Daily Devotional: Psalms 99:6-9
6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel was among those who called on his name; they called on the LORD and he answered them. 7 He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud; they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them. 8 O LORD our God, you answered them; you were to Israel a forgiving God, though you punished their misdeeds. 9 Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy.
1 Peter 1:13-17
14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 17 Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.
The apostle Paul told the younger preacher Timothy that all who call on the name of the Lord are to abstain from every kind of wickedness. He wrote elsewhere that we, as the children of God, are to put to death the old person who submitted to sin and lived in sin when we were buried with Christ in baptism. When we rise from that grave of water, we are to walk in newness of life. We are not to be conformed to this world but rather we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds in Christ Jesus. We allow the same Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead to empower us and to change our hearts to be like God.
But this change in our hearts and minds and the change in our lives does not all take place at once. We are to grow spiritually and we are told there will be a constant battle with Satan. Even Paul said that he often found himself doing the very thing that he hated or not doing that which he knew should be done. He also said he had to beat his own body to keep it in subjection so he would not be lost, even after he had spent his life teaching others. But thanks be to God that through Jesus Christ our Lord we can have the victory and we can be faithful in our obedience to God. As we mature spiritually and allow God to work in us, a part of the fruit of his Spirit in our lives is self-control.
Thank you heavenly Father for your love and your continued forgiveness in Jesus Christ my Lord. The more I know your will for me, the more I realize just how much I fall short in so many ways. I truly value your forgiveness more and more each day as I realize just how great your grace is in my life. Keep me from ever using your grace as an excuse for sin but strengthen me to be pure in all of my thoughts and holy in my daily living. Use me to serve others in a physical way and also spiritually. I humbly pray in the name of Jesus my Lord and my Savior.