Daily Devotional: Psalms 136:23-26
Ps 136:1-3, 23-26
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. 2 Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. 3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever…23 to the one who remembered us in our low estate His love endures forever. 24 and freed us from our enemies, His love endures forever. 25 and who gives food to every creature. His love endures forever. 26 Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.
1 John 4:15-18
15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
The great and enduring love of God for us demands two responses on our behalf. The first is that we love God in return and show that love by the way we live. We are to allow him to live in us through his Spirit. As we do this we can see the fruit of his indwelling as our lives are molded into the divine image of the Son. John says that this gives us peace because we know we are right with God and are ready to face him in judgment. Not on our own merits but because of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf. Thus his love is perfected or complete in us.
The second response to the love of God for us is that we love others. John goes on to ask how anyone can claim to love God whom they have not seen if they don’t love their brother whom they have seen. Just as the love of God for us is seen in the good he has done and continues to do for us, so our love for others will be seen in our actions toward them. Love may provide for their physical needs or it may encourage them when they are struggling to be faithful. Love is shown when we correct one who is in sin or when we compliment one for their faithfulness. It is not just for those who we feel deserve it but like God’s love for us is motivated by our compassion and our mercy and is given in grace.
O Lord my God, I truly wonder how the God of the universe can possibly even know I exist, let alone love me. Yet, you have shown your love for me in giving your Son to die for my sin and you continue to show your love for me in more ways than I can count or even know. Thank you. Empower me with your Spirit to become all you want me to be and use me in your will. Give me wisdom to see the opportunities you give and to use each one. I pray in the name of Jesus.