Daily Devotional: Psalms 73:21-28
When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
The word “obedience” has become somewhat of a dirty word in many circles when it comes to serving God. The emphasis has been placed on faith, love, and grace. James says that faith without obedience is useless. John says that the love of God is perfected in us by our obedience. Paul says that the grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires. They all must be together.
Obedience comes as a result of our faith and our acceptance of the love and grace of God given to us. Obedience in and of itself has no value because if not based on our faith, it is just our own doing and not true obedience. Following a set of rules without the love of God in us is exactly what Jesus condemned in the Pharisees of his day. By grace through faith, we learn that we are created in Christ Jesus to do good works. So, the more we trust God and love him, the more we follow his will.
Jesus said that when we have done everything that God commands, we are still just unprofitable servants. This is a recognition of who we are in the scheme of things – servants of Christ. It also shows that we do not earn our righteousness by our doing and serving, but we are made righteous by the blood of Jesus when our sins are forgiven. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,…”
Our Father who is in heaven, holy and reverend is your name in all the earth. In the name of Jesus, your Son and my Savior, I come to you today with thanksgiving and praise. It is so wonderful to be your child and to know that you love me, even though I do not deserve to be loved by you. Thank you for counting me as being free from sin and being righteous. Help me live every day of my life in a way that shows Jesus living in me and your Spirit guiding me. Lord, be with those who are in circumstances of drought, famine and even persecution. Thank you.