3 Simple things to think about throughout the day.


Let’s face it, we all have those “off days”. Days where things don’t go right from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. Where people aren’t as nice to you as they were the day before and you end up not being as gracious to them as you should (causing regret). You have 1000 things to get done and only a few hours to complete it. Focusing on God throughout the day is difficult, and you just wish it could be like yesterday. I have those days, you have those days, and there’s something we need to do to put an end to it.

In his book, “Humility: True Greatness”, C.J. Mahaney lays out a few simple steps on how to practically take your eyes off of yourself and onto Christ throughout the day. But before I lay out what you need to do, you first need to ask yourself what have you/haven’t you been doing lately. Keep in mind that your works aren’t what fuel your faith, but your faith is what fuels your works.

1. Has the focus been on you and not on the grace of God?

Romans 12:3 (NKJV) For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

2. Have you been zealous for God and not acted on it?

Romans 12:11 (ESV) Do not be slothful [meaning: lazy] in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

3. Has prayer and Scripture been your thirst and your drive?

Psalm 42:1 (ESV)

As a deer pants for flowing streams,

so pants my soul for you, O God.

Romans 12:12 (ESV) Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

4. Have you been resting in God or yourself at the end of the day?

Psalm 4:8 (ESV)

In peace I will both lie down and sleep;

for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

If you’ve found the diagnosis, I have good news: there’s a cure!

(These following three points can be found in C.J.’s book, mentioned above).

You may be grumpy, and tired, and thirsty for spiritual water. But the problem is that self-pity has snuck in.

You’re so concerned about your thirst, your well-being, and your life that you shifted the focus onto your well being instead of God’s provision. Look up from the ground and see the Lord, for your needs are nothing compared to Him.

Psalm 107:9 (ESV)

For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

The cure: (1) Wake up seeking and presenting yourself to God as a sinner in need of grace, and your dependence on Him.

(2) Think on Scripture throughout the day and feast on it. Sometimes one passage in the morning is enough fuel for the day, but some days you need more time to reflect and apply the power of Scripture.

(3) At the end of the day look for, and thank God for, His grace in your life.

And a special 4th point to apply on Sundays

(4) Look for signs of God’s grace in others and in your Church, and seek to look for grace in others lives during the next week.

 

God Bless!

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Devotional One: Creation, Eden, Judgement, and Salvation.


Fallen race in Eden fair, exposed and full of shame.

Fled we naked from Thy sight, far from Thy holy name.

Sent from the garden to the east, outside of Eden’s gate,

Banished there from Thy pure light were Adam and his mate.

Scarlet souls are now like snow by Thy atoning grace.

Crimson hearts become like wool for Adam’s fallen race.

No work of ours is good enough for evil to atone.

Your merit, Lord, is all we have. It saves and it alone.

Chorus- Clothe us in your righteousness, hide filthy rags of sin,

Dress us in Your perfect garb, both outside and within. – R.C. Sproul

Many of us read the Creation story as if it simply is just that: a story. Since the rise of Darwinism, there has been an increasing denial that Adam and Eve were real people, and that God created everything within 6 literal 24 hour days. It sounds preposterous to believe in a “literal” Creation story; or does it? Jesus didn’t deny that Adam and Eve were real people, Matthew 19:4-5He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said,’Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?

If Adam never existed, then Paul’s comparison between Adam’s failure and Christ’s salvation is next to meaningless; if the first man that God made is figurative for mankind, then why compare him to Jesus? And what hope is there for me if my Lord’s sacrifice was simply better than a figurative man figuratively disobeying God?

It’s because Satan, the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4), has “blinded” the minds of unbelievers. He wants you to overlook the Creation account, because its there that the whole foundation of the Bible is laid. Its where I am beginning our study today; if God is not present in Creation, then how can I be assured of His presence throughout the Bible?

In his Biblical Theology, “God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgement”. James Hamilton examines a common theme found throughout the Old Testament based on the judgement of God on the man and the woman in Genesis 3. Some of the judgements include: cursed land, pain in childbirth, a troubled marriage (because the woman would want to be dominate the man, causing him to “rule” over her), and ultimately, a delayed death (in order so they can produce offspring). As well as the promised redemption of the “seed of the woman” who would crush the serpents head.

Yet, although I find this a part of the main story line of the Bible, there is something James and many others miss; something else that Adam and Eve lost in the Garden, something that is found all over the Bible: the Presence of God.

Before we look to the first promise of the Messiah in Genesis 3:15 and how this relates to the upcoming devotionals, we first to need go back into the story and see several things that many miss.

1. God made Himself present in His Creation.

Instead of using Angels to shape and form the earth, God directly involved Himself in every aspect of Creation, by His word and His Spirit [Gen. 1:1-3), and as we later discover in the New Testament, God the Father Created the world through the Son [Heb. 1:1-3, Col. 1:15-17).

The author of Hebrews says this: Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. [Heb. 1:1-3 ESV].

The Presence of God here involves the Trinity, working together and forming a world, declaring His glory and making Himself known to man in his seeing, tasting, smelling, hearing, and in everything he touched.

2. Mankind reveals the presence of God.

Genesis 1:27 tells us:

So God created man in his own image,

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them.

Being made in the image of God, we are given responsibilities that reflect God Himself: we have dominion over the birds of the air and the fish of the sea, we work and till the ground for food, care for and enjoy the Creation. We are given a responsibility to be mirror’s of our Creator in producing offspring, and raising them up to know us and our Maker. Just as Marriage reflects Christ and the Church,  Creation reveals how mankind was meant to reflect his maker.

In the Christian life, we reflect God’s glory when we pray because Christ prayed in obedience and loving submission to the Father’s will; in reading Scripture because Christ read-aloud, lived, and memorized the Scripture, knowing its value and timelessness; and when we are being daily changed into His likeness, we are reflecting our Savior’s example here on earth.

3. Communion and an intimate fellowship with God reveals the presence of God:

One last detail for today: Moses says something very interesting about what happened in the Garden:

Genesis 3:8And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. (emphasis added).

We began our fall hiding from intimate communion with God; walking with God has now turned into desiring to turn from Him; enjoying the Creation has turned into abusing and despising it; if we deny communion with God, we lose all aspects of knowing the one who is present in everything.

The next devotional will continue where this storyline left off. Be prepared, there are some twists and turns on this journey through the Bible.

Until next time,

Sincerely,

Austin Thompson

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