Intro: During this Lenten season, every devotional will begin with a quote from C.S. Lewis (author and theologian), followed by two readings: 1) A passage from the Psalter and 2) a writing from one of the Old Testament prophets or New Testament authors. We will look at both passages as a whole through the fulfilling work and wisdom of Christ—Truth.
As we patiently wait to reside within our Eternal Home in the heavenly realm with Christ, we must hold firmly to His joy which is within us and surrounds us no matter what is going on, because the dark misery of this world will stop at nothing to try to extinguish the hopeful Light of Christ within each one of us.
“Either the day must come when joy prevails and all the makers of misery are no longer able to infect it; or else forever and ever the makers of misery can destroy in others the happiness they reject for themselves”
(C.S. Lewis; The Great Divorce)
In today’s psalm, David comes to the Lord in prayer and he gives his entire life to the Lord, so he gives his: soul (mind, will, emotions), body, heart, and spirit. He relinquished his own strength and placed his trust in God. When David did this he was surrounded by pagan nations, and so he knew that in order to remain faithful to the Lord that he could not trust or turn to anyone except the Lord, because He was the only One Who would guide David on the right path, others, who did not know God, would seek to steer him away from God.
You and I are in the exact same situation as David. We are surrounded by a pagan world that is seeking to deceive us so that the Satan can work to extinguish the Light of Christ within us. This realization is not something to fear, Paul teaches us about that within the next passage of today’s devotion, rather we are to remain joyful because we belong to Jesus, Who is the only One Who saves us and offers us His unfailing love.
Psalm 25:1-7 (NLT)
A psalm of David.
1 O Lord, I give my life to you.
2 I trust in you, my God!
Do not let me be disgraced,
or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
3 No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.
4 Show me the right path, O Lord;
point out the road for me to follow.
5 Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in you.
6 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
which you have shown from long ages past.
7 Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
for you are merciful, O Lord.
Paul tells us to do exactly what David did, we are to be led by the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit); and in order for the Spirit to have His reign within us, we must give all of ourself fully over to God. If we do not give our entire self to God we leave openings for Satan.
Paul goes on to talk about how our suffering now is nothing compared to our future glory. The closer we find ourselves to Jesus, the more we begin to see how He reveals to us those things that are from Him and those things that are of this world. The Holy Spirit guides us with a spirit of discernment to be able to spiritual know what is Truth and to follow it, it also guides us away from that which is not Truth.
Personal Story: My family traveled last week to celebrate my daughter’s accomplishment of being the valedictorian for her 2023 high school class. Although we had a beautiful time, there were so many moments that I found myself praying, more than normal, for the people around me. We were in a “big city” and although some people might think I’m being “dramatic” I felt the Holy Spirit continuously pulling on me to spiritually see what was happening around me. There were so many people hustling, and not just those who were working hard, but many who were attempting to work over one another. I witnessed a woman distraught after being pickpocket. I saw so much substance usage and heartbreaking homeless in freezing weather. People struggled to smile and to simply connect to one another. I’m not saying all of this is because I was in a “big city”, I’m saying this because the joy of the Lord in you and me (the Light of Christ) must prevail, because Satan’s misery can absolutely destroy in others the happiness they reject for themselves…and that “happiness” they reject is Jesus into their hearts. Friends, our Light of Christ MUST shine brighter than ever before, in big cities, small cities, our communities, our centers of influence, and in our own homes. PEOPLE NEED JESUS! if they aren’t exposed to Him than we aren’t doing what He commissioned us to do! If they reject Him, love them anyway, so a seed is planted that can one day serve as a reminder of Jesus’s unfailing love for them!
Romans 8:14-25 (NLT)
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
The Future Glory
18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
Prayer: Jesus, we need Your help. Please guide us to be the ambassadors that You call us to be for Your Kingdom. Allow Your Light to shine brightly through us to expose the darkness of this world so that You can bring hearts to You! Help keep us filled with Your joy and to preserve through the things of this world that are painful, because they are temporal, but our future glory with You is eternal in our real Home, thank You for that Truthful reality. I ask all of this in Your Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.