Jeremiah 2:1-2 Do You Still Have First Love?

The word of the LORD came to me: “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: “This is what the LORD says: “‘I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the wilderness, through a land not sown.'” Jeremiah 2:1-2

When a person is in love to the point of getting married, he is usually in head over heels in love with the bride. The bride is also madly in love with the groom at the point of getting married.

Both of them look at each other as the greatest in the world, that there can be no fault in the other. They desire to spend time together, doing anything and everything together. Often the things they do will include doing crazy little things together. All of this is because of love.

The first months together as a married couple will be seen as fully devoted to each other. They will follow each other everywhere one goes, regardless of how hard it is. This is first love devotion.

The sad part is that many marriages do not stay that way. Many, and often within the first year to two years, fall out of that first love for each other. They begin to get discontented with each other. Many begin to wonder what they ever saw in each other and why they loved each other.

God is looking at Israel in these verses and remembering their first love for Him. They started off dedicated to Him and following Him everywhere. Israel had forgotten their first love and dedication to God. The chose to not follow Him any more.

Take a good look at your life. Remember back to when you first chose to follow God. Think of the reasons why you chose to follow God. Think about how much love you had for God and what you would do for Him at that time.

Is that love for God still the same?

Or have you allowed your love for God to fall away?

Many people, like Israel, have chosen to let their crazy love for God to calm down. They are no longer madly in love with God and begin to not follow Him everywhere He goes.

Renew your first love and devotion to God. Make Him first and foremost in your life, and start following Him again through the wilderness of this life.

I pray today that you will remember your first love for God; that you will be dedicated to God; that you will follow God everywhere; and that you will tell others of your love for God.

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Proverbs 18:9 Not Working The Best Work

One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys. Proverbs 18:9

Working hard takes hard work and dedication, two characteristics that many people lack in. Although most people are dedicated to showing up for their job, most do not always give 100% of their efforts at the job.

Everyone knows of someone who slacks on the job. That job could be a paying job in the workforce or a volunteer job somewhere else. It is the person who stops and talks all the time, or has to use the restroom every few minutes. It is the person who does the job very slowly on purpose. It is the person who does not follow all the directions in getting the job done. There are many ways that a person can slack on the job.

Solomon likens this person to one who destroys. Some may ask how is that destroying anything, they are not physically hurting anyone or anything.

When a person does not give his all in work, he is destroying in several ways at a minimum. That person is destroying the integrity of the business–not giving the best service. Destroying the moral at work, because others see the slacking and join in it or they begin complaining. The personal integrity is destroyed by not doing what he says he is doing. It teaches those under a person to also cut corners and slack off on work.

Every job at you have and do you are to do it as unto the Lord with all of your heart. God did not do any slacking when He created you or this world. Jesus did not slack at all when He went through the process to provide salvation for your soul.

God is in the process of building a kingdom that will last forever. You have been asked to be a part of that building process. No matter what you do, you are in that process.

There will be days when you will be tempted to slack off and cut corners in your work. You will see others slacking off. Do not follow them. Follow the example of Jesus and keep working faithfully. God is looking for faithful servants who will do the work required.

Are you building?

Or are you slacking off and destroying?

I pray today that you will know the work God has for you to do; that you will work as unto God; that you will work with the integrity of God; and that God will give you strength to do the work needed to be done.

Proverbs 14:23 Work Versus Talk

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23

It can be easily seen that hard work will usually bring about a profit for a person. Being dedicated to the job and getting the job done in the best way possible, will allow a person to get promoted to a better position with better pay.

Those who do not work or do not work hard, fall into poverty. This will include people who do work, but do the absolute minimum work possible. They try to cut the corners to get out of working hard. Doing this will keep the employer from giving any pay raises or promotions and will keep them in poverty. They only talk the talk.

Looking at hard work and the rate of pay is the most common way to look at this verse. However there is the spiritual realm of a person’s life to be looked at.

In the same way that people refuse to work hard at their job, there are many people who refuse to work hard on their spiritual growth. Becoming a Christian believer in Jesus is very easy to do. Growing and maturing in Jesus is another thing. It is something that takes hard work and dedication.

