Daily Dose of Good News
Monday, August 24, 2020
This devotional is offered online at https://youtu.be/r3BnVunqDuw
A printer-friendly version of today’s devotion is available at DDGN 20200824
Good morning! It’s time for our Daily Dose of Good News. It’s August 24. We’re reading from Psalm 18 and technically, we’re supposed to read verses 1-3 and then 20-32, but it’s so good, we’re going to continue on to 35. So, here you go:
I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
so I shall be saved from my enemies.
The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.
For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
and have not wickedly departed from my God.
For all his ordinances were before me,
and his statutes I did not put away from me.
I was blameless before him,
and I kept myself from guilt.
Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
With the loyal you show yourself loyal;
with the blameless you show yourself blameless;
with the pure you show yourself pure;
and with the crooked you show yourself perverse.
For you deliver a humble people,
but the haughty eyes you bring down.
It is you who light my lamp;
the Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.
By you I can crush a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.
This God—his way is perfect;
the promise of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
For who is God except the Lord?
And who is a rock besides our God?—
the God who girded me with strength,
and made my way safe.
He made my feet like the feet of a deer,
and set me secure on the heights.
He trains my hands for war,
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand has supported me;
your help has made me great.
Here ends the reading. (Yes, I put the Scripture portion in extra big font…)
(Laughs). Have you ever heard a Biblical passage which is calling out on inner superhero before?! I love it!! Because I hear God calling out our Wonder Woman and our Superman in this. It’s not that we’re trying to achieve our superpower status without God. It’s saying: God enables that within us. That the power, might and miraculous of God, can bring out the greatness in ourselves. Who knew that Lutherans would talk about their own greatness?! Oh my goodness! (Laughs). But, it’s Biblical, it’s in the Psalm! It’s the idea of God’s empowering- for whatever we face. And, in that, rather than feeling helpless or scared or unable, God is empowering us. So there is all this discussion here about God sees me as blameless in God’s eyes- not in everybody else’s eyes. It’s not about other people thinking we’re doing the right thing. It’s about God thinking we’re doing the right thing. So, we’re called to do what God shows us to do, what God asks us to do, in God bringing holiness out of us. In that, God compensates for us, that’s what “recompense” means. God is going to compensate us for what we endure and what we go through, based on our intent and our focus on God. So, there’s grace in that. Did you hear grace?! There’s grace in that because it says: we don’t have to actually do it perfectly. But we need to be oriented toward God, oriented in the right direction.
Then, the end is about (verses 28-35) all this empowerment that comes. “It is You, God, who lights my lamp. By You, I can crush a troop”. What?! Who knew we could do that?! But, you think about Biblical heroes in the Bible, they do that all the time! God empowers them and they go out and do something amazing! It’s the same thing for us! In 2020! Who knew during this pandemic, when we feel overwhelmed and helpless, that this says: “by You, I can crush a troop. By You, I can leap over a wall. This God- His way is perfect; the promise of the Lord is true. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him”. So, that says we need to get grounded in God, and then we’re empowered in all this greatness. So, since the Lord God, girded me with strength, and made my way safe… I’ve got my Wonder Woman belt on today. That’s my girding, because that also gives me the tools, my lasso, for whatever comes my way today. And since God also trains my hands for war and has given me a shield of salvation. I’m just going to continue to get dressed here, because I’ve got some things to do today. (Puts on Wonder Woman arm cuff shields that deflect attacks). So, having that shield of God around me, to empower me- and empower you- so we can crush a troop! Leap over a wall! All the things Superman does in a single bound, right? Whether you’re Superman or Wonder Woman. God’s calling us to amazing and great things! So, go get ‘em! With God empowering you along the way! Have a great day everybody! Take care. Bye-bye.