Last week was a good week of thought provoking devotional readings beginning with Ecclesiastes 12:13 and Matthew 22:34-40.
I confess … I have loved the Matthew portion since hearing Beth Moore teach on it many years ago now. But I don’t remember reading the Ecclesiastes verse before. I think this is why switching to an unfamiliar Bible version can be so good for me.
“The conclusion, when all has been heard is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13, NASB).
As I read the two portions and then went back to the Ecclesiastes verse this is what hit me:
Fearing God and keeping His commandments is not optional.Â
Now I know we know this to be true, but do we live as if we know this, that is the question that I am wrestling with this morning.
Sometimes I wonder if our daily routines and work cause us to forget, and think there are other things more pressing.
The study asks a good question: Consider the commandment to love God with all of your “heart, soul, and mind.” How can you love God more in each of these areas?
Proverbs 3:5-6, Proverbs 16:9, Isaiah 55:8, and Ephesians 3:20-21 were the mid- week readings.
It was the two passages in Proverbs that stirred my thoughts. They are familiar ones but I think we can miss important points because they are so familiar.
From Proverbs 3:5-6: The only way to NOT lean on our own understanding is to fully trust in the Lord with ALL our heart. And He will make our paths straight ONLY as we acknowledge Him in ALL our ways.
Warren Wiersbe sheds this light on these verses:
“God keeps His promises when we obey His precepts, because our obedience prepares us to receive and enjoy what He has planned for us.” (from the Wiersbe Study Bible, page 904)
We trust Him with ALL our heart.
We acknowledge Him in ALL our ways.
And we get to enjoy ALL that He has planned for us!
So today as you think about your plans, the study suggests we “submit our plans to God, and ask Him to help us to follow His lead.”
I’m also asking Him, what am I to remove from my plans today. What about you? What will you add or take away from your to-do list?
The reading today brought this old hymn to mind:
Our readings today are John 17:4, Romans 14:12, and 1 John 2:3-6. I read them in the order given and sat thinking a bit and thought, the last verse truly sets the order.
“The one who says he abides to Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” (1 John 2:6, NASB)
Reading this verse brought this question to mind: What was the manner He walked?
And I am so grateful John tells us.
“I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4, NASB)
So today I will be reflecting:
- Is my life, and what I do, glorifying Him?
- Am I accomplishing the work He has given me to do?
What can we do or change so that we accomplish what He has for us to do, and stay on-mission?
Abide in Him.