June 19-23


The Character You Possess

Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind. For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness. – Psalm 26:1-3 (ESV)

According to medical authorities, walking is one of the most profitable forms of physical exercise. It stimulates the heart and lungs, strengthens the bones and muscles, increases blood flow throughout the body, and reportedly contributes to the loss of excess weight. Because of its multiple values, Americans have been encouraged to leave their cars in the garage and participate more frequently in the exercise of walking. A Television commercial, some time ago, reminded us that “walking makes the good life better.”

Walking with God makes your spiritual life even better. In Psalm 26, David describes what it means to walk with God. In verses 1-3, David highlights the life of character that accompanies someone who is walking with God. This is a life that walks with integrity, faith in God, and the faithfulness of God.


What are some health benefits of walking as a form of exercise? What are some spiritual benefits of walking with God?


Thank God for His invitation for you to walk with Him through life. Ask God to grow your character to reflect His character within you.


The Company You Keep

I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites. I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked.  – Psalm 26:4-5 (ESV)

A Peanuts cartoon showed Peppermint Patty talking to Charlie Brown in which she said, “Guess what, Chuck? The first day of school, and I got sent to the principal’s office. It was your fault, Chuck.” Charlie Brown responds, “My fault? How could it be my fault? Why do you say everything is my fault?” To which she declares, “You’re my friend, aren’t you, Chuck? Then you should have been a better influence on me.”

One of the ways you can walk with God is by walking with others who want to walk with God. In Psalm 26, David makes it clear that he doesn’t keep close relationships with people who practice evil. George Washington once wrote, “Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your reputation. For it’s better to be alone than in bad company.” William Gladstone said, “Choose wisely your companions, for a young man’s companions, more than his food or clothes, his home or his parents, make him what he is.”


1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.” When have you been influenced by “bad company?” Who are the godly influences in your life?


Praise God for the people He has sent into your life that encourage your walk with God. Ask God to show you any relationships you have that are pulling you away from Him and to help you change their influence on you.


 What You Avoid

I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites. I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked. – Psalm 26:4-5 (ESV)

Pastor Tim Smith wrote: Alan was my prayer partner at a previous church and he tells the story of going white water rafting on a Christian retreat. He said he always got stuck being the captain of the boat and sure enough for the 4th year in a row, he was named captain. So his job was to direct the men in the boat to paddle away from the rocks which lay in their path. The problem was that he was so focused on the task, he never really got to enjoy the ride.

This year, he had a huge man in the back of the boat who was 6’8″ and 275 pounds. When he rowed, the boat really moved. But the problem was that instead of rowing, he kept looking up at the mountains and every five minutes or so would cry out: “O man, this view makes this trip worth it. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful!” So Alan would look up and see the most awesome view in the world, a scene he had not noticed until this man changed his view. (Tim Smith)

The more you focus on God the more God will help you avoid the rocks of sin and temptation. The psalmist, in Psalm 26, was determined to avoid anyone or anything that would have an ungodly influence on his life. The psalmist listed falsehood, hypocrisy, evil, and wickedness as the things and people he was avoiding.


What is on your list of things that you know you need to avoid as you walk with God? Why does focusing on God help you with avoiding what’s sinful?


Lift up your eyes to heaven and praise God for His beauty. Ask God to remove any stumbling rocks that are in your way.


What Do You Allow?

I wash my hands in innocence and go around your altar, O Lord, proclaiming thanksgiving aloud, and telling all your wondrous deeds. 8 O Lord, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your glory dwells. – Psalm 26:6-8 (ESV)

Two cows were grazing alongside a highway when a tank truck of milk on its way to the distributor happened to pass. On one side of the truck in big red letters was a sign that read, “Pasteurized, homogenized, standardized, Vitamin A added.” One cow turned to the other and remarked, “Makes you feel sort of inadequate, doesn’t it?”

High standards can make anyone feel inadequate. In Psalm 26:6-8, David pursued purity in his own life. David turns to his own deeds and says that he is washed his hands in innocence. The picture of washing his hands is a picture of not allowing any impurities in his life. David will do anything in his power to keep away from those who are not innocent and who are evildoers. David decided to follow Jesus and allow things and people into His life that would promote his spiritual growth.


The last few days we focused on negative people and things that pull us away from God. Today, let’s focus on the people and things that draw us closer to God. What are some spiritual disciplines in your life that draw you closer to God?


Praise Jesus for His holiness and innocence. Ask God to show you any spiritual discipline He wants you to focus on for your growth.


The Commitment You Make

But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me. My foot stands on level ground; in the great assembly I will bless the Lord. –  Psalm 26:11-12 (ESV)

David made a clear commitment to follow God in Psalm 26:11-12. Regardless of what others decided, David writes, “But as for me.” David made a commitment to walk with God in integrity and to stand with God. David realized the best choice for his life was to walk with God.

John Stott writes, “And when the choice is seen for what it is – a choice between Creator and creature, between the glorious personal God and a miserable thing called money, between worship and idolatry – it seems inconceivable that anybody could make the wrong choice. For now, it is a question not just of comparative durability and comparative benefit, but of comparative worth: the intrinsic worth of the One and the intrinsic worthlessness of the other.”


Take a minute and compare a life of walking with God and a life of walking without God. What are some of the valuable differences?


Praise God for the value He brings to your life when you walk with Him. Ask God to show you any areas of your life where your commitment to Him is not clear