Paul said in Philippians 2:12, to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. He told Timothy to fight the good fight and to take captive every thought. You are also told to put on the full armor of God so that you can fight the battle.

Each of these verses show that you must work hard. It is a battle to control your thoughts. It is hard work to fight against the schemes of the devil in this world. It takes dedicated focus to flee all sin.

If you are faithful in working hard at growing and maturing in Jesus, God will ensure you success and profit in the spiritual realm. You will hear the voice of God and God will do great things in and through you.

If you slack on it and do the minimum, you will be in spiritual poverty. You will not hear God’s voice and He will be unable to do great things in and through you.

Do not just talk about being a Christian, work at it and be one.

How hard are you working today?

Are you giving it your all?

Or are you doing just the minimum?

I pray today that God will show you areas to work harder at in your life; that you will dedicate your life to being like Jesus; that you will make every effort to grow in God; and that God will give you great spiritual success in this life.

Ezra 7:10 Devoted To God’s Word

For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel. Ezra 7:10

The new king of Persia, Artaxerxes, had provided Ezra with everything needed to build the temple and offer the required sacrifices. He also made a law that everyone had to worship God correctly. All these things were done because Ezra was dedicated to knowing, following and teaching God’s Word correctly.

Devotion is what makes the difference between someone being good at something or being great at it. There are many men that love to play football or golf, but only part-time. They like to play them once in a while on the weekends, but not every day, all day.

They can play the game, but not very well. Those who become professional at it or good enough to win small local tournaments, are devoted to the game. They practice daily, constantly learning how to improve their play.

The majority of believers in the church only open their Bible on Sunday morning as the pastor speaks. Then there are a few who read a few Bible verses each day. Even less, are those who are devoted to God’s Word. Those few study God’s Word daily, apply it to their lives, and tell others what it says.

Being devoted to God’s Word, means that you take time to study it fully to understand it. You then work to apply what you have learned from God’s Word to your own life. Once you have done these things, then you must tell others what you have learned.

Stopping short in any of these areas, keeps you from being devoted to God’s Word.

When you are not devoted to God’s Word, you will miss out on what God has for you. You will also cause others to miss what God has for them. Ultimately you will slow down or stop building God’s kingdom on this earth, which is the whole purpose of when Jesus came to this earth.

Take a look at your life. Are you devoted to God’s Word?

Or are you just a part-time partaker of God’s Word?

Do not make God’s Word just a temporary part of your life.

I pray today that God will give you a love for His Word; that God will open your eyes to His Word; that you will obey God’s Word; and that you will share God’s Word with others.

Luke 19:8 Signs of a Change

“But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, Look, Lord! Here and now I give half my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Luke 19:8

Zacchaeus, a tax collector, was a man who had heard about Jesus and wanted to see Him. In fact, he wanted to see Him so badly that he did something unusual. He climbed up a tree in order to see Jesus as He passed by.

Jesus, then, also did something unusual, for people of that time, He called out to Zacchaeus and told him He would go to his house that day. As Jesus said this many people in the crowd around Him gasped for air. Zacchaeus was a very much hated tax collector. Jesus, the great “man of God” was going to be with a bad sinner.

Immediately there was a change in Zacchaeus. He offers to pay back anyone he had ever cheated four times what was cheated. He also gives his money to the poor.

When a person comes in contact with Jesus there will be a change. For some there is a digging in of the heals to remain in the world. They do not want anything to do with Jesus. For others they realize who He really is and dedicate their hearts and lives to Him.

As a person dedicates his life to Jesus, there must be a change. Sinful habits must be done away with, apologies must be made, and wrongs corrected.

All too often, people have come to Jesus in a service or with someone witnessing to them, and there is no real change. They continue to live the same lifestyle they have always lived. Many in the church have not changed in many years. This should not be.

Each day, seek God to show you how to live more like Jesus. See what areas of your life need to improve and what sins you must toss out. There should be outward signs of the change God is making inside you. Can you or anyone else see those changes?

I pray today that God will help you to change; that you will live more for Jesus each day; that your outward lifestyle will reflect Jesus; that you will not live for Jesus just on Sundays; and that you will be a witness for Jesus.