “Commit thy way unto the Lord, is rendered by the Vulgate, ‘Revela viam Domino’ – reveal thy way; and by St. Ambrose, understood of revealing our sins to God.  Indeed, since it is impossible to cover, why should we not discover our sins?  Conceal not that which God knoweth already and would have thee to make known.  It is very ill office to be the Devil’s secretary.  Oh, break thy league with Satan by revealing his secrets, thy sins, to God.”  (Nathaniel Hardy 1618-1670)

 Verse 5. “...Trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass.  He does well to leave the whole matter with God; and so to all of us it is truest wisdom, having obediently trusted in God, to leave the results in His hands and expect a blessed issue. (C.H.S.)

 Thought: True and full commitment to Christ necessitates a continual confession of sins; a forsaking of sin; and totally trusting in the Lord Jesus for the Ultimate Victory.

2. Full Trust Always! Psalm 37:3-4

Text:  “Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.  Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."
Psalm 37:3-4.

Good morning, Fully trusting Christian!  Because you seek to put your full trust in the King of all kings; the Lord of all lords - Jesus, the risen Christ - you are assured of ‘good comfort in bad times’.  All things, good and bad, are made to work together for your eventual good, because this same Lord God in Whom you seek to continually place your full trust has permitted you, caused you, to love Him.  Therefore, because you love Him, He makes ‘all things’, good and bad, to work together for your good.  Hallelujah!  What a Saviour Lord we have, in Christ Jesus!

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.  For whom He did foreknow, He did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also CALLED: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.  What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?”  (Romans 8:28-31)

Fully trusting Christians are fully guarded, guided, protected, and cared for Christians!  We have God’s own Word on this vital matter.

The portion of the trusting Christian is the Living Lord Jesus, Sovereign Creator of all things.  As trusting Christians, you and I must continually remind ourselves of our Portion, our Heavenly treasure; ‘the Pearl of great price’, King Jesus Christ.  When we do, we find ourselves delighting in Him, and all blessed assurance is ours when once we delight ourselves in the Lord.  Hallelujah! 

Verse 4. “Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed."  We shall dwell safely and securely in the land, and are assured of our daily bread, when such full trust is firmly placed in the Living Lord Jesus and in serving Him in good works daily. 

‘Good works’ are those inspired of God the Spirit, and done to honour and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ – without Him, we can do nothing good or positive to enhance the Kingdom of God or reach lost souls with the Gospel message of Eternal Salvation in Christ’s Cross.

“I am the Vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him/her, the same bringeth forth much fruit (good works): for without Me (Christ Jesus) ye can do nothing.”  (John 15:5)

Verse 4.  “Delight thyself also in the Lord.  In a certain sense, imitate the wicked; they delight in their portion – take care to delight in yours, and so far from envying you will pity them.  There is no room for fretting if we remember that God is ours.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 178)

People who call themselves ‘Christian’ and profess that Jesus Christ is their Saviour and their Lord – must possess a deep Spiritual desire for constant fellowship with Him and involvement in Spiritual activities.  Without this constant Spiritual desire, we prove that we are not ‘born again’ Christian possessors, but mere unregenerate professors – and mere professors are reprobate, rejected of God!  We MUST be ‘born again’; we MUST be Spiritually regenerated by God, or we are just fooling ourselves. 

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.  Know ye not our own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (rejected of God)”  (2 Corinthians 13:5)

Let me illustrate what this means by telling a story: A man who professed Christ as his Saviour died and was taken to Heaven.  An angel met him and offered to show him around Heaven.  They saw many wonderful peaceful things there, but soon the man became a little agitated, restless, a bit bored with all that he sensed and saw.  So he asked the angel, ‘By the way, where is the nearest bar?’  Of course the angel immediately replied, ‘Sorry, Sir, there are no bars or alcohol in Heaven.’  So, the man then proceeded to ask, ‘Well, where can a man place a bet on the horse races, or play a game of cards?’  Of course, the angel informed him that no such activities were permitted in Heaven.  The man went through many other sensual and carnal inquiries as to how he might fulfil his heart’s desires and enjoy himself.  But the angel quickly informed him that no such carnal and sensual activities were permitted there in that Holy Place.

Suddenly, what that certain man thought was Heaven, became for him a certain Hell! 

He had no desire whatsoever to continually dwell in that Place that contained no means for his soul to gain pleasure or contentment.   In this manner, therefore, he proved to himself that, although he had gone to church meetings very regularly, although he had paid monies on a continual bases into the church collections; although he had no criminal convictions on earth during his life, and lived quite a high moral standard life – deep within himself, in the very essence of his being, his Spiritual heart, he had no real Spiritual desire to be Holy as Christ is Holy, he had merely gone though the outer motions of Christianity, and so was not prepared to live forever in a Holy Place!  He proved to himself that he was in fact ‘reprobate’, rejected of God, unsaved. How sad.

