PSALM 4:1-3 – Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.
THEME OF THE DAY. SET APART FOR THE LORD. In today’s scripture, David is feeling the heat of various forms of persecution. He is living among a people who know no truth, speak lies, rebel against his authority, and slander him. And what does this man after God’s own heart do? He remembers the key truth of living for the Lord and exhibits confidence in God’s answering his pleas for help, even vindication. It is the former thing David does that is the focus of today’s nugget. We find this in the statement he makes ending this portion of scripture – “But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for Himself.” Before we break down the application of this truth, we need to probe our own hearts to see if we understand and believe this truth. The Christian life is all about ownership. Numerous times in the Psalms we read the authors proclaiming possession of God. The words “My God” appear fifty-six times. This theme of ownership also is reciprocated by our God to us. Here are two references. One from the Apostle Paul – “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The other from the Apostle Peter – “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). Ask the Lord to help us deepen our understanding of this cardinal truth of the Christian. We are not our own. We are bought, possessed, and set apart by and for God. Now the application. Being set apart for the Lord is towards at least four directions . . .
First, we are set apart to be in relationship with Him. We are saved to know God, to walk with God, to experience and enjoy God. This is a theme throughout the Bible. God set us apart for us to be in a living relationship with Him (2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1).
Secondly, we are set apart for the Lord to conform us into His likeness. As we were created in the image of God so we are re-created in Christ Jesus for that same purpose – For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers (Romans 8:29).
A third direction or purpose why the Lord set us apart for Him is for service. We are saved to know AND serve the Lord. A non-serving Christian is a Biblical contradiction – Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! (Psalm 100:2).
Finally, the Lord has set us apart for us to be with Him, literally, forever – Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4)
Set apart for the Lord. Think on this profound truth and its practical implications in our lives. It will bring much joy into our walks with Him who set us apart for Himself.
PRAYER: “Father, help me to live out what I am – set apart for You in relationship, conformity, and service.”
QUOTE: “To live entirely set apart for the Lord and His purposes is the fundamental truth in being a Christian.”