Daily Devotional: Psalms 26:1-12
Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the LORD without wavering. Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth. I do not sit with deceitful men, nor do I consort with hypocrites; I abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked. I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, O LORD, proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds. I love the house where you live, O LORD, the place where your glory dwells. Do not take away my soul along with sinners, my life with bloodthirsty men, in whose hands are wicked schemes, whose right hands are full of bribes. But I lead a blameless life; redeem me and be merciful to me. My feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly I will praise the LORD.
1 John 3:1
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
What a blessing to be called a child of God and to know that it is true! We set our hearts to live for him and we seek to be like Jesus in our lives. We allow his Spirit to live in us and to have full reign in our hearts as his fruit is growing in us. As each part of each fruit develops in us, the more we become like God, and we become partakers of the Divine nature. This gives us peace and the joy of salvation.
But no matter how good we are, no matter how much we mature spiritually, no matter how much we understand his word and apply it, we are not perfect and our salvation is not based on what we are or what we have done. Real spiritual growth comes when we learn to die to self and allow Jesus to control us. He is Lord! The greater our faith, the more we understand that our salvation is by faith and not by our works. We are a new creation in Christ so we can do good works, and in so doing, we glorify the Father in heaven. This is why Paul said he was crucified with Christ so that he no longer lived, but Christ lived in him, and the life he lived was by faith in the Son of God who loved him and gave his life for him.
O Lord God, what a joy to be in Christ and to know the joy of your salvation. Make me more aware of your forgiveness so I am more aware of your grace, which spurs me to live more like you and show your love in my life. Help me remember that others are looking to me to see the Christ I claim to serve. Keep me from ever trying to bring honor to myself, but to always seek to glorify Jesus and you in my life. Be with those who are sick, those who are distressed, those who are grieving, and those who are abused, so they feel your presence. In Jesus name.