Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Simple Life

Declare me innocent, O LORD, for I have acted with integrity; I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.  Put me on trial, LORD, and cross-examine me.  Test my motives and my heart.  For I am always aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth.  I do not spend time with liars or go along with hypocrites.  I hate the gatherings of those who do evil, and I refuse to join in with the wicked.  I wash my hands to declare my innocence.  I come to your altar, O LORD, singing a song of thanksgiving and telling of all your wonders.  I love your sanctuary, LORD, the place where your glorious presence dwells.  Don’t let me suffer the fate of sinners.  Don’t condemn me along with murderers.  Their hands are dirty with evil schemes, and they constantly take bribes.  But I am not like that; I live with integrity.  So redeem me and show me mercy.  Now I stand on solid ground, and I will publicly praise the LORD.  Psalms 26:1 - 12 (NLT)
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you.  Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”    Matthew 11:28 - 30 (NLT)
I’m not sure there’s such a thing as a “simple life”.  Jesus and the Psalmist show us a simple approach to life, but that never means it’s going to be a simple thing to live that way!
The Psalmist had lived a life of integrity; this means choosing right over wrong, no matter the cost, no matter who complains. 

How can THAT ever be uncomplicated? 

You promise to love, honor and cherish, but your husband wants you to rob banks with him, and can’t believe you’re not going to cooperate.
Your father said he will always be there; then he died.  How can he do that to you?
The boss wants you to “look the other way” on this one.  You know it will mean drawing unemployment if you don’t; but there’s that integrity thing again!  And what will the wife say?
Methodists (practicing ones) live by three rules: 
·        Do no harm
·        Do good
·        Stay in love with God
The Psalmist may have been a Methodist (or at least Wesley got his ideas from Psalm 26); he lived with integrity (doing no harm) and loved the sanctuary of God, which assumes that he stayed in love with God and looked out for his neighbor.
Jesus knew that was the right way to live; he also knew there are times when evil will swamp a person who tries to live that way. 


Feel swamped?
Alligators snapping at your heels?

Don’t pull the wagon all alone.  There’s rest in the Savior’s yoke!

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