Leprosy of the Heart and a Bible Recommendation for Little Ones

There’s this huge narrative that believing adults spend a lifetime reading through, memorizing, and changing as a result of. It’s unlike all other literary works in that it’s Author has actually written life itself. Breathing creation, raising dead men, parting seas…using whatever He determined necessary to bring His “Secret Rescue Plan” to fruition.

The Bible.


For the glory of God.

For the redemption of His people.

It’s truth is life-giving to the dead, and it’s realities go against what the world teaches. Man and his glorification are not the chief ends in this book. God is. And in the holy scriptures, it’s regenerated audience finds soul-enjoyment. The pursuit of God for his name’s renown is beautifully entangled with a simultaneous pursuit of saving sinners and loving them with an unquenchable, unearned, never-ceasing, contagious, Son-centered love.

And with that, I introduce and recommend The Jesus Storybook Bible. We have now read it cover-to-cover several times over, and it is phenomenal. The author, Sally Lloyd Jones, expresses God’s redemptive plan as the “Secret Rescue Plan.” From the Old to the New Testament, she is pointing to Christ. The technique and style are genius, tugging at the minds of both children and parents alike.

The fall of man is about Jesus. Noah and the ark are about Jesus. David and Goliath are about Jesus. Namaan and the slave girl are about Jesus. And the list goes on. It teaches children that the bible is not actually just about them but about God Himself.

Jones desires for children to see the following through her book:

“That the Bible isn’t mainly about me, and what I should be doing. It’s about God and what he has done.

That the Bible is most of all a story — the story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.

That — in spite of everything, no matter what, whatever it cost him — God won’t ever stop loving his children… with a wonderful, Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.

That the Bible, in short, is a Story — not a Rule Book — and there is only one Hero in the Story.”
(Read her article from Desiring God in its entirety here.)

Yes, God loves sinners and has set up this redemptive plan so that he could set his affection on us through the work and power of Christ crucified; however, misleading a child to assume the bible is merely a feel-good book of truth when one is down is detrimental to their souls.

This is a truth-filled work for little ones & nourishment to parents.

My heart was so moved by Jones’ rendition of Namaan and the slave girl from 2 Kings 5.

Here we see Namaan, a general with much room for boasting considering Syria’s victory (verse 1), and he is literally dying. Physically and spiritually. God chooses to move in the heart of his slave girl (Jones does well to expound upon the girl’s loss, yet she seeks Namaan’s betterment) to direct Namaan to Elisha. So what does Namaan do with this proposal? He brings with him a payment for healing. He approaches the king of Israel rather than Elisha himself. Summoned by the prophet after approaching the king proved unsuccessful, Namaan is then sent word by Elisha’s messenger to “go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean” (5:10). Wow, simple- right? No! Not at all to Namaan. He was furious! Stripped of the honor he assumed was due him, Namaan was told to bath in a dirty ole’ river many times over for his cure. Not quite the royal fix he was imagining. God then uses his servants to bring him back down to reality. Has God not provided an escape from the pain? Namaan then went and washed as advised “and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean” (5:14b).

There we are…leprosy covering our hearts. Increased pain as each day passes. There’s no way out. We are intrinsically sick. We hear of hope, yet we bring our rags as an attempt for payment for grace.

We are Namaans.

God has displayed grace for us through His Servant – Jesus Christ.

“But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” – Romans 5:15-17)

What the blood of Christ has purchased for us is the eternal cure from our leprosy of heart. No longer is death reigning, but righteousness in and through Christ.

Mulling over this has set my heart ablaze with the reality of what God has accomplished for us in the gospel. If we cannot grasp how sick (outright dead) we are, how ability to cure ourselves is non-existent, then the finished work of Christ is just something we can reach for/attempt to work for ourselves rather than the gift of grace that it truly is. That is no gospel at all! There’s no reaching. We are dead. God swoops in and removed a heart of stone and replaces it with a heart of flesh. He puts His Spirit within us, and completely cleanses us from all unrighteousness through Jesus. This is gloriously God-wrought. And I am gloriously transformed by the word of God through the Jesus Storybook Bible. God has used a morning bible reading with my children to show God’s saving grace and love to our family. My prayer is that such truth would steep in the hearts of our babies and God would do what we are forever unable to do for them – save.

