The rules for life:
The first and of most important is to place your trust in Jesus’ finished work of salvation, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom10:13). This act of faith, in response to God’s invitation to be adopted into His family, puts your name in The Book of Life.
To willfully reject this invitation is to willfully choose Hell as your destination in the next chapter of life. For “if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Rev 20:15).
All the rules that follow are anchored in the growing faith in Christ that His Spirit is working out within you. It’s very cool we don’t have to do this on our own! Check these out…
– Do not let mercy and kindness and truth leave you [instead let these qualities define you.]
– Trust in and rely confidently on the LORD with all your heart And do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
– In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].
– Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD [with reverent awe and obedience] and turn [entirely] away from evil.
– Honor the LORD with your wealth And with the first fruits of all your income;
– Do not reject or take lightly the discipline of the LORD [learn from your mistakes and the testing that comes from His correction through discipline]; Nor despise His rebuke, For those whom the LORD loves He corrects, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.”
(Proverbs 3:3, 5-7, 9, 11-12)
If you want to see how these play out, read Romans 12:9-18.
Solomon identifies ‘playing by the rules’ as the wisdom of God. He indicates, “The Lord’s wisdom founded the earth; his understanding established all the universe and space. The deep fountains of the earth were broken open by his knowledge, and the skies poured down rain.” (Prov 3:19-20) So… if you are operating by these rules, you are living by the same wisdom that established all that exists. Therefore your life will be in line with the mind and will of the Creator and you then will know rest. To do otherwise then would be to experience frustration, pain, and discontent ‘for no purpose at all.’ One who puts their faith in Jesus will experience similar suffering, but it will have the purpose of building our faith and refining the character and nature of Jesus in us. This will produce peace, patience, kindness, and contentment in our lives, as well as enable us to walk boldly into the presence of God.
The sum of it all Solomon says is to, “Have two goals: wisdom—that is, knowing and doing right—and common sense.” And He warns to not “let them slip away, for they fill you with living energy and bring you honor and respect. They keep you safe from defeat and disaster and from stumbling off the trail. With them on guard you can sleep without fear; you need not be afraid of disaster or the plots of wicked men,” And the best part of all… “The Lord is with you; he protects you!”
The rules are not hard, their simply guides for common sense and discernment. The rules will take courage on your part to implement by trusting in His Spirit who is at work in those who have called on the name of Jesus; BUT the result is a just life that manifests a Love for our Creator and Heavenly Father.
The choice is yours…
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church. He is the author of two devotional books, “From a Chair by the Window.” And “#PrayerWinsThe Day”.