Statutory Lamp

Psalm 119: 105

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

This is a long psalm and all of it has to do with the ordinances, the statutes of the Lord. The psalmist knows that peace, strength, and blessing are in the precepts of the Lord. He finds his strong tower and his shield in the law of God. The statutes of God are not laws to be despised to this psalmist. He understands that God has given the law as a means to aid and protect His loved ones. They are life and healing to those who find them. Today’s verse shows that God’s word is a guiding light.

I am reminded of John 8: 31 where Jesus is recorded telling believers that true disciples are those who hold to his teaching. To what teaching does he refer? You could say this means everything which is in red ink in the New Testament but when I read it in light of John 1: 1 & 14 where Jesus is revealed as the Word, and alongside today’s psalm, I know that Jesus meant that we should find him in the Old Testament as well as the new. Today’s passage certainly leads us to that conclusion because safety and light are in those old passages.

Delight in the Lord and in His Word and you are sure to find peace and comfort.

True Freedom

John 8: 32

You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.

Jesus said that when we know the truth, that truth will set us free. What truth is it that will set you free? Does this sound simplistic? Perhaps it does but it reveals a deep truth that is often overlooked. Only the truth about you, will set you free. The truth about me will do little to change your life. We can learn from other people’s examples and that is incredibly valuable but what sets a person free is that truth about themselves which they accept in their innermost being, that truth which they allow to have a transformative impact.

You could go to a four day seminar and hear the truth all day long for the entire four days and never let one bit of it impact you. You may even sit there thinking about all the people you know who need to hear this wisdom. You will only get your money’s worth when you allow the truth to penetrate to your heart and hear what it means in your own life. A healthy self-esteem allows us to let Jesus speak to our hearts. When we are not secure, then these lessons become a threat. We don’t want to hear advice and teaching from others because it challenges our façade, threatening to reveal the real us which lies just below the thin mask we wear.

Another major revelation can be had by seeing this verse in context, “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free,”  (John 8: 31 – 32). Jesus spoke, here, to believers. Of course, even though they were Jewish, they were also converts. Jesus presented a new way of thinking. He told them how to become disciples. That is to continue in his word, which is a viable test of discipleship even ‘til today. There is more though, and it is important that we not miss the nexus between verse 31 and verse 32. You see here that the truth comes from the Word. If you continue in the Word and you allow that Word to speak to your heart, then you will not only prove yourselves disciples, but you will also set yourself free from the bondage of your past. When you meditate on this verse, it will grow such that you will see that it truly does have great power to set at liberty the captives, which, after all, is part of Jesus’ commission.

There is a distinct difference between reading the Word, studying the Word and allowing it to transform your life. Those of you who can say, “Amen” to that statement have experienced the soul shaking power of the Word. It penetrates even to the deepest parts, when we allow it, and heals the broken heart. It finds places within us where strong ropes of belief, misunderstanding and hurt have tied us down to living life within those restraints. Jesus meant for us to be free. He came to set us free and it is his word and the truth it reveals about us to us that breaks the yoke of bondage off of us.

Get real with yourself and with Jesus. It is not painful. He isn’t looking to tell you what a loser you are. You and others have done that plenty well enough already. Jesus wants you to know how loved and valuable you are. He wants to reveal lies you have believed which have kept you from the life he prepared for you. He wants to give you abundance. If you will allow him and his truth into the deepest, darkest recesses of your heart, he will heal the hurts and shine his light in your heart. It’s all good. Don’t be afraid.

No Death in Truth

John 8: 31

Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.

We say, don’t we, that we believe in life after death. That’s unfortunate and this verse explains why.  Jesus does not believe in life after death. He believes in life. We get these little ideas in our heads that we think are Biblical but upon closer examination we discover that they are actually misstatements. Reorienting our thinking so that it aligns with the Word of God is how we release freedom in our lives.

The truth is, you will never die. From this side of heaven it appears like death. In truth, your spirit will just take up new residence. People in heaven and other heavenly beings see this truth. They don’t believe in death either because they see a person step out of their body and step into the mansion Jesus prepared for them. They see that person’s life continue.

Jesus said that he came to give us abundant life. The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10: 10). We hear about eternal life. We even talk about eternal life but somewhere the wires have gotten crossed and we have begun to think that the path to eternal life is through death. In other words, that in order to have eternal life, we must die. In a metaphorical sense this is true. We have to die to ourselves in order to live to Christ. That is not what I am discussing though. We think that people die but I say that they don’t. Jesus said that if we keep his word we shall never see death. It just doesn’t make sense to me that in order to accept and receive this eternal life Christ has won for us that we have to die. He came to earth to give us life. If we have to die in order to receive this life, why not just wait until we die to give it to us?

The real point, though, is that this thought process, this seeking, pondering and discovery comes through believing what he has said. He is the one who said if we keep his words we shall not see death. I choose to believe what he said so that launches me into an examination of my own beliefs and assumptions. You will be amazed at what God will reveal to you if you take Him at His word. When you read His Word, if you take Him at face value, illumination will fill your mind, heart and experience. Isn’t that cool? Perhaps you also feels a renewed sense of confidence. There is so much the Lord would like to show you. First, we have to accept what he has already said.