July 21 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” 
~Psalm 34:8

Paul, the great church planter, is taken into custody in Jerusalem. Even so, he continues to proclaim the good news. The early church’s Jewish and Gentile congregations were using the ancient Psalms as songs of praise and worship. What a rich resource these must have been to both the church and those who suffered for the sake of the gospel!

Psalm 34

The worshipping community is encouraged to pursue the good life. “Whoever of you loves life,” the psalmist says, must “keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it” (vv. 12-14). This doesn’t mean that the righteous will never have difficulty, but the Lord will deliver them from the trouble that comes their way (v. 19). What is more, the righteous do not merely know God, they experience God! “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (v. 8). All the rich experiences of this life, including God’s deliverance from trouble, are tastes of the Lord!

Psalm 35

David “complains” to God about those who want to see him fail. Though his heart is in the right place—in fact, he prayed for his enemies when they were in trouble—he is the victim of pernicious plots. Those who hurt God’s people have all kinds of things motivating them: jealousy, guilt, greed, revenge, envy, or simple hatred. But the Lord sees their hearts, and He will vindicate those who are wronged. He is zealous for the glory of His name and the good of His people. “The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant” (v. 27). Yes, God takes pleasure in His people! So do not be afraid to ask Him to defend you and to bless you!

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.