Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 5-6-16

Daily Reading:  5-6-16

Psalm 97 The Voice Version


This morning we will read from Psalm 97 from the Voice version.  I read it in three different translations and I just really liked this one and wanted to share it.  In a world where so many people focus on temporal things, this passage is a wonderful Word for turning our heads to recognize the power and work of the Eternal God.  


Psalm 97

The Eternal reigns powerful over all;

    let the earth sing with joy;

    let the distant islands celebrate.

Clouds and deep darkness encircle Him;

    righteousness and justice are the bedrock of His rule.

Fire precedes Him;

    it burns away His opponents on all sides.

With His lightning flashing about, He illuminates the world;

    the earth watches and trembles.

Like wax before the flame, mountains melt when the Eternal appears,

    the Master of the whole earth.

The heavens display His order and perfect justice;

    all peoples witness His magnificence.

Those who worship idols,

    who boast in the impotent creations of human hands, will be shamed.

    Worship Him, all you gods.

Zion heard and was glad,

    and the daughters of Judah celebrated

    because they saw Your justice, O Eternal One.

For You are the Eternal, the Most High, over the entire world;

    You far exceed all gods.


Hate evil, you lovers of the Eternal.

    He protects the souls of those who follow Him;

    He rescues them from the devices of the wicked.


Light is sown in the just;

    as it grows, it brings joy to the pure of heart.


Celebrate the Eternal God, all you who are faithful;

    offer thanks to His holy name.


Let’s think about the word “hate.”  We hear the world a lot.  According to our passage, hatred is not always negative.  In fact, we are to hate the things that God hates; it is proof of right standing with God.  The biblical translation for the word “hate” is basically “to love less.”  If we are in right standing with God, there are things we “love less.”   What does God hate?  He hates evil or a spirit that is contrary to His essence which is pure Love.  Evil seeks to malign God’s name and love.  Evil seeks to penetrate the human mind with a wrong spirit that is hostile to God; God hates what evil tries to do to His Love creation.  The Eternal sent the Son—the Light of the World—so we could be separated from evil; we could recognize evil because of the Light sown in our hearts and choose to love it (evil) less.  Jesus separates the person God loves from the sin He hates.  It is Christ’s assignment from the Father.


Therefore, a negative aspect of hatred is when we direct it toward others; we think less of others.  This kind of hatred is like a disease that poisons the heart and mind of people; it is a ‘heart sin’ that is serious to God.  For Christ’s followers, Jesus teaches we are not to act on a spirit of anger or hatred; rather we are to be reconciled in His Love.  When we think more of ourselves and our wants at the expense of maligning God or abusing others, we have decided to exalt evil and love God and others less; the evidence that evil has penetrated the mind and caused the heart to sin.


Prayer: Eternal God, thank You for Jesus who helps me see the evidence of evil when it tries to gain entrance to my thoughts.  Help me to yield my mind to the work of grace each day; please deliver me from evil.  I want to love You more.   In Jesus name. Amen.

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