August 17 I Wednesday

Psalms 97-99

Romans 16



“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”       —Ephesians 2:10


Sometimes as Christians, we may wonder to ourselves, “what am I supposed to do?” If we approach the Christian life from that perspective, we are in great danger. While it is a valid question to ask, the real question we should be asking is, “What am I intended to be? What kind of person am I supposed to be?” When we are what we are intended to be, what we are intended to do becomes an almost logical expression of that.

       In the Old Testament, the Old Covenant was designed to change people’s behaviour through rules. This is why the laws that God gave Moses are prefaced with statements like, “You shall…” and “You shall not…”. When the Israelites first received the law, they said, “Everything the LORD has said we will do” (Exodus 24:3). Yet, what we find is that the Israelites simply could not live up to the law because one of the purposes of the law is to reveal to humanity their inability to live the way they were supposed to live by themselves.

       This is why God made a New Covenant with His people: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws” (Ezekiel 36:26-27). This was going to be the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. The Old Covenant gave us the law of God, but this is the New Covenant: “I will put My Spirit in you and this is the result: I will move you to follow My decrees, because it is your heart and your disposition that is going to change, and as a result, your behaviour too.”

       On Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, He gives his famous teaching on the Beatitudes: “Blessed are the poor in spirit….Blessed are those who mourn….Blessed are the meek….Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness….Blessed are the merciful….Blessed are the pure in heart….Blessed are the peacemakers….Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness….” (Matthew 5:3-10). The Beatitudes that Jesus teaches are primarily about our disposition—the attitude of our heart. These are not rules of behaviour but about the disposition of our heart that inevitably governs our behaviour. We are not driven by the imposition of external rules; rather, we are driven by the outworking of a changed heart through God’s Spirit living in us.

       The next time we ask ourselves “what am I supposed to do?”, may we be reminded of what we are intended to be.

Prayer: Almighty God, thank You that the gospel of Jesus Christ changes who I am, my disposition, and brings me to a change of heart. Bring me into a deeper understanding of who You intended for me to be. Amen.

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