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Reading:                                     Psalm 40

 (Verses 11-17)

Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD;     

may your love and faithfulness always protect me.

For troubles without number surround me;     

my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.

They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me.

Be pleased to save me, LORD; come quickly, LORD, to help me.

May all who want to take my life be put to shame and confusion;

may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace.

May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” be appalled at their own shame.  

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;

may those who long for your saving help always say, 

“The LORD is great!”

 But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the LORD think of me.

You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay. (NIV)

Reflection

David begins Psalm 40 by praising the LORD for rescuing him from the slimy pit of the past. But David ends this psalm with a fresh appeal for God’s mercy. Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD may your love and faithfulness always protect me.

Monarch Butterfly -- David Kitz

Monarch Butterfly — David Kitz

As we begin a new year, it is only fitting that we take time to praise God for what He has done for us in the past. Let us never forget that the LORD’s faithfulness has brought us to this point. We are not where we are today because of our own cleverness or ability. Every talent we have is a gift from God; every breath we take is a gift from the Giver of Life.

Yet again David appeals for God’s salvation. Be pleased to save me, LORD; come quickly, LORD, to help me.

By the grace of God I have experienced an initial point of salvation, just like David, but my salvation needs to be renewed from time to time. We all need to experience fresh surges of God’s grace and love. Grace (charis) in the full New Testament sense means much more than just unmerited favour. It means we are recipients of God’s providential gifting and power to live a maximized life under His caring guidance. There’s something supernatural about grace. It goes beyond human ability or ingenuity because it comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. When we call out to Him as David did, we are tapping into an ocean full of help, strength and possibilities beyond fathoming.

May that grace, that charis of God, be with you and upon you in 2015.

Response: LORD God, I need you as I face the year ahead. Equip me with divine grace for each day through the love and power of Jesus. Amen.

Your Turn: Have you experienced God’s grace in the past year?