The Day of Atonement
And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
for my hope is in Your rules.
I will keep Your law continually,
forever and ever, -Psalm 119:43-44, ESV
-My hope is in God and His ways
-This life we have is something that needs continual attention.
"I will keep your law continually." That is what I am thinking about this morning in terms of our life in Christ. Our lives are marked by the grace of God, it is all His work, and yet, there is something I long to do. This life I have been given fills me with such gratitude that I want to obey His very words. I want to serve Him to the best of my abilities. I want to be that salt and light He talks about. And so I continually work at obeying His commands. It is something I desire to do even more with each passing day. Yes, I fail miseably at times, but His grace has covered all of those times already. Christ died for me once for all, all of my past, all of my future. Today I will not surprise Him with anything I do or leave undone.
My hope really is in His rules. That may seem like an odd thing to say for a born-again believer. I can never be justified by His rules-the Law cannot save me but only reveals what a sinner I am. The Law teaches me that apart from Christ I am doomed to failure and separation from God. Even in the Old Testament God provided a way for the people of Israel, for He knew they could never be perfect on their own. This was the Day of Atonement. (Leviticus 16:29-30) God built into HIs law a way of redemption for on the Day of Atonement a sacrfices were offered to God and He forgave the sins of the people- they were completely removed Israel. God loved His people so much that He knew they would be forever separated from Him when they chose to live in disobedience to His laws, when they did not live according to the covenant He established with them. He wanted to be their God, to walk among them. In order for that to happen their had to be a Day of Atonement. For us that happened when Jesus died on the cross-the Lamb of God took away the sins of the world. That once for all sacrifice never has to be repeated.
We are no longer under the Law but we "show the work of the Law written on our hearts" (Romans 2:12-16) Because we think highly of the riches of God's kindness, His tolerance and patience we live in such a way that causes us to persevere in doing good. (Romans 2:4-7)
So this Psalm is still very applicable to us today. Because of the wonderful gift of God's grace we choose to repent of our sin- we choose to live in a way that honors and brings glory to God. It is the law written on our hearts. We do not live this way in order to be saved, we lived this way because we have been saved, because the blood of the Lamb has taken all of our sins away and we bear them no more. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Oh, my soul! (It is Well With My Soul)
Here I Stand
Let Your steadfast love come to me, O Lord,
Your salvation according to Your promise;
then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me,
for I trust in Your word. -Psalm 119:41-42, ESV
-God's word reveals to us HIs great love for us.
-Knowing God's word allows us to have an answer when we need it.
-God's word is trustworthy
Why do we study the Bible? Is it for merely an intellectual exercise? Do we really believe what it says to be true? I do. I believe this book to be the inerrant word of God. Over the centuries it has remained the same; yes, there are many modern translations out there with varying degrees of accuracy to the original texts-but the words we read today are the same ones that the Jews read during the times of the prophets; the same words that Saul/Paul studied as a pharisee; the same words the Christians of the first century had read to them in their churches; the same words that led Luther to stand before the Holy Roman Emperor at the Diet of Worms and declare that his conscience was captive to the Word of God, not to popes or councils. These are the same words we have in our hands today. God's testimonies have stood firm through time and proven to be true and trustworthy. They are more than an intellectual exercise however, they are the means we have to know God. Within the pages of our Bibles God reveals Himself to man. And the psalmist here has learned through God's word that God loves us with an unfailing; a steadfast love. A love that bore His Son to the cross (though the Psalmist did not know the details of the promised salvation.) What he knew was that God's word was trustworthy- and He promised salvation to His people- the people of the covenant He had made with Abraham. God was a keeper of promises, that truth is revealed in His word. God's love for us never ends, that truth too is evident in His word.
I love this book like no other. I continue to pray that God would open my eyes each time I open its pages to see what He wants me to see. To teach me His precepts that I may walk in His ways. I pray that I will always be a student of His word that I too may have an answer for those who would taunt- not for the purpose of arguing, but rather that like, Luther before us, I would be able to say, that here I stand on the word of God, my conscience can do no other.
Grace, Peace, and Mercy,
I am a woman with a Mary heart and these are my musings as I read and study God's Word
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