I set my heart on Your precepts and pay close attention to all Your ways. My delight is found in all Your laws, and I won’t forget to walk in Your words. Psalms 119:15-16 TPT
God is constantly revealing Himself, especially through different dimensions of His word. That’s how He speaks to us, personally, as His children, as we listen.
Principles. Covenants that require our willingness. Kingdom principles e.g. as taught by the parables of Jesus
Demonstration from examples
Foundational commands like 10 Commandments, Great Commandment etc
God’s ‘now’ word for me
What is our compass to guide us through life? It depends where our hearts and values are.
If you live in a village, the traditions and committees and clubs of that self-contained community may well be the values you live by. And they may be considerate and good — they have been ‘proved’ over a long period.
Our need to belong
In a town or city there is more of a sense of ‘being in the flow’ of what others are doing. There is peer pressure from those you work with, commute with, follow fashion with.
For a young person without strong ties to family or school, a gang may be the way of belonging. In ethnic communities, the laws of that minority culture, its related families and religion often dictate behaviour and stifle any individual aspiration to grow beyond those confines.
Everyone has a need to belong. The need to belong and be accepted in a local community can be the overruling factor — it’s part of our security.
God’s kind of belonging
God wants us to belong (in a good way — the loyalty of a slave offset by the freedom and honour of a son) and His kingdom community is protective, supportive, nurturing — and eternal. It also guides us into what works. But this is a choice — to give greater regard to belonging to God and listening to what He says, than other traditions or affinities that want to ‘own’ us.
God’s precepts, laws, ways and words overlap, but there are differences.
- Laws are foundational, like the Ten Commandments or the Great Commandment of Jesus to love God and love others.
- Precepts are principles like covenants where there is a partnership involved, needing our active participation.
- God’s ways are what we learn from the whole of Scripture and Scripture’s commentary on itself, and the record of salvation history and more recent church history illustrates the tension between God’s ways and man’s ways.
- God’s words are how we hear Him day by day. God is always speaking, and His Holy Spirit in us will often ‘lift’ a verse that was originally spoken or written for people centuries ago, a different time and context, and bring it to us with fresh meaning.
Fresh bread for today
God’s ‘now’ word is God’s fresh bread for today, and it’s something we all desire. It’s part of the reason — if we are honest, maybe quite a big part of the reason — we attend church, possibly take part in a small group — and read the Bible for ourselves. It’s not the only way God speaks to us but it is His number one way, and all other ways are checked out by it. Because it is fresh bread, we delight in it and pay close attention to it — together with the more enduring forms of revelation God has given us in His law and precepts and His ways, brought into sharp focus by Jesus.
A free account with Tecarta.com gives different versions of the Bible to compare (NIV and NLT are two of the best, accurate, contemporary-language Bibles available). You can receive their verse of the day — the source of many of these reflections. But many people prefer to read, and mark, and add notes to, their printed Bible.
For a prayer based on this verse and theme, head over to www.glowweobley.com and