Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Monday, 26 September 2022:
Listen to this message from Dr. R.C. Sproul on 1 Samuel 31 and how David’s character is revealed by how he responds to the fall of his enemy Saul — https://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/life-of-david/when-the-mighty-fall
Watch this message on Hebrews 8 by the late Pastor Chuck Smith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oof6Rnkdpaw
Hebrews 8:1-7 – Earthly priests can’t give you the relationship with Jesus that only Jesus can give. Salvation doesn’t come from religious activity and following rules, it comes from a genuine love relationship with Jesus, first that He loved us and, in so doing, enabled us to truly love Him and to follow Him out of love because our heart’s desire is to be one with Him. Obedience is an act of love, not a transaction.
Hebrews 8:9, 10 – …not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people….
We cannot obey God without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit that enables love. Those who are not born again lack the Holy Spirit and cannot obey. Unsaved people can do “good deeds” but not in genuine, selfless love for Jesus. Only the Holy Spirit can move God’s laws from our minds to our hearts, giving us a genuine desire to do what know we ought to do; and only the Holy Spirit can give us the wisdom to know how to do what we ought to do and desire to do. Information is not transformation. Many know what the Bible says, but far fewer know Jesus, and knowing Him, rather than knowing about Him, is eternal life (John 17:3).
Hebrews 8:11, 12 – And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.
Our relationship with God begins with His grace enabling us. Notice again that the goal is not to “know the rules,” but rather to “know the Lord.”
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 26 September 2022: Don’t seek merely to be a good person today, seek Jesus. Obey Him out of love, not out of a desire for personal righteousness or out of duty. Search your heart today and consider why you do what you do. Where you find that your motivation isn’t truly love for Jesus and love for others, whom Jesus loves too, pray that God will soften your heart. Draw closer to Jesus. Seek the mind of Christ and to see all around you as He does. Deny self, take up your cross (suffer in forgiving love), and follow Jesus today. (Hebrews 8:1-7)