Psalm 99

The LORD reigns, let the nations tremble; he sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake. Great is the LORD in Zion; he is exalted over all the nations. Let them praise your great and awesome name— he is holy. The King is mighty, he loves justice— you have established equity; in Jacob you have done what is just and right. Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy.

 

Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel was among those who called on his name; they called on the LORD and he answered them. He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud; they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them. O LORD our God, you answered them; you were to Israel a forgiving God, though you punished their misdeeds. Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy.

Some non-believers say they won’t ever give their lives to the Lord because they think He’ll make them give up everything they enjoy. Some believers think that having been saved by grace they can now do anything they please. Both are wrong.

Regarding the first, the Lord came to free us from bondage, not plunge us further into it. I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10) It’s man’s way that has the effect of exchanging the bondage of sin for the bondage of religion. The Bible argues persistently against it. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. (Col. 2:8) Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. (Col. 2:20-22) Man’s religion strives to make costly again that which the Lord gave His life to make free. It’s become the greatest obstacle to salvation.

And second, having freed us, if He now asks that we behave in a manner that pleases Him, is that too much? You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Cor 6:20) The motivation for a believer’s changed behavior is gratitude for what we’ve been given, not the fear of what we could lose. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father. (Romans 8:15)

And the basis for our gratitude is substantial. Our God hasn’t just forgiven us, He’s adopted us. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Romans 8:16-17) Having shared in Christ’s sufferings (allowed them to cleanse us from our sins) we now qualify to share in His glory.

What is His glory? What’s His inheritance? Look at what His Father gave Him. ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.’ (Psalm 2:7-8)

And how do we share in it? “You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood, out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev 5:9-10)

What non-believers will never understand until they’ve experienced it is that believers haven’t given up anything. On the contrary, we’ve gained an immeasurable treasure. When we change our behavior out of gratitude, we don’t feel deprived. We feel blessed to have been freed from the bondage of our self-destructive ways, elevated from ruffian to royalty, from prisoner to prince and princess. On our way to becoming Kings and Priests. Thank you Lord

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