"You are my portion, O Lord: I have said that I would keep your Words." Psalm 119:57
Every mercy given us by the Lord brings with it a claim which we ought, in gratitude, to recognize.
The Lord must first be your portion before you will be able to keep His Words.
Without God to be our portion, where will the strength come from to accomplish so difficult a duty as the keeping of God's Words?
It is better to have our good God than all the goods in the world! It is better to have God for our All than to have all and be without Him. He who possesses God lives at the wellhead and drinks from the ever-flowing fountain.
Man was made in the image of God, and nothing will satisfy man but God, in whose image he was made. Manna was fit food for man and God Himself is fit sustenance for the man of God. Only in the Lord can the mind and heart find that which all their faculties require for their development and perfection. When renewed by Grace, our powers are adapted to receive God and to rejoice in Him and, therefore, a full possession of God is the craving of the heart. In God there is food for memory which looks upon the past and for hope which gazes into the future. There is food for the judgment, which weighs, for the will, which decides—for the affections, which clasp and for the imagination, which creates.
If God is ours, we seek to be like He is—we become followers of God as dear children. "He that has this hope in him purifies himself." He who is possessed of the light is filled with light—He who has God is filled with God. The Holy Spirit transforms us until, at last, He makes us to be qualified to dwell with Him forever. Only one more thought on this portion, although many are crowding upon my mind. If God is my portion, then my portion is all of Grace, for no one can merit God.
God is best known to us by His Words. His works reveal Him by a reflected light as the moon, but His Words display Him by a direct light as a very sun of light to us. How do I know God except by His Words? The God of Revelation is the Christian's God. Philosophers, nowadays, worship a god of their own imagination—they construct a god out of their own consciousness and a very pretty god he is, indeed! But the God of the Christian is the God who has spoken and whose Words are preserved here, in THE BOOK. The God of the Inspired Word is our God and because this God is our portion and we know Him by His Words, therefore have we said we will keep His Words.
Now, very briefly, what is this work of keeping God's Words? I pray God, the Holy Spirit, to help us to know it by practically carrying it out every day of our lives. First, then, there is a WORD which above all is to be kept, enshrined in the heart and obeyed in the life. "In the beginning was the Word." That very name, "the Word," given to Christ, puts the highest honor upon every other Word of Revelation. Beware of trifling or being negligent towards any Word of the Lord, since Jesus Christ is the chief and sum of the Words of God. Keep Him, hold Him, abide in Him, continue in Him, never let Him go. "I have said that I would keep Your Words"—this means the Words of the Gospel.
This we will accept by sincere and simple faith. The Gospel of Free Grace, of Substitution, of Atonement by blood, of Justification by Faith—this we will hold by faith right steadfastly so long as we breathe. All our hope hangs there and, therefore, there we will abide, neither shall any seduce us from it. "I have said that I would keep Your Words"— that is, "I will believe Your doctrines." When I cannot comprehend the great mysteries I will still believe them. Though others dispute, I will believe! Despite the insinuations of crafty men, I will hold to the doctrines of Grace intensely— believing them as long as Reason holds her Throne.
What I see to be in God's Word I will not dare to doubt or neglect. The Doctrines of Grace are the backbone of the Christian life. Keep to them for your comfort and you shall never be ashamed of them. If you willingly tamper with any one of the doctrines, there is no knowing where you will drift. Cast out more anchors—never let the vessel drift. "I have said that I would keep Your Words," that is, Your Words of precept. What You bid me do, I will delight to do. I will not merely rejoice in the doctrines, but in the commands, also, and I will ask for Grace to obey them all. I will keep Your ordinances, too, for they are a part of Your Word and are to be kept as they were delivered, without addition or diminution.
I will not say, "This is non-essential, and this is unimportant," but, "I have said that I would keep Your Words and keep them I will, through Your Grace, in every particular. I will do what You bid me, as you bid me, when You bid me." So much evil has grown out of slight departures from Scripture that Christian men ought to be very scrupulous and carefully observe every ordinance as it is set forth in the Word of God. "I have said that I would keep Your Words," that is, I will keep Your promises in my heart to comfort me. I will keep them in my faith, expecting their fulfillment. I will keep them in my mind for daily use and solace. And on my tongue, that I may encourage others.
Since the Lord keeps His promises by fulfilling them, we ought to keep them by remembering them. "I have said that I will keep Your Words," and this especially includes the Word which the Lord has pledged in His Covenant. I will rejoice to think that You have, by deed of gift, made Yourself over to me! Now will I keep in mind Your Word and oath pledged to the Lord Jesus on my behalf! Now will I rejoice in the blood which ratified the Covenant and in the Covenant Word itself. See what an ocean of room I have in my topic and yet I have merely coasted and skirted the shore! What boundless sailing room there would be if we were to launch out into the deep!
My Brothers and Sisters, pray for Grace to keep every Word of God with all your hearts! Do not believe, as some do, that it does not matter what is truth or what is falsehood.
God's Word against man's word any day in the week! One thing I know, namely, the Gospel of Substitution! And one thing I do, namely, preach it! I have determined to know nothing among you save Jesus Christ and Him Crucified! When we get through all the Words of God we will begin them again—but we shall still keep to the old Book and its old, old story! The children shall go on eating their daily bread and, not even for novelty's sake, will we give them the stones of modern thought!
Unless you are very strict as to what you believe and what you do. Unless you make the Word of God to be the chart by which you steer your course when you come into stormy waters and the devil begins to tempt you and the world laughs at you, you will not be able to fall back upon the evidence which Job could so honestly quote in his own favor. (Job 23:10)
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible