Friday, October 31, 2014

Psalm 119:103

The Sweet Word of God
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

Oh, the word of God! How sweet it is! Yes, there are difficult passages; there are parts that are harsh, speaking of the wrath of God; but, when taken in its entirety and in its prominent theme, the Bible speaks sweet things to believers, yet condemns sin.

It is sweet because it is from God. That is why it is called "the word of God." It is sweet, because it tells us where we came from in a simple and straightforward way. It is sweet, because it predicts throughout the Old Testament the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. It is sweet, because it gives comfort and many promises, concerning which God is very faithful to perform. It is sweet, because it tells who we are, why we are here, and where we are going. It promises believers eternal life, now and forever.

I have a grandchild for whom it is very difficult to keep him away from sweets. He loves them and devours them when he can. I constantly warn him of the harmful effects later in life, but he seems to ignore that; but, when we eat the sweet words of our God from Scripture, we must not be worried about its negative effects on us but bask in the beauty and wonderful taste of his word to us from day to day as we feast upon his word to our hearts' content.

Eat these sweet words daily. Remember, we, too, are a sweet savor of Christ (2 Cor. 2:15), and the word of God is our sweet daily portion, though it may be bitter after we have digested it (Rev. 10:9-10).

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Psalm 119:102

Keeping His Word
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

Many warnings are given in Scripture concerning the departing from the truth (1 Tim. 4:1; James 5:19; 2 Tim. 4:4; Titus 1:14; 2 Peter 2:21).  This is necessary, since it is the tendency of man to err, or swerve, from the truth to turn to fables and believe the lie (2 Thess. 2:11).

How, then, can one keep from turning from the truth? Our text tells us that it is by being taught from the Lord. This teaching is done mediately through teachers who have been inspired of God to write down his word to us so that God's word may be imparted to us through his own Spirit and dwell in us permanently.

Notice Isaiah 54:13 And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

This teaching of the Lord will keep us from departing from the judgments of God. When God speaks, believers want to hear.  Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

These "counsels" are God's counsels. They are the welcomed sounds of the word of God into our hearts, hidden there so we will not sin against God. Let us spend much time in his counsels and hear as the wise man so that we will not depart from his word but remain faithful to his counsels, his statutes, his commandments.

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Psalm 119:101

Refraining From Evil
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.  Every man must discern between good and evil. Each believer in Christ has a daily job to take into account things that may come his way and decide whether they are right or wrong. In doing so, we may live a life pleasing to our God and beneficial to ourselves and those with whom we associate.

One of the reasons that we pursue holiness and its beauty is so that we may reflect that righteousness that has been given to us by God through Christ Jesus, who is worthy to enter into the holy of holies in Heaven and execute his duties as our High Priest, our Mediator and our Advocate.

We cannot enter into that holy place with our sinful hands and hearts. We are not worthy, but Jesus is worthy, as stated in Psalm 24:3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?  4  He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

This Psalm is defining the righteous life and the worthy death and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It goes on to welcome him into Heaven in these verses: 7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 8  Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

How, then, can we be welcomed into this holy place? It must be by the veritable righteousness of Jesus Christ, since  . . . he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor. 5:21).

We also live holy lives that we might "keep thy word," as our psalmist here says. When we live holily, we shine forth the holiness that is expressed and commanded in the word of God, and we confess by this that this holiness is worthy of our work, and we then become good witnesses of God's word and his work in our stead, saving us wholly by his grace.

Also, we protect the word of God by our holiness by refraining from every evil way, by choosing the good instead of the bad, the right instead of the wrong, the holy instead of the evil. We guard God's word this way, not because it needs our protection, but because people lose confidence in the word when we live in opposition to it. We protect it in our own lives, professing that we believe it, and give confidence that we know it to be true when we follow its instructions, being wise, not in our own deceitfulness, but in our dependence upon God's word, which cleanses us and sanctifies us from the evil way:

John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Psalm 119:99-100

More Than My Teachers
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

These two verses go together, extending the message of verse 98. Here we see that David can exceed the knowledge and wisdom of his teachers. This verse is not said in a derogatory way to lessen the importance of David's teachers but rather to speak of teachers as teachers only, knowing that teachers can speak the law, not knowing of what they affirm (1 Tim. 1:7); but David seeks true wisdom and knowledge from God's testimonies, or the word of God, the Bible, since the word of God is superior to the knowledge of teachers where these teachers must resort for their wisdom and knowledge, also.

