August 15 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.” ~Psalm 104:34

OLD TESTAMENT

Psalm 103

Psalm 103 is a beautiful song describing God’s love and mercy. It hardly requires commentary; it’s more the sort of psalm that makes a person want to savor and contemplate the wonder of our God.

  • Think of all the good things you have enjoyed from God’s hand just today! “[He] satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles” (v. 5).
  • Ponder the wonder of who He is and His willingness to renew us, His people.

“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love” (v. 8).

“He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him” (vv. 10-11).

“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust” (v. 13).

God’s love and mercy has been poured out on each of us. What comfort and encouragement it is to recall His goodness, especially when we have been reminded of our own weakness. The only response is to “praise the Lord, O my soul” (v. 22).

Psalm 104

All of life glorifies God! Sometimes I feel people looking at me strangely when I thank God for things like baseball, hotdogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet (or Chrysler, if you prefer). But I do that because I feel so strongly that all of life comes from God and all of life points back to God. Psalm 104 makes that clear. The psalmist praises God for everything! The sun that shines, the wind that blows, and the earth beneath our feet. The rain that waters the earth and quenches the thirst of animals in the wild. The birds that fly and sing and the grass that grows in the field. The wine we drink and the bread we eat. The mountains and valleys, the sunrise and sunset, and the lion, who roars and is fed by God. The man who goes out to work in the morning and comes home in the evening. The ocean and everything in it, and even the beauty of ships at sea. “How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all” (v. 24).

When God looks at everything He created in this universe, He is pleased. He has good reason to “rejoice in his works” (v. 31). Indeed, as John Piper once observed, “God is the happiest being in the universe!” So when we see, and hear, and taste, and feel the amazing world around us, let us give praise to the God who made it all. “I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live” (v. 33).

NEW TESTAMENT

Paul teaches Christians how to get along with each other in what we might call the “grey areas,” or to use his phrase, when dealing with “disputable matters” (Rom. 14:1). Paul allows for varying opinions on all sorts of topics, including the specific issue in Romans 14, which is whether or not a Christian should eat meat blessed by a pagan priest and offered to an idol. (It was not uncommon for a pagan priest to bless the meat served at a social gathering or public function and dedicate it to a “god.”)


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.