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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.


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RSS Robot

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Cropped from Francisco de Goya’s “The Bewitched Man”

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not OBey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (Galatians 3:1-3 KJV)

I don’t have the ability to call my readers foolish, though. Paul felt this question of sufficient importance that repeating the thought in a couple of ways might make his readers think more than twice about what they were doing. What they were doing had changed:

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not OBey the truth? (Galatians 5:7 KJV)

The Galatians had moved away from faith to works. Paul sees this move as a response to someone: “who hath bewitched you,” “who did hinder you.” It is a big deal who we listen to when it comes to determining our actions.

Galatians’ third chapter reminds me much of Hebrews’ eleventh chapter – faith must be understood:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 KJV)

Empirical evidence is quantitative. It is definable and measurable. We know that specifically measured recipes will give specific results – how else could we anticipate the taste of chocolate chip cookies? faith does not offer such measurements, so we like to substitute works in order to quantify results. We can list commandments and count the times people see us OBey them. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work, which Christ explained in Matthew 5:27-28.

From Galatians 5, we see circumcision, an empirical evidence, not as a sign of compliance, but as a rejection of Christ:

For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. (Galatians 5:3-4 KJV)

Paul gives us a single standard:

For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. (Galatians 5:5-6 KJV)

Here he combines the two items – faith and love – through which Christianity works. Without one or the other, Christians fail. James explains that very well in this example:

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? (James 2:14-16 KJV)

Moving back to Galatians 3:2, the question remains for us to answer – are we doing good works expecting to win God’s favor (and perhaps mankind’s?), or through love because of His gift?

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV)

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The picture cropped at the top is of or by someone who was publicly anti-christ, and unrepentent when they died, according to online sources available searching for a while.   I left 3 messages for the site owner source of that link, I think.  Their testimony is that they (the source) were saved Baptist, then went through other churches, most not alive they said, then to a 'good' resting? place church where they are now. It is difficult to communicate the connections and time frame/ word press/ etc so some points may be different than posted here. ....

On 12/14/2014 at 6:57 AM, RSS Robot said:

Moving back to Galatians 3:2, the question remains for us to answer – are we doing good works expecting to win God’s favor (and perhaps mankind’s?), or through love because of His gift?

Why does anyone ever do good works ?   I did not see this answered on this forum nor at the source of the article.   It "remains .... to answer" .

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Moving back to Galatians 3:2, the question remains for us to answer – are we doing good works expecting to win God’s favor (and perhaps mankind’s?), or through love because of His gift?

Works do not save, but works show your faith. 

From the 2nd chapter of Timothy:

[17] Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. [18] Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. ...

[26] For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

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