Daily Devotional: Psalms 117:1-2
1 Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. 2 For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD.
While this Psalm holds the distinction of being the shortest of all the Psalms, it is living proof that it does not take a lot of words to say what needs to be said. This might be a good lesson for all who make public talks and lead public prayers. We need to learn to say what is appropriate for the occasion and then be quiet. God is not impressed with our words. Jesus said we are not to be as the heathen and make long prayers for the sake of impressing those on earth who hear them.
This does not mean there is never a time when a very long prayer is appropriate and needed. Jesus prayed at least three hours in the garden and some of us have spent the entire night in prayer. While most sermons need to be the right length to hold the attention of the audience, some will be longer than others and some will be very short. It is what is said and how it is said that matters – not the length alone. We also need to remember that we are not doing either to impress those around us or that is the only reward that we will receive.
We praise the Lord because his love is great toward us. There is no way for us to describe the love of God or even know it fully. As parents and grandparents we often do so many things out of love for our children and grandchildren that they do not know and could not understand if they did know. It is only when they are grown they will begin to appreciate what has been done for them.
It is when we are made like him in eternity and we know as we are fully known that we will appreciate the love of God in its entirety. It is only then in our new bodies that we will see just how much God has done for us and how his love has guided us and the extent of his forgiveness. As we live every day in this world that is filled with sin, it is hard for us to realize just how bad it is and how much it hurts our God when we partake in it. For God to forgive us is more than we can really imagine, even though we can say that Jesus died in our place and for our sin. This just does not fully describe the love of God.
O God, I do thank you for your love that is beyond my ability to understand. I thank you and praise you for your forgiveness, even though I know I do not deserve to be forgiven. Help me open my heart to be filled with your Spirit and your love so I can love you in return as I should and love others around me as you love me. Help me be kind, compassionate and forgiving. Increase my faith so I will live each moment for you. Use me to reach others with your gospel and to help those who are struggling to live for you. I pray in the name of Jesus.