December 27, 2018 Give Thanks

Colossians 4_2

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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.

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.

2 Corinthians 11:3 Being Deceived

“But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3

Paul had brought the gospel message to the Corinthian church. At some point along the way, the people of the church started to believe things that neither Jesus nor Paul ever taught. They were led astray into some false belief while still being a part of the church.

People in a church can be led astray very easily, but it does not usually happen quickly. It usually starts with a slight change of view. It is a small change in how a scripture verse is interpreted. Then it grows from there. On the surface the interpretation sounds good and looks good, but it is still wrong and in the end brings about death and false beliefs.

Nearly everywhere you look today you see deception in churches. Some are not so noticeable such as the unspoken requirement on how to dress for church or speaking gossip as though it is a prayer request. Others accept watching and doing things that are sinful as though they are acceptable to God and because they do not really hurt the individual.

Other churches have been extremely deceived in promoting that sinful lifestyles are acceptable by God. Many are living in adultery while being leaders in a church. There are churches that promote God’s love, while forgetting His holy and righteous requirements and His hatred for sin because they also promote acceptance of sin.

Satan and the world are trying to get believers to accept their way of living. Many in the church have bought into the world’s view. Many church groups have changed their policies to accommodate sinful living in the church. They are very sincere in their love for God, but it is down the wrong path and for the wrong god.

You must keep yourself from being deceived by the devil. Stay in God’s Word continually. Pray daily and seek His Holy Spirit to guide you. Do not allow yourself to be deceived.

I pray today that God will guide you by His Holy Spirit; that you will see when deception is shown you; that you will refuse to be led astray from Jesus; that you will stayed grounded in God’s Word; and that you will draw closer to Jesus every day.