It’s Not Fair

23 09 2013

“In the natural life our ambitions alter as we develop; in the Christian life the goal is given at the beginning, the beginning and the end are the same, viz., our Lord Himself.  We start with Christ and we end with Him…  The aim of the missionary is to do God’s will, not to be useful, not to win the heathen; he is useful and he does win the heathen, but that is not his aim.  His aim is to do the will of his Lord.” — Oswald Chambers

1 Peter 2:19-24 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. 21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

In preparing for tomorrow’s bible study I was struck once again by the discrepancy between Truth and my own attitude.  God’s word says that favor or grace is found when I bear up under the weight of griefs that come from suffering things that are not at all due to anything I did or did not do. It clearly promotes the idea that no credit is given for being strong in the face of that which is fairly given.

It reminds me of a credit report.  If I decide to buy a car and need to borrow money to finance it, the dealership will run my credit report.  On that report there is listed all the opportunities I have had to exercise the discipline of debt and repayment.  I get “credit” for the times I have borrowed and repaid.  If I borrow and don’t repay then I get a deduction.  My final score is determined by both positives and negatives.  When it comes to our Suffering Credit Score, we get “credit” only when we bear up under that which is not fair.  If we sin and get what we deserve, and bear up under it, that does not count toward our final score.  Okay, so it’s not a perfect analogy, but you get the point:  if we want that grace upon grace principle at work in our lives than we need to look at the attitudes that might be blocking it from coming.

“Whether we like it or not, all Christians are an advertisement for Christianity; by their lives, they either commend it to others or make them think less of it.  The strongest missionary force in the world is the Christian life.” — William Barclay

Matthew 5:10-12  Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

We have been called for the purpose of bearing up under the weight of unfair treatments because it gives us the opportunity to mirror Jesus to the world around us.  If I am just like the world in my attitude, why would anyone want my Christianity.  Jesus example was absolutely and completely counterintuitive to every other person EVER.  He suffered more utterly unjustly than any of us ever will, and yet, for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross.  He despised the shame of it all but did not waver.  (Hebrews 12:2)

I have dug my feet into the big but of “It’s not fair!” more times than I can even begin to count.  And each time, I have lost out on a measure of grace that could have been mine.

“But, Margaret, if I have to DO something to get the grace, than it isn’t grace at all, is it?”

What a good question!

It is not the work of bearing up under that brings the grace, it is the positioning of a soul that brings it.  The spout of grace is already on, if I am a believer.  I don’t have to DO anything to turn it on, but I can choose whether or not to stand under it or not.

One of the things I love about God is that He is always, always, always faithful to the soul who bows low in humility and dependence on Him.  Even if I sin and bring consequences on myself, if I truly repent and turn to Him, He pours out His grace upon me so that even in those circumstances, I am able to glorify Him.  Too often, though, I am so set on my attitude of “It’s not fair” that I don’t see my need to repent and return to Him.

So, what does that
look like in real life?

How about the spouse who cheerfully sticks it out in a marriage that is not meeting his or her needs and does not stop doing the things that bless?

How about the employee who cheerfully endures ridicule by co-workers and continues to share the kindness of the Lord with them?

How about the parent who cheerful bears up under the weight of rebellious children and continues to pray and love on them?

How about the friend who cheerfully sticks by the friend who is unwilling or unable to return the friendship and never stops praying for them and being available to them?

How about the believers who cheerfully sustains a kind and loving spirit toward the ones who hate them and want their death?

I will never be able to do the last if I have not practiced the principle in other areas.  It is time for me to begin to build my Suffering Credit Score so that when the time comes (and it will come!) for me to stand firm in the face of death for my faith it will be such a habitual part of my attitude that all the Grace I need will be there and it will be a no-brainer.

Oh, Lord!  You alone know what a big whiner I am and how hard it is to move past the attitude of “it’s not fair”!  But You alone are the One who can so powerfully consume my heart and mind with Your grace and truth to set me free from it.  I submit my rights and my right to my rights to You.  I trust You, O Lord, to be faithful.  I trust You, O Lord, to be huge.  I trust You, O Lord, to be here with me so that like the three Jewish boys in the fiery furnace, the enemy will have to acknowledge that the fires have not hurt me but have brought Your presence and glory.

Advertisements




Have You Seen God Move?

31 07 2013

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 29 so that no man may boast before God.

