Salvation’s Kiss

Scripture

Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.   Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.  (Psalm 85:9-10)

Observation

Psalm 85 recalls how in the past the Lord has restored the fortunes of his people (vss. 1-3).  He forgave their sins and set aside his anger.  The psalmist is now asking the Lord to do so again (vss. 4-8).  He pleads for the Lord to revive them one more time and with his unfailing love to grant them salvation.  In verses 9-13 he states his confidence that salvation is near for those who fear the Lord.  Salvation brings four attributes of God together: love, faithfulness, righteousness and peace. The psalmist describes them as embracing and kissing.  This is a poetic word picture of salvation.  It affirms to us that no matter how separated we are from God, all who fear him and call on him will feel the warmth of this embrace.  Where there is salvation, God’s glory dwells.

Application

Sin separates me from God.  He is righteous and faithful.  He will do what he has to do to cause me to turn from my sin.  He may even display his anger toward me as a way of getting my attention.  When I acknowledge him and turn from my sin, his righteousness and faithfulness wrap around me from one side and his loving-mercy and peace wrap around me from the other to give me the warm embrace of salvation.  That is when I experience the fullness of the Lord’s glorious presence and pleasure.

Prayer

Lord God, you are holy, just and right.  I do not deserve to even be in your presence.  Yet, you have loved me and have brought me into your presence.  You are loving and merciful.  Thank you for moving toward me.  Thank you for embracing me with the embrace of salvation.  I love you.

Do Something about It! Really?

Over the past number of posts I have written about how we take in the Word of God.  We have used the Hand Illustration as our roadmap for this discussion.  This post will finish up by discussing Application.  James speaks to us about applying God’s word.  He tells us not to be merely hearers of the word, but doers (James 1:22-26).

When we hear, read, study, memorize and meditate on the Scriptures, we should always be asking God to reveal to us how he would have us respond.  We could ask these questions:

  • Is there a sin to confess?
  • Is there a promise to receive?
  • I there an attitude to change?
  • Is there an example to follow?
  • Is there a prayer to pray?
  • Is there an error to avoid?
  • Is there a truth to avoid?
  • Is there a truth to believe?
  • Is there something to thank God for?

Too often we pressure ourselves to get a specific thing to do as a result of our daily devotional time.  Let’s think about that.  Say you have daily devotions 4 days a week, 52 weeks a year.  If you expect a specific application each day, that would be 208 applications in a year.  Yikes!  What a burden that would be.  My experience tells me that God doesn’t bombard me with that many things to do or change in my life over such a relatively short period of time.  Instead, he focuses on one or two things at a time, usually over an extended period of time.  He knows change will take time to work into my life.

As I journal regularly, more often than not I find the application is not so much a thing to do, but a truth about God to absorb into my thinking.  So I find myself paraphrasing that truth as I journal my application.  Check out my SOAP journal entry on Psalm 29:1-2 as an example.  Notice that in the application section I am personalizing my understanding of the splendor of God’s majesty.  There is nothing I can “do” that will add to God’s majesty.  The important thing is to acknowledge it, rest in it, and worship God with a greater appreciation.  By journaling about his majesty, I am working this wonderful reality deep into my soul.

What application has God revealed to you recently?

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