I listen to Issues, Etc. regularly. It is a Christ-centered radio program that covers a whole host of topics. It gives me something to listen to while I am doing my needlework. This past week, I listened to a pastor discuss the Scripture reading from this past Sunday. The reading was from Luke chapter 11. It is the account of Jesus casting out demons. The last verse of the account is Luke 11:28 where Jesus says, “Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.”

The pastor spoke on this verse. He said that many times the word “keep” is translated as “obey”, but this is not a good translation. In the Greek, this version of “keep” is actually better translated as “hold” or “guard”. You know, if you find something special, maybe a pair of Stiffel lamps, and you want to keep them. You don’t put your new lamps in the middle of the street to be run over by cars. You keep them safe in your house where you can treasure them and share them with others. . This is a better translation of the word “keep” in this verse. (Maybe learning Greek with my son isn’t such a bad idea after all.)

This had a profound effect on me this week. So many times we are told that God blesses those who obey. Maybe if things aren’t working out well for you, you have moved off the path God wants for you. This kind of teaching always troubles me. It isn’t a very hopeful teaching. It turns Christianity into some kind of rewards based system. Follow the rules, and you will be rewarded. No, thank you. Do we obey because we treasure His word and sacrifice? Or do we obey because we want earthly blessings? Something to think about.

jesus cross

This week’s hymn is Freckle Face’s favorite, Glory Be to Jesus. My hymnal does not attribute this hymn to any author, but it is Italian and was written possibly in the 18th century. I memorized this hymn in grade school, and it, too, remains one of my favorites. It is beautiful in its simplicity. Notice the focus of the hymn is all on Jesus. We have nothing left to do, but praise Him. Glory be to Jesus!

Glory be to Jesus,
Who, in bitter pains,
Poured for me the lifeblood
From His sacred veins!

Grace and life eternal
In that blood I find;
Blest be His compassion,
Infinitely kind.

Blest through endless ages
Be the precious stream
Which from endless torments
Doth the world redeem.

Abel’s blood for vengeance
Pleaded to the skies;
But the blood of Jesus
For our pardon cries.

Oft as it is sprinkled
On our guilty hearts,
Satan in confusion
Terror struck departs.

Oft as earth exulting
Wafts its praise on high,
Angel hosts, rejoicing,
Make their glad reply.

Lift we then our voices,
Swell the mighty flood;
Louder still and louder
Praise the precious blood!