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May 8, 2024: Word of God

18 “Imprint these words of mine on your hearts and minds, bind them as a sign on your hands, and let them be a symbol on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates, 21 so that as long as the heavens are above the earth, your days and those of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors.     Deuteronomy 11:18–21 (CSB)

Christians are to walk after Jesus. My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:27–28, CSB) Twenty-one times, in 12 conversations, the Gospels record Jesus saying, “follow me.” Disciples do not constantly parse the Master’s instructions seeking to please themselves. Disciples delight in the Lord’s instructions and mediate on His words: How happy is the one who does not walk in the advice of the wicked or stand in the pathway with sinners or sit in the company of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. (Psalm 1:1–2, CSB) And disciples are not swayed by the shouting crowds, for we know that “if I walk with the world, I can't walk with God” (Dwight L. Moody).

Those who love the Lord …keep his mandate and his statutes, ordinances, and commands. (Deuteronomy 11:1, CSB) Love doesn’t seek to get around the Lord’s commands but eagerly seeks to be instructed. Thus, His words are to be “imprinted” on our hearts and minds. We catechize our children, His words are spoken in our conversations, and His words give us a foundation to stand and dictate where we walk. But like some rebellious teens, some would claim faithfulness even while looking for loopholes to disobey God’s word. In Matthew 15, Jesus specifically condemns those who utilize the tradition of corban to deny duty to honor parents. We are to keep His word in both letter and spirit.

Those who love the Lord delight and mediate on scripture. For God’s word is always creative. “God said,” and it was created. We teach our children God’s word that they may be formed by it. My parents have both passed away, but their influence continues to impact my life. I was taught the authority of scripture, and learned that God gave us an authoritative foundation to live life. I was taught the beauty of devotion through our family devotionals each morning after we ate breakfast together. We read God’s word, had a daily devotional study, and then each one of us prayed out loud before we left the table. The time this took was wisely spent and I am so grateful that they so established such purposeful devotion in my life.

Those who love the Lord have a firm foundation on God’s word. Jesus said it is “like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock” (Luke 6:48). Christians are not the victims of circumstance but firm in the Lord. Satan provides false narratives. He convinced Eve that rebellion was the means to personal power. He thrice tempted Jesus in the wilderness with all that the world offers. But we remain strong when we stand with God’s word against the false prophets of our age—even those who wear religious garb.

Those who follow our Lord find life. His word is written on our hearts and minds. And, knowing our Great Shepherd, we are able to ignore the cacophony of others words in our time.

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