God is moving today. He is moving powerfully and wonderfully. He is moving in the most unlikely of vessels. He is moving to make bold leaders from the fearful. He is moving to make bright lights from those hidden in the shadows. He is moving to make pillars of strength from the weak in character. He is moving to make vessels of honor for His use from the stained and dirty. He is moving to make victorious warriors from those who were bound and imprisoned. He is moving to make trumpets of joy from the depressed and grieving. He is making teachers of truth from the foolish. He is moving to make prophetic visionaries from the blind and myopic.

Luke 18:27 But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.”

Have you seen Him move lately? Are you looking for Him to move? Are you looking for Him to move in the right places?

He is moving to take the things that are not and make them so, because He can. It is those that are, and know it, that become unyielding vessels in which He cannot work.

Our God specializes in the impossible so I will stop praying for the mundane. I will stop waiting for the ordinary. I am going to pray for the AMAZING and wait for the MIRACULOUS. Why wouldn’t I? Nothing is too difficult for Him (Jeremiah 32:17).

Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the [crushed] and [depressed] of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the [depressed] And to revive the heart of the [crushed].”

When I see or experience a great deficit than I will know it is the perfect opportunity for His filling.

When I see or experience an overwhelming burden than I will know it is the perfect opportunity for Him to carry it.

When I see or experience incapacitating weakness than I will know it is the perfect opportunity for His strength to be perfected.

When I see or experience the sorrow of something dead or missing than I will know it is the perfect opportunity for Him resurrection to bring new life.

When I see or experience a complete and utter lack of love than I will know it is the perfect opportunity for His unfailing love to ignite a flame of passion that cannot be extinguished.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

The Lord is giving us a vision for our future and it is good, because it is ALL Him. We don’t have to understand it or try to figure out what it looks like in an ever disheartening view of our circumstances and culture, because faith is the principle by which we live. And that small window that He is giving us to Him moving in the weak, the foolish, the grieving, the fearful, and the despised is His Light reminding us that He isn’t done being a God of Miracles yet.

Numbers 11:23 The LORD said to Moses, “Is the LORD’S power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not.”





Does It Matter?

25 06 2013

DOES IT MATTER HOW WE LIVE?

It is unfortunate that sometimes the words we need to hear from the Lord are the ones that we are most familiar with and, so, we are quicker to dismiss them.  There is a deception circulating the body of Christ whose emphasis is Freedom in Christ, but whose end result is Freedom of the Flesh.

Are we free in Christ to do whatever we want?

In terms of losing our salvation?  Yes; yes, we are.

In terms of staying close to the Lord and maintaining the kind of anointing that furthers His kingdom, the answer is a solid “ABSOLUTELY NOT.”

(Titus 1:16)  They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

(1 John 3:1-3) See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

When the Apostle Paul exhorts us that “it was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery,” he is referring to slavery to the kind of legalism that says a person must add to what Christ did on the cross in order to be saved (5:4).  The key thought of the Book of Galatians is “Salvation by Faith.”

The people who perpetuate the notion that Freedom in Christ means that we can do whatever we want because we are saved, tend to not continue on past the first verses of the fifth chapter of Galatians, because it clearly shows that true salvation walks in the Spirit, where the Spirit walks, and how the Spirit walks, and therefore, bears the Fruit of the Spirit.

(Galatians 5:16-25) But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 

There are clearly two options for the believer:  walk in the flesh or walk in the Spirit.  And that is where our freedom lies.  You the direction you want to go, but we must realize that the direction DOES matter.

(Galatians 6:7-9) Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 

The seeds of the flesh sprout quickly and bear fruit that satisfies momentarily.  The fruit eaten, though, quickly turns to poison and begins to produce death.

The seeds of the Spirit sprout slower, because the roots are going deeper to produce a solid stalk on which to bear the kind of fruit that satisfies permanently; it satisfies the soul, and continues to bear more fruit, so that it becomes a source of life.

(James 1:14-15) But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 

According to James, it is our very own desire that gets us into trouble.  We falsely assume that lust refers only sexual desires so as long as we aren’t having actual physical sexual intercourse outside of marriage, these verses do not apply to us.  Not so, the word means “a deep longing for anything, especially for that which is forbidden.”  It is our desires that bait us, they seduce us.  We enjoy the flirty, never really intending to go any further with it; but by the nature of bait, it gets its hooks in and does not let go until we are lying in a pan as dinner for the enemy.

