You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. Psalm 45:7
Having joy in one’s life is something that people all over the world are seeking for in their own lives. People want to be happy and be full of joy throughout each of their days.
However, very few find it because of the struggles and challenges in life from day to day. As they seek to find joy, they search to doing or taking different things. They feel as if they could have joy if they just have or do this one thing or take this one drug.
While the joy will come for a moment when doing or taking something, often it is temporary and not very deep. What is done often has long term negative consequences, because they are rooted in sin and death, rather than in life.
The writer of this psalm is talking about the king being anointed with the oil of joy by God. The reason the king was anointed with joy was that he loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
Very simply put, righteousness is doing the right thing and wickedness is doing the wrong thing.
Doing what God wants of a person is always doing the right thing. It is not about legalism and do’s and don’ts, but about loving God and living the way He meant a person to live.
Living for sin and wickedness will only bring about death and destruction. There is no lasting joy in those things. Doing what is right brings life and will last for eternity.
Each person has a chose to make. Will he do what is right and love God and people? Or will he choose what is wrong and love sin and this world?
You have choices to make in your own life each day. It is possible for you to be filled with God’s joy in your life every day.
The way to find that joy is to learn to love God with all of your heart, soul and mind. When you truly love God, you will want to do what is right in His eyes. You will also want to turn away from all wickedness and sin.
As you follow God with all of your life, God will anoint you with His joy that the world cannot understand, nor have.
Are you anointed with joy today?
I pray today that you will love God with all of your life; that you will want to do what is right in God’s eyes; that God will guide you in living your life in the right way; and that God will anoint you with His joy each day.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 36:7
A price value is placed on most things. Walking in a store there is a price placed on every item in the store. It tells a person how much it will cost to get it. The higher the demand for an item, the higher the price for it will be.
Price is also often determined on how rare or difficult an item is to get. Things that are nearly impossible to get will have a very high price tag on it. One of the things that the world classifies as priceless are some famous paintings or other works of art. They are a one of a kind, placing the value so high, that it is considered priceless.
David found that God’s unfailing love was priceless. There was no price that could be placed upon having His love.
Just as a person, who does not know art, does not understand the priceless value of a piece of art, the world does not understand the priceless value of God’s perfect love.
God, the one who created the universe, loves individual people. He loves the individual person so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross for that person to give Him eternal life. Having eternal life is of such high value that it is priceless.
The only way a person can know that eternal life is by the love of God. This makes His life priceless. It is worth getting no matter what the cost. There is nothing of higher value on this earth than God’s great love.
With God’s love, one can rest assured in his salvation, that God is on His side taking care of Him and that God will do what is best for him in every situation.
Take some time to realize how much God really loves you. Think about how much God has already done for you and given you. Now realize how valuable that love is. His love is perfect and never ending and is worth pursuing at all costs.
Knowing that God loves you, show that love back to God and to others. Living your life for God is the ultimate show of love to Him. You cannot love God and others too much, when you love with His perfect, eternal love.
What has a priceless value in your life?
I pray today that you will know God’s great love for you; that you will love as God loves you; that you will know the value of God’s love; and that you will live your entire life dedicated to God.
His heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD; furthermore, he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah. 2 Chronicles 17:6
Being devoted to something or someone is being committed to whatever is being devoted to no matter what happens. It is being sold out in mind, body and soul.
People find some things that they get devoted to for a time. When younger, people often devote themselves to following some person. This can be an actor, actress, singer, band, sports person, musician or someone else. It is common to see people devote themselves as boyfriend/girlfriend with a friend while in school or college.
The majority of these devotions are short termed. They only last for a few years, at best, then the devotion changes to someone else. The world sees their devotion as good until something comes along that is better. Along with the short-term devotion, these things are all temporary.
Jehoshaphat had become king of Judah and was devoted to God. His heart was devoted to the ways of God and doing what was right in God’s eyes, removing idols from the land. He led the people back to God, to love, serve and worship God, alone.
