Daily Devotionals

Daily Devotionals

Daily Devotional: Psalms 41:1-6

Ps 41:1-6

Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble. The LORD will protect him and preserve his life; he will bless him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes. The LORD will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness. I said, "O LORD, have mercy on me; heal me, for I have sinned against you." My enemies say of me in malice, "When will he die and his name perish?" Whenever one comes to see me, he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander; then he goes out and spreads it abroad.

Matt 23:23-24

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices-mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law-justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

Some people get so “picky” about their religion so they keep every little detail and expect everyone else to follow their lead. There are two obvious problems with this way of approaching our service to God. The first is that we are not the one who has the infallible interpretation of what is right and wrong. It is not our place to judge others. We may think they are wrong and we may try to help them see what we think is right, but we must remember that we may be wrong.

Another problem is that we are not saved by rule-keeping. One of the fallacies of this thinking is that we make our list of rules that matter or are important and then we ignore all the others. This is what the Pharisees were doing that Jesus condemned. They kept all the “outside” rules but failed to fix the heart from which comes true obedience and genuine faith. The heart is the real problem.

We need to have mercy and compassion for others. When Jesus was faced with a crowd of sinners, he had compassion, not contempt or disdain. When people were sick or hurting, he had compassion. When people are abused, hurting, trying to get out of sin, dealing with illness, grief, or fear, we need compassion.

Heavenly Father, I need you every hour of every day. I need Jesus to walk beside me and hold my hand. I need the power of your Spirit in my life. I know that I am still a work in process but use me to serve you as I serve others. Keep me from passing judgment on others, but help me be filled with your love, your mercy, your compassion so I will help them instead of making things worse. Guard my lips so I will only say that which is appropriate for the moment and that which builds up and not tear others down. I humbly pray in the name of Jesus my Lord.