S: Psalm 119:105-112 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. I’ve promised it once, and I’ll promise it again: I will obey your righteous regulations. I have suffered much, O Lord; restore my life again as you promised. Lord, accept my offering of praise, and teach me your regulations. My life constantly hangs in the balance, but I will not stop obeying your instructions. The wicked have set their traps for me, but I will not turn from your commandments. Your laws are my treasure; they are my heart’s delight. I am determined to keep your decrees to the very end.
O: Yesterday, I gave a ride to a friend and we were stuck in a long queue at a traffic light. As is often the case here in Malaysia, some annoying people forcing their cars into the queue from the next lane instead of properly waiting their turn. I mentioned to him that I've had the fantasy of taking a gun out and pointing it at them, threatening to shoot them unless they stopped. Of course, it's a fantasy, but this led us to talk about Luke 6:27-36:
“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you. If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! 33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”
My friend was saying that he was upset with Christians who tried to interpret this passage metaphorically -- while acknowledging that he did not live up to it himself.
Last night, in our cell group, the cell group leader taught from this passage in Psalm 119. THe psalmist notes that he had suffered much, yet he remained determined to keep to God's principles.
A: It's easy to keep to God's principles when it's convenient. It's much harder to do so when it is inconvenient. I certainly am not there yet myself, and my friend admitted he wasn't either. However, it's what we should be aiming for.
P: Father, keep bringing us into conformity with Christ. There are many areas I'm not there yet. There are even areas I'm not really willing yet to follow You in. However, I'm willing to let You change my desires ☺. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)