This Day in Presbyterian History:
What does God require of you?
Finding nothing noteworthy for this day in history, August 26, we go to Shorter Catechism No. 39 which states, “The duty which God requires of man is obedience to his revealed will.”
There have been movements all down through church history which have tried to outlaw the idea and even the word of “duty.” Somehow, we should eschew the concept of duty and replace it with the word and concept of “love.” And in one sense, there is nothing wrong with that in that all of us who confess the name of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior do evidence that saving faith by loving to do what He requires. In fact, because we love Him, we recognize our requirement or our duty to obey what He has revealed for us in Holy Scripture.
We owe obedience to God, because of Who He is. He is our Creator. As His creatures, we are under an obligation to worship and serve Him. But with a higher obligation of being His spiritual sons and daughters by being bought with a price, even His precious blood, we are required to worship and serve Him.
The matter of that obedience is His revealed will. Moses in Deuteronomy 29:29 says that “the secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things He has revealed belong” to us and our families. (NASB) “Secret things” are questions filled with “Why did God do this or why didn’t God do that?”. The “why” questions can only be answered by three persons — God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Our finite minds don’t have the wisdom of the Infinite. We can only trust our heavenly Father to do His sovereign will, and causing everything to work together for good.
The things He has revealed are found in the Bible. God requires obedience for those things. John said in 1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” (NASB) They are not irksome, oppressive, or grievous. And 1 John 2:3, “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (NASB) Obedience is a mark of the believer. It is an evidence that we are born of Him.
Words to live by: Obedience to God’s revealed will. There is our path of blessing. Here is our rule of life. To fulfil it, first, we must know God’s revealed will. This is the reason why a Scripture passage is part and parcel of this historical devotional. As we know God’s Word, we then can obey it. Second, we pray that God would build us up in the most holy faith so that we can have the spiritual strength for obedience. Last, we pray for obedience to God’s revealed will on the part of our families, our church family, and our nation.
Through the Scriptures: 1 Chronicles 14 – 16
Through the Standards: The help of the Holy Spirit in Prayer
WLC 182 — “How does the Spirit help us to pray?
A. We not knowing what to pray for as we ought, the Spirit helps our infirmities, by enabling us to understand both for whom, and what, and how prayer is to be made; and by working and quickening in our hearts (although not in all persons, nor at all times, in the same measure) those apprehensions, affections, and graces which are requisite for the right performance of that duty.”