As 2013 is coming to a close, I, like many others, am thinking back over the past year and
wonder if know I could have been better. Then, to top it off, my daily Bible reading brings me to Malachi this morning where these verses stick out:
“But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’
“By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible. When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty. –Malachi 1:7-8
God doesn’t want us to be half-hearted in our service to or relationship with Him. He wants us to be all in. Whether it be tithing, praying, or reading His Word. God wants us to do it with a pure heart and no regrets. He doesn’t expect us to sacrifice our entire flock but He does expect and deserve the best of what we have to offer.
I admit to stealing this from an email devotion I get from Christianity.com but thought this one was definitely worth keeping handy. I hope I have given enough credit where credit is due.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. – Romans 12:2 NLT
Thoughts for Today
This week we have looked at the fact that today’s culture proclaims that there is no absolute right and wrong, that everything is relative. Television programs say it. Journalists say it. Movies say it. Books say it.
But the Bible says something different. The Bible says that God in his love has given us boundaries for our protection and well-being. It is up to each of us—every day—to decide what we will do about the boundaries. It comes down to a matter of will. Am I going to seek God’s will for my life and obey him? Or am I going to go my own way, do my own thing, no matter what God says.
As we follow Jesus, we begin to learn that he has a good plan for our lives. Our lives won’t be perfect. We’ll still have struggles and problems, disappointment and heartache. but God will be with us every moment, encouraging us, strengthening us, comforting us and helping us. He will give us joy and peace. We will learn that his way is always the best way.
Consider this …
How about you? Are you still doing your own thing and ignoring God’s way? Or maybe you are submitted to him for the most part, but there are still one or two areas of your life you are holding on to stubbornly, insisting on doing things your way even though you know you are not pleasing God.
Remember that God loves you more than you can imagine. And he has a great plan for your life. Choose Jesus and his way—in every area of your life. You will learn that his way is always the best way.
Father, thank you for your patience. I know I’ve been hanging on to some areas of my life, insisting on doing things my way, not yours. But it’s not working out very well. I know that your way really is the best way. Please forgive me and help me submit to your way completely. In Jesus’ name …
These thoughts were drawn from …
Knowing God My Father: Applying the Names of God to My Personal Life by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. This curriculum is designed to help people strengthen their relationship with their heavenly Father by applying His names to their personal life. Along with helping Christians know God better, it can serve as an evangelistic tool by giving a true picture of God to people who may have a distorted view of Him because of an absent or abusive earthly father who did not or does not provide for them. This group can also help men who want to be better fathers. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. –Zechariah 9:9
I will likely be so busy for the next few days that I will not be doing much blogging but I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and look forward to a much more productive 2014!