Wednesday, April 13, 2016
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Teach me your decrees, O Lord; I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart. Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. Give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money!
Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. Reassure me of your promise, made to those who fear you. Help me abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good. I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness. Psalm 119:33-40 (NLT)
In the New Testament, (Acts 13) Paul preached the Gospel to the synagogue at Antioch. In that sermon He pointed out to the Jews that their great ancestor, King David, one whom God declared a man after God’s own heart, was also the ancestor of Jesus, the Son of God, who had been crucified.
If there was a hero in ancient Israel, it was David. And the secret to David’s greatness is found not so much in events like his successes in battle, or taking out Goliath, the giant Philistine, or his rule as the king. These were merely events that displayed David’s greatness, but were only the natural results of the source, which was the heart of a man devoted fully to JHWH.
In this Psalm (attributed to David) we see several clues to that greatness: humility, desire to know and understand God’s ways, and a willingness to be taught how to honor God in everything he did. These are the keys to a great heart.
For the next few days let’s look at a few of the keys to transforming human nature into Godly nature – turning the heart towards God’s will. The first quality is:
David was Teachable
Teach me your decrees, O Lord; I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart.
To be teachable does not mean you are willing to sit and accumulate knowledge; it means the disciple is willing to understand as God imparts knowledge AND then put it into practice in his life – wholeheartedly.
I knew a young man once who told me he had come across the Biblical command to tithe. He wanted to know all about that, because he wanted to be obedient, but it seemed rather a large demand that God was making on his life. After we talked about it for a while, it seemed to dawn on him that his initial question to me, does God expect me to tithe on my net paycheck, or the gross, had revealed that his so-called willingness to be obedient was a sham. He had come asking the preacher how little he could give and still be a tither. He really didn’t want to know how much he could give; he wanted to know what he could hold onto.
I’m happy to report that young man truly began to understand God’s instruction that the tithe is a beginning place, and as you grow on the inside because of faithful tithing, the joy from obedience becomes a hunger to give as a blessing to other’s needs. I’m still in touch with that young man (who is now an old man), and his hunger to BE a blessing has left his desire to hold onto God’s blessings in the dust. And God’s faithfulness in meeting that man’s needs – well that’s a whole book to be written!
Tomorrow we’ll look at another key – the pro-active walk.
When it comes to being teachable, you can start with small things if you want – but that is only if you want to keep doing what you want…and live in your own strength…and wind up not listening to God at all.
Rather, start rather with the largest issue – start with your heart!