Subject: Redeemer Downtown Devotional: Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost - September 9, 2012

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Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost - September 9, 2012

These devotionals are to help you prepare for each Sunday to come in the Christian Calendar.* 

[1] I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
  to you, O LORD, I will make music.

[2] I will ponder the way that is blameless.
  Oh when will you come to me?
I will walk with integrity of heart
  within my house;

[3] I will not set before my eyes
  anything that is worthless.
I hate the work of those who fall away;
  it shall not cling to me.

[4] A perverse heart shall be far from me;
  I will know nothing of evil.

[5] Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly
  I will destroy.
Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart
  I will not endure.

[6] I will look with favor on the faithful in the land,
  that they may dwell with me;
he who walks in the way that is blameless
  shall minister to me.

[7] No one who practices deceit
  shall dwell in my house;
no one who utters lies
  shall continue before my eyes.

[8] Morning by morning I will destroy
  all the wicked in the land,
cutting off all the evildoers
  from the city of the LORD.
Psalm 101 (ESV)
Throughout the psalms, the psalmists speak of the place of the heart in life and worship. Our deepest desires are expressed from our hearts, the place from which emotions are poured out and our wills are exercised. It is also the place from which we show forth a life of love for God and neighbor. But the heart is not merely the place from which our emotions and feelings come; rather, the heart is the center of our being, of everything that we are. No wonder that David proclaims, “I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart” (Ps 138:1).

Remarkably, in Psalm 101 David reflects on more than just his role as the king (v. 6, “I will look with favor on the faithful in the land”; v.8, “I will destroy all the wicked in the land”), but also on his heart’s disposition. The word “integrity” comes from the same root as the word “integer.” Thus integrity of heart (v. 2, “I will walk with integrity of heart within my house”) means more than honesty; it means wholeness and undividedness of life. It is David’s desire that his whole heart be one of uncompromising and undivided devotion to God, not solely through his actions as a king who judges evil and cares for the needy within his kingdom, but also as a man who is just in character and loves mercy in his heart. David’s concern is not merely for the wholeness of his kingdom, but for the wholeness of his self in love and service to God.

Beyond success, accomplishment, or competence, David’s life reminds us that we are called to lives of integrity, loyalty, and devotion. And this is nothing less than what we see in our Savior, “the Amen, the faithful and true witness” (Rev 3:14), whose life was defined not merely by the work He did on our behalf, but a life of devotion to God that led Him to give His life for us. Are our lives characterized by that same integrity of heart? Has the reality of Jesus’ Christ undivided love for us created in us an undivided love for Him?
John C. Lin, Downtown Lead Pastor

Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Collect** from The Book of Common Prayer

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