Grudges

Have you ever held a grudge?  I have.  I believe most of us have.  Hopefully, not for too long.  I’ve talked to my middle schoolers about this at AWANA.  When you hold grudges, you become bitter.  You become bitter and you start making yourself sick, and ‘ugly.’  Not physically, but emotionally and outwardly to what others see.

Today’s devotional discussed it a little:

Psalm 130:3-4

3 LORD, if you kept a record of our sins,
who, O Lord, could ever survive?
4 But you offer forgiveness,
that we might learn to fear you.
The comment after it is as follows:
Keeping a record of sins (or holding a grudge) is like building a wall between you and another person, and it is nearly impossible to talk openly while the wall is there. God doesn’t keep a record of our sins; when he forgives, he forgives completely, tearing down any wall between us and him. Therefore, we fear (revere) God, yet we can talk to him about anything. When you pray, realize that God is holding nothing against you. His lines of communication are completely open.
 We should learn from this example.  Why keep a record and build that wall?  It hurts not only you, but those around you.  It’s a difficult lesson for all of us.  And, admittedly, one that I fight with on a regular basis.  I do try to remember this and I do try to move forward.  Let me know when I don’t, please, so that I can correct that.
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Song

Yesterday, the girls had chapel at school and the topic was song.  Today, by coincidence, my daily reading involved a Psalm.  Psalm, as many know, means Song.  Many of the Psalms were written by David.  Today’s reading specifically was Psalm 52.  I found it to be a rather interesting Psalm.

Psalm 52

Psalm 52

For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time Doeg the Edomite said to Saul, “David has gone to see Ahimelech.”

1 Why do you boast about your crimes, great warrior?
Don’t you realize God’s justice continues forever?

Isn’t that a fantastic question?  Why would you boast about your crimes?  Well, it’s pretty much answered in the next question.  They, or you, don’t realize that God’s justice continues forever.  Those that boast about their crime either don’t believe in God, or they have created a God in their mind that they think is true.

2 All day long you plot destruction.
Your tongue cuts like a sharp razor;
you’re an expert at telling lies.

The psalmist goes on to state the obvious to Christians, though not so much with non-Christians.  Those that boast of their crimes are also plot destruction.  Who’s?  Depends on the crime, but honestly, in the end, their own destruction.  The tongue cuts like a razor and they are an expert at telling lies.  Who strives for that kind of expertise?  It saddens me.

3 You love evil more than good
and lies more than truth.
Interlude

This person loves evil more than good, and lies more than tells the truth.  Again, this saddens me.

4 You love to destroy others with your words,
you liar!

This person loves to destroy others with what they say.  They lie and say horrible things and destroy other people.  Saddening.

5 But God will strike you down once and for all.
He will pull you from your home
and uproot you from the land of the living.
Interlude

What these people forget, or choose to not realize is that God will strike them down, once and for all.  He will take everything away from these people.

6 The righteous will see it and be amazed.
They will laugh and say,

Those that are right with God will see this and be amazed.  According to the psalmist, they will laugh and say….  I disagree.  I don’t think I’ll laugh.  I think I’ll cry.  I’ll be saddened by this as it is never a good thing to see people make poor decisions.

7 “Look what happens to mighty warriors
who do not trust in God.
They trust their wealth instead
and grow more and more bold in their wickedness.”

The psalmist just reiterating that those who do not trust in God, but trust in themselves, and will grow more and more bold in their wickedness or evil.

8 But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God.
I will always trust in God’s unfailing love.

Here, the psalmist is backing down to a more peaceful thought, and remembering that he will thrive in the house of God, and that he will always trust in God’s unfailing love.

9 I will praise you forever, O God,
for what you have done.
I will trust in your good name
in the presence of your faithful people.

He remembers that he will praise God forever, for what he’s done, what he’s always done, what he will always do.  That he will trust in God’s name.  Specifically, he states here in the presence of His faithful people.  However, God calls on us to trust in His name at all times, no matter who is around.

We need to remember that he is forever faithful and his love is unfailing.  What a wonderful thing to know that we are loved always, under all circumstances.  So why wouldn’t we want to return that great love?

God Bless.

Keeping the law

Going through my Life Application Devotion, this past Saturday, it pushed us keeping the law.  I have been fascinated by this concept for several years.  it’s what got me interested in The Way of The Master through Living Waters (Ray Comfort’s) ministry.  I find it fascinating how they go about talking to people about God.  They aren’t necessarily trying to convert people.  That is not our job, that is God’s job.  It is our job to give the truth and plant the seeds.  I love that they go to the heart of the situation, the law.  So, when I read Psalm 119:1-8, it did get my attention.

Psalm 119

Aleph

1 Joyful are people of integrity,
who follow the instructions of the LORD.

in·teg·ri·ty

[in-teg-ri-tee]  Show IPA

noun

1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship’s hull.

Joyful, happy, are people of integrity.  Want to know why?  They know that they are moral and ethical, they are honest.  But also because they follow the instructions of the Lord.

2 Joyful are those who obey his laws
and search for him with all their hearts.

Joyful, happy, are those that OBEY his laws, and search for him with all their hearts.

3 They do not compromise with evil,
and they walk only in his paths.

These people do not compromise with evil, instead, they walk in the Lord’s paths.

4 You have charged us
to keep your commandments carefully.

We are charged with, instructed, to keep His commandments carefully.  This is not an easy thing.  We all fail.

5 Oh, that my actions would consistently
reflect your decrees!

Oh, that my actions, our actions, would CONSISTENTLY reflect His decrees.  Consistently is the key word here.  It is also the most difficult to accomplish.

6 Then I will not be ashamed
when I compare my life with your commands.

It is then that I will not be ashamed when I compare my life to His commands.  I admit, I am not there yet.  I pray that I will get there, and I try every day.  It’s an ongoing process.

7 As I learn your righteous regulations,
I will thank you by living as I should!

As I learn, we learn, His righteous regulations, laws, I will, we should, thank Him by living as he expects us to live.  Living by the Word.

8 I will obey your decrees.
Please don’t give up on me!

I work, we should work, on obeying His decrees.  And the psalmist ends this section asking God to not give up on him.  Due to Jesus, the Christ, being sacrificed for our sins, we are assured that God will not give up on us.  He loves us all, and wants us to love him back.  Let’s not let him down.