“Do good to your servant, and I will live;  I will obey your word.”
                                                                                                                Psalm  117:19
     This verse presents grace and works in beautiful harmony.  The first clause reminds us that it is only by God’s goodness that any of us lives another day.  It is God who gives us life, breath, and the blessings we enjoy moment by moment.  Should He withdraw those gifts, none of us would live to see tomorrow.  In the words of the Doxology, we live in dependence on God “from whom all blessings flow.”  If God should give us what we deserve, we would all immediately perish.  Our hope rests in God’s grace to us – that God will “do good” to us according to His abundant mercy.
     The second clause points us to the only wise response to God’s goodness – we should obey His word.  Obedience means following orders whether you like them or not.  As any soldier knows, you are to obey your superiors even when you don’t understand why they want you to do a certain thing.  Sometimes you’ll figure it out later; often you won’t.  This applies to the spiritual realm as well.
     When we adopt the habits, mannerisms, dress, speech, and distinctive traits of the world, we are covering up our true identity as God’s children.  We are believers masquerading in the costume of the world.
     Don’t do it.  Let your life by its outward character demonstrate the inner change that Jesus Christ has made.  That means there are things you shouldn’t do, places you shouldn’t go, and habits you shouldn’t have.  Obedience means letting go of anything that doesn’t belong in a redeemed life.
     We have been saved out of our sins.  We ought to show it by the way we live.  What is needed is a decisive choice to obey God every day.  We will be exactly what we choose to be.
     We know God, and God is holy.  We ought to have a family resemblance that reflects our Father’s basic character to the world. When I was a child, I often heard adults refer to me as “Dr. Pritchard’s son.”  His reputation went along with me.  I was expected to live up to my father’s good name.
     In the days of Alexander the great, a soldier was charged and tried for desertion in battle.  The emperor heard about it and called the young soldier in.  He heard the charge and then he asked his name.  The reply came back,  “Alexander, sir.”  With that the emperor looked him sternly in the eye and said,  “Soldier, change your behavior or change your name.”
     So it is that we bear the name of God everywhere we go.  That ought to make a difference in the way we live.
                     Lord of my life, give me grace to obey so that I will not 
                     hesitate but will do what You ask.  Deliver me from the 
                     folly of using my lack of understanding as an excuse for 
                     disobedience.  Amen.


Thanks to my wife, Jill for this one…it really applies to me…