And a bit more solidification to read the JSB:

“I would urge not just families with young children to get this book, but every Christian–from pew warmers, to ministry leaders, seminarians and even theologians! Sally Lloyd-Jones has captured the heart of what it means to find Christ in all the scriptures, and has made clear even to little children that all God’s revelation has been about Jesus from the beginning–a truth not all that commonly recognized even among the very learned.” – Tim Keller per TGC

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”

As a mother, I feel the greatest weight of my obligation and calling to steward my children and their hearts well. I want to so engrain in them that our hearts without Jesus are forever sick, broken cisterns unable to hold water (Jeremiah 2:13.) This episode of Ask Pastor John (though it is actually Dr. Tripp) gives practical ways to do so. And I end this short post with the last verse of 1 John: “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” as it my intent to teach my little ones to do so through the power of God for the glory of God.

Helping Children Discover Heart Idols (Episode 441; Tripp) #askpastorjohn

A Spurgeon-Sized Kindling

The words of Charles Spurgeon always seem to digest well into my soul and stir my affections for the gospel early on in the day. Today, that is especially the case.

Basing his devotional off of Romans 3:26, “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus,” Spurgeon says regarding God’s justice that “judgment now decides for the sinner instead of against him. Memory looks back upon past sins with deep sorrow for the sin, but yet without dreading any penalty to come; for Christ has paid the debt of His people to the last jot and tittle and received the divine receipt.”

Let’s steep that thought a bit more with this:

“Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear…no one enters suit justly; no one goes to law honestly…Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light, and behold, darkness, and for brightness, but we walk in gloom. We grope for the wall like the blind; we grope like those who have no eyes; we stumble at noon as in the twilight, among those in full vigor we are like dead men…we hope for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and we know our iniquities…The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him. He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, so will he repay…And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the LORD.” – Isaiah 59:1-2, 4a, 9-10, 11b-12, 15b-18a, 20

Just as God so radically opposes our radical disposition to sin, he radically makes a way for the impenitent to be united with him through the blood of Jesus. Isaiah’s indictment against the Israelites is the indictment against all of mankind. We are dead men groping in the darkness in midday! However, theres this phenomenal redemption. God, in his good providence, sent the second Person of the Trinity, to die for the unjust, and justify through His blood alone.

God justifies the ungodly.

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” -Romans 5:6

So if you happen to be like me on certain mornings, and it feels like you can conquer the world after your first cup of coffee, your to-do list is totally feasible because you are on your A-game or, if you are also like me at other times when you feel so unable to muster up the motivation to press on gladly, let’s take a second and consider this:

“Therefore, Jesus having taken the place of the believer-having rendered a full equivalent to divine wrath for all that His people ought to have suffered as the result of sin-the believer can shout with glorious triumph, “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?” Nor God, for He has justified; not Christ, for He has died, yes has risen again. My hope lives not because I am not a sinner; but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died” – Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening,

THERE is where I find my soul’s energy. It’s not the cup of coffee or the checking off of one’s daily to-dos. It’s not even the self-motivation we try and feed ourselves.

It’s solely the justification by faith through Christ.

With this reality, my heart wades in joyous waters.

I can look to this truth in the midst of chaos (because we really aren’t promised a relief from the chaos.) And especially with fall cultivating so much worship in my heart these days, I can look at daily graces with my kiddos and be glad in The Lord that has sent himself to provide the needed sacrifice due for my sin.





The Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

I’m going to preface life in the Spirit with a term that is one of the most crucial words in my vocabulary, a word my soul must come to grips with and understand regularly:


The definition of the word is simply “moral corruption.” This is the problem with all of mankind. We are bent towards sin, and I mean completely bent, meaning we are unable to un-bend ourselves.

Prior to God saving us, our affections are fixed on self-gain and self-glorification. They are God-belittling and glory-robbing. It is entirely the faith alone in God provided by his glorious grace that we can seek God’s glory instead.

We are in a unique place in history, however. It’s referred to as the already, but not yet. [Refer to this article from Ligonier Ministries for further explanation on this tension.] We have already been saved, but that salvation is not perfected. We still sin and have to deal with that in our lives. We are fighting to kill the sin and pursue holiness for the glory of God.

Our previous pastor, Matt Chandler, used an illustration when we went through the book of Galatians. He said that if the past 48 hours of everything in our hearts and minds were broadcasted before the church, we would probably leave ashamed and unable to return based on the filth within.

Depravity is a foundational understanding of your (my) salvation in Christ. You see, if we are completely corrupt, there’s simply no way we can help ourselves. Someone, The One, has to step in, remove sin, and replace our wretchedness with His righteousness.

Now, a quick overview on the book of Galatians:

I find the reformed doctrine of justification to be the clearest description of what Galatians is all about:

Sola Fide –> /faith alone/

[read J.I. Packer's further explanation of this doctrine here.]

Paul is indicting the Galatians for what they have allowed to creep in.

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” –Galatians 1:6-9

Paul is serious about this. He goes on to call out Peter for succumbing to this distortion of the gospel by bowing to the circumcision party.

Then Paul restates the realities of the gospel and concludes with the theme of our text: the FREEDOM we have in Christ found in chapter 5.

Works of the flesh vs. Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:1

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

Galatians 5:6

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”

Works of the flesh, our vain attempts, keep us bound and found wanting; but the fruit of the Spirit is the produce of our faith in Christ. The first will keep us caged, the later will free us to joy.

It is important to note that it is not the “fruits” of the Spirit but “fruit.” It is holistic. We aren’t failing in love and flourishing in gentleness. That simply doesn’t make sense.

Sisters, when we lose our grip on self-reliance, we will effortlessly experience the fruit of the Spirit, because then it is God at work in us rather than our vain attempts. I am not saying that we are to be lazy in our pursuit of holiness because it’s just supposed to happen. That would be contrary to scripture. God has called us to work…in the Spirit. The difference lies in our affections. When we work outside of the atoning work of Christ, we are laboring for all that will perish. Just as our sin prior to Christ was not premeditated per say, so our bearing fruit will be natural in the God that gives us faith.

How can we flourish in the fruit of the Spirit?

First and foremost, communion with God is essential. Read his word. Talk with Him. Fast. Journal. Look for ways to stir your heart’s affections for the sweetness of the gospel. Let me touch on an area I also believe to be key. I find this to be so essential in our spiritual growth because I have experienced it first hand at our previous church. God also calls us to it.


We need to be so in each other’s lives that we can help each other grow in holiness. We will be found lacking until the day we die, and that will discourage us. However, we each have our own strengths and weaknesses. Some of us are mothers, others are single, some work in the home, others outside the home, some are in college. We are all so different and live different lives. But we have the one unchanging circumstance in common: The gospel of Jesus Christ! Let’s forget the comparing we so often do with one another, and instead look into each other’s faces and remember that we are all aiming for the same thing: conformity to Christ.

John Piper says the following:

“But the mentality behind the fruit of the Spirit is the mentality of faith depending upon grace. People who bear the fruit of the Spirit know they are worthy only of condemnation. They know that the only pay they can earn is the wrath of God. Therefore, they have turned away from self-reliance and look only to mercy in Christ who “loved us and gave himself for us” (2:20). They do not expect anyone to be their debtor because of their worth. Any satisfaction will be a free gift of grace. They bank on the mercy of God and entrust themselves to his Spirit for help. And out of that mentality of faith depending on grace grows not “works” but “fruit”: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness . . .”

We have been freed to FREEDOM in Christ rather than slavery to sin. There’s so much to boast in and so much encouragement to be had and shared in each other’s lives.

I recommend listening to the followings sermons on this text:

John Piper’s “Walk by the Spirit!”

Matt Chandler’s “Life in the Spirit”


Doctrine and Joy

This morning I read a post by Tony Reinke over at Desiring God, and it’s a must-share. I would like to highlight as Mr. Reinke did the words of John Piper on Calvinism and joy because they are not mutually exclusive but rather inclusive. You can read it here.

While I spent a semester at a linguistics institute obtaining my minor in undergrad, we studied the intelligibility of languages. It must be understood that location does not always have a bearing as to the intelligibility of one language in a village/state to the next. There are instances of course where this is the case. Languages within a region may be derived from a mother language and it could be very possible for a person from one village traveling to the next to get by in their own mother tongue without knowing the other. (Susie, if you’re reading this be sure to correct my memory of this concept😉.)

I use this to paint an image of the always intelligible nature of the doctrine of Calvinism and joy. To know TULIP fully and walk in its realities are cisterns filled with living water, deep wells of truth that leave us longing for more satisfying, identifying realities of God in all his glory. There is no part of it that is devoid of God’s intent for his own pleasure and his people sharing in such.

Piper states the following:

We need to rethink our Reformed doctrine of salvation so that every limb and every branch in the tree is coursing with the sap of delight. We need to make plain that [T] total depravity is not just badness, but blindness to beauty and deadness to joy; and [U] unconditional election means that the completeness of our joy in Jesus was planned for us before we ever existed; and that [L] limited atonement is the assurance that indestructible joy in God is infallibly secured for us by the blood of the covenant; and [I] irresistible grace is the commitment and power of God’s love to make sure we don’t hold on to suicidal pleasures, and to set us free by the sovereign power of superior delights; and that the [P] perseverance of the saints is the almighty work of God to keep us, through all affliction and suffering, for an inheritance of pleasures at God’s right hand forever.

I think God is often painted as gruesomely wrathful, as Van Gogh was likely to intend via Tony’s post; however, God is, in fact, operating for supreme pleasures rather than fleeting happiness and his providence is one of immeasurable goodness toward his children.

Why Philippians 2:5-11 Is Changing Motherhood for Me

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

I have found myself repeating these verses in my mind when the going gets rough and my sweet pea toddler pushes that spoonful of yummy, time-put-into-preparing food out of her mouth and simply says “no thank you” and “I wanna play!” or when my fingers get slammed into the laundry room door as she slides it happily trying to hide.

I find myself contemplating a state of the heart which I considered often in my college days as I was immersed in international gatherings among unbelievers and traveling overseas to share the gospel:

Privilege vs Sacrifice

I could never consider anything I did as a sacrifice necessarily because if God called me to that, a lowly sinner saved by grace, then where is the sacrifice? It’s all gain! And not to mention that it is God at work in us to bring about his good plan rather than anything we can muster up on our own. I found myself always more blessed by others than I was intending to be a blessing to them. I see a similar working in mothering.

I have intentions with my children to empty myself so they can see Christ in all his glory. I want Norah to be well-mannered and able to listen at a young age so that she can have an attentive ear for the gospel. I want to nurture Owen as an infant so that he can feel loved by God later on. Norah’s chanting of the ABC’s stirs in me the hopes of her learning to read in the coming years so that she can see God in the bible for herself and be amazed. However, unlike my summer adventures in China and India (though I did work with small children), it can be a bit easier to fall under the sacrifice category and bemoan my current calling- what a shame to stay in that!

There’s also a self-righteous undertone in boasting in the sacrifice rather than the privilege. It puts us in an upper-hand position rather than the reality. Yes we are called to work heartily in serving the needy, but aren’t we all helpless widows?

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Luke 18:1-8 tells of the persistent widow that went to the judge for relief. At this time, a widow with no familial aid was left for dead basically. She wore out the judge in her pleadings. He granted her the relief she sought and he wasn’t even a righteous, God-fearing judge! How much more has God provided relief for his children, sinners in a desperate state, in Christ his Son! Knowing then our state, depraved and unable to fix it (Isaiah 59), once we are changed by grace through faith, what God calls us to in service to him ultimately is not a sacrifice, but a privilege for we have been rescued from the famine. We have been given the bread of life and living water to fill us for eternity. What gluttons we would be to not share it!

There is no sacrifice to serve my children, all privilege. I am not setting aside my desires to have this occupation or that friendship. I am gaining God in my calling. It’s a privilege to know that God sees fit to use child-bearing and rearing to draw me closer to himself. Sitting in college classes such as The Gospel of John or Understanding Islam, I would have never thought God was using such courses to prepare me for where I am now, but he is. The gospel is all I have to lean on throughout the day. God is often my only “real” conversation when my husband may be gone all day for work and then church affairs. And often times, my children and their needs/behaviors are as foreign as all get out, so working internationally and studying other cultures are utilized in my day-to-day.

