Do you understand and obey?

March 14, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds so they will understand them, and I will write them on their hearts so they will obey them. I will be their God, and they will be my people!
(Hebrews 8:10 (NLT))

I love the way the New Living Translation phrases this passage.

We are used to reading it translated something like the following.

This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people
(Hebrews 8:10 (NIV)

No matter how we are used to reading it, the meaning should not be lost on the reader. We are to think about God’s laws and reflect on their meaning. We are to strive to understand them with our intellect. We are to reflect upon what God is telling us with each passage that we read and not just simply read the words. There is more meaning in God’s Word than mere words. There is a reason that it is called the Living Word. If we study and reflect upon it, then God will use this reflection and study to teach us more about Himself. He will open up the same passage with more meaning as our maturity in Him increases. As our maturity increases through study, another aspect comes into play.

God’s Word makes the move from our minds to our hearts.

We begin to not only understand, we also begin to obey. We find ourselves longing to do the things that God wants. We find ourselves not only intellectually understanding. We find ourselves transformed by that understanding to the point where we actually apply it to our lives. We obey not out of fear, but out of a desire to seek righteousness.

Do you have a favorite translation that you read and study? For me, my favorite is the New International Version, but I find hidden gems of truth in every translation. Some translations, such as the New Living Translation, add wording that does not go against the intent or change the context, but it expands on the meaning and adds insight. I don’t know how many times that I have read Hebrews 8:10, and I know the intent of the words, but sometimes I need to be hit right between the eyes with what God is saying. I would venture to say that I am not alone in this. Sometimes we all need to be hit over the head with the proverbial 2×4 so that we recognize the truth behind what we profess to believe.

Do you understand and obey?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you thoroughly equipped for every good work?

April 19, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV))

Is there a particular passage that you find difficult to believe? Perhaps there is a whole book that you find difficult to believe or you simply don’t understand? Perhaps you have a difficult time with the idea that God would spend time walking among His creation as a man. I fully understand that there are difficult passages and difficult concepts with God’s Word, but that does not mean that they are not true. It does not mean that we cannot learn from them.

When you were in high school, is there one particular class that you had trouble understanding? Perhaps Algebra gave you problems. Perhaps History bored you to death. Maybe Physics had you so overwhelmed that it didn’t sink in. Think about these classes. Just because you may not have understood them does not mean that they are not valid and true. I will easily bet that the laws of Physics still apply even though you may not have understood them. Even though you may not fully understand something, does not mean that it does not apply to your life.

Carefully consider the questions that were posed about God’s Word and apply the same eye-opening knowledge that was realized about knowledge oft he physical world. If we follow that same line of logic, then God’s Word still applies whether we fully understand it. We have even been told that we will not fully understand God and His ways.

As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:9 (NIV))

Think about this concept the next time that you find something within God’s Word that is difficult to understand. When this happens, think about that one class that you had that didn’t make sense. Think about your understanding of that subject today. Chances are that you will have a better comprehension of the principles that were being taught. Now, think of how your understanding of God’s Word will change with time. He will open up His Word and reveal it to you in His time.

Pray for insight and understanding and He will give it to you.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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