|“The whole of Scripture asserts that this life is the seedtime of eternity. Your only purpose for living this life is to prepare for an eternity with God. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. God asks that you steward your most precious resource, time, so that you live wisely in light of eternity.” Walter A. Henrichsen (“Walt”)
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter A Henrichsen (“Walt”)
“And the commandment …was ordained to life…” Romans 7:10
A commonly held misconception is that the commandments of God are punitive; they drain the fun out of life. God did not give the law because people sin, but rather to help keep people from sinning. When the Apostle says, “I had not known sin but by the law,”34 he is not suggesting that law causes people to sin. Rather, when God catalogues His expectations in the form of law, people see their transgressions. If there is life after death, and if we desire to share eternity with God, then we need to know the rules by which such a life is possible.
God’s commandments, by their very nature, are restrictive. But restriction is not punishment. Every parent understands the need for rules to keep children from harm’s way. You do not design your family rules to punish family members, and neither does God.
A large part of our problem with God centers in our inability to understand the rationale behind His commandments. God says, “A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter…” 35. Our limited perspective makes it difficult to grasp the reasoning behind such a law. The parent, not the bastard, violated God’s law. And yet the bastard was restricted from gathering with the people of God – and that “to his tenth generation.”
Jephthah was a bastard, and yet God anointed him judge over Israel. He is listed in the Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11, while no Levitical High Priest from the House of Aaron makes the Hall of Fame. Jephthah was restricted, but he was not punished. If you conclude that biblical prohibitions found in the New Testament are no longer applicable because you live under grace rather than law, you err biblically. God’s restrictions are not the result of His anger or disfavor, they have nothing to do with His grace. He may restrict you in areas you do not understand, but you obey confidant that they flow from a Heart of love designed for your good.
34 Romans 7:7
Exodus 9-11 Matthew 15:21-39 (New King James Version)
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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in Prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Psalm 91:2
Devote yourselves to Prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The Prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
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