Daily Devotional: Psalms 119:57-64
Ps 119:57-64 Heth
57 You are my portion, O LORD; I have promised to obey your words. 58 I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. 59 I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. 60 I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands. 61 Though the wicked bind me with ropes, I will not forget your law. 62 At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws. 63 I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts. 64 The earth is filled with your love, O LORD; teach me your decrees.
1 Peter 4:14-17
15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
When we become a Christian, we give our heart and our life to God. In obedience to his gospel we are baptized into Christ and our sins are forgiven. Paul says that in doing this we die to Christ, we are buried with him in baptism and are then raised up to walk as a new person in him. We have died to sin and so we live no longer in it because our new allegiance is to Christ and his will rather than to sin and to self. We have promised to do the will of God instead of our own will.
The other side of this is that as we continue to walk in his light and live for him, we continue to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Becoming a Christian does not mean we never sin again but it does mean our sins are not held against us. The grace of God motivates us to become like him and to live for him. Obedience to his will is our goal for which we strive as we allow his Spirit to work in us and to change us. In his strength we seek to overcome every temptation we face.
But we cannot (and must not) ever allow his grace to become an excuse for not being all he wants us to become. His grace does not give us permission to go on living in sin or to ignore his commands for us. We seek to live up to his glory.
Heavenly Father, creator of all things and giver of life, I adore you and thank you for your wonderful love. I stand in awe as I see the mighty waves of the ocean and see your wisdom as they stop at their bounds. The beauty of the mountains and the trees shows your handiwork. Thank you for the flowers that bloom and the birds that sing their beautiful songs. Help me see these things as assurance of your love for me and that you will always provide my needs as I seek to serve you and put you first in my life. Forgive me when I fail. I pray in the name of Jesus.