Daily Devotional: Psalms 37:21-29
The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously; those the LORD blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be cut off. If the LORD delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed. Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever. For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off; the righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.
Matt 5:20, 5:48-6:1
For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
God has promised to take care of those who are righteous and who seek to live for him. He has promised to punish those who do not trust him. But God knows our hearts and an imitation faith, or pretending to be righteousness, or even doing right for the wrong motive, is not pleasing to him. The Pharisees kept the Law meticulously but many of them did so only to be seen by others as being righteous. It was not from the heart and God was not pleased with them.
This lesson is one that each of us needs to consider, but only for ourselves. We (unlike the Lord) do not know the hearts and motives of others, but we must evaluate our own. It is often easy for us to misjudge others because a lack of self-confidence or nervous behavior may appear to be gross egotism.
Paul said: “Who are you to judge someone else's servant?” We are the servants of the Lord, and we are not to be a stumbling block that causes others to fall. We need to be helping others stand strong, not trying to destroy them.
My Father who is in heaven, hallowed and reverend is your name in all the earth, even as your are holy above all else. Help me remember that you are always right in all things. When I fail to understand you and your actions, the problem is me and my thinking, it is never you or your word. Keep me from being judgmental but use me to lift up others and help them be strong in your service. Give me greater faith to trust you in every situation in life. I need your wisdom every day. Be with those who are struggling and give them peace. I pray in the name of Jesus.