Tuesday, September 14

The Eyes Have It

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.--Psalm 19:8

When a person becomes a Christian, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in his or her heart and begins to create a desire to pursue the things of God. At first that desire is embattled with the person's old nature, which is selfish and defiant. Over time, doing things selflessly becomes easier as familiarity with God's Word increases. God has given us the Bible so that we may come to know what he expects of us. More accurately, he gives us the Bible to show how much he loves us and in reading it we may learn how to respond to that love. Responding to that love comes by way of obeying his precepts and his commands.

Precepts are rules that describe particular courses of actions or a path to follow; they are guidelines for living a life according to the will of God. According to this verse, following his precepts gives joy to the heart. Who wouldn't have a joyful heart when they know they are doing things that please a person they love? That joy can be felt in a number of different ways. For me, joy comes wrapped in a calm, assured feeling.

People who earnestly walk in the ways of the Lord have beautiful hearts. They truly know the joy that comes from doing what is right in the eyes of God, and that joy spills out in various forms through all areas of life. In fact, that joy can even become a source of strength like it says in Nehemiah 8:10.

The commands of the Lord are radiant. Things that are radiant are by definition glowing and bright. This is true of God's commands because they are a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our paths (Psalm 119:105). Even Christians are told to let their lights shine so that all men may know God. In the world there are things of light and things of darkness. God's ways and his people are light. God's commands illuminate the path that he sets out for his people. When his people are serving as lights, they can help light the way to God.

Another thing that is a result of following God is that as we get better at it, we become wiser about what he would have us do. In Ephesians, Paul prays that the eyes of the hearts of the Ephesians will be open to what God would have them see. It is easy to become blinded by the things of the world and by our own desires, but setting our minds on Christe enables us to see clearly once again.

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