Daily Devotional: Psalms 115:14-18
14 May the LORD give you increase, you and your children. 15 May you be blessed of the LORD, Maker of heaven and earth. 16 The heavens are the heavens of the LORD; but the earth He has given to the sons of men. 17 The dead do not praise the LORD, nor do any who go down into silence; 18 But as for us, we will bless the LORD from this time forth and forever. Praise the LORD!
2 Tim 2:19
19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness."
All that we know in this life belongs to God. He made it and it is his. While we live in a world of chaos, confusion, evil and perversion, we also are in a world that is under the control of a loving and powerful God. But God loves us so much that he allows us to make our own life choices. He does not force us to do what is right or good or wholesome. He even allows us to destroy ourselves with wickedness. Just as he warned Adam and Eve that eating the forbidden fruit would bring death, so he warns us that the wages of sin is death but then he leaves the choice to us.
The good news is that he has provided a way for us to be forgiven when we have violated his will. When we are willing to admit that we have sinned and we are willing to turn from it to do his will, he will accept us as his own. On the basis of our faith in and our confession of Jesus as his Son we are baptized into the body of Christ. Just as Jesus died for our sin, we die to sin in our lives. As he was buried in the tomb so we are buried in baptism. He was then raised from the grave to live for and with God and just so we are raised from the grave of water to become a new creation in Christ and to live for him now and with him in eternity.
We then are recognized as his children, as the sheep of his pasture and as citizens in his kingdom. Since we are his, we live for him and not for ourselves. In return, he has promised to take care of us and to never allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to bear but with every temptation to provide a way of escape.
Heavenly Father I am so thankful for your wonderful love, your bountiful mercy and your amazing grace shown to me in Jesus Christ. Help me allow your Spirit to work in me every day and mold me more and more into your image. As I become a partaker of your divine nature, give me a heart of love and compassion. Give me a pure heart and lips that only speak that which will build up, comfort and sustain those around me. I need your strength every day so I can have the self-control to avoid every kind of evil and your wisdom to see every opportunity to do good. Fill me with peace and the joy of your Holy Spirit. I pray in the name of Jesus.