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God’s handwork: “honesty and justice”

February 1, 2023

Daily Scripture

Psalm 111:7-10

7 God’s handiwork is honesty and justice;
all God’s rules are trustworthy—
8 they are established always and forever:
they are fulfilled with truth and right doing.
9 God sent redemption for his people;
God commanded that his covenant last forever.
Holy and awesome is God’s name!
10 Fear of the LORD is where wisdom begins;
sure knowledge is for all who keep God’s laws.
God’s praise lasts forever!

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Yesterday we read Psalm 15, naming many things God’s people do or avoid. Psalm 111 showed God’s “handiwork”—what God has done and keeps doing for us as we choose to be God’s people. “Fear of the Lord” confuses or puts off many people. This may help: “Fear means not fright but rather awe and respect that include commitment and obedience, as the rest of the verse suggests (see Proverbs 1:7; 9:10; Job 28:28). This Hebrew word is usually translated ‘honor’ (see Psalm 112:1).” *

  • The psalmist described God’s handiwork as “honesty and justice.” As we deal with the flood of messages that come across our social media screens, whether political, business-oriented or personal, the guidelines in Proverbs 12:17-22 can be timelessly helpful in sorting out what to trust from what to disbelieve. How do you decide what, and how quickly, to believe from the wide variety of tech sources seeking your attention? (Also keep Proverbs 21:6 in mind.)
  • “‘The fear of the LORD’ is better understood as reverent awe. Indeed, the Lord is ‘fearsome,’ but not in the sense that some want to run away from or escape from God’s presence. Rather, we are called to approach the Lord with a sense of awe while in the presence of the holy.” ** Have you had a parent, teacher, coach, or friend you wouldn’t have dreamed of lying to? How should God’s constant presence shape you in finding and sharing only reliable ideas on tech (or other) sources?

O God, let me never lose a sense of awe at the privilege you offer me to accept your love and to walk through my life in your presence, with you as my Lord and guide. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Gwyn Thomas

Gwyn Thomas

Gwyn Thomas joined the Resurrection staff in 2021 and serves in donor relations. She’s a Boston native and moved to Kansas City in 2020 when her husband Blake accepted a call at Resurrection West to lead their student ministries! Her favorite pastimes include pottery, hiking, frisbee, trying new restaurants, and spending time with Blake and their large orange cat, Tuna.

For a Christian, identifying as honest and just are essentially nonnegotiable. Especially as it pertains to following God’s rules, as today’s Scripture mentions (Psalm 111:7). When we are honest, we are honoring our family and friends with truth. Honesty is transparent and is followed with trustworthiness. And when we are just, we are being honest in a way that requires action. Let’s take what’s known as God’s Golden rule as an example: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Luke 6:31). First, we are required to honestly examine our lives and ask ourselves if we are living the life Jesus intended us to when he spoke these words into existence. Do we treat others with the same kindness, fairness, gentleness and self-respect we’d expect for ourselves? This second part is so important because to live into justice, we must put some action behind our self-reflection. Justice is what God requires of us to lift one another up. If we stop at honesty, then we are missing the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus!

Today is the first day of Black History Month. While this month serves as an opportunity to remember significant black heroes that have changed history, there’s an opportunity for it to be so much more than that. God’s desire to have an honest and just world is not the reality for so many of God’s people. This last week, the news and social media accounts shared the story of another Black life lost to unimaginable violence at the hands of the justice system: Tyre Nichols. I did not know him, but I grieve his life and what it must be like for his family to know that the video of their brother, son, and dad is circling through media outlets for the public to make their own judgments about what was right, wrong, fair, or just. It is truly so heartbreaking to mourn these lives over and over again. We are reminded during black history month how our honesty can be lived out by our actions, especially in how we can learn from, and support, black communities.

Did you know we have an entire landing page on our website full of resources about racial justice? Also, if you’re not already a part of it, I’d love to introduce you to our Allies for Racial Justice Ministry which was formed in partnership with St James United Methodist Church in 2016. Since then, numerous events and collaborations have been held to “forge authentic relationships to eliminate the existing racial divide in our communities and churches” as their mission statement says. If you’re thinking to yourself “I don’t know where to start,” consider checking out their Go Deeper page which is full of books, videos, small group resources, and more. Thank you for being a community where we love deeply and widely and advocate for God’s beloved children. We are an amazing, vibrant and diverse church and are equipped to do amazing things in our world and community thanks to our differences.

This month, may we be challenged in loving all our neighbors well in our call towards honesty and justice.

© 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.

* J. Clinton McCann, study note on Psalm 111:10 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 967 OT.

** Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford, study note on Proverbs 1:7 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 1007 OT.