Why do we bother to try to look better than what we are? We are all sinners. We all need God’s grace. None of us are able to have fellowship with God without His mercy and grace through Christ’s sacrifice. 1 John 1:10 says, If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. It is not a shameful thing to know we need God. He created us to need Him and to have fellowship with Him. We must embrace His love and desire to have a relationship with us because He loves us.
There was so much wisdom in today’s reading in Psalm. The verses that stood out to me the most was Psalm 73:25-26, 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Who do we have to take care of us besides God? We love and trust friends and family around us, but in the end the only one who is guaranteed to be there for us is God. We really can not even rely on ourselves because we are imperfect. We can only trust God for perfect wisdom and guidance in our lives. We must trust in Him and know His plan is perfect.
Today we are reading the single chapter book of Jude which was a letter written by Jude who was the brother of Jesus. The purpose of this letter was to remind the early church to stay vigilant against the prolific heresy of that day and to keep a pure faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The book is summed up by the last two verses of the book, 24 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy– 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. Jesus deserves all the glory through all the good and bad that may happen to us. He never leaves His throne no matter what is happening because He is ultimately in control and our faith should reflect that no matter what happens to us.
What do we put our trust in? Psalm 20:7 says, Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. We do not need to trust in anything other that God. He takes care of us in all we do.
There is not a lot I have to say about today’s reading. The verse that stood out to me the most was Psalm 7:17, I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High. No matter how much things may seem out of control, God is still on the throne and has it all under control because He is the Lord Most High.
Verse 14 says, So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. At first glance it almost seems to contradict what Paul talks about with salvation through grace and not works. The big difference in Peter’s view comes from his concentration on the Christian life and of service. Reading letters by both men gives us a complete picture of how we should live our lives. We should know we are saved by God’s grace and nothing else. We should also live our lives serving and taking care of others just as Christ commanded when he spoke to Peter in John 21:17, The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” If we love Jesus then we will serve just as He commanded us.
2 Peter chapter 2 is a bit on the gloomy side. Peter is trying to express the importance of not only following God, but also of not rejecting Him once you have been introduced to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Verse 20 says, If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. God wants a relationship with us. He wants to lead us and guide us and trust in Him. This is not to say everything will be perfect in the end, but at least we will be close to God; knowing we followed His leading and lived according to His perfect plan.
When I first read verse 10, it gave me pause because it seems to say works, and not God’s grace is what gives us salvation. It says, Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall. But it does not say that. It is simply confirming how our actions should reflect our salvation and relationship with God. It also implies that by our actions we should show the change that comes from a relationship with God.
In today’s reading both chapters talked about God’s deliverance of David from his enemies. Psalm 64:10 summed it up for me, Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him; let all the upright in heart praise him! As the righteous children of God, we can take refuge in Him, knowing He will never leave us alone no matter how bad things get for us. In all things we are to give God the praise He deserves.
As I read Psalm 22:1 it immediately reminded me of Matthew 27:47 when Jesus quoted the first part of this verse as he was dying on the cross. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? The verse finishes with, Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? The cries from Jesus were not from doubt, but as an urgent appeal for deliverance. The rest of the chapter takes us through David’s suffering all the way to a future day when God would deliver him from his suffering. As I read chapter 22 it also became an amazing description by David of the future suffering the Messiah would endure hundreds of years later. This chapter is a reminder of how God will never leave us. Our suffering has a purpose whether or not we ever understand the “why”.