Daily Devotional: Psalms 50:16-23
16 But to the wicked, God says: "What right have you to recite my laws or take my covenant on your lips? 17 You hate my instruction and cast my words behind you. 18 When you see a thief, you join with him; you throw in your lot with adulterers. 19 You use your mouth for evil and harness your tongue to deceit. 20 You speak continually against your brother and slander your own mother's son. 21 These things you have done, and I kept silent; you thought I was altogether like you. But I will rebuke you and accuse you to your face. 22 "Consider this, you who forget God, or I will tear you to pieces, with none to rescue: 23 He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God."
Rom 2:7-8, 11
7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 11 For God does not show favoritism.
Some have tried to make a big distinction between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New. The Lord God, he is one. He changes not and is always the same, day and night. God is love and God is a consuming fire. He rewards those who submit to him and serve him with eternal life. He punishes those who reject him and who mock him as God. This has always been his nature.
Paul uses Abraham to illustrate the grace of God. He uses Jacob and Esau to show that God is sovereign. His patience is seen in his treatment of Israel as a nation that often rejected him and spurned his law. His forgiveness is seen in how he reacted to the city of Nineveh when they repented because of the preaching of Jonah. His love is seen in more ways than we can describe as he dealt with David in his faithfulness but also in his weakness. This is the God we serve today.
This all powerful and majestic God knows each of us and loves us so much that he has given his one and only, unique Son to live as one of us and then to die for our sins. But he only accepts worship that is genuine and from the heart.
You O Lord are God and creator alone. You have given so much for me and I often fail you. Thank you for being gracious, patient and forgiving. I don’t ever want to take advantage of your grace so that I sin willfully. Give me a pure heart and clean lips. Increase my faith to always trust you. Use me, O Lord, to show others by my life how to serve you. Use me to lead others to you by the things I say. I ask your blessings on those who are serving you in difficult places, even in the face of physical persecution. Give them strength. I pray in the name of Jesus.