We are happy to welcome back our friend, Cindy Wilkins, today. She refers to herself as quirky, but we like to call her delightful. May her thoughts inspire us to seek God’s word as we rest in the finished work of Christ, rather than in our own efforts.

For a printable version of today’s devotion, click here>>> Blessed Devo Four – Cindy Wilkins

You don’t have to spend too much time with me before a few of my “quirks” begin to introduce themselves; like, “Hello, I’m a recovering rule follower.” Many years ago my little girl heart shattered when my dad walked away from our family. As it began to heal, a lie cemented itself in the cracks and I grew up convinced that if I’d only been better, done better, maybe my dad wouldn’t have left. And so, in an attempt to “be good” the confines of adhering to rules slowly but surely became my comfort zone.

“Praise the Lord! Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands.” Psalm 112:1 (NIV)

So, what happens when a rule-loving gal reads in the Bible about being delighted and blessed by following commands like in this verse? Well, just imagine a high five being lifted toward heaven and the words “I’ve got this,” slipping from my lips.

“You shall not murder.” Check!

“You shall not commit adultery.” Check!

“You shall not steal.” You get the idea.

Maybe like me, you think having a commandment check-list complete with heavenly high fives sounds “delightful,” but here’s what I’ve been learning: Obeying the rules isn’t what brings us true blessing. Remember the rich, young man? (A champion rule-follower, himself!)

“As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. ‘Good teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’

‘Why do you call me good?’ Jesus answered. ‘No one is good-except God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’

‘Teacher, he declared, ‘all these I have kept since I was a boy.’ Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven. Then come, follow me.’ ” Mark 10:17-21 (NIV)

Friends, Jesus looks at us too, and He loves us more than we can comprehend (quirks and all). His love is so great, He went to the cross to release us once and for all, from the bondage of rules we were never able to obey on our own in the first place. What the young ruler missed, and sometimes we do too, is that following the rules doesn’t change us; following Jesus does! And while we don’t have to go and sell everything, we do need to rid ourselves of all that keeps us focused on our own efforts rather than on Him.

In life, there will always be rules to obey. The delight comes when we walk away from depending on our own performance to gain a father’s love or whatever we’re in search of, and instead, with thanksgiving, pursue the One who’s already blessed us with everything we’ll ever need.

Romans 7:6 (NLT) assures us that “…we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.” For this reason, we can offer praise “to God our Father, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every kind of spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3 NLT)

Further Study:

  1.  Ephesians 1:3 states that God “has blessed us with every kind of spiritual blessing.” Benson Commentary explains, “The spiritual blessings here spoken of are such as are necessary to the perfection and happiness of our spirits; namely, the light of the gospel, the influences of the Spirit of God, the pardon of sin, adoption into God’s family, the sanctification of our nature, and eternal life.” Consider journaling a prayer of thankfulness for God’s spiritual blessings.
  2. Take time to read Psalm 112:1 in several translations and then cross reference this verse using your Study Bible or a resource like Biblehub.com. Ask God to speak to your heart as you consider this verse. Ask how He would have you respond. Journal your thoughts.
  3. Cindy writes, “we do need to rid ourselves of all that keeps us focused on our own efforts rather than on Him.” Is there anything you need to rid yourself of to more fully pursue God? Ask for His assistance in your prayer time.

Cindy is a “MiMi”, Mother, Wife, and a Retired Teacher. She’s also a left-handed, curly-haired, perfectionist-extraordinaire who loves to tell stories.

You can read more of this kinda wacky, woman of God’s writings at www.myseaofthought.com

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