Daily Devotional: Psalms 71:1-8
In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of evil and cruel men. For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you. I have become like a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge. My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.
There are people all over the world who will get up this morning from a makeshift bed, made of dirt or maybe wood or possibly just concrete. There is no roof over their head or if there is, it may have holes in it or it may be made of cardboard. It is their first task of the day to stay alive by finding something to eat, even if it comes from a garbage can or dumpster. But many will face hunger all day. The rain, the wind, the heat, the cold, are all just part of what must be endured.
Meanwhile, many of us will sleep in our beds in climate-controlled houses with pantries and refrigerators full of food and closets full of clothes. We flip a switch for lights, push a button for the stove or microwave, and flush the toilets for sanitation. We have jobs to provide a living and we have cars to drive to work. We take all of this for granted because we have been blessed with it all of our lives.
The danger for us is to rely on ourselves as though we made all of this happen. It is God who has made this possible and has given it to us. It is not bad for us to have it if we are thankful and if we are willing to share it with those in need.
O Lord God, you are so wonderful and so gracious to me. Thank you for all of the material things you have given to me. Thank you for the friends you have put in my life. Thank you for your spiritual family and for allowing me to be your child. Use me to help others physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Help me have a pure heart of love and to not be selfish or self-centered. Remind me to treat others as I want to be treated. Be with those who are hurting and filled with grief today. Give them your peace. Give your strength to those who are struggling. Help me trust and obey you so I will find happiness in Jesus. In his name I pray.