Devotion


In Psalm 119:130, it states, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”  When we open our Bible to read, it seems as if God is shining a light into our minds.  Every word, each character, all the prayers and the acts of faith we visualize, from the word of God, is an opening by which light is let into our seeking souls.
 
Will you humble your heart enough to let God’s Word direct you?
 
When a door is open so that we enter into a house, this is what the word of God is doing.  It is to open to us so that we may see its beauty.  But, it is not understood by just anyone.  The simple ones understand.  That is, those who are open to persuasion, who humbly seek it and give heart to instruction.  The psalmist said, “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Psa. 19:7).
 
Surely, God has a way to open the heart and warming it up.  In the New Testament, Luke records that, “they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Lk. 24:32).  All of us as followers of Jesus know how precious and tender His life was and how our hearts glow when we think back or hear of His life, sufferings and death.  How blind people may be to the plainest doctrines of the Scriptures.  Yet, to us who read, who desire to know God’s word, it gives us understanding that Jesus is the Messiah, that God reigns in Heaven and that Christians are His children.  Let God’s word therefore, open your heart.

Did you know that there are 1,440 minutes in each and every day?  That seems like a lot of time, so why is it that we have such a difficult time finding a few minutes for God each twenty-four hour period?  You say, “Well, life is busy.”  Indeed, with school, extracurricular activities, homework, church, downtime with friends, etc . . . there are so many things one can do that there is hardly enough time for sleeping and eating, let alone spending a few minutes with our Maker.  So, in your busy life, you have to consciously make time.
 
Are you spending time with what you love the most? Is it God?
 
Grab a calender.  If you don’t have one, buy one and write “ Time With God ” (TWG) every day for the next month.  Begin with five or ten minutes of prayer and Bible study.  For as Paul said, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom . . .” (Colossians 3:16).  You see, once you make an appointment with God, you are more likely to keep it.  Soon, you will look forward to spending time with God and may even wish to increase that time.
 
But, something else happens when you make time for God.  It seems that He multiples your time right back to you as a reward for your faithfulness to Him.  A woman once shared that she committed herself to reading the four Gospel accounts each month.  But, on one occasion, they had to move, and pack everything up and then unpack everything after the move.  In addition, she was raising two small children at home and working on a rather large furniture project.  Yet, she still managed to read the Gospel accounts in thirty days.
 
God will help you make the most of your time if you give Him some time each day.  Make Him first on your list of priorities.

The story Jesus told about the man who had two sons is well understood by most parents. The father in this story wanted both of his sons to go work in the vineyard, so he told both of them to immediately go to work. The first son said, “I will not,” and the second son said, “I will” (Matt. 21:28-29). The rebellious son later changed his mind and went to work in the vineyard. The second son, while saying he would obey, did not do it.
 
Do your actions match your words?
 
When Jesus asked the Jews which son did the will of his father, the answer was obvious. He wanted the Jews to see the difference in simply saying the right word and doing the right thing.
 
Words of obedience from the lips must become actions of obedience in life. There is a vast difference in saying, “Thy will be done on earth as it is heaven,” and then manifesting these words in one’s life. Many can so beautifully sing in the assembly, “Have Thine own way, Lord, have Thine own way,” yet once they leave the assembly, there is little evidence of submission. God help us to use words of obedience and help us to live lives of obedience.
 
Words about providence from the lips must be manifested in daily lives. Ezra had gone before King Artaxerxes and been given permission to lead a second group of Jews from Babylonian captivity. When those Jews assembled, it became obvious how dangerous it would be for them because of the vast amount of gold and silver they were taking to the holy city. Should Ezra make an additional request for the king’s help in providing protection? Ezra said, “I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldier and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king saying, ‘The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsaken Him’” (Ezra 8:22).
 
It is not enough to sing It is Well With My Soul, nor simply to quote Psalm 23, the Shepherd Psalm, and then for our outlook for the future to be as filled with anxiety as the ungodly.  God help us to talk openly about His providence, but even more importantly, God help us to show it in our lives!
 
There are the words of faith about obedience and the words of faith about providence. Yet, words of faith must become actions of faith. Obviously, while there are times when faith is weak and our lives may not always openly manifest the depths of our devotion, His mercy is so abundant. May we always have hearts of devotion and not lives of rebellion toward Him. Perhaps the words of John sum it up perfectly. “My little children, let us love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

Is there anything more frustrating in conversation than someone who can’t seem to get to the point? I have listened to some preachers who preach an entire lesson and leave you wondering “What’s the point?”. In fact, in everyday conversation I like some-one to say what they mean, get to the point, and be understandable. One thing rings true from the book of James…he doesn’t mince words; he is clear, concise, and practical.
 
God’s principles for a good life are simple. Are you teachable?
 
We as individual Christians, and the church as a whole, would be in far better spiritual health if we started living the biblically inspired principles therein. 1) Friendship with the world puts you at odds with God. 2) God opposes the proud but gives grace and lifts up the humble. 3) Draw near to God, cleanse your hands, purify your hearts, and God will draw near to you. 4) Understand that life is short and should be lived in view of the eternity beyond this life and those things that are pleasing to God. 5) Knowing good and not doing it is sin. 6) Be patient. 7) Keep you word! 8) Pray and sing. 9) Confess your faults to one another. 10) Save yourself and others.
 
It’s not that we can’t know what to do or that we can’t do what is pleasing to God. The problem is often our “teachability” and our willingness to do God’s will. Are you teachable? Listen, it’s not thank we can’t know, it’s are we humble enough to submit to the teaching of God and then do it. We have much to do and the forest at times seems overwhelming. But God gave us His Son, He gave us His word, and He has given us the church. One step at a time friends, keeping God and eternity in focus. Be faithful!
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