David's knowledge was greater than the ancients, those who lived many years before his day, because, as the word of God was revealed, it shed more and more light upon the character, purpose, and work of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, which David delineated in a great way in many of his psalms.

David kept God's precepts as superior to all of his teachers and of all the ancients who lived before him. Even so today we must keep his precepts and his testimonies; therefore, we can know "all things" (1 John 2:20), both carnal and spiritual, being led by the Holy Spirit through our faith in Jesus Christ.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Psalm 119:98

God's Commandments Endure
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

The commandments of the lord make God's people wiser than the world. The world knows only mundane things,only things that are temporal and wasting away; but God's word teaches us wisdom.

The world uses its wisdom to harass God's people, to bring them under subjection, to intimidate them and bring their theology under great censure and even hatred. Many in the world follow that harassment, and society at large can become infected with worldly philosophies and science falsely so-called.

Violence is the last stand of mundane wisdom. In the end those in the world will resort to violence, torture, and murder, bringing fear upon God's people in the thought that this fear will cause them to deny their Lord and join their worldly religion; but from time to time these worldlings experience the most fervent faith and fearlessness from those who believe in Christ, standing firm on their profession of faith in the face of torture and fear.

This is because the word of God, his commandments, are ever before us. They linger from day to day in our minds and thoughts, and they are the encouragements to our souls and the strength in our firm stand.

So, let us stand fast on the word of God. Trust it for strength and faith; believe it for comfort. God will always be faithful to his word, and his word will always abide with us.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Psalm 119:97

Meditation On God's Word
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

It is love that draws us to the word of God. It is love, that love that God has shed abroad in our hearts, that turns our hearts from worldly philosophies and science falsely so-called to the word of God instead.

It is the word of God that has prevailed in our hearts (Acts 19:20). It is the word of God that has birthed us to God, making us his children (1 Peter 1:23).  It is the word of God that has sanctified us (John 17:17).

Therefore we love the word of God, since it is the word of God that works in our hearts at all times: it is a constant and permanent resident in our hearts since God has engraved it in us (James 1:21).

Then how can the word of God be other than our meditation all the day long? How can we turn from it? How can we despise it or reject it? How can a person who is saved by God's wonderful grace turn away from this engraved word? Is it so that some who claim to know and love the word do not actually love it? Can it be so that professing the word and possessing the word are different things?

Certainly, if the word of God has saved your soul through the Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit, the word of God visits your mind each and every day. But in order for this to be so, one must spend time in reading the word. Don't go even one day without going into the word to enjoy its content, its character, its challenges, and its comfort. When you see these things and fall in love with the word, you cannot help but meditate on it at all times. Read it; write it down, memorize it, and hide it in your heart that you may not sin against God (Psalm 119:11).

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Psalm 119:96

Perfect Law of Liberty
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

David was a king with great power. He was the most powerful man in the world in his day. He had seen from history the building up of the nation of Israel as God's chosen people and had been a part of that great blessing. He was the receiver of great privilege given to him by God to be the king of God's great nation.

David's was the greatest earthly kingdom in beauty, strength, prestige, influence, wealth, and faithfulness to God. It is a shadow of the coming kingdom of Christ on earth, as that kingdom will be ruled through the lineage of David.

Thus, David has seen the end of all perfection, the fullness of what earthly kingdoms have to offer, the perfection, or the limit, of earth's vain glory.

But there is no end to the commandment of God, his word. One can spend endless hours, days, weeks, monthly, and years in search of the end, or the perfection, the Bible; but that will come short of an exhaustive understanding of the word, since the word of God is high and holy, perfect in every respect. It is called "the perfect law of liberty" (James 1:25).

