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May 28, 2016

1SAMUEL 18-19:

In yesterday's story, David showed that he was more concerned with God's reputation than for his own safety. May we all face our imposing enemies with more belief in the unseen God than in the very present enemies!

PSALM 102:

This psalm starts out like the prayer of anyone in distress and trouble calling out to God. As we read further, many see parallels with what our Savior would have prayed in his darkest days on earth.

Translation notes:
In Hebrew, one can talk directly to God (or a king) as if talking about ‘the Lord’. To keep the feeling of a prayer, English would normally use ‘You’.
15 Then the nations will tremble before [You,//the] LORD.
The kings of the earth will tremble before [your/his] glory.
16 For [You//the] LORD will rebuild Jerusalem.
[You/He] will appear in his glory.
17 [You/He] will listen to the prayers of the destitute.
[You/He] will not reject their pleas.
23 [You, Lord, have//The Lord has] made me weak while I am still young;
[You have//he has] shortened my life.

We turn for the first time to ROMANS 7.

The last verse of yesterday’s reading shows why it is better to take what we are given, rather than what we have earned! This is a big problem for some. My Dad's “having lived a good life” was one of the biggest blocks to him humbly coming to God and receiving the gift of eternal life. I don't think he ever understood how God would not be so impressed by his supposed integrity. The spiritual reality expressed starting at the beginning of the 6th chapter is a key to place along with a second key that we will hear about in today’s chapter.

Romans 6:19b-23:
At one time you surrendered yourselves entirely as slaves to impurity and wickedness for wicked purposes. In the same way you must now surrender yourselves entirely as slaves of righteousness for holy purposes.
20 When you were the slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness. 21 What did you gain from doing the things that you are now ashamed of? The result of those things is death! 22 But now you have been set free from sin and are the slaves of God. Your gain is a life fully dedicated to him, and the result is eternal life. 23 For sin pays its wage—death; but God's free gift is eternal life in union with Christ Jesus our Lord.