One of my favorite things about writing down my devotionals is that I can come back to them and see how much (or in this case, how little) I’ve grown. I wrote this in 2011 – and the words convicted me this morning every bit as much as three years ago.
1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Kings 19:11-12 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
John 7:4 For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.
What a great verse. So incredibly appropriate for me today. Somehow, I mixed up my daily readings and did today’s devotional yesterday. So, I’m doing what should have been yesterday’s today. But God knew I needed this exact verse this morning. It’s always amazing to me when I see so clearly that the Lord is showing me something. When He meets me right where I’m at and opens His word to me.
This premise is pretty basic. If you are willing to be openly known, you won’t be doing things secretly. Another translation talks about being a public figure and having secrets. You only need to look at Tiger Woods to know how that turns out. Continue reading
John 11:5-6 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.
What an odd way to show love. Isaiah 55:8-9 says that God’s ways are not like ours. These two little verses in John certainly demonstrate that. It’s pretty clear here that although Jesus loved this family, He knew the end from the beginning and needed to wait it out those forty-eight hours. He delayed. Stayed put. Let things take their course. During those two days, His friend died. Lazarus’s sisters mourned, felt pain and loss. Probably wondered why the Lord didn’t respond to their message. Questioned if Jesus really cared for them as they previously thought. I know I would. Jesus didn’t show up in their town until His friend had been dead 4 days. That’s a long time. Continue reading
1 Samuel 15:22 But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
We view obedience as such a nasty word. We require it of children, so once we reach adulthood we feel vindicated in stomping our foot and saying “Nobody is going to tell me what to do anymore!”. Sometimes we disobey God with the best of intentions. We think we are pleasing Him with our efforts. That thru service to Him, sacrifice in our lives and giving to others we’ll be bringing pleasure to the Lord. Other times it’s more blatant – like the king of Israel in chapter 15 of Samuel. He knew what God had commanded him to do, but in his own pride, thought he knew better. The spoils of war were not the offering God asked for, but Saul thought they would be a good enough replacement for the obedience he would not give to the Lord. Many times I bring my own version of “the fat of rams” to God as an example of how much I love Him – when all He’s asked of me is to hear His voice and obey it. God doesn’t ask for showy gifts or lives lived in utter sacrifice and deprivation. All He wants is for us to be His kids. To know Him and follow His guidance in our lives. Continue reading
Hebrews 4:13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
I read once that integrity is doing the right thing – even when nobody is watching. The fact is, it’s really difficult for our private thoughts and actions to mirror those up for public consumption. Even harder for me than achieving personal integrity is the unrest I feel when in my relationships with others, things don’t add up. There’s a disquieting of my mind as I try to think thru conversations and understand the motivation of others. There are things in my life I don’t want to talk about with others. Areas I’m ashamed of. While I can be honest with myself about where my personal convictions stand, I will never know the whole picture behind someone else’s actions. I cannot possibly hope to understand what drives others responses in life. The full truth of where they are. But God does. Continue reading
1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
So, I understand the couple of verses before this – where Paul is basically saying that non-Christians are going to behave as such. And that those of us living a life following after Christ should not expect anything more. That to remove yourself from the company of such people is not right. That it basically defeats the entire purpose of reaching the unsaved in the world. Ok. Got it.
Verse eleven has me totally confused however. After reading this passage, I’ve decided that it is at least partly to blame for some treatment I’ve received from Christian “brothers and sisters”. As much as I don’t believe I’m any of these things, certain people think I belong amongst this list. So, what am I supposed to do? Huh? How am I to respond when I’m treated like there is justification for dissociations just like this verse describes? “Don’t associate with these people. Don’t even eat with them.” Continue reading