Today on my birthday we traveled to Lakewood for Caedmon’s water baptism. It was a special day as much for that events as my 64th birthday and fourth since my health crisis. Dad and mom had the privilege of “dong the honors.”
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “I am determined to keep your decrees to the very end.” Psalm 119:112 NLT
I was recently re-reading Psalm 119. As I read most of this psalm in one sitting in my daily devotional time, I picked up on a theme that I had missed in my previous readings. It was a commitment to obey the Lord’s instructions and to follow His ways regardless of what life brings.
Perhaps that was due to some recent mass murders that have taken place in such a compressed timeline from Las Vegas, to New York to Texas. It is always during this time that people question about God’s love and sovereignty and care. This is especially the case when the victims include the lives of innocent children.
We read in verses in this section the psalmist recognizing God as creator and the One who gives life and purpose. As such it only makes sense to follow the One who is the Creator of all.
“You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands.” (Psalm 119:73 NLT) Obeying God’s commands is the way that we demonstrate our love for Him. John would write in the New Testament, “Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3 NLT)
So we see the psalmist express a dead-fast commitment to follow the Lord….regardless. Regardless of the assaults and attacks of others. He says, “They almost finished me off, but I refused to abandon your commandments.” (Psalm 119:87 NLT)
Even in the midst of facing death and all the questions that can come when life takes unexpected turns. “My life constantly hangs in the balance, but I will not stop obeying your instructions.” (Psalm 119:109 NLT)
Even when it was necessary to “stand alone.” Even when the taunts and temptation come not from our own hearts, but from those in the world around, the psalmist stands firm in his commitment. “The wicked have set their traps for me, but I will not turn from your commandments.” (Psalm 119:110 NLT)
The Lord’s ways and instructions to us are not just “good suggestions.” They are not to be viewed as a supplement to my own ways or thoughts. They are to be viewed with great value and held with great tenacity. “Your laws are my treasure; they are my heart’s delight.” (Psalm 119:111 NLT)
What we treasure is held on to tenaciously. So it is to be with the instructions that we have from the Lord. God’s commands tell us what to do and what to avoid. They are of great value, they are a treasure and they are a reward. “They are a………great reward for those who obey them.” (Psalm 119:11 NLT)
Following the Lord’s instructions with a firm commitment reveals that we understand that He is our Creator, the He is God and “not we ourselves,” It shows that we hold them as a “treasure” and it shows we understand that following them results in “great reward.”
Prayer for today…. Lord help us to understand that your instructions are more than suggestions or “nice” guidelines for our life. They are to be held on to tenaciously as a path of reward regardless of what we face or what comes against us.