Jesus, these verses remind us of the phrase “you strain at a gnat and swallow a camel” wherein we focus on obedience in some small matter, in almost a compulsive way, believing that such obedience earns us points with You.
Father, we can say boldly that we have access to the mind of Christ and that You teach us all things we must know, things that exceed the wisdom of man. We look to our teachers for wisdom and you tell us that Your testimony to us exceeds that of our teachers and the “ancients”, those who lived before You. How can we not look to Your Holy Word for guidance, every day? For conveying such love toward us, we are eternally grateful.
Even though childhood and youth may be “vanity”, during these wonderful years when their smiles melt our hearts and their innocence charms us, prepare their hearts to serve You and to trust You in all things.
Jesus, it is so hard to not be angry, at times. Here it seems that you are reminding us that Christians shall be known by their love. You are instructing us in a new way, beyond the 6th commandment, “Thou shalt not kill”. We are, as a result of the presence of the Holy Spirit, required to be patient, kind and gentle, full of goodness, loving people who we might not feel like loving.
You teach us that our conscience must be clear when we make choices about eating and drinking and that if our heart convicts us concerning such things, we should refrain. You also tell us that if we do not feel right about what we are doing and we go on doing it, we are sinning.
Father, here King David admits that his iniquities have overtaken him. Father, at times some of us feel the same; our iniquities weigh so heavily on us that we don’t know how You could possibly love us or forgive us. That is the miracle, Father, that makes life worth living. It is never about the present, with its moments of difficulty, but it is about the future. We know that is only true if we admit, as David did, that we need Your help.
You have told us that You have chosen to not take us out of this world, yet, so we could serve You in proclaiming the Word. We have been “sent” by You. You have prayed to the Father that the evil one will be kept from us. What a bonus, Jesus; Satan held at a distance from Your children. Help us this day to find ways to bring glory to Your name.
Father, You have taught us to “look up” as we seek You, that Your glory is in the heavens. There is a lot of stuff to look at as we look down, but even the beautiful flowers will wither. We appreciate the beauty of all Your creation, but help us as we seek to focus on the eternal, the heavenly reward that has been prepared for those who love You.
Father, at times we feel embattled, pressured by our daily circumstances and needs. We have learned to flee from sinful reactions to pressure because You are pleased to deliver us, to lift us up in that moment, if we but turn to You. We know that our willingness to be in a relationship with You transports us from helplessness to dependence on You.