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Jason Silver

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Thoughts and Reflections on Scripture



Friday, August 30th, 2019
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What exactly does it mean "to live?" Is it simply breathing, existing? Biologists might say that something is alive if it respirates, grows, reproduces, etc, but there is a more nuanced definition of living, one that most of us understand intuitively.

I've overheard people say things like, "that's not living!" when referring to handling a mundane job, coping with an angry spouse, or even surviving uncomfortable weather. We all understand that to simply be alive is not necessarily the same as really LIVING. Even Jesus, when he walked the earth, told his students that he was here to bring fuller life to people: that they might live life more "abundantly."

Abundant life sounds pretty good! Who doesn't want more than they need? But it might not be what you're thinking.

In verse 144 of Psalm 119, the Psalmist asks God for understanding, so that he might live. I suspect he's not talking about simply breathing. He says that God's "words, laws, decrees, promises, precepts, commandments, and judgements" all contribute to his understanding, and he wants even more understanding, "that he may live."

If you're like me- (I admit, I'm a bit of a rebel), commandments, laws, and judgements don't seem to be connected to abundant life. In my idealism, I imagine a life without any restrictions or constraints to be as close to idyllic as possible.

But without any constraints, that blissful life soon descends into chaos and anarchy. The careful structure in our society is a tentative balance we need to live at peace with one another.

But what about living at peace with yourself? What about living at peace with the ideals of perfection that torment you? What about living at peace with the Lawmaker Himself?

The key is in seeking His wisdom and understanding, to remember his rules and not forget them, to even structure your life around and through them!

In the end it comes down to sacrifice: how much are you willing to give up? Are you willing to be consumed with zeal for the ways of God?