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February 16 | Psalm 15:1-5


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Words to Live By

by David Thompson


Today's passage, taken literally (and we should strive to live up to these five verses), tells that it would be very hard to enter into the Lord's sacred tent or live on His Holy mountain. However, later I will speak to my beliefs on this passage.


When I was young, I grew up in an environment of rules for living a Christian life. Luckily, for me, my relatives took the list of rules to a whole new level. Sunday was considered a day of rest. You could not do anything much on that day. It was considered sinful to play sports, ride your bikes and read anything but the Bible or your Sunday School papers. On any day, you couldn't play with a regular deck of cards. The jack and joker were thought to be representations of Jesus Christ. It was fine to play a card game called "Rook," which was considered being OK. You couldn't attend movies, as the content was going to send you to Hell. And you absolutely didn't play games of chance (gambling) as this was of the devil. Taking the last point to its full expression, you couldn't go to the county fair as they had gambling games. There were obvious prohibitions against alcohol, cigarettes and even dancing.


So why wasn't all of that in my best Christian interest? Here are the commands of Psalm 15:1-5:

  1. Your walk is blameless

    1. You do what is righteous

    2. You speak the truth from your heart

    3. Your tongue utters no slander

    4. You do no wrong to your neighbor

    5. You cast no slurs on others

    6. You despise a vile person

    7. You honor those who fear the Lord

    8. You keep an oath even when it hurts and don't change your mind

    9. You lend money to the poor without any thought of interest

    10. You do not accept a bribe against the innocent


Honestly, you would be a "good," person if you followed these ten rules. Another like Old Testament scripture is Isaiah 33:15. It reads, "Those who walk righteously and speak what is right, who reject gain from extortion and keep their hands from accepting bribes, who stop their ears against plots of murder and shut their eyes against contemplating evil." Again these words define a good person, but only modestly reflect Psalm 15's wise words.


Let's recall these two passages and many more that were written for the Jewish people and not for us. They had a sacrificial system to take care of sin when they didn't live up to the above. But they are good commands. So what is the harm of all of this? You see, you can have a list of "good person" items to live by and even check them off the list. I am sure many of you were looking at the ten and saying, "Yep, I lived up to that one." Or, "I need to work on that one." The answer can be seen in many places in the New Testament. I am reminded of the first verse I memorized as a child, John 1:12, "Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God." Ah, ha, the right answer. It's great to be good, but it is required to be saved!


You see, you likely should be a person of blameless character, but a "good person" could miss the door to Heaven. The whole New Testament is filled with the words ".. believe and you will be saved." Now, as you become a Christian, you will probably feel the Holy Spirit urging you to do certain things and also telling you to give up others. That is between you and God. As a parent, we should have rules for your house, but those rules might be better stated as "the way the Thompsons do things" than that they are mandates of God (except for those that are from God). There is a fine line, but pray about it and God will give you the answers.


PRAYER

Lord, help us discern the way our lives should be lived. And, when we mess up and sin, assure us you still love us and all we need to do is to ask for your forgiveness. You are a wonderful God and I am so glad that I am yours. Amen!






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1 Comment


robin.lorms
Feb 16

GOOD MORNING, DAVID. WHEN READING YOUR SUMMARY I FELT OVERWHELMED AT WHAT MY LIFE WOULD LOOK LIKE AND FEEL LIKE TRYING TO BE THAT "GOOD". I DO THINK A LITTLE MORE CLARITY WOULD HELP NEW BELIEVERS ON THE LAST LINE OF THE SECOND TO LAST PARAGRAPH, " It's great to be good, but it is required to be saved!" AS WE ALL KNOW NONE OF US ARE NATURALLY GOOD. ONLY THE ATONING BLOOD OF JESUS MAKES US ACCEPTABLE TO THE FATHER. WE ARE MADE "GOOD" IN THE FATHER'S SIGHT UPON ACCEPTING JESUS' ATONING SACRIFICE ON THE CROSS AS PAYMENT FOR OUR SIN DEBT, RIGHT?

THANK YOU FOR SHARING TODAY'S COMMENTARY


ROBIN LORMS

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