Many want to live a righteous life, but, why, if not to please our Savior? Is He not worth serving? Was His sacrifice even necessary for our sin?
2 for gaining wisdom and instruction;
for understanding words of insight;
3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;
Did you catch that? Gaining, Understanding, Receiving, and then Doing. It’s not enough to just gain knowledge, nor to understand what to do, nor even to receive all we need to do it UNLESS WE ACTUALLY DO IT. Our fear of the LORD comes from understanding that He is the King of the Universe and doesn’t owe us anything. We serve a holy God who does not have to have anything to do with us at all–and yet, He does! He loves us so much that He sent His Son, His One and only Son, to die in our place to buy us back from death and hell. Why? To live in our hearts! So, if we’re going to trust Him as Savior to save us, then we should be ready and willing to trust Him as LORD of our lives.
Do you crave the very thing that will teach us how to please God? David did:
33 Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
Increase our knowledge of You and Your Word, O LORD.
34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
We need conceptual understanding so we can know the “why” to many of the questions of life. For instance, why is it important to not “try” sin even once, like smoking or drinking or sex or bars or gambling or any other traps we can think of? Because that’s what they are: TRAPS! They have been laid for us to step into and be caught. One of my precious girls in my youth group when I was a Youth Minister (many years ago) was talked into drinking a beer and was caught: Her family had a propensity to alcoholism, and all it took was one drink. Another friend from our youth group in high school was talked into trying homosexuality. He died of AIDS several years later. “Once” is too many when it concerns sin because SIN DESTROYS US.
“Sin takes you further than you intend to go,
stay longer than you intend to stay,
and pay more than you want to pay.”
35 Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
Our delight is in the fellowship we share with the Spirit.
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
Or, selfishness. We tend to be self-centered (understatement).
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
If we keep our minds filled with truthful, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy thoughts (Philippians 4:8), we will have no room for the worthless things of this life: Pornography, mind-controlling drugs, “keeping up with the Joneses,” etc.
38 Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared [so that I may fear You].
People are watching. If we don’t fear God, then why should they?
39 Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good [and steady].
The disgrace I dread is failure. I do NOT want to finish poorly. So, I stay glued to His Word and am obedient to His Spirit.
40 How I long for your precepts!
In your righteousness preserve my life.
More than just finishing well, I want to “shine like a star in the universe as I hold firmly to the word of life” (Philippians 2:15-16). I want to be His image-bearer and ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Let’s live a life pleasing to our Savior and Lord. He is achieving for us an eternal glory. IT WILL BE WORTH IT! (see 2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
Abba, as we seek Your face today, make Your Word come alive in our hearts. Fan into flame a desire to please You, be like You, and serve You. Give us Your passion for those around us, especially for those with whom we live (if we can be Christ to them, it’s a cinch to be Christ to others because we are in the habit). Make it so, LORD Jesus, make it so. Amen.