This is not to imply that we should give up or surrender to the impossibility of completely understanding the word of God; it is, rather, that we should "Search the scriptures, . .. for they testify of me (Christ)" (John 5:39).

We as preachers are also to "Preach the word" (2 Timothy 4:2). We cannot preach the word in its perfection, but we are to reach for that perfection in our study and in our delivery. Due to our sinful state, our human limitations, and our depraved ignorance, we are limited in our knowledge; but we are to grow in the grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).

There are venues we may never see; there are maxims we may never understand; there are bits of knowledge we may never acquire; but God's revelation is perfect in its revealed form inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. We are, then, to labor in the word and doctrine (1 Timothy 5:17). Let us not be leery in our lassitude (2 Thess. 3;13) but strong in our study (2 Timothy 2:15).

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Psalm 119:95

The Wicked And The Righteous
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

The wicked are always trying to destroy the righteous. They walk different roads in opposite directions. The wicked walk quickly toward hell (Prov. 7:27) and enjoy it. The righteous are led in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake (Psalm 23:3). They will not be led into temptation by their God, and whatsoever they do shall prosper (Psalm 1:3).

Therefore, the wicked abhor the righteous. Through the entire history of the world the wicked have tried to destroy the righteous. They have tried to destroy their book, the Bible, through prohibitive laws, through burnings, and through perversions of Scripture. They have tried to destroy the influence of the righteous by replacing divine oracles and morals with worldly pleasures and humanism.

William Henley wrote in his poem Invictus:

It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.

But the righteous flee for refuge to our God, without whom there is no redemption, no salvation, no comfort, no security, our fortress. He is our captain (Heb. 2:10).

It is God's testimonies that we consider--learn, perceive, understand, observe. It is in these testimonies that we find our peace, so we must spend much time in them--the Scriptures--so that we may mark the wicked and separate from them, being separated from the world (2 Cor. 6:17) and separated unto our God for love and service by his grace.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Psalm 119:94

Our Security
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

"I am thine" is the theme of this section of Scripture. It is a fact that we belong to our God in Heaven. We are his offspring through creation. He has made us, so we are responsible to him in all aspects of life. We owe him everything, not as a debt, but as our Sovereign.

We who are saved are his, because he has bought us with a price (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23). The price was his precious blood (Romans 5:9; Col. 1:14).

"Save me" is the secondary theme of this section. It means that the psalmist calls to God to do what God has already promised to do--save us. He saves his people from their sins, all of their sins. He is saving us from day to day by his grace, his sufficient grace, which Paul experienced as well as we. He shall also save us in the end and through eternity.

Our knowledge of this comes from our connection with the "precepts" of God--the Bible. Read it! It is our only knowledge for security and comfort, knowing that we have been saved, are being saved, and shall be saved through faith in Christ Jesus.

2 Cor. 1:10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Psalm 119:93

We Cannot Forget
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

Forgetting is such an easy task. To remember is both a blessing and necessity, but it requires work. At present I am trying to "remember" by memory both Romans Chapter 10 and Isaiah Chapter 53. Every day I must rehearse these chapters to keep them in my mind. It would be so easy to forget them, I am sure. I have memorized chapters before and have long forgotten them from memory.

But when something as grand and as effective as the precepts of God have visited us, forgetting may not be so easy, for these precepts are our knowledge of sin, our recognition of a need for a Savior, and the quickening power of God both in our salvation and in our holy living for God every day.

When a lost sinner hears God's word of the gospel, Satan may come and snatch that word away, and the sinner will forget his condition before God, his need of a Savior, and the great benefit of God's grace that may come upon repentance and faith; thus, the sinner forgets the good message that he has heard and goes about his life as normal with little effect.

Others will hear the seed of the gospel message and are at first excited about its benefit, but it has little root (only philosophical and logical root), and the sinner then easily forgets.