 “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.  Know ye not our own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (rejected of God)”  (2 Corinthians 13:5)

Thought:  Are we really trusting in the Lord?  Are we continually delighting ourselves in Christ, and seeking to be transformed into His Holy image?  Let us put things right?  Let us seek a new, and full commitment to personal holiness.

Psalm 37: Good Comfort in Bad Times 1.Fret Not! Psalm 37:1-2

Text: “Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.”
                                                                                                               Psalm 37:1-2.
Good morning, besieged and impatient Christian!  Every day that you seek to serve the risen Lord Jesus Christ, you are beset all around with evil doers, and workers of gross iniquity whose whole reason for living seems to be to hinder you, tempt you, oppress your Christian soul, and spoil your Christian witness and testimony.

You and I who, in Christ, seek to really serve God militantly, find ourselves besieged, surrounded and hemmed in, by the forces of the enemy – the world, the flesh, and the Devil.  Today’s Bible Lesson from Psalm 37: will deal with this vital fact of our faith in Christ Jesus.

The Subject of Psalm 37:  “The great riddle of the prosperity of the wicked and the affliction of the righteous which has perplexed so many, is here dealt with in the light of the future; and fretfulness and repining are most impressively forbidden.  It is a Psalm in which the Lord hushes most sweetly the too common repining of His people and calms their minds as to His present dealings with His own chosen flock and the wolves by whom they are surrounded.  It contains eight great precepts, is twice illustrated by autobiographical statements, and abounds in remarkable contrasts.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 178)

We 21st Century Christians will learn much from the writings of Seventeenth Century Puritans and sound Bible Teaching/Preaching neo-Puritans such as ‘the prince of preachers’ Charles Haddon Spurgeon – serious Christians, with a most serious cause: to faithfully serve the risen Lord Jesus Christ in the teaching and preaching of His true, and only way of Eternal Salvation.

“Neither is there Salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:12)

“Jesus saith unto him (Thomas), I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.  (John 14:6)

Here is what Nathaniel Hardy (1618-1670) wrote on this Psalm: “This Psalm may well be styled, The good man’s cordial in bad times; a sovereign plaister (Scots, plaster) for the plague of discontent; or, a choice antidote against the poison of impatience.’”  (Nathaniel Hardy, in a Funeral Sermon)

When the plague of worldly oppositions comes flooding in while you and I are seeking to live and serve Christ Jesus in sincerity and in His Bible-truth – we get most impatient to see how much we are hindered by such oppositions; we long for the Lord to just cut through the Devil’s manipulative plots and permit us to have success in our evangelical endeavours. 

We fret, get anxious, get riled up, are tempted to plough on in our own puny human strength and according to our own foolish wisdom.  Thus, we fail, fall down, and become utterly discouraged.  The Lord forbids such ‘fretting’.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.”  (Proverbs 3:5-7)

Verse 1.  “Fret not thyself because of evil-doers.  To fret is to worry, to have the heart-burn, to fume, to become vexed.  Nature is very apt to kindle a fire of jealousy when it sees law-breakers riding on horses and obedient subjects walking in the mire.  It seems hard to carnal judgments that the best meat should go to the dogs, while loving children pine for want of it...

Verse 1.  “...Neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.  Who envies the fat bullock the ribbons and garlands which decorate him as he is led to the shambles? (butcher’s market, or place of slaughter)  Yet the case is a parallel one; for ungodly rich men are but as beasts fattened for the slaughter.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 178)

The unsaved, the reprobate, may well prosper in this world, for this world is his realm and he/she is in his/her sphere of influence.  However, the Christian’s treasures are of the Spiritual realm, and he/she has an Eternity promised with which to enjoy it with the Lord Himself.  This thought should encourage you and I who are partakers of God’s Sovereign grace in Christ’s Salvation.  We KNOW in Whom we have believed, and therefore wait with patience for His return to take us with Him to glory.

“In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”          (John 14:2-3)

“Queen Elizabeth envied the milkmaid when she was in prison; but if she had known what a glorious reign she would have had afterwards for forty-five years, she would have not envied her.”  (John Trapp 1601-1699)

“...God puts the wicked men into fat pastures, into places of honour and power, it is but to hasten their ruin.”  (Ludovic de Carbone, quoted by John Spencer – 1654)

Thought: “...Within believers there is a living and incorruptible seed which liveth and abideth forever; why should they envy mere flesh, and the glory of it, which are but as grass, and the flower thereof?”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 178)