Daily Devotional: Psalms 119:113-120
Ps 119:113-120 Samekh
I hate double-minded men, but I love your law. You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. Away from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commands of my God! Sustain me according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. Uphold me, and I will be delivered; I will always have regard for your decrees. You reject all who stray from your decrees, for their deceitfulness is in vain. All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross; therefore I love your statutes. My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of your laws.
"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
God loves a sincere heart, one who is devoted to serving him with no pretense. Worship that is feign is useless and pretended godliness is rejected. When Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well that the time was coming when the true worshipper would be the one who worships in spirit and in truth, he was saying that the place is not what matters, but it is the heart of devotion.
To worship in spirit and in truth is to worship God with a sincere heart. This is because our worship is directed to God and not to self or those around us. Jesus used our prayers, our giving to help others, and our fasting to illustrate this. When we worship to be seen of people, we get our reward in full – we are seen by those around us. But God does not regard this as true worship or reward us for it.
True worship begins with a contrite and submissive heart, as we humbly come before the only true God, in our frail humanity. We come to his throne of grace with boldness, but only the boldness that comes from being in Christ. Not only in our prayers, but in all of our worship and praise, we come to God through our High Priest and in his name. We come to God in the name of Jesus our Savior.
O Lord God, help me realize just how frail, how helpless, how weak, and how insignificant I am before you in the overall scheme of things. You alone are God and you have created all things. By your grace, Jesus is my Lord and he is my Savior, but also my brother and my best friend. As your Spirit works in me each day, mold me more and more into your likeness. Use me to do your will and to help others want to serve you. I ask you to give your peace to those who are grieving and those who are hurting in so many ways. I pray in Jesus name.