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Following God as a way of life

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Psalm 119:113-120 describes two 'ways of life:' those who live their lives in accordance with what they read in God's word, and those that reject God's principles and laws in favor of their own sinful preferences. God holds those accountable who reject him and his precepts, but he sheds his blessings on those who attend to his word; this passage is meant to be an affirmation for the individual who makes the decision to attend to God's word even at personal cost.

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God promises His blessing on those whose lives are guided by His laws

It's a rare thing, even in Christian America, to encounter individuals who center their very lives on God's word. They read it, study it, understand it, and structure the way they live their lives based on God's teaching. Many religious Christians are satisfied to own a Bible, belong to a church, throw out the occasional prayer or offering, and quote the golden rule. When conflict arises between what they want or what they think is right, and the truth God reveals in his word, they choose the authority of self. The psalmist of this passage, however, swears to love God's laws, keep his decrees at all costs, and continually walk in God's words; any other way of living he labels as 'double-minded' (vs. 113). He knows people are watching his way of life to see if God will come through for him (vs. 116) and expresses gratitude to God for sustaining him as a hiding place in trouble, a shield against harassers, and a strong hand to hold him up when he is weak. God holds these individuals tightly in safety when the troubles of life roll (vs. 117).

God sends the rebellious their due

The double-minded may be indiscernible to human eyes, but God easily discerns those who put up an appearance of morality but ignore input from God. They are described as evildoers who practice deceit and malicious lying (vs. 115,118). Their shallow pretense of integrity is revealed for the sham it is, and they reap the consequence of abandoning God's righteousness - they are rejected by God (vs. 118) and are put to an end (vs. 119). Their way of life is its own end.

People think that re-structuring their lives to be centered around God's Word is a difficult, uncomfortable, boring discipline that sucks the fun or edge out of life, but just the opposite is true: only thorough and sincere discipleship offers what so many people are truly looking for - the great blessings that God offers: peace, purpose, safety, fulfillment, and hope.

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