Psalm 19:8 Joy And Light

Happy baby

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. Psalm 19:8 

Rules are something that most people do not really like. They do not like being told what to do or how to do it. People want the freedom to do what they want, when they want and how they want to do it. Anything less than this is restriction and not a joy.

When people follow the rules, it is usually when someone in authority is nearby and then it is not done with joy. It is done out of force to keep from getting into trouble. As soon as the authority is out of sight, the person will go back to breaking the rules. While most people don’t go extreme on breaking the rules, they still will break them.

David found out that the precepts, or general laws of God were something that brought joy and light into a person’s life.

At the time David said this, he was under the law. It was a do or die system. There was no grace or forgiveness.

With the coming of Jesus, this changed things. There was forgiveness and mercy to be shown. The heart is now changed.

People in and out of the church often see the law as something that is legalistic and mandatory, and they don’t like it. Yet, the law can bring joy. It shows a person what God loves. It guides a person in how to live, think and act in ways that will please God.

This is not something that is a to be done out of force, but out of love. Since Jesus died for each and every person to give him life, that person should be more than willing to obey God’s laws. Those laws teach a person how to live in righteousness and holiness. Living this way brings joy and light into the life of a person.

As you look at the laws of God, don’t see them as legal requirements, but as the best way to live for God. Choose to follow them out of love for God because of what Jesus did for you.

When obeying God, you will find joy in your heart and life. There will be no fear of judgement or condemnation, because you know you are doing what God wants you to do.

I pray today that you will find joy in obeying God; that you will see the value in God’s commands; that you will see God’s heart in His rules; and that you will choose to obey God in every area of your life. 

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2 Kings 18:6 No Stopping

jogging on a road

He held fast to the LORD and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the LORD had given Moses. 2 Kings 18:6 

As people are moving forward with something, there will come a lot of opposition and challenges. It can become easy to throw in the towel and give up. Or it can be easy to get distracted on the way and change paths.

It is very common for a person to begin something, but then to shortly give it up for something else or because it is too difficult. Those who continue to press on are the ones who become successful. Very few people become successful without a lot of struggle and dedication. Beginning well is easy, but finishing well is a challenge.

Hezekiah had become king of Judah and immediately he went through the nation and had all the high places to the false gods torn down. He focused on serving God and obeying all of His commands. He chose to hold fast to God and refuse to stop.

Starting to following God is not a difficult thing to do for most people. However, continuing to follow Him and obey Him may be a challenge. It challenge one’s belief and trust in God. It challenges his focus on serving God.

As soon as one begins to follow God, the world will strive to stop the following. Things will attempt to get in the way and distract the person from God and His commands. Reasons to not obey will constantly pop up.

The believer must hold on fast to God and not give up. He must hold on to God as though he were holding on to a rope that his life depended upon, because his life does depend upon God. One cannot save his life, but once saved he needs to honor God with his life by obedience.

At some point in your life, you have chosen to follow God and obey Him. The world will do what it can to distract you and turn you away from God and obeying Him. Do not allow yourself to get distracted and disobey God’s commands to you. Hold fast onto God.

Know that God has the best plans for you. The world has plans to destroy you in the end. As you are holding fast to God, He is holding fast to you. God will not allow you to be destroyed. Don’t stop holding on to God.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be dedicated to serving God; that you will know what God wants of you; and that you will not stop obeying God. 

1 Kings 13:21 Completely Follow God

Forest road

He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, “This is what the LORD says: ‘You have defied the word of the LORD and have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you.'” 1 Kings 13:21 

Obeying the rules is something that a lot of people claim that they do. However, many of those same people do not always follow the rules. There are times that they break the rules, sometimes on accident, but often on purpose. They choose not to obey for personal, selfish reasons.

At times when they choose to not follow the rules, they will give excuses as to why they didn’t follow them. Or they ignore the truth of what they did.

There was a man of God from Judah who had received a message from God to give to King Jeroboam. He was to deliver the message and  immediately return home and not stop anywhere else. He did give the message and began to head home. As he was going home, another prophet came to him, telling him a lie that God said to come eat with him. The man from Judah goes.

Immediately upon eating, the prophet tells him that he did not obey God, but did what he was told not to do. The man from Judah was led astray from God by a false prophet.

Many believers are told by God as to what they need to do. As they are in the process, other believers or false believers, will encourage them to change directions. Then some believers will choose to stop doing what they were told by God to do, in order to follow another believer or false believer. As with the man from Judah, many believers defy the word of God.

When God tells you something that you need to do, you must do it. Keep your focus on what God has told you. God does not change His mind or change directions like many in the world will do.

Not everyone will understand what God has told you to do, but you must keep doing it. There will be some believers who will attempt to change your path or direction, even in the name of God. Do not allow other believers to lead you astray from doing what God has told you to do.

God will speak and guide you directly Himself, if you allow Him too. Don’t change the course God has you on. Keep following Him.

