Daily Devotional: Psalms 78:32-39
32 In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of his wonders, they did not believe. 33 So he ended their days in futility and their years in terror. 34 Whenever God slew them, they would seek him; they eagerly turned to him again. 35 They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer. 36 But then they would flatter him with their mouths, lying to him with their tongues; 37 their hearts were not loyal to him, they were not faithful to his covenant. 38 Yet he was merciful; he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath. 39 He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return.
6 He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."
How many times have we cried out to God when we were in trouble or when we were distressed, only to forget him when things got better? Do we ask him for his blessings and then when they come, we never acknowledge that he gave them, nor do we give him thanks? Do we study the word for ourselves and form our own beliefs or do we just accept what the preacher or the church says as the truth? Just because it has been practiced this way for our lifetime or because we have always heard it this way does not make it right or truth.
Most of us live in an affluent society where we have all we need more. This may be the greatest temptation we face in our lives because it tends to make us self-reliant, smug toward others and then we forget that God has given it to us. While God wants us to enjoy his blessings, they do not come just for our personal pleasures or indulgence. We have what we have (not just physical things but all we have, mental, emotional, relationships, privileges, etc.) by the grace of God. So, let us honor him with how we use it and feel about it. Praise the Lord!
O Lord God, creator of all things, giver and sustainer of life, your abundant grace has been more to me than I ever imagined possible. When compared to what others have, it may be small but when compared to where I have been and what so many in the world have, you have blessed me beyond measure. Thank you, Lord! Help me open my heart and use all you have given me to serve others and to bring glory to you and to Jesus, and not just at Christmas time but all year long. Be with those who are hurting and give them your peace. In Jesus name.