41 Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord,
your salvation according to your promise;
42 then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me,
for I trust in your word.
43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
for my hope is in your rules.
44 I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever,
45 and I shall walk in a wide place,
for I have sought your precepts.
46 I will also speak of your testimonies before kings
and shall not be put to shame,
47 for I find my delight in your commandments,
which I love.
48 I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love,
and I will meditate on your statutes.
Sermon 50 (Psalm 119:44)
- The text contains a promise of obedience. 1. The matter promised, I shall keep thy law. 2. The manner and constancy of that obedience, continually for ever and ever.
- When God answers our hope and expectation, gratitude should excite and quicken us to give him all manner of obedience. If he will give us a heart, and a little liberty to confess his name and serve him, we should not be backward or uncertain, but walk closely with him.
- If God do daily give assistance, we shall stand; if not, we fall and falter. This will be a means of his perseverance; not only engage and oblige him, but help him to hold out to the end.
- Unless believers do strongly persist in the resistance to temptation, they will soon be turned out of the way; therefore David binds his heart firmly. We must do it now, yea, always, unto the end.
- Those that are deeply affected with anything are wont to express themselves as largely as they can.
- Doct. Constancy and perseverance in obedience is the commendation of it.
- I shall distinguish of a double constancy and perseverance, and under each branch give some reasons, with their applications. 1. A perseverance without intermission. 2. Without defection. Both are necessary.
- Let me give some considerations to enforce it, to serve God continually. 1. The law of God doth universally bind, and the obligation thereof never ceaseth, so as there can be no truce with sin for a while, nor any intermission of grace for a moment:
- Every motion and every operation of ours is under a law; our thoughts and words are under a law, and our actions are under a law; all that we speak and all that we do, it is still under a rule. The law of God is of perpetual use to show us what we must do and what we must leave undone. Oh, how exact should we be if we did regard this, and were mindful of the perpetual obligation of the law!
- 2. Grace planted in the heart should be always working. The fire on the altar was never to go out; and so grace should be always working, and influence all our actions, civil and sacred:
- A Christian doth not only pray in the fear of God, but eat, drink, and trade in the fear of God. So the love of God, in referring all things to his glory, whether they be acts of worship, or acts of charity, or of our callings, or recreations: grace hath an influence upon these, and is still to be at work upon these.
- 3. God’s eye is always upon us; he is alike everywhere; therefore a Christian should be alike everywhere, always like himself, at home and abroad, alone and in company:
- When you are alone you are not alone, God is there; we have a heavenly Father that seeth in secret.
- 4. God is always at work for us.
- 5. All our actions concern eternity. This life is compared to a walk, Eph. 2:10. Everything we do or speak is a step either to heaven or hell, therefore to have an influence or tendency on that action.
- 6. To be off and on with God will cost us much sorrow; it will be bitterness in the end. Either it will cost us the bitterness of repentance here, or of weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth for ever; either holy compunction or everlasting horror.
- 7. By every intermission we may lose ground, and possibly may never wholly, if we recover it in part again. We may lose ground, for the way of the Lord is strength to the upright,’
- To apply this part. Use 1. It should humble us all that we are so fickle and inconstant in that which is good. Our hearts are unstable as water. In the space of an hour, how are our thoughts changed from good to evil, and from evil to good in a moment! Oh, how changeable and fickle are our hearts! This should humble us.
- Secondly, A perseverance without defection and apostasy, that we may not fall off from God when we have taken a profession of his name upon us. Now, the considerations to quicken you to that will be these:— 1. Consider how equal it is that our duty should last so long as we would have God’s blessings last, that one part should answer another.
- 2. We have the same reasons to continue that we had to begin at first; there is the same loveliness in God’s ways; Christ is as sweet as ever, and heaven as worthy and as great as ever. If there be any difference, there is more reason to continue than there was to begin. Why? Because we have more experience of the sweetness of Christ; you knew him before only by report and hearsay, but now you have tasted he is gracious, you know him by experience.
- 3. Consider the danger and mischievous effects of apostasy and declining from God.
- Use 1. For reproof. 1. Those that take up religion only by way of essay and trial, that do not resolve upon all hazards, but take it only as a walk, and not a journey, like men that go to sea for pleasure, not to make a voyage. But whenever we begin with God, we should say, I will keep thy law continually for ever and ever. We should sit down and count the charges, make God a good allowance, resolve that nothing shall with draw us from him. 2. It reproveth aguish Christians, whose piety and devotion takes them by fits. 3. Those that are of the Samaritan temper, swayed altogether by temporal advantages.
- Use 2. For exhortation, to press you thus to keep God’s law for ever and ever. To this end—
- Direct. 1. Be fortified within. After you have gotten grace—I suppose men that they are in a good way—oh, be fortified from that which may shake you from without. Three things are wont to hurry men from one extreme to another—errors, persecutions, and scandals.
- Direct. 2. Be fortified within by taking heed to the causes of apostasy and falling off from the truth, either in judgment or practice. What are those things? 1. Ungrounded assent. 2. Ungrounded profession. 3. Unmodified lusts. 4. A fond easiness. 5. Self-confidence.
- Direct. 3. Take heed of the first decays, and look often on the state of your hearts.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible