Devotionals by Chuck Swindoll

Today's Insight from Chuck Swindoll

Principles vs. Precepts

What an epitaph! Not, "I found David to be a great warrior," or, "I found David to be a faithful shepherd," or, "I found David to be a brilliant king"—none of those things. It says, "I found David to care about the things I care about. He's a man whose heart beats in sync with Mine. When I look to the right, David looks to the right. When I look to the left, David looks to the left. And when I say, 'I care about that,' David says, 'I care about that too.' " As we've already seen, that's what it means to be a person after God's heart.

Some of us look upon life as, "Well, you win some, you lose some. You just pull it off the best you can. Nobody's perfect." Others say, "If God says it, l want to do it." Those are the ones who are "after God's heart."

Those in the first group spend a lot of time doing their own thing—a lot of time moaning and complaining and later recovering from journeys that are far from His plan and will. But the others don't get very far at all before they start taking account of where they are. They keep short accounts. They come back in line quickly because they're "after His heart." To those people, nothing in their relationship with God is considered insignificant. Those who live most of their lives in the second category are rare. There are not a great number of people whose hearts are hot after God, who obey God's precepts and honor His principles, regardless. But David was like that.

When you drive down the road and you see the sign, "Speed Limit 35 Miles an Hour," that's a precept; there's no give or take. If the sign reads, "Drive Carefully," that's a principle.

When it comes to the spiritual life, those who are after God in their hearts care as much about the principles as they do about the precepts. And when they come across a precept that is clearly delineated, they say, "As I look at my life, I see where it's not like that precept. I need to bring my life in line with it." And they do just that. That's what David did, according to 2 Samuel, chapter 6 . . . a classic example of why he was "a man after God's heart."

When we follow the heart of God, nothing in our walk with Him is insignificant.

— Charles R. Swindoll Tweet This

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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About Insight for Living

Insight for Living is the Bible-teaching radio ministry of author and pastor Charles R. Swindoll. Insight for Living is committed to excellence in communicating biblical truth and its application.

About Chuck Swindoll

Charles R. Swindoll has devoted his life to the accurate, practical teaching and application of God's Word. Since 1998, he has served as the founder and senior pastor-teacher of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, but Chuck's listening audience extends far beyond a local church body. As a leading program in Christian broadcasting since 1979, Insight for Living airs in major Christian radio markets around the world, reaching people groups in languages they can understand. Chuck's extensive writing ministry has also served the body of Christ worldwide and his leadership as president and now chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary has helped prepare and equip a new generation for ministry. Chuck and Cynthia, his partner in life and ministry, have four grown children, ten grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

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