Daily Devotional: Psalms 119:1-8
1 Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. 2 Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. 3 They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways. 4 You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. 5 Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! 6 Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. 7 I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. 8 I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.
As I read this I can’t help but think of what Paul said to the Romans when he wrote that he knew the law of God was good but the problem was in him. No matter how hard he tried to keep the law of God, he just did not do it perfectly. In fact, the more he understood about the law, the more he realized just how much he failed to keep it. This led him to great frustration as he cried “who will save me from this bondage of death?”
Paul knew that the wages of sin is death and any failure to keep the law perfectly was sin – thus he deserved to die. This death was the eternal separation from God and punishment this brought. So it seemed the more determined he was to live for God, the more he failed and the more frustrated he became. So it is today that many see and feel this same thing and some just give up completely.
But the answer is found in Romans right after the question is asked. “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The answer is not in our perfection but in our forgiveness through Jesus Christ and his sacrifice on our behalf. In the verses that follow Paul says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. So as we strive to live for God and be all he wants us to be, we still fail but we continue to receive his cleansing through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Grace is not cheap – it required the death of Jesus for us. Grace is not an excuse for sin to continue in our lives – we have died to sin and God forbid that we continue in it. Grace gives us freedom and assurance of salvation but it does not give us the right to be less than all we can be as we seek to be like God every hour of every day. We are his and he is to live in us every moment of our lives.
O God, give me that desire to be all you want me to be. Give me assurance when I fail but never allow me to use your grace as an excuse to sin. I ask for your wisdom to know you and your will better and your Spirit so I can become more like you. Help me seek the good of others and use all you have given me to bring glory to you in every way possible. I do need your continued forgiveness because the more I know your word, the more I realize how much I fail to live up to your glory. Give comfort to those who are hurting. I pray in the name of Jesus.