Today’s Devotional – June 26, 2014 – “How Important Are Your Plans?” –
Today in History
1721 – Dr Zabdiel Boylston administered the first smallpox vaccine in America.
1862 – The battle at Beaver Dam Creek, VA was fought and the Union repulsed the Confederate troops.
1862 – The Army of Virginia was established under Gen John Pope.
1870 – Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States..
1934 – Germany & Poland signed a non-aggression treaty.
1941 – Pro German Lithuanians massacred 2,300 Jews in the city Kovno.
1948 – US denounced the Soviet blockade of Berlin, Germany.
1975 – Two FBI agents and a member of the American Indian Movement were killed in a shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota; Leonard Peltier was later convicted of the murders in a controversial trial.
1994 -Record high temperatures were recorded before Global warming by mankind was recognized:
104°F at Denver, CO 107°F at Albuquerque, NM 112°F at El Paso, TX 122°F at Laughlin, NV 126°F in Death Valley, CA
2008 – The U.S. Supreme Court rule in District of Columbia that the ban on handguns was unconstitutional.
Psalm 62: 9-12
“Surely men of common degree are of no value and men of prominence are a falsehood: to be laid on the scale of judgment; they are all of no value. Don’t put your trust in extortion or your expectations in plunder: though you wealth increases don’t make them the center of your life. God has spoken once; twice I have heard it; strength and security is God’s. You are wonderful O Lord for mercy comes from you: surely you reward every man according to his works.” (Psalm 62:9-12)
In the previous verses of this psalm David lifted up and exalted the person of God who is the refuge and deliverer of men of faith. Then as we read today he demonstrates the reality of the position and riches of men. They are of no value. They cannot deliver the soul of any man. God has declared and demonstrated His mercy toward undeserving men and rewards or pays men that which they deserve. Paul records for us, “the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Though similar, two common words express the actions of God toward men of faith and repentance. Grace is commonly defined as God giving to man that which he does not deserve and cannot earn. Mercy on the other hand is God holding back that which man deserves. Every man has earned the judgment of eternal death. It is the wage of sin that each man has been born with and continues in through life. When God holds back that judgment of eternal death we term it as mercy. Though king among men, rich beyond all and exalted over all men David knows and declares His need for mercy and the source of mercy in his life. “ You are wonderful O Lord for mercy comes from you:”
Job had a righteous testimony from God Himself, who declared, “… the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the world, a mature and righteous man, who reverences God, and withdraws from evil?” (Job 1:8) Because of his faithfulness, righteous Job was tested beyond what any of us have witnessed in our lives. Job’s life changed quickly as he lost his children, his fortune and soon nearly his life as well. Still God testified to Satan concerning Job, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the world, a mature and righteous man, who reverences God, and separates himself from evil? He continues to keep his integrity, although you moved against him, to destroy him without reason.” (Job 2:3) Certainly if any man “deserved” to be puffed up before men and boast of his standing before God it would be Job. But what did Job do and how did he perceive himself and his standing among men? Job said to the Lord, “I have heard of you but now I see you, therefore I repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:5-6)
Most folks today are either impressed by what they have gained through their own effort or are striving through any means possible to achieve a position of importance and wealth in this world. We are taught by the teachers of this world that we should be glorious in our own eyes and impressive to the eyes of others. Those who through no effort of their own are born into this world with talent, beauty or intelligence seek to inflate themselves before God and men. Pride is treasured and position honored to the expense of our eternal existence. David “had it all” in the worlds view. Yet like Job recognized that his deliverance and safety rested on the mercy of God alone.
The Scripture warns the unrepentant and proud man concerning his life with these words:
“Pride is the forefront of destruction and a lofty spirit before ruin. It is better to be humble with the poor than to share riches with the arrogant.” (Proverbs 16:18-19)
“The High and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy declares, “I inhabit the high and lofty place with him who is crushed and humble in spirit, to give life to the humble and crushed ones.” (Isaiah 57:15)
“Draw near to God and God will draw near to you. Purge your hands you sinners and sanctify your hearts you that are double minded. Realize your own wretchedness and weep: turn your laughter to mourning and your joy to sadness. Humble yourselves in God’s sight and He will lift you up.” (James 4:8-10)
“Likewise you that are younger, submit yourselves to the older ones. Yes all of you be subjected to each other and clothed with humility: because God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves under the all powerful hand of God so that He can exalt you at the proper time. Throw all your cares about yourself on Him for you matter to Him” (1 Peter 5:5-7)
My friend do you have your own agenda in this world, or are you will to leave that to God?