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The Scriptorium

Freedom Walk

We all have boundaries. Psalm 119.45

Psalm 119.41-48 (4)

Pray Psalm 119.45.

And I will walk at liberty,
For I seek Your precepts.

Sing Psalm 119.43-45.
(Dix: For the Beauty of the Earth)
Lord, take not Your Word from me, for I trust it day by day.
I will walk in liberty as Your precepts I obey.
I shall keep Your truth, O Lord, for I hope in all Your Word.

Read Psalm 119.41-48; meditate on verse 45.

Preparation

1. Where does the psalmist want to walk?

2. How will he do that?

Meditation
I recall a report I read some years ago concerning a school playground that was bounded by roads on three sides. Initially, when the kids went out to play, they tended to cluster toward the middle of the yard, close to the school. But when the school put up a fence on all sides, the kids spread out to play in every square inch of the yard.

We tend to think of boundaries as restrictive. And these days, we don’t want restrictions. We want to be ourselves and throw off everything we think holds us back (Ps. 2.1, 2). But clear and safe boundaries liberate us to enjoy life to the fullest. Think of your life as a journey along a clear and well-traveled pathway. Guardrails protect the path from unknown troubles lurking nearby. The one guardrail is labeled, “Love God” and the second is labeled “Love your neighbor.” Between them, you’re free to roam as you will.

The psalmist says that he will walk “at liberty”, literally, “in a broad place”, because he seeks the precepts of God. Yes, the Law of God is a boundary, but it protects you from many missteps in life, from pitfalls of lies and deceit, from the clutches of sin, and from the limitations of your own finite understanding.

The Law of God is so wise, He promised that the unbelieving peoples around us would marvel at the wisdom we demonstrate as we hold fast to His precepts (Deut. 4.5-8). James described the Law of God as “the perfect Law of liberty”, and he said we should live as if we expected to be judged by this Law (Jms. 2.8-12). That means seeking the precepts of God – His Law and all His Word – day by day, moment by moment, for every aspect of our lives.

Go ahead. Stretch out into the playground of life. Just make sure you stay within the fences and guardrails in that broad, liberating place where you will be safe from all that can rob you of full and abundant life.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Jude said the same thing and summed it up like this: “Stay always within the boundaries where God’s love can reach and bless you” (Jude 21 TLB). And that would be within the boundaries of God’s Law.

Jesus taught His disciples to pray that the Lord’s will to be done on earth, just as it is always done in heaven. (Matt. 6.10)

For us to abide within those parameters we need to make every effort for His will to be done in our own lives. Staying within His Law insures that.

Gloriously, this liberty to live to the fullest was one of the reasons Jesus came to earth. He came to “proclaim liberty to the captives” and to “set at liberty those who are oppressed” (Lk. 4.18). That is, us.

Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn. 8.31, 32) Free to live in liberty. Free to obey His Law.

The Holy Spirit was sent to guarantee our freedom. “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3.17). Freedom to live as the Spirit leads us—directly into God’s Law.

Paul has a word to say on this topic as well: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5.1). Free to stay away from sin, with all the liberty available to us to obey. After all, there is no law against it! (Gal. 5.23)

We will give James the final word, and his word has some good news and some bad. More like a warning: “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (Jms. 1.25) That’s the good news.

“So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty” (Jms. 2.12). And that’s the warning.

We have been invited to a “Freedom Walk”.

Let us boldly go forth, within our fence, to do just that, at liberty. (Ps. 119.45)

For reflection
1. Why do we need boundaries? What are our options in setting boundaries for ourselves?

2. What makes the Law of God a reliable boundary for full and abundant life?

3. How can believers help one another stay within the boundaries where God can reach and bless us?

The service of sin is slavery; the service of God is liberty. There is no full happiness, or perfect liberty, but in keeping God’s law. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.41-48

Pray Psalm 119.48.

What will you be putting your hand to today? Ask God to let His Law and all His Word guide you in everything you do.

Sing Psalm 119.48.
(Dix: For the Beauty of the Earth)
To Your Law I lift my hands to embrace and hold it dear.
In Your truth my glad heart stands, knowing You are ever near.
I will meditate, O Lord, on Your statutes and Your Word.

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website, www.ailbe.org, and clicking the Scriptorium tab for last Sunday. You can download any or all the studies in this series on Psalm 119 by clicking here.

What is the Law of God and how should we learn and obey it? Two books can help. The Law of God arranges the statutes and precepts of God’s Law under their appropriate number of the Ten Commandments. This book is an excellent tool for meditating on God’s Law and thinking about its application in our time. The Ground for Christian Ethics, on the other hand, explains why the Law matters and how we are to use it. You can order free copies of each of these here and here.

If you find Scriptorium helpful in your walk with the Lord, please seek the Lord, asking Him whether you should contribute to the support of this daily ministry with your financial gifts. As the Lord leads, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal or Anedot, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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