The Deception

Psalm 119:29 – “Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your law.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of the word deceitful. I don’t like to deal with deceitful people. When I do, it’s usually the last time. I don’t like to see other people treated in a deceitful way. And, I certainly don’t like it if the word decitful refers to me.

In Psalm 119:29, David asks the Lord to keep him from deceitful ways. He didn’t point his fingers at other people’s deceit. David squarely recognized that it was his own deception that required him to plead for the grace of God. Like David, you and I are guilty of deception too.

Have you ever fallen for the lie that you are better than others? You’re not. You and I are guilty of being deceivers and being deceived when we feel that we have the right to act as the judge in the life of someone else. We have been deceived when we feel like we’ve got it all together.

Today, ask God to help you extend His grace to others as He has so lavishly extended it upon you. Ask Him to keep you from the deception that you can do it on your own. Ask Him to tranform you anew. And, ask Him to help you walk in His word.

Dear God,

We’ve done it again. We have somehow come to the conclusion that we are better than someone else. Help us to remember that the good that dwells inside of us is only because of you. Help us not to deceive or to be deceived.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

How Is Your Soul Doing?

Psalm 119:28 – “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.”

How is your soul doing today?

Not, “How are you?”

No, this question is deeper. How is your soul doing today?

Nobody gets to see your soul. In fact, seeing our soul is something that is even tough for us to do as individuals. But, it’s there. It’s the part of us that will exist for eternity. Long after our bodies have decayed, our souls will live on . . . and on . . . and on.

So, how are things with your soul?

Some people are under the mistaken impression that once you become a Christian things are supposed to be perfect. You never have conflict with anyone. You always get the good parking spot. You don’t have days filled with doubt and despair. You never get seriously sick.

Wouldn’t that be nice? But, that’s just not the case. Christians are no more immune to life’s trials than those who are not Christians. There are days where our hearts ache. Recent news stories have focused on Mother Theresa’s 50 years of doubt and despair. She never had a day where she doubted God’s presence until she began her ministry to the destitute on Calcutta’s streets. And then she never had another day in her life where she felt God’s presence. And yet, Mother Theresa continued to serve. She continued to serve God, despite the fact that she couldn’t feel His presence.

And, David, weary and in despair cried out to God in Psalm 119:28 for God’s divine comfort. Like Mother Theresa, David wanted to feel the presence of God. And, David, in his wisdom, knew where to go to find that comfort. He asked God to strengthen him by His word. God’s word can do that like nothing else.

I stood by the deathbed of a woman not long ago. Her family was frantic because the death was coming so unexpectedly. A granddaughter had just had lunch with her a couple days before. Her son was in town and a family dinner was planned for the following day. Her brother and sister-in-law had plans for the next week. And, her hair stylist had just seen her earlier in the day for her normal appointment. There were no indications, prior to her being admitted to the hospital that night that this woman was sick. And, just four hours after being admitted to the hospital this woman was on her last breath. A pastor’s job in a situation like this is to bring order to the chaos. And, there is no better way to do that than to go to God’s amazing Word. As I read Psalm 23, the entire family calmed down. Including the patient. And then, the patient breathed her last and entered into the Kingdom of Heaven.

So, how is your soul today? Is it weary with sorrow? Go to the Word. Is it ecstatic with joy? Go to the Word. Is it somewhere in between? Go to the Word.

Go to the Word!

Dear God,

It’s so easy to let this world and all of it’s trial keep our eyes focused on us instead of You. Bring order to our chaos today. Take control of our lives. Allow your Holy Spirit to teach us and make us more like You. Take away the weary feelings and replace them with your peace and joy.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.