Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Lo He Comes With Clouds Descending"1 (Lyrics)
The Bible is a library, an inspired collection of 66 books written by different people over thousands of years, in a wide range of literary styles. One of my favourite biblical literary genres is that of the simple narrative, with stories of real people facing real-life predicaments. All too often, I personally identify with their foibles! One such story highlights Peter in a predicament that he faced when Jesus was in his fishing boat. Jesus told Peter to let down his net for a catch. Skeptical Peter, replying that their hard efforts of fishing all night had brought no results, nonetheless obeyed Jesus. Immediately, his net was so full of fish that it began to break. Peter, realizing Who was controlling this fishing expedition, was immediately contrite. In addition to feeling remorse, he was filled with doubt as to his worthiness to be a follower of Jesus.
Luke 5:8 – When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, "Oh, sir, please leave us — I'm too much of a sinner for you to have around." (TLB)
We may sometimes identify with impetuous Peter who — well-meaning though he was — often seemed to dash and crash his way through life. We, too, may find ourselves totally baffled, wondering how it is possible to comply with everything that God requires. Do we echo Peter's feeling of being "too much of a sinner" for Him to have us around? How can God tolerate any of us in our sinful condition, when His penalty for our sin is death?
How grateful we can be that God freely provided the solution by sending Jesus to be our substitute. Jesus' death in our place justifies us with God when we believe and accept His gift of forgiveness.
But what about everyday living after we have entered this life of faith? How can we make our decisions and live a life that pleases God each day? The Bible is not simply a rule book to be read for instruction in how to play the game of life. It is not just a policy manual to keep everyone in line. Nonetheless, we can be assured that though there may not be crystal-clear directives for each instance that we may face, many of God's commands encompass a wide range of life's circumstances. We can be encouraged that we are never "too much of a sinner" to earnestly follow His ways.
James 2:8 – If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right. (NIV)
Thought to ponder: Do I live a life pleasing God by exhibiting love for others that equals my love for myself?
Pray with me:
Prayer: O Lord, You know my heart, and You know my ways. I desire to please and serve You, but so often, I fail. Help me to learn to love others as myself, thus showing a heart of obedience. Amen.