Still others will hear as the gospel seed falls among thorns, and the cares and pleasures of the world soon choke away that veneer of gospel truth that only touched the emotions, not the inner soul, of the sinner.

But then there is the seed that falls on good ground, that which God has prepared for the benefit of the soul, the reception of gospel truth that penetrates to the very inner being of the sinner, strikes his mind, his emotions, his actual being, and quickens him, makes him alive.

This we cannot forget, that grace that came to us without our first prompting God, without any effort on our part, without any righteousness of our own, God instituted his grace into our souls to bring glory to himself and benefit the sinner with eternal life now and forever and for the sinner to glorify God in his life of service for the sinner's Lord and King.

Thus, how can we forget that institution of grace that has come to us in the quickening power of God through his precepts? We cannot! Even though some have forgotten that they were purged from their old sins, yet even they do repent of their sinfulness once the precepts of God have come to them through preaching, and they shall be revived again.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Psalm 119:92

God's Word In Salvation
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

The case for the necessity of the word of God in salvation is pressed forth here. Those who do not believe that the word of God must have a mediate position in the salvation of the soul are belittling the claim of Scripture to it and are making a mockery of the sovereignty of God, especially since it is God himself who dictates the scriptural requirement.

The law of God must become a delight before a soul can see himself in desperate need of salvation from a holy God. He must see his depravity, his worthlessness, his inability, and his dependence wholly upon God for his redemption.

Therefore, the delight is in our recognition of sin, our awareness of need, and our rest in the hope of God's promise to all who believe.

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

If we had not heard the word and had not been delighted by it through God's Spirit, then we would have perished in our affliction, our affliction of sin, our helplessness to gain even the first step toward salvation, our affliction of our love of sin and our denial of God, being ignorant, as was Israel, of God's righteousness and going about to establish our own righteousness (which is as filthy rags, Isaiah 64:6) and having not submitted ourselves to God's righteousness, which is of faith (Romans 10).

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Psalm 119:91

Servants Of God
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

This verse is an addendum to verse 90 and continues the thought of God's faithfulness, especially in the sustenance of the universe, its usefulness, and its glory.

They (the heavens and the earth) continue, or are sustained appropriately, by God's divine and decreed order. They may not step out of the bounds of Providence and Sovereignty.

Job 26:10 He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end.

The bounds of the waterline of the oceans, the distance of stars, the orbit of the earth, the consistent pattern of God's creation (called nature), and the consistent beauty and harmony of life are all constrained by God's judgment and are not kept in their routine by the minds or hands of men. Neither are any of these protected nor changed by the wisdom or power of men. Man must submit completely to God's judgment in this matter.

It is because that "all are thy servants." Everything that exists and has breath is a servant of God in the sense that God is the Great Judge of all. He is King of all the earth and the heavens. If he is not LORD of all, then he is not LORD at all.

So much, then, should you and I be thankful that God, through his Son, Jesus Christ, chose us as his children, his heritage, and his servants and his saints. We are a chosen generation, a peculiar people, a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9), servants of the Most High God.

Let us not belittle our position nor fall short of obedience to our King. Let us serve him with gladness, speak of him when we rise, when we lie down, and when we walk by the way. We owe everything to him, not by debt, but because of his great grace!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Psalm 119:90

God's Faithfulness
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

So much is said in the Bible about God's faithfulness that it seems so helpless to try to explain it, but this verse expresses that God's faithfulness is in every generation; that is, it is the same throughout all of time from beginning to the end (Alpha and Omega).

Why does the earth not spin out of control? Why does the wind not escape from the earth and go into outer space, depriving humans of enough oxygen in a perfectly balanced condition for us to breath and live? Why do the stars go on shining as they do in their orbits? Why do the sun and moon rise and set according to even our own predictions? It is because God is faithful.

Why do we know that God will never send another flood on the earth to destroy all of mankind? It is because he is faithful. How can we read the signs in the sky for our seasons? It is because God is faithful.

