And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5
“He was an evil king, for he did not seek the Lord with all his heart.” (2 Chronicles 12:14)
Rehoboam was the grandson of King David. His missteps led to the tragic division of the kingdom. Both kingdoms then continued to dwindle until finally sent into exile.
King David, while certainly not without imperfections and grievous sins, was considered a man after God’s own heart in spite of himself. Why? Because, though imperfectly executed, he truly sought to follow God with his entire self. He didn’t compartmentalize his devotion to God to certain times and religious festivals. God was part and parcel of his day-to-day living, his constant counselor, his personal shepherd, and his intimate friend. That’s true devotion.
Plain and simple, heart-felt devotion is what we pray for today…
I want to seek you with every ounce of my heart, intellect, energy, and capacity. I am done with being a part-time follower, for it is impossible as well as futile. There was nothing part-time, nothing lacking, nothing reserved in your devotion, Jesus, when you walked on this planet. You were in it fully. You jumped onto this planet with both feet. So I, like you, Lord, will jump into my commitment to you with both feet. I do not look back. I will not hesitate. I give myself to you spirit, soul, and body, and with great joy I will follow you wherever you lead.
In Jesus’ Name Amen.
“But with God everything is possible. ” ~The Carpenter
“Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” ~The Carpenters
As I begin a new week, I lay before you my whole self, spirit, soul, and body. I ask that you would recalibrate all that I am to align with your great will for me. May I keep my thoughts in line with your thoughts, my desires in line with your desires, my words aligned with your Word, and may all I do bring you pleasure.
First, I ask that you would pour out your love into my heart through the Holy Spirit. May I have the power to experience Your love. May I bear fruit that will give you glory today. Holy Spirit, please fill me up, empowering me to do the will of God from my heart.
I want to be about your business, Lord, not my futile busy-ness. You are all about forgiveness, so give me grace to overlook offenses. Remind me that my enemy is not flesh and blood but evil spirits who seek to undermine my purpose in this world.
I refuse to be deterred! I refuse to be discouraged! I refuse to be disqualified! I refuse to be daunted!
My charge to myself this morning is right from Your mouth: “With God nothing is impossible.” I’m with you, God! And I know you are with me, for you said you would never leave me or forsake me. Thank you!
Now, let’s do this thing! Let’s have a blessed day, You and me, Holy Spirit, for nothing is impossible when I’m with You and You’re with me.
In Jesus’ Name Amen!
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
“The world is going to hell in a hand basket.”
“I just can’t take it anymore.”
“There’s no use.”
“It’s too late.”
“I give up.”
These are all popular phrases we hear day in and day out, even in our churches. Unbelief has become the popular mode of the day. Faith preachers are scorned, and “believers” are sometimes the most negative, faithless folks you will meet on any given day. People mistake faith for pride and unbelief for humility.
For Christmas our son gave us the book God is Good by Bill Johnson. In the second chapter he talks in detail about faith, what it is, and why it’s important. He also discusses the dangers of unbelief. Essentially he warns us to guard against any theology that doesn’t require faith.
See if you can follow these double negatives: It doesn’t take faith to believe that my health challenges will worsen. It doesn’t require faith to believe that our financial needs will not be met. It doesn’t require faith to believe that my loved one who is an addict will never recover. And I don’t need faith to see to it that the mountain of adversity in my life stays put!
In short, unbelief is the easiest thing in the world. Just believe in the second law of thermodynamics. Entropy rules simply by allowing the natural process of deterioration to do its good and perfect work – the work of wrecking the world, allowing everything to decline just as it is prone to do.
God, on the other hand, had the notion that His people can fight and win over entropy using His name and authority. He put human beings on the planet to tend it like a garden and to make it a reflection of Heaven itself, bringing order, beauty, and God’s great love to every corner.
How about adding more faith to your faith? How about becoming a believing believer? Just hype, you say? Positive-thinking hogwash? I’m not so sure… Without faith I cannot please God, and that’s the one thing I want to do more than anything – give my Heavenly Father pleasure. Want faith? Pray this plain and simple prayer with us…
You are Good. And when you made people in your image you said we were, “Very Good.” Lord, I want to have the faith of Jesus Himself. He said that nothing is impossible to those who believe. I want to be in the faith category, seeing opportunities for miracles in every challenge, seeing your great ability superimposed over every hopeless situation. Father, your Word says that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Today I will listen to your Word. I open up my ears and my eyes to your Truth. Thank you for modern technology that allows me to listen to your Word all day long and to immerse myself in faith-filled teaching and preaching. Lead me and guide me as I seek to strengthen my faith to the place where I am unmoved, unimpressed, and underwhelmed by anything and everything but You!
God’s way is perfect…And He makes my way perfect. Psalm 18:30,32
But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:48
The best definition I’ve ever heard of Love is this: “To fight for the highest possible good in another.” God is true love in the best sense and definition. Case in point: He doesn’t keep His perfection to Himself; He shares it with us.
The Hebrew word for “perfect” simply means complete and whole, healthy and unimpaired. Who doesn’t want a journey like that? God’s way is everything good, and His goal for each of us to make our ways just like His. He offers us the possibility of attaining to a divine destiny – a better life filled with greater productivity and fruit. Then we, like Him, can do the same for others.
Like Lady Wisdom in Proverbs 8, we can cry out from the intersections we live in, “Hey, there is a better way to live! You oughta try doing life God’s way!” Our motive is not to get some kind of prize or rack up points with God, but simply to lift others up as He has lifted us up. So, pray this plain and simple prayer today, and let’s get our journeys in line with God’s perfect way…
Thank you that You love me enough to not leave me to myself, my goals, my ambitions, nor my foolishness. You lift me above myself and take me to places I wouldn’t dream of going.
So, I pray the prayer I prayed to you when I first believed: “Take my life and do something with it.” Yes! Take the path ahead of me, and direct me! Make my life fruitful and wholesome, healthy and helpful for others.
I receive all you want to give me, and I will go wherever you want to take me.
In Jesus’ Name Amen