This week I am providing you with five daily devotions for your reflection and prayer. Some may fit with circumstances in your life, some may not. Either way, remember to focus your heart and thoughts on God.
How well do you remember God during the course of your day? It might be easy during quiet times. But what about while you are driving in slow traffic, or while standing in a long check-out line, or dealing with an impatient child?
These are times when God needs to be remembered — not shoved aside. When remembering God, you will be able to recognize the peace he offers in the middle of any situation.
“Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he will hear my voice.” — Psalm 55:17
I wonder if the warning system God has placed within us — our conscience — is losing its effect on people’s lives. I’m not talking about everyone, but a growing number of people around this country. The growing attitude of, “I don’t care how my actions affect another person, I’m doing or getting whatever I want,” seems to be taking over by leaps and bounds.
This mindset goes against God’s desire for us to be mindful of other people. It negates treating others with the same kind of respect we would hope to receive in return.
Remember, it is not God who has softened the warning system. It is we who are becoming calloused to its warnings and necessities.
“Therefore I do my best always to have a clear conscience toward God and all people.” — Acts 24:15
The tongue doesn’t weigh much, but it carries great weight. It takes great strength to hold your tongue. I have seen people turn red in the face while holding it. And when it is not held in the heat of an emotional struggle or argument, it will do great damage. It may cause irreparable harm.
Do your utmost to bridle your tongue. Do your utmost to not brag and boast in order to make yourself look fantastic in the eyes of others. Such unbridled words may have serious unintended consequences.
“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire!” — James 3:5
Do you need assistance in turning around an issue in your life? Ask God for help. Do you desire to know God’s loving grace more deeply? Ask God to reveal more to you. Do you long to know you are loved and accepted by God? Ask God to enter your heart and open yourself to him.
God rarely imposes himself on anyone. And when God does, he always allows for a person to reject or accept his offer. It is only when we ask that we will receive. And when we ask, God will come in.
“Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.” — Revelation 3:20
How often do you wish God would do something for you? Perhaps you desire new clothing, but can’t quite afford it, or perhaps there is a new fishing rod that caught your eye. Perhaps you are wanting to feel less lonely or insecure. Do you ask God to provide what you want and then sit back and wait for God to drop it into your lap?
Often, when we ask something from God, he wants to know what we are going to do to play a part in achieving that desire. If you ask something from God, be sure to let him know the role you anticipate playing in the attaining of it. Otherwise, you may wait a very long time.
“A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” — Proverbs 10:4
The Rev. Mark Broadhead is Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview’s pastor.