Tag: soul searching
Scripture reading for June 14th: Psalms 55-59
Friendship is a precious thing. A friend is someone you can trust and confide in. They know you for who you really are and often love you in spite of what they see. They stick with you through thick and thin. They are there for you when you need them and you can count on them to be honest with you. Friendships take time to develop and close friends are rare and precious!
King David was deeply troubled and in anguish over a betrayal. We are not told for sure who this close friend was that betrayed him, but some commentators think it might have been Ahithophel who sided with Absalom against David. (2nd Samuel 15:12) He wanted to take the wings of a dove and fly away to a secluded place to rest from the storm that he was experiencing. (Psalm 55:6) It would have been more understandable if it was an enemy who had insulted him and turned against him, but it was his close friend. It was a man with whom he had enjoyed sweet fellowship in the presence of God at the temple. (Psalm 55:13-14) He called on the Lord for help and intervention in this very troubling time.
Jesus Christ also went through betrayal. Judas betrayed his own teacher, rabbi, and friend. He enjoyed sweet fellowship with Jesus even at the last supper. Jesus reached out to this one who would betray him and sought to win him over. (John 13:19-26) In a sense, all the disciples betrayed Jesus by denying that they knew Him and running away. In this psalm we get a glimpse into the heart of our Savior and friend of how he might feel when we betray his love.
The good news today is that our Savior did not take flight with the wings of a dove! He could have called on legions of angels to rescue Him. (Matthew 26:53) Instead, He bore our betrayals, sin, and rebellion and loved us so much as to die in our place! Take time today to ask for His mercy and forgiveness of your betrayals. Invite Him to be you special friend who will stick closer than a brother! Enjoy sweet fellowship with one who will never betray you!
Scripture reading for May 29th: Job 29-31
After all his friends were silent and their accusations ceased, Job was still suffering! He remembered his past time of blessing with a sense of joy. (Job 29) He was taunted by the young men of the city and then felt driven to do a self-examination and moral inventory. (Job 30:1) He had some inner convictions about what was good and evil. Job went over these convictions in a systematic way to be sure that he had not violated any of the things he knew were evil and that he had done those that were good. He was judging himself so that God would not judge him.
Job first dealt with his personal life. (Job 31:1-12) He was careful with his eyes, not to look lustfully on a woman. He stayed away from his neighbor’s wife. He knew that this would lead to trouble! He knew that sexual sin was something that God would judge! (Job 31:11) He also checked his honesty and truthfulness. God would weigh him with honest scales in this regard! (Job 31:5-6)
Job next dealt with his public life. (Job 31:13-23) He tested his heart for his treatment of his servants. Was he fair and respectful of them? He then looked to his treatment of the poor and orphan. Was he willing to give to help them with food and clothing? God was watching all of these and would judge! (Job 31:23)
Job also checked his spiritual life. (Job 31:24-40) How did he treat money? Was it a ‘god’ in his life? Did he secretly worship anything other than the God who created everything? He also checked his attitude about revenge. Vengeance belongs to the Lord–we must not get even or even rejoice over someone’s misfortune. How had he treated strangers? Were his motives pure in all that he did?
What an inventory! Take time today and allow this 4000 year-old inventory to give you insight into your own walk with God. Remember, Jesus Christ has already paid the penalty for our sins and if we confess them to Him, He will forgive us and cleanse us from all sin! (1st John 1:7-9)
Scripture reading for May 29th: Job 29-31
It would be so easy to be right with God if we just had a checklist of things that pleased God. We could do the things that God said we must do and avoid those He said were sinful. In fact, we do have such instruction throughout the Bible, particularly in the Ten Commandments and the Great Commandments of Jesus Christ. (Exodus 20:1-17) (Matthew 22:37-39) However, in Job’s day, he must have had an understanding of what God considered right and wrong before any Scripture was published.
In chapter 31, Job takes an inventory of things that he believes to be wrong. Job made a covenant with his eyes not to look lustfully at a woman. He knew that this was the beginning of trouble in his life. The eyes are the window of the soul and what a man focuses them on goes into the heart and stirs up desire. Fornication and adultery for Job were shameful sins to be judged! (Job 31:8-12) They would ruin his own family and children and he understood that. Four thousand years later, mankind still has not grasped the understanding of this that Job possessed!
Job knew that he must deal justly with his servants. He knew that all men were made equal in God’s sight and that each person was formed in their mother’s womb. (Job 31:13-15) He also knew that he was responsible to help the poor, the widow, and the fatherless. God cares for these who are often mistreated and abused in society. He has placed within those who know Him, a desire to help the unfortunate. Social justice is found in Job’s heart 4000 years ago!
Job knew it was wrong to put trust in money or possessions. These could easily become idols that limit our understanding of the true God. He knew that creation was wonderful and special, but was not to be worshiped. God alone deserves our worship and anything else would be sin. (Job 31:24-28)
God writes His laws on our hearts and we each have a conscience to help us understand what God likes and dislikes. We can become hardened by sin and have our conscience seared. Job’s trial caused him to take moral inventory of his life and character. He wanted to be sure that he was living in a way that would please God. Why not try this today for yourself?