Devotional Thoughts From The Journal

Loving God and Man

We are days away from Christmas day. Traditionally, the period leading up to Christmas is known as Advent, that time of darkness and looking toward the coming of the Messiah, who would redeem us from our sins, restore righteousness, and rescue us from our oppressors. Today, we look back at the birth and death of Christ and look forward to the second coming of Christ.

Today, I read Psalm 112, a beautiful psalm describing the characteristics of a man who fears the Lord. What is interesting to me is how much this reflects the summary Jesus gave in response to the question,” What is the most significant commandment?”

In summary, we have been instructed to love God with everything we are and love our neighbor. The Christian faith is neither one nor the other, but both. It is more than doing good; it also is loving God with all or being. We possess all things and yet hold nothing back from God or man.

There were those whom Jesus asked to forsake all and follow Him. To one man, He said to sell all he had and follow Him. Paul told Timothy to remind the rich that God gave them wealth, to do good, and to share all the good things God has given.

He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever; His horn will be exalted with honor.” Psalm 112:9

Here are some other good verses that came to remembrance as I was writing this morning:

“Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness;
He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.” Pslam 112:9

“If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday.” Isaiah 58:10

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Loving God, living free, extending kindness, and giving yet expecting nothing in return. These things are lovely and beautiful; in light of this, we also see how much we fall short of these things. How often have we sought help from others to meet our emotional or physical needs? We are now called to stop taking and to trust God to supply all our needs. Paul wrote, “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.” Ephesians 4:8

We all have fallen short in loving God and man. But that is why we celebrate Christmas- looking forward to the coming Messiah. He loved us and gave himself for us. And now we wait for the second coming when he restores all things. But today, we even look to Him to heal, change, and supply our needs. In your present needs, are you looking to Jesus to supply your needs?

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6

In your darkness, look to Jesus. He will show up.

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