July 10 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.”
~Psalm 3:3

As the new community (the church) grows in the book of Acts, we will be meditating on the songs they inherited from the ancient community. The early church regularly sang these, along with new songs, when they gathered together for worship (Col. 3:16). The songs, called psalms, were composed during the period of the kings, collected during the exile, and sung throughout the history of the worshipping communities (Israel and the church). The book of Psalms and the songs that make it up teach us, among other things, that reflecting on truths about God is intended to be an emotional affair. Each psalm is self-contained, providing its own context, so Lectio Divina will provide a brief meditation from each. I hope you enjoy the journey; I hope you get emotional about God!

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man or woman who stays away from the wrong people, those who are wicked violators of the Word, sinners who seldom repent, and mockers who make fun of the righteous. Avoid them, and you will be blessed. Instead, delight in the “law of the Lord.” Don’t just read it, learn it, and hear it proclaimed. Enjoy it! Let it move you and bring you joy.

Psalm 2

Here is a psalm for today’s persecuted church and for the people of God living in cultures where He is hated. People may conspire against God’s followers, but they plot in vain. Even if all the kings of the earth take their stand against God’s people, “the One enthroned in heaven” will laugh. He is not wringing His hands wondering what to do; He is preparing to act. If you are on the wrong side, you had better kiss up to Him (or more literally, worship Him) while you can. And if you are on the right side, take refuge in Him. He will deliver you in time.

Psalm 3

When we have been wronged, it is not sinful to grieve or to long for justice. In fact, God is looking for us to be totally honest with Him. Verse 7 means something like this, God, you know that person is spreading vicious lies about me. I wish you would let him have it—right in the mouth! Now that’s honesty! What He doesn’t want is for us to seek revenge. Here is a psalm that encourages us to pray for deliverance when others have done us wrong. “Arise, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God!” (v. 7). Rather than getting even, pray for justice! Rather than smiting those who smite you with hurtful words, ask God to take care of the matter. And then, trust Him to do so.

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.