How can scientists split atoms and build DNA models? It is because God is faithful.  How do we know the science of chemistry, astronomy, math, and even philosophy? It is because God is faithful. We are simply expressing, when we apply ourselves to these disciplines, that God is faithful. Without his faithfulness, luck would be a reality, and chance would be the order of the day; but there is no luck nor chance, because God is faithful.

So the earth abideth--it stays in its course. It does not spin out of control but stays within the perimeters of God's judgment. He is the Sovereign of the universe. There is no wonder that God gave Daniel the inspiration to write in Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? 

We cannot do, we cannot think, we cannot understand nor contemplate without God's faithfulness. It is he who has made us -- Psalms 100:3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Now, if God is faithful in all of these things, he must be faithful to his promise to save any and all who come to him in repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

It is also true that, if God is faithful (and he is), we are kept by his power after our salvation to be made like unto him and to receive our . . . inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:4-5).

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Psalm 119:89

The Word Settled
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

The word of God is not from here. It did not come from the philosophy of man, his ingenuity, or his intelligence. The word of God came from God himself. That is why it is called "the word of the Lord," "my word," and "the word of God."

Its origin is from heaven and sent to earth by holy men of God who were led along by the Holy Spirit to write down what God desired for his people to know--his revelation to man

2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

These holy men of God were not the originators of the word, nor were they the interpreters of the word, but they were merely scribes of that which was already settled in heaven.

It is my belief that the entire word of God was completed, not in part, in heaven and that it was not revealed progressively in heaven as time went on. Just as Jesus is from everlasting, so is the word of God from everlasting. It is an eternal word, not a created one.

Jesus epitomized that word when he came to the earth and revealed himself to man as the word who was made flesh and dwelt among us, who is God.

If the word is settled in heaven, then it must be settled in earth, meaning that it cannot be changed to fit the whims of man, man's theology, or his philosophy or cosmology.

His word is truth (John 17:17), and it is the truth that sets us free (John 8:32). It must be the same truth all the time, every time that we read it, study it, memorize it. Every time we go to the word of God and are refreshed from its bounty, we realize that it is still the same as it was the last time we read it. It is settled.

And it is settled forever. It cannot change, just as God cannot change. It cannot lie, just as God cannot lie. So, we must trust his word and rely on it for our every need, our strength, and our comfort.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Psalm 119:88

Our Quickening
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

David is not asking for God to save him in this quickening, but he is begging for life more abundant in his service for the Lord, strength to serve, comfort in time of trouble, peace in time of confusion, love in time of tempting hate, acceptance of life's trials and concerns, and his interest in God and his word and work.

It is God's lovingkindness that keeps the believer quickened, lively, to do his work. It is the tenderness, longsuffering, mercy, and grace that sustains us in this short, unsure, and catastrophic life. We do need to be quickened, as we often backslide, sin against our God, and forget his many benefits. Only he can revive us again!

This quickening of God through his Son and the Holy Spirit is the only way that we can keep, be faithful to, and guard the testimony of God's mouth, the Bible; so we so desperately need this quickening in our lives each day that we live and serve our God.

1 John 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

See also Psalm 119:25, 40, 159.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Psalm 119:87

Confidence In God's Word
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

Sometimes it seems that the problems of the world are so overwhelming that we are nearly at our wit's end. It seems that we are only a little short of dying and that we cannot continue on, but God is faithful to his word, and he will not leave us comfortless (John 14:18), nor will he ever leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5).

Though the world pound the pressure of persecution, give its total of temptation, or grind us to grounds in its hazards, yet God's word stands fast and faithful.

As was David's due, they may mar his name, steal his substance, take away his crown, and do their best to kill him, yet these things are only human and earthly things, mundane to the core! They can have no lasting consequence to us, for our hope is in God and his word.

They cannot steal his eternal inheritance, his name in the book of life, or his standing before the Great God of Heaven through Jesus Christ, the Son. They can remove his joy only temporarily, for that joy returns when he prays and when he continues to trust God's precepts.

