August 19 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“Why do the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’
Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.” ~Psalm 115:2-3

OLD TESTAMENT

Psalm 112

The good life is the God life! The truly blessed people in this world are not the wicked, even if it seems like they are having all the fun. In reality, the blessed people are those who fear the Lord and find delight in doing what He says. Every aspect of a faithful man or woman’s life will be blessed, from the checkbook to the children. The believer who gives generously receives abundantly. Meanwhile, those who live wickedly will see the life of the righteous man and be jealous. Go ahead and try this slice of real living. Try fearing the Lord and delighting in doing His will. Go ahead and live the good life.

Psalm 113

The Lord cares for the poor and needy! “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of their people” (vv. 7-8). If you are feeling down and out, cry to the God who cares. He can do something about it for He is the God of all creation. “The Lord is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens” (v. 4).

Psalm 114

When the old church (Israel) left Egypt, God went with them and said to earth and sea, Get out of the way, we’re coming through! The sea, the mountains, the River Jordan, indeed, the entire earth, including all of the enemies of God’s people, trembled at the presence of the Lord. Here is a psalm that praises the God who goes with us and tells everything and everyone that seeks to hold us back to get out of the way!

Psalm 115

When the whole world rages against us, it does so in vain. “Why do the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’” (v. 3). What a stupid question! “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him” (v. 3). Those who cling to their worthless idols of money and power, or whatever they think will make them great, had better look out. We do not depend on worthless idols, but on God. “Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory” (v. 1).

NEW TESTAMENT

In 1 Corinthians 1, Paul goes after the Christians at Corinth for the divisions that existed in the church. There were those whose favorite pastor was Paul (probably the Gentiles), and then there were those who favored Peter, called Cephas in some translations (these were probably Christians of Jewish descent). And a third group, perhaps a mix of Gentiles and Jews, claimed Apollos as the best pastor. We could envision all kinds of reasons for this debate, but no matter the root of the division, it has a singular underlying problem. There is only one Christ, and neither He nor His message is divided.

It’s okay to have your favorite pastor: MacDonald, Piper, MacArthur, Keller, Driscoll, or whoever. Where people get into trouble is the moment they begin judging every other preacher, church, or denomination on whether or not he/it walks the party line as it is defined by their favored pastor. Could it be that all the ministers in God’s church have something unique to offer, a perspective to help us see Christ more fully? And anyway, it isn’t man or man’s words that save; it is the power of the gospel he proclaims (vv. 18-31). So boast in the Lord!


Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.