September 20, 2010

Walking According to God's Law

Psalm 119:1-16

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD.
Psalm 119:1


This psalm is a long meditation on the importance of following God’s law, living God’s way. Those who live God’s way are “blessed.” They recognize all the goodness and blessing that have come into their lives through the love and grace of God (see John 3:16; Philippians 4:4-13). And God’s law is their guide for grateful living.

Some people I know do not like to obey the law—and certainly not God’s law. They make their own rules. The psalmist, however, praises God’s law as true and beautiful. Whether we are young or old, we do well to walk with God, the only source of blessing and goodness in life (James 1:17).

Whenever we disobey God’s law by giving in to temptation, we may feel a thrill or a sense of freedom or fun or ecstasy, but it won’t last, and sooner or later we experience disappointment and grief for doing wrong. Then we realize that the psalmist is right: only by following God’s way for our lives will we have full, joyful life (see John 10:10).

I know this from personal experience. I have done things that were wrong, and later I had no joy. You probably have had this experience too. It’s the Holy Spirit of God who convicts us of sin (John 16:8). The Spirit stirs our hearts to remember God’s law, and we realize we have done wrong. But the Spirit then also encourages and guides us to live by the truth of God (John 16:13). We can depend on him!

Dear God, fill me with your Spirit to help me walk according to your way and enjoy truly joyful, full life. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Adrian A. Helleman

Dr. Adrian Helleman served as a pastor in British Columbia before being called to serve as a missionary-teacher in the Philippines. He and his wife, Wendy, later taught philosophy at Moscow State University in Russia, and then philosophy and theology at the University of Jos in Nigeria. They have also lectured in Canada, the United States, South Africa, and Tanzania. They have three children and three grandchildren.

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