Daily Devotional: Psalms 34:11-16
11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 12 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, 13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. 14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; 16 the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
4 You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
The wise preacher said the whole purpose of man is to fear God and keep his commandments. We exist to serve and worship God. It is our duty to honor him and give glory to his holy name in all we say and do. This is why we have been created in Christ Jesus to live a life of good works which God long ago ordained for us. Thus we die to sin, are buried with Christ in baptism and then raised up to walk in a new life in him. This is the fear of the Lord we are to learn.
This explains why Jesus said the most important command from the Law of Moses is to love the Lord God with all our heart, soul and mind. Since God loves us as he does and since we are seeking to be like him, the second command is to love our neighbor as ourselves. So we must get rid of all hatred, malice, envy, strife and bitterness and replace them with love, joy, peace, gentleness and humility. This happens as we allow the Spirit of God to live in us and mold us into his image; as we become partakers of the divine nature.
It is this life in Christ that brings us true joy. No matter what our circumstances in life, we rejoice in him as his peace that is beyond our ability to understand, fills our hearts, our minds and our souls. So if God is for us, who can be against us? It is God who gave his all for us to be with him in eternity! What more could he do?
Thank you Father for your matchless wisdom in finding a way to save one like me; so weak and sinful in so many ways. When I honestly compare myself, my life and the things I have done to you and your holiness, I realize just how little I deserve from you – actually nothing at all but your punishment. Yet, in your great love and compassion you have shown mercy to me and extended your grace to me in giving your Son to die for my sin. Thank you God! Help me open my heart to be molded by your Spirit to be more like you. I pray in the name of Jesus.