Today's Bible Reading:
Esther 4:1-7:10; 1 Corinthians 12:1-26; Psalm 36; Proverbs 21:21-22
So I started my morning off prayerfully reading Psalm 36.
Look at the heart of the ungodly:
Wrongdoing speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
There is no fear of God before his eyes.
For it flatters him in his own eyes
Concerning the discovery of his wrongful deed and the hatred of it.
The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit;
He has ceased to be wise and to do good.
He plans wickedness on his bed;
He sets himself on a path that is not good;
He does not reject evil.
Instead I want to focus my heart on who God is, for in doing so I only love Him more. God becomes even greater in my eyes as I seek to love Him with all of my heart, but to love Him that way I must know Him. That is why the reading of the scriptures is so very important; in order that I may know Him more.
Psalm 36 continues...
Your mercy, Lord, extends to the heavens,
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
Your judgments are like the great deep.
Your mercy, Lord, extends to the heavens, there is no sin so great that God cannot cover it with the precious blood of Christ. My God is merciful beyond measure to me, who is so undeserving of His kindness towards me..
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Thank God this is true, for I can be so fickle in my faithfulness to Him. But God, who is rich in mercy, is always and forever faithful; it's just who He is.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; Some translations render "mountains of God" as mighty mountains. I can look out my window and see Mt Shasta rising in the distance to over 14,000 feet. It does look mighty. It looks immovable. It has stood there over the ages battered by storms and yet has not moved. I have stood at the base of it and looked up in wonder. I have gone up it's heights, though not to the very top, and gazed at the world around me. Everything looks different from up there. it all seems so tiny and insignificant. To scale the heights of God's righteousness changes the way we see things including ourselves. His righteousness is sure, and in many ways as hard for me to understand as it is to climb a mighty mountain. It takes effort, it takes determination, and it can be scary at times. Think about it; how did those who came into the presence of this righteous God respond? They fell on their faces and were convinced they were about to die. But God invites us into His presence via His mercy and grace. Just think about that for a moment.
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! (Romans 11:33)
Back to Psalm 36...
Lord, You protect mankind and animals.
How precious is Your mercy, God!
And the sons of mankind take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house;
And You allow them to drink from the river of Your delights.
For the fountain of life is with You;
In Your light we see light.
I love this part! God allows me to drink from the river of His delights. God allows me. He does not hold anything back and I can drink my fill. A limitless supply from the fountain of life. That is what I have with God. In the light of His presence darkness flees. Part of what that means is that I see myself as I should, but also that those dark acts of the ungodly are no longer a part of my life for they cannot exist when exposed to the Light and I do not need to fear them any longer either.
Prolong Your mercy to those who know You,
And Your righteousness to the upright of heart.
May the foot of pride not come upon me,
And may the hand of the wicked not drive me away.
Those who do injustice have fallen there;
They have been thrust down and cannot rise.
There is a warning in these closing verses. Pride can become an issue, in fact it is always wanting to barge into my life whenever I start thinking about myself, my wants, my desires, my "rights." I fall too easily under it's foot. There is another warning here as well, and that has to do with the company I keep. I notice that it says, "may the hand of the wicked not drive me away." Anyone who is not living for the Lord, who is not striving to love the Lord their God with ALL of their heart, soul and strength, can drive me away from God if I listen. IWhen I listen to people instead of seeking to see what God says in His word I can easily be led to a lesser way of life. And sadly, some of these very people can be found in our churches. How easy it is to be driven away from following Christ, from loving God with all of my hear, soul and strength. I would love to take the easier road-"the wide road" that can sound so enticing. I do not have to die to self there on that road. I do not have think of others more highly than myself, I do not have to hate mother and brothers and husband and children, etc be a disciple of Jesus. (“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. -Luke 14:26) This life of loving God with my all can be really hard sometimes and it takes effort on my part. If God is not the most important thing in my life than I have my priorities out of whack. I recently saw a chart that showed the way I have been taught to view my life's priorities but with a new thought:
So now that I have set my mind on God this morning and communed with Him about His mercy, His righteousness, His power, His protection; talked to Him about the way He is my refuge, the fountain of Life and the Light of the World-the Light of my world, I am ready to begin my day filled to the brim from the river of His delights. Come what may today, the Lord is my life and my song and He is my salvation. Whom have I to fear?
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,