Daily Devotional: Psalms 112:6-12
6 Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. 7 He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. 8 His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes. 9 He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be lifted high in honor. 10 The wicked man will see and be vexed, he will gnash his teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.
26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
In rebuking the Pharisees of his day, Jesus said they had the rules and laws all down to a tee but failed to have the heart that God wanted. He told them to go and learn what the passage meant when God said he desired mercy and not sacrifice. Jesus also said if we wanted to be right with God, our righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees. The heart of God is love which produces his compassion, his mercy, his kindness and his grace. We are to be like him.
But Jesus told his followers that keeping all of the laws was good. In fact, he said that every word of God was important and necessary for us to follow. Near the end of his ministry he told the apostles that if they loved him it would show in their obedience to him and to the Father. James points out the absurdity of saying we have faith but fail to obey. John says if we claim to have love but ignore what God says we are a liar. We obey because we believe and because we love God.
Our attitude toward others should be the same that Jesus had for others. We are to have compassion on those who are lost. We are to seek good for those who are distressed. We should help those in need when we have opportunity to do so. We will then want to share the gospel and use all we have to bring glory to God. Our lives will attract others to Jesus as they see the joy and peace in our hearts.
Heavenly Father I am so thankful for your wonderful love. Fill me with your Spirit so I will be more like you every day. Open my heart to his bidding so I will be filled with your love, kindness, patience and self-control. Help me realize that I am what I am because of what you have given me and done for me. At the same time, help me realize my potential and use what you have given to lead others to you, to encourage those who are weak and to lift up the fallen. Give me a pure heart with a determined spirit to do your will. I pray in the name of Jesus.