February 11, 2009

Instructing Grace

Psalm 25

Good and upright is the LORD, therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
Psalm 25:8


What an amazing statement this is! Because God is good and upright, we would expect him to choose only righteous people to be his students. After all, the best universities maintain the highest entrance standards. Wouldn’t God expect as much from his applicants? Evidently not. “He instructs sinners.” It’s open enrollment in God’s academy. God loves even the most difficult students, the slowest learners.

David realizes that he meets the requirements. “Forgive my iniquity, though it is great.” God also “guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” It sounds like God is looking for humble sinners.

That’s probably why Jesus had such difficulty with the Pharisees. They were sinners, but they certainly were not humble sinners. Jesus’ disciples were sinners too, but at least they were sometimes humble!

Sin can harden our hearts, but it can also humble our hearts. When we stumble, we ought to be humble. You see, “God opposes the proud but gives grace [and instruction] to the humble” (James 4:6). As Martin Luther said, “God alone, through his Word, instructs the heart so that it may come to know how sinful it is.”

Remember, God’s classroom is in session all day, every day of the year. And if we skip class, God comes looking for us. It’s all part of his grace.

God of all grace, we thank you today for instructing us in your ways and seeking us out when we stray from you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!