Keeping the Covenant

Week 3, Day 3 of Choosing God Instead of the World, A Love God Greatly Study

Scripture Reading: Genesis 35 and Deuteronomy 30:16-20 (SOAP: Deuteronomy 30:15-16)

15 “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. 16 For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy. Deuteronomy 30:15-16 NLT

In our Deuteronomy passage we hear Moses encouraging the Israelites. Were we to listen to the whole “farewell speech” we would hear him reminding the people of all God had done for them and of what He had promised to do for them. Here in this section – what we hear is the reminder that God has set a choice before them – and what He expects their choice to be. They can choose life and prosperity or death and disaster. This makes me think of Jesus’ words to the Pharisees in John 10:10, when He told them He had come that the sheep, [believers] might have a rich and satisfying life, but the thief [the ruler of this world] comes to steal, and kill, and destroy – that certainly sounds like death and disaster to me. It also reminds me of Paul’s declaration, in Romans 6:23, that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord! Seems to me that while Moses was making a specific speech to the Israelites in Deuteronomy, God, through Christ has made the same offer available to the world today. We can choose the wages of our sins – or – His gracious and merciful gift of eternal life. To put it another way – we can choose Him [God] or the world.

Application: How then should we Live?

Life or death? Prosperity or disaster? God instead of the world? The answer to all of these questions seems crystal clear – doesn’t it? Yet so many have chosen option ‘b’ to each of the questions – even as believers who have chosen life over death by placing our faith in Jesus – we still find it difficult at times to choose option ‘a’ as the answer to the second and third questions. We choose ‘life’ through faith in Christ but then choose the world instead of His ways more often than not. In doing so we forego the prosperous and blessed life and relationship with God that Christ came to give, John 10:10. This kind of living comes with a warning from Matthew’s Gospel, where he recorded the Lord saying, “I never knew you”.

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Matthew 7:21-23

One other note on this application and the “fire-insured Christian”, a believer with one of his/her feet in heaven and the other running after the world. The verses we find just prior to 21-23 seem to provide another good reminder not to treat salvation like an insurance policy. For rest assured, The Lord will be the one to judge whether or not your ‘policy’ is creditable or not.

So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Matthew 7:17-20 ESV

How then should we live if we want to bear fruit? Since I love a list when it comes to ‘how tos’ and ‘to dos’, let’s make a list so we can see how we are doing …

  • We should love the Lord our God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. (Mark 12:29-31)
  • We should walk in His ways, keep His commandments, statutes, and ordinances If you’re wondering what Moses meant by the words, according to they are all Hebrew words referring to commands from God to be obeyed by God’s people regardless of the situation you are in.
  • We should be enjoying His blessings of life and provision (property, in the case of the Israelites)
Prayer: My Response to God’s Word

Oh LORD, my God – You are to be loved, imitated and obey. Help me to live this way – so that I might find favor in Your eyes and know Your blessing – In Jesus’ name – Amen and Amen!

Your Turn:
  • What’s your prayer response?
  • How will you choose to follow God today?
  • What temptations are you feeling?
  • What is pulling you away from God and toward the things of the world?
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