Daily Devotional: Psalms 119:33-40
Ps 119:33-40 He
33 Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. 34 Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. 35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. 36 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. 37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. 38 Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared. 39 Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good. 40 How I long for your precepts! Preserve my life in your righteousness.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it-he will be blessed in what he does.
It is much easier to know the word of God, to understand how it applies and even to teach it than to always put it into practice. The Pharisees in the days of Jesus were really good at telling others how to live and Jesus told the crowd to do what they said but not to follow their examples. This is true because we must go beyond the formalities and rituals of public worship, beyond the way we dress or the way we talk. All of these matter but what is also important is what is in our hearts. James goes on to tell us that pure religion is helping widows and orphans in their distress and keeping oneself from being polluted by the world.
John says we cannot love God whom we have not seen if we don’t love our brothers and sisters whom we do see. He also says that real love goes beyond wishing someone well when they are faced with problems; it actually helps them and gives them relief. Jesus says we are to show compassion and be forgiving to those who do not deserve it because God has done this for us. It always helps us in our perspective when we remember that we are only right with God because of what he has done for us in Jesus Christ and not what we have done ourselves.
Heavenly Father, I am so thankful for your love for me and the forgiveness you have given me in Jesus. Fill my heart with your love and your compassion so I will show mercy and forgiveness to those around me. Keep me from ever thinking more highly of myself than I should but give me wisdom to know my abilities and use them in your service and to you glory. I ask a special blessing on those who are sick, are suffering and taking treatments. I pray in the name of Jesus.