Daily Devotional: Psalms 18:20-24
20 The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me. 21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD; I have not done evil by turning from my God. 22 All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees. 23 I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin. 24 The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
14 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
For many, the concept of true hope or assurance of salvation is foreign. They have been beaten down with teachings of our sinfulness and vulnerabilities along with the wrath and justice of God to the point that they are almost sure they will be lost (no matter what) with only a “long shot” of eternal salvation. This is because they base their salvation on personal attainment and not the grace of God. We are right (counted righteous) because our sins are forgiven (gone) based on the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. So Paul says we are the righteousness of God in Christ. In another passage we are told there is no condemnation or those who are in Christ Jesus. The Hebrew writer says we are saved by hope.
We must never boast of our righteousness because we did not earn it. It is a gift of God because we have come to Jesus in faith in obedience to the gospel. At the same time, we should not be ashamed to admit that we are living for God and we pattern our lives after him and his word. We are created in Christ Jesus unto good works so that we may live in them. Paul said that he did not live but Christ lived in him by faith. We are buried with Christ in baptism and raised up with him to walk in newness of life. Admitting we are living for him does not deny our sin or failings, it just affirms our commitment to be his in every way.
O God, my heavenly Father, I thank you for your way of salvation in Jesus. Thank you for making your gospel known to me so I can be your child. Like Paul, I know I have not yet attained but I praise you and thank you that I can live in assurance and hope, yearning for that day when I can be with you in eternity. Continue to forgive me when I fail and continue to mold me into your likeness. Use me to help others serve you and live for you. Be with those who are hurting and filled with grief and give them your peace and comfort. I pray in the name of Jesus.