Monday, June 9, 2014

Emerald's Life Devotional Excerpt

The emerald cover image is used under Creative Commons license,
courtesy of en.wikipedia.org
June's devotional book is Emerald's Life. As you can see by our illustration, an emerald doesn't look very good until it's properly cut and polished.  Which sounds very much like the life that is represented by the green color.  Life can be rough till we let God get His hands on it.

We're all familiar with Deuteronomy 30:19 (KJV), "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:".  As usual, at that point in the Old Testament, Israel wasn't behaving.  And a loving God implores them to choose spiritual life instead of the alternative.  No matter how rough life may seem, life with God is always better than the other choices.  Day 6 of our devotional finds God, once again, still loving His people and still begging His people to make the right decision.

Amos 5:14 (KJV) Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.


In context, this verse talks about God’s Chosen People — Israel and Judah.  But consider that, having accepted salvation, we are now as chosen as anyone.  This verse basically tells us (and them) to seek God.  The evil is seeking anything instead of God.  That’s not lusting after something (sex, money, possessions, etc.) and repenting.

It speaks of a more permanent replacement of God with something else.  Many of us may say to ourselves that we don’t do that.  Mostly because we con ourselves into believing we don’t cut God out of our lives.  But how many things have we said “just this once” and then they’ve become repeated, maybe to the point of becoming habit.  And, if we ever do an honest assessment, those became areas where we leave God out.

Matthew 6:33 is a New Testament equivalent of Amos 5:14.  It says that we need to make the relationship with God our primary focus.  Anything else we need will come as a result of that.  A contrast to either verse might be the Israelites with the golden calf.  Or a more modern example might be the business person who, though claiming Christianity, spends time at church more for the business contacts than to grow closer to God.


Prayer thoughts for day 6:  We need to ask God to shine His light on our lives so that we can clearly evaluate our lives and those areas where we need to repent.  We want God’s thoughts on that.  Just as a “little white lie” is no less a sin than a bank robbery, a tiny area of our life where God is excluded is no less important than leaving Him out altogether.  Yes, we’ll fail.  We won’t be perfect till heaven.  But God is after our decisions, not our perfection.  We need to ask Him to continually guide us in our self evaluation.  And we need Him to help us to repent when necessary.  After that, we want to be thankful to Him, as we recognize the things God is adding to our life.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If that taste of our June devotional has you wanting more, and you have a Kindle or a Kindle app, Emerald's Life is available for $1.25 US, here: http://amzn.to/1n1vi2Z

1 comment: