In the world but not of it

October 18, 2010

Simple patterns…

Filed under: Uncategorized — In the world but not of it @ 5:00 am

How joyful are those who fear the LORD—all who follow his ways! Psalm 128:1

The Bible is full of simple patterns that God gives people to follow. He reminds us often that if we do this then that will happen. It is not a formula but rather faith that continues to get exercised and put into practice.

You may recall the passage of scripture in Hebrews 5 where the writer reminds us that putting the word of God into daily practice is for those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. The NLT states it “who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong”.

When you eat well you expect a result. When you workout you expect a result. When you do anything in a repeated fashion a result will come (good or bad). More importantly the Lord has instilled a law into nature that all people experience.

It is found in Galatians 6:7-8 “you reap what you sow”

Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.

So when we take all this in and then read passages like today’s we can simply deduce that God’s pattern for right living always has a right result. It does mean that trial and difficulties are necessarily avoided. It does not mean that we will be exempt from circumstances we would rather avoid.

What it means is that we can live with the assurance that if we fear (respect) the Lord and live righteously we can expect His blessing now and ultimately to be bestowed upon us.

These patterns and promises are not meant to drive us to robotic and scripted behavior but are rather here so we may respond with love and a willingness to honor our Lord. Notice the next three verses of Psalm 128; they are the result of honoring God in all we do…

Career

You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be! V2

Marriage

Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. V3

Family

Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table. V3

That is the LORD’s blessing for those who fear him.

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