Mark D. Roberts

Mark D. Roberts


Sunday Inspiration from The High Calling: Renew My Life!

posted by Mark D. Roberts

Renew My Life!

I long to obey your commandments!
     Renew my life with your goodness.

Today is the first Sunday of the new year. Thus, before we return to
our normal walk through the Psalms (we’re up to Psalm 21), I thought I
might focus today’s reflection on the theme of renewal.

Psalm 119, the longest of the Psalms with 176 verses, celebrates the
truth and power of God’s revelation. In many and various ways, the
psalm writer says, “I long to obey your commandments” (119:40). Verse 40
includes a short prayer: “Renew my life with your goodness.” The Hebrew
word translated here as goodness ” is tzedaqah, which is often
rendered as “righteousness.” The whole prayer might be translated
literally, “Make me live in your righteousness.”

So, how does God’s righteousness renew us? For the psalmist, the
answer to this question lies in the power of the law when activated
through our obedience. God has revealed in his Word the very best way to
live. As it says elsewhere in Psalm 119, God’s Word is “a lamp to guide
my feet and a light for my path” (119:105). Thus, if we walk according
to the righteousness of God’s revelation, we will experience a fuller,
richer life. In this sense, our life will be renewed through God’s
righteousness.

From a New Testament perspective, God’s own righteousness is
revealed through Jesus Christ. In fact, according to 2 Corinthians 5:21,
“For our sake [God] made [Christ] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in
him we might become the righteousness of God” (NRSV). When we put our
trust in Christ as our Savior, our relationship with God is made right.
Along with this righteousness comes new life in God’s love and grace.
Thus, a few verses earlier in 2 Corinthians, we read, “[A]nyone who
belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new
life has begun!” (5:17).

As we begin a new year, we would do well to join the writer of Psalm
119 in asking God to renew us through his righteousness. May we pay
attention to God’s Word so that we might walk in the ways of life. And
may we live each day in a right relationship with God through Christ,
receiving God’s mercies, which are new every morning, and sharing them
with others, our family and friends, our colleagues and competitors.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: In what ways have
you already experienced God’s newness through Christ? In what facets of
your life would you like to experience the renewing power of God in
2011?

PRAYER: Gracious God, as I begin a new year, I
acknowledge that life is found in you. Thank you for the life you have
given me, not just biological life, but also abundant life, eternal
life, life in all of its fullness through Christ.

O Lord, with the psalmist, I ask you to renew my life by your
righteousness. By your Word and Spirit, guide me in life-giving paths.
May the righteousness I have been given in Christ be that which centers
my life. In this new year, may I grow in my relationship with you, so
that I may know you more truly, serve you more completely, and love you
more fully.

All praise be to you, O God, because you are making all things new . . . even me. Amen.

_________________________________________________

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This devotional comes from The High Calling: Everyday Conversations about Work, Life, and God (www.thehighcalling.org). You can read my Daily Reflections there, or sign up to have them sent to your email inbox each day. This website contains lots of encouragement for people who are trying to live out their faith in the workplace. The High Calling is associated with Laity Lodge, where I work.



  • http://flipperthedolphin flipperthedolphin

    Not bad, Mark. I think the wonderful thing about Beliefnet,is that wide range of views is encouraged. As for abundant life/eternal life, if the scriptures are read seriously, and, if there is such a word, contemplatory, one will find that all these things:abundant life/eternal life/everlasting life most likely stemmed from an ancient Jewish notion, as an affront to the Roman elites of power and wealth. So Jesus himself wasn’t so much concerned with that, himself rather he was most likelly refering to life in the here and now.
    Peace, and a Happy New Year to you.
    Flipper.

  • Roy Hubbard

    My father and yours the lord Jesus Christ walks with us all though day or nite. When the tunnel is dark, behind you shines light.
    Like when you are differnt be it mentaly,physicaly or emotionly
    people tease you or make fun of you and it hurts bad.
    You turn to the lord for advise and he says.I have created all equal!
    So no one is better then the other.

  • Vicki

    Its interesting how at times in my life I look for things of God when I’m at a low spot and read something that I have been looking for God to place something in my life to help me along the WAY ; hes always faithful to do so… I asked a friend to pray for god to send the comforter and this was how he answered… he knew what I was looking for… Praise God for leaving his words to guide me on lives path… without him I am nothing.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYk5dwG0y1Q majorshadow

    Song Title: Hosanna (Christain Contemp)
    Subject: Christian Contemporay song about Jesus’ arrival at Jerusalem. Song based on Matthew Chapter 21 1-11. Palm Sunday. Video is the lyric sheet synchronized to the audio recording.
    Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYk5dwG0y1Q

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