“They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Love”

73 Your hands have made me and fashioned me; give me understanding, that I may learn your commandments. 74 Those who fear You will be glad when they see me, because I have hoped in Your word. —Psalm 119:73-74

WE’RE GIVEN a clue in the first few verses of this section of Psalm 119 that the source of the division among the people was close to home, because “those who fear the Lord” are mentioned. This seems to imply that there were some who didn’t, and we’re reminded that these people were living among pagans.

We also recall that we’ve been fashioned by God and supernaturally assisted to understand His commandments and to place all of our hope in His Word. Never forget: God made us; He gave us His commandments; He is the source of our hope, and if He made us, then there’s a plan and purpose for us.

What might that plan be? We don’t really know, except that we’re to follow where He leads us, with prayer and study of the Word. Psalm 100 tells us, “Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations” (Psalm 100:1-5).

In our verses today, we’re given a wonderful reminder about conflict resolution, as God’s sheep seem committed to butting heads, and it is this: Life is far better spent seeking whom you can bless than whom you can blame.

What does the Bible say? Galatians tells us, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (6:10). Paul is saying that we should be focusing on doing good to other believers, and sheep wars are definitely not good!

Look at verse 74 above again. That’s a pretty bold statement! Is it true of us? Are we known for always being a blessing, or are we the ones who are always blaming? Are we continually finding fault in others instead of seeing the best in them as people who were fashioned by God, just like us?

Colossians contains a wonderful admonition to us: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts . . . and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:15-16).

Search your heart: When others see you coming, do they think, this will be a blessing, or, Oh, no, I wonder what their problem is this time? We really need to work harder at being one body. The apostle John, quoting Jesus, wrote: “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35). Does this speak of you? Does the world know that you’re His disciple by the loving way you deal with others, or are you known more for fighting sheep wars? The world shouldn’t have a hard time distinguishing us from them! Our lives are meant to be spent blessing, not blaming. People should be glad to see us coming—not running inside and locking the door. Pray for wisdom in all of these things.

Excerpt from “Beside Still Waters” now available on Amazon.

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BARRY STAGNER

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