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Today I am once again writing from the sunny land of California. I have a couple more days here with my grandkids before heading home. I enjoyed attending Bethel Church yesterday and I have had a great week with my son Aaron, daughter in law Amani, grandson Kaden, and granddaughter Zaria. I love my family!
I have been addressing our need for God’s word, the instruction of Holy Spirit, and the path of understanding that He gives when we seek Him. Without God’s word in our lives, we are subject to bow to other words in this world. Without God’s instruction to our hearts, our hands become instruments that take what is in the world to satisfy our own needs and desires. This is the way of men and women in the world. They seek to get things in their attempt to be satisfied in life, only to find that created things can never bring full satisfaction. Only God can satisfy us because He doesn’t merely meet our needs, He empowers us to meet the needs of others. For this reason, we need God’s words to us in life. Unless we treasure the word of God in our hearts and minds, we will wander from the true path of life in our journey. His word is what He has said, what He would say, and what He is saying to us today. The word of God is essential to the strength of our knees. God’s words to us lead to the instruction of His Spirit in our lives. This is not always understood in words, but in a sense of direction that leads to life. God’s instruction to our hearts will activate our hearts and minds to motivate our hands to be instruments of life-giving healing to our world. Valuing what God has said enables us to properly hear what God is saying to us and it is only then that we find the true path of life.
Psalms 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
We will attach our hearts to whatever we value in life. We must value God’s words to us more than anything. Knowing Him will bring the fullness of His life to our world. God’s commands to us are commands that bring the fullness of life to the reality of our world. His statutes are the boundaries that contain an abundance of blessing and the fruitfulness of life in all things. We must fill our hearts with God’s word like treasure. When what He has said, would say, and is saying are treasures to us, we seek to fill our hearts with. If we fill our hearts with His words, we will not seek to fill our hearts with things that are disconnected from Him. This will keep us from all sin. God’s judgments can be trusted because they are judgments of truth that lead to eternal life. What He judges a thing to be is what we embrace to be true. His testimonies are greater than the testimonies of our own way. His precepts, His mandates, are more valuable than our own dreams or visions in life. In this, we will not seek to debate Him in an attempt to persuade Him to bless what He is not blessing. We will embrace His words, instructions, and path as the way to true blessing.
Psalms 119:9 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. 10 With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! 11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. 12 Blessed are You, O LORD! Teach me Your statutes. 13 With my lips I have declared all the judgments of Your mouth. 14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. 15 I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. 16 I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.
In the Bible’s record of the first man, Cain killed his brother Abel because of his love for created things above God. Cain’s sin was that he loved the ground more than he loved God. He didn’t put God first by giving Him a first and didn’t give God an offering of the best. It was only after a process of time that Cain gave an offering to God. It was more of a guilt offering, than it was a love offering. Abel did the opposite. He gave God an offering of the first and an offering of the best. He valued God above all else in his life.
Genesis 4:3 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
The Bible doesn’t say how Cain killed Abel. It is often said that Cain killed his brother with a rock, but there is no Scripture text that says what Cain used to kill his brother. Cain valued the ground more than he valued God, so perhaps he used some part of the ground to kill his brother. This could have been a rock, a stick, or something that came from the ground. When we love any created thing more than we love God, we will be willing to kill others with something from what we love in our attempt to legitimize our distracted passion. This can even include killing another by a debate to defend what we love and to justify it as a treasure of life. Cain wanted God to bless what he loved, rather than seek to find what God was blessing. God told Cain that sin was at his door, but if he did well, God would accept him too.
Genesis 4:6 So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
When we value God, we value what He says above all else. It is for this reason we seek to stand on His word, follow the leading of His Spirit, and let the knowledge and wisdom of God reveal our path in life. That knowledge and wisdom includes the commandments, statutes, judgments, testimonies, precepts, and ways of God in our journey of destiny.
Ted J. Hanson
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