Daily Devotions

"I Commit My Spirit"

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"Into your hand I commit my spirit." (Psalm 31:5)

Even with Jesus' last breath, he is quoting Scripture. Jesus is quoting Psalm 31:5 when he cries out in Luke 23:46, "Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, 'Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.' Having said this, he breathed his last." While Jesus appropriately quotes this passage in death, Psalm 31:5 is also a psalm for living.

According to The New Interpreter's Bible Commentary, The word "spirit" in Hebrew is "ruah." Along with "spirit," "ruah" can also mean "breath." Breath is virtually synonymous with "life." "The psalmist says, in effect, 'I put my life in your hand,' or 'I turn my life over to you." Whoever faithfully reads or quotes this passage is relying on God's ability to preserve their life, whether on earth or in heaven. It is trusting in God's power and faithfulness, to restore and heal, now and for all eternity.

As part of your prayer today, remember loved ones who have died. As you picture each one's last moment of life, picture saying on their behalf, "Into your hand I commit my spirit." Then, picture the hand of God reaching down and lifting them up to heaven. Then, say a prayer of thanksgiving for God's love and resurrection promise.


Lift You Out

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"I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up, and did not let my foes rejoice over me." (Ps. 30:1)

In the first thirty psalms, it is amazing how many times the writers speak of their suffering at the hand of "enemies." Living a life of faith does not free one from life's hardships. One might even say that, perhaps, hardships and enemies are more prevalent amongst people of faith. Where the spirit is moving, evil often attempts to dismantle good deeds.

In the first verse, the word "extol" more literally means "to lift up" or "to lift out." Extol can be used in the Hebraic verb form "to lift out" as one would lift out water from a well. God can "lift out" your life from the "pit" of "Sheol." By extolling God, we can be "lifted out" of our misfortunes of life by the loving hand of God.

As you pray today, be brave enough to contemplate the misfortunes and even enemies in your past and present. Offer these painful memories to God, so God can "lift you out" of your despair, and bring you peace. This is not a peace from emotion or experience, but a peace that comes with walking beside God through life's challenges.

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