Journal Ps 110-114 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments!
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice.
He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks on in triumph on his adversaries.
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honor.” Excerpts from Ps 112:1b-9
Observation: Blessed or wicked: which am I?
Analysis: One of the attitudes I had to work out of is the concept of “imputed” or “assigned” character verses “practiced” character in Christ.
There is without a doubt that I have an “imputed” version of myself in Christ. After all, it is not called a “new birth” for nothing. Like Paul wrote, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Cor 5:17)
This is now an attribute of my life in Christ due to it being “assigned” or “imputed.” It is the way the Trinity looks at me.
But, does this “new birth” result in changed practices? Does the output of my life automatically and without effort become different? I am changed on the inside…does that change my outside?
The Psalmist describes a man. This man has attributes that are demonstrated. How does he begin? Just like I should: He fears the Lord and loves (delights, GREATLY delights) his Word. There is a benefit—he is blessed.
This is interesting: the way the sentence is structured, this man is PURPOSEFUL in his ways; he appears to not act like he is demonstrating change through “osmosis” or had a dual personality (once bad, now good—no effort involved). This man is demonstrating change through embracing “imperatives”, rationally and emotionally embracing the Trinitarian God.
So, what? This is another reminder to me that there is a scriptural imperative to systematically work at and towards holiness. Yeah, there is a “holiness” given by God through conversion. Granted, and all that through His Sovereign Mercy and Grace. And then…there is the expectation that I am to pursue Him all my days.
Pursuit has effort; it has teeth. Chases, hunts, searches. It is a Quest. Get after it!!
Prayer: “Your kingdom come; your will be done…” Father, no wonder I must renew my mind. And I need to let it renew all the way through to my mouth and my fingers. It is difficult to differentiate where I see You alone, high and lifted up and then see You, holding, guiding, and changing me. And, not only that, but working so that it is seamless in my life.
Help me to be seamless in serving You, every day. AMEN