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.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will- 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the one he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
The story is told of a renowned theologian and scholar who had given his life to studying, knowing and teaching the word of God but was on his death bed. A friend who had come to be with him, asked him what was the greatest and most profound truth he had learned in his life. To his friend’s amazement, he replied: “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
This is indeed the story of the Bible. The great love of God that is so vast it cannot be described in human terms was shown to us when Jesus came to earth as one of us and died for our sin. Paul says that while we were still the enemies of God, he gave his Son to die for us. Jesus said that there is no greater love than when one dies for his friends and then told his disciples that they were his friends. John tells us that real love is not in our love for God but that he loved us and gave his Son to be the substitute sacrifice for our sin. God is love and he is faithful.
Sadly, there are many who spurn the love of God. He is patient. He is merciful. He is filled with compassion. But his love is conditional and that condition is that we believe in him; believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him. But that same nature requires that he punish those who reject him. Paul says that the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus our Lord.
O Lord God, great is your love, your compassion and your mercy toward me. I do not deserve to be forgiven of my sin or to be called one of your children. While my life has not been filled with what the world considers as “terrible” sins, I know I have transgressed your will in more ways than I can count and I deserve the death of sinners. However, because of your grace I can know I am free from sin and I have been justified in Jesus Christ. Give me wisdom, keep me in your will and use me to help others serve you. I pray in the name of Jesus my Savior.