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Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
-1 Peter 2:2-3
GOD’S BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE -
(From Malachi 3:16-18)
Lord, I read that you listened in on the conversations of
Your ancient followers as they talked to one another
About you and your ways. You even took names,
Recording them in a Book of Remembrance.
Did you make a notation of significant quotes
Beside each name? What did they say?
Did they speak words of affection?
Observations of your power?
Did some recall your marvelous exploits?
Whatever they said, it pleased you so much
You called them your Righteous Servants and
Claimed them in a special way. Imagine that.
Am I in that book, Lord God? I want to be.
May my words always bring honor and glory to your name.
Dorothy writes from her home on a ridge overlooking the Arkansas River in Little Rock. She has been involved in women’s ministries for nearly forty years, teaching Bible studies. Her passion is for people, especially women, to understand their value in Jesus.
More of Dorothy Johnson: http://reflectionsfromdorothy.blogspot.com/
Ending the Obsession with Self -
This devotional was written by Robin Dugall
He must become greater; I must become less. —John 3:30
Have you ever considered how much time you think about yourself? Do you wander by a mirror and catch a quick glance? Do you browse fashion magazines and imagine for hours how you would look in some snazzy new outfit? Have you ever thought about how many of your sentences begin with “I” or end with “me”?
The obsession with self starts early. Moments after birth, the self demands its own way. A baby will scream, pout or keep his parents awake for hours at night asserting his obsession with self. Have you ever wondered why it is that your parents never had to teach you how to be selfish? For most, no matter what the issue, life seems to revolve around answering the question, “What do I get out of this?”
One of the most compelling sermons I ever heard was given years ago by the former president of Moody Bible Institute, Joe Stowell. The sermon I heard hit me at the core of my being. He said, “I’m tired of worrying about what people think about me. I’m weary of the carnal feeling that sometimes haunts me when someone talks about his favorite preacher and it’s not me. Bottom line, I just get flat-out tired of me. But I never get tired of Jesus…One day, life won’t be about 'me’…it won’t be about you. It won’t be about the covers of magazines, or CEO status, or diplomas or anything else. Life will come down to Jesus.”
Today, work on ending the obsession with self by taking your eyes off of yourself. Instead, direct them toward Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of our faith.
1. How much are you obsessed with yourself? Monitor your thoughts and actions during the day today. Then tonight, talk to God about how much you think primarily about yourself and how that affects your relationship with God and others.
2. What can you do to break the obsession with self?
Hebrews 12:1-2; Psalm 139
This devotional originally appeared in “HomeWord with Jim Burns” on Crosswalk’s Family Devotional section. For more information about HomeWord with Jim Burns devotionals, please visit us online.
More of HomeWord with Jim Burns: http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/homeword/
Come and Dine -
But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
Have you ever noticed that the most difficult time to serve the Lord is immediately after a defeat in your life? When we are on a spiritual high, serving the Lord comes almost naturally. But when we experience the roller-coaster ride to the depths of despair after some spiritual tragedy, we have a tendency to become complacent. While activity tends to produce additional activity, inactivity also reproduces itself.
The popularity of Jesus Christ had been building throughout His earthly ministry. Thousands of people followed Him through the hills of Galilee, watching His miracles and listening to His teachings. The disciples had become an intimate group, well known for their association with Jesus. As His popularity grew, so did their own.
The culmination of their intimate relationship with the Lord came the night of His betrayal. He had gathered the disciples in the upper room to keep the Passover. They were all there. They ate with the Lord, prayed with Him, sang hymns with Him, pledged their loyalty to Him. Around this meal, the institution of the Lord's supper, the disciples reached a spiritual high. Their heightened spirits, however, were soon to be dashed. Jesus was led away from the garden, He endured a cruel and illegal trial, and the disciples were dispersed.
Even though Jesus again and again had told them that He must suffer the cruelty of the cross, the disciples still did not assimilate this tenet of His teaching. With His death and burial the disciples' balloon had burst. Even the resurrection of the Lord and the immediate post-resurrection appearances did not do much to reassure the disciples.
As instructed by the Lord Himself, the disciples returned to Galilee. Their meeting with Jesus on the mountain of Galilee, where He had appointed them, must have been subsequent to the account of our Scripture for today. Seven of the apostles had returned to their vocation as fishermen. How easy it was to be a follower of the Lord when He was present; how easy it was to return to their occupation in His absence.
It was Peter who first suggested that he would go fishing. This does not necessarily imply that he intended to renounce his apostleship in favor of the fishing trade. This is what he knew best; this is what he would do until the Lord commanded him otherwise. Hence Peter and the others entered into a ship and fished all night, but caught nothing. How could this be? Had they lost the knack of fishing during their years with the Messiah? Why were they so unsuccessful at a business in which they had been extremely successful before Jesus called them to discipleship? Throughout the night they fished without any success at all.
"But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore" (John 21:4). For some providential reason the disciples did not recognize the stranger standing on the shore. As He called to them and inquired how successful they had been, they had to answer that they were extremely unsuccessful in fishing that night. It was the resurrected Lord, keeping His rendezvous with them in Galilee. But they did not recognize this until He commanded them to cast their nets on the other side of the ship. This was reminiscent of a similar but earlier command of the Lord with the same result (Luke 5:1-11).
When the disciples had hauled in an incredible number of fish, they came to the shore at Jesus' invitation to "Come and dine" (John 21:12). It was almost as if the Lord was reigniting the fire of intimacy and love that had cooled since their last supper together. Jesus Christ did not want His disciple band to become complacent, for complacency is kin to disobedience.
After we have once served the Lord well and lived in intimate relationship with Him, it is easy to become complacent, to drift from Him and not to sit at His table. However, the Lord calls to each of us to "come and dine"; and if we are to be an effective and useful tool in the Master's hand, we must find our feet under His table frequently.
Revive us again fill each heart with Thy love;
May each soul be rekindled with fire from above.
Hallelujah, Thine the glory! Hallelujah, amen!
Hallelujah, Thine the glory! Revive us again.
Devotional is used with permission from the author. It may be used solely for personal, noncommercial, and informational purposes. Republication or redistribution of this devotional is prohibited. - See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions/come-and-dine#sthash.7Tr4NgCk.dpuf
Dr. Woodrow Kroll served as President and Senior Bible Teacher at Back to the Bible from 1990-2013. Author of more than 50 books, Dr. Kroll's passion is to increase Bible literacy in America by engaging people in the Bible and connecting them with the Author. His clear, incisive teaching of the Word keeps him in demand as a speaker all over the world. - See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/authors/woodrow-kroll#sthash.7Yrcap6W.dpuf
More of Dr. Woodrow Kroll: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions
Beloved Ministries helps single moms encounter and experience the transforming power and redemptive love of Jesus Christ by connecting them to each other and to Him. Through Christ they can begin the restoration process of leaving a pit of ashes and becoming women of great beauty and worth. Our goal is to enable restoration—spiritual, emotional, and physical. Led by Megan DelaRosa and Allanah O'Quinn, who met while leading a weekly Bible study for young girls at the Gathering Place. They discovered that they worked well together and that both had a heart for ministry; out of this shared spirit, Beloved was founded. .
More of Beloved Ministries: www.belovedministries.com