Daily Devotional February 9th
“’Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.’ But God says to the wicked: ‘Why bother reciting my decrees and pretending to obey my covenant? For you refuse my discipline and treat my words like trash.’” (Psalm 50:14-17)
As a race, we value authenticity. We may not always agree with one another’s opinions, but we can respect someone who is not fake. It is easier to relate to someone whose life epitomizes the sentiment, ‘what you see is what you get,’ than someone whose duplicity leaves us wondering if they ever mean what they say. We see this in God too. He values our authenticity. He would rather we be real in all our ugliness, than pretend to have a relationship with Him that does not exist.
In the Psalm of Asaph, God makes it clear that while the people have been diligent in their sacrificial giving, it has been a pretext. A relationship with God requires total submission, yet He accuses the people of ‘refusing discipline’ and ‘treating my words like trash.’ God isn’t interested in simply receiving our lip-service, or any service at all for that matter, if it does not stem from a life that remains true to Him.
Our ‘sacrifices of thankfulness’ are required in order that we remember who it is that has provided us with all the good things we enjoy. Without gratitude, we easily fall into the trap of giving ourselves credit for the things that God has given us and done for us. We need to also keep our ‘vows.’ As believers, we have literally promised God to live our lives in subjection to His Will. But how easily we forget that if we have accepted the payment Jesus made for our forgiveness, our lives have been ‘purchased.’ That means we are now slaves of God and are to live our lives in complete obedience to Him—heart, soul and mind.
If we can learn to live out this level of authenticity in our relationship with God, He has promised to come to our rescue when we seek His help. And, after He has done so, we will be quick to give Him glory by thanking Him and continuing to live lives of obedience. We need to stop trying to play the game with God of pretending faithfulness when He knows that our hearts are set on charting our own course. Do we really want to see God at work in our lives? To see His power made manifest in the Church? Then we need to stop treating God’s words like trash and submit to His discipline in our lives. We cannot have the benefits of a relationship with God and remain in charge of our own lives. As the old adage goes, ‘You cannot have your cake and eat it too!’ There is no substitute for authenticity if we desire to have a relationship with God and hope to enjoy all the benefits He has promised.
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!