Monday, June 20, 2016

Responsibilities of Salvation

It's the first day of our ministry's International Convention.  That means the better part of a week immersed in the Word, having fellowship with friends from all over the world (some of them missionaries, some native pastors).  And an array of booths selling a variety of things, mostly food and beverages, to support various foreign missionary efforts.  All in all, a great time.  If you're interested in joining us, here in Baltimore or streaming any or all of it live, go to the GGWO 2016 Convention page for more info.

In the meantime, here's a devotional from our one year year devotional book, Breastplate Gems, available on Amazon in bother paperback and Kindle editions, by following the link.

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.

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