Daily Devotional: Psalms 71:19-24
Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth, you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again. I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you — I, whom you have redeemed. My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion.
2 Cor 1:9-11
Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
It is so easy for us to convince ourselves that we are something that we are not, and it works both in a positive and a negative way. We may beat ourselves down until we have lost all self-confidence and self-worth, or we may think more highly of ourselves than we should. It is this latter that leads to self-righteousness and rationalizing so that we refuse to acknowledge our mistakes or even our sins.
We are chosen of God to be his special people. We are in his family, his beloved children. We are brothers with the Lord Jesus. We have been set apart from the world around us because we are different. And all of this is because we have been forgiven of our past. Because of the love of God and the blood of Jesus we have been made right with God. Therefore, our confidence is in him, not in ourselves.
Understanding this will keep us from being self-righteous. Our standing with God is not based on our doing or our goodness. Paul says we are saved by grace (God’s part) through faith (our part) in Jesus Christ, so that no one has room to boast.
O Lord God, what a blessing to know that I belong to you. I realize that all I am and all that I have in life is from your bountiful hand. Only by your grace was I given life with parents who loved you, in a place and time where I am free to serve you. I want to be just like Jesus in all I do and all I say but too often I find myself not being like him. As I study your word, give me wisdom to know how to live it, but also give me your strength to practice self-control. Help me be genuine and devoted, with a pure heart, and to love others as you love me. Give your peace to those who are struggling. I humbly pray in the name of Jesus.