Daily Devotional: Psalms 35:26-28
26 May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion; may all who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace. 27 May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, "The LORD be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant." 28 My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long.
1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me." 4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
In the middle of our persecutions, in the heat of our trials, at the height of our pain, we turn to God and seek his help, his relief and his strength. He gives us peace that is far beyond what the world can understand. We see this peace in Stephen as he was stoned to death and asked the Lord Jesus to not hold the sin of those doing the stoning against them. No doubt, Stephen remembered the words of his Lord as he was dying on the cross and implored the Father to forgive the ones who were murdering him, because they were acting in ignorance.
Paul says we are to forgive others, even as we are forgiven in Jesus Christ. When God forgives us, our sin is removed from him as far as the east is from the west. It is gone and will never be held against us again. One of the most wonderful things about it is that we don’t deserve to be forgiven. We have never done anything for God that puts him in a position of owing us something. Rather, our sin makes us his enemies, deserving to be punished with death.
John says that love is seen, not in what we do, but in God offering his Son as the atoning sacrifice on the cross for our sin. But we also see the love of Jesus in this because he said that he did not have to die on the cross but willingly laid down his life for us. As his family, we are to have this same love for each other.
Loving Father, God of all mercies, compassion and grace, I thank you for forgiving me of all I have done wrong in my life. I know that I still sin, make mistakes and do wrong, so I need your continued forgiveness. Help me see when I do wrong and to always be willing to admit my sin and turn from it. Lord, it is so easy to fool myself and to rationalize my sin so I need your wisdom as your Sprit convicts me, so I will have an honest heart. Thank you for your forgiveness in Jesus. Give me a merciful and forgiving spirit toward others. I pray in the name of Jesus my Lord.