Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 3
Verse 3-4: “Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.”
Considering Proverbs chapter 3 is one of my favorite all-time chapters in the bible, it was difficult to pick out today's gold nugget. I have determined to be content with just verses 3 & 4 for this month. Inside these two verses we find an extremely important biblical principle that has shaped a large portion of the way that I live my life. As a prerequisite to understanding the lesson in these verses, let us first review a commonly known truth concerning grace. It is known that grace is "unmerited" favor. Although this is true of grace, it does not define grace. Actually, grace and mercy are both unmerited favor. The more precise definition of grace is an “unmerited gift”, while mercy is an “unmerited pardon”. Both are unmerited. You did not merit the gift of salvation and you did not merit the pardon of sin.
Un-merited doesn’t exist without merited. That being said; there is merited favor just as sure as there is un-merited favor. Merited means earned. Yes, we can earn favor. These verses in today’s “gold nugget” clearly illustrate the ability to earn favor with God and man. This kind of favor is conditional upon our obedience and adherence to His laws and His truths. If you read the chapter from verse 1 through verse 4, you will see that the requirement to earn (or merit) this type of favor requires our obedience to His laws.
What laws, Steve? We are not under any laws! Really? Sure we are. Yes we are New Testament Christians, but receive this New Testament scripture from Hebrews 8:8-10 “Because finding fault with them, He says: "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah-- not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
We have truths that God has written in our hearts from being in a relationship with him. Things He has taught us in our walk. There are laws that He has written in my heart. These laws that I have "bound about my neck and written on the tablet of my heart." and have witnessed the favor of God and man that I tie directly to adherence to these laws. I still benefit from living under grace and know that my weakness in these areas does not hinder my salvation, but it does hinder the favor needed and desired for my day to day living.
Lord, help me to recognize the things you have taught me and implement them in my daily living. I want to bind the truths that you have revealed to me about my neck and write your laws in my heart. I do want the favor of you and people that often have power over me, whether in the workplace or any other area. I love you, Lord and want to follow your leading. Amen
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