O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6: 8)
That verse strikes me as a condensed version of what God expects of me. It is similar to what Jesus said: ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22: 37 – 39)
In Psalm 101, David expresses his desire to live in a way that pleases God. He gives some very explicit statements about what we need to do.
1 I will sing of your love and justice, Lord.
I will praise you with songs.
2 I will be careful to live a blameless life—
when will you come to help me?
I will lead a life of integrity
in my own home.
3 I will refuse to look at
anything vile and vulgar.
I hate all who deal crookedly;
I will have nothing to do with them.
4 I will reject perverse ideas
and stay away from every evil.
5 I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.
I will not endure conceit and pride.
6 I will search for faithful people
to be my companions.
Only those who are above reproach
will be allowed to serve me.
7 I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house,
and liars will not stay in my presence.
8 My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked
and free the city of the Lord from their grip.
Notice that David starts with his commitment to God. “I will sing of your love and justice, Lord. I will praise you with songs.” And that’s where we start too. We acknowledge God’s power over our world, and also his love for us – for you, for me. In our everyday lives, we want to show those around us that our relationship with God changes the way we interact with everyone.
“I will lead a life of integrity in my own home.” What a start! I will be honest with my husband/wife and my children. I won’t try to hide where I go, what I spend my money on, how I spend my time …
“I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar.” What books and magazines are in my home? What do I watch on TV? What movies do I watch?
“I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them.” Am I careful and honest in all my business dealings?
“I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride.” No gossiping. I need to watch my attitude. Do I have a tendency to think that I’m doing better than others? That I’m right most of the time?
“I will search for faithful people to be my companions.” Who are my closest friends? Do I get my advice and help from people who love God?
As I’m reading through the psalms looking for ones for the devotions, I tend to skip over ones like Psalm 101. They’re kind of “ouchy”. But actually, sometimes I need to take a look at my life and figure out if I’m living the way God wants me to. It’s hard, but necessary.
Our song for today is Word of God Speak by Mercy Me.