|“Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” James 1:2-3 “God will never place you in the crucible without a purpose. Although you may never know the sum of His purpose, you can know that He wishes to test your surrender- for your own good.” Walter A. Henrichsen (“Walt”
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter A Henrichsen (“Walt”)
“You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.”‘ Luke 18:20
God’s commandments naturally divide between those that are positive and those that are negative, as illustrated by Jesus dialogue with the rich young ruler. If I asked you, “Have you ever murdered or committed adultery?” you would immediately know in your heart the answer. But if I asked you, “Do you honor your father and mother?” you would probably hesitate, not knowing for sure if you have. Negative commandments are clear, crisp, and easy to define; positive commandments are the opposite. Both are important to God, for negative commands deal with your actions, while positive commands deal with the heart. You may not know your heart, but God does.
If you do not know your own heart, for sure you cannot know the heart of another. Therefore be careful how you use positive commands in your relations with others. Never accuse another of violating a positive command unless its manifestation is breaking a negative command. For example, you can tell another that he does not love his wife if he is divorcing her or having an affair with another woman. And resist the temptation to put objective measurement on positive commands. For example, Paul says, “let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.”234 You cannot say that this command must be fulfilled by a specific standard like memorizing three verses a week and reading through the Bible once a year. Because the positive commands are subjective, dealing with the heart, their value lies in your personal relationship with Christ.
234 Colossians 3:16
2 Chronicles 28-29
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