Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | October 8, 2018

“I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 12:28-34.

“One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?”  Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL!  The LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD;  AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’  The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’  There is no other commandment greater than these.”  The scribe said to Him, “Right, Teacher;  You have truly stated that HE IS ONE, AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE BESIDES HIM;  AND TO LOVE HIM WITH ALL THE HEART AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING AND WITH ALL THE STRENGTH, AND TO LOVE ONE’S NEIGHBOR AS HIMSELF, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”  When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”  After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.”  Mark 12:28-34.

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Scripture (such as Deuteronomy chapter 6 and 1 Samuel 15:17-23) teach us that to love the LORD as we should, means that we should obey Him.

“So the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God for our good always and for our survival, as it is today.  It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the LORD our God, just as He commanded us.”  Deuteronomy 6:24-25.

“Samuel said,

“Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.”  1 Samuel 15:22.

And yet, the long and sad story of Israel and our long and sad story as well (both Jew and Gentile) is that we have not obeyed the LORD.

“10 as it is written,

“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”
13 “THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE,

WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,”
“THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS”;
14 “WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS”;
15 “THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD,
16 DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS,
17 AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.”
18 “THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.”  Romans 3:10-18.

Nevertheless, other doctrine preaches and teaches as if there is still hope in man.  Man just needs to try harder.

But, Reformed Doctrine recognizes this condition of man which it summarizes as “Total Depravity”, the “T” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, Reformed Doctrine of Salvation, as more fully taught in the Reformed creed Canons of Dordt.  We are “dead” in sin.  Ephesians 2:1.  None of us understands, none does good, none of us seeks God or even fears God.  Romans 3:10-18.  We are hostile to God.  Romans 8:7 and Colossians 1:21.  We are in bondage to sin.  Romans 7:14-15.

Reformed Doctrine preaches and teaches that our only hope is in God Who provides all that we need for salvation from the beginning to the end:  from the beginning of “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” to the end of “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”.

“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;  and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”  Ezekiel 36:26-27.

“For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  …  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;  against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”  Galatians 5:14-16 and 22-24.


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