The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 10:22-32 It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, And He adds no sorrow to it. Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool, And so is wisdom to a man of understanding. What the wicked fears will come upon him, But the desire of the righteous will be granted. When the whirlwind passes, the wicked is no more, But the righteous has an everlasting foundation. Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, So is the lazy one to those who send him. The fear of the Lord prolongs life, But the years of the wicked will be shortened. The hope of the righteous is gladness, But the expectation of the wicked perishes. The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the upright, But ruin to the workers of iniquity. The righteous will never be shaken, But the wicked will not dwell in the land. The mouth of the righteous flows with wisdom, But the perverted tongue will be cut out. The lips of the righteous bring forth what is acceptable, But the mouth of the wicked what is perverted.
Unbelievers, those stumbling around blind, having had their foolish hearts darkened, seek their comfort in the fickle whims of their appetites. Whatever the flavor of the day is, this is where they flee for joy, satisfaction, hope, and refuge. Career, hobby, food, sex, wealth, all become a pit of death, ensnaring unbelievers with the promise of hope and fulfillment, promising the world, and delivering only death and heartache, and putting one at war with God. The way in which they walk, in the flesh, is a wide way, with many treading there. This way is enticing, appeals to all their base lusts and passions. “Did God really say?” is the mantra voiced on the broad path to destruction. In this way you will find all manner of evil worthy of death, with its travellers giving hearty approval to those who practice these wicked ways. It is here where hope goes to die, as those walking in this way meet their fate at the end of their lives, and receive their inheritance, their wages for this life of folly: eternal damnation, weeping and gnashing of teeth. The refuge of the unbeliever, idols made with human hands, with eyes that cannot see, ears that cannot hear, mouths that cannot speak, is built upon a foundation of sinking sand, their own folly, and always ends in destruction.
Jesus said that He is the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Him. Jesus is the narrow gate which leads to eternal life. He is the sheep gate, which we as Christians enter through that we may graze in that good pasture, be led by the still waters, and have our soul restored. This way is marked by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. It is a way where those found upon it seek the good of others, rather than their own. This narrow way, made possible by the blood of the Lamb, is where mankind discovers their true purpose in life:
It isn’t to pursue the lusts of your flesh.
It isn’t to be mindlessly entertained.
Your purpose isn’t to have your best life now.
It is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
This is what distinguishes the way which leads to death, from that which leads to eternal life. Who gets the glory, God or man? On the broad path, man seeks glory for himself, on the narrow way God is given all the glory, for:
“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed and were created.” (Rev 4:11)
Proverb 10:29 states: “The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the upright, But ruin to the workers of iniquity.”
The narrow way through Christ is a refuge for those who believe. Like the ark which served as a vessel which God used to bring Noah and his family through the flood, so Christ, for those who believe, and abide in Him, washes away the crimson stain of sin, makes us whiter than snow, and calls us justified, righteous in the eyes of Almighty God. Christ Jesus is our refuge, our stronghold, our present help in trouble.
This narrow way which is life for the believer, carries with it the aroma of death to those who are perishing. The natural man, who cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God, believes the message of the cross to be foolishness. In light of these truths, the path of the righteous which runs through Christ, winds up being a path of destruction for workers of iniquity. Workers of iniquity, to their own destruction, reject this path. Rather than seeing the way of Christ, obedience to His Law, and the discipline of God towards His children, as an eternal good, they despise it as tyrannical, overbearing, and because of their love for sin and the hardness of their hearts, will not come to Christ. This is to their doom.
Where are you today my brothers?
Which way can you be found treading upon my dear sisters?
Little children, where will you be found when your last day arrives?
At this time, let us kneel together as we come boldly to the throne of grace in prayer to our Heavenly Father:
Valley of Vision
O LORD, Whose power is infinite and wisdom infallible, Order things that they may neither hinder, nor discourage me, nor prove obstacles to the progress of thy cause;
Stand between me and all strife, that no evil befall, no sin corrupt my gifts, zeal, attainments;
May I follow duty and not any foolish device of my own;
Permit me not to labour at work which thou wilt not bless, that I may serve thee without disgrace or debt; Let me dwell in thy most secret place under thy shadow, where is safe impenetrable protection from the arrow that flieth by day, the pestilence that walketh in darkness, the strife of tongues, the malice of ill-will, the hurt of unkind talk, the snares of company, the perils of youth, the temptations of middle life, the mournings of old age, the fear of death.
I am entirely dependent upon thee for support, counsel, consolation.
Uphold me by thy free Spirit, and may I not think it enough to be preserved from falling, but may I always go forward, always abounding in the work thou givest me to do.
Strengthen me by thy Spirit in my inner self for every purpose of my Christian life.
All my jewels I give to the shadow of the safety that is in thee -my name anew in Christ, my body, soul, talents, character, my success, wife, children, friends, work, my present, my future, my end.
Take them, they are thine, and I am thine, now and for ever.
In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen
Join with me in standing, and listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Luke 1:46-55 “My soul exalts the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. “For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. “For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name. “And His mercy is upon generation after generation Toward those who fear Him. “He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, And has exalted those who were humble. “He has filled the hungry with good things; And sent away the rich empty-handed. “He has given help to Israel His servant, In remembrance of His mercy, As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and his descendants forever.”
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
(From the 12/15/19 liturgy of Sovereign King Church written by Aaron Sabie.)