33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.35 Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.36 Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.38 Confirm to your servant your promise, that you may be feared.39 Turn away the reproach that I dread, for your rules are good.40 Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!
Sermon 42 (Psalm 119:37)
- The first request is for the removing the impediments to obedience, the other for addition of new degrees of grace. These two are fitly joined, for they have a natural influence upon one another; unless we turn way our eyes from vanity, we shall soon contract a deadness of heart. Nothing causeth it so much as an inordinate liberty in carnal vanities. When our affections are alive to other things, they are dead to God; therefore the less we let loose our hearts to these things the more lively and cheerful in the work of obedience.
- 1. Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity.’ There observe—(1.) The object, vanity; (2.) The faculty, mine eyes; (3.) The act of grace desired, the removing of this faculty from this object.
- Doct. It concerneth those that would walk with God to have their eyes turned away from worldly things. I shall give you the meaning in these propositions.
- 1. He that would be quickened, carried out with life and vigour in the ways of God, must first be mortified. Many would fain live with Christ, but first they must learn to die unto sin. It is impossible for sin and grace to live in the same subject.
- 2. One great means of mortification is guarding the senses, eyes, and ears, and taste, and touch, that they may not betray the heart.
- The eye, as it is used, will either be a help or a snare; either it will let in the sparks of temptation, or enkindle the fire of true devotion. These are the windows which God hath placed in the top of the building, that man from thence may contemplate God’s works, and take a prospect of heaven, the place of our eternal residence. The eye must be looked to, because it hath been the window by which Satan hath crept in, and all manner of poison conveyed to the soul.
- It is dangerous to dally with temptations, and to think no great harm will come of it.
- Quickening is very necessary for them that would walk in God’s ways. I shall not consider it here as a prayer to God, or as it is a blessing to be asked of God, but as it is necessary to obedience; and here I shall inquire— 1. What quickening is. 2. Show the necessity of it.
- First, What quickening is. It is put for two things (1.) It is put for regeneration or the infusion of grace; (2.) For the renewing the vigour of the life of grace, the renewed influence of God, whereby this grace is stirred up in our hearts. First, for regeneration or the in fusion of grace: Eph. 2:1, 2, When we were dead in trespasses and sins, yet now hath he quickened us.’ Then we are quickened or made alive to God when we are new born, when there is a habitual principle of grace put into our hearts. Secondly, Quickening is put for the renewed excitation of grace, when the life that we have received is carried on to some further increase; and so it is twofold, either by way of comfort in our afflictions, or enlivening in a way of holiness.
- Liveliness in obedience doth depend upon God’s blessing; unless he put life and keep life in our souls, all cometh to nothing. Come to God upon the account of his glory: Ps. 143:11, Quicken me, O Lord, for thy name’s sake; for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.’ His tender mercies: Ps. 119:156, Great are thy tender mercies, O Lord; quicken me according to thy judgments.’ Come to him upon the account of Christ: John 10:10, I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly;’ and John 7:38, He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’ Every new act of faith draweth from Christ some in crease of spiritual life.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible