WEEK 26, Day 7, Sunday, 3 July 2022


Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 3 July 2022:

Deuteronomy 29:25 – “Then people will say, ‘It is because they abandoned the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers…”

God will reveal Himself to the world through your life either in a positive way as you obey Him or in a negative way as you disobey Him. God saves through grace, not because of our deeds; however, God holds us accountable to obedience on earth and will not be mocked. We are called to be Ambassadors of Christ on earth and demonstrate His will and authority to others. He will not tolerate someone misrepresenting Him before the world.

Deuteronomy 29:29 — The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Many people spend much time, energy, and effort worrying about what God’s word doesn’t explicitly tell us rather than focusing on merely obeying God’s unambiguous commands. Much worry over mysteries is often an excuse for failing to simply submit. As the old hymn says, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey. But we never can prove the delights of His love until all on the alter we lay; for the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows are for them who will trust and obey.” Have you ever prayed to God to tell you what to do in a particular situation only to hear no clear response? Have you ever asked God to reveal to you what He was doing in your life only to get no clear response? Have you ever asked, “God, what do you want me to do?” What do you do when He doesn’t provide a specific answer? When you are unsure of what specifically God wants you to do, continue in what God has clearly told you to do through His written word; remain in God’s word and in prayer; seek godly counsel from respected Christians, and make the best decision you can. Perhaps the big decision your struggling over doesn’t really matter so much – God will take you where you need to go in either direction. There is much God doesn’t intend to reveal to us for His purposes, but there is so much, much more that He has already revealed in the Bible by which He intends for us to live. When we are faithful with the little things, He will give us more. Most of the real issues of life aren’t about whether you took job A or job B but rather how faithful you were to God wherever you ended up. Often our quest for answers is the product of a desire to live by sight and not by faith. We want God to tell us exactly what He is doing because, really, we don’t trust Him. We like to be in control, and we don’t like the uncertainty that comes with not really believing God is in complete control. Faith, Hope, and Love — Faith is believing, trusting, and obeying God now; and hope is trusting God in the Future. Faith and Hope are the product and proof of love. Will you remain faithfully obedient and joyful during God’s silence? Isn’t it true that during exams the teacher remains silent? Can you walk one day at a time responding faithfully to whatever God places in front of you? When there are no apparent answers, will you hold fast to Him? Finally, it is not where God is taking you that matters most, it is the journey along the way. God’s purpose for you is not some big accomplishment in the future, it is oneness with Him right now. If your only goal and pursuit is to be one with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you are accomplishing your life purpose.

-Ecclesiastes 12:13 — The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

Psalm 75:5-7 — Do not lift up your horn on high, or speak with haughty neck. For not from the east or from the west
and not from the wilderness comes lifting up, but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another.

Listen to this great message from the late Chuck Smith on Psalm 75:5-7 on trusting in the Lord to lift you up rather than being a self-promoter — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpINca_Eq1w

Proverbs 3:1 — Let your heart keep my commandments.

Obey God starts with the heart and is not just about activities.

Proverbs 3:2 — …peace they will add to you.

Knowing and obeying God’s word out of love for Jesus brings peace in your life.

Proverbs 3:3 — Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.

A continuous theme throughout the Bible is the relationship between love and faithfulness. Love and faithfulness go together. Obedience comes from the heart, not from just the head. You will not endure and persevere if you don’t really want to from your heart. The Hebrew word translated in the verse above as “faithfulness” is “emeth,” meaning certain, true, and trustworthy. It comes from the word “âman” which means supported, fostered, or rendered firm. The implication seems to be that the truth of our love for God should be reflected in our behavior, that we should love God in truth, not just in words – “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).” There also seems to be an implication that as we walk in imperfect love and faithfulness, seeking from our hearts to remain obedient, our love, faithfulness and obedience will grow stronger over time. In Exodus, God told the Israelites that, IF they obeyed Him fully, they would be for Him a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation” before all the other nations on earth.

As we have discussed previously, God uses engagement and marriage as a model or visual metaphor to describe our relationship to Him. We are sanctified and holy, set apart for Him as His bride in purity. Within that metaphor God compares idolatry (prioritizing anything above God in our lives) to adultery. When we sin, we are, in truth, placing something ahead of God in our lives, “cheating” on God and breaking faith (See Colossians 3:5 on the relationship between sin and idolatry). In His commandment forbidding idolatry, God immediately connects sin to idolatry and reminds His people that He shows His “love to a thousand generations of those who love [Him] and keep [His] commandments (Exodus 20:6).” Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command (John 14:15).” The Bible says that the church (Christians) is the Bride of Christ. We cannot be engaged to be married to Christ while still having a relationship with the world. We tend to make light of sin, but God doesn’t. He is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5). God HATES idolatry (choosing something ahead of God) and sin (Deuteronomy 12:31, 16:22; Psalm 11:5, 31:6; Proverbs 6:16, 8:13; Isaiah 61:8; Zechariah 8:17; Malachi 2:16; ).

“Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.” (Proverbs 3:7) To know Him is the love Him; to know Him is also to “fear” Him, to appreciate and respect Him for who He truly is; the Almighty, the Sovereign; the Most Holy; The Alpha and Omega; the Creator; our Protector; the Giver of All Good Gifts. It is from this understanding that we are compelled to be lovingly faithful to Him. The more clearly we see God for who He is, and the more we understand His love and faithfulness, the more we are awe inspired. The more we are awe inspired by the Holiness and grace of God, the more we will be inclined to abhor the sin that God hates and the more we will genuinely desire to obey God out of the love we have for Him in our hearts. To know Him is to love Him; to love Him is to obey Him.
Proverbs 3:5-7 — “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.”

Memorize these verses if you haven’t already — they are critical to your walk in life. Your understanding and ‘wisdom’ will always mislead you apart from the continual counselling of the Holy Spirit through God’s word. You do not possess the capacity to know and understand enough to make good decision — you were not created to have that ability; you were created to be a receptor of the Holy Spirit and to translate God’s revelation into practical action in the physical word. You were made to be a vessel. Yes, God wants you to use your volition, but in total love for Him. God makes it clear: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8, 9) How far are the heavens from the earth? The distance cannot be measured. How important than is it to stay connected to God day by day?

Proverbs 3:11, 12 – “My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”

Accept God’s discipline with trustful thanksgiving.

Proverbs 3:27 – “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”

If you can meet someone’s need, meet it – trust God to meet your future needs. It takes faith to give.

“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 3 Jul 22: Today, resolve to never be a self-promoter. Avoid the personal pronouns of “I” or “me” unless you are confessing a shortcoming or volunteering for selfless service of some kind.

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