Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 16, 2018
The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed. Isaiah 50:4
Rarely do I read the instruction manuals of the children’s or grandchildren’s toys. Rita, my wife, on the other hand, is meticulous to follow each step in sequence until the assembly is complete and correct. The classic tortoise versus the hare! Guess who gets it right at a slower pace and who “finishes” first, but has to unassemble and reassemble several of the most critical pieces. You guessed correctly, the one who did not take the time or interest to understand the instruction manual really finishes last. Fortunately, our loving heavenly Father has given us His promises and commands as explained in the Bible to protect us from ourselves, so we can enjoy life as He intended us to.
Scripture is primarily about our need for a Savior. With an other worldly elegance it describes the nature of God and the loving salvation He provides for the pinnacle of His creation: human beings. We are made in the image of God with an inner desire for an authentic relationship with our Maker. Within this personalized love letter on how to live and die are the Lord’s promises and commands that define our purpose, give moral courage and teach wise ways to live life.
“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Psalm 25:4-5).
God’s Promises “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).
What are some of the Lord’s promises for His people? Psalm 19:8-11 paints a beautiful portrait of some of the promises of God: 1) Refreshes the soul, like cold sweet tea to a sweltering body, so the Bible instructs with an instant infusion of hope and comfort to a fatigued faith. 2) Gives wisdom to know the reality of what is God’s best in the middle of an array of good options. Wisdom is mental confidence to move forward in total trust of the Spirit’s leading. 3) Rejoices the heart, indeed music to the heart is the lyrics of the Lord’s gentle voice. Joy found in Jesus is a necessity to be included in life’s backpack of resources to finish well providing stamina for life’s journey. 4) All of them just, a promise of God may not make sense or even seem fair at the outset, but in time we are able to see the justice of doing the next right thing. We can only change ourselves and trust God to mold and manage other hearts. God’s promises have His 100% guarantee!
God’s Commands “Yet you are near, Lord, and all your commands are true” (Psalm 119:151).
What is the nature of God’s commands for His children? 1) God’s commands are true. Because they are based on the trustworthiness of our ever faithful heavenly Father. He is never changing and always available for us to access His grace, mercy, love and forgiveness. 2) God’s commands invite obedience. Our obedience to Christ’s commands is a clear indicator of our love for Him (John 14:15-24). 3) God’s commands help us avoid sin’s consequences. The Lord seeks to teach us His ways, so we can be free from the deceitfulness of seeking our own way (Psalm 119:29). Our understanding and application of how to live for the Lord gives us peace with the Lord.
4) God’s commands lead us in God’s will. When we do what our heavenly Father desires, we are able to experience His best (Psalm 40:8). His commands are not burdensome but uplifting.
“This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:2-4).
PrayerHeavenly Father, lead me to trust Your promises and obey Your commands, in Jesus’ name, amen.
ApplicationWhat promise has the Lord given me that requires a deeper understanding? What command has Christ given me that calls for my total surrender?
Related ReadingMatthew 28:18-20; John 13:34; Hebrews 4:16; 1 John 2:7-11
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