Daily Devotional from Jen Auer 04-03-23

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.

Our soul depends on our desire or appetite for Jesus!

“All Christians know something the Jews did not know about what it ‘cost to redeem their souls.’
(C.S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms)

Psalm 25 is titled, “A psalm of David” and it is a wonderful expression of David’s heart for the Lord. In these verses we see David’s spiritual appetite for God. He knows that his soul is dependent on the Lord. “David is pictured in this Psalm as in a faithful miniature. His holy trust, his many conflicts, his great transgressions, his bitter repentance, and his deep distresses are all here; so that we see the very heart of ‘the man after God’s own heart.’” (Charles Spurgeon)

David helps us to understand that God is all loving, merciful, and faithful to those who humble themselves to except His teaching. We must remember that God’s teachings always include correction, instruction, and guidance for our highest and spiritual best. Even when it doesn’t feel like it or when it doesn’t feel good, God is focused on the best for our spiritual path. David tells us that God is a friend to those who fear Him. Pastor Mary teaches often on the fear of the Lord. It is a place of reverence that can only be experienced by those who have salvation in Christ; for “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned”. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

Friends, in verse 22 we see David’s great concern for the souls of all of God’s people, not just for himself. As believers we must keep our eyes fixated on God and love Him with our entire self, and then we must love our neighbor as ourself. It is in this selfless place we allow God to guide our souls (our minds, wills and emotions) to do what is best through us for His Kingdom.

Psalm 25:8-22 (NLT)

8 The Lord is good and does what is right;
he shows the proper path to those who go astray.

9 He leads the humble in doing right,
teaching them his way.

10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

11 For the honor of your name, O Lord,
forgive my many, many sins.

12 Who are those who fear the Lord?
He will show them the path they should choose.

13 They will live in prosperity,
and their children will inherit the land.

14 The Lord is a friend to those who fear him.
He teaches them his covenant.

15 My eyes are always on the Lord,
for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.

16 Turn to me and have mercy,
for I am alone and in deep distress.

17 My problems go from bad to worse.
Oh, save me from them all!

18 Feel my pain and see my trouble.
Forgive all my sins.

19 See how many enemies I have
and how viciously they hate me!

20 Protect me! Rescue my life from them!
Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge.

21 May integrity and honesty protect me,
for I put my hope in you.

22 O God, ransom Israel
from all its troubles.

It is important to know that all four Gospels teach “Jesus Clears the Temple” (Matthew 21:12-17, Mark 11:15-19, Luke 19:45-48, & John 2:13-16 (this passage is similar, but it is thought to be the clearing of the temple courts). If this lesson is contained in all four Gospels, I think we can all agree that it is something we not only need to know, but that we need to understand and live by it. There are so many lessons within this teaching, but for today we are going to focus on what Jesus is teaching about our salvation and our soul and please note how it directly connects back to David’s message from Psalm 25.

When you and I welcomed Jesus into our lives, we welcomed Him into our hearts and scripture tells us that His sole purpose is to cleanse us and to make us a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). Prior to that welcome, our soul belonged to this world, but after our souls belonged to Jesus and we became a part of His Temple. God’s Temple is holy (and the Temple is Jesus), so now you and I are a part of that Temple, and we need to be seeking holiness or seeking to be more and more like Jesus (1 Cor 3:16-17). Our souls need to be under the minute-by-minute guidance of the Holy Spirit.

In today’s passage when Jesus cleared the Temple, he was clearing out the sellers and the buyers. Keep in mind these transactions were all taking place in a house of prayer to God (to Jesus, Himself). It wasn’t a marketplace for sales (which aligns with this world), it was a house of prayer (a holy place)! There was a clear spiritual battle going on between the earthly realm and the heavenly realm. The sellers were selling animals for approximately 20x the typical cost, and the buyers were there to either purchase or to witness, and either way, Jesus viewed them as one in spirit with the sellers, and not One in Spirit with Him (they too were defiling the Temple…their own souls).

Friends, the company we keep and what we do, say, think, feel, and believe is all tied to our soul…which needs to be either sold out for Jesus, or it is in direct company with this world which is run by Satan. It is that simple!

Luke 19:45-48 (NLT)
Jesus Clears the Temple

45 Then Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people selling animals for sacrifices. 46 He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”

47 After that, he taught daily in the Temple, but the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the other leaders of the people began planning how to kill him. 48 But they could think of nothing, because all the people hung on every word he said.

Prayer: Jesus, thank You for being in control of my soul. Holy Spirit, I need your minute-by-minute guidance for my soul. My mind, my will, and my emotions can grow weary, and so I need Your help. Please allow me to discern when I am wavering and to move back into alignment with You. I do not want the things or ways of this world. I want to be One with You, Jesus. I ask all of this in Your Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.

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