Friday, October 09, 2015

Morning by Morning, October 9 - “Live and Increase” in the “Good Land”

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Draw me near in prayer, as I begin my day focusing first on You alone.  ...

“This entire commandment that I command you today you must diligently observe, so that you may live and increase, and go in and occupy the land that the Lord promised an oath to your ancestors. Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commandments. He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in or der to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. The clothes on your back did not wear out and your feet did not swell those forty years. Know then in your heart that as a parent disciplines a child so that the Lord your God disciplines you. Therefore keep the commandments of the Lord your God, by walking in His ways and by fearing Him. For the Lord your God is bring you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barely, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land where you many eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper. You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that He has given you” (Deuteronomy 8:2-10).

You are the same yesterday and today and forever. And throughout all Your Scripture, both Old Covenant and New, You are teaching us to trust You and obey You. You’re teaching us to learn to love -- to love You, to love one another, to love ourselves. You’re teaching us to choose to believe You know what’s best and to choose to believe You want what’s best for every one of us. You want us to “live and increase,” to “go in and occupy” the fullness of inheritance as children of God.

Some would say obedience is old-fashioned, Old Covenant. Some would say trust is for children, but we’re supposed to be all grown up now to trust in ourselves, no longer needing anyone to teach us. Some would say it’s about love, not laws; it’s about freedom, not following some words in a Book written a long time ago.

Yet the words of Your New Covenant still affirm Your words of the Old Covenant:  “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey His commandments. For the love of God is this, that we obey His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And is this the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:2-5).

Lord Jesus, You are the Word made Flesh. You are the fulfillment of every law and commandment, every promise and blessing of God. You are love. And You model for us a life fully trusting the Father, completely obeying the Father. You show us the way of obedience and love, saying, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. I have said these things to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:10-11).

By the power of Your grace, I want to “live and increase.” I want to love You and trust You and obey You. I want to believe in You and choose to live my life believing You know what’s best for me. Thank you for every way You’ve humbled me and tested me and taught me to be able to trust You more every day. And I know You’ll keep giving me Your grace for the times of humbling and testing and teaching to come all along my journey into the good land You’ve prepared for me -- the land where I live and increase through obedience to You. All of this is so that Your joy may be in me and my joy may be complete. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.