(Titus 2:11-14 ESV) For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people, training us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, looking for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.

The grace of God saves AND instructs us.  It teaches us to “just say ‘no'” to behavior that isn’t characteristic of the Lord (1 John 2:3-6).  It teaches us to “just say ‘no'” to the seemingly tasty morsels the world offers us (1 John 2:15-17).  The grace of God also trains us to live in such a way that we control SELF and choose to live the kind of lives that reflect our Savior (Galatians 2:20; 1 John 1:5-9).  The focus is not on what we do as much as on WHO we are doing it for.

(1 Corinthians 6:12, 20)  All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable.  All things are lawful to me, but I will not be mastered by anything… For you have been bought with a price:  therefore glorify God in your body.

Some would point out that there is no specific commandment from God regarding particular behaviors, and so they have freedom to exercise them if they choose.  That is when it is important to remember that sin is a direction, not a line that we cross.  Have you ever wondered how a solid believer can fall so hard and land so far from the things of the Lord without even seeming to care?  It is because they assumed they could dance so close to the line of sin and not fall victim to its lures.  This is foolishness and the enemy delights in it.

(Romans 13:11-14) Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

Some will point out that they are very involved in church, that they love the Lord, and that they are still in their Word everyday, so a little smoking here, an inappropriate movie there, a tiny dip into the pool of fantasy through video games or daydreams… isn’t a big deal. What they don’t realize is that they have a tiny island of rock on which they have one foot standing, in the middle of acres of quicksand; and it won’t take but a little bit to blow them right off their foundation into the miry depths waiting for them (Matthew 7:24-27).

(Philippians 3:7-12) But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 

Any area of behavior that we feel the need to defend with a self-righteous argument of freedom in Christ should probably give us cause to wonder if the enemy has inadvertently found a place in which to put a hook.

(Philippians 2:14-16) Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life…

What does your behavior say to the world around you?  Does it scream to the lost that you love the Lord enough to follow Him, even when it means not being able to do the things that you’d really like to do? 

(John 12:25-26) He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”

If you are truly saved by grace through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, you were rescued from the land of darkness and transferred to the Kingdom of God as His kid (John 1:12; Colossians 1:13-14); and you have the freedom to choose (Joshua 24:15).  Your choice in any given area reflects the whole of your choice.  Choose Life for your own sake and for the sake of those around you (Deuteronomy 30:15-17).

(Ephesians 4:1)  Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.





Complete Psalm 119 Devo

27 08 2012
More Than Gold:  Psalm 119 Devo

More Than Gold: Psalm 119 Devo available at http://www.keeptheword.com

We are pleased to announce the completion of our Psalm 119 Devo entitled More Than Gold. 

Psalm 19:10 [Your Word is] more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.

Psalm 119 is a wonderfully creative lesson in becoming diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed because of an accurate handling of the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15), as it describes the personal and intimate relationship of a man whose life was tied unapologetically to the Word of his God.  The psalmist studied the Word, obeyed the Word, and loved the Word, and as a result, he became a man after God’s own heart.  His affection for God and his Word will inspire you to a deeper understanding of its relevance, usefulness and encouragement in your own life.  According to C. H. Spurgeon, Matthew Henry’s father encouraged his children to take a verse of this psalm every morning and meditate upon it, so that the great psalm would be read twice in a year.  In doing so, he said that it would bring a greater love for all the rest of the Scriptures.  This devotional is a journey through the psalmist’s treasure trove of joys experienced, difficulties overcome, sorrows lifted, and faith grown; it is deeply personal and will, no doubt, affect you just as personally as you submerge yourself into the daily  prize of Psalm 119.   You too will find that God’s Word is more desirable than gold.  “All grace grows as love to the Word of God grows.”  (Philip Henry)

We hope that you will visit our online store at www.keeptheword.com to check out the devo.  If you’ve enjoyed our blog on Psalm 119, take advantage of our introductory special pricing:  buy two and get one free.  Click on the following link to activate your coupon:

http://www.keeptheword.com/?coupon=BUY2GET1

We look forward to spending more time together in God’s Word!  Thank you for your support.





Ain’t No Trouble Gonna Get Me Down

14 08 2012

Psalm 119: 142  Trouble and anguish have come upon me, Yet Your commandments are my delight.

