Daily Devotional: Psalms 36:1-4
An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. 2 For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin. 3 The words of his mouth are wicked and deceitful; he has ceased to be wise and to do good. 4 Even on his bed he plots evil; he commits himself to a sinful course and does not reject what is wrong.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-who is forever praised. Amen.
It is comforting for us to think about God being a God of love. God is love. But God is also a God of hatred and vengeance. He is a God who must honored, trusted and served. He is filled with compassion toward those who are oppressed. He is moved by his love and his mercy toward those who turn from their evil ways and seek to serve him. He made mankind to live with him in eternity and while here on earth, to bring honor to his holy name. He wants us all to be in heaven.
But as a just and righteous God, he must punish sin. The ones who reject him as God, who do not honor him as supreme and those who refuse to obey him, must be punished in his wrath. He will not make anyone serve him. He gives the choice to us and we decide whom we will serve; God or sin, Satan and ourselves. We can turn our backs on him and he will turn from us, or we can draw near to him and he will draw near to us. He has warned us of the result of the wrong choice.
But in his love, his mercy and his compassion, he offers his grace to us in the death and resurrection of Jesus. God put our sin on his beloved Son, so he could die in our place, for our sin so we can be forgiven and be righteous in him.
Thank you, Lord, for loving me. Thank you for offering a means whereby I can have my sin forgiven. I know that I deserve to be punished by death, but in your mercy you have made it possible for me to live with you eternally. Thank you for being with me and for giving your Spirit to live in me so I can become more like you each day. Help me to be able to honor your holy name in all I do and say. Use me to bring others to you, both by my example and in the things I say. Fill my heart with your love and compassion. I pray in the name of Jesus my Savior.