Psalm 119:4-6 - You have commanded Your precepts to be kept diligently. Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping Your statutes! Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all Your Commandments.
Runners sprinting down the track need to keep their eyes fixed on the finish line; a glance to see what other runners are doing may cost precious seconds. As the psalmist runs through life, he keeps his eyes firmly fixed on God's Commandments. The divine precepts form the path at his feet, and he does not want to stray.
As we run the race of faith, we too pray that we will be steadfast on the path of God's commands. But we also keep our eyes on the finish and on the One who ran that path before us, Jesus our Lord. We often stray from the path of God's commands, but Jesus did not. In Him the psalmist's prayer finds its fulfillment. Jesus obeyed His Heavenly Father, even to the point of death. Through His blood shed on the cross, we are washed clean from our willful and stumbling sins along the path.
By God's grace through faith in Jesus, "the righteous requirement of the Law" is fulfilled in us (Romans 8:4b). In the sight of God we are not put to shame. God does not see our stumbling falls and our failure to keep His precepts. Rather, God looks at us and sees that we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ Jesus, dressed in the perfect obedience of His beloved Son.
By faith we have been "created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10b). How do we know the good works we are to do? Look to God's Commandments! We are to love and worship God alone. We are to honor our parents. Those who are married are to live in faithfulness and honor with one another. We are to respect our neighbor's personal well-being, property, and reputation, to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. These God-pleasing works stretch out like a path before us, to be followed by faith and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
It is not an easy path. We will be tempted to stray and to take our eyes from Jesus, but He is with us from start to finish. We find strength in the forgiveness He won for us through His death and resurrection. We are nourished by His Word and through His body and blood in the bread and wine of His holy Supper. With the help of God, we join the psalmist in praying for steadfast faith until, at the time God has appointed for us, we reach the finish line. Then, by God's grace, we will say with the apostle Paul, "I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing" (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us walk steadfastly in the path You have set before us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, who walked the road to the cross for us. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. Do you remember when you were first convicted by one of God's Commandments?
2. Do you feel like you work hard to keep God's Commandments?
3. When was the last time you took Communion? Do you think taking the Lord's Supper should be a regular part of the Christian's life? Why?
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