Theology

Some Thoughts on Freedom…

The “ordinance of the law” is to be “fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit”  (Rom. 8:4).  Therefore the Bible makes it quite clear that our Spiritual freedom is not liberty from God’s law, but liberty in God’s law.  James calls the commandments of God “the perfect law of liberty (2:25) thereby combining two descriptions of the law given by the Psalmist:  “The law of the Lord is perfect” (Ps. 19:7) and “I will walk at liberty, for I seek Thy precepts” (Ps. 119:45).  Genuine freedom is not found in flight from God’s commands but in the power to keep them.  God’s Spirit frees us from the condemnation and death which the law brings to sinners, and the Spirit breaks the hold of sin in our lives.

However, the freedom produced by the Spirit never leads us away from fulfilling God’s law: “13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”” (Gal. 5:13-14).  When Paul teaches taht “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17), it is taught in the context of the Spirit’s New Covenant ministry of writing God’s law upon the believer’s heart and thereby enabling obedience to that law (2 Con 3:3-11; cf. Jen 31:33; Ezk. 11:20).  Consequently, the ethical concept of Spiritual freedom in the New Testament is anything but indifferent to the law of God.  The Spirit frees us from law-breaking for the purpose of law-keeping.

Dr. Greg Bahnsen, from By This Standard, The Authority of God’s Law Today, page 82-83

Theology

Morning Devotions : A Simple Plan!

Cause me to hear Your loving kindness in the morning, For in You do I trust;
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.”  Psalm 143:8

I recently asked one of our young people at church how their personal devotions were going and I got the sheepish look that I often see when I bring up that subject!  Well, we know from Psalm 119, where 173 out of the 176 verses speak about the importance of God’s Words, Laws, Commandments, Statues and Testimonies, that studying and meditating on God’s Word is very important.  After being a Christian for over forty years I have learned that morning IS the best time for such things, as the Psalmist suggested just above, AND that we all need some sort of accountability.

At Church of the King I have encouraged the Saints to follow a simple method that I use as a minimum.  It has helped me to stay in various portions of the Word on a daily basis and uses the calendar to keep me accountable.  Each morning I read a chapter from the Psalms or Proverbs along with at least one chapter from both the Old and New Testaments.  Over the years I have found it best and helpful to simply read straight through both Testaments and in doing so I am always at different places when I read a chapter from each, which often shows how things in various books relate to one another!  I read at least one chapter from each Testament and if time allows you can always add more.

It is Psalms and Proverbs that keep me accountable and of course it is important that we read and meditate on both on a regular basis.  Using our 12-month calendar I am able to read through both twice each year.  I use January and July as the months to read Proverbs, which is a great way to start the New Year!  There are thirty-one days in each of those months so they fit Proverbs very well:  I read a chapter each morning and if I fall behind the calendar tells me how much catch-up that I need.

There are 150 Psalms and they work nicely for the other five month periods from February to June and from August to December, though if each of these months had 30 days it would be much easier.  🙂  Again I read a Psalm each day according to the schedule below and I use Psalm 119 to fill in some of the 31st days as you will see so that we break up the longest Psalm.  Again you are moving thru 1-30 and then 31-60 etc. so the calendar again keeps us accountable.  Of course we also read those chapters from the Old and New Testaments depending on where we are at in each.  I simply keep three book marks in my Bible to keep track of where I am each morning.

So here is what it looks like:

January:  Proverbs 1-31
February: Psalms 1-30   [Yes, you have to read Psalms 28-30 on the last day unless it is a leap year :)]
March:  Psalms 31-60     [On March 31st read Psalm 119:1-40]
April:  Psalms 61-90
May:  Psalms 91-120      [On May 17, read Psalm 117 & Psalm 119:41-72.  Then on May 19th you read Psalm 119:73-104 & on May 31 Psalm 119:105-176]
June:  Psalms 121-150

July:  Proverbs 1-31
August: Psalms 1-30      [On August 31st read Psalm 119:1-40]
September Psalms 31-60
October Psalms 61-90   [On October 31st read Psalm 119:41-72]
November Psalms 91-120    [On November 17th read Psalm 117 & Psalm 119:73-104 and on November 19th Read Psalms 119:105-144]
December Psalms 121-150   [On December 31st read Psalm 119:145-176]

Reading the Old & New Testaments with just one chapter from each every day will take you through the New Testament every year and it will take you  about two-and-a-half years to finish the Old before starting over.  I hope this helps and I trust you will be blessed with a new commitment in the New Year because as Psalm 119 tells us, God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our paths!