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Daily Devotional: Monday, June 26 - Our Focus Matters

“Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart.” — Psalm 32:11

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The Baseball Hall of Fame emphasizes a player’s positive stats. We might be shocked if we found out how many fielding errors were made by Hall of Famers. For example, Cal Ripken Jr. made 294 errors during his 21-year MLB career. In 1984, he made 25 errors in one season. Few people remember Ripken’s errors.

But in our everyday lives, why do we tend to hold grudges about the little mistakes people make and not focus more on the good people do?

What kind of man was King David? He was a shepherd, a Godly man, a warrior, moody, brave, dishonest, angry, forgiving, a scoundrel, a writer, a musician and a prophet. On any given day, people would have completely different ideas of who David was as they listened to him talk and watched his actions. Perhaps David wished his story was over after he defeated Goliath so he would have never been embarrassed by his failure to live up to God’s standards in the middle of his life.

Just as our lives are a mixture of good and bad, the Bible tells the best and the worst of each person’s life. As a young man, David honored his earthly parents and also his Heavenly Father. He was humble and careful about how he behaved in public and when nobody saw him except God. We generally get in less trouble when we live with a humble attitude. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

Everybody considered David great when his focus was on God and not on himself. During most of his time as king of Israel, the nation prospered. When he neglected his duty to go out to war and sought his own personal comfort, he disobeyed God and was responsible for the untimely death of Uriah, a loyal soldier to the king. It shocked the nation for such a good man to sin in such a selfish way. You can read the full story in 2 Samuel 11.

When the prophet Nathan confronted David, he was probably afraid because David could order his execution for holding a king accountable. But David admitted his sin, made no excuses, and pleaded for God’s grace. “Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord'” (2 Samuel 12:13). David knew he deserved to be cast away forever, but the Lord provided forgiveness and pardon (though his actions did not go without consequence).

David celebrated God’s steadfast love because God’s abiding commitment to us is our only hope when we fall short of God’s standards, and we all do. “Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart” (Psalm 32:11).

Always keep your eyes on the abiding hope found in God, even when you fall short. God honors the humble and repentant!

— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia

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