Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 03-17-23

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.

Creator God is intrinsically good; therefore, his instructions or commands are good and it should be humanity’s delight to yield to this Creator in obedience.

“Human will becomes truly creative and truly our own when it is wholly God’s, and this is one of the many senses in which he that loses his soul shall find it.”
(C.S. Lewis; The Problem of Pain)

Because God is good, he will never ask us to do something that is not also intrinsically good. Our role as the created is to obediently yield to the Creator and it should be a joyous response for us since God is so good; but is it? Self-surrender and a return to God’s ways of righteousness is never “easy” for a human being unless we have made loving and pleasing God with our whole lives our primary goal. In our passage from the Psalter, today, David sings about the goodness of God to rescue and protect him from people who seek to maliciously slander him in order to create conflict in his soul (war). David proclaims God as Creator, so the response of his will is to seek God’s mercy, goodness, and deliverance to thwart the plans of evil being formed against him. Evil will arise, but like David let’s yield to God with our wills because God is greater and more powerful than anything evil tries to do. God has mysterious plans to save the lives of his children from evil.
Psalm 140:1-8 NLT A psalm of David.

O Lord, rescue me from evil people.
    Protect me from those who are violent,

those who plot evil in their hearts
    and stir up trouble all day long.

Their tongues sting like a snake;
    the venom of a viper drips from their lips. Interlude

O Lord, keep me out of the hands of the wicked.
    Protect me from those who are violent,
    for they are plotting against me.

The proud have set a trap to catch me;
    they have stretched out a net;
    they have placed traps all along the way. Interlude

I said to the Lord, “You are my God!”
    Listen, O Lord, to my cries for mercy!

O Sovereign Lord, the strong one who rescued me,
    you protected me on the day of battle.

Lord, do not let evil people have their way.
    Do not let their evil schemes succeed,
    or they will become proud. Interlude

We see God’s plan for salvation manifest in the life and anointing of Christ who defeats evil. In our New Testament passage today, Paul is writing to the church at Colosse about the Laodicean church [a few miles away]. Paul wants the two churches to come together in God’s love to grow stronger in their faith in Christ’s salvation and deliverance. Paul knows heresy is trying to rise up to rob God’s people of genuine faith; he reminds them about the deception of evil. When we accept Christ into our hearts and lives, we are just beginning the journey of new life and faith in God’s goodness to save us from evil. Every day we must choose to follow Christ knowing God is intrinsically good in his plans for us. If we are not careful to follow Christ and allow the Word to revive our souls each day, we may find ourselves becoming more like the lukewarm Laodiceans than like Jesus (Rev 3:14-22).

Colossians 2:2-6 NLT
2 I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. 3 In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

4 I am telling you this so no one will deceive you with well-crafted arguments. 5 For though I am far away from you, my heart is with you. And I rejoice that you are living as you should and that your faith in Christ is strong.

Freedom from Rules and New Life in Christ
6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for rescuing us from evil as we obediently stay in that safe dwelling place in Christ. We understand not everything that happens in our lives is good. Sometimes we just have to choose how we will respond when evil tries to rob our joy. Holy Spirit, help us yield to the Father’s plan for our lives each day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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