So, we should all put our trust in God's word, for it is there, as we read it, as we meditate upon it, as we memorize it, as we teach it, as we share it, we shall also grow in his grace and knowledge and have more and more confidence that his word will stand forever, and the things of earth will grow faintly dim in the light of his glory and grace.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Psalm 119:86

Commandments & Persecution
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

God's commandments are faithful. They never change nor need to change. They stay the same and are not in flux. They do not bend with man's mind or man's wisdom or his philosophy or sophistry.

God's commandments are faithful in their execution. They are given upon God's true demand for us to obey, and it is certain that any disobedience will receive true recommence. They are faithful, also, in their execution of blessing; for, if we, his servants, will obey his commandments, we shall be blessed and rewarded in the last day.

God's commandments are faithful in their demand for our faithfulness to them as well, in our carrying out of God's will in our lives as we know it, growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

They (the wicked) persecute us wrongfully. They may think or believe they are doing their hurt for God's sake, as Saul of Tarsus did to the church at Jerusalem in his day; but he found later that he was doing it against God's will and was sorry for it seemingly the rest of his life, saying that he was the chief of sinners because he persecuted the church of God.

The psalmist, as we can today, called out to God for help in his times of persecution, and certainly we do need our God's help when persecution comes. Americans know little of Christian persecution, but many of our Christian brothers and sisters in Christ this very day are being severely persecuted in other countries (as well as our own country to a small degree).

We as God's children, as his servants, as obedient children to his commandments, should be crying out to God for those who now are being persecuted severely. We do not know when we, too, may need the prayers of believers around the world for our own help in persecution.

So many times we forget this verse:  Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Psalm 119:85

Digging Pits
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

A pit is used for a hiding place (2 Sam. 17:9) or for a trap such as the one into which Joseph's brothers placed him (Gen. 37:20).

The psalmist tells us here that the proud (the wicked) have dug pits for him, not just one, but many. In the physical world, this would be like digging holes along the path of a certain person so that, if he did not fall into the first, he would certainly fall into one before he reached his destination.

These are the pits that Satan sets for us so that, as we walk along our Christian path, we may be caught unaware of the pits that he has dug for us. His workers, people in this world who are his cohorts, are constantly digging pits for the Christians, whether that be Atheism, Evolution, Philosophy, or Science falsely so-called, they are pits that believers, if not aware of them, may fall into them and cause harm to their witness and testimony of Christ Jesus.

Others besides true believers also walk over these pits and are more easily caught by them, since they are not vigilant to look for these pits. Higher education has caught more people into these pits than anything I can image except for many churches who have taken up Neo-orthodoxy and Liberalism.

The psalmist identifies these pits to make us aware of them. He finished this verse by saying that they are "not after thy law." They do not fit in the content and context of Scripture--"thy law."

So, it is imperative that every true believer in Jesus Christ take much time to renew his mind (Rom. 12:2) in the Scriptures so that he may recognize these pits when they come close lest he be deceived at least temporarily.

Remember the Scriptures tell us through Peter in 1 Peter 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

And notice what Jeremiah said in Jer. 18:20 . . . Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul . . .

One last Scripture that will give us comfort:  Psalms 94:13 That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.

So, someday a pit will be "digged for the wicked," and they will be cast into that pit where they shall received the just recompense of their reward (Heb. 2:2).

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Psalm 119:84

Few Days Full of Trouble
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

Two interesting and important questions are asked in this verse which, no doubt, press into the minds of most people, even believers in Jesus Christ.

How many days will we live? Everyone wonders that, but I do not believe that anyone really wants to know how long life will be. If we knew the day of our death, we would prepare for it certainly in ridiculous ways; but, since we do not know the day, then we know that we must be ready at all times for death to visit us.

If the days of our lives be days of joy, they will seem to be few, I am sure. If the days are days of persecution and affliction, they will seem to be long days. It seems that the psalmist here is protesting to God that his days are evil days. Even Job spoke of these days in Job 14:1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. We cry out to our God because of our afflictions. He said in Psalms 38:6 I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.

