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Singing Psalm 101 when you would choose friends

What moves you from caring primarily about yourself to caring more about God and others?

“Of loyalty and justice,    I raise my voice in song;To you, O LORD, I lift up    These words with music strong.” ~ Psalm 101:1

You seek the Lord asking him to come to you to help you care past self and think through what matters most as you choose friends.

Singing Psalm 101 when you choose friends who would advise you

He guides you to choose friends that steer clear of twisted thinking, that take a stand against deceit.

The Lord moves you to ponder the perfect way with the faithful rather than to choose friends among the lofty-eyed proud and to take their advice.

How would you choose friends that you would employ to advise you?

“My eyes are on the faithful,    That they may dwell with me;The one whose walk is blameless    Will serve and wait on me.” ~ Psalm 101:6

Singing Psalm 101 when you choose friends who would influence you

The Lord gives you the integrity and courage to uproot friendships with those who lie in order to ruin reputations, who turn away from God and try to take you with them.

“I’ll uproot him who slyly    His neighbor vilifies.I’ll not endure the proud heart,    Or him with lofty eyes.” ~ Psalm 101:5

It is the Lord who  gives you the backbone not to consent to evil, not to be influenced to knowingly do wrong – not to choose friends among those who are unfaithful. On the contrary, he leads you to make it a point to be influenced by those who are faithful to God, who fight with the full armor of God, who are made worthy to hear what the Lord would have them hear and to repent.

“May thinking that is twisted    Be kept away from me;I’ll not consent to evil    Or do wrong knowingly.” ~ Psalm 101:4

John and Paul record the ongoing battle that Psalm 101 references looking toward the perfect city of peace that the Lord Jesus is preparing for all whose works display that they are simply trusting him and where sin is destroyed and is no more:

“I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.” ~ Revelation 2:21-23

God teaches us what it means to choose friends, to have them and to love them. It is the antithesis of the self-serving thoughts and behaviors of sexual immorality and involves turning to God for lasting change.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” ~ John 15:12-15

“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.” ~ 2 Corinthians 7:10-11

The wages of [unrepentant] sin [rejecting God’s love and salvation in Christ, following after evil] is death. ~ Romans 6:23

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” ~ Revelation 21:1-8

“Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” ~ Romans 2:4

How is true repentance recognized?

“… [They] should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.” ~ Acts 26:20

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.”  ~ Revelation 2:11

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~ Romans 8:37-39

In order for there to be a place of refuge from evil, that is, sin, Satan, and death, God disciplines those in Christ to repent and by his perfect blood sacrifice, escape what is deserved—eternal punishment. God made a way to escape the wrath of your sin and designed it so that how you choose friends, how you are influenced and advised, plays a leading role in whether or not you truly repent. “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:33 He desires that none perish, but that all “come to repentance” in Christ who said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” ~ 2 Peter 3:9, John 14:6

“Each morning on the wicked    Destruction I will pour;To free from evildoers    The city of the LORD.” ~ Psalm 101:8

Singing Psalm 101 when you choose friends who would walk with you

“The one who is deceptive    Will not abide with me;He’ll not keep his position    Who speaks deceitfully.” ~ Psalm 101:7

It is the Lord who leads you to choose friends with those who seek to walk in truth blamelessly before and with the Lord.

When you would choose friends

When you would choose friends,Like the sea so many miles awayWaves carry on unnoticed,How and when remain at bay.

Just offshore night befalls the sea.Waves now unseen steadily increase.Morning light peeks; darkness must yield,As you still sleep, waves never did cease.

Entering, riding waves that ebb and flowJourneys converge no longer alone you live,Tossed about into loving arms,Grateful for what each can give.

Children of the King of kings,Content in low or high tide.Seeking his presence and forever friendsWith whom you’ll walk and evermore abide. 

~ a poem on imagining God working beyond what is seen behind the scenes 

Singing Psalm 101 you get a picture of what the Lord is in the process of doing to prepare a place for his people to live with him forever in the new city he is building. This city is free from sin and evil since he is purging the evil from within his people as he prunes the branches attached to the vine, the Lord Jesus. The branches that are not attached to Jesus have no life and will be destroyed with not even a trace of them found in the city of the Lord.

Lord, please help your people walk with you as Enoch did, to abide in the Lord Jesus, the true vine and our only hope.

If you make it your aim to please God as David often did, you will receive grace and mercy as David did.

Jesus initiates:

 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” ~ John 15:16-17

One reason so many do not attempt to love others more is that when self reigns supreme rejection is so hard to bear.

Although Pilate sought to release Jesus, when he would choose friends, he chose to be King Caesar‘s friend over the King of kings’.

The Lord Jesus bore humiliation and rejection with long suffering making him the only perfect choice as you choose friends in response to him choosing you. Even David, a man after God’s own heart who wrote Psalm 101, didn’t choose friends perfectly or live up to this relationship standard as is plain in the record of his life found in Scripture. The Lord gave him great patience as he did not rid the earth of Saul when he could have but rather waited on the Lord to remove him as the Lord’s anointed. Later in his life, David lost sight of the fact that the Lord was there. This led him to lapse into desires to please himself without considering God or others.

The Lord sent Nathan to restore his presence to David who broke most of God’s commandments, giving him the opportunity to cry out to God for mercy which he did. Mercy, along with dire consequences, was extended to him. Paul wrote of one “who believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works.” ~ Romans 4:5-6

David raised his voice in song and loved the Lord with his whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. Though in later times, his strength and love was weak, he turned to the Lord as his first choice as he thought to choose friends. After God, David was careful to choose friends like Jonathan who trusted, loved, and helped him find strength in the Lord when he was being sinned against greatly by Jonathan’s father, Saul.

“Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.” ~ Proverbs 22:24-25

You might think that knowing how awful it feels to be sinned against would put you in a position that exempts you from sinning against others. Although you aim to be in a constant state of conquering your sinful nature, when you let up from fighting, fail to think and pray, and fall to the enemy in the battle like David did, this same Lord Jesus is there for you. Come to him to calm the oceanic waves in your life and to bring you to the repentance you need to wisely live as you would choose friends.

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” ~ Proverbs 18:24

Consider the Lord Jesus, the best friend you could have, who gives you everything you need for life and godliness including air you can breathe, nourishment, shelter, covering, protection, his word, his Spirit, his church, and the ability to choose friends.

When you would choose friends, ponder the gift of Jesus who will come for his friends, and eagerly await that day!

“The perfect way I ponder;    When will You come to me?I’ll live within my palace    With true integrity.” ~ Psalm 101:2

November 10-17, 2023


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