Since the time of Jehoshaphat, nothing has changed. There is only one that remains permanent for all eternity–God. Jesus made it possible for people to have a relationship with God, through His death upon the cross.
Jesus was devoted to the Father and to each person to bring salvation. Every believer should have his first devotion focused upon God. God gave life and made the relationship possible, so He, alone, deserves all the devotion of one’s heart and life. Believers need to focus everything that they say and do upon God and His ways, not the ways of this world.
You have a choice to make also. Who or what will you be devoted to? You cannot be devoted to more than one thing. Either you are devoted and serving God or you are serving self and this world.
Take a moment and find out where your heart is at. What makes your heart beat? What gives you life?
The things of this world will only give an illusion of life and in the end will bring death.
God gave and will continue to bring life for eternity. Set your whole heart to be fully devoted to God and His kingdom. That relationship will last forever.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that your heart will be devoted to God; that you will live your life in service to God and His kingdom; and that God will do great things in and through you.
But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22
Obedience is something that most people find difficult to do. Wanting to do their own thing, the majority of people choose not to be obedient. They want to twist or bend the rules to their own favor. People want to do their own thing, their own way, in their own time. It is about self, not about God or others.
Saul had been told to completely destroy all of the people and animals of the Amalekites as he and his army went to battle against them. Instead of destroying everyone and everything, the men kept some of the animals for a sacrifice. Saul thought it would be good to keep those animals to be able to offer a great sacrifice to God. However, that was not what God had commanded him to do.
Although most people do not like to sacrifice anything, they will quickly sacrifice something rather than obey. In churches there are people who will donate a lot of money to the church or organizations or they will offer help in some ministry on a regular basis. Yet, at home or work, they do not live for God or obey His commands on purpose. They feel that their large offerings cover up their sins and puts them in right standing with God.
God does not want sacrifice if there is no obedience. In this case, sacrifice is trying to earn one’s way into heaven, rather than trusting Jesus for salvation. Believers are to obey everything God says and trust what He says first. Once the obedience occurs, then sacrifices can be done to worship and honor God.
Take a look at your own life and see how well you are doing at obeying what God has told you to do. God is interested in you obeying His every word, His word in little things as well as in the great things.
If there is no obedience, there is no love. Jesus said that if you love Him, you would obey Him. Love is greater than any sacrifice.
Once you love and obey God, then you may do the sacrifices as God leads you. Not the other way around.
Are you obeying God today?
I pray today that you will know God’s commands for your life; that you will obey what God tells you to do; that you will trust everything God tells you; and that your heart and life will obey God first before any sacrifice.
In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 1 John 5:3
Following various organizations can be a challenge for some people. The organization will have a lot of rules and regulations that a person must follow. Some of these commands may be how a person dresses, where he can go, what he can do, how he must speak, how much it may cost, and many other rules. The number of rules can become a challenge and a heavy burden for many people. They may even keep some people from joining.
Many people in the world see following God in this same way. They see what they think are many rules and commands that they must follow. This is often seen because people in the church lay out a long list of commands a person must follow in order to believe in Jesus or be a member of the church. In order to love God a person must do all of those commands. Some of these may be: how a person dresses, which bible translation he reads, where he goes to church, how much he must give to the church, and many other commands.
John states that to love God is to keep His commands, and that His commands are not a heavy burden. All of God’s commands are summed up in loving God and loving other people. This is not a lot of commands. They are simple. Do what is best for God and for others.
When a person gets wrapped up in lots of commands, he loses the sight of love for God. He sees God as a harsh dictator and not a loving Father. Then it becomes hard to love God or others.
In loving God one will turn from sin and be His witness to the world. He will want to tell everyone about Jesus first and foremost. It will be his focus in life.
Focus your life on loving God and loving others. As you do that you will fulfill His commands, to love God and others.
As you love God and others, God will give you the strength to turn away from sin and to be His witness in this world. Turning from sin and obeying God will no longer be a burden, but a great joy.
How are you at loving God today?
I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will love God; that you will find joy and strength in loving God; that you will love others as God loves them; and that you will be a witness of Jesus to the world.