Full Life in Favor with God & Man

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Devotional Word for Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The health/wellness business in the USA is a multi-billion-dollar industry. I am all for eating nutritious foods and getting exercise, but the claims made regarding the benefits from healthy eating and exercise are overstated to say the least. Of course, the advocates of diets, exercise equipment, gym membership, and the variety of advertising diet guru’s or exercise models, selling videos and internet apps on TV or social media, all support the claims of turning back the clock of aging, lengthening the days of one’s life, giving you peace and favor with others. 

Yet, how many people buying into these cultic practices truly experience the benefits that the health/wellness industry claims? And how many consumers trying to do what these specialists and experts prescribe, follow through on their recommendations to see equal results. 

Let’s face it, the vast majority of nutrition specialists and exercise experts devote their whole lives to preserving their body images; for if they fail to keep up with these regiments their bodies will slide into decline; for we all live in bodies that are cursed with the effects of sin; our bodies are sliding toward physical death. And despite anyone’s best efforts to preserve it, no one is going to cheat physical death. As the writer of Hebrews wrote in Hebrews 9:27, “…it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes the judgment.”  

However, in the book of Proverbs, God teaches us how we can achieve long life, peace and favor with God and man. Proverbs 3:1-4 “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life, and peace they will add to you. Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.” 

There are two significant points I want to highlight from this passage:

First, we must be learners, preservers, and followers of the teachings of God’s Word. We must not ignore, neglect or forget the truth God reveals in the Bible. We are to be students of the Scriptures. We are not to add to it, nor subtract from it, nor selective about our obedience of it.  Deuteronomy 4:2 says, “You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” 

Second, we, as followers of God’s Word, are to embody the mindset and conduct that are the by-products of obeying God’s commandments. When Jesus was asked, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus said, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:34-40

In Matthew 19:16-22, a rich young ruler approached Jesus and asked Him, “what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” Jesus says, “… if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” When the young man asks, “Which ones?”, Jesus recites the 2nd portion of the ten commandments to him. 

The young man says he has kept them; but then asks what is still lacking? Jesus says, “if you wish to be complete (perfect), go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” When the young man hears Jesus’ reply, we are told that “… he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.”   

Even the sincerest attempts to obey the Law of God proves to be unachievable. Why?  It is because we have a serious spiritual deficiency; we are sinners. As Romans 3:10 states, “There is none righteous, not even one.” There will always be something lacking!

However, in Luke 2:52 we read, “And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Only Jesus, the Son of God, lived on this earth without sin, perfectly obeying all of God’s commandments, fulfilling all righteousness, delighting to do His Father’s will. Because of Jesus Christ’s perfect obedience, He was the perfect sacrifice for sins; and on the third day He arose triumphant from the grave to be the only Savior from sins penalty, which is eternal death and punishment in hell.

2 Corinthians 5:21 we read, “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 

We need Jesus Christ to be Savior and Lord of our lives, to receive the righteousness of God in Him, and to live by the power of His Spirit in newness of life. In this way, the law of God is now written on our hearts; for in Christ we have been made complete; our lives are full as we live by saving faith in expanding obedience to God’s Word, and we live in peace and favor with God and man.