Consider Your Ways...Says the Lord
Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. PSALM 37:4
Tracing the word delight through the Old Testament, I was surprised to learn that the majority of its uses are in relationship to the Word of God—delighting in the Word. The psalmists delighted in God’s will as expressed in His law (Psalm 40:8); delighted in His statutes (119:16); delighted in His commandments (119:35); and delighted in His precepts and law (119:69–70, 77, 92, 174). There is a profound relationship between delighting in the Lord and delighting in His Word. Think about your relationship with a person who is the object of your affections. Your conversations, the letters you receive, the phone calls you share—their words are a reflection of who they are. So to delight in that person’s words is to delight in them. And the same is true of our relationship with God. To trust in God is also to delight in Him and His promises. No Christian who delights in what God says about the future (“I will provide for you”) can also be found worrying about the future. When delighting in the Lord is your focus, everything else is brought into perspective. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening
And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. MATTHEW 2:11
O’Henry’s famous short story “The Gift of the Magi” tells the story of Jim and Della, each of whom wanted nothing more for Christmas than to give a gift to their beloved. Della sold her beautiful hair to a wig maker to buy Jim a gold chain for his watch, while Jim sold his watch to buy Della beautiful combs for her hair. The sacrifice of their most treasured possessions showed the depth of their love. Wanting to give the greatest of gifts to one’s spouse is understandable. With each passing year of a relationship, love should deepen and gifts become more precious. But when a small group of astrologers journeyed from their distant land to bring expensive gifts to the infant Jesus, it was a remarkable act of worshipful recognition. He was just a young child, born to poor parents in the most humble of circumstances. Yet somehow they knew He deserved the best they had—and they gave it. The Magi present to us a thoughtful question: if they who knew Jesus not at all gave to Him their best, how much more should we who know Him give? Make a New Year’s resolution to give Jesus the gift that keeps on giving—the gift of your love. - Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening
Consider Your Ways was the title long before I got to reading my devotionals this morning. It came in the heels of reading in Haggai 1 and 2.
How often do you consider your choices and the path of your life before Christ Jesus?
Yes, according to the Scriptures, we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 says this. But how often do you consider your life's choices in light of Spiritual matters?
Your physical world and the Spiritual world are very much connected. Your obedience in Spiritual things directly impacts what happens in your physical life. Don't take it from me...that's what you read in Haggai 1 and 2. Go read it.
In Read now Ephesians 6:12 NASB "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."
There's much more to your life than meets the eye.
In Haggai we read the Lord directly tells Haggai to tell the remnant to consider their ways. Since we have the whole Bible at our very fingertips, remember this passage as well: "All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB.
One more thing to note is this: 2 Timothy 4:3-4 NASB "For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and will turn aside to myths."
We are instructed to consider our ways. To took at life as a Disciple of Jesus Christ would be looking at life. We aren't to be looking for people to tell us what we want to hear. We aren't to be buying things for ourselves while neglecting the work of God. Giving of tithes and offerings is something we do in gratitude back to God. Read in Haggai. Those people, regardless of the centuries, were exactly like you and I! Exactly the same. They had nice houses they had a decent income. Yet the works of their hands didn't amount to much because God wasn't remembered by them.
We read in the devotionals today of delighting in the things of God.
We read of giving our best.
Can you honestly look at your life and proclaim those two defining characteristics are found in your life?
Movie quotes come somewhat easy to me at times. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Made references to Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1. Referring to the future being an undiscovered country. To know the future requires knowledge only available through God who exists outside of time and space. What mankind knows of the future comes only by what God's revealed. Lying about future events in the Old Testament was punishable by death.
In our day and age something different is afoot. We cannot know a future of what God can and may do through us without obedience. In my perplexity about my present life's understanding mixed into it is this thing about obedience. A leap of faith has to be intertwined with obedience. Obedience and trust.
Delighting in the things that delight God. Giving our best to our Master and our Lord God.
If giving of yourself or your tithes and your offerings is low on your list of priorities, if being in God's Word and in prayer isn't part of what you do in life...how do you ever expect to see the real work of God in your life?
My Dear Reader, if these things are not central to your life, if even family and friends, hobbies and interests, job and leisure are more important to you than the Spirit’s work in this world and in you, then YOU ARE NOT LIVING FOR JESUS.
I am most decidedly in a place in my life that I sadly have never truly been. I don't know what the future holds but I know who holds my future. In obedience we see and can do the work in this world in preparation for the return of Jesus Christ. We have a responsibility to be doers of the Word and not hearers only.
James 1:22-27 NASB "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not just hearers who deceive themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who has looked intently at the perfect law, the law of freedom, and has continued in it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an active doer, this person will be blessed in what he does.
If anyone thinks himself to be religious, yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."
As Paul often wrote, he said things to the Churches to stir up their minds by way of reminder.
Hopefully today you have been stirred up. Hopefully today is your day to begin turning back to God. To be at your "Whatever you want of me, I am yours to lead" moment of life.
You will not be asked about nor quizzed about where you have been or the sights you have seen. Jesus will not care about the people you met or the vastness of your wealth. You will not be questioned about anything as a believer other than the deeds you have done in the body. What you did for the work of God in your time on the Earth. You will either gain reward or suffer loss because of doing little to nothing in living out your faith.
A now famous song called "I Can Only Imagine" has been around for quite a while.
Try being real with yourself. Will you stand before Jesus or will to your knees will you fall? Will you be happy to see Jesus or ashamed because you know you're one of the people who have nothing to show regarding obedience? Will you try to hide behind someone else until it's your turn to give an account?
You, my Friend can do something about delighting in God today.
You, my Friend can do something about living in obedience today.
You, my Friend can begin putting Jesus back on the Throne of your heart right here, right now.
Take up your own cross and follow Me: Jesus.
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