But we must remember that there is revenge with God, and he will repay, says the Scriptures, in Romans 12:19. The vengeance is not ours; it is the Lord's vengeance against those who oppose themselves (2 Tim. 2:25) and who oppose God (Psalm 2:1-2).

Those under the altar in Revelation 6:10 cry out saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

But let us be patient, for the time will come in God's own good time when the day of his wrath will come, and all things will have restitution for God's glory. Notice what is answered to those saints under the altar in Revelation 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

Patience is difficult for believers. Sometimes we think that we are stuck in the world forever, but remember Hebrews 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Psalm 119:83

Bottle In The Smoke
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

John Gill tells us that a bottle in smoke is one that has been hung in smoke to dry and can become useless, so man is useless to God or true piety unless there were some way in which he could reach the divine oracle, divine knowledge and comfort.

Matthew Henry applies this to old age as the body is weakened more and more as time goes by; thus, the body seems useless, or at least less useful, to the work of God, and age may bring a feeling of uselessness to its owner. However, the word of God can rejuvenate the mind and heart, though the body grows weaker.

Let us make the application simpler by saying that we are like a bottle hidden by the smoke of sin and confusion in the world and that the only way we can see beyond this world and its smokey chaos and confusion is to look into the word of God, his statutes.

So, although the wisdom of this world is foolishness (1 Cor. 3:19), yet we can still see true Light when we remember the statutes of God, the Bible. It is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105).

We as God's people have allowed the smoke of this world to creep into our churches, blind rather than bind the brokenhearted and hurt rather than heal the sinner by forgetting that our Light from above comes, not subjectively, from our own minds and hearts, but from God who gives wisdom liberally (James 1:5) and that through his word--the BIBLE.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Psalm 119:82

Failing Of The Eyes
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

Our eyes fail to see the material evidence of the grace of God, because those things are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14). God has not yet shown us the things that will soon come to pass (Rev. 1:1) except in symbols and predictions. Soon he will show them to us in a sense that no word in any language can explain. How do we say it? Should we say that those things will be real, or material, or physical? No, these words will not suffice, for 1 Corinthians 2:9 says,  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

There is no wonder, then, that, when Paul was taken to Heaven in a vision, that he could not express what he saw. There is another word somewhere to describe these things, but we do not know that word yet. Even if we say heavenly, or ethereal, or spiritual, these will never do for what God has in store for us.

The psalmist had not seen the wonders of the great fulfillment of Scripture in the coming Messiah, his perfect life, his perfect death, his resurrection, his ascension, etc. He wondered when that time would come.

Now that we have seen that through the eye of faith with more clarity than the psalmist could ever had seen it, we must expect even more wonders to follow, since God has promised us in 1 Peter 1:4 . . . an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

We shall be comforted when we shall all be changed at the last trump and the trumpet shall sound, the dead shall be raised, and we shall be changed (1 Cor. 15:52).

Notice the comfort in these words:

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Psalm 119:81

The Fainting Of The Soul
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

The psalmist's soul, his inner being, the very core of his life, is fainting for the Lord's salvation. This can take several meanings, which any or all may be correct.

First, the soul may faint in its looking forward to the coming of the Messiah, which was a reality in that day, since the coming of Jesus Christ was yet a long time coming.

Second, the soul of man may depend upon itself for salvation, as it truly does before the Holy Spirit through the Law brings a person to the knowledge of his sins, and when that happens, a man will come to the end of his soul's desperate attempt of salvation, which meaning this Hebrew word KALAH (for faint) allows. We come to the end of ourselves when we are shown our real self in the presence of God, as Isaiah realized when he saw the LORD high and lifted up in Isaiah Chapter six.

Then we will desperately run to Jesus Christ as our Savior, since he is the only way, truth, and life. We will in true willingness, given to us by God, come to him, repent of our sins, believe in the Christ of Scripture, depend upon his righteous life, his death, his burial, and his resurrection, and be saved by his grace.

