1997-09-19 - Devote Daily
The Balancing the Gauges Series, Part 2
Titus 3:8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. (NIV)
Last time we discussed the hectic pace of our world and how the fast lifestyle of the world can play havoc on our emotional, physical and spiritual "gauges." This devotional and the next three will build on my final statement in the last devotional: Devote daily, worship weekly, measure monthly, and abandon annually. The question pressing all of us as Christ-followers is "How do I live in the world without becoming part of the world? How can I live life right as a Christian, with the world being so out-of-balance and so un-Christ like?" The world tugs hard on our hearts, minds and bodies. The world wants to suck us in and spit us out like worthless pawns, used and toyed with for the benefit of others who could not give a rip about us as human beings.
What does it mean to devote ourselves daily? Let's look at the following verses.
Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread. (NRSV)
First and foremost, prayer is essential to devoting daily. Prayer is so obvious, yet so few engage in sincere heartfelt and "heart poured out to God" prayer. Give us our daily portion of grace, Lord. Give us our daily measure of Your love. Give us our daily strength to abide in You, Father. As the nation of Israel wandered in the desert, the Lord provided them with manna. An interesting property of the manna was that it would only keep for one day, and EACH person had to gather his provision for the day. Fathers could not gather manna for the children; each had to daily gather his own. Likewise we must each gather daily our provision that God has laid out for us.
Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. (NRSV)
We must daily -- not weekly, not monthly, not annually at a Christmas Eve service -- take up our cross and follow Christ. We must deny ourselves, which simply means we must stop being self-centered and become Christ-centered each day.
Acts 17:11 These Jews were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with all willingness and examined the scriptures daily to determine whether these things were so. (NIV)
What more can I add? They searched the scriptures daily. They read the Bible daily. We must read the Bible daily. God put His word in the Bible for us to read and follow. Set aside at least one time each day to read the Bible. Make an appointment with God's word, and keep it.
1 Th 4:12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. (NIV)
Our "walk" each day, each moment should exemplify our life in Christ. We are called to be different than the world. Your life should stand out, stand apart from the world. How do we do this? It's in the little things we do. It's each seemingly small decision we make each day minute by minute. It is using God's wisdom, not the world's wisdom. It is stopping yourself before each decision, each thought, each word spoken, and each action taken and thinking -- will this win the respect of others, will this glorify Christ, will this decision build up or tear down the Kingdom? I called this living by M&Ms. No not the candy! M&M stands moment-by-moment living for Christ. Maturing in Christ is our moment-by-moment acceptance of God's wise provision of grace for us. Maturing is becoming more and more sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit who lives in us, and acting on these promptings to bring Him glory.
Dear Father, help us to daily devote ourselves to You. Help us to live moment by moment for You. Give us Your strength, Your wisdom and Your power to stand out from the world, while still living in this world. Use us daily to bring You glory. Increase in us our hunger for your Word Father. Forgive us when we fall short of the mark. We praise You and thank You for our Savior Jesus. It is out of our love and gratitude for Him dying in our place, that we want all to flow from our lives. In HIS name, Amen.