It all goes back to a renewing of the mind. Day-in and day-out, hour by hour. I am constantly in need of a mind-renewal because there is an emptying needed to take place. Just as Christ emptied himself to the point of death in submission to the Father, so I pray for grace to empty myself into the lives of my children for the glory of God. What a privilege indeed!

I tell many newlywed friends (well, more newlywed than Josh and I that is!) that God gives us marriage and parenting to show us our need for a Savior because these relationships will reveal sin more than any other. John Owen states that we are to kill sin before it kills us. That sounds pretty brutal…well, not so much now when I see how my sin could eat me up as a wife and mother. I must actively work to put it death and repent often, pleading for the mind of Christ “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant” and there I am consoled, knowing how I it is worth it all to serve the One who came in the flesh to remove my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26.)

Joel 2:13a states, “rend your heart and not your garments” in regards to the posture of the heart in repentance. An inner realization and change rather than an external modification. I find myself in need of repentance more and more these days, and it actually brings me joy rather than discouragement knowing that God is at work in me to sanctify me and conform me into his likeness.

So when I am bent under the kitchen table scraping mushed peas off the ground, I say Philippians 2:5-11 over and over again. When I sit on the couch feeding my newborn while listening to my toddler scream not wanting to go to bed, I say Philippians 2:5-11 over and over again. When I am in the darkened kitchen starting my morning cup of coffee with intentions to dive deep into the bible and then a baby awakens, I say Philippians 2:5-11 over and over again. What has been provided for us through Christ is real and available. It is the only outlet from death. It’s the only answer for truly living. And His Name will sound throughout the heavens and be recognized by all:

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

It’s a privilege to train up my little ones to know His Name. It’s quite messy, but oh how messy are we in our sin and despair, yet God is so loving to draw us to himself and shed the light of Jesus Christ in our hearts for all eternity!

2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ

A Supplement for the Soul

It seems like there are so many options these days for healthier ways of life. This drink or that way of cooking, maybe being vegan or simply gluten free. This isn’t a post about which I prefer (though I tried the vegan thing and it was super neat but super time consuming and unrealistic for our family.) Yes and amen to some of those things. They are good when being used for the glory of God in maintaining the bodies he has given us at this time. But this is a post about a supplement we all need. A supplement that will literally save your life. One that stops death in its tracks:

2 Peter 1: 5-11
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I think if I cared more about my entrance into the kingdom of God as I do my entrance into the grocery store, church, or someone else’s home, my soul would not be in such frantic states at times. We put it on ourselves. We attempt to put the weightiness of glory on things which are unable to carry them.

These virtues listed lead to an increasing glory of God – the very weight of his majesty because they are a result of the faith he has provided for us through his Son. We are not left to ourselves in maintaining these virtues. As believers, we have the hope found in Philippians 2: 13- “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

For his good pleasure.

This post could be taken as a need to white-knuckle it and work harder, but that isn’t the case at all. May it never be! If we are in Christ, we can rest assured knowing that it is in fact God working in us to please himself and in turn bring us the greatest joy. The very obtaining and increasing of these qualities are through further and further reflection on and living in the gospel truth. We were cleansed from our former sins through the blood of Jesus Christ! Being without sin and emptying himself to the point of death on a cross, Jesus inexhaustibly fills the righteousness required to stand before God. That gives us such freedom to flourish, amidst our frequent failings and fleeting hearts, in these qualities knowing that God will not leave us to ourselves because He has already removed our heart of stone and is in the business of making us like Christ himself.

Let’s confirm our calling as elected children of God and supplement our faith with knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. When it appears to us on certain days that we are doing all but putting such qualities into practice, run to the promise: it is GOD at work in us, and he will never leave us to ourselves in Christ. We have all we need to be eternally saved.

Ezekiel 36:26-27
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

God causes us to walk in his ways. Not our own doings, but his. What a relief to run freely, joyfully, and in obedience in this world making much of God through our callings!