  •  Trouble:  a tight place, as when an opponent crowds you
  • Anguish:  a narrow place, as when confined
  • Commandments:  a command or ordinance; refers literally to the things God says TO do and NOT TO do
  • Delight:  enjoyment; pleasure

The psalmist found himself in the uncomfortable position of being between a rock and a hard place, but the squeeze did not loosen his grip on the things that mattered the most.  He held tightly to all the things that God told him to do and not to do, and found joy in doing the next thing.  Even backed into a corner, he didn’t lash out or to give up, or forget all that the Lord told him up to that point.

Delighting in God’s commands begins in good times, when the sun is shining and there are no problems on the horizon.  It comes back to that spiritual muscle memory that we talked about in the first part of this great psalm.  When we choose to obey God, it becomes easier and easier to obey Him in the next thing.  And the more we obey, the more we experience the joy and blessings of that obedience, because it draws us closer and closer to Him.  When obedience is a habitual pleasure, it will not matter how squeezed we feel, we’ll continue to find delight in the Lord’s commands.  There will be no need to google a solution or to wallow in self-pity because, those who are trained to obey in the good times will just do the next thing when crowded by difficult circumstances.

How do we do that?  You can’t do what you don’t know.  Read God’s word.  Spend time with Him in prayer and worship.  As He gives you something, be obedient to it.  It will be a conscious effort at first, but as you rely more and more on Him, letting Him invade your secular life with His Spirit, it will get easier and easier, until soon it is automatic.  Then when you are caught between a rock and a hard place, He will be the first place you turn to for direction, for aid, and for comfort.

This is strange, that in the midst of anguish David had delight: but indeed the sweetness of God’s word is best perceived under the bitterness of the cross. The joy of Christ and the joy of the world cannot consist together. A heart delighted with worldly joy cannot feel the consolations of the Spirit; the one of these destroys the other: but in sanctified trouble, the comforts of God’s word are felt and perceived in a most sensible manner. Many a time hath David protested this delight of his in the word of God; and truly it is a great argument of godliness, when men come not only to reverence it, but to love it, and delight in it. Let this be considered by those unhappy men who hear it of custom, and count it but a weariness. –Abraham Wright.

Lord, cultivate in me right now a heart that delights in all the things You ask me to do and not to do.  Sustain a right spirit within me so that even when I am caught between a rock and a hard place I still do the next thing in obedience to You.  Some days, O Lord, the pressure I feel is from my own selfish desires.  In times like that, let the tight place squeeze out Self so that there is more room for You; make me delight in obeying You, even at the expense of my own personal pleasure.





Ever Right

13 08 2012

Psalm 119:143  Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth.

  •  Righteousness:  both words used for righteousness come from the same root word meaning, “moral and forensic rightness”; describes justice, right actions and right attitudes;  in other words, it is true (as in not “off” by any degree), and right (never wrong).
  • Everlasting:  for all time, including past and future
  • Law:  a rule of conduct; refers to God’s law in general
  • Truth:  stability, certainty, pure

The prevailing propaganda circulated by the Enemy is that everyone is allowed to have their own version of what is right, and that only those who believe that there is one standard for rightness are wrong.  With no moral compass, however, a society has no “true north”, and can only remain lost in a sea of selfish desires.  We desperately need a standard, a plumb line, in which to gauge our actions and attitudes.  The psalmist set his confidence upon the kind of rightness that does not change with the passage of time, with public opinion or with popular philosophies; he knew that there was a true moral compass and it was his God.

Our God is not only an eternally righteous God, but He is also a good Father.  He doesn’t just do what is right and approve what is right, He also gives a clear expectation of what is right to His kids.  His law, or His righteous expectations for you and I, is truth; it is a stable foundation on which we can build our lives.  We were freed from the condemnation of the Law by grace and grace freed us to obey God’s truth through the power of the Holy Spirit.  All “real” truth is based on Love:  Love the Lord and love your neighbor.  (Matthew 22:37-40)  That kind of unselfish and other-centered love is an undeniable force for good in any society.

John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

A culture is changed by its moral compass.  In my lifetime I have seen horrible things become normalized by a shifting morality that does not want to stay true to what is right.  Imagine how different our culture would be if all of God’s kids decided to base everything we think or do, and how we react and interact, on the standard of God’s everlasting righteousness and on the truth of His Word. It is sad to know how many of those who claim to belong to Him know so little about Him or His Word, and so they have difficulty in distinguishing between what is right and what isn’t.  We become like those with whom we spend time.  If we spent more time with the Righteous One, feasting on His Truth, and seeking His will for us, we would become a standard upon which others could stand as well.  To know and love the Lord is the best and only “true north” anyone could ever have, for He is never wrong.

