2020-01-27 – Psalm 139:7
Verse of the Day Devotion: Psalm 139:7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
What the psalmist David is bringing up here is regarding a place where God is not. He brings this idea up in the form of two questions. The first starts with where can I go, and the other starts with where can I flee. Let look at the which speak of God’s greatness.
God knows everything about us. “O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down and are intimately acquainted with all my ways.” Psalm 139:1-3. David is saying here there is nothing God does not know about us. We cannot hide anything from Him, for as He says, He is ‘intimately’ acquainted with our ways. There is nowhere we can go where His Spirit is not there as well. There are many verses which state this. “Am I a God who is near, declares the LORD, And not a God far off? Can a man hide himself in hiding places, so I do not see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill the heavens and the earth? declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 23:23-24. “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Watching the evil and the good.” Proverbs 15:3. And finally what God spoke to Joshua. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Continuing with verses prior to our focus. “Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high I cannot attain to it.” Psalm 139:4-6. God knows everything we will say or do before we have even thought about it. His knowledge is so much above us, so thorough, so complete that it is beyond us to understand it let alone attain it.
Our focus verse should give us, who are Christians, great peace and contentment, for it declares there is nowhere He is not. God loves us beyond our understanding. “For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” Says the LORD who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10. And because His love for us is infinite, and He knows everything about everything, what can truly harm us? And if we have an all-powerful, all knowing, and everywhere present God that protects us, why should we ever be afraid?
2020-01-28 – Matthew 9:12
Verse of the Day Devotion: Matthew 9:12 But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.
When Jesus called Matthew, a tax collector, to follow Him, he took Jesus to his home and provided a feast for Him. There were also many others there with them. “Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples.” Matthew 9:10. Now tax collectors were considered horrible people by the Jews for several reasons. First, many times they would collect more than was due as a payment to themselves, but more terrible than that was that the money they collected went to Rome and not the Jewish leaders.
Now Pharisees arrived at the dinner as well. “When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?” Matthew 9:11. In essence, what they were asking the disciples was, ‘You call this man the Messiah, the promised one of David. You say He is a great man and yet, He eats with all these sinners and tax collectors. Why would He fellowship with them?’ In those days, eating and drinking with others denoted an intimacy and a familiarity with those you partake of food and drink with. The Pharisees, by asking their question was accusing Jesus of seeking fellowship with these people, these tax collectors, sinners, and wicked people. What we can deduce from what they said is that there is no way Jesus could be righteous if He delighted in the company of these hideous people.
According to Jewish tradition, not the Law but their traditions, it was sinful to fellowship with sinners. Jesus heard what they said. The disciples did not need to tell Him, for He was aware of their words and I am sure their hearts. “But when Jesus heard this, He said, It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.” Matthew 9:12. This is our focus verse. What He was saying was, not everyone needs a doctor, only those who were sick. Of course, the Pharisees were sinners as much as anyone else. However, as Pharisees, they thought they were already pure and holy, because they followed the law and all the traditions of Judaism. And since they believe such, they believed they did not need His help or aid. And He clarified what He said with these words, “But go and learn what this means: ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:13. Again, those He declares righteous in this verse are those who believe they are and do not believe they need forgiveness.
We are called to go to all who are sick and show them Jesus, the one who came to heal them of their sickness, that being sin. This is why He came, to show this to all who understood their predicament or believe when they are advised of it. Reach out to the sinners and do not ignore or shy away from them. Reach out to those who need and are open to hear the gospel; no matter who they are and what they have done. If we are to be like Jesus, then we must reach out to such as He did. This is our calling.