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Purpose: Why would we keep the Lord out of our hearts and pockets? Would you? Deuteronomy 26 closes the third major section of Deuteronomy by calling us into His presence by guiding us through His commands into holiness. This is the first of four Living Commentary's messages on Deuteronomy 26 that question us why we are so little to trust God's open intent to kindly treat us.
We might be quite comfortable with the way things are, especially when everything is going good. It is so easy to shut God out of our lives. Why change things? We of course give ￼some of our heart to God and some of our small change. We are not that un-Christian.
Our lives are much like a safe as far as God is concerned. It is largely closed. We do not dare to open it with God around. He might just reach in and take more of what we have.
God is seeking our hearts. He is hardly content with our little money that we give Him, our token service or inattentive attendance. The Lord has so much more to give us, that which is great, beautiful and wonderful. Throughout the Book of Deuteronomy the focus has been on how God is trying to get His people to realize the very best He has for them. The only way to do this is to guide their lives through this covenant which He has devised. Only in this commitment will they be able to obey the Lord and reap the rewards. Why is it so hard to open up our hearts to the Lord?
The only answer for this question is that we still question God's motive. It is one of the evil one's most sinister plots to have us doubt God's goodness when the Lord alone is good and has brought all sorts of goodness into this world. His commands stem from this goodness and bring us to share more in His goodness. We are not bound under the Old Covenant as the Israelites here, but in a similar way God ushers us closer to Himself so that we can find more of His blessings. The question poised for us is the same, "Why don't we fully trust the Lord?"
We don't trust why He wants to control us. This was not the Law's purpose nor is it the purpose of Christ. Christ leads us to God the Father. The reason is that in God our calling, hope, joys and loves are all simultaneously fulfilled. We can never be completed without God's fullness in our lives through Christ. If you think you are gaining by keeping your distance, then false fears are keeping you away from the best. If you have any doubts why God is reaching into our hearts and pockets, put them aside! He does it for our good!
Each of the three paragraphs of Deuteronomy 26 highlight a special way that God cultivated the best lives for the Israelites. They will not sound unfamiliar for they are the same that we read in the New Testament. We will use the three points of this chapter to guide our thoughts.
So let's see how God shapes our hearts to be thankful.