Holy Spirit, come and fill me with a desire to be with the Lord and to be in His Truth.  Draw me close; let me hang out with You, to learn of Your eternal righteousness.  You died on the cross to save me from unrighteousness; You gave Your righteousness to me.  (1 Corinthians 1:30)  Establish me firmly in Your truth and sanctify me in it, so that I can love You with my whole heart, mind, soul, and strength, and so that I can love all those around me with the same love with which You loved me.  Rescue our nation from its own unrighteousness for Your name’s sake; may we once again bring glory to You as a nation who serves the Lord.  (Psalm 33:12)





Purposeful Living

24 07 2012

Psalms 119:133-134  Establish my footsteps in Your word, And do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.  Redeem me from the oppression of man, that I may keep Your precepts. 

  • Establish:  set up; make stand perpendicular
  • Footsteps:  a common noun indicating time, occurrence, or foot.
  • Iniquity:  primarily means emptiness and vanity; used to signify empty or futile pursuits, or deceit
  • Dominion:  govern; have power over; dominate
  • Redeem:  to ransom, to deliver
  • Oppression:  refers to defrauding or robbing persons of what is theirs; extortion; denying justice
  • Keep:  to hedge about as with thorns, so as to protect or guard
  • Precepts:  refers to something entrusted to man; mandates for which man is responsible

Set up the time I spend in Your word and do not let emptiness and deceit govern me.  Ransom me from men bent on defrauding me so that I will not fail to do the things You have given me to do.

Purposeful Living.

If King David is the author of this great psalm then this prayer is all the more significant.  As King of Israel, he was the highest governor in the land.  He was the top dog.  And, yet, he prays as one who is lowly and undeserving.  And he prays that nothing (literally, “nothing”) would govern him except the Lord.  He has fallen victim to deceit before and humbly seeks a redeemer to ransom him from it.  Bound to only God’s good purposes, the psalmist knows he will be safe and secure.

I find it interesting to survey all the great men of the Bible.  The truly successful and significant men do not trust in who they are or in what they have done; they have no personal self-worth, but trust wholly in God and His favor.  Moses is a good example of a life marked by the change grace made.  When he was young and felt most capable of leading his people, he failed miserably.  But, humbled by that experience and by the Presence of God, he became one of the finest leaders of all time.  Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament, he defied the supreme nation of his time and led several million people out of bondage, he governed that same mob for forty years of wandering through the desert, he received the Ten Commandments directly from God’s hand, he performed great miracles under God’s instructions, and yet the Bible refers to him as the most humble man (Numbers 12:3).

A humble man looks up to the face of God looking down upon him in love and favor.  Thus, he is governed by the sovereign God who cares for him with a sacrificial love.  A prideful man is blind to anything but his own ego and the lies that promote it.  He is governed by nothing but his own lust and the deceit of the enemy, both of which are bent on destroying him.

The humble long to be set erect in God’s great purpose, knowing that His sovereignty and power will not allow him to fall.  The arrogant, however, are bent beneath the load of ever striving to be or to do; they never know peace or rest because there is always the dog of “more” snapping wildly at their heels as it drives them toward futile pursuits.  A man without a holy and distinct purpose is set adrift in an ocean of emptiness that will consume him until he himself is nothing.

In effect he prays, “I am thy servant; treat me as you treat thy servants. I am thy child; deal with me as with a son.” Especially is it clear from the context that he desired such an entering in of the word, and such a clear understanding of it as God usually gives to his own, according to the promise, “All thy children shall be taught of the Lord.”

Reader, do you love the name of the Lord? Is his character most honourable in your sight? Most dear to your heart? This is a sure mark of grace, for no soul ever loved the Lord except as the result of love received from the Lord himself. — C. H. Spurgeon

Lord God, set my time in Your Word forever in my days, so I will be governed by Your Sovereign and Merciful Hand alone.  Redeem my time, my thoughts, and my life from those who would try to steal the good You have done and will do in me by Your grace.  Make my life purposeful in humbling seeking after You and may I represent You well at all times.