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A poetic picture of a God-honoring life

January 31, 2023

Daily Scripture

Psalm 15:1-5

1 Who can live in your tent, LORD?
Who can dwell on your holy mountain?
2 The person who
lives free of blame,
does what is right,
and speaks the truth sincerely;
3 who does no damage with their talk,
does no harm to a friend,
doesn’t insult a neighbor;
4 someone who despises
those who act wickedly,
but who honors those
who honor the LORD;
someone who keeps their promise even when it hurts;
5 someone who doesn’t lend money with interest,
who won’t accept a bribe against any innocent person.
Whoever does these things will never stumble.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Psalm 15 poetically guarded faith in God’s mercy from a hazard that scholar John Goldingay saw limiting Christian witness. Goldingay said we “keep religion and morality in separate compartments; there can be strife and backbiting between the members of a congregation, but they feel no unease about continuing in worship (possibly separately). The people involved in high-profile corruption and fraud cases and acts of slaughter often turn out to be respected members of Christian churches.”

  • We don’t sing words from Psalms like today’s as often as we do the happy passages that exclaim over God’s goodness. But today’s reading is not a one-off kind of message in Psalms (cf. Psalm 4:2-3, 34:11-16, quoted in 1 Peter 3:8-12). Review the hurtful actions Psalm 15 listed. How could God’s kingdom be good, much less happy and worth being a part of, if God shrugged off actions like that as “no big deal”? Can you trust God’s mercy without becoming indifferent to lying?
  • Psalm 15 “shows the behavior and lifestyle of those who depend on God and have been shaped by God’s Instruction…. The temple is a symbol of God’s presence, so the question may inquire about the shape of life as lived in the presence of God—that is, as God intends…. The list of behaviors covers attitude, speech, and action.” ** Does your loyalty to godly integrity include all times you are in God’s presence (i.e. any time, even on your tech devices), not just in church?

Lord Jesus, when I was a kid, I learned that keeping my fingers crossed made it “okay” for me to use deceptive words. Teach me how to avoid a grown-up version of that kind of thinking as I speak. Amen.

GPS Insights

 Lydia Kim

Lydia Kim

Lydia Kim serves as one of the pastors of Connection and Care at Resurrection Leawood. An avid believer that growing in faith pairs well with fellowship and food, she is always ready for recommendations on local restaurants and coffee shops.

I read the passage three times to prepare to write today’s GPS. Intentionally reading Scripture is part of a Christian practice called lectio divina. It is where you open your heart to what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you through Scripture by reading, reflecting, and responding.

The first time I read through the passage, I thought, “What a great list! It tells you what to do and what not to do.” The second time I read through it, I thought, “Okay, a lot of this doesn’t apply to me. I don’t act wickedly. Well, not on purpose. I don’t damage people with my talk or hurt my friends or neighbor. I think.”

By my third reading, I felt like a deflated balloon. I was hit with the reality that I stumble all the time! I hurt people I love when I’m hurt, hangry, or having a bad day. Maybe it isn’t intentional, but I do hurt others. And if I’m really honest with myself, on my worst days, there are times I have intentionally done the very things God asks us not to do in this passage.

In response to what I learned, I prayed and confessed the times when I missed the mark this past week. Afterward, I felt God reminding me of grace. I was still loved, and God would never leave.

You see, God knows we don’t always get it right. God still loves us anyway. God sent Jesus to show us exactly what it looks like to live a God-honoring life and sent the Holy Spirit to keep working in us because of God’s great love for us. It’s not always easy to live this way, especially in a world where hitting “enter” can cause great harm to those online and offline. However, we are not alone. God is with us, ready to guide us if we let him.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* John Goldingay, Psalms for Everyone, Part 1: Psalms 1–72. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013, p. 47.

** J. Clinton McCann, study note on Psalm 15:2-5 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 853 OT.