Daily Devotional: Psalms 69:29-36
I am in pain and distress; may your salvation, O God, protect me. I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hoofs. The poor will see and be glad — you who seek God, may your hearts live! The Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people. Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that move in them, for God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah. Then people will settle there and possess it; the children of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his name will dwell there.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
There are some things that are so simple that it is difficult to understand how anyone can miss them. One of these is the principle of right and wrong and the consequences that come from doing them. The result of sin is separation from God and eventually spiritual death. The result of serving God is eternal life. Why would anyone choose punishment and death when they can have forever life?
We are put on earth to honor God as our Father. We are here to praise him with our words and actions. We are here to trust him to help us as we obey him and follow his will for our lives. This involves accountability. Not because he wants to punish us but because he is just, and this requires that we be accountable. His will for us is that we allow him to mold us into the likeness of Jesus.
One of the great lies of the devil is that serving God takes away all of the pleasure of living. The truth is that serving God is the only source of true joy and it is the only life that gives us real peace. By serving God we have peace within ourselves because we are at peace with the one who made us. This allows us to be at peace with others around us to a much larger degree. Paul describes this as the peace that surpasses human understanding. Even in our trials we find joy in life.
O Lord God, it is such a joy to be your child and to know that you love me. Use me to honor you and to bring glory to your name. Forgive me when I fail to be all you want me to become. I need the power of your Spirit in me to give me strength, to give me wisdom, and to help me have the self-control required to be like Jesus. Be with those who are hurting and struggling and use me to help them trust in you. Be with your people, wherever they are. I pray in the name of Jesus.