1 My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.
2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.
3 Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.
~ Proverbs 7:1-3
One common punishment in our home is to have the kids put their nose in the corner. This seems a fitting discipline for times when the kids are really not trying to be naughty or willful, but rather they are just being kids and getting carried away. So, they go to their corner and in a way we shrink their world a bit so they can take a little time to think. Mainly, I want them to take to think about what they need to do to stay out of that corner.
While my kids have their nose in the corner their entire perspective shrinks to where two walls meet. This is no problem, because they know that there is a world outside of those two walls. They were just running around in it. As Christians, I think we spend most of our time with our nose in the corner and no one has told us to put it there. We fail to see the span of years we have been given for what it is. “a vapor.” The Bible also likens our life to the morning dew! How messed up is that? How insignificant and short lived is the morning dew–it is there in the morning and then gone in the morning. Truly what is our life in comparison to eternity?
What I am getting after, is that we have a difficult time seeing the big picture. This bit of time that we have now is going to determine the course of all eternity to come. I often tell unbelievers if they find anything at all compelling about the claims of Christianity, if there is even an in-clinging of a possibility that it is true, if you are a rational person you should do some serious investigation. This is eternity. This is life, real life that lasts forever.
When we are dealing with the commands of God we are not dealing with something that we can take lightly or ignore. This is a matter of life and death, with ramifications that will stretch out into eternity. We need to take God’s commands seriously.
Why? Because He is God…..duh! We have all been intimated at one point or another in our life. And the reason we’er cowed may have been legitimate or not. For instance, maybe, when you were a child, you saw a cat hissing and threatening to scratch and you thought to yourself, “I must give that animal a wide berth.” This is pretty good reasoning and as far as children go you would probably be considered a head of the curve for your deductive thinking. Now drop a lion into that same room, and let that lion roar. In an instance, that cat disappears. In fact, you would run over that cat without a second thought, due to the fear of the lion. This is good and right thinking. The Bibles tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom.
We are kind of like children with our nose in the corner, our perspective is too narrow. We see all the minor tasks for the morning and then what we need to get done after work and then what we are doing on the weekend and the list goes on. The world and life is bigger than this little corner and we have been given the greatest command-to preach the gospel, and we have been created for the greatest purpose–to bear the image of God, and we have the greatest lion raging not against us, but for us.
So there are two great bits of advise in these passages:
- Bind God’s commands to our fingers. How many false starts have you had in your Christian life, when the preacher inspired you and you decided you were going to be different and then when you got home you forgot what was supposed to be different. Here’s the deal if you find yourself inspired start putting God’s commands in practice right now, where you are. Even if God has put something in your heart like a mission field, you can begin the mission work right now. In fact a lot of missionaries would have less of a difficult time raising support for the work later if they started the work where they lived first. Too many believe they are serving God because they burped out some prayer at some time, that was repeated to them and now every once and while they think some happy thoughts about Jesus. Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me.” Now, that should have been the altar call, but even if it was or that was the commitment you made, what matters is here and right now. Are you living for Jesus Christ?
- Write them on the tablet of your heart. We need passion in the Christian life. I can not speak strongly enough to this fact. It needs to be passion with discipline and it has to be a passion primarily for God. When I open my Bible, I do so looking to experience God. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. This is not a completely whack a noodle thought that I am presenting here. This is how Spurgeon handled the text and it was His genius. He always brought out Jesus in every text and every week.
We need to be seekers in prayer. Too often, this is an area in our life many Christian fail to gain any muscle. Big head, shriveled heart syndrome. You are not going to be any bigger than your prayer life, and the church is only going to be as effective as its prayer meeting. Sunday morning, you see how popular the church is. Sunday night, you see how popular the preacher is. During the prayer meeting, you see how popular God is, and God looses every time. When it comes to prayer, it is too often like resurrection morning, no one was there.
There is a final way we stir our hearts for God and that is to talk about Him. We as people have been designed and programmed to rejoice and celebrate in the things that we love. Case and point: all the pictures of people’s food on the internet. We celebrate what we love, so share and celebrate.
God Bless You,