So, the psalmist is here trusting, not in his own soul, his own belief, his own religion, his own efforts or works, but he is depending upon a Savior, who is depicted in The Holy Scriptures as the Messiah of the ages, the Redeemer of his people, and the sustainer of all of life, both physical and spiritual.

He will hope in the word of God, which portends, predicts, and prophesies the coming of the only Messiah who can save his soul from sin.  He cannot see the Savior with his eyes, just as we cannot see him with our eyes; but he can see him in The Holy Scriptures. He can, then, hope in the word of God and believe upon that Christ who is to come, who is to live righteously, die in substitute, and give life to his people who believe in the very Messiah, the Christ of Scripture.

Now we all look, not forward as the psalmist, to this Great Shepherd of the sheep, but we look backward to his work in life and death for our justification.

It is, then, the great concern of all believers that those who have not done so will see this wonderful Savior through the Law, which can bring them to repentance, and through the grace of God, which can save the soul through faith, may faint in their own soul's attempt to save themselves or leave salvation alone altogether. May God make us all "fishers of men" that we might preach the wonderful message of grace to others that,through the Gospel, many may be born again.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Psalm 119:80

Be Not Ashamed
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

To do the work of God is extremely important. We are to work the work of God while we can; and, as Jesus said in John 9:4, I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

But to do the work of God is not enough for believers. We can do outward work and not be pleasing to God. It is the heart that brings glory to God. When the heart is right, when it is warm, when it tends toward God, when it longs for God as the hart, or deer, pants after the water brooks (Psalm 42:1), that is when God is pleased.

Our hearts should especially be tuned to God's statutes, his holy word, the Bible. We must spend much time in his word to know it, to understand it, to experience it, to feel it, and to work it out. Thus, our hearts will be warm and longing toward the work of our God, our Savior, and our Comforter.

Our heart's desire should also be a missionary one. We should long, as did Paul the apostle, to see people saved (See Romans 10:1).

The word sound in our verse today means healthy. Just as our human hearts should be healthy, so should our heart, our inward being, be healthy toward God and his word, his statutes. It is the heart, consequently, that will be blessed by the application of God's statutes.

The beatitudes of Jesus confirm this; the blessings are for the heart, not for the human mind or even our emotions. God will bless our spiritual hearts with truth, and we can stand strong in that truth with his blessing.

When we are blessed in our hearts by God's word, then we will not be ashamed. Notice:

Romans 10:11
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

 1 John 2:28 
And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming
Remember Acts 5:41
And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
We are so much like the Laodicean church in the book of Revelation, a church that was lukewarn, no doubt ashamed of the name of Christ. God spewed them out of his mouth. They were nonchalant and uncaring about God's word; their hearts were not sound toward God's statues. So it may well be with many of our churches today. Perhaps we have left our first love; perhaps we have Jezebel in our midst or fornication, or one or more of the other sins that were burdening the churches in the book of Revelation.

But let us forsake our sin, correct our hearts, point our hearts toward God's word, and get busy about the Father's business, not being ashamed of him and his work and doctrine. Perhaps he will bless us mightily if we will. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Psalm 119:79

Returning To Fellowship
By Pastor Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe

It is assumed that some people turned away from David for his sin with Bathsheba (this cannot be of certainty). These, it is surmised, turned back to him after he had been afflicted and corrected by God and after his great conviction of heart as recorded in Psalm 51.

When a sinner returns to the Lord, and his ways be converted from sinfulness to right living, the fellowship will be sweet.

Gal. 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

So, as Galatians tells us, we should consider ourselves lest we be tempted also. Temptation comes in many forms. That which tempts one person may not tempt another, but we are all susceptible to temptation and its consequences.

When we sin, 1 John 2:1 says . . . And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

Our Advocate, of course, is Jesus Christ; and he can bring back the separation that sin has made between the sinner and his Christian brothers upon the sinner's repentance. Restoration among the people of God is a wonderful experience. We should all be very happy when a believer who has fallen into sin has returned to the fold in contrition and repentance.