Summer Devotional Series: The Anguish of Necessity

What I’m Listening to: Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue by Crystal Gayle

Before we start discussing this week’s message, it’s important to get one thing out of the way immediately: we are not saved by our works. We’re not. We’re saved by God’s infinite grace:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–

~Ephesians 2:8 (NIV)

However, knowing that because of our belief we are saved, in spite of anything we could possibly do, should not lull us into a state of complacency. It should not make us shrug our shoulders and think we are doing good enough. Because while we can’t save ourselves or anyone else, our actions can influence others, can help others.

if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

~ Romans 12:8 (NIV)

I’m not saying this in order to make anyone feel like nothing short of quitting their job and becoming a full time missionary is good enough, but rather that it’s important to be open to opportunities to help those in need. To do make the difference we are being called to make.

Prayer Prompt: Ask the Lord to show you places where you can make an impact, not for your own glory, but for God’s.

Peace,

KJ

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Summer Devotional Series: The Importance of Consistency

What I’m listening to: Write This Down by George Strait

Somehow it seems easier to get to church in the winter. I think that as a culture we are more scheduled outside of the summer months. School is in session, people are saving up their vacation days, and there’s a sense of regulation that seems to dog us all.

In the summer it is easier to cast off our responsibilities and “have fun”, going out on the weekends, going on vacation, and just generally hanging out and relaxing. Now far from it for me to say that any of these activities are inherently “bad” or disloyal to the Lord. Many verses in the Bible discuss the importance of rest, with the beginning of Psalm 23 perhaps being one of the most iconic:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

~ Psalm 23:1-3 (NIV)

However, it is important to note that, as seen above, God wants us to find rest in Him. When He talks about rest, He doesn’t just mean for our physical bodies, He wants us to experience the spiritual rest one can only find through spending dedicated time with Him. Meaning we shouldn’t prioritize our summer fun over our relationship with God. That we don’t skip church to sleep off our Saturday night, or forget to read our Bible when we go on vacation, or make extra excuses to do things we know we shouldn’t do. We must remember that being a Christian is not a hobby, it’s our life. We’re running a race, and Jesus is waiting for us at the finish line.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

~ 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (ESV)

God made the seasons, but it’s our responsibility to keep our eyes on the Kingdom without distraction, no matter the weather.

Prayer prompt: Ask that God would give you the conviction to stay consistent in your relationship with Him, and not to get caught up in the fleeting fun of summer to the extent that you lose sight of what is truly important.

Peace,

KJ