May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
— Psalm 19:14 NLT
David prayed earlier in Psalm 19 that the Lord would keep him from sinful deeds of all kinds. In the verse above, he takes the issue deeper by asking that the Lord would also keep him from speaking words that are sinful. From David’s point of view, the things that we say are just as capable of being sinful as the deeds we do and we need the help of the Lord to keep from speaking them just as much as we do to keep from doing sinful deeds.
If our words and meditations are free from sin, then they will be pleasing to the Lord. The word translated as “pleasing” is borrowed from the language of the sacrificial system of the old covenant. The animal sacrifices that were brought before the Lord were required to be without defect, so likewise the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts should be without defect. The idea here is that everything we say and think is done before the Lord and should be pleasing to Him as a consequence.
The Lord wants us to be pleasing before Him. He is concerned not only with the deeds we do, but also with the words we say and the thoughts we think.
Today, then, let us ask the Lord to cleanse us, inside and out.
Who is it that finds favor with God? According to Isaiah, the people who find favor with God are the people who “are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word” (Isaiah 66:2). This does not mean that favor is something that can be earned by performing righteous deeds. Rather, it means that favor comes to those whose hearts are right before God. After all, it was Isaiah who also said that “all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment” (Isaiah 64:6). If favor with God depended upon perfect obedience to God’s will and ways, then none of us would have very much favor with Him at all.
The person whose heart is right before God is a person who desires to walk in steadfast love. “Steadfast love,” in our verses for today, refers to our relationship to God and to other people. Deuteronomy 6:5 tells us that “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” and Leviticus 19:18 says “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” When our hearts are right before God our desire will be to love Him and His people. We may not always love as we should, but it will be the desire of our hearts. The person who has a heart for love receives God’s favor and the favor of people as well.
Further, the person whose heart is right before God will be a person who desires to walk in faithfulness. “Faithfulness” also refers to our relationship to God and to other people. The faithful person stands firm when others give up. They do not quit on God or other people. When our hearts are right before God our desire will be to remain faithful to Him and to His people. We may not always be as faithful as we should, but it will be the desire of our hearts. The person who has a heart for faithfulness receives God’s favor and the favor of people as well.
Let steadfast love and faithfulness rule the course of your life. People will look upon you with favor and so will God.
Do you want to know the power of Christ’s resurrection? To know the power of Christ’s resurrection does not refer primarily to the resurrection of our bodies that will occur when Christ returns, but to our spiritual resurrection from the deadness of sin into the life of righteousness through Christ. This resurrection power is a spiritual power that enables Christians to live and walk in newness of life in every area of life. We used to be spiritually dead, but now we are spiritually alive (Colossians 2:13).
You have not just been buried with Christ. You have also been raised with Him. Today, rise up through the newness of life you have in Him, no matter what comes your way.
Have a group of your friends or coworkers ever wanted to cut corners or participate in a sinful activity—and you were the only one saying no? When the godly voice is outnumbered, it can be challenging to speak up for righteousness.
We all have convictions that define who we are and determine our lifestyle and choices. We may like to think that these are a private matter, but in reality, they are constantly on display for all to see. As believers in Christ we live them out each day with our words and actions.
Since our convictions have a powerful influence, we should examine what ours are saying about us. Are they leading us to a righteous life in accordance with God’s will, or are they so weak that our life is dominated by the old fleshly nature?
Stumbling in sin will occur because we live amidst two kingdoms that are in constant conflict. On the one hand, there’s the pull of the world, and on the other, the pull of God. In other words, Satan throws temptations our way, but from our Father comes the appeal of holiness, peace, and joy in Christ.
Jesus taught us to, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). The way to do this is by spending time with our Father in prayer and in His Word
The battle is ongoing. And it rages not just in the realms of education, science, politics, and finances but also within every human heart. Yours and mine. To be successful in God’s eyes, it’s critical that we keep His priorities as our own and make continual course corrections to stay on track.