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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Today’s scripture reading:
Waiting for God to help us is not easy, but David received four benefits from waiting: God (1) lifted him out of his despair, (2) set his feet on solid ground, (3) steadied him as he walked, and (4) put a new song of praise in his mouth. Often blessings cannot be received unless we go through the trial of waiting.
The religious ritual of David’s day involved sacrificing animals in the Tabernacle. David said these acts were meaningless unless done for the right reasons. Today we often make rituals of going to church, taking Communion, or paying tithes. These activities are also empty if our reasons for doing them are selfish. God doesn’t want these sacrifices and offerings without an attitude of devotion to him. . . Make sure that you give God the obedience and lifelong service he desires from you.
David said he would speak of God’s faithfulness and salvation to those around him. When we realize the impact of God’s righteousness on our lives, we cannot keep it hidden. We want to tell other people what God has done for us. If God’s faithfulness has changed for your life, don’t be timid. It is natural to share a good bargain with others or recommend a skillful doctor, so it should also be natural to share what God has done for us.
When we think of faithfulness, a friend or a spouse may come to mind. Friends who are faithful accept and love us, even when we are unlovable. Faithful people keep their promises, whether of support or made in marriage vows. God’s faithfulness is like human faithfulness, only perfect. His love is absolute, and his promises are irrevocable. He loves us in spite of our constant bent toward sin, and he keeps all the promises he has made to us, even when we break our promises to him. (NLT)
Psalm 40:1-10 – I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the Lord.
Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord, who have no confidence in the proud, or in those who worship idols. O Lord my God, you have done many miracles for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.
You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings. Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand–you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings. Then I said, “Look, I have come. And this has been written about me in your scroll: I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your law is written on my heart.”
I have told all your people about your justice. I have not been afraid to speak out, as you, O Lord, well know. I have not kept this good news hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness.
Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. — Psalm 40:5 (NIV)
Walter N. Maris (Missouri) titled his story “TAKING THE TIME;” here is a portion of Walter’s story:
“Recently the harsh weather made it impossible for me to continue my outdoor activities, so I took a rare turn on our treadmill. . . For a few minutes I went faster, but my body resisted this added demand. I had to slow down to a pace I could handle.
“Similarly, we sometimes jump into or accept new challenges that crowd our schedules and our lives. The result is that we are not efficient or fulfilled in any endeavor.
“God told the prophet Jeremiah, ‘I know the plans I have for you . . . plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’ (Jer. 29:11). But I often wonder how we can know God’s plans for us. By taking time to read and meditate on God’s word in scripture and spending time with God in prayer, we can learn to trust God. For me, the first line of a beloved hymn is a helpful reminder of how to grow closer to God: ‘Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord.'”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God knows what we need; are we listening?
Prayer: Dear faithful God, forgive us when we fail to include you in our daily walk. We want to know your will and to follow you wherever you want us to go. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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