My son, keep my words. Lay up my commandments within you.

Keep my commandments and live! Guard my teaching as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers. Write them on the tablet of your heart.                   Proverbs 7:1-3 (WEB)
There are 31 Proverbs. That is really handy. (and maybe no coincidence in God’s plan!) There was a six month period when I read a Proverb a day with the number corresponding to the day of the month. There is so much to be learned in these words.
Keep these words. Do not discard God’s words. Not every word is going to strike the center of my heart on a given day but all are worthy of my attention and consideration. As I said, I read a Proverb a day, every day, for six months. I learned a lot. I also have filled about a dozen journals with notes from sermons, teachings, and private study time. Every ‘season’ that God has directed me has different characteristics of study and ways He has helped me to keep His words.
Lay up the commandments. Interesting that the writer did not use the word ‘keep’ like in the first phrase. For me it means I am not to keep the commandments like a Pharisee where I spend all my time keeping the letter of the law but never bring the Spirit of God’s commandments into my life. It is laying up the joy of being obedient. It is obeying because of love. The love I have for my Lord. Lay up (store up) the joy of being an obedient child of God. What a wonderful way to live!
God’s teachings are the best! Most of us have heard this saying usually describing a child as the “apple of her daddy’s eye”. It brings words to mind like ‘precious’ and ‘treasure’. When God speaks intimately, so personally to me it is like having my Father’s attention, knowing that I am so very special to Him. It is realizing how much He loves me. Imperfect…but so very much loved.
They teach me to reach for His good and my heart belongs to Him. God has shown me over and over that His teachings and commandments are about a relationship. It is learning about God through His Son, in-the-flesh, Jesus, and through His Spirit. As I follow Jesus’ example and listen to God’s voice (Spirit) my hands and feet do His work and my heart desires to do His work. It goes from ‘commandments’ to ‘habit’ to my ‘life’. Along the way, I make the choice that my life is His life. Decisions are no longer about “what is in it for me” but “how can I point people to God through my life”. My ego … dies.
The sacrament of communion was, at one time in my life, just a ritual; just a habit. It is now truly “an outward sign of an inward change” in my life. One of the phrases that has come with me through this journey is what I say, in my heart, every time I participate in a communion time. “I am with Him… and He is with me.” That phrase is everything about my relationship, my faith, in God. I choose Him. He has always been with me.
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