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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Today's Scripture Reading | Psalm 119:1–8

Happy are those whose way is blameless,
   who walk in the law of the Lord.
Happy are those who keep his decrees,
   who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong,
   but walk in his ways.
You have commanded your precepts
  to be kept diligently.
O that my ways may be steadfast
   in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame,
   having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart,
   when I learn your righteous ordinances.
I will observe your statutes;
   do not utterly forsake me. (NRSV)

The word blessed in this psalm can also be translated as “happy.” And indeed I would be both blessed and happy if I were able to do what is described here: to be blameless, to keep the Lord’s statutes, to do nothing wrong, etc. I can think of times in my life when I have been better or worse at obeying God’s precepts, and I have certainly been happier when I’m walking in  God’s ways. I know that I will always fall short, but I also know that when I do, the grace of Jesus lifts me up, and it is his love and sacrifice that allows me to be sanctified in God’s eyes.

Although it’s never perfect, I strive to live my life as God’s hands and feet in the world as a way to thank God for this incredible gift of grace and forgiveness. As a Christian, I know I am called to live out my faith and to let God’s love and light shine brightly through me. At this moment in history, when the country is so divided and there is so much fear and hate, it is more important than ever to act boldly, to speak loudly, and, most of all, to follow God’s command to love our neighbors, all of our neighbors, as ourselves.

How is God calling you to love your neighbors?

Redeemer, forgive me when I fail to walk in your ways. Forgive me when I turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the pain of my brothers and sisters. Give me the strength to say what you are calling me to say, to do what you are calling me to do, and to be the person you are calling me to be. Amen.

Written by Nicole Spirgen, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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