I pray today that you will know what God wants you to do; that you will stay focused on what God tells you to do; that God will open your eyes to false prophets; and that God will strengthen you to make the right choices. 

1 Kings 2:3 How To Prosper

Stalks of wheat

“and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go” 1 Kings 2:3

The desire to prosper is something most people have. They want to be successful in everything that they do. Searching the internet will show millions of ways to be prosperous in this life. Billions of dollars are spent annually by people seeking to be more prosperous. There is advice on how to be prosperous in every area of life, relationships, finances, positions, family, marriage, hobbies, and more.

As David was coming to the end of his life, he had made Solomon, his son, the next king of Israel. He gave some advice to Solomon on how to be king. The greatest advice he gave him was to observe and know what God requires of him. All Solomon had to do was obey God and follow all of His commands, then he would be prosperous in all that he does.

The world sees prosperity as being wealthy and having a lot of things, and being in the number one position. While being wealthy and having things can make some things easier, it may not be the most prosperous, because the soul is still lost. If one has all the money in the world, but does not obey God, he has nothing in the end.

Obeying and serving God will create a greater prosperity than anything in this world can give. One may not have any money or things, but with God, he has eternal life, something that money cannot buy.

The one who is obeying God will also be successful, because He is doing what God wants him to do. God will bless and honor anything that He wants one that is being done according to His desire.

If you want to be prosperous and really successful, stop following the ways of this world and follow Jesus. Find out what true prosperity is as you begin to serve God with all of your life.

Doing what God wants will bring eternal security and peace that the world cannot give, nor does it know or understand. Building God’s kingdom is more valuable than all the money or things in this world.

How prosperous are you today?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will live according to God’s plan for your life; that you will obey God in all He tells you; and that you will know the prosperity of serving God with your life. 

1 Samuel 15:22 Obedience And Sacrifice

Obedience

But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22 

Obedience is something that most people find difficult to do. Wanting to do their own thing, the majority of people choose not to be obedient. They want to twist or bend the rules to their own favor. People want to do their own thing, their own way, in their own time. It is about self, not about God or others.

Saul had been told to completely destroy all of the people and animals of the Amalekites as he and his army went to battle against them. Instead of destroying everyone and everything, the men kept some of the animals for a sacrifice. Saul thought it would be good to keep those animals to be able to offer a great sacrifice to God. However, that was not what God had commanded him to do.

Although most people do not like to sacrifice anything, they will quickly sacrifice something rather than obey. In churches there are people who will donate a lot of money to the church or organizations or they will offer help in some ministry on a regular basis. Yet, at home or work, they do not live for God or obey His commands on purpose. They feel that their large offerings cover up their sins and puts them in right standing with God.

God does not want sacrifice if there is no obedience. In this case, sacrifice is trying to earn one’s way into heaven, rather than trusting Jesus for salvation. Believers are to obey everything God says and trust what He says first. Once the obedience occurs, then sacrifices can be done to worship and honor God.

Take a look at your own life and see how well you are doing at obeying what God has told you to do. God is interested in you obeying His every word, His word in little things as well as in the great things.

If there is no obedience, there is no love. Jesus said that if you love Him, you would obey Him. Love is greater than any sacrifice.

Once you love and obey God, then you may do the sacrifices as God leads you. Not the other way around.

Are you obeying God today?

I pray today that you will know God’s commands for your life; that you will obey what God tells you to do; that you will trust everything God tells you; and that your heart and life will obey God first before any sacrifice. 

Deuteronomy 8:2 The Reason For Tests

Taking a test

Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. Deuteronomy 8:2

Very few people like to go through testing. It is often a time of high anxiety and fear. The higher the importance of the test, the higher the level of fear and worry a person may have.

Testing usually determines what is next in the life of a person. If the person passes the test, he can move on to the next level in whatever field the test was for. If he fails the test, he steps back and either quits or has to re-take the test.

While the common thought of what a test is, is that it is a written test, the majority of tests people take are not written down. They are tests of character. When a person is working for someone, the boss is testing the person by watching how he works and reacts to things. This is done to determine if the person can get a promotion.

Moses tells the Israelites to remember what they went through in the wilderness. That time of wandering was a test from God. It was an unwritten test to determine what was in their hearts and how well they will follow God’s commands.

Even to this day God still tests people. Even though He already knows what is in their hearts, He tests them to see how they will react to situations and how well they will obey God. Although with God, He gives the answers to the test. He tells people how to act and follow Him. All a person needs to do is obey God’s commands and he will pass the test. Once a person passes God’s test, God will move him forward to the next level.

Think about the hard times in your life, the times of being in a wilderness. Those times are there to help build you up. They are a test to determine how well you will follow God.

Each time you are tested by God, you have to make a choice. Will you follow God’s commands in the situation? Or will you follow the ways of this world?

Following the ways of this world, will be failure. Following God will always be passing. God can then move you up and forward.

How are you passing?

I pray today that you will know God’s commands for your life; that you will recognize the tests of God; that you will pass every test of God; and that you will follow God with all of your heart and life.