You may (or may not) have noticed, but I didn't get a devotional post done yesterday. I fully intended to. I kept saying (throughout the day and even until late in the evening) that I had to get it done. It is a big part of my day to day routine that I make time for, no matter how busy I am. So what happened? I am trying to get materials done for two camps, teaching two week long courses at a Bible college (10 lessons or so), trying to do the business of church, doing youth group, men's prayer, children's group, and young adult ministry as well as visits, and trying to get family time done. There was also some procrastination on my part (please forgive me!). So you see, no matter how I intended to do something, I did not make the time for it. It's not enough to give Sundays to Him. When we give Him some, but hold the rest back, we are like Ananias and Sapphira, saying we're giving all, but in reality holding back what we want to keep. God struck them down dead, why would He show us leniency? Don't get me wrong, He's a loving God, and He loves us infinitely more than we can ever imagine or fathom. Yet He's also a just God, and He must deal justly with us. We make excuses for our good intent with bad results, but God does not and cannot accept excuses if He is to judge justly. Church, It's all or nothing. We need to make appointments for daily time with our Heavenly Father and keep them. We should not sacrifice our relationship with God on the altar of busyness. If something is important, we make time for it. How often do we make time for sports, vacations, day trips, weekend activities, sports, exercise, family (I knew that should go in here somewhere) and so many other things throughout the day? We make ourselves busy, and are always on the go, how often do we intend to spend time with God, and fail? It is a case of good intent with bad results. When we reach the end of our lives, are we going to stand before the throne of Grace and tell God "I intended to get my life right with you, but, you know, college, spouse, kids, career...there was never enough time!" Will He accept such excuses, or will He say "I never knew you, away from me doer of lawlessness," when we meet Him face to face? Learn to let things go, beginning with the things that get in the way of your relationship with God and others.And yes, letting go of things, good things even, hurts, but so does working out and building up our physical muscles. Look to the Royal Law, to Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself. God will handle the rest as you submit. Matthew 7:15-27 English Standard Version (ESV)
A Tree and Its Fruit
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
I Never Knew You
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Build Your House on the Rock
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”