One of things that grieves me the most is seeing people who are not passionate about Jesus. I remember a time when I neglected to live for Jesus, when I was neglecting the Word, neglecting a lot of things. One day priorities changed. I had a thirst for Christ Jesus. I wanted nothing more. If I didn’t get to read my Bible, I felt starved. If I hadn’t taken the time to pray, I felt lacking.
Paul wrote about everything being worthless when in comparison to knowing Jesus. Paul noted how he discarded everything so he could gain Christ. The person who sold everything to buy a field with hidden treasure had the same desire Paul had for Jesus (Matthew 13:44). Nothing else mattered.
Today, look at your priorities. Is everything worthless compared to Jesus Christ? How do you value your relationship with Jesus? Are you putting things before God? What matters most to you?
“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ” – Philippians 3:8 [NLT]
I was driving my son to the dentist when the truck in front of my van suddenly slowed down, but there were no brake lights. As we got to the fork in the road, the turn signal apparently didn’t work either. Without the signals, driving is not as easy. The signals are a way for drivers of the vehicles to communicate to each other. This makes it clear as to the direction the drivers are taking, and when a vehicle is slowing down or stopping.
Signals are nice. I prefer signals. In life, we have signals for driving. We also have signals (or warnings) when the stove burners are still on (or hot) or when bad weather is approaching. There are other signals too, signals that we have from reading God’s Word. As we read the Bible, we receive the Word of God. The Holy Spirit will remind us of His Word as we do life. We will better know how to navigate in life when we are receptive to Him. We will know when to turn, when to hit the brakes, and when we are off course.
Today, dig into God’s Word. Understand that if you aren’t in His Word, the Spirit cannot remind you of what you received. Often we say God is silent, but we don’t intentionally pursue Him. God is not hiding my friend. If you want to know Him, seek Him. If you want to know His will for your life, walk with Him. Spend time in His presence. Sit with Him. Converse with Him. Engage with Him. Seek and you will find.
“You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13 [NIV]
I haven’t been writing as much as usual. There are times when I’ve gone a few weeks without writing. Some people get on my case when there is a devotion drought, but I only write when God inspires me to share something. Otherwise there is no writing. This weekend it rained so our Independence Day picnic was cancelled. I spent the day in God’s Word—the entire day! It didn’t take long for God to say, “Tania, why don’t we do this so much anymore”?
I have a lot of devotions to write now, and a renewed spirit. Remember friends, God wants to share life with you. Sometimes in the busyness of the day, we spend all the time speaking and we don’t listen for God to speak. At times, we don’t focus on Him or His Word because we continue to pile on more things to get through our day. Or we allow the noise of the world to drown out the voice of God.
Today take some time to read God’s Word. Read more than usual. Read ready to hear from God. Read expectantly. Pray. Enjoy some quiet time with your Father. Sit back and ask Him what He wants to show you.
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13 [ESV]
I have a very bad memory. I write everything down and I use technology to remind me of everything short of breathing. Many days I will find myself noticing my hands are dry. It is then I remember that I did not put lotion on my hands. I have lotion—lots of lotion. But it never ceases to amaze me how easy it is for me to neglect to put it on my hands.
I have a shelf full of Bibles, each a different type or a different translation. But they will not do anything for me unless I actually take one off the shelf and read it. Nor will it help much if I neglect to pray and seek the Lord’s will. It is so easy to neglect what Jesus gave us as a Comforter, as a Helper. It is so easy to neglect His Truth.
Today is a great day to start making a habit of connecting with your Lord and Savior. Did you know experts say it takes about ten days to make something a habit? As you continue to spend time with God, in His Word and in prayer, you will be more aware and responsive to His presence. Before you know it, you will spend more time acknowledging His presence and you will have a great relationship with your Father. I’m going to go put on some more lotion, as I am realizing I forgot once again. Then let us open up His Word and seek His face.
“Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.” – Psalm 105:4 [NLT]
When a danger is called “huge” it should not be taken lightly. In this case, the people were being warned of the danger of associating with a country that worshiped false gods. The concern was that by living closely with these people, the people of Israel would begin to accept some of the practices and culture that was against the Word of God.
Jesus ate with sinners. He spent time with many people who were not pure. However as we read the Gospel, it is clear that Jesus did not spend all of His time with these people. He spent a lot of time with His Father in prayer. He spent a lot of time teaching and preaching as He traveled along with His disciples. He was so engrossed with His mission and He spent much time with the Word as was demonstrated during His time in the wilderness and while teaching. He often recited Scripture. It was written on His heart. It was at the core of His being.
If we do not go out in the world to share the Gospel, then the Gospel won’t get shared. We cannot isolate ourselves from the world to stay safe from temptation. Even in isolation, you will be tempted. Temptation is everywhere. But you can be cautious and keep yourself from spending too much time around “huge danger.” Paul wrote about focusing on what is worthy of praise. You can opt to take in a lot of negative and find out that what you take in will eventually come out. Or you can opt to focus on Him and the right, the pure, the lovely and find that it begins to pour from you.
“Don’t make any deals with them or their gods. They are not to stay in the same country with you lest they get you to sin by worshiping their gods. Beware. That’s a huge danger.”
– Exodus 23:32-33 [MSG]
I was at my desk calling out to my daughter. It was very loud in the next room but I heard a response. I responded only to hear laughter. My son was pretending to be my daughter. The noise level made it hard to hear and it was not so easy to detect what was happening. He found it hilarious. I told him to turn down the television.
We have had much advancement in technology to make it easier to connect with people. The downfall of technology is the fact that there is a lot of noise. Nearly everywhere you go you will find noise. If you are at the supermarket, you’ll hear the beeps from the cash registers. You will hear the self checkout area’s robotic register voices conversing with customers. You will hear music sometimes interrupted by announcements over the PA system. You will hear customers catching up in the middle of an aisle while others have hour long conversations on their cell phone as slowly making their way through the store. You will hear the sound of boxes being opened to restock shelves and the rattling of shopping carts. This is just one example.
Today, look around and see where you can turn down some noise in your life. It is important to have some quiet time to spend with God—time with no distractions so you can hear properly. If you do not have that time, consider a way to accomplish this quiet time today.
“Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.” – Matthew 14:22-23 [ESV]
I had an important meeting so I went through the motions of getting ready. I selected a suitable outfit. I had everything prepared. I got everything complete and went to the car to head to the appointment. About halfway there I had a horrible question in my mind—a question that many of us ask at one time or another. Did I put on my deodorant? Then I visually went through my previous actions in my head and concluded that I neglected one of the most important things. I then began plan B—praying that I would not sweat so much in the 95 degree temperatures.
Some of us have had the good fortune to require a pit stop to a convenience store or department store to pick up some deodorant because we forgot one of the most important steps of the morning routine. Some of us do not realize it until everyone can realize it. But there’s something that we too often miss that is most important—spending some daily time with God.
Now God wants to be a part of your life 24/7 which means that we don’t give Him ten minutes in the morning and that is that; however, we should dedicate some quiet time each day in the morning to begin the day. Start out with God and continue the day with God. There’s no better way. I’d rather miss the deodorant than miss time with the Lord. The same goes for my coveted cup of morning coffee. Start your day with Him—continue it with Him—finish it out with Him! Now that’s a good day!
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” – Mark 1:35 [NIV]