Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 03-14-23

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.

God is love and creation was created to share that love in the world; therefore, we will find ourselves vulnerable to the pain love endures unless we choose the alternative and foolishly hardened our hearts with selfishness.

The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell. (C.S. Lewis; The Four Loves)

In our passage from the Psalter, we are reminded that God rejects those who sin [rebel] against his commands of love. God offers humanity unfailing love and as we live and love his way we are welcomed into his beautiful and glorious presence to enjoy fellowship and oneness. Many times people misunderstand the love of God as being unconditional acceptance, but that is not a scriptural stand in Truth. Actually, God accepts us where he finds us in the wilderness in order to lead us out of vulnerable selfish love and into godly sacrificial love. We must decide if we are going to protect and preserve our own selfish inclinations, or submit, trust, and obediently find our protective refuge in God’s glorious love.

Psalm 5:5-12 NLT
Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence,    for you hate all who do evil.

You will destroy those who tell lies.    The Lord detests murderers and deceivers.

Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house;    I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.

Lead me in the right path, O Lord,    or my enemies will conquer me.Make your way plain for me to follow.

My enemies cannot speak a truthful word.    Their deepest desire is to destroy others.Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.    Their tongues are filled with flattery.
O God, declare them guilty.    Let them be caught in their own traps.Drive them away because of their many sins,    for they have rebelled against you.
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;    let them sing joyful praises forever.Spread your protection over them,    that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
For you bless the godly, O Lord;    you surround them with your shield of love.

Since we are to imitate God, we are called to express his love in all we say and do. Jesus laid down his life of perfect love, so we could have the power to walk in the light or truth of God’s love with the help of the Spirit. Therefore, as worshipers, our selfish inclinations must be left on the altar to be burned by the consuming fire of God. On the path of righteous love, believers will step beyond mere affection into self-sacrificing service to God and neighbor.

Ephesians 5:1-6 VOICE
1 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

3 Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. 4 Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. 5 You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

6 Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him.

Prayer: Lord, please help us to grow stronger in your love each day by making us more sensitive to sin. Make us aware of the sin that tries to hide under the cloak of complacency. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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