Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 13 February 21:
Psalm 19:12, 13 — “Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.”
In light of this morning’s readings, take a moment to review the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 and Luke 6 –
- “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
- “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
- “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
- “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
- “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
- “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
- “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
- “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
- “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.”
- Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
I see these heart conditions described in the Beatitudes (attitudes we should truly be) as both the starting point for growth in Christ and as the way of constant thinking which must shape our character as we are increasingly conformed to the image of Jesus. (Romans 8:29). The spirit of the Beatitudes is reflected in today’s Psalms. This is a humble, contrite spirit that recognizes his/her total inadequacy of self and total dependence on God’s mercy, grace (forgiveness and salvation through faith alone in Christ alone); it is a spirit which relies on Holy Spirit empowerment, revelation, conviction, coaching, and encouragement, while walking confidently in God’s forgiveness, love, and faithfulness. The Psalmist is a blessed, joyful mourner who, with earnest, nagging desire (“hunger and thirst”) for a closer relationship with God, realizes his inadequacy to overcome ‘self,’ and is comforted and satisfied (now, but still not quite yet) by the promise of God’s provision.
“Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults.” We rely on the “sharp two-edged sword” of God’s word and the revealing Light of the Holy Spirit to expose our hearts, to strengthen or faith in Christ, and to guide us to greater Christ-like character, while continually reminding us we are ‘declared innocent’ in Christ. However, the Bible warns us not to get out of step with the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:25), quench the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19), grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesian 4:30), resist the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51), or outrage the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 10:29). “Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins.” In Luke 6, after the Beatitudes, Jesus declares a few ‘woes’ —
- “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.”
- “Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.”
- “Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.”
- “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.”
We conflict with the Holy Spirit when we get prideful, presumptuous, self-centered, and self-righteous, when we disciples get complacent in our disciplines, when we start to lose perspective on our total reliance on God –
- Romans 12:3 — For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
- 1 Corinthians 10:12 — Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.
- 2 Peter 1:3-11 — His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Diligently confirm your calling and election in Christ by practicing godliness revealed in virtue, self-control, steadfastness, brotherly affection, and love, and get all the practice you can. To trust in God’s grace is to walk in God’s grace, by showing your gratitude by honoring Him in obedience to His commandments and by showing grace to others.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 13 Feb 21: Pray Psalm 19 today.