PROVERBS DAY #29: THE SECRET OF HAPPINESS REVEALED
“Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.” (Prov. 29:18, NKJV).
“When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is happy.” (Prov. 29:18, nlt).
Everybody wants to be happy. It is a universal pursuit, yet few people have found what they seek. In the above Scripture, Solomon gives us a nugget of wisdom that will transform the lives of all who will put it into practice: Happiness comes from keeping God’s law!
Now hold on a minute here. I know some of you are thinking – that last statement doesn’t make sense! If I keep God’s law, I’ll be sad, depressed and miserable, because God is a cosmic kill-joy, and His rules are designed to keep me from having fun! Nothing could be further from the truth. God’s rules aren’t designed to keep us from having fun – they’re designed to keep us from death and destruction. The Bible says that the wages of sin is death. In other words, when we disobey God’s law, we bring death and destruction into our lives.
God is our loving Heavenly Father. And like any good parent, He wants the best for our lives. He wants to bless us, to protect us and provide for us. When He gives us a rule, we can trust that He has our best interests at heart. As a father, I give my children rules because I love them. When I tell my children to look both ways before they cross the street, it’s because I know that if they don’t, they could get seriously hurt, or even die.
An important distinction must be made here. We don’t have to keep God’s laws in order to get God to love us, or to earn our salvation. God loves us first, and we are saved by grace alone through faith in Jesus. However, now that we have been adopted into God’s family, and experienced His love and grace, we choose to keep His commandments because we love Him. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15).
But what are His commandments that we are to keep? In the Old Testament, there are 613 laws that were given to the nation ofIsrael. These 613 laws were summed up in the 10 laws we call the Ten Commandments. (As a side note, we are going to be taking our church family through the Ten Commandments in the month of June). But Jesus simplified it even more when He reduced those commandments to two: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:37-39). Loving God and loving people. If we start there, we will be well on our way to keeping the law, and experiencing a blessed, happy life.
TODAY’S READING: PROVERBS CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE.
Pastor Chris Jordan