Summer ought to be a season when we’re able to rest well—a time we can spend with the Lord and His goodness. But, oftentimes, we actually fall out of healthy spiritual habits and end up trying to rest from the Lord instead of resting in Him.
That’s why we’ve created the Summer Selah Series. Over 40 days, we’ll be sharing daily devotions during a season where you may not feel very devoted.
Based on excerpts from his book Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion, Ross Lester, our Pastor of Preaching and West Congregation Pastor, will provide readings from select Psalms, a brief devotional reflection, and some prayer points for each of the 40 days.
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Take some time to read Psalm 108. Then, come back and read the following verses again.
“The LORD is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting
to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.” (Psalm 103:8-18 ESV)
“I am only human.”
It is an excuse that is used for a variety of failings and it sounds like a cop-out to be honest, but it is actually entirely biblical. Psalm 103 tells us that God looks down on us and knows we are human and prone to failure. Yet, as a result, He meets us with a measure of love and grace that we can’t even begin to fathom. He doesn’t give us what we deserve and He isn’t distant from us because of our repeated failures.
I love what David says in verse 12. Give it a read and think about it. God removes my sins from me and He takes them as far from me as the east is from the west. How far is that? Well, by my calculations, that is incalculable. Spurgeon spoke of this verse like this,
“O glorious verse, no word even upon the inspired page can excel it! Sin is removed from us by a miracle of love! What a load to move, and yet is it removed so far that the distance is incalculable. Fly as far as the wing of imagination can bear you, and if you journey through space eastward, you are further from the west at every beat of your wing. If sin be removed so far, then we may be sure that the scent, the trace, the very memory of it must be entirely gone. If this be the distance of its removal, there is no shade of fear of its ever being brought back again; even Satan himself could not achieve such a task. Our sins are gone, Jesus has borne them away.”
So, next time you fail, which won’t be long from now, instead of thinking of the guilt and shame that you need to place upon yourself in order to prove your contrition, rather think about how far the east is from the west. Celebrate the fact that God knows you are human and that He loves you, forgives you, and restores you.
Father God. Thank you for Your mercy. Thank You for Your love. I am only human, and You know that. I am so thankful for that.
Ross Lester, Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion (Magnolia, Texas: Lucid Books, 2017