Daily Devotional: Psalms 119:153-160
Ps 119:153-160 Resh
Look upon my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten your law. Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to your promise. Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek out your decrees. Your compassion is great, O LORD; preserve my life according to your laws. Many are the foes who persecute me, but I have not turned from your statutes. I look on the faithless with loathing, for they do not obey your word. See how I love your precepts; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your love. All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.
1 John 3:16-20
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
The Pharisees in the days of Jesus had condensed the Law of Moses into a list of commandments. They then prioritized this list and applied it accordingly. One of the problems was that each group of these men, under his own Rabbi, did not agree on the priority of the list, so it was common for them to argue about which command was most important and so on down the list.
When they asked Jesus which as the most important command, they were asking which side he was on and how did he list them. Can you imagine the disdain when he stood and said they had been told (by the Pharisees implied) not to kill but he said we are not to even hate anyone? As Jesus went down his “list” of how their lists were flawed, and then told them it was the heart and not the doing, it is no wonder that they became jealous and looked for how to get rid of him. True religion is when we have compassion, mercy, and love for those around us but also moral purity, as we seek to be like Jesus. What a joy to serve the Lord.
O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the things your hands have made, I can only exclaim; how great you are! It is such a blessing and a joy to be able to be called your child and to know that Jesus is my brother, my friend, and also my savior. Help me open my heart to your Spirit so he can work in me each day to mold me more and more into the image of Jesus. There are so many who are grieving today and who are hurting in other ways and I ask your peace and joy to fill their hearts, as they look to you. I pray in Jesus name.